XVI. Astavakra on Self-abidance through obliteration of the world

The Song of the Self-Supreme

Ashtavakra Gita

Radhakamal Mukherjee (publisher Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 1971)

XVI.  Astavakra on Self-abidance through obliteration of the world

  1. Astavakra said: O, child, you may expand the diverse scriptures or listen to them time and again. Yet you cannot have self-abidance without complete obliteration of the world.
  2. O wise one, you may enjoy the (world), undertake the duties or practice Yet your mind will fondly yearn for that which transcends all goals of life (the essential Self), and in which all desires find their extinction.
  3. All are unhappy because of effort. But none appreciates this. Through this teaching alone the blessed one obtains liberation.
  4. Happiness is for him, that head idler, who feels distressed even at the effort of opening and closing the eye-lids. It belongs to none else.
  5. When the mind becomes free from such duality of opposites as ‘this is done’ and ‘this is left undone’, it attains indifference towards righteousness, wealth, desire and liberation (the four-fold goals of life).
  6. One who has aversion for sense-objects is (called) non-attached. One who hankers after them is called sensual. But he who does not accept or reject is neither non-attached nor sensual.
  7. As long as any desire which is the seat of non-discrimination lingers, there will persist the sense of acceptance and aversion, which is, indeed, the root and branch (of the tree of)
  8. From impulse arises the feeling of attachment. From withdrawal arises the feeling of aversion. The wise man is a like a child free from the duality of opposites and is verily well established (in his Self).
  9. A person, attached to the world, wants to escape from misery and to renounce the world. The unattached one is free from misery and does not suffer.
  10. One who has an ego-sense in respect even of emancipation, and also attachment to his body is neither a wise man nor a yogi. He simply suffers misery.
  11. Even if Siva, Hari or Brahma becomes your preceptor yet without complete obliteration of the world, you cannot achieve self-abidance.
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