XVIII. Astavakra on the way and Goal of natural Samadhi

The Song of the Self-Supreme

Ashtavakra Gita

Radhakamal Mukherjee (publisher Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 1971)

XVIII.  Astavakra on the way and Goal of natural Samadhi

  1. Astavakra said: Adoration to the one, the embodiment of bliss, serenity and effulgence, with the dawning of knowledge of which one’s delusion (of the world) becomes like a dream.
  2. Having acquired manifold objects of the senses and enjoyed them, surely one cannot be happy without renouncing all.
  3. For one, whose inner self is tormented by the scorching heat of the sun of sorrow springing from his deeds, where is (his) happiness without the ambroisial shower of the cessation of desires?
  4. This world is merely a mode of thinking. In truth it is nothing. Self-validating beings that apprehend both existence and non-existence never cease to be.
  5. The essential nature of Self is unconditioned, serene, changless and stainless. The Self is neither inaccessible nor attainable because (of being) limited.
  6. As soon as the essential nature of the Self is apprehended with the illusion dispelled and the vision unscreened, the wise shine free from misery.
  7. All that exists is mere imagination. The Self is free and eternal. Knowing this does the wise man behave childlike?
  8. Understanding for certain that the Self is Brahman and that existence and non-existence are mere imaginings, one becomes free from desires. What would he know, say or do?
  9. ‘That is That’, ‘I am That’, and ‘I am not That’, such thoughts are extinguished for the yogi who has become silent and who knows for certain that all is the Self.
  10. For the yogi who has achieved serenity, there is neither distraction nor concentration, neither gain nor decrease of knowledge, neither pleasure nor pain.
  11. Whether he possesses the kingdom of heaven or adopts mendicancy, whether he gains or loses, whether he is in society or solitude, the yogi whose nature is free from desires finds no difference.
  12. For the yogi who is free from the duality of opposites where are righteousness, desire, wealth and conscience? Where is the difference between what is done and what is not done?
  13. For the yogi who is liberated while living, there is neither any duty nor passion in the heart. In this world his deeds merely follow the lot of his life.
  14. Where is delusion, where is the world, where is the meditation of the Reality, where is liberation for the serene, noble-minded one, who is beyond the boundary of all desires?
  15. One who sees the universe endeavours to obliterate it. What would the desireless one do, who beholds not though he sees (with his eyes) ?
  16. One who sees the supreme Brahman meditates, ‘I am Brahman’. What would he meditate who sees no duality and ceases to think?
  17. One who experiences distraction (in the Self) undertakes self-control. The equal-minded one is not distracted. Having nothing to achieve what would he do?
  18. The wise man is the reverse of the average man though living like him. He sees neither absorption nor distraction nor involvement of himself.’
  19. The wise one who transcends existence and non-existence, is contented and devoid of desire; he does nothing even though he apparently acts in th eyes of the world.
  20. For the wise one there is no trouble in either action or inaction. What and when comes to him for action, he undertakes and lives happily.
  21. Desireless, autonomous, free and emancipated, he moves about like a dry leaf driven by the wind of the samkaras (inner trends due to past deeds).
  22. He is not of the world and has no happiness or unhappiness. Tranquil in mind he lives as if he has no body.
  23. For the wise one, delighted in the self, with his mind serene and pure, there is no desire to renounce or sense of loss anywhere.
  24. By nature void in mind and acting according to his wish, he has no feeling of honour or dishonor as that of an ordinary man.
  25. He acts in pursuance of such a thought, ‘this is done by the body, not by me, the pure Self’.
  26. A person liberated in life, performs his action but would not say it, although he is not a fool. Though living in the world, he is quite happy and blessed.
  27. Withdrawing himself from diverse reasonings (as regards the reality) the wise one attains complete repose. He neither thinks, nor knows, nor hears, nor perceives.
  28. The wise one being without both concentration and distraction is neither a seeker of liberation nor the reverse. Knowing for certain that this world is but a figment of imagination, even though he sees it, he lives as Brahman.
  29. One who has egoism in his mind acts even though he is inactive. The wise man, free from egoism, does not commit any wrong deed.
  30. The mind of the liberated one is without either agitation or action. It is passive, free from fluctuations, desireless and purged of doubts.
  31. The mind of the liberated one does not engage itself in either meditation or activity, but becomes meditative and active without any intention.
  32. The unintelligent one becomes confused on hearing the real truth. Or (rarely) the intelligent one achieves withdrawal (of the senses for Samadhi). He behaves like a dullard.
  33. The ignorant one intensely practices fixation and control of the mind. The wise, abiding in the Self, do not find anything to be attained like persons asleep.
  34. The ignorant one does not achieve repose either through effort or through inactivity. The wise one becomes tranquil merely by ascertaining the truth of the Self.
  35. In this world men who are infatuated to various practices (of yoga) do not know the Self, which is pure, enlightened, beloved, perfect, transcendent and stainless.
  36. The ignorant one does not attain liberation through his effort of yoga practice. The blessed one abides emancipated without any effort through mere intuitive enlightenment.
  37. The ignorant does not attain Brahman as he wants to become Brahman. The wise one, in spite of his absence of desire for Brahman, enjoys the nature of Supreme Brahman.
  38. The ignorant (merely) sustains the world unsupported (by the supreme knowledge) and feverish for the attainment (for liberation). The wise sunder the very roots of this (world), the source of all suffering.
  39. As the ignorant one wants peace, he does not attaint it. The wise one is always peaceful in mind by knowing for certain the truth of the Self.
  40. Where is the vision (of the Self) of one who takes resort to seeing the visible world? The wise do not see this and that (object) but sees (only) the immutable Self.
  41. Where is control (of the mind) for the ignorant man who strives for it? For the wise one who delights in the Self such control is perennial and natural.
  42. Some acknowledge that existence is and others that nothing is. Rare is the individual who acknowledges neither. He is perfectly serene.
  43. Men of defective intelligence meditate on the pure, non-dual Self but do not realize it. Due to delusion they remain bereft of happiness throughout life.
  44. The intelligence of one who strives after liberation cannot rise beyond a supporting object. But the liberated person is of desireless intelligence and verily remains constantly without any support (in his meditation).
  45. Encountering the tigers of sense-objects, the freighted ones at once seek shelter for achieving control and concentration and penetrate into the interior of the cave (of the mind).
  46. Encountering the lion of the desire-free, the elephants of sense-objects silently run away. When they are unable to do so, they serve him like sycophants.
  47. The person whose mind is absorbed in the Self is bereft of doubts does not take resort to the means of emancipation (yogic practices). He happily lives in the world, observing, hearing, touching, smelling and eating.
  48. The wise one who has achieved pure consciousness by just bearing the truth of the Self and who is tranquil (in the Self) makes no difference between action, proper and improper, and inaction.
  49. The unsophisticated (wise) one does whatever comes to his lot, whether good or evil, as his actions are child-like.
  50. Through autonomy one achieves happiness, through autonomy he attains the Supreme, through autonomy he attains repose, through autonomy he reaches the supreme state.
  51. As one comprehends that his Self is neither the doer nor the enjoyer, all fluctuations of the mind are extinguished.
  52. The wise one’s conduct, though unrestrained and natural, shines; but the artificial serenity of the ignorant one with his mind full of desire.
  53. The wise are free from imaginings, unfettered in intelligence and unbound. They (may) sport in great enjoyment or take resort to the mountain caves.
  54. No desire springs in the heart of the wise man encountering or honouring a learned Brahmana, a god, a place of pilgrimage, a woman, a king or a beloved person.
  55. The yogi is not in the least agitated even when scoffed and abused by servants, sons, wives, grandsons and relatives.
  56. Delighted, yet he is not delighted; afflicted, yet he is not afflicted. Only one like him can appreciate his marvelous condition.
  57. Man’s sense of duty is, indeed, the mundane world. This is not acknowledged by the wise who are of the form of the void, have no form nor change nor taint.
  58. Even in inaction the ignorant is distracted due to commotion (of the mind). The adept one, even when doing his duties, verily remains unperturbed.
  59. Even in the practical affairs of life the man of wisdom sits contentedly, sleeps contentedly, moves contentedly, speaks contentedly and eats contentedly.
  60. The wise one, even when engaged in practical life, does not have any distress like the ordinary man due to his inner disposition. Unperturbed he shines as a vast lake with all his sorrows extinguished.
  61. The withdrawal of the ignorant is transformed into action. The action of the wise shares in the fruits of withdrawal.
  62. Often the ignorant one shows non-attachment to his possessions. What attachment or aversion is there for one whose love for the body has melted away?
  63. The view of the ignorant is always addicted to either ideation or no ideation. That of one abiding in the Self in spite of his ideation of objects represents no ideation.
  64. The sage who moves about child0like without desire in all undertakings and is pure has no involvement even in action being done.
  65. Blessed surely is that knower of the Self who is the same under all conditions and whose mind is free from thirst, while perceiving, hearing, touching, smelling and eating (in the realm of senses).
  66. For the wise one, always changeless (free from the fluctuations of the mind) like the sky, where is the world, where is its reflection, where is the goal and where is the means?
  67. He renounces all goals of desire and becomes the embodiment of perfect bliss pertaining to his essential nature. Glory to him who abides in his natural Samadhi in the unlimited Self.
  68. At this point, there is no need of saying more. The wise man who realizes the truth is free from the desire of both enjoyment and emancipation and devoid of passion and at all times.
  69. What remains to be done by one who is pure intelligence, who forsakes the phenomenal world, beginning with mahat or cosmic consciousness and so on, which is manifested through mere name?
  70. All this world springs from ignorance. Nothing exists in reality. The man of pure intelligence having known this for certain and realized that the Self alone is effulgent and pure, to whom the Unknown is manifest becomes tranquil by nature.
  71. For one who has envisioned the Self as pure luminousness and does noty perceive the phenomenal world, where is the rule of life, where is non-attachment, where is renunciation and where is control of the senses?
  72. For one who does not perceive (phenomenal) Nature, but discerns the self shining in infinite forms, where is bondage, where is salvation, where is joy and where is sorrow?
  73. In the phenomenal world that lasts until (the dawn of) self-knowledge, only illusion prevails. The wise man shines without ego-sense, egoism and desire.
  74. For the sage who sees the self as immutable and free from the vestiges of sorrow, what is knowledge, what is the universe, what is the body and what are ego and egoism?
  75. If one of the defective intelligence forsakes such practices as the control of the mind, instantaneously do the wishes and fancies take over control.
  76. The man of deficient intelligence, even hearing about the truth of the self, does not forsake this delusion. Outwardly he appears devoid of mental fluctuations through his efforts, but inwardly he craves for sense-gratification.
  77. One whose actions have dropped off due to self-knowledge may be undertaking some work in the eyes of the world. He, however, has no occasion to do so or say anything whatsoever about it.
  78. To the wise man who is ever unperturbed and fearless, where is darkness, where is light, and where is renouncement? There is nothing whatsoever.
  79. To the yogi whose nature is non-existential and undefinable what is patience, what is discrimination (of conscience) and what is courage?
  80. To him there is neither heaven nor hell, nor even liberation in life. Briefly, in the yoga-vision nothing exists.
  81. The wise man neither wishes for gains nor grieves at loss. His tranquil mind is verily filled with nectar (of immortal bliss).
  82. One who is free from desires neither has praise for the good nor blame for the wicked. He is contented and in the same in joy and sorrow. He discerns nothing to be achieved.
  83. The wise man has neither enmity with the world nor love for self-realisation. Freed from happiness and sorrow, he is neither alive nor dead.
  84. Shining is the life of the wise man who is free from any expectation, who is without attachment to children, wife and others, without desire for sense-objects and without care even for his own body.
  85. Contentment ever abides in the heart of the wise one who subsists on whatever comes to his lot. He roams about at his pleasure sleeping wherever the sun sets.
  86. The great one has no care whether the body dies or lives. Resting on the foundation of the self, he forgets the cycle of births and deaths.
  87. The wise one, alone and unattached to all things, rejoices. He is without any possession, moves about at pleasure, is free from the conflict of opposites and dispels all his doubts.
  88. There shines the wise one who has no ego-sense and looks upon a clod of earth, a stone or a piece of gold as of equal worth. The knot of his heart is perfectly cut asunder and he is purged of the attributes of rajas and
  89. He is indifferent to everything; no desire lingers in his heart. Who can be compared with the contented and liberated one?
  90. Who but the one free from all desires knows not while knowing, sees not while seeing, and speaks not while speaking?
  91. May be a prince or a beggar, he shines who is unattached; from his attitude towards his existence the sense of good and evil has vanished.
  92. To the yogi who is guileless and simple and realizes the supreme goal of life, what is willfulness, what is restraint, and what is determination of the Truth of the Self?
  93. How and for whom can be depicted the inner experience of one who is desireless and contented with his repose in himself, and who transcends all his sufferings?
  94. The wise one is not asleep in deep slumber nor lies down in sleep, nor again is he awake in the waking state. He is contented in all states (of consciousness).
  95. The man of self-knowledge is devoid of thought as he thinks, and of sense-organs as he uses them. Endowed with a good intellect he is without intelligence. Endowed with ego, he is without ego-sense.
  96. He is neither happy nor unhappy; he is neither a recluse nor a man of company, neither liberated nor aspiring after liberation. He is not this nor that.
  97. Neither in distraction he is distracted; nor in Samadhi is he in meditation. He is not dull even in dullness, nor is he learned even though possessing learning.
  98. The emancipated one is established in the Self under all conditions and released from the notions of action and duty. Owing to his absence of desire, he is the same under all circumstances and does not ponder over what he has or has not done.
  99. He is neither pleased with eulogy nor enraged by dispraise. Nor is he agitated by (the fear of death) nor taken delight in life (due to his identification with the absolute Self).
  100. The wise one, whose mind is serene, is eager neither for the crowd nor for the solitude of the forest. He remains the same everywhere and under all conditions.
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