Chapter 15 (Knowledge of the Self)


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aṣṭāvakra uvāca

yathātathopadeśena ktārtha sattvabuddhimān
ājīvamapi jijñāsu parastatra vimuhyati

Ashtavakra said: While a man of pure intellect realizes the Self by the most casual of instruction, a man if impure intellect may seek knowledge all his life and still remain bewildered.


moko viayavairasya bandho vaiayiko rasa
etāvadeva vijñāna yathecchasi tathā kuru

Liberation is non-attachment for the objects of the senses. Bondage is love of the sense obhects. This is Knowledge. Now do as you please.


vāgmiprājñānamahodyoga jana mūkajaālasam
karoti tattvabodho’yamatastyakto bubhukabhi

This awareness of the truth makes an eloquent, clever and energetic man dumb, stupid and lazy, so it is avoided by those who want to enjoy the world.


na tva deho na te deho bhoktā kartā na vā bhavān
cidrūpo’si sadā sākī nirapeka sukha cara

You are not the body, nor is the body yours;  you are not the doer of actions nor the enjoyer of their consequences. You are Consciousness itself, the eternal Witness, and free. Go about happily.


rāgadveau manodharmau na manaste kadācana
nirvikalpo’si bodhātmā nirvikāra sukha cara

Craving and aversion are attributes of the mind. But the mind is not yours, nor ever has been. You are Intellignece itself, free from conflict and changeless. Move about happily.


sarvabhūteu cātmāna sarvabhūtāni cātmani
vijñāya nirahakāro nirmamastva sukhī Bhava

Recognising the Self in all beings, and all beings in the Self, be happy, free from egoism and the sense of ‘mine’.


viśva sphurati yatreda taragā iva sāgare

tattvameva na sandehaścinmūrte vijvaro Bhava

Your are the Consciousness, in which the universe manifests Itself like, like waves in the ocean. Be free from the fever of the mind.


śraddhasva tāta śraddhasva nātra mo’ha kuruva bho
jñānasvarūpo bhagavānātmā tva prakte para

Have faith, my son, have faith. Never confuse yourself in this. You are yourself the Lord, whose very nature is Knowledge; you are the Self and you are beyond Nature.


guai saveṣṭito dehastiṣṭhatyāyāti yāti ca
ātmā na gatā nāgatā kimenamanuśocasi

The body invested with the senses comes, stays and goes. You yourself neither come nor go. Why, then, do you mourn it?


dehastiṣṭhatu kalpānta gacchatvadyaiva vā puna
kva vddhi kva ca vā hānistava cinmātrarūpia

Let the body last to the end of the time, or let it come to an end right now. What have you gained or lost, you who are Pure Intelligence?


tvayyanatamahābhodhau viśvavīci svabhāvata
udetu vāstamāyātu na te vddhirna vā kati

In you who are the infinite ocean, let the waves of universe rise or fall according to their own nature. It is no gain or loss to you.


tāta cinmātrarūpo’si na te bhinnamida jagat
ata kasya katha kutra heyopādeyakalpanā

My child, you are Pure Consciousness itself, and the universe is not different from you. So who is to accept or reject it, and how, and why?


ekasminnavyaye śānte cidākāśe’male tvayi
kuto janma kuto karma kuto’hakāra eva ca

From where will there be birth, action, and even egoism for you who are One,
immutable, calm, stainless and Pure Consciousness


yattva paśyasi tatraikastvameva pratibhāsase
ki pthak bhāsate svarāt kaakāgadanūpuram

You alone appear as whatever you perceive. How could bracelets, armlets and anklets appear different from the gold they are made of?


aya so’hamaya nāha vibhāgamiti satyaja
sarvamātmeti niścitya nisakalpa sukhī Bhava

Completely giving up such distinctions as “He is what I am”, and “I am not that”, recognise that “All is the Self”, and be desireless and happy.


tavaivājñānato viśva tvameka paramārthata
tvatto’nyo nāsti sasārī nāsasārī ca kaścana

It is through your ignorance alone that the universe exists. In reality you are One. Apart from you there is no individual self or Supreme Self.


bhrāntimātramida viśva na kiciditi niścayī
nirvāsana sphūrtimātro na kicidiva śāmyati

Knowing that all this is an illusion, one becomes free of desire, pure Intellignece and peaceful, as if nothing existed.


eka eva bhavābhodhāvāsīdasti bhaviyati
na te bandho’sti moko vā ktyaktya sukha cara

In the ocean of the world One only was, is and will be. You have no bondage or liberation. Live happily and fulfilled.


mā sakalpavikalpābhyā citta kobhaya cinmaya
upaśāmya sukha tiṣṭha svātmanyānandavigrahe

Being pure consciousness, do not disturb your mind with thoughts of for and against. Be calm and abide happily in your own self, which is bliss itself.


tyajaiva dhyāna sarvatra mā kicid hdi dhāraya
ātmā tva mukta evāsi ki vimśya kariyasi

Completely give up even contemplation and hold nothing in your mind. You are the Self, free. what will you achieve by thinking?


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