Chapter 18 (Peace)


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aṣṭāvakra uvāca
yasya bodhodaye tāvatsvapnavad bhavati bhrama
tasmai sukhaikarūpāya nama śāntāya tejase

Ashtavakra said: Salutations to that by the awareness of which delusion itself becomes dream-like, to that which is Bliss itself, calm and effulgent.


arjayitvākhilān arthān bhogānāpnoti pukalān
na hi sarvaparityājamantarea sukhī bhavet

One may get all sorts of pleasure by the acquisition of various objects of enjoyment, but one cannot be happy without renouncing all.


kartavyadukhamārtaṇḍajvālādagdhāntarātmana
kuta praśamapīyūadhārāsāramte sukham

How can there be happiness, for one who has been burnt inside by the blistering sun of the pain of thinking that there are things that still need doing, without the rain of the nectar of peace?


bhavo’ya bhāvanāmātro na kicit paramarthata
nāstyabhāva svabhāvanā bhāvābhāvavibhāvinām

This universe is but a state of consciousness. In reality it is nothing. The existent and the non existent do not lose their inherent nature


na dūra na ca sakocāllabdhamevātmana padam
nirvikalpa nirāyāsa nirvikāra nirajanam

The Self which is absolute, effortless, immutable, and spotless is neither far way not limited. It is verily ever attained.


vyāmohamātraviratau svarūpādānamātrata
vītaśokā virājante nirāvaraadṛṣṭaya

By the simple elimination of delusion and the recognition of one’s true nature, those whose vision is unclouded live free from sorrow.


samasta kalpanāmātramātmā mukta sanātana
iti vijñāya dhīro hi kimabhyasyati bālavat

Knowing all as mere imagination and the Self as free and eternal, does the wise one act ignorantly like a child.


ātmā brahmeti niścitya bhāvābhāvau ca kalpitau
nikāma ki vijānāti ki brūte ca karoti kim

Knowing for certain that one’s self is Brahman and that existence and non-existence are figments, what does one who is free from desire, know, say or do?


aya so’hamaya nāha iti kīā vikalpanā
sarvamātmeti niścitya tūṣṇībhūtasya yogina

Considerations like “I am this” or “I am not this” are finished for the yogi who has become silent knowing for certain all as the Self.


na vikepo na caikāgrya nātibodho na mūhatā
na sukha na ca vā dukha upaśāntasya yogina

For the yogi who has found peace, there is no distraction or onepointedness, no higher knowledge or ignorance, no pleasure and no pain.


svārājye bhaikavttau ca lābhālābhe jane vane
nirvikalpasvabhāvasya na viśeo’sti yogina

In heaven or in beggary, gain or loss, life among men or in the forest, there is no difference to the unconditioned yogi.


kva dharma kva ca vā kāma kva cārtha kva vivekitā
ida ktamida neti dvandvairmuktasya yoginaḥ 

There is no religion, wealth, sensuality or discrimination for a yogi free from such opposites as “I have done this,” and “I have not done that.”


ktya kimapi naivāsti na kāpi hdi rajanā
yathā jīvanameveha jīvanmuktasya yogina

The yogi who is liberated while living, had neither any duty not any attachement at heart. His actions pertain to the present life only, being merely the effects of his past karma.


kva moha kva ca vā viśva kva tad dhyāna kva muktatā
sarvasakalpasīmāyā viśrāntasya mahātmana

Where is delusion, where is universe, where is renunciation, Moreover where is libereation for the great souled one who rests beyond the world of desires?


yena viśvamida dṛṣṭa sa nāstīti karotu vai
nirvāsana ki kurute paśyannapi na paśyati

He who sese the universe may try to deny it. What has the desireless to do? He sees not even though he sees.


yena dṛṣṭa para brahma so’ha brahmeti cintayet
ki cintayati niścinto dvitīya yo na paśyati

He who has seen the Supreme Brahman meditates, ‘I am Brahman’.  What does he who has transcended all thought think, when he sees no second?


dṛṣṭo yenātmavikepo nirodha kurute tvasau
udārastu na vikipta sādhyābhāvātkaroti kim

He, indeed, controls himself who sees distraction in himself. But the great one is not distracted. Having nothing to accomplish, what does he do?


dhīro lokaviparyasto vartamāno’pi lokavat
no samādhi na vikepa na lopa svasya paśyati

The wise man, unlike the worldly man, does not see inner stillness, distraction or fault in himself, even when living like a worldly man.


bhāvābhāvavihīno yastpto nirvāsano budha
naiva kicitkta tena lokadṛṣṭyā vikurvatā

He who is beyond existence and non existence, who is wise, satisfied and free from desire does nothing even if may be acting in the eyes of the world.


pravttau vā nivttau vā naiva dhīrasya durgraha
yadā yatkartumāyāti tatktvā tiṣṭhate sukham

The wise man who just goes on doing what presents itself for him to do, encounters no difficulty in either activity or inactivity.


nirvāsano nirālaba svacchando muktabandhana
kipta saskāravātena ceṣṭate śukaparavat

He who is desireless, independent free and liberated moves about like a dry leaf blown about by the wind of causality .


asasārasya tu kvāpi na haro na viāditā
sa śītalahamanā nitya videha iva rājaye

There is neither joy nor sorrow for one who has transcended Worldly existence. With a peaceful mind he lives like one without a body.


kutrāpi na jihāsāsti nāśo vāpi na kutracit
ātmārāmasya dhīrasya śītalācchatarātmana

The wise one who delights in the Self and whose mind is calm and pure has no desire for renunciation or sense of loss in anything.


praktyā śūnyacittasya kurvato’sya yadcchayā
prāktasyeva dhīrasya na māno nāvamānatā

Naturally of a vacant mind and doing what comes of itself, the wise one, unlike an ordinary man, is not affected by honour or dishonor.


kta dehena karmeda na mayā śuddharūpiā
iti cintānurodhī ya kurvannapi karoti na

“This action was done by the body but not by me, the pure Self.” – one with such a thought even though acting, does not act.


atadvādīva kurute na bhavedapi bāliśa
jīvanmukta sukhī śrīmān sasarannapi śobhate

The jivanmukta acts like the one who does not say that he is acting so; but he is not, therefore, a fool.  Even though living in the world, he is every happy and blessed.


nāvicārasuśrānto dhīro viśrāntimāgata
na kalpate na jāti na śṛṇoti na paśyati

The wise one who weary of endless reasonings has attained to peace, neither thinks not knows nor hear nor sees.


asamādheravikepān na mumukurna cetara
niścitya kalpita paśyan brahmaivāste mahāśaya

He who is beyond mental stillness and distraction, does not desire either liberation or its opposite. Recognising that things are just constructions of the imagination, that great soul lives as Brahman here and now.


yasyānta syādahakāro na karoti karoti sa
nirahakāradhīrea na kicidakta ktam

He who has egoism in him acts even though he does not act. Surely the wise one who is free from egoism does not act even though he acts.


nodvigna na ca santuṣṭamakart spandavarjitam
nirāśa gatasandeha citta muktasya rājate

The mind of the liberated man is not upset or pleased. It shines unmoving, desireless, and free from doubt.


nirdhyātu ceṣṭitu vāpi yaccitta na pravartate
nirnimittamida kitu nirdhyāyeti viceṣṭate

The mind of the liberated one does not exert itself to be either meditative or active; but it becomes meditative and active without any motive.


tattva yathārthamākarya manda prāpnoti mūhatām
athavā yāti sakocamamūha ko’pi mūhavat

A stupid man is bewildered when he hears the real truth, while The sharp –witted person withdraws within himself like a fool.


ekāgratā nirodho vā mūhairabhyasyate bhśam
dhīrā ktya na paśyanti suptavatsvapade sthitā

The ignorant make a great effort to practise one-pointedness and the stilling of mind. The wise, abiding in the real Self, like persons in deep sleep, do not find anything to be done.


aprayatnāt prayatnād vā mūho nāpnoti nirvtim
tattvaniścayamātrea prājño bhavati nirvta

The stupid does not attain cessation whether he acts or abandons action, while the wise man find peace within merely by knowing the Truth.


śuddha buddha priya pūra niprapaca nirāmayam
ātmāna ta na jānanti tatrābhyāsaparā janā

In this world those who devote themselves as diverse practices do not know the Self,
which is pure, intelligent, beloved, perfect, beyond the universe, and free from any taint.


nāpnoti karmaā moka vimūho’bhyāsarūpiā
dhanyo vijñānamātrea muktastiṣṭhatyavikriya

The ignorant one does not achieve liberation even through regular practice. The blessed one through mere knowledge becomes free and is unaffected by change.


ho nāpnoti tad brahma yato bhavitumicchati
anicchannapi dhīro hi parabrahmasvarūpabhāk

The stupid does not attain Brahman, for he desires to become It, the wise one certainly realizes the nature of Supreme Brahman, even without desiring to do so.


nirādhārā grahavyagrā mū sasārapoakā
etasyānarthamūlasya mūlaccheda kto budhai

Even when living without any support and eager for achievement, the stupid only keep up the world. The wise cut the at the very root of its world which is the source of all misery.


na śānti labhate mūho yata śamitumicchati
dhīrastattva viniścitya sarvadā śāntamānasa

The stupid does not find peace because he is wanting it. The wise one knows the Truth and is every peaceful.


kvātmano darśana tasya yad dṛṣṭamavalabate
dhīrāsta ta na paśyanti paśyantyātmānamavyayam

How can there be self knowledge for him whose knowledge depends on the object? The wise do not see this and that, but see the immutable Self.


kva nirodho vimūhasya yo nirbandha karoti vai
svārāmasyaiva dhīrasya sarvadāsāvaktrima

How can there be cessation of thought for the misguided who is striving for it. Yet it is there always naturally for the wise man who delights in the Self.


bhāvasya bhāvaka kaścin na kicid bhāvakopara
ubhayābhāvaka kaścid evameva nirākula

Some think that existence is, and others that nothing is. Rare is the man who does thinks neither and is thus calm.


śuddhamadvayamātmāna bhāvayanti kubuddhaya
na tu jānanti samohādyāvajjīvamanirv

Those of weak intelligence think of themselves as pure non duality, but because of their delusion do not know this, and remain unfulfilled all their lives.


mumukorbuddhirālabamantarea na vidyate
nirālabaiva nikāmā buddhirmuktasya sarvadā

The intellect of one who longs for liberation cannot function without depending on the object; but the intellect of the liberated one is indeed ever independent and free from desire.


viayadvīpino vīkya cakitā śaraārthina
viśanti jhaiti kroa nirodhaikāgrasiddhaye

Seeing the tigers of the senses the frightened refuge-seekers at once enter the cave in search of cessation of thought and one pointedness.


nirvāsana hari dṛṣṭvā tūṣṇī viayadantina
palāyante na śaktāste sevante ktacāava

Seeing the desireless lion the elephants of the senses silently run away, or, if they cannot, serve him like flatterers.


na muktikārikā dhatte niśako yuktamānasa
paśyan śṛṇvan spśan jighrannaśnannāste yathāsukham

He who is free from doubts and has his mind identified with the Self, does not resort to practices of control as a means to liberation. Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and eating he lives happily.


vastuśravaamātrea śuddhabuddhirnirākula
naivācāramanācāramaudāsya vā prapaśyati

Established in pure Knowledge, and calm by the mere hearing of the Truth, the wise one does not see what is proper or improper action or even inaction.


yadā yatkartumāyāti tadā tatkurute ju
śubha vāpyaśubha vāpi tasya ceṣṭā hi bālavat

The wise person does whatever presents itself to be done, good or bad, for his actions are like those of a child.


svātatryātsukhamāpnoti svātatryāllabhate param
svātatryānnirvti gacchetsvātatryāt parama padam

By inner freedom one attains happiness, by inner freedom one reaches the Supreme, by inner freedom one comes to absence of thought the attainment of Ultimate State.


akarttvamabhokttva svātmano manyate yadā
tadā kīā bhavantyeva samastāścittavttaya

When one sees oneself as neither the doer nor the enjoyer, then all modifications of mind come to an end.


ucchṛṁkhalāpyaktikā sthitirdhīrasya rājate
na tu sasphacittasya śāntirmūhasya ktrimā

The spontaneous unassumed behaviour of the wise shines, but not the deliberate purposeful stillness of the fool.


vilasanti mahābhogairviśanti girigahvarān
nirastakalpanā dhīrā abaddhā muktabuddhaya

The wise who are free from mental projections, unbound, and of unfettered intellect, sometimes sport in the midst of great enjoyments and sometimes retire into mountain caves.


śrotriya devatā tīrthamaganā bhūpati priyam
dṛṣṭvā sapūjya dhīrasya na kāpi hdi vāsanā

There is no attachment in the heart of a wise man whether he sees or pays homage to a learned brahmin, a celestial being, a holy place, a woman, a king or a friend.


bhtyai putrai kalatraiśca dauhitraiścāpi gotrajai
vihasya dhikkto yogī na yāti vikti manāk

A yogi is not at all perturbed even when ridiculed and despised by his servants, sons, wives, grandchildren or other relatives.


santuṣṭo’pi na santuṣṭa khinno’pi na ca khidyate
tasyāścaryadaśā tādśā eva jānate

Even when pleased he is not pleased , not suffering even when in pain. Only those like him can understand his wonderful state.


kartavyataiva sasāro na tā paśyanti sūraya
śūnyākārā nirākārā nirvikārā nirāmayā

It is the feeling that “something needs to be achieved” is the world of relativity. The wise who are of the form of emptiness, formless, unchanging and spotless see no such thing.


akurvannapi sakobhād vyagra sarvatra mūhadhī
kurvannapi tu ktyāni kuśalo hi nirākula

Even when doing nothing the fool is agitated by restlessness, while a skilful man remains undisturbed even when doing what there is to do.


sukhamāste sukha śete sukhamāyāti yāti ca
sukha vakti sukha bhukte vyavahāre’pi śāntadhī

Happy he stands, happy he sits, happy sleeps and happy he comes and goes. Happy he speaks, and happy he eats. This is the life of a man at peace.


svabhāvādyasya naivārtirlokavad vyavahāria
mahāhda ivākobhyo gatakleśa sa śobhate

Whoever, by virtue of the realization of his own self, does not feel distressed even in practical life like ordinary people and remains unagitated like a vast lake, with all his sorrows gone – he shines.


nivttirapi mūhasya pravtti rupajāyate
pravttirapi dhīrasya nivttiphalabhāginī

Even abstention from action leads to action in a fool, while the action of the wise man brings the fruits of inaction.


parigraheu vairāgya prāyo mūhasya dśyate
dehe vigalitāśasya kva rāga kva virāgatā

A fool often shows aversion towards his belongings, but for him whose attachment to the body has dropped away, there is neither attachment nor aversion.


bhāvanābhāvanāsaktā dṛṣṭirmūhasya sarvadā
bhāvyabhāvanayā sā tu svasthasyādṛṣṭirūpiī

The mind of the fool is always caught in thinking or not thinking. But the consciousness of the wise one, though attended with thinking the thinkable is of the nature of unconsciousness.


sarvārabheu nikāmo yaścared bālavan muni
na lepastasya śuddhasya kriyamāo’pi karmai

The wise one who has no motive in all his actions, who moves like a child and is pure, has no attachment even to the work that is being done by him.


sa eva dhanya ātmajña sarvabhāveu ya sama
paśyan śṛṇvan spśan jighrann aśnannistaramānasa

Blessed is he who knows himself and is the same in all states, with a mind free from craving whether he is seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting.


kva sasāra kva cābhāsa kva sādhya kva ca sādhanam
ākāśasyeva dhīrasya nirvikalpasya sarvadā

Where is the world and where is its appearance, where is the end and where the means, for the wise one who is ever changeless like the space?


sa jayatyarthasanyāsī pūrasvarasavigraha
aktrimo’navacchinne samādhiryasya vartate

Glorious is he who has abandoned all goals and is the incarnation of satisfaction, his very nature, and whose inner focus on the Unconditioned is quite spontaneous.


bahunātra kimuktena jñātatattvo mahāśaya
bhogamokanirākākī sadā sarvatra nīrasa

In short, the great-souled man who has come to know the Truth is without desire for either pleasure or liberation, and is always and everywhere free from attachment.


mahadādi jagaddvaita nāmamātravijṛṁbhitam
vihāya śuddhabodhasya ki ktyamavaśiyate

What remains to be done by the one who is Pure Consciousness? He has renounced phenomenal existence which begins with mahat and is manifested through mere name.


bhramabhtamida sarva kicinnāstīti niścayī
alakyasphuraa śuddha svabhāvenaiva śāmyati

The pure man who has experienced the Indescribable attains peace by his own nature, realising that all this is nothing but illusion, and that nothing is.


śuddhasphuraarūpasya dśyabhāvamapaśyata
kva vidhi kva vairāgya kva tyāga kva śamo’pi vā

Rule of conduct, dispassion, renunciation and restraint of the senses – what are all these to one who is of the nature of Pure Effulgence and who does not perceive any objective reality?


sphurato’nantarūpea prakti ca na paśyata
kva bandha kva ca vā moka kva hara kva viāditā

For him who shines with the radiance of Infinity and is not subject to natural causality there is neither bondage, liberation, pleasure nor pain.


buddhiparyantasasāre māyāmātra vivartate
nirmamo nirahakāro nikāma śobhate budha

Only the illusion of the world prevails. Ther reality of the world vanishes with the knowledge of the Self. The wise one lives without the feeling of ‘Iness’ and ‘mine-ness’ and attachment.


akaya gatasantāpamātmāna paśyato mune
kva vidyā ca kva vā viśva kva deho’ha mameti vā

To the wise one who perceives the Self as imperishable and free from grief, where is knowledge and where is the universe? Where is the feeling ‘I am the body’ or ‘the body is mine’?


nirodhādīni karmāi jahāti jaadhīryadi
manorathān pralāpāśca kartumāpnotyatatkaāt

No sooner does a man of dull intellect give up such practices as mind-control than he becomes a prey to desires and facies.


manda śrutvāpi tadvastu na jahāti vimūhatām
nirvikalpo bahiryatnādantarviayalālasa

A fool does not get rid of his stupidity even on hearing the truth. Though he may outwardly appear to be free from imaginations, a craving for sense objects lurks within him.


jñānād galitakarmā yo lokadṛṣṭyāpi karmakt
nāpnotyavasara karma vaktumeva na kicana

He whose work has ceased with the dawn of Knowledge does not find an opportunity to do or say anything, even though in ordinary people’s eyes he is doing work.


kva tama kva prakāśo vā hāna kva ca na kicana
nirvikārasya dhīrasya nirātakasya sarvadā

For the wise man who is always unchanging and fearless, Where is the darkness nor where light? Where is there any loss? There is nothing.


kva dhairya kva vivekitva kva nirātakatāpi vā
anirvācyasvabhāvasya nisvabhāvasya yogina

There is neither fortitude, prudence nor courage for the yogi whose nature is beyond description and free of individuality.


na svargo naiva narako jīvanmuktirna caiva hi
bahunātra kimuktena yogadṛṣṭyā na kicana

There is neither heaven nor hell nor even liberation during life. In short, nothing exists in the yogic consciousness.


naiva prārthayate lābha nālābhenānuśocati
dhīrasya śītala cittamamtenaiva pūritam

The wise one neither longs for possessions nor grieves at their absence. His calm mind is full of the nectar of Supreme Bliss.


na śānta stauti nikāmo na duṣṭamapi nindati
samadukhasukhastpta kicit ktya na paśyati

The dispassionate does not praise the good or blame the wicked. Content and equal in pain and pleasure, he sees nothing that needs doing.


dhīro na dveṣṭi sasāramātmāna na didkati
harāmaravinirmukto na mto na ca jīvati

The wise man neither abhors birth and rebirth nor wishes to perceive the Self. Free from joy and sorrow, he is neither dead nor alive.


nisneha putradārādau nikāmo viayeu ca
niścinta svaśarīre’pi nirāśa śobhate budha

The wise man stands out by being free from anticipation, without attachment to such things as children or wives, free from desire for the senses, and not even concerned about his own body.


tuṣṭi sarvatra dhīrasya yathāpatitavartina
svacchanda carato deśān yatrastamitaśāyina

Contentment ever dwells in the heart of the wise one who lives on whatever happens to come to him, and who wanders about at pleasure, resting wherever he is when the sun sets.


patatūdetu vā deho nāsya cintā mahātmana
svabhāvabhūmiviśrāntivismtāśeasaste

Reposing on the foundation of his own being, and completely transcending bith and rebirth, the great souled one does not care whether his body dies or is born.


akicana kāmacāro nirdvandvaśchinnasaśaya
asakta sarvabhāveu kevalo ramate budha

The wise man has the joy of being complete in himself and without possessions, acting as he pleases, free from duality and rid of doubts, and without attachment to any creature.


nirmama śobhate dhīra samaloṣṭāśmakācana
subhinnahdayagranthirvinirdhūtarajastama

Glorious is the wise one who is devoid of the feeling of ‘mine’ to whom earth, a stone and gold are all the same, the knots of whose heart have been rent asunder and wo has been purged of rajas and tamas.


sarvatrānavadhānasya na kicid vāsanā hdi
muktātmano vitptasya tulanā kena jāyate

Who can compare with that contented, liberated soul who is indifferent to everything and has no desire left in his heart?


jānannapi na jānāti paśyannapi na paśyati
bruvann api na ca brūte ko’nyo nirvāsanādte

Who but the desireless man knows without knowing, sees without seeing and speaks without speaking?


bhikurvā bhūpatirvāpi yo nikāma sa śobhate
bhāveu galitā yasya śobhanāśobhanā mati

Be he a mendicant or king, he excels who is without desire, and whose view of things has been freed from “good” and “bad”.


kva svācchandya kva sakoca kva vā tattvaviniścaya
nirvyājārjavabhūtasya caritārthasya yogina

There is neither dissolute behaviour nor virtue, nor even discrimination of the truth for the sage who has reached the goal and is the very embodiment of guileless sincerity.


ātmaviśrāntitptena nirāśena gatārtinā
antaryadanubhūyeta tat katha kasya kathyate

How and to whom can be described what is experienced within by one who is desireless, whose sorrow is destroyed and who is contented with resposing in the Self.


supto’pi na suuptau ca svapne’pi śayito na ca
jāgare’pi na jāgarti dhīrastpta pade pade

The wise man who is contented in all circumstances is not asleep even in deep sleep, not sleeping in a dream, nor waking when he is awake.


jña sacinto’pi niścinta sendriyo’pi nirindriya
subuddhirapi nirbuddhi sāhakāro’nahakti

The man of Knowledge is devoid of thought, even when he is engaged in thought; he is devoid of the sense organs,even though he has them; he is devoid of intelligence, even though endowed with it; and he is devoid of the sense of ego, even though possessed of it.


na sukhī na ca vā dukhī na virakto na sagavān
na mumukurna vā muktā na kicinnna ca kicana

Neither happy nor unhappy, neither detached nor attached, neither seeking liberation nor liberated, he is neither something nor nothing.


vikepe’pi na vikipta samādhau na samādhimān
ye’pi na jao dhanyaṇḍitye’pi na paṇḍita

Not distracted in distraction, in mental stillness not poised, in stupidity not stupid, that blessed one is not even wise in his wisdom.


mukto yathāsthitisvastha ktakartavyanirvta
sama sarvatra vaitṛṣṇyānna smaratyakta ktam

The liberated man who abides in the Self in all circumstances, is free from the idea of “done” and “still to do”. He is the same wherever he is and without greed. He does not dwell on what he has done or not done.


na prīyate vandyamāno nindyamāno na kupyati
naivodvijati marae jīvane nābhinandati

He is not pleased when praised nor upset when blamed. He is not afraid of death nor attached to life.


na dhāvati janākīra nāraya upaśāntadhī
yathātathā yatratatra sama evāvatiṣṭhate

A man at peace seeks neither the crowded place nor the wilderness. He remains the same in any condition in any place.


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