kathaṁ jñānamavāpnoti kathaṁ muktirbhaviṣyati
vairāgyaṁ ca kathaṁ prāptaṁ etad brūhi mama prabho
Janaka said : How can knowledge be acquired? How can liberation be attained? How is dispassion possible? Tell me this, O Lord.
muktiṁ icchasi cettāta viṣayān viṣavattyaja
kṣamārjavadayātoṣasatyaṁ pīyūṣavad bhaja
Ashtavakra said: If you aspire liberation, my child, shun the objects of the senses as poison. Practise forgiveness, sincerity, compassion, contentment and truthfulness as nectar.
na prthvī na jalam nāgnirna vāyurdyaurna vā bhavān
esām sāksinamātmānam cidrūpam viddhi muktaye
You are neither Earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air nor even ether. In order to attain liberation, know the Self as the witness of all these and as Consciousness itself.
yadi dehaṁ pṛthak kṛtya citi viśrāmya tiṣṭhasi
adhunaiva sukhī śānto bandhamukto bhaviṣyasi
If you see yourself as distinct from the body and rest in Consciousness, you will at once be happy, peaceful and free from bondage
na tvaṁ viprādiko varṇo nāśramī nākṣagocaraḥ
asaṅgo’si nirākāro viśvasākṣī sukhī bhava
You do not belong to the Brahmin or any other caste, or to any dharma (Four dharmas are Brahmacharya, Grahasthya, Vanaprastha, Sanyasa). You are not perceived by the senses. You are Unattached, formless and the witness of all. Be happy.
dharmādharmau sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ mānasāni na te vibho
na kartāsi na bhoktāsi mukta evāsi sarvadā
Righteousness and unrighteousness, pleasure and pain are of the mind, not of you, O all-pervading one. You are neither the doer nor the enjoyer. Verily you are ever free.
eko draṣṭāsi sarvasya muktaprāyo’si sarvadā
ayameva hi te bandho draṣṭāraṁ paśyasītaram
You are the one seer of everything, and are always ever free. The cause of your bondage is that you see yourself not as the seer but as something other than this.
nāhaṁ karteti viśvāsāmṛtaṁ pītvā sukhī bhava
You who have been bitten by the black serpant of egoism ‘I am the doer’, drink nectar of the faith, “I am not the doer”, and be happy.
eko viśuddhabodho’haṁ iti niścayavahninā
prajvālyājñānagahanaṁ vītaśokaḥ sukhī bhava
Burn down the forest of ignorance with the fire of Knowledge “I am the the One and Pure Consciousness”, and be free from sorrow and be happy.
yatra viśvamidaṁ bhāti kalpitaṁ rajjusarpavat
ānandaparamānandaḥ sa bodhastvaṁ sukhaṁ bhava
You are that Consciousness, Bliss – Supreme Bliss, in and upon which this Universe appears superimposed, like a snake on a rope. Be Happy.
muktābhimānī mukto hi baddho baddhābhimānyapi
kiṁvadantīha satyeyaṁ yā matiḥ sā gatirbhavet
He who considers himself free is free, and he who considers himself bound remains bound. ‘As one thinks so one becomes’ is a saying in the world, and it is quite true.
ātmā sākṣī vibhuḥ pūrṇa eko muktaścidakriyaḥ
asaṁgo niḥspṛhaḥ śānto bhramātsaṁsāravāniva
The Self is witness, all pervading, perfect, One, free, Consciousness, actionless, unattached, dersireless and quiet. Due to illusion it appears as if It is of the world.
kūṭasthaṁ bodhamadvaitamātmānaṁ paribhāvaya
ābhāso’haṁ bhramaṁ muktvā bhāvaṁ bāhyamathāntaram
Meditate on the Atman as motionless, Consciousness and non dual, giving up the external and internal self modifications.
dehābhimānapāśena ciraṁ baddho’si putraka
bodho’haṁ jñānakhaṁgena taḥnikṛtya sukhī Bhava
My child, You have long been trapped in the noose of identification with the body. Sever it with the sword of knowledge “I am Consciousness”, and be happy.
niḥsaṁgo niṣkriyo’si tvaṁ svaprakāśo niraṁjanaḥ
ayameva hi te bandhaḥ samādhimanutiṣṭhati
You are unattached, actionless, self-effulgent and Without any blemish. The cause of your bondage is that you are trying to quieten the mind.
tvayā vyāptamidaṁ viśvaṁ tvayi protaṁ yathārthataḥ
śuddhabuddhasvarūpastvaṁ mā gamaḥ kṣudracittatām
You pervade this Universe and this Universe exists in you. You are pure consciousness by nature. Do not be small-minded.
nirapekṣo nirvikāro nirbharaḥ śītalāśayaḥ
agādhabuddhirakṣubdho bhava cinmātravāsanaḥ
You are unconditioned, changeless, formless, of cool disposition, of unfathomable intelligence and unperturbed. Desire Consciousness alone.
sākāramanṛtaṁ viddhi nirākāraṁ tu niścalam
etattattvopadeśena na punarbhavasaṁbhavaḥ
Recognise that the apparent is unreal, while the unmanifest is abiding. Through this instruction you will escape from getting trapped in cycle of birth again.
yathaivādarśamadhyasthe rūpe’ntaḥ paritastu saḥ
tathaivā’smin śarīre’ntaḥ paritaḥ parameśvaraḥ
Just as a mirror exists within and without the image reflected in it, so the Supreme Self exists within and outside this body.
ekaṁ sarvagataṁ vyoma bahirantaryathā ghaṭe
nityaṁ nirantaraṁ brahma sarvabhūtagaṇe tathā
Just as one and the same all-pervading space exists within and without a jar, so the eternal, everlasting God exists in the totality of things.
aho niraṁjanaḥ śānto bodho’haṁ prakṛteḥ paraḥ
etāvantamahaṁ kālaṁ mohenaiva viḍaṁbitaḥ
Janaka said: Oh, I am spotless, tranquil, Pure Consciousness, and beyond Nature. All this time I have been deceived by illusion.
yathā prakāśayāmyeko dehamenaṁ tathā jagat
ato mama jagatsarvamathavā na ca kiṁcana
As I alone give reveal this body, even so do I reveal this Universe, As a result this Universe is mine, or nothing is mine.
sa śarīramaho viśvaṁ parityajya mayādhunā kutaścit kauśalād eva paramātmā vilokyate
So now that I have renounced the Universe together with the body, by some good fortune I now perceive the Supreme Self.
yathā na toyato bhinnāstaraṁgāḥ phenabudbudāḥ
ātmano na tathā bhinnaṁ viśvamātmavinirgatam
Just as waves, foam and bubbles are not different from water, so the Universe emanating from the Self is not different from it.
tantumātro bhaved eva paṭo yadvad vicāritaḥ
ātmatanmātramevedaṁ tadvad viśvaṁ vicāritam
As a cloth, when analysed, is found to be just thread, so this Universe, when analysed, is nothing but the Self.
yathaivekṣurase klṛptā tena vyāptaiva śarkarā
tathā viśvaṁ mayi klṛptaṁ mayā vyāptaṁ nirantaram
Just as the sugar produced from the juice of the sugarcane is wholly premeated by the same juice, so the Universe produced in me is permeated by through and through.
ātmajñānājjagad bhāti ātmajñānānna bhāsate
rajjvajñānādahirbhāti tajjñānād bhāsate na hi
The world appears from the ignorance of the Self and disappeas with the knowledge of the Self, just as the snake appears from the non congnizance of the rope and disappears with its recognition.
prakāśo me nijaṁ rūpaṁ nātirikto’smyahaṁ tataḥ
yadā prakāśate viśvaṁ tadāhaṁ bhāsa eva hi
Light is my very nature. I am no other than shining light. When the Universe manifests itself, it is simply me that is shining forth.
aho vikalpitaṁ viśvamajñānānmayi bhāsate
rūpyaṁ śuktau phaṇī rajjau vāri sūryakare yathā
Oh, the Universe appears in me, conceived due to ignorance, just as silver appears in the mother of pearl, a snake in the rope and water in the sunlight.
matto vinirgataṁ viśvaṁ mayyeva layameṣyati
mṛdi kuṁbho jale vīciḥ kanake kaṭakaṁ yathā
Just as a jug dissolves into clay, a wave into water, or a bracelet into gold, so the universe which as emanated out of me will dissolve into me.
aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ vināśo yasya nāsti me
brahmādistaṁbaparyantaṁ jagannāśo’pi tiṣṭhataḥ
How wonderful am I! Adoration to myself, who knows no destruction, surviving even beyond the destruction of the entire world from Brahna down to a clump of clay.
aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ eko’haṁ dehavānapi
kvacinna gantā nāgantā vyāpya viśvamavasthitaḥ
Wonderful am I! Glory to myselfe who, though with a body, am One, who neither goes anywhere nor comes from anywhere but abide forever, pervading the Universe.
aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ dakṣo nāstīha matsamaḥ
asaṁspṛśya śarīreṇa yena viśvaṁ ciraṁ dhṛtam
Wonderful am I! I bow down to myself! There is no one so clever as I, who is bearing the Universe for all eternity without even touching it with my body!
aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ yasya me nāsti kiṁcana
athavā yasya me sarvaṁ yad vāṅmanasagocaram
Wonderful am I! I bow down to myself! I who possess nothing at all, or possess everything that is thought or spoken of.
jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ tathā jñātā tritayaṁ nāsti vāstavam
ajñānād bhāti yatredaṁ so’hamasmi niraṁjanaḥ
Knowledge, knower and tue knowable — these three do not exist in reality. I am the spotless Self in which the triad appears because of ignorance.
dvaitamūlamaho duḥkhaṁ nānyattasyā’sti bheṣajam
dṛśyametan mṛṣā sarvaṁ eko’haṁ cidrasomalaḥ
Duality is the root of suffering. There is no other remedy for it except the realisation that all all objects of experience are unreal, and that I am pure, One, consciousness and Bliss.
bodhamātro’hamajñānād upādhiḥ kalpito mayā
evaṁ vimṛśato nityaṁ nirvikalpe sthitirmama
I am the pure Consciousness. Through ignorance I have imposed limitations upon myself. Constatntly reflecting in this way, I am abiding in the Absolute.
na me bandho’sti mokṣo vā bhrāntiḥ śānto nirāśrayā
aho mayi sthitaṁ viśvaṁ vastuto na mayi sthitam
For me here is neither bondage nor liberation. Having lost its suppot, the illusion has ceased. Oh, the universe, though existing in me, does not reality so exist.
saśarīramidaṁ viśvaṁ na kiṁciditi niścitam
śuddhacinmātra ātmā ca tatkasmin kalpanādhunā
I have kown for certain that the body and the Universe are nothing and the self is nothing but pure consciousness, so what is there for the imagination work on now?
śarīraṁ svarganarakau bandhamokṣau bhayaṁ tathā
kalpanāmātramevaitat kiṁ me kāryaṁ cidātmanaḥ
The body, heaven and hell, bondage and liberation, as also fear, all these are mere imagination. What have I to do with all these – I whose nature is pure Consciousness?
aho janasamūhe’pi na dvaitaṁ paśyato mama
araṇyamiva saṁvṛttaṁ kva ratiṁ karavāṇyaham
Oh, I do not find any duality. Even the multitude of human beings, therefore has become like a wilderness. To what should I attach myself?
nāhaṁ deho na me deho jīvo nāhamahaṁ hi cit
ayameva hi me bandha āsīdyā jīvite spṛhā
I am not the body, nor is the body mine. I am not a living being. I am Pure Consciousness. This indeed was my bondage that I had thirst for life.
aho bhuvanakallolairvicitrairdrāk samutthitam
mayyanaṁtamahāṁbhodhau cittavāte samudyate
Oh, in me, the limitless ocean, on the rising of the wind of the mind, diverse waves of worlds are produced forthwith.
mayyanaṁtamahāṁbhodhau cittavāte praśāmyati
abhāgyājjīvavaṇijo jagatpoto vinaśvaraḥ
With the calming of the wind of mind in the infinite ocean of myself, the world boat of the trader like living being meets destruction.
udyanti ghnanti khelanti praviśanti svabhāvataḥ
How wonderful ! In me, the shoreless ocean, the waves of individual selves rise, according to their nature strike each other, play for a while and disappear.
avināśinamātmānaṁ ekaṁ vijñāya tattvataḥ
tavātmajñānasya dhīrasya kathamarthārjane ratiḥ
Ashtavakra said: Having known yourself as truly indestructible and One, how is it that you, the knower of the Self, feel any pleasure in acquiring wealth?
śukterajñānato lobho yathā rajatavibhrame
Truly, when one does not know oneself, one takes pleasure in the objects of mistaken perception, just as greed arises from the illusion of silver caused by ignorance of the mother of pearl.
viśvaṁ sphurati yatredaṁ taraṅgā iva sāgare
so’hamasmīti vijñāya kiṁ dīna iva dhāvasi
Having known yourself to be That in which the universe appears like waves on the sea, why do you run liabout like a miserable being?
śrutvāpi śuddhacaitanya ātmānamatisundaram
After hearing oneself to be Pure Consciousness and supremely beautiful, how can one go on lusting after sensual objects and thus become impure?
sarvabhūteṣu cātmānaṁ sarvabhūtāni cātmani
munerjānata āścaryaṁ mamatvamanuvartate
When the wise one has realised that he himself is in all beings, and all beings are in him, it is strange that the sense of individuality should still continue.
āsthitaḥ paramādvaitaṁ mokṣārthe’pi vyavasthitaḥ
āścaryaṁ kāmavaśago vikalaḥ keliśikṣayā
It is strange that a man who abiding in the supreme nonduality and intent on liberation should still be subject to lust and weakend by sexual activity.
āścaryaṁ kāmamākāṅkṣet kālamantamanuśritaḥ
It is strange that knowing lust to be an enemy of knowledge, a man who has grown extremely weak and reached his last days, should still hanker after sensual enjoyment.
ihāmutra viraktasya nityānityavivekinaḥ
āścaryaṁ mokṣakāmasya mokṣād eva vibhīṣikā
It is astonishing that one who is unattached to objects of this world and the next, who discriminates the permanent from the impermanent, and who longs for emancipation, should still be afraid of dissolution of the body.
dhīrastu bhojyamāno’pi pīḍyamāno’pi sarvadā
ātmānaṁ kevalaṁ paśyan na tuṣyati na kupyati
Feted and feasted or tormented, the wise person is always aware of the Absolute Self and is thus neither pleased nor displeased.
ceṣṭamānaṁ śarīraṁ svaṁ paśyatyanyaśarīravat
saṁstave cāpi nindāyāṁ kathaṁ kṣubhyet mahāśayaḥ
The high- souled person witnesses his own body in action as if it were another’s. As such, how can he be disturbed by praise or blame?
māyāmātramidaṁ viśvaṁ paśyan vigatakautukaḥ
api sannihite mṛtyau kathaṁ trasyati dhīradhīḥ
Seeing this world as mere illusion, and losing all interest in it, how can one of steady mind feel fear, even at the approach of death?
niḥspṛhaṁ mānasaṁ yasya nairāśye’pi mahātmanaḥ
tasyātmajñānatṛptasya tulanā kena jāyate
Who can be compared to the great-souled one who is content with Self-knowledge and does not even hanker after liberation.
svabhāvād eva jānāno dṛśyametanna kiṁcana
idaṁ grāhyamidaṁ tyājyaṁ sa kiṁ paśyati dhīradhīḥ
How should a steady-minded person who knows the object of perception to be in its very nature nothing, consider one thing acceptable and another unacceptable?
aṁtastyaktakaṣāyasya nirdvandvasya nirāśiṣaḥ
yadṛcchayāgato bhogo na duḥkhāya na tuṣṭaye
An experience coming as a matter of course causes neither pleasure nor pain for someone who has given up worldly attachment from his mind, who is beyond the pair of opposites and free from desire.
na te saṁgo’sti kenāpi kiṁ śuddhastyaktumicchasi
saṁghātavilayaṁ kurvannevameva layaṁ vraja
Ashtavakra said: You are free from contact with anything whatsoever. Therefore, pure as you are, what do you want to renounce? Accordingly, dissolve away this body complex mix and merge back into your unmixed reality.
udeti bhavato viśvaṁ vāridheriva budbudaḥ
iti jñātvaikamātmānaṁ evameva layaṁ vraja
The universe arises out of you, like bubbles rising out of the sea. Knowing all of them as just one self, get merged there, in your own reality.
pratyakṣamapyavastutvād viśvaṁ nāstyamale tvayi
rajjusarpa iva vyaktaṁ evameva layaṁ vraja
The universe, because it is unreal, being manifested like the snake in the rope, does not exist in you who are pure, even though it is present to the senses. Therefore get merged back into what you really are.
samaduḥkhasukhaḥ pūrṇa āśānairāśyayoḥ samaḥ
samajīvitamṛtyuḥ sannevameva layaṁ vraja
Equal in pain and in pleasure, equal in hope and in despair, equal in life and in death, and perfect as you are, may you come to be dissolved
hantātmajñānasya dhīrasya khelato bhogalīlayā
na hi saṁsāravāhīkairmūḍhaiḥ saha samānatā
Janaka: Oh, the wise man, the knower of the Self, who plays the game of life bears no resemblance whatever to deluded beasts of burden of the world.
yat padaṁ prepsavo dīnāḥ śakrādyāḥ sarvadevatāḥ
aho tatra sthito yogī na harṣamupagacchati
Truly the yogi does not feel elated even at being established in that state which Indra and all other Gods hanker after and thus become unhappy
tajjñasya puṇyapāpābhyāṁ sparśo hyantarna jāyate
na hyākāśasya dhūmena dṛśyamānāpi saṅgatiḥ
Surely the heart of the one who has known the Self is untouched by virtue and vice, just as the sky is not touched by smoke, even though it appears to be.
ātmaivedaṁ jagatsarvaṁ jñātaṁ yena mahātmanā
yadṛcchayā vartamānaṁ taṁ niṣeddhuṁ kṣameta kaḥ
Who can prevent the great-souled person, who has known this Entire Universe to be the Self alone, from acting spontaneously?
ābrahmastaṁbaparyante bhūtagrāme caturvidhe
vijñasyaiva hi sāmarthyamicchānicchāvivarjane
Of all four categories of beings, from Brahma down to a clump of grass, it is the wise one alone who is capable of renouncing craving and aversion.
ātmānamadvayaṁ kaścijjānāti jagadīśvaram
yad vetti tatsa kurute na bhayaṁ tasya kutracit
Rare is the man who knows the Self as One without a second and as Lord of the Universe. He does what he considers worth doing and is not afraid of anything.
ākāśavadananto’haṁ ghaṭavat prākṛtaṁ jagat
iti jñānaṁ tathaitasya na tyāgo na graho layaḥ
Janaka said: I am unbounded like space, and the phenomenal world is like a jar; this is knowledge. It has neither to be renounced, nor accepted nor destroyed.
mahodadhirivāhaṁ sa prapaṁco vīcisa’nnibhaḥ
iti jñānaṁ tathaitasya na tyāgo na graho layaḥ
I am like the ocean, and the multiplicity of objects is comparable to a wave; this is Knowledge. It has neither to be renounced, nor accepted nor destroyed.
ahaṁ sa śuktisaṅkāśo rūpyavad viśvakalpanā
iti jñānaṁ tathaitasya na tyāgo na graho layaḥ
I am like the mother of pearl, and the imagined world is like the silver; this is Knowledge. It has neither to be renounced, nor accepted nor destroyed.
ahaṁ vā sarvabhūteṣu sarvabhūtānyatho mayi
iti jñānaṁ tathaitasya na tyāgo na graho layaḥ
I am indeed in all beings, and all beings are in me. This is Knowledge. It has neither to be renounced, nor accepted nor destroyed
mayyanaṁtamahāṁbhodhau viśvapota itastataḥ
bhramati svāṁtavātena na mamāstyasahiṣṇutā
Janaka said: In the infinite ocean of myself the world boat drifts here and there, impelled by the wind of its own inner nature. I am not impatient.
mayyanaṁtamahāṁbhodhau jagadvīciḥ svabhāvataḥ
udetu vāstamāyātu na me vṛddhirna ca kṣatiḥ
In me, the limitless ocean, let the wave of the world rise or vanish of itself. I neither increase nor decrease thereby.
mayyanaṁtamahāṁbhodhau viśvaṁ nāma vikalpanā
atiśāṁto nirākāra etadevāhamāsthitaḥ
In me, the boundless ocean, is the imagination of the universe. I am supremely peaceful and formless. In this alone do I abide.
nātmā bhāveṣu no bhāvastatrānante niraṁjane
ityasakto’spṛhaḥ śānta etadevāhamāstitaḥ
My true nature is not contained in objects, nor does any object exist in it, for it is infinite and spotless. It is tranquil and free from attachment and desire. In this alone do I abide.
aho cinmātramevāhaṁ indrajālopamaṁ jagat”
iti mama kathaṁ kutra heyopādeyakalpanā
Truly, I am Consciousness itself. The world is like a juggler’s show. So how and where can there be any thought of rejection and acceptance in me?
tadā bandho yadā cittaṁ kincid vāṁchati śocati
kiṁcin muṁcati gṛṇhāti kiṁcid dṛṣyati kupyati
Ashtavakra said: Bondage is when the mind desires or grieves for anything, rejects or accepts anything, feels happy or angry at anything.
tadā muktiryadā cittaṁ na vāṁchati na śocati
na muṁcati na gṛṇhāti na hṛṣyati na kupyati
Liberation is attained when the mind does not desire or grieve or reject or accept or feel happy or angry.
tadā bandho yadā cittaṁ saktaṁ kāśvapi dṛṣṭiṣu
tadā mokṣo yadā cittamasaktaṁ sarvadṛṣṭiṣu
Bondage is when the mind is attached to any sense experience. Liberation is when the mind is detached from all sense experiences.
yadā nāhaṁ tadā mokṣo yadāhaṁ bandhanaṁ tadā
matveti helayā kiṁcinmā gṛhāṇa vimuṁca mā
When there is no “I” that is liberation, and when there is “I” there is bondage. Considering thus, refrain from accepting or rejecting anything.
kṛtākṛte ca dvandvāni kadā śāntāni kasya vā
evaṁ jñātveha nirvedād bhava tyāgaparo’vratī
Ashtavakra said: Duties done and not done, as well as the pairs of opposites – when do they cease and for whom? Knowing thus, be desireless and intent on renunciation through complete indifference to the world.
kasyāpi tāta dhanyasya lokaceṣṭāvalokanāt
jīvitecchā bubhukṣā ca bubhutsopaśamaḥ gatāḥ
Rare indeed, my child, is the lucky person whose observation desire for life, enjoyment and learning have been extinguished by observing the ways of the men.
anityaṁ sarvamevedaṁ tāpatrayadūṣitam
asaraṁ ninditaṁ heyamiti niścitya śāmyati
The wise man becomes calm by relaising that all this is impermanent and vitiated by the threefold misery and is unsubstantial and omtemptible and should be rejected.
ko’sau kālo vayaḥ kiṁ vā yatra dvandvāni no nṛṇām
tānyupekṣya yathāprāptavartī siddhimavāpnuyāt
When was that age or time of life when the dualism of extremes did not exist for men? Abandoning them, one who is content with whatever comes of itself attains perfection.
nā mataṁ maharṣīṇāṁ sādhūnāṁ yogināṁ tathā
dṛṣṭvā nirvedamāpannaḥ ko Ena śāmyati mānavaḥ
Who does not attain peace and indifference to learning when he has seen the differences of opinions among the great sages, saints and yogis?
kṛtvā mūrtiparijñānaṁ caitanyasya na kiṁ guruḥ
nirvedasamatāyuktyā yastārayati saṁsṛteḥ
Is he not a guru who, endowed with dispassion and equanimity, gains full knowledge of the nature of Pure Consciousness, and saves himself from the round of birth and rebirth.
paśya bhūtavikārāṁstvaṁ bhūtamātrān yathārthataḥ
tatkṣaṇād bandhanirmuktaḥ svarūpastho bhaviṣyasi
If you would just see the transformations of the elements as nothing more than the elements, then you would at once be free from all bonds and abide in your true self.
vāsanā eva saṁsāra iti sarvā vimuṁca tāḥ
tattyāgo vāsanātyāgātsthitiradya yathā tathā
Desires alone are the world. Knowing this, therefore, renounce them. The renunciation of desire is the renunciation of world . Now you may live anywhere.