- One's Self
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Janaka (the king)
How is knowledge to be acquired?
How is liberation to be attained?
And how is dispassion to be reached?
Tell me this, sir.
Ashtavakra (the Sage)
If you are seeking liberation,
my son, shun the objects of the senses like poison.
Practice tolerance, sincerity, compassion,
contentment and truthfulness like nectar.
You are neither earth, water, fire, air or even ether.
For liberation know yourself as
consisting of consciousness, the witness of these.
If only you will remain resting in consciousness,
seeing yourself as distinct from the body,
then even now you will become happy,
peaceful and free from bonds.
You do not belong to the Brahmin or any other caste,
you are not at any stage,
nor are you anything that the eye can see.
You are unattached and formless,
the witness of everything, so be happy.
Righteousness and unrighteousness, pleasure and pain
are purely of the mind and are no concern of yours.
You are neither the doer
nor the reaper of the consequences,
so you are always free.
You are the one witness of everything,
and are always totally free.
The cause of your bondage is that you see the witness
as something other than this.
Since you have been bitten by the black snake
of the self-opinion that "I am the doer",
drink the nectar of faith in the fact that
"I am not the doer", and be happy.
Burn down the forest of ignorance
with the fire of the understanding that
"I am the one pure awareness",
and be happy and free from distress.
That in which all this appears -
imagined like the snake in a rope,
that joy, supreme joy and awareness
is what you are,so be happy.
If one thinks of oneself as free, one is free,
and if one thinks of oneself as bound, one
Here this saying is true, "Thinking makes
Your real nature is as the one perfect,
free and actionless consciousness,
the all-pervading witness - unattached to
desireless and at peace. It is from
illusion that you seem to be involved in samsara.
Meditate on yourself as motionless awareness,
free from any dualism, giving up the
that you are just a derivative
or anything external or internal.
You have long been trapped
in the snare of identification with the
Sever it with the knife of knowledge
that "I am awareness" and be happy.
You are really unbound and actionless,
self-illuminating and spotless already.
The cause of your bondage is that
you are still resorting to stilling the
All of this is really filled by you and strung out in you,
for what you consist of is pure awareness -
so don't be small minded.
You are unconditioned
and changeless, formless and immovable,
unfathomable awareness and unperturbable,
so hold to nothing but consciousness.
Recognise that the apparent is unreal,
while the unmanifest is abiding.
Through this initiation into truth
you will escape falling into unreality
Just as a mirror exists everywhere
both within and apart from its reflected
so the Supreme Lord exists everywhere
within and apart from this body.
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.