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Sri Ashtavakra Gita

The Song of Ashtavakra


Chapter 3

Ashtavakra

Knowing yourself as truly one and indestructible, how could a wise man possessing self-knowledge like you feel any pleasure in acquiring wealth? 3.1

Truly, when one does not know oneself, one takes pleasure in the objects of mistaken perception, just as greed arises for the mistaken silver in one who does not know mother of pearl for what it is. 3.2

All this wells up like waves in the sea. Recognising, ■I am That■, why run around like someone in need? 3.3

After hearing of oneself as pure consciousness and the supremely beautiful, is one to go on lusting after sordid sexual objects? 3.4

When the sage has realised that he himself is in all beings, and all beings are in him, it is astonishing that the sense of individuality should be able to continue. 3.5

It is astonishing that a man who has reached the supreme non-dual state and is intent on the benefits of liberation should still be subject to lust and held back by sexual activity. 3.6

It is astonishing that one already very debilitated, and knowing very well that its arousal is the enemy of knowledge should still hanker after sensuality, even when approaching his last days. 3.7

It is astonishing that one who is unattached to the things of this world or the next, who discriminates between the permanent and the impermanent, and who longs for liberation, should still feel fear for liberation. 3.8

Whether feted or tormented, the wise man is always aware of his supreme self-nature and is neither pleased nor disappointed. 3.9

The great souled person sees even his own body in action as if it were some-one else's, so how should he be disturbed by praise or blame? 3.10

Seeing this world as pure illusion, and devoid of any interest in it, how should the strong-minded person, feel fear, even at the approach of death? 3.11

Who is to be compared to the great souled person whose mind is free of desire even in disappointment, and who has found satisfaction in self-knowledge? 3.12

How should a strong-minded person, who knows that what he sees is by its very nature nothing, consider one thing to be grasped and another to be rejected? 3.13

For someone who has eliminated attachment, and who is free from dualism and from desire, an object of enjoyment that comes of itself is neither painful nor pleasurable. 3.14


 

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