Friday, February 12, 2010

Ashtavakra Gita : Part 2

This is from chapter 1 and 2. I have copied only some slokas. The ones I liked.
The recurrent theme of dialogue is self-awareness and of-course the outright denial of what is perceived by mind and senses.

In the conversation, I actually, liked expression of Janaka more than Ashtavakra :). I have emboldened and underlined some slokas. Sanskrit is from wikisource and translation is from here.. I will post more snippets from the following chapters in the next post.

जनक उवाच॥
कथं ज्ञानमवाप्नोति कथं मुक्तिर्भविष्यति।
वैराग्यं च कथं प्राप्तं एतद् ब्रूहि मम प्रभो॥१- १॥
How is one to acquire knowledge? How is one to attain liberation? And how is one to reach dispassion? Tell me this, sir. 1.1

अष्टावक्र उवाच॥
यदि देहं पृथक् कृत्य चिति विश्राम्य तिष्ठसि।
अधुनैव सुखी शान्तो बन्धमुक्तो भविष्यसि॥१- ४॥
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. 1.4

एको द्रष्टासि सर्वस्य मुक्तप्रायोऽसि सर्वदा।
अयमेव हि ते बन्धो द्रष्टारं पश्यसीतरम्॥१- ७॥
You are the one witness of everything and are always completely free. The cause of your bondage is that you see the witness as something other than this. 1.7

मुक्ताभिमानी मुक्तो हि बद्धो बद्धाभिमान्यपि।
किंवदन्तीह सत्येयं या मतिः सा गतिर्भवेत्॥१- ११॥
If one thinks of oneself as free, one is free, and if one thinks of oneself as bound, one is bound. Here this saying is true, "Thinking makes it so." 1.11

देहाभिमानपाशेन चिरं बद्धोऽसि पुत्रक।
बोधोऽहं ज्ञानखंगेन तःनिकृत्य सुखी भव॥१- १४॥
You have long been trapped in the snare of identification with the body. Sever it with the knife of knowledge that "I am awareness," and be happy, my son. 1.14

निःसंगो निष्क्रियोऽसि त्वं स्वप्रकाशो निरंजनः।
अयमेव हि ते बन्धः समाधिमनुतिष्ठति॥१- १५॥
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 mind.

साकारमनृतं विद्धि निराकारं तु निश्चलं।
एतत्तत्त्वोपदेशेन न पुनर्भवसंभवः॥१- १८॥
Recognise that the apparent is unreal, while the unmanifeast is abiding. Through this initiation into truth you will escape falling into unreality again. 1.18

जनक उवाच॥
यथा प्रकाशयाम्येको देहमेनं तथा जगत्।
अतो मम जगत्सर्वमथवा न च किंचन॥२- २॥
As I alone give light to this body, so I do to the world. As a result the whole world is mine, or alternatively nothing is. 2.2

आत्मज्ञानाज्जगद् भाति आत्मज्ञानान्न भासते।
रज्ज्वज्ञानादहिर्भाति तज्ज्ञानाद् भासते न हि॥२- ७॥
From ignorance of oneself, the world appears, and by knowledge of oneself it appears no longer. From ignorance of the rope it appears to be a snake, and by knowledge of it it does so no longer. 2.7

ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं तथा ज्ञाता त्रितयं नास्ति वास्तवं।
अज्ञानाद् भाति यत्रेदं सोऽहमस्मि निरंजनः॥२- १५॥
Knowledge, what is to be known, and the knower -- these three do not exist in reality. I am the spotless reality in which they appear because of ignorance. 2.15

द्वैतमूलमहो दुःखं नान्यत्तस्याऽस्ति भेषजं।
दृश्यमेतन् मृषा सर्वं एकोऽहं चिद्रसोमलः॥२- १६॥
Truly dualism is the root of suffering. There is no other remedy for it than the realisation that all this that we see is unreal, and that I am the one stainless reality, consisting of consciousness. 2.16

शरीरं स्वर्गनरकौ बन्धमोक्षौ भयं तथा।
कल्पनामात्रमेवैतत् किं मे कार्यं चिदात्मनः॥२- २०॥
The body, heaven and hell, bondage and liberation, and fear too, all this is pure imagination. What is there left to do for me whose very nature is consciousness? 2.20

अहो जनसमूहेऽपि न द्वैतं पश्यतो मम।
अरण्यमिव संवृत्तं क्व रतिं करवाण्यहम्॥२- २१॥
I do not even see dualism in a crowd of people, so what do I gain if it is replaced by a desert? 2.21

नाहं देहो न मे देहो जीवो नाहमहं हि चित्।
अयमेव हि मे बन्ध आसीद्या जीविते स्पृहा॥२- २२॥
I am not the body, nor is the body mine. I am not a living being. I am consciousness. It was my thirst for living that was my bondage. 2.22

मय्यनंतमहांभोधौ चित्तवाते प्रशाम्यति।
अभाग्याज्जीववणिजो जगत्पोतो विनश्वरः॥२- २४॥
In the infinite ocean of myself, the wind of thought subsides, and the world boat of the living-being traders is wrecked by lack of goods. 2.24


zzz... said...

Thanks for posting this very important text.


I said...

Pleasure is mine. Glad you liked it. Will post more from AG.


Chandrahasa said...

i have read about ashtavakra and the interpretation of his gita by osho ...osho says ashtavakra is far more revolutionary than buddha....astavakra doesnot ask for eight steps...he gives it even before the first step is taken.....

I said...

yeah thats Osho's style :) If you read any of his commentry he does that. He tries to aruge how both the book and the central character are extraordinary.(he did the same with krishna, shankaracharya and shiva)

He does the same when he tries to debase, go the other extreme.... for example he did that with gandhi and communism :) Just tear the whole thing apart!

The sanskrit word for Ang is limb or component and not steps(for ashtanga I mean). Once again osho is playing with words, he chooses the word 'step' and then deftly builds the argument.

Btw, I have nothing against Osho :D


zzz... said...

There's a thing that has intrigued me- why is ashtavakra depicted as having eight curves in his body? Is there any symbolism associated with that?

Or could it be some kind of distortion of words such as 'varka' and so on?- (I don't know sanskrit).



I said...

Yes. I see some symbolism.

Ashta(eight) vakra(reverse/bent/curved) etc.

I think you might already know about the Indian practise of full suplication to elders(falling flat on ones feet I mean :-)) is called sashtang-pranam(pranam with all eight limbs).

Now Ashtavakra is the one who has all his eight limbs, i.e. whole body deformed.

Now what is this ? This could very well be, the transformation which happened in UG. In UG's own words

"Here, this wrist joint had terrible pains for six months until it turned itself, and all the movements are now like this. That is why they say my movements are mudras (mystical gestures)."

The above is from the book: " Mystique of Enlightenment".

Thanks :)

zzz... said...

Thank you, I appreciate your explanation. It describes what 'Ashtavakra' could mean without taking away the possibility that ashavarka could be a real person with eight distortions in his joints.