Favourite shlokas of Ashtavakra Gita

man meditating on the top of a hill

Kaustav Ghosh

Shrimad Bhagwat Gita, a well known hindu text, which is the conversation between Lord Krishna and his friend cum disciple, the great warrior Arjuna in the middle of mahabharat war. The wisdom, the philosophy enshrined in this Gita has been the inspiration for the millions of people irrespective of people’s caste, color, creed, religion and belief. But very few knows about the great philosophy enshrined in Vyas Gita, Ashtavakra Gita, Shiva Gita, Ishvara Gita. I will share about all of this one day and today we will discuss about my favourite shlokas of Ashtavakra Gita.

Ashtavakra Gita is the conversation between the great sage Ashtavakra and the King of Mithila, Janak(also the father of Ma Sita). This conversation helps us to start our journey towards attaining the supreme bliss, finding that ultimate truth by walking down the way of non dualism -“God is the only truth, rest is mere illusion”. In the mean time I want to acknowledge the contribution of internet archive where I found the english translation of this hindu text by John Richards.

Chapter I Verse 2 says-“If you are seeking liberation my son, shun the object of senses, like the poison. Practice tolerance, sincerity, compassion, contentment, truthfulness like the nectar.

Chapter I Verse 11 says-“You are what you think; if one thinks of oneself as free, one is free and if one think himself as bound, is bound. Here the saying is true-“You are what you think, thinking makes it so.”

“Your real nature is as the one perfect, free, and actionless consciousness, the all-pervading witness — unattached to anything, desireless and at peace. It is from illusion that you seem to be involved in samsara. “ 1:12

“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

“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

“You are not bound by anything. What does a pure person like you need to renounce? Putting the complex organism to rest, you can find peace.” 5.1

“Equal in pain and in pleasure, equal in hope and in disappointment, equal in life and in death, and complete as you are, you can find peace. “5.4

“Alternatively, I am in all beings, and all beings are in me. To know this is knowledge, and then there is neither renunciation, acceptance, or cessation of it. “6.4

Bondage is when the mind longs for something, grieves about something, rejects something, holds on to something, is pleased about something or displeased about something. 8.1″Bondage is when the mind longs for something, grieves about something, rejects something, holds on to something, is pleased about something or displeased about something.” 8.1

Liberation is when the mind does not long for anything, grieve about anything, reject anything, or hold on to anything, and is not pleased about anything or displeased about anything. 8.2″Liberation is when the mind does not long for anything, grieve about anything, reject anything, or hold on to anything, and is not pleased about anything or displeased about anything.” 8.2

When there is no “me,” that is liberation, and when there is “me” there is bondage. Consider this carefully, and neither hold on to anything nor reject anything. “8.4

Abandon desire, the enemy, along with gain, itself so full of loss, and the good deeds which are the cause of the other two — practice indifference to everything. “10.1

“Look on such things as land, friends, money, property, wife, and bequests as nothing but a dream or a magician’s show lasting three or five days.” 10.2

“Realising that suffering arises from nothing other than thought, dropping all desires one rids oneself of it, and is happy and at peace everywhere.” 11.5

“Liberation is distaste for the objects of the senses. Bondage is love of the senses. This is knowledge. Now do as you wish.” 15.2

“Have faith, my son, have faith. Don’t let yourself be deluded in this. You are yourself the Lord, whose very nature is knowledge, and you are beyond natural causation. “15.8

My son, you may recite or listen to countless scriptures, but you will not be established within until you can forget everything.” 16.1

“You may, as a learned man, indulge in wealth, activity, and meditation, but your mind will still long for that which is the cessation of desire, and beyond all goals.” 16.2

“Everyone is in pain because of their striving to achieve something, but no one realises it. By no more than this instruction, the fortunate one attains tranquillity.” 16.3

“When the mind is freed from such pairs of opposites as, “I have done this,” and “I have not done that,” it becomes indifferent to merit, wealth, sensuality and liberation. “16.5

The man is rare who is not attached to the things he has enjoyed, and does not hanker after the things he has not enjoyed.” 17.4

Those who desire pleasure and those who desire liberation are both found in samsara, but the great-souled man who desires neither pleasure nor liberation is rare indeed. “17.5

“The liberated man is free from desires everywhere. He neither blames, praises, rejoices, is disappointed, gives, nor takes.” 17.13

A man free of “me” and “mine” and of a sense of responsibility, aware that “Nothing exists,” with all desires extinguished within, does not act even in acting. ” 17.19

“Considerations like “I am this” or “I am not this” are finished for the yogi who has gone silent realising “Everything is myself.” 18.9

Summing up- Hey, How are you feeling after reading all the thoughts and principle. Hinduism as I have described does not depend on a single prophet, book; it is the thousands of different idealisms coming together. The path may be different but they are all mutually respecting and co-existing with each other. The ultimate destination is nothing but to attain liberation from all types of bondage resulting supreme bliss. Hinduism tolds you hating, comparing leads to bondage resulting pain and sorrow. It believes that attaining liberation and being free from every bondage should be our ultimate goal; fearing hell and loving heaven may also leads us to bondage. Thus the concept of rebirth has been evaluated in hinduism. Till you have good amounts of money you can enjoy the hositality of five star hotel, it is the same as having punya will ensure your some times stay in heaven. Hinduism tolds you to look beyond this, be free from fear, temptation and bondage,


You may read this-


2)The Ashtavakra Gita,Translated by John Henry Richards

3)The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita Translated by Thomas Byrom, Foreword by J.L. Brockington

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