janaka uvāca kathaṁ jñānamavāpnoti kathaṁ muktirbhaviṣyati vairāgyaṁ ca kathaṁ prāptaṁ etad brūhi mama prabho
Janaka: How is knowledge to be acquired? How is liberation to be attained? And how is dispassion to be reached? Tell me this, sir.
aṣṭāvakra uvāca muktiṁ icchasi cettāta viṣayān viṣavattyaja kṣamārjavadayātoṣasatyaṁ pīyūṣavad bhaja
Ashtavakra: If you are seeking liberation, my son, shun the objects of the senses like poison. Practise tolerance, sincerity, compassion, contentment and truthfulness like nectar.
na pṛthvī na jalaṁ nāgnirna vāyurdyaurna vā bhavān eṣāṁ sākṣiṇamātmānaṁ cidrūpaṁ viddhi muktaye
You do not consist of the elements – earth, water, fire, air or even ether. To be liberated, know yourself as consisting of consciousness, the witness of these.
yadi dehaṁ pṛthak kṛtya citi viśrāmya tiṣṭhasi adhunaiva sukhī śānto bandhamukto bhaviṣyasi
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.
na tvaṁ viprādiko varṇo nāśramī nākṣagocaraḥ asaṅgo’si nirākāro viśvasākṣī sukhī bhava
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.
dharmādharmau sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ mānasāni na te vibho na kartāsi na bhoktāsi mukta evāsi sarvadā
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.
eko draṣṭāsi sarvasya muktaprāyo’si sarvadā ayameva hi te bandho draṣṭāraṁ paśyasītaram
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.
ahaṁ kartetyahaṁmānamahākṛṣṇāhidaṁśitaḥ nāhaṁ karteti viśvāsāmṛtaṁ pītvā sukhī bhava
Since you have been bitten by the black snake, the opinion about yourself that “I am the doer”, drink the antidote of faith in the fact that “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 the understanding that “I am the one pure awareness”, and be happy and free from distress.
yatra viśvamidaṁ bhāti kalpitaṁ rajjusarpavat ānandaparamānandaḥ sa bodhastvaṁ sukhaṁ bhava
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.
muktābhimānī mukto hi baddho baddhābhimānyapi kiṁvadantīha satyeyaṁ yā matiḥ sā gatirbhavet
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”.
ātmā sākṣī vibhuḥ pūrṇa eko muktaścidakriyaḥ asaṁgo niḥspṛhaḥ śānto bhramātsaṁsāravāniva
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.
kūṭasthaṁ bodhamadvaitamātmānaṁ paribhāvaya ābhāso’haṁ bhramaṁ muktvā bhāvaṁ bāhyamathāntaram Meditate on yourself as motionless awareness, free from any dualism, giving up the mistaken idea that you are just a derivative consciousness, or anything external or internal.
dehābhimānapāśena ciraṁ baddho’si putraka bodho’haṁ jñānakhaṁgena taḥnikṛtya sukhī Bhava
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.
niḥsaṁgo niṣkriyo’si tvaṁ svaprakāśo niraṁjanaḥ ayameva hi te bandhaḥ samādhimanutiṣṭhati 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.
tvayā vyāptamidaṁ viśvaṁ tvayi protaṁ yathārthataḥ śuddhabuddhasvarūpastvaṁ mā gamaḥ kṣudracittatām
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.
nirapekṣo nirvikāro nirbharaḥ śītalāśayaḥ agādhabuddhirakṣubdho bhava cinmātravāsanaḥ You are unconditioned and changeless, formless and immovable, unfathomable awareness and unperturbable, so hold to nothing but consciousness.
sākāramanṛtaṁ viddhi nirākāraṁ tu niścalam etattattvopadeśena na punarbhavasaṁbhavaḥsākāramanṛtaṁ viddhi nirākāraṁ tu niścalam etattattvopadeśena na punarbhavasaṁbhavaḥ Recognise that the apparent is unreal, while the unmanifest is abiding. Through this initiation into truth you will escape falling into unreality again.
yathaivādarśamadhyasthe rūpe’ntaḥ paritastu saḥ tathaivā’smin śarīre’ntaḥ paritaḥ parameśvaraḥ
Just as a mirror exists everywhere both within and apart from its reflected images, so the Supreme Lord exists everywhere within and apart from 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.