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Ashtavakra Gita - Sloka 1.7 to 1.11


Janaka asks Ashtavakra

  • How do we obtain jnAna (Knowledge/wisdom)..? 
  • How will we become muktir (free from desires/worries)..?
  • How do we arrive at vairagyam (indifferent to pulls and pressures)..? 
Ashtavakra explains in this way.

  • Being patient and Candid/sincere are necessity for gaining more and more knowledge (jnAna). 
  • Being kind and contended are needed to be free from desires (mukti). 
  • Being Truthful is needed to be indifferent from pulls and pressures (vairagya).
Hence the characteristics of Ksama (Patience), arjva (sincerity/candidness), dayA (kindness), toSa (Contentment) and Satyam (Truthfulness)  have to be accepted like ‘nectar'.

All these characteristics arise from our thoughts. So it is our thoughts that we have to work on.

'You' are neither earth, fire, water, air or ether. To become free, realize/understand your 'thoughts' are the observers/witness of the Atman.

As long as our thoughts are operating around our physical world, we are bound. Once our thoughts move away from the physical world,  our thoughts become free and happy.

When our thoughts are around the physical world, we consider ourselves belonging to varna, asrama, as dwelling place of senses etc. But once our thoughts move away from the physical world,  they become unattached, vacant observers of the Universe, ever happy.

Our thoughts bring in the concepts of dharma, adharma, pleasure and pain, as long as our thoughts operate around the physical world. These concepts are not the greatest or they don't really have to lord us over.

Sloka 1.7

eko draṣṭāsi sarvasya muktaprāyo'si sarvadā
ayameva hi te bandho draṣṭāraṁ paśyasī taram

The one (eko) observer of  (drstasi) everything (sarvasya)  is liberated/free  (mukta prAya) of everything (sarvada). This alone (ayam eva hi) the bonds (te bandho) the seer (drastaram) do see more (pasyasi taram).

Being an observer of everything is liberated of everything. When the seer does see more, then alone the bonds (happen).

Sloka 1.8

ahaṁ kartety ahaṁ mānam ahā kṛṣṇa ahi daṁśitaḥ
na ahaṁ karteti viśvāsa amṛtaṁ pītvā sukhī bhava

 I  do (aham karteti),  I am the manas (aham mAnam) thus says (ahA) bitten by black snake (damSita krsna ahi). Not I do (na aham karteti) the confidence (vizvasa) those who drink the nectar (amrtam pita) sukhi bhava (exists peacefully)

I do, I am the manas , those who say that are bitten by the black snake. Those who drink the confidence of 'I don't do' exists peacefully.

Sloka 1.9

eko viśuddha bodha ahaṁ iti niścaya vahninā
prajvālya ajñāna gahanaṁ vīta śokaḥ sukhī bhava

One pure knowledge (eko visudhha bodha) of 'I' in this way, is definitely the fire, with which, kindle/set on fire (prajvAlya) the dense lack of knowledge/wisdom (ajnAna gahanam), without zoka exists peacefully

This pure knowledge (of I am not the doer) is definitely the fire with which the lack of knowledge/ignorance is set on fire. Those who do this exists peacefully without any zoka.

Sloka 1.10

yatra viśvam idaṁ bhāti kalpitaṁ rajju sarpavat
ānanda paramānandaḥ sa bodhas tvaṁ sukhaṁ bhava

That in which all this appears (yatra visvam idam bhAti), imagined like snake-rope (kalpitam rajju sarpavat),  with that joy, supreme joy, (sa ananda paramananda) understanding  (bodhas) you (tvam) become peaceful (sukham bhava).

Where this pure knowledge (of I am not the doer) appears, the understanding that you are always imagining/fabricating between snake and rope,  gives joy, supreme joy; you become peaceful

Sloka 1.11

mukta abhimānī mukto hi baddho baddhābhimānyapi
kiṁ vadantī ha satyeyaṁ yā matiḥ sā gatirbhavet

Fond of liberation, liberated; (mukta abhimani mukta)  bonded if fond of bonding. (baddha baddha abhimani api) What they say is true; (kim vadanti ha satya iyam) thoughts manifests the movement (matih sa gatir bhavet)

Fond of liberation, liberated; bonded if fond of bonding.  What they say is true; thoughts manifest the movement. Our thoughts determine everything.

Summary of sloka 1.7 to 1.11

It's all in our thoughts. Thoughts manifest all the  movements. Bonding or liberation is all in our thoughts.

The thought 'I am not the doer' is the fire that burns down the ignorance. Where this pure knowledge appears, the understanding/knowledge that we are always imagining between snake and rope, leads us to joy, supreme joy and to peace.

Contrarily, the thought that I do, I am the manas is nothing but bitten by a black snake (poisonous).

Being an observer of everything is being liberated of everything. When the seer does see more, then alone the bonds (happen).

More to come