04 April 2010

Chapter Four

Ashtavakra says:

It means bondage when the mind desires something, or grieves at something, rejects or accepts anything, feels happy or angry with anything.  (79)

It means liberation when the mind does not desire or grieve, or reject or accept, or feel happy or angry.  (80)

It is bondage when the mind is attached to any sense experience.  It is liberation when the mind is detached from all sense experiences.  (81)

When the ‘me’ is present, it is bondage; when the ‘me’ is not present, it is liberation.  Having understood this, it should be easy for you to refrain from accepting or rejecting anything.  (82)

Who is it that is concerned with the interrelated pairs of opposites, such as duties to be performed, and acts to be avoided?  When do they end, and for whom do they end?  Enquiring thus – through indifference to the world – proceed to remain without desire and volition.  (83)

Rare, indeed, my child, is that blessed person whose desire for life, enjoyment and learning, have been extinguished by merely observing the ways of the world.  (84)

The man of wisdom becomes serene through the realization that this world is transient and tainted by the triple misery, and is, therefore, without substance, contemptible, and to be discarded.  (85)

Is there any stage, or age, when the interrelated pairs of opposites do not affect people?  The one who disidentifies himself from them, and is content with whatever comes to him spontaneously, in the ordinary course, attains perfection.  (86)

Who will not attain tranquility, who, seeing the diversity of opinions among the many seers, saints and yogis, becomes totally indifferent?  (87)

Is he not the true guru, who, having apperceived his true nature as pure Consciousness, through indifference, equanimity, and through dialectical reasoning, has saved himself from the metempsychosis of samsara?  (88)

The moment you perceive the different phenomena in the universe as they truly are, that is to say, different patterns and combinations of the same five basic elements, you will at once be free from bondage, and you will be able to abide in your true Self.  (89)

Intentions are the root of samsara.  Therefore, the abandoning of intention and volition means dispassion with the world, and then you can live anywhere.  (90)

Forsake desire, which is the enemy; material prosperity, which leads to much mischief; and also the performance of good deeds with the aim of achieving something, which is the cause of these two.  Cultivate indifference to everything.  (91)

Regard friends, lands, wealth, houses, wives, gifts, and other such items of good fortune, as a dream or juggler’s show lasting but a short time.  (92)

Know that wherever there is desire, there is samsara.  With sincere, intense dispassion, go beyond desire, and thus be happy.  (93)

It is in desire that bondage exists, and liberation is considered to be in the destruction of desire.  Only through non-attachment to the phenomenal world does one attain the perennial joy of the realization of Self.  (94)

You are the pure Consciousness.  The phenomenal universe is inert and illusory.  Ignorance as such, too, does not exist.  Why, therefore, your quest for knowledge?  (95)

Kingdoms, sons, wives, bodies, and sensual pleasures have been lost to you birth after birth, even though you were attached to them.  (96)

Enough, therefore, of prosperity, desires and good deeds.  The mind does not find any repose in the dreary wilderness of samsara.  (97)

For how many lives have you not done hard, painful labors of body, mind and speech?  At least now, desist.  (98)

In the conviction that continuous change and ultimate destruction, after a certain duration, is the very nature of all phenomenon, the man of wisdom remains unperturbed, free from misery, and relaxed in his attitude.  (99)

In the conviction that the phenomenal manifestation has no nature other than the noumenon, which is immanent in all phenomena, the man of wisdom remains contented and relaxed with all desires, completely pacified and unattached to anything whatever.  (100)

In the conviction that adversity and prosperity come in their turn as effects of past actions, as causality, the man of wisdom, contented, with his senses in passive restraint, wants nothing and grieves for nothing.  (101)

In the conviction that happiness and misery, birth and death, are parts of the natural process of causality, the man of wisdom, without any need to accomplish anything, is free from anxiety, and does not identify himself with anything he happens to be doing.  (102)

In the conviction that it is anxiety, and nothing else, that is the root cause of misery in this world, the man of wisdom, with his desire annihilated, remains free from anxiety, happy and contented.  (103)

In the conviction ‘I am not the body, nor is the body mine – I am pure Consciousness’, the man of wisdom is indifferent to what has been achieved, and what remains to be achieved, and lives in a natural state of non-volition, which is akin to the noumenal state.  (104)

In the conviction ‘I am immanent in all phenomena, from Brahma to a blade of grass’, the man of wisdom is free from any conceptualizing or objectivizing, indifferent to what has been attained or not attained, and remains contented and at peace.  (105)

In the conviction that this manifested universe, wondrous though it be in the variety and diversity of its phenomena, is truly illusory, the man of wisdom, without any desires, identified with the pure Consciousness, remains in noumenal peace.  (106)