04 April 2010

Chapter Nine

Ashtavakra continues:

Salutations to that which is the embodiment of Bliss, Serenity, Effulgence, with the dawn of knowledge of which all delusion becomes like a dream.  (177)

One can get a great deal of pleasure through the acquisition of the manifested sense objects.  It is, however, only through renunciation of all, that happiness can arrive.  (178)

How can one, the core of whose very being has been scorched by the heat of the Sun of Sorrow arising from a sense of duty, enjoy happiness without the continuous ambrosial showers of desirelessness?  (179)

This universe is but a state of Consciousness.  In reality it is nothing.  The inherent nature of the Existent and the Non-existent is never lost.  (180)

The Self, the Absolute – effortless, immutable, taintless – is neither far away, nor subject to limitation.  It is always there, ever present.  (181)

As soon as illusion ceases, the intervening obstruction of the vision is removed.  When the pure understanding shines, the miseries are dispelled.  (182)

Knowing that everything that appears is a figment of the imagination, and that what is eternal and independent is the subjective Self as Consciousness, is it possible for the enlightened being to act foolishly like a child?  (183)

With the firm conviction that one’s real nature is Consciousness, and that existence and non-existence are like figments of the imagination, can there be anything for the one who is without desires to think, or to say, or to do?  (184)

For the yogi who has become silent through the certain knowledge that all there is, is Consciousness, all thought such as ‘I am this’ or ‘I am not that’, is extinguished.  (185)

The yogi who is perfect in serenity is concerned neither with distraction nor with concentration, neither with knowledge nor with ignorance, neither with pleasure nor with misery.  (186)

For the yogi whose conditioning has totally dropped off, riches or poverty, gain or loss, being among people or in the solitude of the forest, is a matter of complete indifference.  (187)

For the yogi who has transcended dualities such as ‘this is completed’ and ‘that is still to be completed’, how can there be any question of duty, wealth, sense-enjoyment, or discrimination?  (188)

For the liberated sage, there is neither duty nor attachment.  All his actions form part of his non-volitional way of living.  (189)

For the sage who is beyond all conceptualization, where is the question of delusion or the universe and its renunciation, or the matter of liberation itself?  (190)

He who perceives the universe as universe may have to deny its existence.  But he who is without concepts is not concerned with it.  He perceives it, and yet does not see it.  (191)

He who perceives the Brahman as something separate from himself may have to meditate on the principle ‘I am Brahman’.  But he who has transcended all conceptualization, and thus sees nothing as other than himself, has nothing to meditate upon.  (192)

He who experiences distraction in himself finds it necessary to control such distractions, but what is there for the noble-minded man to do, who has not identified himself with any distractions?  (193)

The sage appears to live like any ordinary person, but there is a fundamental difference in their outlooks.  The sage knows that all there is, is Consciousness, and therefore does not concern himself with either concentration or distraction.  (194)

Having transcended the relative concept of existence and non-existence, the man of understanding, contented and free from desire, does absolutely nothing, even though, in the eyes of the world, he goes about his business.  (195)

The sage is content to do whatever he is expected to be doing in his particular circumstance, but is not really involved either in the doing or the non-doing of it.  (196)

Impelled by the forces of causation in the evolutionary process, the body-mind organism of the desireless, independent being, free from all bondage, moves about in life like a dry leaf in the breeze.  (197)

There is neither joy nor sorrow for him who has transcended worldly existence.  Ever with a serene mind, he lives in the world as if without a body.  (198)

The steady one, abiding in the Self, with a mind that is calm and pure, finds nothing to renounce, and is not concerned with losing anything anywhere.  (199)

With a mind that is vacant, living naturally and spontaneously, accepting life as it comes, the steady one, unlike the ordinary person, is not concerned with the concept of honor and dishonor.  (200)

The one who firmly believes that all actions which take place through the body-mind organism are not individual actions, does not act, even though he appears to be acting.  (201)

The enlightened one lives naturally and spontaneously, and therefore his actions are not motivated by self-interest, but such actions for that reason are not those of a fool.  For him, being in this world is like not being in this world.  He is ever serene and contented.  (202)

The steady one, not interested in contentious reasoning and mentation, is free from conceptualization, and is therefore always in repose.  He has transcended thinking, knowing, hearing and perceiving.  (203)

The wise one is not agitated or distracted in mind, and thus sees no need for sitting in meditation.  The question of bondage or freedom is irrelevant to him.  In full conviction that the apparent manifested universe is a figment of the imagination, he exists as the Consciousness itself.  (204)

The identified individual with a sense of volition acts even if he is not acting.  On the other hand, the enlightened being, without any sense of personal doership, does not act even if there is action.  (205)

The mind of the enlightened one is neither agitated nor ecstatic.  It is actionless, free from fluctuations, without desires.  It shines, not being blocked by any doubts.  (206)

The mind of the enlightened one does not engage itself in either mentation or activity.  If mentation or activity does take place, it is not out of a sense of volition or personal doership, but is natural and spontaneous.  (207)

Having heard the Truth, the dull-witted person becomes even more confounded, while an extremely intelligent man withdraws within himself to such an extent that he appears to others as being dull-witted.  (208)

The confused and ignorant people are found to be continually involved in practices of mental concentration, or in efforts to control the mind.  The wise ones, on the other hand, like persons in deep sleep, do not see any necessity of doing anything.  (209)

Neither by action nor by inaction does an ignorant person attain tranquility.  The wise one becomes tranquil merely by understanding what tranquility is.  (210)

In this world, those who devote themselves to diverse practices do not come to realize their true nature, which is purity, intelligence, love, perfection, transcendent, and free from any taint of objectivity.  (211)

The ignorant person does not attain liberation in spite of various disciplines and methods for controlling the mind.  The blessed one stands established in the Self merely through intuitive understanding.  (212)

The ignorant person does not attain the Brahman that he desires, whereas the wise one realizes the nature of the Supreme Brahman even without desiring to do so.  (213)

Without the necessary support, ignorant people keep seeking the illusion of enlightenment, and thus feed the illusion of the manifested universe of samsara.  The wise strike at the very root of the problem.  (214)

The fool tries to attain tranquility through personal effort, and fails to get it.  The wise one apperceives the Truth directly, and is ever tranquil.  (215)

How can there be any seeing of Self-nature for one who sees only this object or that object when he perceives the phenomenal manifestation?  The wise, when they see the manifestation, perceive not this object or that object, but only Consciousness in which it has appeared.  (216)

How can the deluded one, who strives for it, control the mind?  For the wise one who is established in the Self, the whole-mind needs no control in its spontaneity.  (217)

There are some who believe in the existence of the phenomenal manifestation, and there are others who believe that phenomenal manifestation does not exist.  Rare is the one who is not concerned with such concepts, and is therefore always serene.  (218)

Those with an immature intellect may believe that the Atman is pure and without a second, yet they want to experience the Atman phenomenally as an independent entity.  Therefore, they continue to be unhappy as long as they live.  (219)

The intellect of the seeker seeing enlightenment cannot function without a corresponding object as its support.  The intellect of the liberated person is not limited and restricted by any desire, even for liberation.  (220)

Encountering the tigers of sense-objects, the frightened seeker takes refuge in the cave of the mind, and tries various methods of disciplining and controlling the mind.  (221)

Encountering the desireless lion-hearted being, the elephants of sense-objects either quietly slip away, or otherwise, are totally subservient like servile courtiers.  (222)

He whose Self-realization is totally without any doubts at all finds no need to resort to any disciplinary practices as a means to liberation.  Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting, he lives happily.  (223)

With the split-mind healed into its holy wholeness by the mere listening to the Truth, and with total serenity prevailing continually, he is not concerned with the propriety or otherwise of any action, nor with inaction.  (224)

Free from a sense of doership, the wise person does whatever needs to be done in the circumstances, without concerning himself with the propriety of the action.  His actions are like the actions of a child.  (225)

Through freedom, comes happiness; through freedom, the best; through freedom, tranquility; through freedom is attained the Supreme State.  (226)

As the understanding deepens, the outward tendencies of the mind get weakened with the realization that the Self within is neither the doer nor the experiencer.  (227)

The non-volitional, spontaneous, unrestricted behavior of the wise man is transparently open and sincere, but not the affected tranquility exhibited by the one who is still governed by personal motives and considerations.  (228)

The steady ones, totally free from all conceptualizing, and bereft of all attachments, are sometimes found in affluent surroundings, and at other times in mountain caves.  (229)

There is total detachment in the heart of the steady one in whatever circumstances he finds himself, in whatever company – a vedic scholar being honored, or the gods being worshipped, or in a holy place, or in the company of a king, or a woman, or a loved one.  (230)

The yogi is not disturbed even when despised or ridiculed by servants, sons, wives, grandsons, and other relations.  (231)

Though pleased, he is not pleased; though dejected, he is not dejected.  Only those who are themselves like him will understand this wonderful state of beingness.  (232)

The sense of duty, pertinent only to samsara, is transcended by the wise ones who have realized their true nature as all-pervasive, formless, immutable, untainted.  (233)

One who is unstilled is always agitated through distraction even when doing nothing.  The expert, even when he is busy working, remains totally imperturbable.  (234)

Even in everyday life, the wise one with equanimity is always happy, whether he is relaxing, sleeping, generally going about his business, speaking or eating.  (235)

He is the perfect model for living, who, having realized his true nature, unlike the ordinary individual, carries on in everyday life, unruffled and unagitated, like a vast lake.  (236)

With the deluded one, even withdrawal becomes action.  In the case of the steady one, even continued action brings about the fruit of withdrawal.  (237)

The moodha is often seen to display indifference towards his possessions.  Where is attachment or detachment for him who has lost identification with the body?  (238)

The moodha is always busy conceptualizing.  The one abiding in the present moment does think when thinking is necessary in what he is doing, and yet he is not thinking.  (239)

The man of solitude has no personal motive or aim in any undertaking that is started, lives with the innocence of a child, and has no attachment to the work he produces.  (240)

Blessed is the man of understanding who has transcended the mind, who remains unmoved under all conditions, while physically continuing to see, hear, touch, smell or taste.  (241)

For the man of perfection, changeless like space, how can there be any samsara or its manifestation?  How can there be any end, or the means to achieve it?  (242)

Glorious is the beingness of one who, being free from all desires, is the embodiment of perfect bliss that is his real nature, and remains always spontaneously absorbed in pure Consciousness.  (243)

What is the use of saying anything more?  The great soul who has had the perfect understanding, is free from all desire, not only for sensual enjoyment, but even for the enjoyment of enlightenment.  He is totally devoid of all attachment, at all times, at all places.  (244)

What can remain to be done by one who is himself pure Consciousness?  He has totally renounced the manifest world, the multiplicity of which exists only in different names, which begin with Mahat.  (245)

The pure one knows with certitude that this universe is the product of illusion, and that nothing really exists.  The imperceptible Self has been revealed to him, and he naturally enjoys tranquility.  (246)

Rules of conduct, dispassion, renunciation and control over mind are all terms which are meaningless to one who is of the nature of Pure Effulgence, and who does not perceive any objective reality.  (247)

How can the terms bondage and liberation, joy and sorrow, have any meaning for one who shines as the Infinite, objectifying itself in endless forms, and does not recognize relative existence?  (248)

With the happening of sudden enlightenment, the reality of the universe is seen as an illusion.  The wise one lives totally devoid of any sense of ‘me’ or ‘mine’, and is therefore quite unattached to anything.  (249)

How can the wise one, who has apperceived the Self as imperishable and free from grief, who is without the feeling ‘I am the body’ or ‘the body is mine’, ever be interested in the universe or knowledge?  (250)

No sooner does the person of dull intellect give up his practices of discipline and mind control, than he is assailed once again by the repressed desires and concepts.  (251)

Even after listening to the Truth, the man of dull intellect does not give up his delusion.  Through suppression, he may appear to be tranquil, but his mind continues to be disturbed by cravings for sense-objects.  (252)

He whose sense of personal doership has dropped of through intuitive in-seeing of his nature, finds no reason to speak or do anything, even though in the eyes of the ordinary people, he leads a normal working life.  (253)

For the wise one with steadiness, who is ever unperturbed and fearless, where is the question of darkness or light?  Can there be any question of his losing anything?  For him, no thing exists.  (254)

For him who has no personal nature of his own, and therefore whose nature cannot be described in specific terms, for such a Self-realized being, how can there be a question of patience, or discrimination, or even fearlessness?  (255)

In the yogic vision, there is neither heaven nor hell, not even the condition of jeevan-mukti, liberation in life.  Indeed, in yogic Consciousness, in nothingness, no thing exists.  (256)

The mind of the steady one does not hanker for any gain, nor does it grieve at something not attained.  His serene mind always remains filled with nectar.  (257)

The impartial one has neither praise for one who is considered good, nor condemnation for one who is considered wicked.  Contented and evenly balanced in happiness and misery, there is nothing for him to achieve.  (258)

The wise one neither abhors samsara, nor does he wish for nirvana.  Free from duality of joy and sorrow, he is not concerned with birth or death.  (259)

Glorious is the life of the wise one, free from all expectations, free from any attachment to wife, children or any other.  He is free of all craving for sensual pleasure, who is unconcerned whether the body exists or not.  (260)

Contentment ever dwells in the heart of the steadfast one who is happy with whatever falls to his lot in life, who goes wherever life takes him, unmindful of where he happens to be at the end of the day.  (261)

Reposing on the foundation of his own true beingness, and therefore transcending birth and death, the great one does not care whether his body drops down dead, or continues to exist.  (262)

Blessed is the wise one who stands aloof, who is attached to nothing, who is without any need for possessions, who has transcended the pairs of opposites, and all of whose doubts have been totally destroyed.  (263)

Glorious is the one who is devoid of the feeling of me-and-mine, to whom a clod of earth, a precious stone, and a bar of gold are all alike, the knots of whose heart have been rent asunder, and who has been purged of rajas and tamas.  (264)

How can there be any comparison with the liberated one, in whose heart there are absolutely no remnants of desire of any kind, who is quite contented and totally indifferent towards all objects?  (265)

Can there be anyone else other than the one totally bereft of any personal desire, who knows and yet does not know, who perceives and yet does not perceive, who speaks and yet does not speak?  (266)

Be he a beggar or a king, glorious is he who is totally unattached and completely free from the conceptual duality of the interconnected opposites of good and evil.  (267)

For the yogi who has realized his original nature, and is therefore the embodiment of guileless sincerity, where is the question of licentiousness or restraint?  Where is the question of any determination of what is truth and what is not?  (268)

The inner experience of one who is totally desireless, who transcends all sorrow and continually abides in the Self – how can it be described, and to whom can it be described?  (269)

The Self-realized one is not sleeping even when he is asleep; he is not lying down even when he is dreaming; he is not awake evening the waking state.  That is the state of the one who is contented in all conditions.  (270)

The man-of-wisdom is devoid of thought even when he is thinking; he is devoid of sense organs even when he is using them; he is devoid of intellect even though he is endowed with it.  He is devoid of the ego, even though he possesses it.  (271)

The man-of-wisdom is neither happy nor miserable, neither attached nor unattached, neither liberated nor an aspirant for liberation.  He is neither this nor that.  (272)

The blessed one is not distracted even in distraction; he is not meditative even in meditation; he is not dull even in a state of dullness; and he is not learned even though possessed of learning.  (273)

The liberated one who abides in the Self under all conditions, who is free of the concepts of action and duty, who is totally without desires, remains unconcerned with all actions that take place, and does not brood over what has been done, and what has not been done.  (274)

When praised, the wise one does not feel pleased; when blamed, he is not angered.  He neither rejoices in life, nor does he fear death.  (275)

The serene one does not particularly seek either the crowds or the wilderness.  He is the same anywhere in any conditions.  (276)