Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Knowledge of the Self


Ashtavakra said:

One who is pure of mind and heart
attains to what is sought, to truth
that’s told exactly as it is.

But someone else may stay perplexed,
despite a wish for learning that
continues through the course of life.


Distaste for objects liberates,
and relishing these objects binds.

It’s thus that knowledge is discerned.
Then, do exactly as you please.


This knowledge of plain truth may make
a person who is eloquent,
intelligent and active seem
to have turned dumb, turned stupid and
unwilling to do anything.

Such knowledge is not meant for those
who seek enjoyment in the world.


You are not body; body is
not yours. Nor are you any doer,
nor enjoyer anywhere.
Just what you are is consciousness:
appearing as that silent witness
which stays always unattached.

As that alone, you live content
through all that happens in the world.


Like and dislike depend on mind.
But no such mind is ever yours.

You are just consciousness itself,
quite independent of all thought.

As that alone you live content,
at peace with what you really are.


True self is found in every being,
and each being truly lives
in nothing else but self alone.

It is by realizing this
that anyone may live content,
quite free of ego claiming acts
and objects that it thinks are ‘mine’.


Like waves arising in the sea,
this universe springs forth, into
its show of many changing things.

But this is only consciousness,
here seen embodied as a world.

Be that one consciousness,
untouched by feverish anxiety.


Be sure of it, be deeply sure
that you make no confusion here.

You are what knowledge truly is,
just that from which all guidance comes.

That is the self, just what you are,
beyond all nature’s functioning.


This body is found wrapped around
by qualities. Accordingly,
it stays unmoved, it comes and goes.

But self is not affected thus.
It neither comes, nor does it go.
Why then feel sorry for its sake?


Let body last, until its cyclic
journey ends. Or let it go,
here and now, repeatedly.

What gain or loss pertains to you,
who are yourself just consciousness,
unmixed with anything besides?

In you, who are an ocean that
is limitless, let there arise
and let subside each wave of
that happens of its own accord.

This does not add to what you are.
Nor does it take from what is yours.


You are pure consciousness itself.
This changing world is nothing different
from what you are yourself.

Then how and where does thought arise
of what to take or to reject?
To whom can such a thought occur?


You are yourself that changeless peace:
one single, unmixed consciousness
continuing through everything.

In that, from where does birth arise?
Where action? And where ego’s false
pretence, to be an acting ‘I’?

In what you see, just you shine there,
all on your own. What else but gold
shines out in golden ornaments?


You must completely leave behind
dividing thoughts, like ‘This is what
I am’ or ‘No, I am not this’.

Find out for sure that everything
is self alone. Thus you return
to what you are, to happiness
found free of mind’s desiring.


The world arises only from
your ignorance. It’s you alone
who are the one reality.

Apart from you, no one migrates
from life to life. It is none other
than your self that is found free
of transmigrating in this way.


This world is a bewilderment.
It is not truly anything
that it’s perceived and thought to be.

Whoever finds this out for sure
becomes thereby disint’rested,
no longer driven by desire.

Thus, consciousness is found to shine
unmixed, as its own knowing light.

It’s there at last that peace is found
as though no other thing exists.
It’s found completely undisturbed,
illuminated from within.


Here, in the ocean of the world,
just one alone was in the past,
is now, and will in future be.

No bondage, freedom can be yours.
Thus live fulfilled, content, at peace.


You are just consciousness itself.
Do not disturb your mind with
wrangling arguments, for or against.

Stay calm, content in your own self.
For it is there, within your heart,
that happiness is truly found.


Give even contemplation up.
Hold nothing in your heart and mind.

It is as self that you are free.
What will you gain by any thought?