Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The True Knower


Ashtavakra said:

The fruit of knowledge and of
meditative practice is attained
by one who comes to rest content,
with faculties thus purified.

That one stays present all alone
enjoying perfect happiness.


Indeed, the one who knows plain truth
is never found to suffer want.

For the entire sphere of all
this multiplicity is filled
completely by that one alone.


No objects ever please one who
delights in self, just as neem leaves
aren’t relished by an elephant
who does not like their bitterness.


It is quite rare to find a person
whose enjoyments are found free
of any tainted residue
that limits future character.
And rare to find a person truly
free of hankering for things
which are still left to be enjoyed.


Someone may wish for life’s enjoyments.
Someone else wants to be free.
Each of these kinds of person is
found in the world. But it is far
less common that someone should lose
all wish for world’s enjoyments and
all wanting to be free of them.

That someone is thus great at heart.


For someone truly broad of mind,
there is no sense of give or take:
attached to virtue, riches, pleasure,
liberation found in life;
nor even passing on at death.


In such a one, there is no
hankering for world; there’s no dislike
for it remaining as it is.

Someone who is thus fortunate
lives happy with what comes about.


Fulfilled by knowledge thus attained –
with mind dissolved and aim achieved –
one who knows truly lives content
through sensual acts: of seeing sights
and hearing sounds, of smelling odours,
touching objects, eating food.


In one for whom the ebb and flow
of universal happening
has been exhausted and dried up,
there’s no desire left, from which
there’s any need to be detached.

For such a one, all sight is vacant,
action is quite purposeless,
and senses are disfunctional.

All of these faculties mislead.
They do not work as they pretend.


No one is there awake. Nor,
rightly is there anyone asleep.

No eyes are there seen opening.
No eyes are there found to have closed.
That is a state beyond all states.

Whoever may be truly free
lives always in that final state.

For one who’s free, that state must be
experienced always, everywhere –
no matter where some person’s body
is perceived, nor where this person’s
sense and mind are thought to be.


Seen standing everywhere in self,
with all intention pure within –
unmixed with any inclination
driven blindly from outside –
one who lives free is always found
presiding at the depth of heart,
beyond all taint of compromise.


No matter whether seeing sights,
or hearing sounds or touching objects,
smelling odours, eating food,
or speaking, walking, travelling ...

one who is great at heart within
stays always free, throughout all trying
to achieve and all mistakes
that get shown up by failed attempts.


One who has reached that freedom does
not flatter nor blame anyone,
is not made pleased, can’t be provoked;
does not get caught in give or take,
and never anywhere expects
some profit gained by bargaining.


A woman seen aroused to passion,
death approaching near at hand ...
these don’t disturb the quiet peace
where one who’s great at heart must stand.

A perfect equilibrium
is found thus standing in that self
which is one’s own, uncompromised.


In joy or grief, in man or woman,
in things working or not working ...
no true difference can be found
by one who stands unwavering
in true and clear intelligence.

For one who is thus grounded there,
the same is seen in everything.


No violence nor kind compassion,
no unbridled arrogance
nor chastening humility,
nor sense of wonder stilling mind
nor any troubled agitation,
can in fact be permanent.

All such conditioning must pass.
No such conditioning remains
in one for whom the ebb and flow
of happening has been exhausted,
has at last come back to end.


One who is truly free cannot
be driven by attraction felt
for anything perceived, nor by
revulsion towards something else.

For such a one, whatever comes
to be attained is found enjoyed,
with mind forever unattached.


Absorbed within or not absorbed,
what works out well or what does not ...
these are distinctions made by thought.

For one whose mind is void of thought,
no such distinction can be known.

That someone lives thus in a state
where self is found all on its own,
unmixed with anything besides.

It’s in this sense that knowing self
may be described as ‘absolute’.


By getting to be free of ego’s
grasping sense of ‘me’ and ‘mine’,
a person may find out for sure
that nothing actually exists
as ego claims to have perceived.

That truth is found by one for whom
all wishing, hoping and expecting
are dissolved in self within.

Whoever knows thus properly
is not engaged in any act,
not even when the act takes place.


What mind displays is always mixed.
It is part clear and part obscure.
This mixture makes what mind dreams up
confusing and delusory.

All such confusion has, somehow,
to be transcended, left behind.

An indescribable condition
is attained, by one for whom
all last remaining trace of subtle
mind is finally dissolved.