Ashtavakra Gita 1:9-15

9   Burn down the forest of ignorance with the fire of wisdom—“I am one of pure awareness”—and be happy and free from distress.

10  That in which all this world appears, is really supreme joy. This is you, so be happy.

11  If one believes oneself to be free, one is free, and if one believes oneself to be bound, one is bound. In this case, the saying, “And so it is,” is true.

12  Though you may experience yourself as being involved in the pleasures and sorrows of this world, what you really are is perfect, free and actionless, the all-pervading witness, unattached, void of mentally based desires, and therefore at peace.

13  Meditate on your Self as motionless and fully aware, free from duality, and abandon the mistaken notion that you are a derivative of something other than you, internally or externally.

14  You have long been trapped in the snare (pashu) of being identified with the body. Cut it with the sword of wisdom and be happy.

15  You are really unbound and, though you have the ability to act, what you really are does not act, is all-knowing, and perfectly pure. The cause of your bondage is that you continue to try to still the mind.

Durga Ma

2 thoughts on “Ashtavakra Gita 1:9-15

  1. Khechari


    What our world is, is just our thoughts. Our thoughts are in our mind. Our mind is not real. Since a thought is a sound, it will fade away. The real is not a thought, because real cannot disappear. Whatever is real has to be eternal and unchanging. The cause of my bondage is that I think I am the doer, by trying to still the mind, Actions do not exist in life, they only exist in thoughts in the mind. I think I am the doer. Life is energy, I am energy. And energy is unpredictable, spontaneous and thoughtless. This is unchanging. All is One, One movement with out a beginning nor an end. When you realize that life is causeless and effect less, then you can experience bliss, and that can not be accomplished by your illusionary mind thinking it is the doer. That creates bondage to the illusion. What do you think Durga Ma? Khechari


    1. Dear Khechari, what a great roll. You landed on the key statement of this part of the Ashtavakra Gita. You tempt me to get teacher-ish with this abundance of goodies to comment on, but I will try to keep it simple.

      “Life is but a dream, sweetheart.”
      (I hope you are familiar with those words as the lyrics to a song.)

      This world is not what it seems. It is called maya (illusion) by the sages (those who have achieved the Highest) for a reason: Nothing is what is seems. This is because we experience everything in life indirectly through our senses. Everything in life is subject to the law of maya: relativity, cause and effect. Only what is behind it all, is absolute (unchanging), and the Absolute cannot be perceived by the senses. This is the basis of the science of yoga (not religion).

      We are identified with our bodies, for it is the body that appears to be the “actor,” the “doer,” because of the senses being the avenues of perception, and because the senses are of the body. And yes, we do get identified with our minds. When we begin to de-identify with our bodies, we begin to de-identify with our minds. We are here in bodies for this purpose, to achieve this. This is the basis of yoga and why yoga begins with hatha yoga, which is physical, and progresses to raja yoga, which purifies the mind. But it is through hatha yoga that one comes to the direct realization that “He who knows action in inaction, and inaction in action, has attained wisdom.” Ergo, hatha yoga progresses to raja yoga. Put another way, de-identification with the body is the key to de-identification with the mind.

      Did I say something about not getting teacher-ish??? I’ll stop here.

      Love you,
      Durga Ma


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