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Selected Slokas from Ashtavakra Gita

Select shlokas translated into English from the Ashtavakra Gita which is supposed to an instruction to King Janaka from Sage Ashtavakra in the times of Ramayana in the Treta Yuga. This Gita is therefore considered to be older than the Bhagvad Gita which is instruction to Arjuna by Sri Krishna which happened in the times of the Mahabharatha which is in the subsequent Yuga; the Dwapara Yuga.
The present compilation is courtesy of Dr. D. Samarender Reddy.

A man of pure intellect realizes the Self even by instruction casually imparted. A man of impure intellect is bewildered in trying to realize the Self even after enquiring throughout his life.


This knowledge of the Truth makes an eloquent, wise, and active person mute, inert, and inactive. Therefore it is shunned by those who want to enjoy the world.


One who knows for certain that this universe is but an illusion and a nothing, becomes desireless and Pure Intelligence, and finds peace as if nothing exists.


Completely give up even contemplation and hold nothing in your mind. You are verily the Self, free. What will you do by thinking?


All are unhappy because they exert themselves. But none knows this. The blessed one attains emancipation through this instruction alone.


Happiness belongs to that master idler to whom even the closing and opening of eyelids is an affliction, and to none else.


You are neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air, nor space. In order to attain liberation, know the Self as the witness of all these and as Consciousness itself.


If you detach yourself from the body and rest in Consciousness, you will at once be happy, peaceful, and free from bondage.


Virtue and vice, pleasure and pain, are of the mind, not of you, O all-pervading one. You are neither doer nor enjoyer. Verily you are ever free.


My child, you have long been caught in the noose of body-consciousness. Sever it with the sword of knowledge "I am Consciousness", and be happy.


You are unattached, actionless, self-effulgent, and without any blemish. This indeed is your bondage that you practice meditation.


The high-souled person witnesses his own body acting as if it were another's. As such, how can he be disturbed by praise or blame?


I am not this body, nor have I a body. I am not jiva, I am Pure Consciousness. This indeed was my bondage that I had thirst for life.


It is bondage when the mind desires or grieves at anything, rejects or accepts anything, feels happy or angry at anything. Liberation is attained when the mind does not desire or grieve, or reject or accept, or feel happy or angry.


Look upon friends, lands, wealth, houses, wives, presents, and other such marks of good fortune, as a dream or a juggler's show, lasting only a few days.


For how many births have you not done hard and painful work with body, with mind, and with speech. Therefore cease at least today.


I became intolerant first of physical action, then of extensive speech, and then of thought. Thus therefore do I firmly abide.


There is trouble of the body here, trouble of the tongue here, and trouble of the mind elsewhere. Having renounced these, in life's supreme goal I live happily.


He, indeed, controls himself who sees distraction in himself. But the great one is not distracted. Having nothing to accomplish, what does he do?