Ashtavakra Gita

Translated by John Henry Richards

Chapter 17

Ashtavakra said:

He who is content, with purified senses, and always enjoys solitude, has gained the fruit of knowledge and the fruit of the practice of yoga too. 17.1 

The knower of truth is never distressed in this world, for the whole round world is full of himself alone. 17.2 

None of these senses please a man who has found satisfaction within, just as Nimba leaves do not please the elephant that has acquired the taste for Sallaki leaves. 17.3 

The man is rare who is not attached to the things he has enjoyed, and does not hanker after the things he has not enjoyed. 17.4 

Those who desire pleasure and those who desire liberation are both found in samsara, but the great-souled man who desires neither pleasure nor liberation is rare indeed. 17.5 

It is only the noble-minded who is free from attraction or repulsion to religion, wealth, sensuality, and life and death too. 17.6 

He feels no desire for the elimination of all this, nor anger at its continuing, so the fortunate man lives happily with whatever sustenance presents itself. 17.7 

Thus fulfilled through this knowledge, contented, and with the thinking mind emptied, he lives happily just seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. 17.8 

In him for whom the ocean of samsara has dried up, there is neither attachment or aversion. His gaze is vacant, his behaviour purposeless, and his senses inactive. 17.9 

Surely the supreme state is everywhere for the liberated mind. He is neither awake nor asleep, and neither opens nor closes his eyes. 17.10

The liberated man is resplendent everywhere, free from all desires. Everywhere he appears self-possessed and pure of heart. 17.11 

Seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting, speaking, and walking about, the great-souled man who is freed from trying to achieve or avoid anything is free indeed. 17.12 

The liberated man is free from desires everywhere. He neither blames, praises, rejoices, is disappointed, gives, nor takes. 17.13 

When a great-souled one is unperturbed in mind, and equally self-possessed at either the sight of a woman inflamed with desire or at approaching death, he is truly liberated. 17.14 

There is no distinction between pleasure and pain, man and woman, success and failure for the wise man who looks on everything as equal. 17.15 

There is no aggression nor compassion, no pride nor humility, no wonder nor confusion for the man whose days of samsara are over. 17.16 

The liberated man is not averse to the senses nor is he attached to them. He enjoys himself continually with an unattached mind in both success and failure. 17.17 

One established in the Absolute state with an empty mind does not know the alternatives of inner stillness and lack of inner stillness, and of good and evil. 17.18 

A man free of “me” and “mine” and of a sense of responsibility, aware that “Nothing exists,” with all desires extinguished within, does not act even in acting. 17.19 

He whose thinking mind is dissolved achieves the indescribable state and is free from the mental display of delusion, dream, and ignorance. 17.20