Essence of Ashtavakra Gita – Chapter IV to VI

I have combined Chapter IV to VI into one blog post as these are relatively small chapters describing the actual  state of  self realization. Cautioning against mix-up, the sage Ashtavakra goes on to explain the state in self-actualization

Man in self realization may not have any difference in what he does. That is, he might be doing everything that anyone else does. That is, it is not much the act but the state of mind. It is all in the mind.

Man in self realization would live in this whole world as he pleases. That is, he may be very active in his worldly roles, or may not. Difference is that, even if he is  active in worldly matters, he is not bogged down the baggage of perceptions and emotions.

Desire, aversion, fear, pain, pleasure, hope, disappointment, etc does not happen to such person. Even the word renunciation loses meaning as there is nothing to renounce (either everything is mine, or nothing is; what is left to renounce?)


1. Similarity with description of the same state in Bhagavat Gita

These words are very similar to advice given to Arjuna in Bhagavat Gita as:

na eva tasya krutena arthah na akrutena iha kashchana

Whether a person in true realization does something, or does not, is of not any relevance for him.

na me partha asti kartavyam trishu lokeshu kimchana
na anavaptamavaptavyam varta eva cha karmani
yadi hi aham na varteyam jatu karmani atamdritah
mama vartma anuvartamte manushyah partha sarvashah

There is nothing at all that I must do.  Therefore, I still do what I do though there is nothing binding me to because if I sit idle, others will also sit idle considering me as role model.

2. Clarification on conduct of daily life

Acquisition and possession of wealth, pursuit of career growth, acts of sex, etc are perceived by many as in conflict with spiritual pursuit.

Many religious/literary text from ancient India  like Gita Govinda, Kumarasambhava etc have many explicitly erotic content. Even the great sages like Vedavyasa have performed acts of sex, and great sage Atri had Anasuya as his wife.

Note that the real problem is not with the objects or acts of desire but  mind which is involved in these, and its attachment to these.

dhyayato vishayan pumsah sanghahsteshu upajayate
sanghat sanjayate kamah kamat krodhah abhijayate
krodhat bhavati sam-mohah sam-mohat smriti vibramsah
smriti brimshAt buddhi nAshah buddhi nAshAt praNashayti

When your mind dwells on objects (and acts) of desire, you get attached to these if you leave it unchecked. These attachment, if you leave it unchecked, leads a desire to acquire them.  It leads to cycles of further desires and indulgence, resulting in unfulfilled desire at some point.  If you leave it unchecked, it further leads to anger due to unfulfilled desire in him.

If you leave it unchecked, anger leads to a delusion, fatally influencing mind, its attachment and memories. This, in turn, affects perceptions and balanced state of mind resulting eventually in total collapse.

One Response to “Essence of Ashtavakra Gita – Chapter IV to VI”

  1. Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda Says:

    The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds.

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