King Janaka’s thoughts now indicate a definite balance and clarity, the sage Ashtavakra replies clarifying and reassuring as follows:
Bondage is in external objects, events or acts but rather in the mind. Bondage is when mind longs for something, when mind grieves about something, when mind holds on to something or rejects. Liberation is when the mind does not long for anything, grieve about anything, reject anything, hold on to anything. Bondage is when mind is entangled in one or more senses, and liberation is when the mind is not.
One feels grief, longing, etc in subjective context of self. That indicate bondage, and as a converse, when there is strong notion of self, there is bondage. Liberation is when there is no “me” and subjective perceptions