Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Ashtavakra Gita - Sanskrit text with English transliteration & translation
The Ashtavakra Gita or the Song of Ashtavakra, also known as Ashtavakra Samhita is an Advaita Vedanta scripture which documents a dialogue between the sage Ashtavakra and King Janaka.
Ashtavakra Gita presents the traditional teachings of Advaita Vedanta with a clarity and power very rarely matched. The work was known, appreciated and quoted by Ramakrishna and his disciple Vivekananda, as well as by Ramana Maharshi.
Ashtavakra Gita states that there is no such thing as existence or non existence, right or wrong, or moral or immoral. In the eyes of the Ashtavakra, one's true identity can be found by simply recognizing oneself as Pure Existence and that as individuals we are the Awareness of all things.
The Ashtavakra Gita teaches that one is already free once one realises one is free. It advocates non-action, the loss of desire and severing of worldly attachments. To free oneself from the cycle of life and death one should withdraw from all Earthly desires, worries and cares. To continue indulging in Earthly things even after one has realised their true nature is said to be foolish and time wasting. Instead it paints a picture of The Master as someone who continues to keep up their responsibilities in the world, not because they believe they have to or due to any worldy attachments, but simply that it is in their nature to do so. To avoid misinterpretation in this regard teachers traditionally recommend that Ashtavakra Gita be pursued by only those who have already advanced on the spiritual path.