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Basic Teachings of Advaita by Sage Ashtavakra

Sage Ashtavakra condenses the essence of Advaita in the following five verses:

  1. Desire is the root of ignorance, and so long as desire persists, the sense of the acceptable and the unacceptable, which is the sprout and branch of the tree of samsara, must necessarily continue.
  2. Activity begets attachment, abstention from activity generates aversion. Rid of the bondage of opposites, the man of wisdom, established in the Self, lives like child.
  3. One who is attached to samsara wants to renounce it in order to free himself from misery, but one who is not attached continues to live in samsara, and yet lives happily.
  4. He who seeks enlightenment as a seeker, and is still identified with the body as a doer, is neither a jnani nor a yogi, and suffers misery.
  5. Unless everything is totally forgotten, you cannot be established in the Self, even if Shiva, Krishna or Brahma be your preceptor.

(Source: Advaita on Zen and Tao by Ramesh Balsekar Page 60 and 61)

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