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Teachings from Ashtavakra Samhita

The universe rises from you like bubbles rising from the sea. Thus know the Self to be One and in this way enter into the state of dissolution.

Be calm and serene; don’t be agitated. Do not go after anything. If anything comes your way accept it gracefully, happily and be contented. Be humble and hear your inner voice. Problems crop up when you run after things and get them, of course, disappointment and unhappiness are there if you do not get them.

He who is beyond existence and non-existence, who is wise, satisfied, and free from desire, does nothing even if he may be acting in the eyes of the world.

Knowledge of one’s true nature as the infinite and non-dual pure consciousness will give freedom and spontaneity in all actions. The wise one who lives on happily, doing what comes to him to be done, does not feel anxiety either in activity or inactivity.

The fool desires peace through the control of the mind, and so does not attain it. The wise one, knowing the truth, is ever of a tranquil mind.

Stillness. All things arise, suffer, change, and pass away. This is their nature. When you know this, nothing perturbs you, nothing hurts your, you become still.

It is easy. Sooner or later fortune or misfortune may befall you. When you know this, you desire nothing, you grieve for nothing. Subduing the senses, you are happy; whatever you do brings joy or sorrow, life or death. When you know this, you may act freely, without attachment.

What is there to accomplish? All sorrow comes from fear, from nothing else. When you know this, you become free of it, and desire melts away. You become happy and still; the world with all its wonders is nothing. When you know this, desire melts away, for you are awareness itself. When you know in your heart that there is nothing, you are still.

Where there is no ‘I’, there is liberation; when there is ‘I,’ there is bondage. Egoism is bondage and egolessness is liberation.

The wise one who lives on happily, doing what comes to him to be done, does not feel anxiety either in activity or inactivity. The fool desires peace through control of the mind and so does not attain it. The wise one, knowing the truth, is ever of a tranquil mind.

Whoever, by virtue of the realization of his true nature, does not feel distressed even in practical life as people attached to the world do, and remain unagitated like a vast lake, with all his sorrows gone – he shines.

The wise one is devoid of thought, even when he is engaged in thought; he is devoid of the sense organs, even though he has them; he is devoid of intelligence, even though he is endowed with it; and he is devoid of his ego even though possessed of it.

Whether feted or tormented, the wise man is always aware of his supreme self-nature and is neither pleased nor disappointed. The great souled person sees even his own body in action as if it were someone else’s, so how should he be disturbed by praise or blame?


The essential nature of bondage is nothing other than desire, and its elimination is known as liberation. It is simply by not being attached to changing things that the everlasting joy of attainment is reached.

Just as waves, foam and bubbles are not different from water, so all this which has emanated from oneself, is no other than oneself. In the same way that cloth is found to be just thread when analysed, so when all this is analysed it is found to be no other than oneself. Just as the sugar produced from the juice of the sugarcane is permeated with the same taste, so all this, produced out of me, is completely permeated with me.

Ashtavakra Samhita