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Avadhuta Anubhava Gita

Avadhuta Anubhava Gita is a work on Advaita philosophy and is popularly known as Avadhuta Gita. It is written by Ashtavakra, a Vedic seer. The text is also known by the names of Adhyatma Shastra, Ashtavakra Samhita and Ashtavakra Sukta. It is written in the form of a dialogue between Sage Ashtavakra and King Janaka of Mithila. Avadhuta Anubhava Gita is divided into eighteen chapters, stress the need to strive for a life of detachment for ultimate liberation.

Sage Ashtavakra tells Janaka that if he desires to obtain liberation, he should renounce all material objects as poison, and cultivate the qualities of mercy, straightforwardness, compassion, contentment and truthfulness as if they were nectar. (Avadhuta Anubhava Gita I.2)

The seeker must understand that the individual self is distinct from all material objects and is identical with the supreme Self, the Brahman which is pure consciousness. (Avadhuta Anubhava Gita II. 1-23)

The common man, generally, gets trapped in the mire of baser feelings and emotions. It is therefore, necessary that he should understand the distinctness of the Self from the baser passions (Avadhuta Anubhava Gita III. 1-12)

For this one should realize that the world is nothing more than the wrong identification of the rajju (rope) and the sarpa (snake) (V.3) due to darkness, and that he appearances in the world are a juggler’s trick ((Avadhuta Anubhava Gita VII.5).

Bondage occurs when the mind give into desire, grief and excessive rejoicing (VIII.1) and the bondage ends when attachment ends and when there is no more absolute acceptance and rejection of anything (VIII.4). The ensuing shanti (peace) is incomparable (Avadhuta Anubhava Gita XIII.1)

Happiness, it is asserted, comes with the firm conviction that one is not one’s body but Pure Consciousness ((Avadhuta Anubhava Gita XV. 4,7).

Ashtavakra concludes that the man of peace neither runs towards a crowd nor retreats into a lonely forest; he stays where he is, with the full realization of the absolute Brahman (Avadhuta Anubhava Gita XVII.100)