Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ancient Inspiration from Song of the Self Supreme (Ashtavakra Gita)

This is the best book to learn all about yourself. I have The Song of the Self Supreme Astavakra Gita translated by Radhakamal Mukerjee, Copyright 1971 and 1982. I call this the first translation and I call the John Richards version the second translation. Note that the spelling in the title is correct while the spelling above from the book uses symbols below and above the letters so that spelling is incorrect since I do not know how to make those symbols.

Here is the The Heart of Awareness ~ a translation of The Ashtavakra Gita by Thomas Byrom online. I will call this the third translation. Note that these books online may be taken down at any time.

Wikipedia says:
The Ashtavakra Gita (Sanskrit in Devanagari: अष्टावक्रगीता; IAST: aṣṭāvakragītā)[1] or the Song of Ashtavakra, also known as Ashtavakra Samhita is an Advaita Vedanta scripture which documents a dialogue between the Perfect Master Ashtavakra and Janaka, the King of Mithila.[2]

Ashtavakra Gita presents the traditional teachings of Advaita Vedanta. The work was known, appreciated and quoted by Ramakrishna and his disciple Vivekananda, as well as by other well known gurus such as Sant Shri Asaramji Bapu, Swami Chinmayananda, Ramana Maharshi, Osho and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Radhakrishnan refers to it with great respect. [3]
So here are some quotes from it (this first 3 are from the Thomas Byrom translation):
We are all one Self. The Self is pure awareness. This Self, this flawless awareness is God. There is only God.
The body is nothing, the Self is everything. 
For the Self is pure awareness, 
Nothing less.
What is the Self that this book is talking about. It is different than the self. The self is your ego or your mind. The Self would be like your soul. In the physical world you have quantity like one body or 2 bodies.

In the non-physical universe there is no quantity. Everything is one. So the soul of every person is non other than God. Now there is a modern word to describe the true self of every person and God. That word is consciousness. There is only one consciousness.
Chapter 2:16-- Unhappiness has its roots in duality. I am undefiled, non-dual, and pure intelligence. All this visible universe is illusory. There is no other remedy (for unhappiness) than this (knowledge).
 As explained before (see previous post for full explanation) duality refers to what every person experiences. It is the feeling that there is you and others and that there is you and other things. This is opposed to the supreme experience of feeling that only one thing exists everywhere-- Self, God or consciousness. Another translation of the above is by John Richards so you can compare them:
Truly dualism is the root of suffering. There is no other remedy for it than the realisation that all this that we see is unreal, and that I am the one stainless reality, consisting of consciousness. 2.16
 More from the first translation:
Chapter 11:2-- God (the self) is the creator of all; there is none else in the universe. Knowing this for certain, one finds desire melted away and becomes serene. He becomes attached to nothing.
 From the second translation:
At peace, having shed all desires within, and realising that nothing exists here but the Lord, the Creator of all things, one is no longer attached to anything. 11.2
 Here are more quotes from the John Richards version:
Realising that pleasure and pain, birth and death are from destiny, and that one's desires cannot be achieved, one remains inactive, and even when acting does not get attached. 11.4

Realising that suffering arises from nothing other than thought, dropping all desires one rids oneself of it, and is happy and at peace everywhere. 11.5

Realising, "I am not the body, nor is the body mine. I am awareness," one attains the supreme state and no longer remembers things done or undone. 11.6

Realising, "I alone exist, from Brahma down to the last clump of grass," one becomes free from uncertainty, pure, at peace, and unconcerned about what has been attained or not. 11.7
 Here are the Song of the Self Supreme versions of these quotes (first version):
Knowing for certain that happiness and sorrow, birth and death, surely come of themselves through fate, one does not seek after the goals of life; he becomes non-active. His deeds do not involve him. 11:4
Knowing for certain that in the world sorrow is caused through  anxiety and not otherwise, a person becomes free from this becomes happy and peaceful, with his desires melted away. 11:5
Knowing for certain that "I am not the body nor does the body belong to me; I am intelligence itself," one attains the absolute aloness of the Self. He does not remember what he has done and what has been left undone. 11:6
Knowing for certain that "It is verily I who exist as everything from Brahma to the clump of grass," one becomes free from the fluctuations of thought or reasoning; pure and serene he withdraws himself from what is to be attained and not attained. 11:7
For more quotes from the Astavakra Gita, see my Facebook Info page under philosophy. Also I have plenty of room for more Facebook friends if you want to invite me to be your Facebook friend. Here are 2 quotes from that  page. This is good stuff! I love it. My 18 year old best friend, Jen, also loves it. She is a genius and great at art.
How can there be either birth, karma, or responsibility in that one unchanging, peaceful, unblemished, and infinite consciousness which is you? 15.13

Using the tweezers of the knowledge of the truth, I have managed to extract the painful thorn of endless opinions from the recesses of my heart. 19.1

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