Ashtavakra (aSTAvakra) (Story From mahabharata)
- aSTAvakra samhitA (gItA) ( Links to previous posts)
aSTAvakra said :
- When and for whom do dualities and duties end (kRtAkRtE s’Anta) ?
- Knowing this become an avratI – one who is free from obligations.
- vrAta is a word used today for all special pUjAs like vinAyaka vrata, varalakSmI vrata and so on that we do in s’rAvaNa mAsa. avratI can also mean one who is free from obligations. Generally vratAs are done for a purpose.
- It is also my personal observation that duties and obligations are endless. You cannot fulfil All your obligations before you let go. If you want to renounce, today is as good as any time in the future. Most of us hang on to this duty to others/society because of our I-ness or ahankAra.
- I also checked this point with my father today. He says it is a myth and a huge blunder to think that we are doing anything for anyone or for society. Whatever we do, we do for ourselves and because we feel like it. Others will find a way to survive and thrive.
- Be calm and intent on renouncing. (nirvEda and tyAgapara).
- Sire! Who is lucky enough, to have observed others, and given up his desire for life, his appetite and his curiosity?
- He becomes peaceful, having determined that all this is transient, without substance, blameworthy, worthy of rejection polluted by tApatraya – three kinds of heat (trouble).
- aSTAvakra recommends tyAga or renunciation unlike janaka who sees that there is neither need to renounce nor grasp. tApatraya refers to threefold miseries as caused by our own body-mind, other beings and natural causes.
- At what time or age do dualities not exist for men? A person attains siddhi, who neglects all these and deals with what the moment presents. (yathA-prApta-vartI).
s’ankaracArya says – yat labhasE nija karma upAttam – what you get as generated by your own (previous) karma – vittam tEna vinOdaya cittam – delight yourself by that wealth. Don’t go hankering after more.
aSTAvakra said :
- Having seen the diverse views (matAs) of mahaRSIs, yOgis and sAdhUs, which person will not become peaceful and unagitated?
- Is he not a guru who having perceived the form of consciousness (caitanyasya mUrtiparignyAnam) crosses the flow through various states of existence (saMsRti), by निर्वेद, समता and युक्ति.
- I have previously explained why every teacher is not a guru. A guru, by definition must have attained the highest state. caitanya is a state of cit. A person is called caitanya if he has touched or stays in that state of cit or pure consciousness – untouched by samsAra mala (the dirt of samsAra). mUrti is form, body, personification and so on. A person who understands what caitanya really means (as opposed to kalpana or imagination about it), crosses saMsRti.
- The root sR सृ, means to flow. सृति or sRti is the flow itself or the path. The prefix sam – makes something good. saMsRti and samsAra can refer to the same thing. The general flow of things. (Some people translate this as transmigration – rebirths etc).
- If you do caitanyasya mUrti parignyAna, then you cross saMsRti. And how do you do this?
- Through yukti – clear logical reasoning.
- Through samatA – treating things the same, being even-tempered.
- Through nirvEda – through not-feeling OR through not-knowledge. vEda has many meanings of which one is feeling. nirvEda can be unagitated or without vEda!
- See the diverse beings in terms of just their elements, that very moment you will be free of bonds and will stay in your own form (svarUpastha).
- vAsanAs alone are samsAra. (vAsanAs can be ideas, desires, perceptions, longings, imaginations etc)
- Therefore free yourself from the lot.
- From the giving up of vAsanAs, is renunciation. Now is sthiti (stable state), wherever you are.
- One of the reasons why physicists (nobel-prize winners and all) have so much attraction for upanishadic philosophy is that they see things in terms of their constituent elements.
- While a lot of people like to attack ‘desires’ and choose to translate vAsanAs as desires, I think the root ‘idea’ or ‘perceptions’ is more real. kRSNa said that desires spring from attachments which spring from continuously thinking about viSayAs (perceptions).
- I think it seriously helps not to be attached to one’s own sense-perceptions of things because that is not how they ‘really are’.