Ashtavakra (aSTAvakra) (Story From mahabharata)
- aSTAvakra samhitA (gItA) : The Conversation between Ashtavakra and Janaka : (Links to previous posts)
Janaka said :
- A person who is a s’Unyacitta (nothing-consciousness) by nature, may carelessly (unintentionally) regard that things exist. He is definitely one whose memories are destroyed (kSINasamsmarah). Like a sleeping knower (nidrita bOdhita).
Once some people achieve the state of knowing, they don’t really think about what’s going on as real.
However they have previous memories and react from those. (A bit like old people who rarely learn knew things and react often from past experience. They can’t learn or remember new stuff anymore unless they try very hard.) A stage comes when they forget the past as well – since it is an illusion and unreal.
Whereas old brains forget and lose the ability to learn because of bio-chemistry, gnyAnIs lose their memory and don’t pay attention to samsAra because the I-view of the world is illusory and not real. gnyAnIs gain a Is’vara-view of the world.
Another example is that of an absent-minded scientist – though (s)he may learn and remember nothing about what is ‘going on’ in her/his life – (s)he may be well aware of what is ‘going on’ at say a quantum or a cosmic level.
One brilliant old sanksrit scholar I knew took advantage of his failing senses and memory to turn even more firmly inwards. He said that is the reason why body-mind facilities fail in old age – so that people can turn to the divine. Some white ladies take advantage of the body-changes in middle age to turn to yOga and spirituality.
Janaka says that even if a knower behaves like the illusory world is real, it does not mean he is ignorant, its more like he is dreaming. You “know” that you can’t walk on water or fly and yet you may happily dream of these. It does not mean you are ignorant, it just means your brain is tossing up some images as it unwinds.
Janaka said :
- Where be wealth and friends and thieves called perceptions, Where be s’AstrAs (texts) and vignyAna (knowledge), when my sensation has fallen away.
- I am not anxious for liberation as I know the sAkSi puruSa (the divine witness), the supreme Self and I’svara (Master). I am indifferent to bandhamOkSa (bondage and liberation)
- Those who have no doubts internally and look like deluded persons doing whatever they like, their conditions are known only to those like them.