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Observations placeholder

Ashtavakra Gita - 17 The True Knower



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

17: The True Knower

Ashtavakra said:

17.1 One has attained Knowledge and reaped the fruits of yoga who is content, purified of attachments and at home in solitude.

17.2 The knower of Truth is never miserable in the world, for the whole universe is filled with Himself alone.

17.3 As the foliage of the neem tree does not please an elephant who delights in sallaki leaves, so do sense objects not please he who delights in Self.

17.4 Rare in the world is one who does not relish past enjoyments, nor yearn for enjoyments to come.

17.5 Those who desire pleasure and those who desire liberation are both common in the world. Rare is the great soul who desires neither enjoyment nor liberation.

17.6 Rare is the right-minded person who neither covets nor shuns religion, wealth, pleasure, life or death.

17.7 The man of Knowledge neither cares for the universe nor desires its dissolution. He lives happily on whatever comes his way. He is blessed.

17.8 Knowing Self, mind empty and at peace, the sage lives happily, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating.

17.9 There is no attachment or non-attachment for one in whom the ocean of the world has dried up. His look is vacant, senses still. His actions have no purpose.

17.10 The sage is neither asleep nor awake. He neither closes nor opens his eyes. Thus, for the liberated soul, everywhere there is only This.

17.11 The liberated soul abides in Self alone and is pure of heart. He lives always and everywhere, free of desire.

17.12 Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, taking, speaking, walking, the great soul exerts neither effort nor non-effort. He is truly free.

17.13 The liberated soul does not blame or praise, give or take, rejoice or become angry. He is everywhere unattached and free.

17.14 The great soul remains poised and undisturbed, whether in the presence of a passionate woman or observing the approach of his death. He is truly free.

17.15 The sage sees no difference between happiness and misery, man and woman, adversity and success. Everything is seen to be the same.

17.16 In the sage there is neither violence nor mercy, arrogance nor humility, anxiety nor wonder. His worldly life is exhausted. He has transcended his role as a person.

17.17 The liberated one neither avoids experience nor craves it. He enjoys what comes and what does not.

17.18 The sage is not conflicted by states of stillness and thought. His mind is empty. His home is the Absolute.

17.19 Though he may perform actions, the man of Knowledge does not act. Desires extinguished, free of thoughts of “I” and “mine,” he knows with absolute certainty that nothing exists.

17.20 The sage is free. His empty mind no longer projects delusion, dreaming, dullness. This state is indescribable.

The source of the experience

Ashtavakra Gita

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps