Ashtavakra Gita —
15. Knowledge of the Self

Unborn Self or Brahman —
the Clear Space of Awareness

The man who is pure of heart
Is bound to fulfill himself
In whatever way he is taught.
A worldly man seeks all his life,
But is still bewildered. (15.1)

Detached from the senses,
You are free.
Attached, you are bound.
When this is understood,
You may live as you please. (15.2)

When this is understood,
The man who is bright and busy
And full of fine words
Falls silent.
He does nothing.
He is still.
No wonder
Those who wish to enjoy the world
Shun this understanding! (15.3)

You are not your body.
Your body is not you.
You are not the doer.
You are not the enjoyer.
You are pure awareness,
The witness of all things.
You are without expectation,
Wherever you go,
Be happy! (15.4)

Desire and aversion are of the mind.
The mind is never yours.
You are free of its turmoil.
You are awareness itself,
Never changing.
Wherever you go,
Be happy. (15.5)

For see!
The Self is in all beings,
And all beings are in the Self.
Know you are free,
Free of "I,"
Free of "mine.”
Be happy. (15.6)

In you the worlds arise
Like waves in the sea.
It is true!
You are awareness itself.
So free yourself
From the fever of the world. (15.7)

Have faith, my Child, have faith.
Do not be bewildered.
For you are beyond all things,
The heart of all knowing.
You are the Self.
You are God. (15.8)

The body is confined
By its natural properties.
It comes,
It lingers awhile,
It goes.
But the Self neither comes nor goes.
So why grieve for the body? (15.9)

If the body lasted till the end of time,                           
Or vanished today,
What would you win or lose?
You are pure awareness. (15.10)

You are the endless sea
In whom all the worlds like waves
Naturally rise and fall.
You have nothing to win,
Nothing to lose.

You are pure awareness,
Nothing less.
You and the world are one.
So who are you to think
You can hold on to it,
Or let it go?
How could you! (15.12)

You are the clear space of awareness,
Pure and still,
In whom there is no birth,
No activity,
No "I."
You are one and the same.
You cannot change or die. (15.13)

You are in whatever you see.
You alone.
Just as bracelets and bangles
And dancing anklets
Are all of the same gold. (15.14)

"I am not this.”
“I am He.”
Give up such distinctions.
Know that everything is the Self.
Rid yourself of all purpose.
And be happy. (15.15)

The world only arises from ignorance.
You alone are real.
There is no one,
Not even God,
Separate from yourself. (15.16)

You are pure awareness.
The world is an illusion,
Nothing more.
When you understand this fully,
Desire falls away.
You find peace.
For indeed!
There is nothing. (15.17)

In the ocean of being
There is only one.
There was and there will be
Only one.
You are already fulfilled.
How can you be bound or free?
Wherever you go,
Be happy. (15.18)

Never upset your mind
With yes and no.
Be quiet.
You are awareness itself.
Live in the happiness
Of your own nature,
Which is happiness itself. (15.19)

What is the use of thinking?
Once and for all,
Give up meditation.
Hold nothing in your mind.
You are the Self,
And you are free. (15.20)

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* Translated by Thomas Byrom