Back to Astavakra Gita, again

It has almost become a routine these days, to open a random page and struggle with understanding it. On some days, when I am reminded of the fact that I made a European with no idea about Advaita or anything in the Indian thought to start reading this … I feel the need to read regularly to catch up with her🙂

Some excerpts from Chapter 18 – on “Peace”:
(Unless stated otherwise, all English versions are from Bart Marshall’s translation)

इदं कृतमिदं नेति द्वन्द्वैर्मुक्तस्य योगिनः (18:12)
(Discrimination between this and that –
these have no significance
to the Yogi free of opposites
such as “I do this”
and “this I do not”.)

For some reason, as I read this, I am reminded of Niels Bohr’s “Contraria Sunt Complementa” (Opposites are Complementary – As told in “The Tao of Physics”)
– I feel both the statements say the same thing🙂

18:10 – I am loving this translation by Bart Marshall for this poem, more than the extent to which I tried understand the original. So, putting down only that:

The yogi who finds stillness
is neither distracted nor focused.
He knows neither pleasure nor pain.
Ignorance dispelled
He is free of knowing.


निर्वासनः किं कुरुते पश्यन्नपि न पश्यति (18:15)

“But what can the desireless one do?
He sees there is nothing to see”

किं चिन्तयति निश्चिन्तो द्वितीयं यो न पश्यति (18:16)
(But he who has transcended all thought, what can he think? He knows no other, than self.)

…and its going on.

Ofcourse, while reading this, I feel as if I understand several things that I don’t usually understand. But, I don’t understand the text itself totally, I should say. Going back to what Satyajit Ray said (in yesterday’s post), I think I now understand what the word is. It is “feel”. I like Astavakra Gita – not in the “like” like sense… neither is it in the “understand” like sense. But, I think I just “feel” it in daily life.🙂

Published in: on August 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ashtavakra geetha is one of the awesome text hinduism has ever produced, and is older than bhagavadgeetha!

    The state what astavakra has described is what exactly buddha has told as “tathaatha”. “tathaa atha” – means “AS IS”. Even jiddu krishnamurthy’s talks have many striking similarities with astavakra’s descriptions.

  2. Bohr’s complimentary concept is some what different from Advita concept where in one of the opposites in complimentary pair automatically collapses in observing the other, and one can never observe both simultaneously leaving the observer uncertain about the reality. In Advita, it is said that the distinction between opposites is lost because of the non attachment of the mind (of Yogi) towards the external world but without any uncertainty about the reality !

  3. Very happy to see your blog.Found something meaningful here.As I am running a penpal publication,receiving listings from many European countries like Germany,France,Chek,luxumberg and finland.My publication is four pager.May I use your experiences write-up for my publication in future…? All the best.

    • @Murthy: I don’t really understand what you want to write. But if you want to just quote those lines from Astavakra Gita, I don’t think you need my permission for that🙂


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