Instruction on Self-Realization

Janaka said:

Master, how is knowledge to be achieved,
detachment acquired, liberation attained?

Ashtavakra said:

To be free,
shun the experiences of the senses like poison.
Turn your attention to
forgiveness, sincerity, kindness, simplicity, truth.

You are not earth, water, fire or air.
Nor are you empty space.
Liberation is to know yourself
as awareness alone — the Witness of these.

Abide in awareness
with no illusion of person.
You will be instantly free and at peace.

You have no caste or duties.
You are invisible, unattached, formless.
You are the Witness of all things.
Be happy.

Right and wrong, pleasure and pain,
exist in mind only.
They are not your concern.
You neither do nor enjoy.
You are free.

You are the solitary Witness of All that is,
forever free.
Your only bondage is not seeing This.

The thought, “I am the doer,”
is the bite of a poisonous snake.
To know, “I do nothing,” is the wisdom of faith.
Be happy.

A single understanding, "I am the One Awareness,"
consumes all suffering in the fire of an instant.
Be happy.

You are unbounded awareness — bliss, supreme bliss —
in which the universe appears
like the mirage of a snake in a rope.
Be happy.

It is true what they say, “You are what you think.”
If you think you are bound you are bound.
If you think you are free you are free.

You are Self — the solitary Witness.
You are perfect, all-pervading, One.
You are free, desireless, forever still.
The universe is but a seeming in You.

Meditate on this: “I am Awareness alone — Unity itself.”
Give up the idea that you are separate, a person,
that there is within and without.

You have long been bound, thinking, “I am a person.”
Let the knowledge, “I am Awareness alone,”
be the sword that frees you.

You are now and forever
free, luminous, transparent, still.
The practice of meditation keeps one in bondage.

You are pure consciousness — the substance of the universe.
The universe exists within you.
Don’t be small-minded.

You are unconditioned, changeless, formless.
You are solid, unfathomable, cool.
Desire nothing.
You are consciousness.

That which has form is not real.
Only the formless is permanent.
Once this is known, you will not return to illusion.

Just as a mirror exists both within and without
the image reflected,
so the supreme Self exists
both within and without the body.

Just as the same space exists
both within and without a jar,
the timeless, all-pervasive One
exists as Totality.

Joy of Self-Realization

Janaka said:

I am now spotless and at peace —
awareness beyond consciousness.
All this time I have been duped by illusion.

By this light alone
the body and the universe appear.
I am everything or nothing.

Seeing there is no universe or body,
by grace the Self is revealed.

As waves, foam, and bubbles
are not different from water,
so the universe emanating from Self
is not different from Self.

Look closely at cloth,
you see only threads.
Look closely at creation,
you see only Self.

As sweetness pervades sugarcane juice,
I am the essence of creation.

Not seeing Self, the world is materialized.
Seeing Self, the world is vanished.
A rope is not a snake, but can appear to be.

I am not other than light.
The universe manifests at my glance.

The mirage of universe appears in me
as silver appears in mother-of-pearl,
as a snake appears in a rope,
as water appears on a desert horizon.

As a pot returns to clay,
a wave to water, a bracelet to gold,
so will the universe return to Me.

I am wonderful indeed — beyond adoration.
I cannot decay nor ever die,
though God and all the universes
should perish to the last blade of grass.

I am wonderful indeed — beyond adoration.
Even with a body I am One.
I neither come nor go.
I am everywhere at once.

I am wonderful indeed — beyond adoration.
I am astounded at my powers.
The universe appears within me
but I do not touch it.

I am wonderful indeed — beyond adoration.
I am everything thought or spoken,
and have nothing.

In Reality, knowledge, the knower
and the knowable do not exist.
I am the transparent Self
in which through ignorance they appear.

Looking at One and seeing many
is the cause of all misery.
The only cure is to realize that
what is seen is not there.
I am One — aware, blissful, immaculate.

I am unbounded awareness.
Only in imagination do I have limits.
Reflecting on this, I abide in the Absolute.

I am neither free nor bound.
The illusion of such things has fallen into disbelief.
Though I contain creation, it has no substance.

Having seen for certain that this universe and body
is without form or substance,
I am revealed as Awareness alone.
Imagination has no place here.

The body exists only in imagination,
as do heaven and hell, bondage, freedom, fear.
Are these my concern?
I who am pure awareness?

I see no differences or separation.
Even the multitudes appear as a single formless desert.
To what should I cling?

I am not the body.
I do not have a body.
I am Awareness, not a person.
My thirst for life bound me
to a seeming of life.

In the limitless ocean of Self
the winds of the mind
roil the myriad waves of the world.

But when the wind subsides in the limitless ocean
the ark of personhood is swallowed up,
along with the universe it carries.

And how wonderful it is!
In the limitless ocean of Self,
waves of beings arise, collide,
play for a time, then disappear —
as is their nature.