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12.  Astavakra elaborates on the state of ulitimate peace  pIII


The wise one's conduct is unrestricted by motive and free from all pretense. He shines forth from his very being. The calm of the deluded person is nothing at all like the profound inner stillness of the awakened one. On the surface, the deluded one may appear to be still, but his mind will continue to be attached; and so, he does not shine from within.

Through freedom one attains happiness, through freedom one attains tranquillity, through freedom one attains the supreme. All the modifications of the mind are destroyed when a man realizes that he is neither the doer nor the enjoyer. Ever free from mental projections, unbound and unfettered, he sometimes sports in the midst of great enjoyments and sometimes retires to a mountain cave.

The wise one lives and moves in the self alone. While his external actions continue to be governed by the karma that clings to the body, he is not affected. Only those who are like him understand his wonderful state. No desire whatsoever springs forth from his heart. He is not affected whether he is honoring a god or a holy image or whether he is in the company of a great sage or a famous king or a being of exquisite beauty and charm. Nor does he become perturbed when ridiculed or despised by his spouse, children, friends, relatives or strangers. In all situations he remains the same, seeing the one essence in everything.

Though pleased the wise one is not pleased, though pained he does not suffer pain. All such modifications are only of the mind. The liberated one is not affected for he is totally unidentified with the mind. Remaining in perfect equanimity even in worldly life, he is always happy whether he sits, sleeps, moves, speaks or eats. Unidentified with the senses and unattached to the sense objects, he is in the world but not of it.

The awakened one does not differentiate between existence in the self and existence in the world, since for him all is the self alone. He knows himself to be one with that all-pervasive, formless, immutable, untainted self.

Not taking the world to be real, the wise one has no obligation to do anything. Having transcended all sense of duty, he remains unperturbed even while appearing to be engaged in duties. Being pure and childlike, he has no motive in any of his actions. Whatever he does he does without attachment.

For the wise one even action becomes inaction for he has no investment in the fruits of his actions. On the other hand, for the deluded one, even inaction becomes action, since his mind is constantly busy desiring this and rejecting that. Even without doing anything, the deluded one is constantly concerned about duties and agitated by distractions.

Where is the world and where even is the appearance of the world? Where is liberation and where are spiritual practices for the awakened one who sees nothing but himself outside and inside? He is ever changeless; for to him only the self exists. Blessed indeed is that knower of the self who has transcended the mind, who is free from craving, and who, even though seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, or eating, is the same under all conditions.

The deluded one has identified his consciousness with his mind. Believing the mind to be real he is always engaged in either thinking or in trying to control his thoughts by not thinking. But the consciousness of the wise one is ever established in the self. He may appear to be thinking the thinkable but his mind is still and equanimous, empty of thoughts. Knowing that the objects of thoughts are unreal, he remains unattached and free of duality.

The deluded one, after having felt strong attachment for his possessions may become tired of them and experience an aversion to them. But whether it is attachment or aversion, both are associated with the body and are mired in illusion. Where is attachment and where is aversion for him whose love for the body has totally disappeared?

Glorious is he who is free from all desires, who is the perfect embodiment of his own blissful nature and who is spontaneously absorbed in the unconditioned self. Having realized his own self, he does not feel distressed even in worldly life. With all his sorrows permanently gone, he never experiences agitation like ordinary people.

Having realized the truth, this great-souled one neither craves for enjoyment nor for liberation. At all times and in all places he remains free of every manner of attachment. He is perfectly placid like a vast, unruffled lake in the morning stillness. How splendorously he shines!

The pure one to whom the imperceptible self has been revealed, knows for certain that this universe is the product of illusion and that it has no existence of its own. Recognizing the world to be made up of nothing more than changing names and forms devoid of value, he renounces all phenomenal existence and becomes naturally immersed in blissful peace.

What remains to be done by one who is established in pure consciousness? Rules of conduct, dispassion, renunciation, and restraint of the senses - what are all these to one who does not perceive any objective reality and whose nature is the unbounded universal light? For him, the reality of the world vanished with the knowledge of the self.

For one who shines as the infinite where is joy and where is sorrow? Where is bondage and where is liberation? For one who does not perceive relative existence where is the universe, where is the feeling of 'I am the body' or 'the body is mine', and where even is knowledge? For him only a ghostlike illusion of the world remains. Perceiving the self as imperishable and untainted by grief, he is free of any feelings of 'I-ness' and 'my-ness'.

As soon as the man of dull intellect gives up practices such as mind-control he becomes a prey to desires and fancies. Even when hearing the truth he does not give up his delusion of separate existence and duality. Through suppression he may appear to be still and devoid of mental activity, yet attachment and craving for sense-objects still lurk within him.

For the yogi who is immutable and fearless and ever free from all sense of duality, what can gain or loss mean to him? For one who does not see the pairs of opposites, where is darkness and where is light? For one who has transcended all spiritual practices, where is forbearance and where is discrimination; moreover, where is fearlessness for such an awakened one?

His work having ceased with the dawn of knowledge, the wise one does not find an opportunity to do or say anything. In ordinary people's eyes he may appear to be doing and saying, but within himself there is not a trace of 'I am the doer' or 'I am the thinker'.

For one who is impersonal and utterly indescribable there is nothing whatsoever. There is neither heaven nor hell. There is not even liberation-in-life. In short, nothing exists in yogic consciousness but the one omnipresent self.

The wise one neither longs for success nor grieves at non-attainment. His cool mind is verily filled with the sweet nectar of supreme bliss. He neither praises the calm ones nor blames the wicked. Contented and the same in happiness and misery, he finds nothing to be done. The desireless one neither abhors birth and rebirth nor yearns to perceive the self. Free from joy and sorrow, he is neither dead nor alive. Ever changeless and eternal he is one with the immortal self.

Glorious is the life of the wise one, free from expectation, free from attachment for wife, children or property, free from desire for the objects of the senses, and free from the care of even his own body. Contentment ever dwells in his heart and he lives on whatever comes to him. He wanders about at leisure, resting wherever he is when the sun sets.

Reposing on the foundation of his own being, completely transcending birth and rebirth, the great-souled one does not care what changes come to his body, whether it drops down and dies or rises up and is reborn. He knows that the body, mind and world are illusions superimposed on the self. What happens to them cannot affect him, the immutable self.

Blessed is the wise one who stands alone as the witness. He is attached to nothing. For him there is no second. Being without possessions he moves about at his pleasure. Being freed from the pairs of opposites all his doubts have been rent asunder and all the knots of his heart have come undone.

Glorious is the wise one who is devoid of the feeling of 'mine'. For him a clump of grass or a clump of rocks or a clump of gold are all the same. The whole of nature has the three qualities of activity, inertia and harmony or balance. But for the wise one, the qualities of activity and inertia and their derivatives, attachment, repulsion, pain, ignorance and anger have been completely expunged. He remains ever serene in a state of inner harmony.

Who but the desireless one knows not, though knowing, sees not, though seeing, and speaks not, though speaking? Who is there to stand comparison with the liberated soul who has no desire whatsoever, whose heart is contented and who is indifferent to whatever the world presents? Be he a mendicant or a king, if he is unattached and if he has been freed from all judgments of good and evil, seeing only the one in all, he truly excels among men.

Where is wantonness, where is restraint and where are rules of behavior for one who is established in the self and is the very embodiment of guileless sincerity? Where is determination of truth for one who is ever established in truth? How and to whom can be described what is experienced within by one who is desireless, whose sorrow is destroyed, and who is contented with repose in the self? Being one with the self he is ever beyond description and words.

Not asleep, even when he appears to be sleeping, not dreaming even when he appears to be dreaming, not awake, even when he appears to be wakeful, the wise one is the same under all conditions, the witness of all three states of mind.

Devoid of thought, even when he appears to be thinking, devoid of the sense-organs, even when he appears to be using them, devoid of intelligence, even when he appears to be reasoning, and devoid of any sense of ego, even when he appears to possess it, he dwells in pure consciousness, remaining unidentified with the body and mind.

The blessed one is not distracted even in distraction, he is not meditative even in mediation, he is not dull even in a state of dullness, and he is not learned even though possessed of learning. He is neither happy nor miserable, neither attached nor unattached, neither liberated nor an aspirant for liberation. He is neither this nor that. How can mere words be used to describe the indescribable?

Freed from the idea of action and of duty, the liberated one does not reflect upon what he has or has not done. Praised, he does not feel pleased. Blamed, he does not feel annoyed. He neither rejoices in life nor fears death. He neither seeks the crowded place nor the wilderness. For him there is no praise, no praiser, no blame, no blamer, no life, no death, and no special place. At all times and in every place, the tranquil-minded one is the same, abiding in the infinite bliss of his own true nature.

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