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12.  Astavakra elaborates on the state of ulitimate peace  pII


A man who is under the sway of egoism will engage himself in actions mentally, even though he may not take any actions physically. But, the wise one who is free from all egoism, does not engage in any actions mentally, although he may be seen to be acting physically. Being done with all seeking and reasoning he is established in peace, and though in the world, he neither thinks nor knows nor hears nor sees.

The ignorant one aspiring for spiritual merit constantly practices concentration and control of the mind. But he does not attain liberation and lasting peace, either by performing spiritual practices or by abstaining and remaining inactive. The blessed one through merely hearing the truth becomes free. His mind becomes tranquil. Like a person in deep sleep, he does not find anything to be done. Independent of whether his body is active or not, he is happy abiding in the self.

The ignorant person does not attain the absolute, for he desires to become it. He devotes himself to mind control and diverse practices but he does not attain knowledge of that pure, perfect, beloved self which is beyond the universe and beyond all thoughts and practices. As long as he still regards himself as a separate individual existing in a world of individuals and things, he becomes bewildered upon hearing the truth of the self. As long as he is still identified with his actions and practices and considers them as his, he only strengthens the world of illusion and separation.

The wise one realizes the nature of the supreme absolute and attains it even without desiring to do so. On hearing of the self he withdraws within to delight in the self. Knowing the world to be a mere figment of the imagination and the source of all misery, he cuts asunder the very roots of the world by merely being who he is, established in the self.

Where is mastery of the mind for the deluded one who exerts himself to gain control of it? But control of the mind is always natural and effortless for the wise one who delights in the self and whose peace is undisturbed.

Where is self-knowledge for the one who strives to know the self, yet who still sees himself as the seer seeing the seen? The wise one does not see this or that. He sees only his own truth, the immutable self.

There are those who think that the world exists and that the world is real. There are others who think that the world does not exist and that the world is not real. Rare indeed is that blessed one who does not think, but who is ever calm, abiding in the absolute.

There are those who believe that the immortal self is pure and one without a second, but who have not known the self directly and are still caught up in the delusion of the world. As long as they have any attraction or repulsion to the world they remain unhappy and ignorant, despite all their beliefs and strivings.

The one who longs for liberation sees liberation as something outside of himself that he must attain. He ardently practices mind control and concentration, yet he remains in duality, thinking that he is the aspirant and there are practices that he need perform. But the wise one who is totally free from all doubts and whose mind dwells in the self, does not resort to practices to attain liberation. Perceiving everything as one, he is complete within himself.

Knowing the self to be pure undifferentiated knowledge and the only thing worth knowing, the liberated man remains totally free of all desires. Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, he lives happily.

To the frightened ones who are striving for religious perfection, the sense-objects appear as tigers from whom they must escape at all cost. They seek refuge in the cave of mind control and concentration practices. But to the wise man who is free from desire, the sense objects are like timid jungle creatures who find themselves in the presence of a lion, the lord of the forest. On spotting him they quietly take to their heels. Or, if unable to get away, they serve him like fawning flatterers.

The blessed one in whom self-knowledge has dawned is devoid of all egoism and sense of doership. Rules of behavior do not bind him. His actions are unencumbered like those of a child at play. He does not see what is proper or improper, or prefer either inaction or action. He does freely whatever comes to be done, whether judged by the deluded to be good or bad.

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