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11.  Astavakra describes the illumined one


Astavakra now speaks of the man of abiding wisdom. He describes the characteristics of the illumined one who is a true knower of the self.

Being ever satisfied, with his senses purified, wanting nothing, enjoying being alone, the knower of truth delights in sipping the nectar of the fruits of self-knowledge. Being ever happily absorbed in the self, how can any sense-object attract him or repulse him, please him or displease him?

If a monkey were savoring a grove full of ripe bananas and were delighting in its sweet fruits, would it pay attention to the bitter barks and roots that are also there? Knowing that the whole universe is filled with himself alone and seeing everything as one, how can the enjoyer of the self ever succumb to the pleasures of the senses, which are all attended by misery?

Those desirous of worldly enjoyment and those desirous of liberation can both be found in this world. But rare indeed is the one on whom no impressions are left of things experienced and for whom no desire remains for things not yet experienced. Such is the great-souled one who neither yearns for enjoyment nor for liberation. Totally unconcerned about worldly prosperity, he is neither attracted nor averse to activities or duties. He is even indifferent to whether his body lives or dies.

The blessed one is content with whatever subsistence comes to him as a matter of course. With his mind absorbed in the self, he lives happily, whether seeing, hearing, touching, smelling or eating. Being filled with the knowledge of the self, he does not shun the universe or want its dissolution. He sees only the self.

The wise one neither stays awake nor sleeps, he neither opens nor closes his eyes. At all times, in every place he abides in the self, enjoying the supreme condition. For him the ocean of the world has dried up. Pure in heart and freed from desires, he neither clings nor shuns, he neither slanders nor praises, he neither gives nor takes, he neither rejoices nor frowns.

Devoid of all attachments and disidentified with the objects of the senses, the man of knowledge is free of all efforts and non-efforts, though he may be hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, eating, speaking, sitting or walking.

The great-souled one does not become perturbed by anything. He remains equanimous and self-poised, whether he is seeing a beautiful woman full of love or seeing the approach of death. For him there is no difference between happiness and misery, man and woman, prosperity and adversity.

The knower of the self is neither humble nor insolent, neither curious nor apathetic. Having transcended the limitations of human nature and worldly life, how can he ever cause harm to anyone or even commiserate with another's suffering, when for him there is no other?

Cleansed of the feeling of 'I' and 'mine', with all his inner desires set at rest, knowing for certain that there is nothing separate and that all there is is the one self, the liberated one neither abhors the objects of the senses nor craves for them. Ever with a detached mind he experiences them as they come.

Though he may be acting, the wise one does not act. Being of vacant mind and having gone beyond worldly life, he is not buffeted by the conflicts of good and evil. Nor is he concerned about being in contemplation or non-contemplation. He abides as it were in the state of absoluteness.

To one who is attached to the world, the liberated one's look may appear to be vacant, his actions purposeless, and his senses inoperative, but he is always fully present to the awareness of his own truth. Free from delusion, dreaming, and dullness, he attains an indescribable state in which his mind has melted away, its functions having ceased to operate.

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