This is the Asthavakra Samhita chapter 1.
The goal is to have the Sanskrit text,
the word by word translation and
the english translation in one document.
English translation by John Richards (2nd. version)
The complete texts are downloadable at the
Here begins chapter 1.
Here has to be added in Sanskrit:
Katham = how, gianam = interior knowledge,
avapnoti = acquires, katham = how,
muktih = the interior release, bhvishyati = will be,
vairagyam = interior renunciation, ch- = and,
katham = how, prapatam = are acquired, etat = this,
bruhi = indicate the core of the melody brain,
mum = me, parbho = the guru or sage, lord.
How is one to acquire knowledge?
How is one to attain liberation?
And how is one to reach dispassion?
Tell me this, sir. 1.1
Here has to be added in Sanskrit:
Muktim=interior release of, ichchhsi=wish,
chet=if, taat=child, vishyan = the objects,
vishvat=like of poison of, tyaj = avoid,
kashma = pardon, aarjav = sincerity, daya=kindness,
tosh = satisfaction, satyam = truth,
peeyushvat=like nectar of, bhaj = obtain.
If you are seeking liberation, my son,
avoid the objects of the senses
like poison, and cultivate tolerance,
sincerity, compassion, contentment
and truthfulness as the antidote. 1.2
Na = not, prithvi = elements of the ground,
Na = not, jalam = elements of water, Na = not,
agni = elements of fire, na=not, vaayu = elements of air,
dhou = elements of space, Na = not, vaa- = or,
bhavaan = you, esham = of the last, sakshinam = pilot,
aatmanam = soul, chidaroopam = in the interior melody brain,
vidhi = knowing, mukatyae = interior release.
You do not consist of any of the elements -
earth, water, fire, air or even ether.
To be liberated,
know yourself as consisting of consciousness,
the witness of these . 1.3
Yadi = if, deham = the physical human body,
prathakkratya = separating,
chiti = in the interior melody brain, vishraamya = resting,
tishthhsi = remain, adunaa = now, ev = even,
sukhee = happy, shanteh = calms or tranquil or the serene,
bandh-mukteh = released of the affection,
bhvishyasi = are.
If only you will remain resting in consciousness,
seeing yourself as distinct from the body,
then even now you will become happy, peaceful
and free from bonds. 1.4
Na = not, tavam = you,
vipradikeh = Brahman or other person of higher caste,
varneh = caste, Na = not,
aasharmee = concerning any age or classify,
Na = not, akashgochareh = obvious with the eyes,
asangeh = unattached, asi = are, niraakaareh = unformed,
vishavsaakshi = observant with all in world,
sukhee = happy state of brain, bhava = be situated.
You do not belong to the brahmin or any other caste,
you are not at any stage,
nor are you anything that the eye can see.
You are unattached and formless,
the witness of everything - so be happy. 1.5
Dharma = virtuous, adharmo = vice,
sukham = happy, dhukham = pain, maansaani = about the brain,
na = not, te = of your, vibho = pervades,
Na = not, kartaa = doer, asi = are,
na = not, bhokataa = enjoyer, asi = are,
mukateh = released, ev = surely, asi = are,
sarvadhaa = for always.
Righteousness and unrighteousness,
pleasure and pain are purely of the mind
and are no concern of yours.
You are neither the doer nor the
reaper of the consequences,
so you are always free. 1.6
Ekah = one, darshtae = the visionary,
asi = are, sarvsaya = of all the objects,
mukatpraayah = really released, Asi = are,
sarvdaa = forever, ayam = this, eva = only,
hi- = surely, tae = of your, bandhah = affection,
drastaaram = the visionary or the seer,
pashyarsi = see, eatram = as an other.
You are the one witness of everything,
and are always completely free.
The cause of your bondage is
that you see the witness as something other
than this. 1.7
Aham = individual aspect of the life [ I am ],
karta = doer, iti = this,
ahman = individual aspect of the life [ I am ],
mahakrishanh = large snake, ahindshitah = bitten,
Na = not, Aham = individual aspect of life in thinking brain,
kartaa = doer, iti = such-, vishvaas = faith,
amrit = nectar of, peetva = drink of,
sukhhi = happiness, bhva = is.
Since you have been bitten by the black snake,
the opinion about yourself that "I am the doer",
drink the antidote of faith in the fact
that "I am not the doer",
and be happy. 1.8
Ekeh = one, vishudh=pure,
bodhah =absolute aspect of life in the melody brain,
Aham = individual aspect of life in thinking brain,
iti = this, nishcheyvhinaa = carrying a thought by
faith in the thinking brain, parjvaalya = subtle burn,
agyaan = the external knowledge of thinker brain or ignorance,
gahnam = the forest of the external knowledge or ignorance,
veetshokah = release of the pain,
suki = happy state of thinking brain,
bhavvhi = are or construct.
Burn down the forest of ignorance
with the fire of the understanding
that "I am the one pure awareness",
and be happy and free from distress.
Yatar = in what, vishvam = universe,
idham = this, bhaati = appears,
kaliptam = imagination in the brain of the thoughts,
rajuu-sarap-vat = the allusion of the snake
in the image of the cord,
aanandh-parmanandah = supreme happiness,
Sah = that, bodh = the interior knowledge of true life,
tuvam = you, sukkam = happiness in the brain of the thoughts,
chara- = live in universe.
That in which all this appears -
imagined like the snake in a rope,
that joy, supreme joy and awareness
is what you are, so be happy. 1.10
Mukatah = released of, abhimaanee = thoughts of
the egoism in brain of thinking, mukatah = released,
hi-= surely, bandhah = affected, abhimaani = thoughts of the egoism
in brain of thinking, upi = also, kivdanti = stated popular
of the common people, eh = in this world, satya = true,
iyam = this, yaa = like, matih = the flow of thoughts
in the brain of thinking, saa = thus,
gatih = movement, bhvaet = is.
If one thinks of oneself as free,
one is free, and if one thinks of
oneself as bound, one is bound.
Here this saying is true, "Thinking
makes it so". 1.11
Atma = soul, sakshi = witness,
vibhuh = infiltrates all through, puran = perfect,
ekah = insulated one, mukatah = released,
kinchit = the knowledge of the brain, akiryah = action less,
asang = unattached, nisprah = desire less, shantah = calms,
bharmaat = by the obvious illusion of the thoughts
in the brain of the thought,
sansaarvaam = an object of the world, eva = like.
Your real nature is as the one perfect,
free, and actionless consciousness,
the all-pervading witness - unattached to anything,
desireless and at peace.
It is from illusion that you seem to be
involved in samsara. 1.12
Kootastham = absolute, bodham = the interior knowledge
of the true life, aduatam = not duel, atmanam = soul,
pribhavya = meditate, aabhaasah=reflection,
Aham = egoism of subtle life, bharmam = illusion of the thoughts
in the brain of the thought, mukatavaa = release,
bhaavam = identification with the brain, bahayam = the external one,
ath = also, antaram = interior.
Meditate on yourself as motionless awareness,
free from any dualism,
giving up the mistaken idea
that you are just a derivative
consciousness, or anything external or internal. 1.13
Deh = the bodily life abhimaan = arrogance in the brain
of the thought, paashaen = to comprehension,
chiram = for a long time, bandhah = distorted,
asi=are, putrak = child, bodhah = the interior knowledge
of the true life, Aham = egoism of me, gyan- = interior knowledge,
khagghain = the sword of, tat = that, nishkratya = interruption
the thoughts of the brain of the thinking, sukhi = happy, bhava = is.
You have long been trapped in the snare
of identification with the body.
Sever it with the knife of knowledge
that "I am awareness",
and be happy, my son. 1.14
Nihsangah = unattached, nishkiryeh = action less,
tuam = you, savparkashah = dependant on individual interior knowledge,
niranjanah = without imperfection, ayam = this,
eva = indeed, hi = surely, tae = your,
bandhah = distorted, smaadhim = principal meditation or the union,
the anutishthasi = the practices spiritual
interiors or to continue realize.
You are really unbound and actionless,
self-illuminating and spotless already.
The cause of your bondage is
that you are still resorting to
stilling the mind. 1.15
Tavyaa =, vyaapatam = begin you exists, idam = this,
vishvam = universe, tuvyi = in you,
protam = of insulation through or infiltrates,
yathaarthah = in the realty, shudh = pure,
budh = interior knowledge, savroopah = aspect,
tuvm = you, maagamah = prevent the extension to,
will chhudra = with regard to thoughts of,
chittaam = the brain of the thought.
All of this is really filled by you
and strung out in you, for what you
consist of is pure awareness -
so don't be small minded. 1.16
Nirpekahshah = the autonomous one,
nirvikaarah = absolutely released of the impurities
of the brain of the thought, nirbharah = free from matter
elements and the shapes of brain of support of thoughts,
sheetlashayah = calm character, agaadh = bottomless,
budhih = the interior knowledge of the true elements
in the brain of the melody, ashubdhak = unperturbed,
bhava = is, chin = the brain of the melody,
Matra = insufficient, vaasanah = desires.
You are unconditioned and changeless,
formless and immovable,
unfathomable awareness and unperturbable,
so hold to nothing but consciousness. 1.17
Saakaaram = which has the form, antrtam = unreal,
vidhi = realize by interior knowledge,
niraakaaram = which is unformed, tu = but,
nishchlam = motionless, etat = this, tattv = element,
odeshen = the directive with the brain of the thought,
Na = not,
punarbhavsambhavah = occurrence of the possibility of rebirth.
Recognise that the apparent is unreal,
while the unmanifest is abiding.
Through this initiation into truth
you will escape falling into
unreality again. 1.18
Yatha = like, eva = just, aadarash = mirror,
madhya- = in the medium of, of the sathae = exist with,
roopey = an image, unteh = inside, paritah- = outside,
tu = and, Sah = that, tatbaa = thus, eva = surely,
asmin = in this, shareerey = body of the life,
antah = inside, paritah = outside,
parmeshvarah = supreme soul [unformed interior God].
Just as a mirror exists everywhere
both within and apart from its reflected images,
so the Supreme Lord exists everywhere
within and apart from this body. 1.19
Ekaham = in the way, sarvgatam = going beyond
very of infiltration or insulation through,
vyom = space, bahi- = outside, antah = inside,
yatha = like, of the ghtae = a pot, nityam = eternal,
nirantram = omnipresent, barhaam = Brahman that is unformed nature
or brain of the melody, sarva = all, bhoot = elements of nature,
ganey = in the bodies, tathaa = thus.
Just as one and the same all-pervading space
exists within and without a jar,
so the eternal, everlasting God
exists in the totality of things.
Here ends Ashtavakra chapter 1.
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Updated April 04, 2007
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