Story of Ashtavakra Gita – Dialogue between Ashtavakra & King Janaka

The Ashtavakra Gita is written as a dialogue between the sage Ashtavakra and Janaka, king of Mithila and father of Sita. It is about nature of soul, reality and bondage. It insists on complete unreality of external world and absolute oneness of existence. It does not mention any morality or duties, and therefore is seen by commentators as ‘godless’. It also dismisses names and forms as unreal and a sign of ignorance. In a conversation between Janaka and Ashtavakra, pertaining to the deformity of his crooked body, Ashtavakra explains that the size of a Temple is not affected by how it is shaped, and the shape of his own body does not affect himself (or Atman). The ignorant man’s vision is shrouded by names and forms but a wise man sees only himself. Major learning’s are: “You are really unbound and action-less, self-illuminating and spotless already. The cause of your bondage is that you are still resorting to stilling the mind. You are unconditioned and changeless, formless and immovable, unfathomable awareness, imperturbable- such consciousness is un-clinging. You are not bound by anything. What does a pure person like you need to renounce? Putting the complex organism to rest, you can go to your rest.”

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