100 Verses of Peace
(Vedic text excerpts from the "Astavakra Samhita")
Words found in the illuminated manuscript "Unbound Prayers", by artist Carolyn Goodridge
Words found in the illuminated manuscript "Unbound Prayers", by artist Carolyn Goodridge
Verses 1 - 10
1. Salutation to that which is Bliss itself by nature, calmness, and effulgence, with the dawning of the knowledge of which all delusion becomes like a dream.
2. One gets plenty of enjoyments by acquiring all kinds of worldly objects. Surely one cannot be happy without renouncing all.
3. How can one whose heart's core scorched by the heat of the sun of sorrow, arising from duty enjoy happiness without the continuous shower of the ambrosia of tranquility?
4. This universe is but a state of consciousness. In reality it is nothing. The existent and the non-existent do not lose their inherent nature.
5. The Self which is absolute, effortless, immutable,
and spotless is neither far away nor limited. It is verily ever attained.
6. Those whose vision is unveiled as soon as illusion ceases and the Self is realized, live with their sorrows dispelled.
7. Knowing all as mere imagination and the Self as free and eternal, does the wise one act ignorantly like a child?
8. Knowing for certain that one's self is Brahman and that existence and non-existence are figments, what does one who is free from desire, know, say, or do?
9. Such thoughts as 'this indeed am I' and 'this I am not' are annihilated for the yogin who has become silent by knowing for certain all as the Self.
10. The yogin who has attained tranquility, has no distraction, no concentration, no increase in knowledge, no ignorance, and neither pleasure nor pain.
Verses 11 - 20
11. In heaven or in beggary, in gain or loss, in society or solitude, there is no difference to the unconditioned yogin.
12. Where is dharma (performance of ritualistic or meritorious works), where is artha (worldly prosperity), where is kama (sense-enjoyment), and where is discrimination for the yogin who has transcended such dual notions as 'this is to be done' and 'this is not to be done'?
13. The yogin who is liberated while living, has neither any duty nor any attachment at heart. Her actions pertain to the present life only, being merely the effects of her past karma.
14. Where is delusion, where is the universe, where is renunciation, moreover where is liberation for the great-souled one who rests beyond the world of desires?
15. She who sees the universe may try to deny it. What has the desireless to do? She sees not even though she sees.
16. She who has seen the Supreme Brahman meditates, 'I am Brahman'. What does she who has transcended all thought think, when she sees no second?
17. She, indeed, controls herself who sees distraction in herself. But the great one is not distracted. Having nothing to accomplish, what does she do?
18. The woman of Knowledge, though living like an ordinary woman, is contrary to her. She sees neither concentration nor distraction nor defilement of her own.
19. She who is beyond existence and non-existence, who is wise, satisfied, and free from desire, does nothing even if she may be acting in the eyes of the world.
20. The wise one who lives on happily doing what comes to her to be done, does not feel eagerness either in activity or in inactivity.
Verses 21 - 30
21. Blown by the wind of the samskaras, the desireless, independent, free, and liberated person moves about like a dry leaf.
22. There is no joy or sorrow for one who has transcended worldly existence. Ever with a serene mind, she lives like one without a body.
23. The wise woman delights in the Self and whose mind is calm and pure, has no desire to renounce anything whatsoever, nor does she feel any loss anywhere.
24. Naturally of a vacant mind and doing what comes of itself, the wise one, unlike an ordinary woman, is not affected by honor or dishonor.
25. One who acts in conformity with such thoughts as "this is done by the body and not by me, the pure Self''--such a one, even though acting, does not act.
26. The jivanmukta acts like one who does not say that she is acting so; but she is not, therefore, a fool. Even though in the world, she is ever happy and blessed.
27. The wise one who, weary of diverse reasoning, has attained repose, neither thinks nor knows nor hears nor sees.
28. As the wise one who has no distraction and does not practice meditation, she is neither an aspirant for liberation nor is she in bondage.
Having known the universe to be a figment even though she sees it, she exist as Brahman Itself.
29. She who has egoism in her acts even though she does not act. Surely the wise one who is free from egoism does not act even though she acts.
30. The mind of the liberated one is neither troubled nor pleased; it is actionless, motionless, desireless, and free from doubts.
Verses 31 - 40
31. The mind of the liberated one does not exert itself to be either meditative or active; but it becomes meditative and active without any motive.
32. A dull-witted person becomes bewildered on hearing the real truth, but some sharp-witted woman withdraws within herself like a dull person.
33. The ignorant constantly practice concentration and control of the mind. The wise, abiding in the real Self, like persons in deep sleep, do not find anything to be done.
34. The ignorant person does not attain peace either by inaction or by action. The wise one becomes happy merely by knowing the Truth.
35. In this world those who devote themselves to diverse practices do not know the Self, which is pure, intelligent, beloved, perfect, beyond the universe, and free from any taint.
36. The ignorant person does not attain liberation through repeated practice of control of the mind. The blessed one through mere knowledge becomes free and is unaffected by change.
37. The ignorant person does not attain Brahman, for she desires to become It. The wise one certainly realizes the nature of the Supreme Brahman, even without desiring to do so.
38. Without any support and eager for the attainment of freedom, the ignorant only keep up the world. The wise cut the very root of this world which is the source of all misery.
39. The fool desires peace through control of the mind and so does not attain it. The wise one knows the Truth and is ever of a tranquil mind.
40. Where is Self-knowledge for her whose knowledge depends on the object? The wise do not see this and that but see the immutable Self.
Verses 41 - 50
41. Where is control of mind for the deluded one who strives for it? It is indeed always natural with the wise one who delights in the Self.
42. Some think that existence is, and others that nothing is. Rare is the one who thinks neither and is thus calm.
43. Those of dull intellect think that the Atman is pure and One without a second, but, through delusion, they do not know It and are unhappy as long as they live.
44. The intellect of one who longs for liberation cannot function without depending on the object; but the intellect of the liberated one is indeed ever independent and free from desire.
45. Seeing those tigers the sense-objects, the frightened ones, seeking refuge, at once enter a cave for the attainment of control and concentration.
46. Seeing the desireless lioness (woman), those elephants, the sense-objects, quietly take to their heels, or, if unable to run away, serve her like flatterers.
47. She who is free from doubts and has her mind identified with the Self, does not resort to practices of control as a means to liberation. Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and eating, she lives happily.
48. Established in Pure Knowledge, and calm by the mere hearing of the Real, the wise one does not see what is proper or improper action or even inaction.
49. The wise one does freely whatever comes to be done, whether good or evil; for her actions are like those of a child.
50. Through freedom one attains to happiness, though freedom to the highest, through freedom to tranquility, and through freedom to the Supreme State. Relations.
Verses 51 - 60
51. All the modifications of the mind are destroyed when a man realizes that he himself is neither the doer nor the enjoyer.
52. The conduct of the wise one, which is unrestricted by motive, shines, being free from pretence; but not the affected calmness of the deluded person whose mind is attached.
53. The wise who are free from mental projections, unbound, and of unfettered intellect, sometimes sport in the midst of great enjoyments, and sometimes retire into mountain caves.
54. No desire whatsoever springs in the heart of the wise one
on honoring a man versed in sacred learning, a god, or a holy place, or on seeing a man, a king, or a beloved one.
55. The yogin is not at all perturbed even when ridiculed and despised by her servants, sons, husbands, daughter's sons, and other relations.
56. Though pleased she is not pleased, though pained she does not suffer any pain. Only those who are like her understand her wonderful state.
57. The sense of duty, indeed, is the world of relativity. It is transcended by the wise one who realizes herself as all-pervasive, formless, immutable, and untainted.
58. One of dull intellect, even without doing anything, is ever agitated by distraction; but the skillful one, even doing her duties, is verily unperturbed.
59. With perfect equanimity, even in practical life, the wise one sits happily, sleeps happily, moves happily, speaks happily, and eats happily.
60. Whoever, by virtue of the realization of her own self, does not feel distressed even in practical life like ordinary people, and remains unagitated like a vast lake, with all her sorrows gone -- she shines. the yogin whose life's object has been fulfilled and who is the embodiment of guileless sincerity?
Verses 61 - 70
61. With the deluded, even inaction becomes action; and with the wise, even action results in the fruit of inaction.
62. The deluded one often shows aversion to her possessions.
Where is attachment, where is aversion for her whose love for the body has vanished?
63. The consciousness of the deluded one is always attached to thinking and not-thinking. But the consciousness of the wise one, though attended with thinking the thinkable, is of the nature of unconsciousness.
64. The wise one who has no motive in all her actions, who moves like a child and is pure, has no attachment even to the work that is being done by her.
65. Blessed indeed is that knower of the self who has transcended the mind, and who, even though seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, or eating, is the same under all conditions.
66. Where is the world and where is appearance, where is the end and where the means, for the wise one who is ever changeless like the firmament?
67. Glorious is she who is free from all desires, who is the perfect embodiment of bliss which is her own nature, and who is spontaneously absorbed in the unconditioned Self.
68. In short, the great-souled one who has realized the Truth is free from the desire for enjoyment and liberation and is devoid of all attachment at all times and in all places.
69. What remains to be done by one who is Pure Consciousness?
She has renounced phenomenal existence which begins with mahat (cosmic intelligence) and is manifested through mere name.
70. The pure one knows for certain that this universe is the product of illusion and that nothing exists. The Imperceptible Self is revealed to her,
and she naturally enjoys peace.
Verses 71 - 80
71. Rule of conduct, dispassion, renunciation, and restraint of the senses-- what are all these to one who is of the nature of Pure Effulgence and who does not perceive any object reality.
72. Where is bondage or liberation, joy or sorrow for one who shines as the Infinite and does not perceive relative existence?
73. Only the illusion of the world prevails. The reality of the world vanishes with the knowledge of the Self. The wise one lives without the feeling of 'I-ness' and 'mine-ness', and attachment.
74. The wise one who perceives the Self as imperishable and free from grief, where is knowledge and where is the universe? Where is the feeling 'I am the body' or 'the body is mine'?
75. No sooner does the woman of dull intellect give up such practices as mind-control than she becomes a prey to desires and fancies.
76. Even hearing the Truth the woman of dull intellect does not give up her delusion. Though, through suppression, she appears devoid of mental activity, a craving for sense-objects lurks within her.
77. She whose work has ceased with the dawn of Knowledge does not
find an opportunity to do or say anything, even though in ordinary people's eyes she is doing work.
78. For the wise one who is ever immutable and fearless, where is there darkness, where light? Where, moreover, is there any loss? There is nothing whatsoever.
79. Where is patience, where is discrimination, and where, even, is fearlessness for the yogin who is impersonal and of indescribable nature?
80. There is no heaven, and there is no hell; there is not even liberation-in-life. In short, nothing exists in yogic consciousness.
Verses 81 - 90
81. The wise one neither longs for gain nor grieves at non-attainment. Her cool mind is verily filled with nectar. 82. The desireless one neither praises the calm nor blames even the wicked. Contented and the same in happiness and misery, she finds nothing to be done. 83. The wise one neither abhors birth and rebirth nor wishes to perceive the Self. Free from joy and sorrow, she is neither dead nor alive.
82. The desireless one neither praises the calm nor blames even the wicked. Contented and the same in happiness and misery, she finds nothing to be done.
83. The wise one neither abhors birth and rebirth nor wishes to perceive the Self. 84. Glorious is the life of the wise one, free from expectation, free from attachment for children, husband, and others, free from desire for the objects of the senses, and free from the care of even her own body.
84. Glorious is the life of the wise one, free from expectation, free from attachment for children, husband, and others, free from desire for the objects of the senses, and free from the care of even her own body.
86. Reposing on the foundation of her own being, and completely transcending birth and rebirth, the great-souled one does not care whether her body dies or is born.
87. Blessed is the wise one who stands alone, who is attached to nothing, who is without any possession, who moves freely and at pleasure, who is free from the pairs of opposites, and whose doubts have been rent asunder.
88. Glorious is the wise one who is devoid of the feeling of 'mine', to whom earth, a stone, and gold are all the same, the knots of whose heart have been rent asunder, and who has been purged of rajas and tamas.
89. Who is there to stand comparison with the liberated soul who has no desire whatsoever at heart, who is contented and indifferent to everything?
90. Who but the desireless one knows not though knowing, sees not though seeing, and speaks not though speaking?
Verses 91 - 100
91. Be she a mendicant or a queen, she excels who is unattached and whose view of things has been freed from the sense of good and evil.
92. Where is wantonness, where is restraint, and where is determination of Truth for the yogin whose life's object has been fulfilled and who is the embodiment of guileless sincerity?
93. How and to whom can be described what is experienced with by one who is desireless, whose sorrow is destroyed, and who is contented with repose in the Self?
94. Not asleep, even when sleeping soundly; not lying down, even when dreaming; and not awake, even in the waking state; such is the wise one who is contented under all conditions.
95. The woman of Knowledge is devoid of thought, even when she is
engaged in thought; she is devoid of the sense-organs, even though she has them; she is devoid of intelligence, even though endowed with it; and she is devoid of the sense of ego, even though possessed of it.
96. The woman of Knowledge is neither happy nor miserable, neither attached nor unattached, neither liberated nor an aspirant for liberation; she is neither this nor that.
97. The blessed one is not distracted even in distraction; she is not meditative even in meditation; she is not dull even in a state of dullness; and she is not learned even though possessed of learning.
98. The liberated one who abides in the Self under all conditions, who is free from the idea of action and of duty, and who is the same everywhere, does not, owing to desirelessness, reflect upon what she has or has not done.
99. Praised, the wise one does not feel pleased; and blamed, she does not feel annoyed. She neither rejoices in life, nor fears death.
100. The tranquil-minded one seeks neither the crowded place nor the wilderness. She remains the same under any condition and in any place.