The Heart of Awareness – The Ashtavakra Geeta

Dear Friends,

I bring to you today chapter one (of twenty chapters) of a classic enlightenment text: The Heart of Awareness – in Sanskrit the Ashtavakra Geeta.

This text was recommended to me by Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now and The New Earth.

Each of the twenty verses in this chapter is a meditation in its own right. Reading all twenty will give you a sense of the spiritual transmission of this text, and then you may wish to contemplate one or more of the individual verses that speak to you at this moment most strongly.

Reading the translator’s introduction will be very helpful and is beautifully enlightening, and you will find the complete text on that page as well.

May the New Year 2013 bring Awakening to All of Humanity!


The Heart of Awareness

a translation of The Ashtavakra Gita

by Thomas Byrom

Chapter One

The Self

O Master,

Tell me how to find

Detachment, wisdom, and freedom!


If you wish to be free,

Shun the poison of the senses.

Seek the nectar of truth,

Of love and forgiveness,

Simplicity and happiness.

Earth, fire and water,

The wind and the sky—

You are none of these.

If you wish to be free,

Know you are the Self,

The witness of all these,

The heart of awareness.

Set your body aside.

Sit in your own awareness.

You will at once be happy,

forever still,

Forever free.

You have no caste.

No duties bind you.

Formless and free,

Beyond the reach of the senses,

The witness of all things.

So be happy!

Right or wrong,

Joy and sorrow,

These are of the mind only.

They are not yours.

It is not really you

Who acts or enjoys.

You are everywhere

Forever free.

Forever and truly free,

The single witness of all things.

But if you see yourself as separate,

Then you are bound.

“I do this. I do that.”

The big black snake of selfishness

It has bitten you!

“I do nothing.”

This is the nectar of faith,

So drink and be happy!


Know you are one,

Pure awareness.

With the fire of this conviction,

Burn down the forest of ignorance.

Free yourself from sorrow,

And be happy.


Be happy!

For you are joy, unbounded joy.

You are awareness itself.

Just as a coil of rope

Is mistaken for a snake,

So you are mistaken for the world.


If you think you are free,

You are free.

If you think you are bound,

You are bound.

For the saying is true:

You are what you think.


The Self looks like the world.

But this is just an illusion.

The Self is everywhere.





The witness of all things,


Without action, clinging or desire.


Meditate on the Self.

One without two,

Exalted awareness.

Give up the illusion

Of the separate self.

Give up the feeling,

within or without,

That you are this or that.


My Child,

Because you think you are the body,

For a long time you have been bound.

Know you are pure awareness.

With this knowledge as your sword

Cut through your chains.

And be happy!


For you are already free,

Without action or flaw,

Luminous and bright.

You are bound

Only by the narrowness of the mind!


Your nature is pure awareness

You are flowing in all things,

And all things are flowing in you.

But beware of

The narrowness of the mind!


You are always the same,

Unfathomable awareness,

Limitless and free,

Serene and unperturbed.

Desire only your own awareness


Whatever takes form is false.

Only the formless endures.

When you understand

The truth of this teaching,

You will not be born again


For God is infinite,

Within the body and without,

Like a mirror,

And the image in a mirror.


As the air is everywhere,

Flowing around a pot

And filling it,

So God is everywhere,

Filling all things,

And flowing through them forever.


15 thoughts on “The Heart of Awareness – The Ashtavakra Geeta

  1. Hi Tomas I just visited you site and liked the link on Ashta vakra.

    “A thoughtful post on the eve of the New Year. Ashta vakra gita is charged with wisdom which has no measure. I wonder if you have heard this simple but introduction?


  2. This is incredible Tomas! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us all. This classic text is all so beautifully written, and we can never hear these sacred Truths too often. I look forward to more 🙂 Blessings and Gratitude, Gina

  3. Hi Tomas 0
    “A thoughtful post on the eve of the New Year. Ashta vakra gita is charged with wisdom which has no measure. I wonder if you have heard this simple but introduction?


  4. One must seek the company of the wise, the ego is the place of forgetfulness, wake me up with your emptiness so I might become part of it.
    Great blog

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