1 thought on “Topic of the Month – Self and Self-inquiry

  1. Some great lines from the ASHTAVAKRA GITA:

    “O, the wonder that I am! I salute Myself who knows no decay and survives even the destruction of the entire universe from the creator Brahma to a blade of grass.

    “O, the wonder that I am! I salute myself who, though with a body, am one who neither goes anywhere nor comes from anywhere but ever abides pervading the universe.

    “O, the wonder that I am! I salute myself, none more capable, who is bearing the burden of the entire universe without even touching it with my body.

    “O, the wonder that I am! I salute myself who has nothing or everything that is accessible to thought and word.”

    “In Me, the boundless ocean, the bark of the universe gets tossed about by the winds of its own inherent nature. I am not affected.

    “In Me, the limitless ocean, let the waves of the universe arise and then disappear according to their inherent nature. I experience neither an expansion nor a contraction.

    “In Me, the limitless ocean, exists the illusion of the universe. Being formless, I am supremely tranquil. In this do I abide.”

    I also love the scene in G. V. Iyer’s film ADI SHANKARACHARYA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXrGq_yS0B8) where Shankara and his disciples encounter an outcaste. Shankara orders the outcaste to “keep off.” To which the outcaste responds:

    “Who should keep off? My body or my inner ‘Self’ (Atman)? All bodies are made of earth, built alike and hence impure. The inner Self is all pervading, hence immovable and inert. Tell me, who should move away?”

    To which Shankara responds:

    “Every Self is universal. Becoming aware of this is true knowledge. The world is but an illusion. He who taught me this truth, whatever be his caste, is my greatest teacher.”

    I would highly appreciate it if anyone familiar with Sanskrit could give me the words to the beautiful songs that Shankara sings during and after his encounter with the outcaste.

    “You do not belong to any caste like Brahmana, nor do you belong to any station in life. You are not the object of any sense. Unattached and formless, you are the witness of the entire universe. Know this, and be happy.”

    —ASHTAVAKRA GITA

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