24 March 2010

Chapter One

Truly, it is by the grace of God
That the knowledge of Unity arises within.
Then a man is released at last
From the great fear of life and death.

All that exists in this world of forms
Is nothing but the Self, and the Self alone.
How, then, shall the Infinite worship Itself?
Shiva is one undivided Whole!

The five subtle elements that combine to compose this world
Are as illusory as the water in a desert mirage;
To whom, then, shall I bow my head?
I, myself, am the stainless One!

Truly, all this universe is only my Self;
It is neither divided nor undivided.
How can I even assert that it exists?
I can only view it with wonder and awe!

What, then, is the heart of the highest truth,
The core of knowledge, the wisdom supreme?
It is, “I am the Self, the formless One;
By my very nature, I am pervading all.”

That one God who shines within everything,
Who is formless like the cloudless sky,
Is the pure, stainless, Self of all.
Without any doubt, that is who I am.

I’m the infinite and immutable One;
I’m pure Consciousness, without any form.
I don’t know how, or to whom,
Joy and sorrow appear in this world.

I have no mental karma, either good or bad;
I have no physical karma, either good or bad.
I have no verbal karma, either good or bad.
I’m beyond the senses; I’m the pure nectar of the knowledge of the Self.

The mind is formless like the sky,
Yet it wears a million faces.
It appears as images from the past, or as worldly forms;
But it is not the supreme Self.

I’m One; I’m all of this!
Yet I’m undifferentiated, beyond all forms.
How, then, do I regard the Self?
As both the Unmanifest and the manifest world.

You, also, are the One! Why don’t you understand?
You’re the unchanging Self, the same within everyone.
You’re truly illimitable; you’re the all-pervading Light.
For you, how can there be any distinction between the day and the night?

Understand that the Self is continuous Being,
The One within all, without any division.
The “I” is both the subject and the supreme object of meditation;
How can you see two in That which is One

Neither birth nor death pertain to you;
You have never been a body.
It is well known that “All is Brahman”;
The scriptures have stated this in various ways.

You are That which is both inside and out;
You’re Shiva; you’re everything everywhere.
Why, then, are you so deluded?
Why do you run about like a frightened ghost?

There’s no such thing as union or separation for me
or for you.
There is no me, no you, no manifold world;
All is the Self, and the Self alone.

You can’t be heard, or smelled, or tasted;
You can’t be seen, or sensed by touch.
Truly, you’re the ultimate Reality;
Why, then, should you be troubled so?

Neither birth, nor death, nor the active mind,
Nor bondage, nor liberation, affects you at all.
Why then, my dear, do you grieve in this way?
You and I have no name or form.

O mind, why are you so deluded?
Why do you run about like a frightened ghost?
Become aware of the indivisible Self!
Be rid of attachment; be happy and free!

Truly, you’re the unchanging Essence of everything;
You’re the unmoving Unity; you’re boundless Freedom.
You have neither attachment nor aversion;
Why, then, do you worry and succumb to desire?

All the scriptures unanimously declare
That the pure, formless, undifferentiated Reality
Is the Essence of all forms.
There is absolutely no doubt about this.

All forms, understand, are only temporary manifestations;
Only the formless Essence eternally exists.
Once this truth is realized,
There’s no more necessity to be reborn

The one Reality is ever the same;
This is what all the wise men say.
Whether you embrace or renounce desires,
The one Consciousness remains unaffected.

If you see the world as other than the Self, can that be the experience of Unity?
If you see it as the Self, can that be the experience of Unity?
If it’s seen as both the Self and not the Self, can that be the experience of Unity?
The true state of freedom is to see everything as One.

You are the pure Reality, always the same;
You have no body, no birth and no death.
How, then, can you say, “I know the Self”?
Or how can you say, “I don’t know the Self”?

The saying, “That thou art,”
Affirms the reality of your own true Self.
The saying, “Not this, not this,”
Denies the reality of the five composite elements.

The Self is the identity of everyone;
You are everything, the unbroken Whole.
The thinker and the thought do not even exist!
O mind, how can you go on thinking so shamelessly!

I do not know Shiva; how can I speak of Him?
I do not know Shiva; how can I worship Him?
I, myself, am Shiva, the primal Essence of all;
My nature, like the sky, remains ever the same.

I am the Essence, the all-pervading Essence;
I have no form of my own.
I’m beyond the division of subject and object;
How could I possibly be an object to myself?

There’s no such thing as an infinite form;
The infinite Reality has no form of its own.
The one Self, the supreme Reality,
Neither creates, nor sustains, nor destroys anything.

You are that pure and unchanging Essence;
You have no body, no birth, and no death.
For you, how could such a thing as delusion be?
How could delusion exist for the Self

When a jar is broken, the space that was inside
Merges into the space outside.
In the same way, my mind has merged in God;
To me, there appears no duality.

Truly, there’s no jar, no space within;
There’s no body and no soul encased.
Please understand; everything is Brahman.
There’s no subject, no object, no separate parts.

Everywhere, always, and in everything,
Know this: the Self alone exists.
Everything, both the Void and the manifested world,
Is nothing but my Self; of this I am certain.

There are no divine scriptures, no world, no imperative religious practices;
There are no gods, no classes or races of men,
No stages of life, no superior or inferior;
There’s nothing but Brahman, the supreme Reality.

The subject and object are unseparated and inseparable;
That undivided One is you.
When this is so, when no “other” exists,
How could the Self be objectively perceived?

Non-duality is taught by some;
Some others teach duality.
They don’t understand that the all-pervading Reality
Is beyond both duality and non-duality.

There is no color or sound to the one Reality;
It has no qualities at all.
How can one even think or speak of That
Which is far beyond both mind and speech?

When you know all this universe of forms
To be as vacant as the sky,
Then you’ll know Brahman;
Duality will forevermore cease to be.

To some, the Self appears as other;
To me, the Self is I.
Like undivided space, One alone exists.
How, then, could the subject and object of meditation be two?

Nothing of what I do or eat,
Or give or take,
Exists for me;
I’m Purity itself, beyond birth and death.

Know that the whole of the universe is without any form.
Know that the whole of the universe is forever unchanging.
Know that the whole of the universe is unstained by its contents.
Know that the whole of the universe is of the nature of God.

You are the ultimate Reality; have no doubt.
The Self is not something known by the mind;
The Self is the very one who knows!
How, then, could you think to know the Self

Maya? Maya? How could that be?
A shadow? A shadow? It doesn’t exist.
The Reality is One; it’s everything.
It’s all-pervasive; nothing else exists.

I have no beginning, middle, or end;
I have never been, nor will ever be, bound.
My nature is stainless; I’m Purity itself.
This I know as a certainty.

To me, neither the elemental particles
Nor the entire universe exists;
Brahman alone is everything.
Where, then, are the castes or the stages of life?

I always recognize everything
As the one indivisible Reality.
That undivided One constitutes the world,
The Void, all space, and the five elements

It’s neither neuter, nor masculine, nor feminine.
It possesses neither intellect nor the power of thought.
How, then, can you imagine that the Self
Is either blissful or not blissful?

The practice of yoga will not lead you to purity;
Silencing the mind will not lead you to purity;
The Guru’s instructions will not lead you to purity;
That purity is your Essence. It’s your very own Consciousness!

Neither the gross body, consisting of five elements,
Nor the subtle body exists;
Everything is the Self alone.
How, then, could the fourth state or the other three states exist?

I am not bound, nor am I liberated;
I’m Brahman, and nothing else.
I’m not the doer, nor am I the enjoyer;
I do not pervade anything, nor am I pervaded.

If ice and water are mixed together,
There is no difference between one and the other.
It is the same with matter and spirit;
This is very clear to me.

If I’ve never been bound,
I can never be liberated.
How could you think that the Self—
With form or without—could be bound?

I know the nature of the one supreme Being;
Like space, It extends everywhere.
And all the forms that appear within It
Are like the (illusory) water of a desert mirage.

I have neither Guru nor initiation;
I have no discipline, and no duty to perform.
Understand that I’m the formless sky;
I’m the self-existent Purity.

You are the one Purity! You have no body.
You are not the mind; you’re the supreme Reality.
“I’m the Self, the supreme Reality!”
Say this without any hesitancy.

Why do you weep, O mind? Why do you cry?
Take the attitude: “I am the Self!”
O dear one, go beyond the many!
Drink the supreme nectar of Unity!

You do not possess intelligence, nor do you possess ignorance;
Nor do you possess a mixture of these two.
You are, yourself, Intelligence—
An Intelligence that never ceases, never strays.

I’m not attained by knowledge, or samadhi, or yoga,
Or by the passage of time, or the Guru’s instructions;
I’m Consciousness Itself, the ultimate Reality.
Like the sky, though I change, I am ever the same.

I have no birth, no death, and no duties;
I’ve never done anything, either good or bad.
I’m purely Brahman, beyond all qualities;
How could either bondage or liberation exist for me?

If God is all-pervading,
Immovable, whole, without any parts,
Then there is no division in Him at all.
How, then, could He be regarded as “within” or “without”?

The whole universe is shining as One,
Without any split or break, or separate parts.
The idea of “Maya” is itself the great delusion;
Duality and Non-duality are merely concepts of the mind.

The world of form and the formless Void:
Neither of these exists independently.
In the One, there is neither separation nor union;
Truly, there is nothing but Shiva alone.

You have no mother, or father, or brother;
You have no wife, or son, or friend.
You have no attachments or non-attachments;
How, then, do you justify this anxiety of mind?

O mind, there is neither the day (of manifestation) nor the night (of dissolution);
My continuous Light neither rises nor sets.
How could a wise man sincerely believe
That the formless Existence is affected by forms?

It is not undivided, nor is It divided;
It experiences neither sorrow nor joy.
It is not the universe, nor is It not the universe;
Understand that the Self is eternally One.

I’m not the doer, nor am I the enjoyer;
I have no karma, either present or past.
I have no body, nor are all these bodies mine.
What could be “mine” or “not-mine” to me?

In me, there is no impurity such as attachment;
There is no bodily pain for me.
Understand that I’m the Self; I’m Unity.
I’m vast as space, like the sky above.

O mind, my friend, what’s the good of so much speaking?
O mind, my friend, all of this has been made quite clear.
I’ve told you what I know to be true;
You’re the ultimate Reality. You’re unbounded, like space.

It doesn’t matter where a yogi may die;
It doesn’t matter how he may die.
He becomes absorbed in the Absolute,
As the space within a jar becomes absorbed (in the outer space when the jar is destroyed).

Whether he dies near a holy river,
Or in an outcaste’s hut,
Whether he is conscious or unconscious at his death,
He merges into Freedom, into Unity, alone.

All duties, wealth, enjoyments, liberation—
All people and objects in the world as well—
Everything, in the eyes of a yogi,
Is like the (illusory) water in a desert mirage.

There is no action,
Either present, future, or past,
Which has been performed or enjoyed by me.
This I know, without any doubt.

The Avadhut lives alone in an empty hut;
With a pure, even mind, he is always content.
He moves about, naked and free,
Aware that all this is only the Self.

Where neither the third state (deep sleep) nor the fourth state (samadhi) exists,
Where everything is experienced as the Self alone,
Where neither righteousness nor unrighteousness exists,
Could bondage or liberation be living there?

In that state where one knows nothing at all,
This versified knowledge does not even exist.
So, now, while I’m in the state of samarasa,
I, the Avadhut, have spoken of the Truth.

It is meaningless to differentiate between the Void and the world-appearance;
It’s pointless to speak of “the Real” and “the unreal”;
One Self, unchanging, exists alone.
This is what all the scriptures declare.