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Our email address is editor @realization.org.

Copyright 2001 Realization.org.



Ashtavakra Gita


If we tell you this is a famous Sanskrit scripture, you'll probably think ugh, heavy turgid stilted.

But it's none of those things. It's just a guy talking to you, an enlightened guy, telling you what he knows and how to see it for yourself. His words are weightless, airy, transparent -- especially in the remarkable translation by Thomas Byrom.

These are words for eye dancing, for mere awareness, for floating into infinity.

And yet we have to be honest with you. Even though this poem sounds as new as today's email, it really is a classical scripture, infinitely substantial, one of the most beautiful expositions of Advaita Vedanta and Jnana Yoga ever written.

Ashtavakra Gita means "Ashtavakra's Song" in Sanskrit. It's also sometimes called Ashtavakra Samhita, meaning "Ashtavakra's Collection." Ashtavakra was a character in ancient Sanskrit literature, and when the relatively modern author of the Ashtavakra Gita wrote his poem, he pretended that he was recording words spoken by the ancient character. Hence the title.




The Ashtavakra Gita
Translated by John Richards

This is the second edition of Mr. Richard's translation. It's on our website here.




The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita
Translated by Thomas Byrom

An amazing translation, light as a feather. Let your eyes skim over it with awareness, without thoughts, and you'll dissolve into the infinite. The book includes a wonderful introduction by the translator.

On the web for free here.

Order it from Amazon.




Wisdom, Liberation, and Non-attachment
By Osho

In this chapter from one of Osho's books, he talks about the Ashtavakra Gita. He begins: "Man has many scriptures, but none are comparable to the Gita of Ashtavakra. Before it the Vedas pale, the Upanishads are a mere whisper. Even the Bhagavadgita does not have the majesty found in the Ashtavakra Samhita -- it is simply unparalleled." It's on the web here on the website of the Osho International Foundation.

Introduction to The Heart of Awareness

by Thomas Byrom

Thomas Byrom's translation, recommended above, includes an excellent short introduction. It's on the web here.


This page was published on January 20, 2000 and last revised on May 8, 2000.


Copyright 2001 Realization.org. All rights reserved.