Tuesday, 16 February 2010

भज गोविन्दं(अन्य स्त्रोतं)

Additional verses of Bhaj Govindam added by disciples of Shri Adi Shankarcharya:


Who is your wife? And who is your child?
Strange, indeed is this mortal world!
Who are you? And who is your owns?
Where is the region whence you come?
Brother think upon these truths.

A man walking in the forest has slipped and is falling into a deep pit. He somehow manages to grab a long root of the tree which was hanging from the above ground. Inside the pit, at the deep bottom roars a hungry tiger and is jumping at him repeatedly to snap at his legs. A rat is slowly nibbling the root he is hanging on to. A huge mad elephant is ready to smash him to bits if he ever climbs out of the pit. A deadly snake is slowly climbing down the root to put its fangs on him. The man can never escape his death; he knows it too. At that time a drop of honey drips from a honeycomb from a tall branch of the tree. The man sees it falling and immediately puts his tongue out to lick that drop of the sweet honey! The enjoyment of a human being in this world is equal to the drop of honey with many
forms of death lurking all around. So quickly wake up to the dangers of this worldly existence, seek the guidance of the noble and get yourself safely deposited on the blissful shores of Self-realization.


Matted locks; clean-shaven heads; plucked out hairs;
Saffron cloths; many are the disguises worn!
Though seeing, the fool does not see;
All types of disguises worn only to fill the belly!

Be careful of the Gurus of this world. Do not get fooled by their flowery speeches and God-like acts. Matted locks do not signify hard penance; hair plucked out torturously does not signify sainthood; Saffron cloth does not mean renunciation; all these are disguises worn by the cheats to fill their belly with sweets made of pure ghee and tasty rice balls. These ignorant ones are surely in a position to really sit and contemplate on the Self; but they consume intoxicating roots and leaves and pretend to be in the trance of the Samadhi state. Beware of these lazy idiots!


The limbs are worn out; the head has turned bald;
The gums have become teeth less;
The old man moves with the support of the stick;
Even then he does not leave the morsel of desires!

Look at the old man who wasted his youthful years in the pursuit of wealth and women. He would have been the most handsome and wealthiest man in his youth; girls would have swooned at his very sight. But now look at him! His whole body shivers with weakened nerves; he can not eat any thing much because of the diseases he has incurred by his worries and unhealthy habits of youth; all the black hair which he admired every day standing in front of the mirror has fallen gradually
somewhere in his life’s long journey; his teeth are gone and he can not even speak clearly; even to walk a few steps he needs a stick to support him. His family members give more respect to their pet dogs than him. Everyone is waiting for him to die and leave his wealth to them; even servants do not bother about him; his wife, if still alive has no time to enquire about his welfare even once a day; she has to butter up the next heir by her services so  that her position is stabilized in the future; most of his friends are dead or in the same state suffering innumerable ailments; he is alone and truly alone  fearing the death lurking in the corner; but look at him eyeing the left over sweets on a child’s plate and trying to pick up the crumbs with his trembling hands for the tiny pleasure sensation that may arise in his tongue for a second! What a pity! What a pity!


Fire in the front and sun at the back;
At night cuddling up with the chin buried in the knees;
Palm as the begging bowl; and residence under a tree;
Even then the rope of desires does not loosen up!

Look at those fake Gurus and saints filling up every nook and corner of temples and holy places! They also do not have any home or family; true! They too own no property. They  wander here and there all through the day; fill their stomach by begging in holy places.As the sun sets, they collect sticks and make a warm fire; sleep on the ground with their bodies so much cuddled up that the chin touches their knees; they do not have much clothes also to call their own; they do not even possess begging bowls; they use their palms to hold the food given as charity; they live under trees; they look like true saints; they look like Sages who have renounced everything; they live under the tree and eat what they get daily as charity.But are they true Gurus? Are they great Sages? Are they fit to be your guides? It is just a lazy life they lead; they did not attend schools in their childhood because they thought acquiring Knowledge was a waste of time; they renounced the family because of laziness, for family meant responsibilities; a family would force them to earn regularly; so they ran away from home; they discovered that acting a saint got them easy food; they live addicted to herbal drugs too.These saffron attired men are not the true Knower’s; they are just lazy beggars and cheats. Beware of these fake saints!


One journeys up to Ganga Sagar;
Performs austerities or charities;
A person without Knowledge in the opinion of one and all,
Does not attain Liberation even in hundred births!

How do you start your spiritual journey - by travelling to sacred places like Ganga Sagar? Kashi, Rameshvaram etc.? How do you plan to get liberation- by performing severe austerities like starving, rolling on the temple floor, eating food from the muddy ground, piercing the tongue and back with spears? What are you going to do become a saint  give charity and smile at the downtrodden like a savior? You can try all these in every birth; even after hundred births you will never be near the goal of liberation you want to achieve; as long as you have not gained the true Knowledge of your Self!


Living in temples and under the trees;
Bare ground as bed and deer-skin as a cover for the body;
Complete renunciation of all attachments and pleasures;
To whom does such a dispassion not bestow bliss!

What is true dispassion like?
This Yogi also has no home or family; he has renounced everything with the only purpose of realizing the Truth; he continuously travels to meet great saints who might guide him in his life and help achieve his goal; he does not care what he eats or where he sleeps; it may be a ruined temple on the roadside or just a tree in the middle of the forest; he does not care. Even a tree is a God given home to him. Any ground is enough to serve him as a bed. Some discarded animal skin is enough for him to cover his body; to such a man of dispassion, dispassion is not an advertisement to attract crowds but the real bliss of freedom.
Once, Swami Vivekananda was passing through a jungle. He felt extremely hungry.  It was already late night. He was too tired to enter a village and beg for food. He left
everything to his Mother Kali to take care of and sat off in contemplation. A few hours later he found a villager approaching him with a lantern and a basket full of food. Swami was surprised. The villager confessed that he was sleeping soundly when Mother Kali appeared in his dream and ordered him to give food to a great saint who was in the forest. So he had searched everywhere and brought this food to the Yogi Maharaja. Vivekananda was amazed by the divine act of the compassionate Mother Kali! Dispassion is a unique state of bliss! Only those who have developed it will know the
bliss arising out of it! What is more pleasurable- the sweetness of the sweet or the sweetness of not having the desire to eat it at all? Real bliss is not in obliging the senses
but in controlling them!


Engaged in Yoga or engaged in pleasures;
With company or without company;
He whose higher intellect is always in the bliss of Brahman;
 He is happy; happy; happy indeed!

For a man of true dispassion there is no outward show of renunciation. He need not even wear saffron robes and advertize his saintly nature. After realization, he may continue to live the same way as he lived before; or he may walk out of the family and become a recluse he may sit like an idiot or he may become the most charming personality in the society like Krishna, or he may become a good administrator like King Janaka. It does not matter how he makes the narrative of his life! It is his random wish, what he chooses to do. Whatever he is doing, wherever he is, he is always in the blissful state of his Self and enjoys any pattern of life that happens to be around him. His bliss never diminishes. He is of the nature of bliss itself and the pleasures of the world even if he chances to enjoy do not affect him at all. He is like the ocean which never increases or decreases by the amount of waters by rivers entering it or evaporating to form clouds.


If Bhagavad-Gita is read even just a little;
If even a droplet of the Ganges water is drunk;
If one has worshipped the Killer of Mura even once;
He has nothing to discuss with Yama!

In millions of births, human birth is a very rare occurrence; to desire liberation in human attire, you need the collection of merits of countless births. So begin your spiritual journey by doing virtuous acts; read now and then Gita a little; do not recite it like a parrot, but read one verse a day at least and contemplate on its meaning the whole day; soon you will know what Krishna tells you about your Self! Visit holy places; not to see the stone idols and watch the color liquids bathing the
taintless God; but maybe in such visits you will chance to see a true Yogi somewhere and he may guide you in the spiritual path! Worship some deity with love; it does not matter which divine form happens to be your chosen deity; all forms of Gods are nothing but the variously shaped sugar cakes with
Para Brahman acting as the sugar in all of them! But do not ask these Gods for wealth, health and solutions to family troubles; do not ask for anything, but cry at the lotus feet of the Lord Oh when will I realize my Self and have dispassion towards the worldly objects? Pray only for Knowledge. When Narendra Nath first met Ramakrishna, his family was in dire financial crisis. There was not even enough food to feed all the family members. Many a times Narendra would go without food for many a days, till Mother Sharada finding out about his starvation fed him whenever he visited Dakshinesvar. Once Narendra argued with his Master and begged him to tell Mother Kali about his family problems and get them removed by her power. Ramakrishna smiled and asked him to go to the temple of Kali and ask the boon himself. When Narendra went and stood before the statue of the Mother, his mouth would pray to her asking to bestow dispassion and Knowledge on him; he could never ask for material boons at all. He tried for three days consecutively and later gave it up as a futile effort. His prayers were answered. In one magical day, the ordinary Narendra became a world renowned Vivekananda!


Once again a birth once again a death;
Once again a sleep inside the womb of the mother!
O Murari! Save me with extreme compassion
In this worldly existence which is very difficult to cross over!

Birth follows death; death follows birth; again and again a residence reserved in a Mother’s womb! Who else can save you from this never ending cycle other than the Supreme Godhead Narayan! Pray to him; hold on to his lotus feet; cry out your
inability to grasp the subtle truths; do not lose faith in him; he will surely guide you in your spiritual journey; he is the most compassionate of all Gods! MURAARI means the enemy of the demon MURA; MUR also means to envelop, to encircle; one who destroys the encircling delusion around us is also MURAARI.

The path of life free of merits and demerits;
Yogi with his pure intellect fully merged in the union of his Self with the Supreme Self;
Is gleeful like a child or a mad person!
How will you identify a realized person? Very difficult!
He may be living right next to you and you won’t know him.

A realized person has no merits to gain; nor any sins to collect! Whatever he does has no connection to him. He is free to live as he likes; he has no duties ordained for him; he is just happy anywhere, anytime, doing anything, and not doing anything also.

Who are you? Who am I? From where have I come from?
Who is this mother of mine? Who is this father of mine?
Thus contemplate on everything as of no essence;
Rejecting the entire Universe as belonging to a dream world!
Those great Yogis of yore followed the path of Self enquiry.

You can also reach the same blissful state by asking the same questions to yourself.Who am I? Who are you? Where did I come from? Who is this mother who gave birth to my body? Who is the father? Did I have parents in my last birth? Where are they? I might have parents of many births too! Maybe this donkey standing in front of my house might have been a mother to me in some birth! Why do I not love this mother of my past birth? What is the meaning of this all? Is it all just a dream from which I will wake up one day and laugh at the whole thing?
VISHVA means the ever changing world of perceptions.


In you, in me, and in others too, there is only that One Vishnu existing!
You are getting angry with me being impatient with me!
You just be equal minded everywhere
If you wish to attain the state of Vishnu very soon!

Shankara consoles the eager student who asks for the quickest means for realizing the Self: You want to attain the state of the all pervading Vishnu, is it not so? That Vishnu or Para Brahman or Self is the same Self in everyone: know that first. When you loose all differentiations between every one, the next simplest thing to do is just be equal minded everywhere. Do not get excited by good things; do not get depressed by tragedies; Do not love a person or hate a person. Do not have likes and dislikes. Do not get angry or overly happy. Remain always in the same state of thoughtless quietness. You will soon be in the Supreme state of Self! 
(VISHNU means one who pervades everything.)


Do not make efforts in separating from or joining
With a foe or friend or son or relative;
See them as own self everywhere;
Completely get rid of the ignorant conception of differentiation everywhere!
Do not waste your time in setting right the family narratives. It is a useless effort and wastes your precious time too. Everyone gets provoked by the chemicals acting in their brain and body. There is no meaning in their anger, joy, love or hatred. They just react to outer circumstances and have no purpose in life. Their very existence is to feel anxious and suffer. If you have the goal of realizing your Self, then stop worrying about the life narratives. Watch every event like a witness. Do not feel anxious about everything. See everything as a projection of your own Self. See it as a dream concocted by your mind.


Renouncing completely the emotions of desire, anger, greed, and delusion
Contemplate on the Self and enquire who am I?
Those of dullened intellects bereft of Self-Knowledge
Will bake in the hell fires forever.

Have perfect control over your emotions. Do not have desires for any worldly object. Do not feel annoyed when you do not get what you strived for. Do not try to earn more than your limited needs. Do not give into the deluding nature of the world. Look at the whole world as a picture drawn on space. Always be in the witness state. Every moment observe your own actions as an outsider. Practice watching the continuous array of thoughts. Concentrate on the state of witness and remain as the Pure Consciousness alone! Do not bother about convincing others about the greatness of Self realization. Those ignorant ones, whose idea of I can never go beyond the form and name will never be able to grasp the subtle Knowledge of the Self. They are bound for hells because of their ignorance.


Bhagavad-Gita and the thousand names of Vishnu have to be recited;
The form of Sri Hari should be meditated upon a million times;
The mind has to be guided towards the company of the noble;
The wealth has to be given off to the poor!

Perform virtuous acts. Study and understand scriptures like Gita and Upanishads. Worship any chosen Godhead with love and devotion. Pray for Knowledge. Seek the company of learned men and clear your doubts. Keep that much wealth alone to fulfill your minimum needs and give away rest of the wealth in charity. By such acts only a desire for liberation will arise in you.


O dear! One completely gives himself up to enjoyments when in good health;
Later alas the body is ridden with diseases;
When surely death alone is the final refuge for one and all,
The man does not cease from his sinful actions!

No one is aware of the instability of life. They just believe that life goes on forever in the same way. The first half of their life is spent in accumulating wealth and fulfilling all the sensuous desires. They do not have the least control over their minds. A desire arises and they do all that they can to fulfill it immediately. Life just ebbs away satisfying one desire after the other. The later half of their life is filled with innumerable ailments and anxieties. They slowly tread their way towards death and vanish off like dust blown away by the winds. But the lesson is never learnt. Once Yaksha asked Yudhishthira. What is the most amazing thing in life? The eldest of the Paandavas answered: A man sees some one or other dying every day. Yet he thinks he will live forever. That is the most amazing thing in life!


The regular practice of breath-control;
Keeping the mind withdrawn from sense pleasures;
The discriminative analysis between permanent and impermanent things;
Contemplative practices accompanied by the recitation (of Mantras);
Perform all these with care, extreme care!

Practice the Yoga of breath control regularly. The main purpose of Yoga is Cessation of thoughts (Chitta-Vritti-Nirodaha). Breath and mind are interconnected. You stop the function of one the other automatically becomes still. Those who cannot control the thoughts by Will, must take recourse to Pranayam and control the vibrations in the mind. This practice should be accompanied by control of desires; one should stop hankering after sense pleasures and withdraw the mind from external objects. One should continuously discriminate about the impermanence of the objects in the world. One should practice differentiating all the mine objects from I; the non-Self from the Self. One should turn the mind inwards and contemplate on the great statements of the Upanishads. Recitation of Mantras without the comprehension of the meaning is useless. Knowledge is the only means to liberation and not actions done by mind, body or intellect. One should be very careful not to slip in the path of spirituality. Never give in to temptations even a little. Do not think that one small mistake will do no harm. The spiritual path is akin to walking on the sword’s edge. A smallest slip and body would bleed to death.  If even the least of desires gets satisfied thinking it to be trivial, it leads to greatest harms. A desire when satisfied does not end there. It leaves behind a Vasana- a latent desire as a seed which will again sprout at some unexpected time and lead you towards your downfall. So be careful; do not suppress the desires; but eliminate them through proper intellectual process. Take the mind towards nobler things in life like guiding a child towards proper actions with kind and caressing words. Do not force the mind towards sense control. It will burst out breaking the dam with hundred fold force and destroy you. Gradually bring it under control through intellectual prowess. Be careful. Very careful!


O Devotee holding on to the lotus feet of the Guru!
Be liberated from this worldly existence soon!
By the discipline of the mind accompanied by sense control in this manner
You will visualize the Lord seated in your own heart!

May anyone who reads the instructions of the Great Guru Shankara with devotion attain liberation while living, soon. By treading the path lighted by the kind words of the great Guru, one is sure to gain control over his mind and attain Self-Realization. One will surely get established in the Supreme state of Para Brahman by the grace of Sri Shankara the great Guru.OM TAT SAT.


भज गोविन्दं

      भज गोविन्दं भज गोविन्दं , भज गोविन्दं मुड्मते |
 संप्राप्ते सन्निहिते काले , नहि नहि रक्षति डूकण्ज करने ||

Bhaj Govindam Bhaj Govindam
Govindam Bhaj Muda-mate.
Samprapte Sannihite  Kale   
Nahi  Nahi Rakshti Dukrin-karne. (1)

Take refuge in Govinda; Take refuge in Govinda!
Take refuge in Govinda O you of dullened intellect!
When Death arrives and approaches you some day
The root formation of duk is never ever going to save you!

Shankara always begins his works with an indirect salutation to his Guru Sri Govinda Bhagawad Paada. As it is the name of his favorite deity also, the name Govinda shines at the beginning of all his literature.
It seems once Shankara the Advaita Master was walking along the banks of River Ganga with his disciples. Some Brahmin students of grammar were sitting under the shade of a tree and were engaged in grammar studies. At that time a small copper vessel happened to slip out of the hands of an aged Brahmin and rolled along the stone steps with the noise  duk duk duk.  The students sitting under the tree, instead of picking up the vessel and helping the old man, started discussing the phonetic principle of the sound duk and were trying to find the resultant grammatical formations of the root letter “duk”.  The discussion was never ending. Shankara is supposed to have addressed these students and uttered these Bhaja Govindam verses.

Muda  Jahihee  Dhanagam   Trishna
Kuru  Sadbhudhimn  Mansi  Vitrishnam
Yallabhase  Nij-Karmo-Pattamn
Vittam  Tena  Vinodaya Chittam (2)

O you of muddled brain! Throw afar this thirst for earning wealth.
Develop interest towards noble things; make your mind free of wants.
Whatever you gain by your own actions,
Remain contended and happy with that wealth alone.

Shankara still cannot but feel pity for the lot of the common man. What else can he comment on those brains which use all their efficiency only in accumulating more and more wealth?

Drshtava  Maa Gaa Moha-Vesham
Manasi  Vichintaya Vaaram Vaaram (3)

Looking at the navel-place filled with huge breasts of a woman!
Do not raise the level of your passion
This ugly mass of flesh filled with blood and nerves!
Analyze again and again in the mind

Next to wealth the man’s most cherished desire is to enjoy a woman; for a woman, it is the company of a man. But usually a female body alone is considered as an object of enjoyment in all the worlds, be it a heaven or Earth.
What is attractive in a female body?
It is just a meat piece with eruptions here and there; all holes stinking and dirty; mouth filled with smelly saliva and not honey; lips are not fruit pieces but just a decolorized
gateway for  the ugly array of bone pieces; breasts nothing but fleshy eruptions; navel just a left over reminder of the torture phase called birth; sweat not nectar but extra liquid thrown out by the body; nails just protective growths, acting as weapons in lower animals; the sexual pleasure is just a momentary thrill felt by the nerves through the stinking holes which are used for excretory purposes; hair, not the monsoon clouds but
some cellular growths protecting the skull!

Lokam Shoka-Hatam Cha Samstam (4)

The water drop clinging on to the petal of the lotus flower is highly unstable;
Likewise the life is also extremely unstable!
Know that this entire world held in the grasp of disease and vanity
Is stuck by extreme sorrow!

A Tamil saint once was walking on the street. He heard a wailing sound from one house on the roadside. He peeped in and discovered that there had been a death in the family
and everyone was crying for the dead one. He immediately collapsed on the ground and started weeping aloud beating his chest repeatedly. The others who were just crying for the sake of habit stopped their crying and said to each other; look at this man; he is so good; he is also crying for the dead man like us. The saint got up and said, I am not crying for this dead man; I am crying in advance for you people who are going to die!
 He laughed aloud and walked away as the people there watched him wonder-stuck.

Yaavad Vitto-Parjana-Sakata
Paschaat-Jeevati- Jarajar-Dehe
Vartam- Koapi- Na- Prcchati- Gehe (5)

As long as a man is capable of earning wealth,
So long does one’s family show some interest;
Later one lives in a dilapidated body;
No one even utters a word of enquiry in one’s home!

Sri Shankara says:
What family? Do the family members really have true affection for the Master of the house?There was a terrifying dacoit living in the jungles of Himalayas. There was no compassion in his heart for any other human being except his family members.
Once, Sage Naarada chanced to pass that way. The dacoit stopped him and threatened to kill him if he did not offer him his possessions. Naarada laughed aloud and said that he owned nothing and slowly engaged the dacoit in a friendly conversation. He asked casually the reason for the dacoit to rob and kill all travelers. The dacoit confessed that he had a large family and had to loot and rob to feed them all. The Sage then described to him all the hells and the punishments waiting for the dacoit after his death. The dacoit started sweating and started crying. Naarada consoled him and told him to tell the family members about all this and request them to share his punishments too as they shared his earnings.The dacoit was sure that his family members would help him in this matter and went home. When he related all that the Sage had said and asked them to share his punishments, they laughed and said, your earnings alone belong to us, not your sins. The dacoit was shocked by their reply and returned to the Sage and related what had happened. The Sage then advised him that he can get rid of the sins by repeating the Supreme name of the Lord Rama! The dacoit trusted the Sage’s words and decided to
repeat it for a long time till all his sins were destroyed. He left the family; entered deep jungles; sat under a tree and started repeating the two letters “RAMA”. He was so absorbed in the recitation that he lost sense of his body. Soon leaves covered his body. Ants built a mud colony over his immobile body.  Snakes made it their home. The dacoit was unaware of all this. Only two letters were repeatedly heard from deep inside the ant hill. Again Naarada appeared in the scene. He woke up the dacoit with his Yogic power. The dacoit immediately came crashing out of the anthill- the VALMIKA.  He is VAALMIKI, the author of Ramayana; the most compassionate Sage ever known.

Yavat-Pavano  Nivasati  Dehe
Tavat- Prchhati Kushalam Gehe
Gatvati Vayuo Deha-Paaye
Bharya Bibhyati Tasmin Kaye (6)

As long as the air resides in the body,
Till then will any one care for one’s welfare;
When the breathe leaves at the death of the body
Even a wife fears the non-moving corpse!

Sri Shankara says:
What life? What enjoyment? Some fine day without any prior information death will snatch your life away! The body which you pamper by feeding the most exotic food, the body which you use for enjoying any pleasure money can buy, the wife whom you drowned in gold and diamonds will refuse to stay with the dead body alone. She will shy away from that very body which embraced her with all love and affection. Gone are all the respect, glory and greatness along with the wind which ceased to enter your nasal holes blocked with cotton pieces!

Artha-Manartham Bhavya Nityam
Nasti Tatah Sukha-Leshah Satyam
Putradapi Dhanbhajam Bhitih
Sarva-Traisha Vihita Ritih (7)

Reflect always that wealth is just a calamity;
There is not an iota of joy present in it; this is indeed true;
There is fear of it getting snatched away even from one’s own sons;
This is an ordained way everywhere in the world.

Know the true character of wealth. The more you own the more you will suffer. Every coin you earn brings along with it a curse of untold suffering. Wealth is just a means to fulfill your basic needs and comforts. Accumulating wealth should not become the sole goal in life. One should not slave away his life just to increase his possessions. When you own a lot of wealth you are surrounded by people who have no iota of love or affection
for you. Their love is pretentious and only intent on gaining favors from you. They wait for opportunities to cheat you and use you for their selfish gains. There is a saying in Sanskrit:
Each age in a man’s life is beautiful and worth its value. The childhood should abound in innocence and pursuit of knowledge. Youth is the time to develop physical fitness and accumulate more specialized Knowledge. The next stage is given to the joy of experiencing love and affection from wife and children and caring for them. Old age, with the white hair proclaiming the experiences and Knowledge thereof is not a thing to be ashamed off.  Material wealth harms you; but the wealth of Knowledge leads you to eternal life and freedom.

Bala-stavad Krida-Saktaha
Truna-stavad- Tarunee-Saktaha
Vriddha-stavad Chinta-Sakataha
Pare Brahamani Koapi Na Sakataha (8)

The child is interested only in playing;
The youth is interested only in the young girl;
The old man is interested in only worrying;
No one is interested in Para Brahman!

If it is argued that there is no time to pursue the higher truths because one has to educate himself, earn for the family, guide the youngsters and so on-
Sri Shankara says: How can there be no time for nobler things in life? Yes true; survival is difficult in a world full of competitions and challenges; but if we analyze where all one wastes time it will be really surprising. A child spends more time in playing than learning; a youth spends more time in seeking the company of pretty girls than gathering knowledge; an old man suffers that his desires have not been fulfilled in a
short span of life and envies the youngsters! Who has time for Para Brahman!

Ka Te Kanta Kaste Putraha
Samsaro’Yamativ Vichitraha
Kasya Tvam Vaa Kuta Ayata
Stattavam Chintaya Tadiha Bhrathah (9)

Who is your beloved wife? Who is your son?
This worldly existence is very strange!
To whom do you belong? Who are you? Where have you come from?
O my Brother! Think about the true answers for these enquiries!

Sri Shankara advises the man to free himself for just a few minutes in his never ending race for money and enjoyments and think:Sri Ramana once did like this when lying on the bed analyzing his own identity. He just wondered what would happen if he died that very moment. He brought the whole death scenario into his vision and watched it like a drama watched by an outsider. He saw the dead body, the people lamenting on his death, the body carried on the pall, and he even saw his body consumed by fire. He wondered how if the body was no more, he was not yet dead. He did not imagine the scene; he actually was in the scene. Death of the body was not imagined by him; he had gone thorough the death phase as a reality. He was observing from within the body field itself, the body dying, the body burning etc. he was in the body when it was set fire to; but he did not feel the fire. It was a true experience for him, not an imagined contemplation. At the moment the body became ashes, he was in the Self state and was the Para Brahman watching the projections of a mind labeled as Venkatraman in this world. He had no sensation of the body from that moment. When he opened the so called eyes of his body, he felt he was in a dream experience. He could not identify with the body of the boy lying on the bed. But it moved if he willed; the body was just an It for him; so he just moved it towards the hill where he felt his father’s presence would be there. Father? Annamalai of the Red Mountain! Who else!
For Akka Mahadevi it was Sri Shaila, for Ramana it was Arunaachala. He just lived as Ramana till the perceptions ceased at the so called death of the body. Otherwise his state
was like space, having no identity with anything; everything was just a dream like experience for him; a play of Para Brahman! He was a supreme Yogi; yes, a Maha Rishi of the Yore appearing in a body structure in this modern age. He died once when aliveand remained as his true Self the rest of the life here in a Ramana perceived world; as Para Brahman playing the role of Ramana!

Satsang Gatve Nissang Gatvam
Nissnagatave Nirmohatvam
Nirmahatve Nishchal Tattvam
Nishchal Tattave Jeevan Muktih (10)

In the company of the noble lies detachment;
In detachment lies dispassion;
In dispassion lies the Non-moving Truth;
In the Nonmoving Truth lies liberation while living.

Well, you listened to Shankara’s advice and asked these questions to yourself; of course not all can find the correct answers; may be you did not find too. Most people think Self Realization is some state you have to reach by countless hours of contemplation and meditation. Some think that they will see color lights; some think that they will see Shiva or Brahma or Vishnu; some think that a golden colored Brahma as Hiranya Garbha will be there; some think that they will be transported to heavenly worlds and will have wonderful experiences; some think that they will be able to know all the three time phases past, present and future of everybody; some think that they will float in the air; some think that they will be like Gods having all the world at their feet; some think that they will become Gods! Or else, they all pretend to do all this and mislead their students towards these goals and make Self-realization sound like some far off state high above the sky; most of all, these religious freaks think that realized state is a weapon against scientific reasoning.Little do they know what the Scriptures advocate actually!Self-realization is not a magical turning point in your life. You will not become super human by realizing your own Self. You are thinking you are a limited Self; after Self realization you will understand that you are Para Brahman. That is all. It is just the true understanding of your own identity. Seek a Master who is not a magician; seek a Master who exactly tells you what the Scriptures say without his own version; seek a Master who has no interest in advertising
himself as a Super Guru. If you do not find such a one in the present world, seek the books and get the company of the past saints. Learn from them how to develop detachment; the worldly patterns will stop affecting you; slowly you will develop a disinterest in all the worldly pleasures; you will develop equanimity; you will understand the One Reality which is the support of this multifarious perceptions; with the Vision of the Self you will become liberated while living!

Vayasi Gate Kah Kama Vikarah
Sushke Nire Kah Kasarah
Kshene Vitte Kah Parivarah
Gyate Tattve Kah Samsarah (11)

When youth is gone, where remains the lascivious desire?
When the water has dried up, where remains the lake?
When the wealth is gone, where remains the surrounding crowd?
When the Truth is known, where remains the worldly existence?

If there is a doubt as to the efficacy of Self-realization, Shankara explains how the world looses its solid nature, once the Truth is known.When a person becomes old, his senses surely loose their power to satisfy his desires. Desires are not there, you cannot say; but capacity to fulfill the desires surely is not there. This is a well-known truth. How can the Samsara remain when the Truth is known?

Maa Kuru Dhan-Jan-Yauvan-Garvam
Harti Nimeshat Kalah Sarvam
MaayaMaymida-Makhilam Hitva
Brahampadam Tvam Pravish Viditva (12)

Do not be vain headed about wealth, people and youth;
Time snatches away everything within a minute!
Understanding the entire world to be of illusory nature,
Knowing the TRUTH you enter the state of Brahman!

Shankara addresses those who ignore his advice and walk away unbothered. The wealthy, the youth and people surrounded by the affectionate members of the family surely do not go after the realization of the Truth. They are so happy with their present status; they seem to think that the same state will continue forever! They never can imagine any thing can change and upset their happy lives. Shankara warns these ignorant fools:Wealth is not a permanent feature of life. Even Rama lived his youthful years in a forest; Paandavas never ever enjoyed any royal status; Nala did not even have a cloth to cover his body; even Gods lose their powers and suffer! Who can say what will happen the next moment?

Dinaya’Minyoh Sayam Pratah
Shishir Vasantih Punrayatah
Kalah Kridati Gaccha Tyasu
Stadapi Na Munchatyasavayuh (13)

Day and night, dusk and dawn,
Winter and spring again arrive!
Time plays its game; life ebbs away;
Even then, the winds of desires never leave one!

Observe the world, says Shankara:
What is permanent in this impermanent world?
Night follows day; day follows night; seasons keep onrepeating; year after year you struggle to achieve the fulfillment of your countless desires. At the fag end of you life, as you lie on the death bed breathing heavily, when the body has lost control of even the excretory systems, when your loved ones avoid coming close to you unable to bear the stink; when your eyes do not see, when your ears do not hear, when death is slowly eating you up; even then your mind is alive thinking about all unfulfilled wants of yours! What a pity!

Dvadashamanjarika Abhirashesah
Kathitoh Vyakarnasyaisah
Updesho Bhudvidyanipunaih
Shrimacchankara Bhagvaccharaneh(14)

Through this bouquet of a dozen verses
Was imparted succinctly to grammarian
Instructions supreme by the all knowing
Sankara, adored as the Bhagavadpada

Monday, 15 February 2010

सारांश:, अष्टावक्र गीता, एवं अष्टावक्र—एक परिचय

अष्टावक्र आठ अंगों से टेढ़े-मेढ़े पैदा होने वाले ऋषि थे। शरीर से जितने विचित्र थे, ज्ञान से उतने ही विलक्षण। उनके पिता कहोड़ ऋषि थे जो उछालक के शिष्य थे और उनके दामाद भी। कहोड़ अपनी पत्नी सुजाता के साथ उछालक के आश्रम में ही रहते थे। ऋषि कहोड़ वेदपाठी पंडित थे। वे रोज रात भर बैठ कर वेद पाठ किया करते थे। उनकी पत्नी सुजाता गर्भवती हुई। गर्भ में बालक जब कुछ बड़ा हुआ तो एक रात को गर्भ के भीतर से ही बोला, "हे पिता ! आप रात भर वेद पढ़ते हैं लेकिन आपका उच्चारण कभी शुद्ध नहीं होता। मैंने गर्भ में ही आपके प्रसाद से वेदों के सभी अंगों का ज्ञान प्राप्त कर लिया है।" गर्भस्थ बालक ने यह भी कहा कि रोज-रोज के पाठ मात्र से क्या लाभ। वे तो शब्द मात्र हैं। शब्दों में ज्ञान कहाँ? ज्ञान स्वयं में है। शब्दों में सत्य कहाँ? सत्य स्वयं में है।
अष्टावक्र गीता
अष्टावक्र गीता अध्यात्म विज्ञान का बेजोड़ ग्रंथ है। ज्ञान कैसे प्राप्त होता है ? मुक्ति कैसे होगी ? और वैराग्य कैसे प्राप्त होगा ? ये तीन शाश्वत प्रश्न हैं जो हर काल में आत्मानुसंधानियों द्वारा पूछे जाते रहे हैं। राजा जनक ने भी ऋषि अष्टावक्र से ये ही प्रश्न किये थे। ऋषि अष्टावक्र ने इन्हीं तीन प्रश्नों का संधान राजा जनक के साथ संवाद के रूप में किया है जो अष्टावक्र गीता के रूप में प्रचलित है। ये सूत्र आत्मज्ञान के सबसे सीधे और सरल वक्तव्य हैं। इनमें एक ही पथ प्रदर्शित किया गया है जो है ज्ञान का मार्ग। ये सूत्र ज्ञानोपलब्धि के, ज्ञानी के अनुभव के सूत्र हैं। स्वयं को केवल जानना हैज्ञानदर्शी होना, बस। कोई आडम्बर नहीं, आयोजन नहीं, यातना नहीं, यत्न नहीं, बस हो जाना वही जो हो। इसलिए इन सूत्रों की केवल एक ही व्याख्या हो सकती है, मत मतान्तर का कोई झमेला नहीं है; पाण्डित्य और पोंगापंथी की कोई गुंजाइश नहीं है। प्रस्तुत पुस्तक में इतनी सीधी-सादी और सरल व्याख्या की गई है जो सर्वसाधारण को बोधगम्य हो।

कुछ वर्ष पूर्व जब लेखकने इस अनूठे ग्रंथ का अध्ययन किया तो यह उसे इतने गहरे छू गया कि उसने इन सूत्रों की व्याख्या को कविता में समेटने का प्रयास किया है। यह मेरा अहोभाग्य है कि मैं इस ग्रंथ के संसर्ग में आया और उस अलक्ष्य की प्रेरणा से अष्टावक्र गीता के ये सूत्र कविताओं में बँध गये। इन कविताओं को देखकर आध्यात्मिक पुस्तकों के प्रसिद्ध प्रकाशन भुवन वाणी ट्रस्ट के मुख्य न्यासी सभापति श्री विनय कुमार अवस्थी ने सुझाव दिया कि इसे गद्य में सुगम बना दिया जाय, जिससे यह जन साधारण के लिये भी सुबोध और उपयोगी होगा। अष्टावक्र गीता की एक सुबोध व्याख्या प्रकाशित करने की उनकी बहुत दिनों से इच्छा और योजना थी। इस प्रकार, श्री अवस्थी जी के प्रोत्साहन से प्रस्तुत पुस्तक का वर्तमान स्वरूप तैयार हो गया। व्याख्या लेखक ने अष्टावक्र गीता के इन सूत्रों की व्याख्या के लिए ज्ञानदर्शियों के उपलब्ध अनुभवों और अध्यात्म के अनेकानेक ग्रंथों में समदर्शी व्यक्तव्यों का अनुशीलन किया है। हिन्दी में अष्टावक्र गीता की सबसे गहन और विस्तृत टीका आचार्य रजनीश द्वारा दी गई है जो छः खण्डों में अष्टावक्र महागीता शीर्षक से प्रकाशित है। इस पुस्तक में इसका भरपूर उपयोग किया गया है। साथ ही, सूत्रों की व्याख्या में महर्षि रमण के उपदेशों, जो श्री रमण महर्षि से बातचीत में संकलित हैं, इसका विशेष रूप से प्रयोग किया गया है। इसके अतिरिक्त, गीता प्रेस गोरखपुर से प्रकाशित संक्षिप्त योगवसिष्ठ, उपनिषद् सार (54 उपनिषदों का संकलन) तथा श्रीमद्भागवत गीता तत्व विवेचनी टीका के प्रासंगिक निरूपणों का भी सहारा लिया गया है। कुछ दार्शनिक पहलुओं के विवेचन में लोकमान्य तिलक के गीता रहस्य तथा श्रीपाद् दामोदर सातवलेकर के गीता की पुरुषार्थ बोधिनी टीका का भी सहयोग लिया गया है। लोक ऋषि कबीर के दोहे और वानियाँ अष्टावक्र के सूत्रों के बहुत करीब हैं; कोई-कोई तो बिल्कुल प्रतिकृति लगती हैं। उनका भी यथा स्थान उपयोग किया गया है। अष्टावक्र के जीवन की गाथा रांगेय राघव की पुस्तक प्राचीन कहानियाँ से ली गई है लेखक इन सबका आभारी है और कृतज्ञता ज्ञापन करता है।
और अन्त में, उस अलक्ष्य लक्ष को जिसे जनक ने कहा ‘‘मुझको मेरा नमस्कार‘‘
अष्टावक्रएक परिचय
अष्टावक्र आठ अंगों से टेढ़े-मेढ़े पैदा होने वाले ऋषि थे। शरीर से जितने विचित्र थे, ज्ञान से उतने ही विलक्षण। उनके पिता कहोड़ ऋषि थे जो उछालक के शिष्य थे और उनके दामाद भी। कहोड़ अपनी पत्नी सुजाता के साथ उछालक के ही आश्रम में रहते थे। ऋषि कहोड़ वेदपाठी पण्डित थे। वे रोज रातभर बैठ कर वेद पाठ किया करते थे। उनकी पत्नी सुजाता गर्भवती हुई। गर्भ से बालक जब कुछ बड़ा हुआ तो एक रात को गर्भ के भीतर से ही बोला, हे पिता ! आप रात भर वेद पढ़ते रहते हैं। लेकिन आपका उच्चारण कभी शुद्ध नहीं होता। मैंने गर्भ में ही आपके प्रसाद से वेदों के सभी अंगों का ज्ञान प्राप्त कर लिया।’’ गर्भस्थ बालक ने यह भी कहा कि रोज-रोज के पाठ मात्र से क्या लाभ। वे तो शब्द मात्र हैं। शब्दों में ज्ञान कहाँ ? ज्ञान स्वयं में है। शब्दों में सत्य कहाँ ? सत्य स्वयं में है।

ऋषि कहोड़ के पास अन्य ऋषि भी बैठे थे। अजन्में गर्भस्थ बालक की इस तरह की बात सुनकर उन्होंने अत्यन्त अपमानित महसूस किया। बेटा अभी पैदा भी नहीं हुआ और इस तरह की बात कहे। वेद पण्डित पिता का अहंकार चोट खा गया था। वे क्रोध से आग बबूला हो गये। क्रोध में पिता ने बेटे को अभिशाप दे दिया। ‘‘हे बालक ! तुम गर्भ में रहकर ही मुझसे इस तरह का का वक्र वार्तालाप कर रहे हो। मैं तुम्हें शाप देता हूँ कि कि तुम आठ स्थानों से वक्र होकर अपनी माता के गर्भ से उत्पन्न होगे।’’ कुछ दिनों पश्चात् बालक का जन्म हुआ। शाप के अनुसार वह आठ स्थानों पर से ही वक्र था। आठ जगह से कुबड़े, ऊँट की भाँति इरछे-तिरछे। इसलिए उसका नाम अष्टावक्र पड़ा।

अष्टावक्र के जन्म के पूर्व ही पिता ऋषि कहोड़ धन अर्जन की आवश्यकतावश राजा जनक के वहाँ गये जहाँ शास्त्रार्थ का आयोजन था। एक हजार गाएँ राजमहल के द्वार पर खड़ी की गई थीं। उन गायों के सींगों पर सोना मढ़ दिया गया था। उनके गलों में हीरे-जवाहरात लटका दिये गये थे। शास्त्रार्थ की शर्त यह थी कि जो विजेता होगा वह इन गायों को हाँक ले जाएगा। तथा विजेता हारने वाले का किसी भी तरह से वध कर सकेगा। शास्त्रार्थ राज्य के महापण्डित वंदिन से करना होता था। कहते हैं शास्त्रार्थ में ऋषि कहोड़ हार गये। इसलिए विजेता पण्डित वंदिन ने उन्हें पानी में डुबाकर मरवा डाला।
जब काफी दिनों कर ऋषि कहोड़ आश्रम में लौटकर नहीं आये तो उछालक ने उनकी खोज कराई। उनके शिष्य द्वारा ज्ञात हुआ कि कहोड़ को शास्त्रार्थ में पराजित होने के फलस्वरूप वंदिन ने मरवा डाला है। इस तथ्य को बालक अष्टावक्र से छुपा कर रखा गया था। बालक अष्टावक्र अपने नाना उछालक को ही अपना पिता जानता था। बारह वर्ष बीत गये। अष्टावक्र तो गर्भ में ही महान पण्डित और ज्ञानी हो चुका था। इसके साथ ही उसने अपने नाना उछालक के आश्रम में बारह वर्ष तक और अध्ययन किया। तब तो वह ब्रह्मा के समान मेधावी हो चुका था। तभी एक दिन अचानक उसे अपने पिता के बारे में वास्तविक तथ्य की जानकारी हुई। उसने अपनी माता से इस सम्बन्ध में पूछा। तब उसकी माँ ने सारा वृत्तान्त कह सुनाया। बालक अष्टावक्र को बड़ा आघात लगा। उसने उसी समय माँ से कहा ‘‘माँ मुझे आज्ञा दो, मैं अभी जाकर उस दुष्ट को परास्त करता हूँ तब मैं अपने पिता का बदला अच्छी तरह से लूँगा।’’

माँ ने बालक को बहुत मनाया कि यह इसके लिए घातक होगा। वह अभी बालक है। लेकिन अष्टावक्र नहीं माने। वह अपने मामा श्वेतकेतु को साथ लेकर राजा जनक के नगर की ओर चल पड़ा। उस समय जनक के वहाँ महायज्ञ हो रहा था। उसमें भाग लेने के लिए देश भर से अनेक पण्डित बुलाए गए थे। अष्टावक्र सीधे राजप्रसाद की ओर पहुँच गए। लेकिन द्वारपाल ने अन्दर जाने से रोक दिया। उसने कहा कि वृद्ध और चतुर ब्राह्मण ही यज्ञ में जाने के अधिकारी हैं। बालकों को इसके अन्दर जाने का अधिकार नहीं है। अष्टावक्र ने अनेक प्रकार से द्वारपाल से वाद-विवाद किया। अन्त में उन्होंने कहा ‘‘द्वारपाल ! सिर के बाल सफेद होने से कोई मनुष्य वृद्ध नहीं हो जाता। जो व्यक्ति बालक होकर भी ज्ञानी है उसे ही देवताओं ने स्थविर कहा है। अगर ऋषियों के द्वारा स्थापित धर्म के अनुसार विचार करो तो अवस्था से, बाल पकने से, धन से या बन्धुओं के अधिक होने से मनुष्य को कोई महत्त्व नहीं मिलता है। सांगोपांग वेद को जानने वाले विद्वान् ही महत् और वृद्ध हैं। हम तुम्हारे महापण्डित वंदिन को देखने आए हैं। हम उस वंदिन को शास्त्रार्थ में परास्त करके विद्वानों को चकित कर देंगे। तब तुम्हें हमारी मेधा के बारे में मालूम होगा’’ तब कहीं द्वारपाल ने अष्टावक्र को अन्दर जाने दिया।

अष्टावक्र दरबार में भीतर चले गये। महापण्डित भीतर इकट्ठे थे। पण्डितों ने उसे देखा। उसका आठ भागों से टेढ़ा-मेढ़ा शरीर। वह चलता तो भी लोगों को देखकर हँसी आ जाती। उनका चलना भी बड़ा हास्यपद था। सारी सभा अष्टावक्र को देखकर हँसने लगी। अष्टावक्र भी खिलखिलाकर हँसा। जनक को विचित्र लगा। उन्होंने पूछा, और सब हँसते हैं, वह तो मैं समझ गया कि क्यों हँसते हैं। परंतु बालक तुम क्यों हँसे ?
बारह वर्ष के बालक अष्टावक्र ने कहा ‘‘मैं इसलिए हँस रहा हूँ कि चमड़े के पारखियों (मूर्खों) की सभा में सत्य का निर्णय हो रहा है। यह सभी सुनकर सन्न रह गये। सभा में सन्नाटा छा गया। महापण्डितों की जमात तिलमिला उठी। सम्राट् जनक ने धैर्य पूर्वक पूछा ‘‘धृष्ट बालक ! तुम्हारा मतलब क्या है ?’’ अष्टावक्र जरा भी विचलित नहीं हुआ। उसने जवाब दिया ‘‘बड़ी सीधी-सी बात है। इनको चमड़ी ही दिखाई पड़ती है। मैं नहीं दिखाई पड़ता। इनको आड़ा-टेढ़ा शरीर दिखाई पड़ता है। ये चमड़ी के पारखी हैं। इसलिए ये चमार हैं। राजन् ! मन्दिर के टेढ़े होने से कहीं आकाश टेढ़ा होता है ? घड़े के फूटे होने से कहीं आकाश फूटता है ? आकाश तो निर्विकार है। मेरा शरीर टेढ़ा-मेढ़ा है, लेकिन मैं तो नहीं। यह जो भीतर बसा है इसकी तरफ देखो।’’ बालक के मुख से ज्ञानपूर्ण उपहास सुनकर सभी पण्डित हतप्रभ और लज्जित रह गये। उन्हें अपने अहंकार और मूर्खता पर अत्यन्त पश्चाताप हुआ।

अष्टावक्र ने राजा जनक से कहाहे राजन् ! अब मैं आपके उस मेघावी राजपण्डित से मिलना चाहता हूँ, जो पण्डितों के बीच में भय बना हुआ है। उसी से शास्त्रार्थ करने की इच्छा से मैं यहाँ आया हूँ। मैं अद्वैत ब्रह्मवाद के विषय में उससे वार्ता करूँगा। राजा जनक ने कई तरह से उसे विचलित करने के लिए डराया और समझाया। शास्त्रार्थ के विचार को त्याग देने के लिए कहा लेकिन अष्टावक्र अडिग रहा और स्वर कठोर करके कहा—‘‘हे राजन् ! बालक कहकर आप मुझे हीन क्यों कहते हैं ? मेरा आग्रह है कि आप वंदिन को शास्त्रार्थ के लिए बुलाइए फिर आप देखेंगे कि मैं उसको किस प्रकार परास्त करता हूँ।’’ राजा को विश्वास होने लगा कि यह बालक असाधारण है। उन्होंने परीक्षा के लिए कुछ प्रश्न किये।

जनक ने पूछाहे ब्राह्मणपुत्र ! जो मनुष्य तीस अंग वाले, बारह अंश वाले, चौबीस पर्व वाले, तीन सौ साठ आरे वाले पदार्थ के अर्थ को जानता है वही सबसे बड़ा पण्डित है।’’
अष्टावक्र ने तुरन्त उत्तर दिया, ‘‘हे राजन् ! चौबीस पर्व छः नाभि, बारह प्रधि और तीन सौ साठ आरे वाला वही शीघ्रगामी कालचक्र आपकी रक्षा करे।’’
राजा जनक ने फिर कहा, ‘‘जो दो वस्तुएँ अश्विनी के समान से संयुक्त और बाज पक्षी के समान टूट पड़ने वाली हैं उनका देवताओं में से कौन देवता गर्भाधान कराता है ? वे वस्तुएँ क्या उत्पन्न करती हैं ?’’
अष्टावक्र ने कहा ‘‘ हे राजन् ! ऐसी अशुभ वस्तुओं की आप कल्पना भी न करें। वायु उनका सारथी है, मेघ उनका जन्मदाता है। फिर वे भी मेघ को उत्पन्न करती हैं।’’
राजा जनक ने पूछा, ‘‘सोते समय आँख कौन नहीं मूँदता ? जन्म लेकर कौन नहीं हिलता ? हृदय किसके नहीं है ? और कौन सी वस्तु वेग के साथ बढ़ती है ?’’
अष्टावक्र ने कहा, ‘‘मछली सोते समय अपनी आँख नहीं मूँदती। अण्डा उत्पन्न होकर नहीं हिलता। पत्थर के हृदय नहीं होता। नदी वेग से बढ़ती है।’’
अष्टावक्र के वचनों को सुनकर राजा जनक प्रसन्न हो गये। उन्होंने उस ब्राह्मण बालक के हाथ जोड़कर कहा—‘‘हे ब्राह्मणपुत्र ! आपकी जैसी अवस्था है वैसे आप बालक नहीं हैं। ज्ञान में आप निश्चित ही वृद्ध हैं। मुझे आपकी मेधा पर निश्चित ही विश्वास हो गया है। आप जाइए, इस मण्डप के भीतर महापण्डित वंदिन बैठे हैं। उनके सामने बैठकर शास्त्रार्थ प्रारम्भ कीजिये।’’
अष्टावक्र ने अन्दर पहुँचकर वंदिन को शास्त्रार्थ के लिये ललकारा। वंदिन देखकर चौंक पड़ा। बिना उत्तर दिये उसकी नादानी पर हँसा। अष्टावक्र ने कहाहे महाभिमानी पण्डित वंदिन। कायरों की भाँति चुप क्यों बैठा है। आ मेरे सामने शास्त्रार्थ कर।’’
वंदिन ने अपमानपूर्ण वाणी सुनकर आवेश में प्रश्न प्रारम्भ किये। उसने कहा, ‘‘एक अग्नि कई प्रकार से प्रज्वलित की जाती है। सूर्य एक होकर भी सम्पूर्ण जगत को प्रकाशित करता है। एक वीर इन्द्र सब शत्रुओं का नाश करता है और यमराज सब पितरों के स्वामी हैं।’’
अष्टावक्र ने कहा—‘‘इन्द्र और अग्नि दोनों सखा के रूप में साथ-साथ विचरते हैं। नारद और पर्वत दोनों देवर्षि हैं। अश्विनीकुमार दो हैं। रथ के पहिये दो होते हैं ! और विधाता के विधान के अनुसार स्त्री और पति दो व्यक्ति होते हैं। फिर वंदिन बोला—‘‘कर्म से तीन प्रकार के जन्म होते हैं। तीन वेद मिलकर वाजपेय यज्ञ को सम्पन्न करते हैं। अव्वर्यु गण तीन प्रकार के स्नानों की विधि बताते हैं। लोक तीन प्रकार के हैं और लोक तीन प्रकार के हैं और ज्योंति के भी तीन भेद कहे गये हैं।’’

अष्टावक्र ने उत्तर दिया—‘‘ब्राह्मणों के आश्रम चार प्रकार के हैं। चार वर्ण यज्ञ को सम्पन्न करते हैं। दिशाएँ चार हैं। वर्ण चार प्रकार के हैं। और गाय के चार पैर होते हैं।’’
वंदिन ने कहा, ‘‘अग्नि पाँच हैं। पंक्ति द्वंद्व में पाँच चरण होते हैं। यज्ञ पाँच प्रकार के हैं। वेद में चैत्नय प्रमाण विकल्प, विपर्यय, निद्र और स्मृति ये पाँच प्रकार की वृत्तियाँ कही गई हैं। और पंचनद देश सर्वत्र पवित्र कहा गया है।’’
फिर अष्टावक्र ने कहा—‘‘अग्न्याधान की दक्षिणा में छः गोदान की विधि है। ऋतुएँ छः हैं। इन्द्रियाँ छः हैं और सारे वेद में छः साद्यस्क यज्ञ की विधि का वर्णन है।’’
वंदिन बोला,‘‘ ग्राम्य पशु सात प्रकार के होते हैं। वन के पशु भी सात प्रकार के होते हैं। सात छन्दों से एक यज्ञ सम्पन्न होता है। ऋषि सात हैं। पूजनीय सात हैं और वीणा का नाम सप्ततंत्री है।’’
अष्टावक्र ने कहा—‘‘ आठ गोपों का एक शतमान होता है। सिंह को मारने वाले शरभ के आठ पैर होते हैं। देवताओं में आठ वसु हैं। और सभी यज्ञों में आठ पहर का यूप होता है।’’
वंदिन ने उत्तर दिया, ‘‘पितृ यज्ञ में नौ समधेनी होती है। नौ भागों से सृष्टि क्रिया होती है। बृहती छंद के चरण में नौ अक्षर होते हैं। और गणित के अंक नौ हैं।’’
अष्टावक्र ने कहा, ‘‘दिशाएँ दस हैं। दस सैकड़ों का एक हजार होता है। स्त्रियों का गर्भ दस महीने में पूर्णावस्था को पहुँचता है। तत्व के उपदेसक दस हैं। अधिकारी दस हैं। और द्वेष करने वाले भी दस हैं।
वंदिन बोला—‘‘इंद्रियों के विषय ग्यारह प्रकार के होते हैं। ग्यारह विषय ही जीव रूपी पशु के बन्धन स्तम्भ हैं। प्राणियों के विकार ग्यारह प्रकार के हैं। और रुद्र ग्यारह प्रसिद्ध हैं।’’
अष्टावक्र ने उत्तर दिया—‘‘वर्ष बारह महीने में पूर्ण होता है। जगती द्वंद्व के बारह अक्षर होते हैं। बारह दिनों में प्राकृत यज्ञ पूरा होता है। और आदित्य सर्वत्र विख्यात है।’’
फिर वंदिन बोला—‘‘त्रयोदशी तिथि पुण्यतिथि कहीं गयी है। पृथ्वी के तेरह द्वीप हैं।’’ बस इतना कहकर वंदिन चुप पड़ गया

उसको आगे बोलते न देख अष्टावक्र ने विषय की पूर्ति करते हुए कहाआत्मा के भोग तेरह प्रकार के हैं। और बुद्धि आदि तेरह उसकी रुकावटें हैं।
बस इतना सुनते ही वंदिन ने अपना सिर झुका लिया। दूसरे ही क्षण सभा में कोलाहल मच गया। सभी अष्टावक्र की जय-जयकार करने लगे। आज महात्मा कहोड़ की आत्मा किसी अज्ञात लोक से अपने पुत्र अष्टावक्र को कितना आशीर्वाद दे रही होगी। सभी उपस्थित ब्राह्मण हाथ जोड़कर अष्टावक्र की वंदना करने लगे। तब अष्टावक्र ने कहा ‘‘हे ब्राह्मणों ! मैंने इस अहंकारी वंदिन को आज परास्त कर दिया है। इस अत्याचारी ने कितने ही पुण्यात्मा ब्राह्मणों को पराजित करके पानी में डुबवा दिया है। इसलिए मैं भी आज्ञा देता हूँ कि इस पराजित वंदिन को उसी तरह पानी में डुबा दिया जाय।’’
अष्टावक्र राजा जनक की आज्ञा की प्रतीक्षा करने लगा। राजा स्तब्ध बैठे थे। अष्टावक्र क्रुद्ध होने लगा और कहा कि आप डुबाए जाने की आज्ञा क्यों नहीं देते। इस तरह चुप बैठे रहना मेरा अपमान है। राजा जनक ने अत्यन्त विनीत स्वर में कहा ‘‘हे ब्राह्मण ! आप साक्षात् ब्रह्मा हैं। इसलिए मैं आपके इस कठोर स्वर को भी सुन रहा हूँ। आपने वंदिन को जिस प्रकार की आज्ञा दी है उसका मैं समर्थन करता हूँ।’’

वंदिन ने आज्ञा स्वीकार करते हुए कहा इससे मेरा उपकार होगा। मुझे अपने पिता वरुण का दर्शन होगा। अष्टावक्र की ओर मुड़कर वंदिन ने कहा, ‘‘हे ऋषि अष्टावक्र ! आप महान हैं। सूर्य के समान दीप्यमान आपकी मेधा है। और अग्नि के समान आपका तेज है। मैं चलते समय आपको वरदान देता हूँ कि आप इसी क्षण अपने स्वर्गीय पिता कहोड़ को फिर से जीवित अवस्था में पाएँगे। उनके साथ अन्य ब्राह्मण भी जल से निकल आयेंगे।’’
उसी क्षण अन्य ब्राह्मणों के साथ कहोड़ जल से बाहर निकल आये। उन्होंने राजा जनक की वंदना की। राजा ने प्रसन्न होकर अनेकों बहुमूल्य उपहार देकर उन्हें विदा किया। कहोड़, अष्टावक्र और श्वेतकेतु के साथ उद्यालक आश्रम में वापस आये। कहोड़ ने पत्नी सुजाता और अष्टावक्र को समंगा नदी में स्नान करने के लिए कहा। अष्टावक्र ने जाकर उस नदी में स्नान किया। उसी क्षण उसका कुबड़ापन दूर हो गया। वह सुन्दर शरीर वाले युवक की तरह जल से बाहर निकला।

राजा जनक अष्टावक्र के ज्ञान से अत्यन्त प्रभावित हुए थे। उन्हें अपनी पूर्व धारणा पर पश्चाताप था। अष्टावक्र की बातों ने उन्हें झकझोर दिया था। दूसरे दिन जब सम्राट् घूमने निकले तो उन्हें अष्टावक्र राह में दिख गये। उतर पड़े घोड़े से और अष्टावक्र को साष्टांग प्रणाम् किया। उन्होंने निवेदन किया, महापुरुष ! राजमहल में पधारें। कृपया मेरी जिज्ञासाओंका समाधान करें। राजमहल विशेष अतिथि के सत्कार के लिये सजाया गया। बारह वर्ष के अष्टावक्र को उच्च सिंहासन पर बैठाया गया। उससे जनक ने अपनी जिज्ञासाएँ बतायीं। जनक की जिज्ञासा पर ज्ञान का संवाद प्रवाहित हो चला। जनक अपनी जिज्ञासा प्रस्तुत करते। अष्टावक्र उनको समझाते। जनक की जिज्ञासाओं के समाधान में अष्टावक्र अपना ज्ञान उड़ेलते गये। ज्ञान की गंगा बह चली। जनक अष्टावक्र का संवाद 298 सूत्र-श्लोकों में निबद्ध हुआ है।

इस प्रकार अष्टावक्र गीता की रचना हुई। अध्यात्म ज्ञान का अनुपम शास्त्र ग्रंथ रचा गया। इसमें 82 सूत्र जनक द्वरा कहे गये हैं और शेष 216 अष्टावक्र के मुख से प्रस्फुटित हुए हैं। यह ग्रंथ अष्टावक्र संहिता के नाम से भी जाना जाता है।
संवाद का प्रारम्भ जनक की जिज्ञासा से हुआ है। सचेतन पुरुष की अपने को जानने की शाश्वत जिज्ञासा। वही तीन मूल प्रश्न की-
पुरुष को ज्ञान कैसे प्राप्त होता है ?
मुक्ति कैसे होगी ?
वैराग्य कैसे प्राप्त होगा ?
तीन बीज प्रश्न हैं ये। इन्हीं में से और प्रश्न निकलते हैं। इन प्रश्नों के उत्तर आकार फिर इन्हीं प्रश्नों में विलीन हो जाते हैं। इन प्रश्नों के संधान में खोजियों के खोज के अनुभव का ज्ञान अपार भण्डार सृजित हुआ है। अनेकानेक पथ और पंथ बन गये। भारत में अध्यात्म आत्मन्वेषण की परम्परा प्राचीनकाल से सतत सजीव है। इन प्रश्नों के जो समाधान-उपाय ढूँढ़े गये, उन्हें सामान्यतया तीन मुख्य धाराओं में वर्गीकृत किया जाता है। अर्थात् भक्ति मार्ग, कर्ममार्ग और ज्ञानयोग मार्ग। भागवत् गीता जो युद्धक्षेत्र-कर्मक्षेत्र में कृष्ण-अर्जुन का संवाद है, जो हिन्दुओं का शीर्ष ग्रन्थ है, में तीनों मार्गों को समन्वित किया गया है। समन्वयवादी दृष्टिकोण है कृष्ण की गीता का। भक्ति भी, ज्ञान भी, कर्म भी। जिसे जो रुचे चुन ले। इसलिए गीता की सहस्त्रों टीकाएँ हैं, अनेकानेक भाष्य हैं। सबने अपने-अपने दृष्टिकोण का प्रतिपादन गीता के भाष्य में किया है। अपने दृष्टिकोण की पुष्टि गीता से प्रमाणित की है। इसलिए गीता हिन्दुओं का गौरव ग्रंथ है, सर्वमान्य है।
परन्तु अष्टावक्र गीता एक निराला, अनूठा ग्रंथ है। सत्य का सपाट, सीधा व्यक्तव्य। सत्य जैसा है वैसा ही बताया गया है। शब्दों में कोई लाग-लपेट नहीं है। इतना सीधा और शुद्धतम व्यक्तव्य कि इसका कोई दूसरा अर्थ हो ही नहीं सकता। इसमें अपने-अपने अर्थ खोजने की गुंजाइश ही नहीं है। जो है, वही है। अन्यथा नहीं कहा जा सकता। इसलिए अष्टावक्र गीता के भाष्य नहीं है, विभिन्न व्याख्याएँ नहीं है।