On the plains of Kurukshetra, 700 verses were born when Krishna spoke to Arjuna, who was in grief and fear. Later, those verses became the universal, beloved and revered book of Hindus, the Bhagavad Gita. There is a belief among Hindus that only one who comments on the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Brahma Sutras is fully enlightened. In this too, all the Hindus who believe in different opinions find their own meaning in the Gita. Shri Krishna is also a skilled politician. A politician is most concerned about the society and the crowd and his nature is to be coordinating and popular. That is why Krishna’s statements became so popular that all Hindu sects found their own meaning in them.
But in the Mithila region of this country, Ashtavavram Samhita of 308 verses of Brahmarishi Ashtavakra, which can be said to be the last book of spirituality and the purest expression of truth, could not be popular. Scholars like Adi Shankaracharya, Nimwarkacharya, Ramanujacharya, Ballavacharya, Aurobindo, Radhakrishnan, who have written large commentaries on the Gita, did not even discuss Ashtavakra Samhita.
Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga consists of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Dharana and ends in Samadhi. Even the Buddha goes to the end of the eighth stage of the Eightfold Path and discusses Samyak Samadhi, but the beginning of the Ashtavakra Samhita begins with the question of salvation and Samadhi. The three questions asked by Janaka – how are knowledge, liberation and dispassion attained? These are the final questions of the sadhana world. After this, there is nothing left to ask. No disciple has ever been able to ask a deeper question than this. Ashtavakra also gives the answers to Janaka’s deep questions in the same simple yet profound form. The first answer of Ashtavakra is as follows –
“Muktimichchas consciousness is a subject of Vishvatyaj.”
Khamsajjarjavadayatosham satyam piyushvad bhaj..’
“If you want salvation, discard things as poison and consume forgiveness, arjava (simplicity), mercy, contentment and truth as nectar.”
Ashtavakra says, “Salvation is the cessation of desire. As long as there is desire, the world will continue. Being in the world, doing actions, enjoying the world is not a bond, but being attached to it is a bond. Anakshaki and Sakshi are salvation. This is the essence of the science of salvation. Here, the answer to the three profound questions is also completed in the above three sentences.”
Ashtavakra goes on to say, ‘You are not a body made up of five elements, you are Consciousness pervading it. If you can give up the illusion that you are the body and experience your consciousness and rest in it, now and at this very moment you will be happy, peaceful and free from bondage. Religion and unrighteousness, happiness and sorrow are games of the mind. It makes no difference to your innocent nature because you are neither the doer nor the enjoyer. You are just a witness of what is happening. You are self-illuminated, innocent and always free, but the effort you make to achieve that liberation is your bond.’ Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi are also the latest versions of this teaching.
On hearing these words of Ashtavakra, Janaka’s illusion was broken and he attained self-enlightenment. He was surprised and said, “O Lord, why could I not experience such a small thing until this birth?” It was only through your teachings that I realized this. I am Pure Consciousness, still beyond bliss.’
In the Gita, there is less dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna, more conflict. Krishna tries to remind him with an argument, but Arjuna goes on to raise another argument and question. Even after learning so much from Jnanaguna (path of knowledge), there is no result of the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. Hence, Krishna must leave his logic and thoughts and show his strength. He says, “Behold, I am God.” By saying that I am the source of this behavior, Krishna shows Arjuna his great form through yogic power, but new doubts are born in Arjuna’s mind again and again. At the end, Krishna leaves the Brahmasutra, ‘Now leave all logic, leave all religion, come to my refuge. Do what I say, I will free you from all sins, don’t be afraid’, the Gita ends with Krishna’s exclamation.
But the Ashtavakra Samhita is incredible. Ashtavakra does not have to try so hard. In the first sentence of Ashtavakra, Janaka attains knowledge and becomes free and satisfied. The sutras that follow are only a description of the characteristics and nature of the guru-disciple, the support of experience, liberation and liberation. There is no conflict between Ashtavakra and Janaka, only a dialogue between two free men.
Ashtavakra has said in the first three verses of the 15th chapter of the Samhita that the reason why the Ashtavakra Samhita is not prevalent and popular among the people. Ashtavakra says, ‘A man of true wisdom is satisfied with a few sermons. The one whose intellect is not pure is always curious but his fascination is never calmed. A person addicted to enjoyment is intelligent, diligent and willing to talk a lot, but after self-knowledge, even that diligence is surrounded by dispassion because all his energy begins to flow towards the subconscious and does not allow to go outside. He is silent now. Therefore, for a person who has a deep passion for the subject, who is a scholar and very ambitious, the teachings of asceticism, liberation and dispassion do not work, nor should they be given. He has passed through the temptations of the world but with endless bitter experiences. Only the one who has become detached from the world can hear, understand and digest my teachings.”
Such people are rare in the world. That is why the Ashtavakra Samhita did not become as popular as the Gita and there is no sign of it becoming so in the future. In our time, Osho gave a simple and easy explanation of 2500 pages on the sutras of Ashtavakra and gave this Vairagya Samhita the name of Mahageeta, he restored the importance and dignity of this immortal and rare book of Ashtavakra born in Nepal.