The Avadhoota Gita
1. Through the grace of God alone, the desire for nonduality arises in wise men to save them from great fear.
Nonduality – monistic Consciousness, in which the knower, knowledge, and knowable – soul and God – become one; the highest realization of Divinity.
Fear – The word “fear” includes also such states of mind as insecurity, despair, and grief, all of which arise from a consciousness of oneself as limited and separate from others and which therefore can be dispelled only by realizing oneself as the All.
2. How shall I salute the formless Being, indivisible, auspicious and immutable, who fills all this with His Self and also fills the self with His Self?
Salute – No form of greeting or worship is possible where there is no consciousness of distinction.
Fills, etc. – The reality and substance of the so-called individual self is the Divine Self.
3. The universe composed of the five elements is like water etc. in a mirage. Oh, to whom shall I make obeisance –
I who am one and taintless?
Five elements- earth, water, fire, air, and ether.
According to most philosophical systems of India, these combine to constitute the phenomenal universe and are derived from God associated with maya or ignorance.
The terms are not to be taken literally. Taintless – untouched by the slightest ignorance and hence absolutely pure. The word is often applied to the Self and God.
4. All is verily the absolute Self.
Distinction and nondistinction do not exist.
How can I say, “It exists; it does not exist”?
I am filled with wonder!
It – the universe.
5. The essence and the whole of Vedanta is this Knowledge, this supreme Knowledge:
That I am by nature the formless, all-pervasive Self.
6. There is no doubt that I am that God who is the Self of all;
Pure, indivisible, like the sky.
7. I indeed am immutable and infinite – of the form of pure Intelligence.
I do not know how or in relation to whom joy and sorrow exist.
8. I have no mental activity, good of bad;
I have no bodily function, good or bad;
I have no verbal action, good or bad.
I am the nectar of Knowledge – beyond the senses, pure.
9. The mind indeed is of the form of space.
The mind indeed is omnifaced.
The mind is the past.
The mind is all.
But in reality there is no mind.
All – the phenomenal universe – including all time and space – cosmos.
In reality – In the highest realization of the Spirit there is no mind.
10. I, the One only, am all this, beyond space and continuous.
How can I see the Self as visible or hidden?
Continuous – without the intervention of another substance;
Therefore homogeneous and undifferentiated.
Hidden – The question of the Self as being hidden or visible does not arise when one oneself is that Self.
11. Thus you are One. Why then do you not understand – that you are the unchangeable One, equally perceived in all?
O mighty One, how can you, who are ever-shining, unrestricted, think of day and night?
You – Dattatreya now addresses the disciple to whom he is imparting the highest truth.
Night – There can be no perception of any time or condition in perfect Self-realization.
12. Know the Self always to be everywhere, one and unintercepted.
I am the meditator and the highest object of meditation.
Why do you divide the Indivisible?
Unintercepted – See note on “Continuous,” verse 10.
Divide, etc. – Even the act of meditation is an expression of ignorance because it implies duality.
13. You are not born nor do you die.
At no time do you have a body.
The scripture declares in many different ways – the well-known dictum:
“All is Brahman.”
14. You are He who is exterior and interior.
You are the auspicious One existing everywhere at all times.
Why are you running hither and thither deluded, like an unclean spirit?
15. Union and separation exist in regard neither to you nor to me.
There is no you, no me, nor is there this universe.
All is verily the Self alone.
16. You do not belong to that which is composed of the five objects of sense, such as sound; nor does that belong to you.
You indeed are the supreme Reality.
Why then do you suffer?
Five. – The world appearance is composed of the five objects of sense: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, and is not in reality connected with the Self.
17. For you there is no birth or death, for you there is no mind, for you there is no bondage or liberation, no good or evil.
Why do you shed tears, my child?
Neither you nor I have name and form.
18. Oh mind, why do you wander about deluded, like an unclean spirit?
Behold the Self indivisible.
Be happy through renunciation of attachment.
19. You verily are Truth, devoid of change, motionless, one, of the nature of freedom.
You have neither attachment nor aversion .
Why do you suffer, seeking the objects of desires?
20. All the scriptures say that the Truth is without attributes, pure, immutable, bodiless, and existing equally everywhere.
Know me to be That.
21. Know that which has form to be false, that which is formless
to be eternal.
Through the instruction of this truth there is no longer rebirth into this world.
No longer, etc. – Knowing oneself as eternal, one is not born into this world anymore, since incarnation is caused only by the soul’s ignorance of its true nature.
Yet let it be known that some return for compassion’s sake while yet knowing the absolute.
22. Sages say that Reality is one only and the same.
And through renunciation of attachment, the mind, which is one and many, ceases to exist.
One and many – “one” in a high (but not the highest) state of illumination, “many” in the state of ignorance.
23. If it is of the nature of the not-Self, how can there be Samahdi?
If it is of the nature of the Self, how can there be Samahdi?
If it is both “is” and “is not”, how can there be Samahdi?
If all is one and of the nature of freedom, how can there be Samahdi?
It – inconscientousness or true realization.
Samahdi – the absorption of the mind in the absolute Brahman, as a result of which the eternal Truth is realized.
Dattatreya maintains that the practice of Samahdi has no justification.
If the universe of our experience is the not-Self, then the true “I” is not in the state of Samahdi, for Truth is not there.
If our experience is of the Self, then Samahdi is superfluous.
How can The Self then be in Samahdi?
24. You are pure homogeneous Reality, disembodied, unborn, and immutable.
Why do you think of yourself as “I know it here” or as “I do not know”?
“I know it here”, etc. – Our knowledge of our Self in this earthly state is incorrect. To maintain that we do not have any true knowledge of our Self here is also incorrect.
25. By such sentences as “That thou art,” our own Self is affirmed.
Of that which is untrue and composed of the five elements – the Sruti (scripture) says, “Not this, not this.” (Neti Neti)
That, etc. – the phenomenal existence as well as the unknowable.
Five elements – earth, water, fire, air, and ether, of which, according to the Indian systems of philosophy the whole relative existence is constituted. See verse 3.
Sruti – the Vedas, particularly the Upanishads, the original texts of the Vedanta philosophy.