How is one to acquire knowledge? How is one to attain liberation? And how is one to reach dispassion? Tell me this, sir.
If you are seeking liberation, my son, avoid the objects of the senses like poison and cultivate tolerance, sincerity, compassion, contentment, and truthfulness as the antidote.
You do not consist of any of the elements — earth, water, fire, air, or even ether. To be liberated, know yourself as consisting of consciousness, the witness of these.
If only you will remain resting in consciousness, seeing yourself as distinct from the body, then even now you will become happy, peaceful and free from bonds.
Righteousness and unrighteousness, pleasure and pain are purely of the mind and are no concern of yours. You are neither the doer nor the reaper of the consequences, so you are always free.
You are the one witness of everything and are always completely free. The cause of your bondage is that you see the witness as something other than this.
Since you have been bitten by the black snake, the opinion about yourself that “I am the doer,” drink the antidote of faith in the fact that “I am not the doer,” and be happy.
Burn down the forest of ignorance with the fire of the understanding that “I am the one pure awareness,” and be happy and free from distress.
Image : 19th-century painting of Aṣṭāvakra, who was born with physical handicap and grows up into a celebrated sage.