"Karmayoga does not mean ceaseless pursuit of karma. It truly consists in the Yoga orientation and discipline given to the buddhi and the mind. Constant preservation and application of Yogabuddhi while doing any work, alone makes one a Karmayogin."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha


Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

After listening to Sage Ashtavakra, in this text, the initial conversation covers about twenty verses which initially Sage Ashtavakra said. After listening to the twenty verses, their message, Janaka instantly feels the touch, the dimension, magnitude and also potential of what everyone says as ‘I’.

‘I’ is only a word or a letter but it denotes something in the way of a presence and a power within your body, other than the body. Not only other than the body, it is other than the mind, other than the intelligence, other than the ego. There is something different from these. That is what we refer to by the term ‘I’. Maybe Janaka had not thought about this ‘I’ anytime at all.

When Ashtavakra started discussing and exposing the true dimension, magnitude of the ‘I’, it was very, very, surprising, sweepingly so, and enlightening. As a keen listener, enquirer, a disciple, Janaka had the sensitivity to absorb the instruction and he starts speaking about how he was feeling after listening to the instruction and absorbing it.

Here at one point he says,

मत्तो विनिर्गतं विश्वं मय्येव लयमेष्यति ।
matto vinirgatam viśvam mayy-eva layam-eṣyati |
(Ashtavakra Samhita 2.10)

Matto vinirgataṁ viśvaṁ mayyeva layameṣyati – We all know that everyone of us is born in this world. After we were born, we start living till the end of our life. The beginning of our life is marked by the emergence of our body from the mother’s womb and the end of life is marked by the body becoming breathless, unable to breathe by itself. So, the life is defined after the body. But truly speaking, it is not so. Life is what makes the body active and animate.

Electricity passes through a conductor. It lights up or it comes up in the form of a bulb, illumination. In the whole process, it uses the copper or aluminum wire for passing. That does not mean electricity is that metal conductor, material conductor. In the same manner, life is not the body. Life is what makes the body animate and vibrant. That life should be introspected over and understood. When you understand in this manner, while the body is a product evolved by nature – our mother shaped the body in her womb, finally it was delivered off. This point is correct, but in the body what remains and what counts is not the matter-energy part of the body. It is something entirely different from both - the spiritual presence. That spiritual presence is not delivered off by anybody. It is not also taken away by anybody.

It is true that the body is part of the world but what we refer to as ‘I’ is not at all. So he says that - Matto vinirgataṁ viśvaṁ. The entire world is what we perceive, we see, and we are seeing because we have the potential or ability to see. In the process of seeing, it is true that we are employing our eyes in the body but the eyes and the body are themselves shaped by the ‘I’. Only when I wake up, I employ my senses and perceive the world. Waking up is something that arises in me and world perception is something that follows my wakefulness. As the wakefulness arises from me, the world also arises within me.

Any perception is an outcome of the perceiver. And the perceiver is inside - it is not the inert body. It is in the perceiver’s plane that all perceptions, thoughts, experiences, everything takes place. So, the entire world is born out of my perception. When I stop seeing, all the sights simply sink. So he says, "matto vinirgataṁ viśvaṁ mayyeva layameṣyati".

In the evening, how comfortably we forget everything and go into sleep to remain wrapped up in ourselves inside for 6, 7 or 8 hours. So he understood the inner presence and now he goes on saying,

अहो अहं नमो मह्यं विनाशी यस्य नास्ति मे ।
ब्रह्मादिस्तम्बपर्यन्तं जगन्नाशेऽपि तिष्ठतः ॥ २.११ ॥
aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ vināśo yasya nāsti me |
brahmādistaṁbaparyantaṁ jagannāśo'pi tiṣṭhataḥ || 2.10 ||
(Ashtavakra Samhita 2.10)

Janaka is able to strike greater and greater dimensions of what he refers to as the ‘I’. He says, "aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ". My dear children, this is the great culture that we have.

Aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ. People only know about the so many idols installed by us, consecrated by us, whose divinity is generated by the human mind and they run here and there searching those idols. But very few people know that there is something different from the idol, a material piece, a matter piece we worship. So this knowledge and this kind of a worshipping attitude is also there! So he says, "aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ". That which I refer to as the ‘I’, it has so much of world excelling dimensions. What is this? I never knew about it! My ‘I’ is not a simple point, it is a huge circle, excelling and exceeding the circle of the universe!

So he says, "namo mahyaṁ" - I prostrate before myself! You cannot prostrate before yourself but you can only say and feel the majesty of the ‘I’ and feel like prostrating before it. It is your mind that makes you prostrate before an idol. The same mind when it has got the true dimension of the ‘I’, it feels that the ‘I’ is the one, the source of the entire universe! So the first and last prostration should be to the ‘I’. So Janaka says, "aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ".

Brahmādistaṁbaparyantaṁ jagannāśo'pi. The world is created by Brahma, Brahma - the creator. Along with Brahma, when everything that he has created including a blade of grass, when all these things are destroyed, ‘I’ still survive, he says. The ‘I’ that we are referring to, that stills survives. Let the entire creation be dissolved or destroyed but the ‘I’ in me will survive, will survive.

So, which is the greatest, the loftiest and the most powerful, the source of all? The source of the world is not anywhere outside, it is not within the sensory ken. It is within our body. That a mortal body carries such an immortal presence is the great mystery of creation and mystery of human life!

He goes on saying several times - "aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ".

Oh! Wonderful ‘I’! I prostrate before me, before it, before myself! This is also in our country. While religious and devotional practices are rampant in the country, I would like you to understand that this kind of a spiritual introspection and the wonderful effects it is able to produce in the human mind and intelligence have also been there. It is true that many people do not read this Ashtavakra Gita, many people do not read the Bhagvad Gita also. Many people do not read Ramayana and Mahabharata as well. That people do not read does not make the text irrelevant or invalidate what they are saying. So this is also a very important line of thinking and reflection.

Aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ. aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ

The way this kind of a reasoning and this kind of understanding should influence you is this – Our mind should drop all kinds of lack, all kinds of negativity. Never blame others. Never feel insufficiency on this account or the other account. All people have children, if one does not have a child, what is there to be worried about? Many have, you don’t have. As they reconcile with their children, I will reconcile with no child. Our mind is always ready to become full and give you the ecstasy of fullness. So it takes away all kinds of lack, all kinds of contradiction, all kinds of disparity, making you feel singular, full, abundant, affluent and ecstatic! The work is psychological effect, intellectual effect. What a wonderful proposition is this!

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.