THE BANE OF KNOWLEDGE
My son, you may recite or listen to countless scriptures, but you will not be established within until you can forget everything.
You may, as a learned man, indulge in wealth, activity, and meditation, but your mind will still long for that which is the cessation of desire, and beyond all goals.
Everyone is in pain because of their striving to achieve something, but no one realises it. By no more than this instruction, the fortunate one attains tranquillity.
Happiness belongs to no one but that supremely lazy man for whom even opening and closing his eyes is a bother.
When the mind is freed from such pairs of opposites as, "I have done this," and "I have not done that," it becomes indifferent to merit, wealth, sensuality and liberation.
One man is abstemious and averse to the senses, another is greedy and attached to them, but he who is free from both taking and rejecting is neither abstemious nor greedy.
So long as desire,
the state of lack of discrimination,
the sense of revulsion and attraction will remain,
which is the root and branch of samsara.
Desire springs from usage,
and aversion from abstension,
but the wise man is free from the pairs of opposites like a child, and becomes established.
The passionate man wants to eliminate samsara so as to avoid pain,
but the dispassionate man is free from pain and feels no distress even in it.
He who is proud about even liberation or his own body, and feels them his own, is neither a seer nor a yogi. He is still just a sufferer.
If even Shiva, Vishnu, or the lotus-born Brahma were your instructor, until you have forgotten everything you cannot be established within.
— Ashtavakra Gita. Chapter XVI
Translated by John Richards