In the wake of the last chapter of the Ashtavakra Gita, King Janaka pours out with joy on that transcendental state which is the self of all. What are all these creations, what is this body, what are these sense organs or what indeed is the mind? What is emptiness or what indeed is desirelessness? There is none of all these in myself which is taintless, says he.
What is this self that the king talks about? Where is it? Do all of us experience it? What do we understand when all the Upanishads declare that the self is all and nothing else exists? We do indeed experience it unknowingly. In fact, we rest in it every day, not the bed we sleep on, but the space within that the mind goes and finally seeks refuge behind closed eyes, ears that cannot hear, nose which doesn’t smell, tongue that doesn’t taste and the skin that doesn’t experience any touch. The organs of action are also not functioning. This is the space of our refreshment and rest where there are no names and forms.
The only difference is: we go there and come back without any awareness whatsoever. It is like dozing off in a train unaware of all the stations that went by, touching the destination and getting back to where we started the next day!
For me who has transcended all delusions of the mind, what do the scriptures have to say, what does this knowledge of the self has to say, what does the mind have to do as it has no specific objects to hold on to, what does contentment or even freedom from desires mean?
Nothing indeed, says King Janaka.
Where is knowledge and where is ignorance, where am I, what is known as mine, where is bondage or what is liberation? For the one who knows him to be the self, where is a form to define him?
For the one whose mind is rooted in the self which is free of any specialities, it is the simple truth that is always aware of everything, where is the question of experiencing the results of any action that was well begun or where indeed is a state of living in liberation or freedom after leaving the body?
When there is no entity that accompanies each breath taken in, to say “look this is me and all this belongs to me,” any action done has no doer for it, nor does he say that he enjoys or suffers the results of actions. There is also no experience of actionless awareness too.
There are no results for such actions that are not yet known for me who is free of any defining quality of nature, at all times, asks King Janaka.