The man of wisdom looks at his own body, mind and all actions as if they belong to someone else. So whether someone praises him or criticises him, how is it going to affect him?
When the fearless man of wisdom knows that this whole world is an illusion and is hence devoid of any special enthusiasm to participate in the world, how is he going to be afraid of death even when it approaches close?
Where can there be a parallel or a simile to that man of wisdom whose mind is free of any desires and is revelling all the time in the bliss of one’s own self?
The courageous man of wisdom knows by his own nature that the duality and variety of the world have no substance at all but are only something that can be perceived by the senses and keep changing. Where is the question then of taking something from the world or refusing to accept something?
For the person who has renounced everything of this world even in his mind, who is free of duality and desires—any desire that comes unasked and unexpected, neither gives him sorrow nor joy.
Sage Ashtavakra says that there can be no comparison indeed of the person who is self-realised and hence fearless to the one who foolishly gets caught in the wheel of samsara that keeps churning endlessly without any respite.
The yogi reaches that state of mind where he experiences eternal bliss, a state which the gods and the king of gods Indra wish and try to reach, but yet are unable to. Yet he has no elation about being there.
Just as how smoke never taints the sky, the man of steady awareness is never tainted by the dualities of this world such as virtue and sin. They are actions happening outside, but their impressions as thoughts have no impact on him, as he has realised that he is essentially nothing but consciousness which is pure and untainted.
When the person has realised that everything in this universe is just the atman and nothing but that, who can try to impose any rules on him or pardon him for anything? He is untouched by the diktats of the world.
Among the four categories of creatures beginning from Brahma—the gods, humans, animals and plants—there is none but the self-realised knower of the truth who has the capability to transcend likes and dislikes.
The one who knows the lord of this universe to be the non-dual atman, present everywhere and in everything does actions as he pleases as he has no fear of being questioned. This verse does not mean that knowers of the truth will act indiscriminately, but just that; whatever they do, it will fall in the realms of right action only.