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The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita
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The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  794 ratings  ·  90 reviews
The Ashtavakra Gita conveys with beauty and simplicity the essential teachings of Advaita Vedanta, the most influential of the Hindu philosophical systems. Composed by an anonymous master of the school of the great sage Shankara, it is a book of practical advice for seekers of wisdom as well as an ecstatic expression of the experience of enlightenment. In this simple, aph ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published November 13th 2001 by Shambhala (first published June 1953)
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Ashish Iyer
The Ashtavakra Gita, also known as the Ashtavakra Samhita is written as a dialogue between sage Ashtavakra and Janaka, king of the kingdom Mithila. Ashtavakra Gita, is advaitic masterpiece stating the whole truth without duality. When it comes to spiritual books, there is no question of commenting on content of the book. The only thing that matters is how the Author has presented the content for the easy understanding of the reader.

This one is highly enlightening commentary on Ashtavakra Gita. C
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The last verse of this gem...
Where is existence or non-existence?
Where is Unity or duality?
Nothing emanates from me.
No more can be said.

Matthew Klippenstein
This translation of the Ashtavakra Gita, along with translations of the Bhagavad Gita and Katha Upanishad, form the Hindu scripture portion of the heart of my personal library.

There is a mesmerizing poetry in this translation: simple, sparse, elegant. And so, the Gita soars from the page, fluid, unforced -- and arrestingly profound.

Some yoga practises bring the student into an awareness of the space in one's breathing, between exhalation and inhalation -- a point of stillness. Generally, the int
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As Osho says, unparalleled. There is a full Hindi translation of the main book that consists of a prologue and epilogue that gives it a tale/novel kind of motion that made me more emotionally involved than any other English novel I have ever read.

Who would have thought that thirty five pages of an ancient hindu scripture (read in hindi/sanskrit) describing the experiences casued by a conversation between a cuirious king and a handicapped child-sage comprising of a few days in a time period of a
Fuad Fuad
Oct 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book very important for the seeker and read carefully....repeat reading...and I am very happy after read this book....If I have spare time,I try to read this book.If someone else asking me which one the best books about advaita....I recomend this books...
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A cataract surgery for the soul. Personally, it appeared defeatist and indolent at times but if you can pick and choose from its teaching, it's an enlightening work of philosophy. It humbled me to the ranks of a simpleton with its profound, yet amusing wit. ...more
Dec 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
One of the best Indian gitas that is comparable in many ways to the Tao Te Ching. Simple yet profound wisdom.
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awesome, spiritual
One Amazing source of spiritual knowledge, so easily explained...I can go back to this awsome book anytime... Yeah.. Literally anytime... opens up one's thinking beyond horizons... Must read! ...more
Jan 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
While the Ashtavakra Gita is a beautiful book, this translation is horrible. It is so disappointing, that even over a year later, memories of it has spurred me to write a review here so that others may be made aware and go seek a better translation.

My main issue is that the author's translation changes the very nature of this Gita. The Ashtavakra Gita is originally in a debate/dialogue format between the King and a challenger. The depth and meaning of this beautiful Gita resides in that exchang
Brandon Peele
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do not read this unless you are actively pursuing a spiritual path. It possesses an unheralded amount of spiritual nihilism that will not produce positive results for the casual reader. It is a meditation and proclamation that we are already awake and merely need to awaken to this awakeness. If you like Richard Rose, Jed McKenna, Franklin Merrell-Wolff, Douglas Harding, Nisargadatta Maharaj, UG Krishnamurti or Wei Wu Wei you'll like Astavakra. ...more
Dar A
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is more to say?
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
profound exposition on ashtavakra essence
Micky Sullivan
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only book a person would ever need to read. That simple really.
Ashish Singh
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books. It gives clear understanding of life. A must read for the seekers who wants to live life at best
Jeevan Koneti
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good one
May 21, 2009 rated it liked it
a friend quoted a part of the Ashtavakra Gita to me when I had bells palsy in college. i picked up this book when my mom was sick with cancer so that i could share it with her, as well.

You are not your body.
Your body is not you.

You are not the doer.
You are not the enjoyer.

You are pure awareness,
The witness of all things.

You are without expectation,
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To understand that our mind is just a sailboat floating on an ocean of 'being'. Just like a droplet of water (the self, the ego) that has evaporated into the sky from the ocean and eventually will rain down into the ocean when we get awake by dissolving ourselves loosing those layers of dust that we acquired on the surface of the droplet. That was what trapped me in the reading process. It's so beautiful. ...more
Abhishek Purohit
Deep and profound knowledge

Practical wisdom from ancient times but still so relevant in modern times and situations. This is one book you would go over and over again in different stages of life.
Chander Shekhar Kohli
Eye opener, distroyed all my disbelief which I carried since long

This book is much above these five stars. It has destroyed all my disbelief and given the right way to move forward. I have read many books but nothing campared to this. Thank you so much for this.....
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
awesome...ageold wisdom unfolding in print..
Abhinav Kapri
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Soothing knowledge, knowledge for the soul and priority for a spiritual seeker.
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the deepest of deep, where no words go, he finds a way to describe it and make it better.
Yocountesslo Curtis
Layers and layers of simple truth for the journey of enlightenment.
Arvind Munshi
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Divine Nectar. So Stimulating isn't it .... This is what Guru Ji said, while I was holding this book in my hand for his autograph. ...more
Suresh Kumar
Jan 09, 2017 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Interested to know what will be the interpretation and commentary on this Excellent Advaita Book.
Milko Donev
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who Are You?
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
practical and profound wisdom that brings about greater self-awarness...it's really been a huge resource for learning how to navigate difficult people and situations and keeping my mind centered. ...more
Pushpak Pawar
Its Great book to grow on spritual Paths
I brought it from
Abhishek Menon
स्वभावभूमिविश्रान्तिविस्मृतअशेषसंसृतेः - One of the upsides of reading Sanskrit texts, even when you don't necessarily share the author's weltanschauung, is that you are bound to come across these strange, lyrical and ingenious compound formations every now and then which stop you dead in your tracks and which reverberate inside for a long, long time. ...more
Jacob Acosta
Feb 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
So far, this is the only book I consider to be “holy.”
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Ashtavakra is a sage mentioned in Hindu scriptures. He is described as one born with eight different deformities of the body. In Sanskrit, Aṣṭāvakra means "one having eight bends".

He is traditionally regarded as the author of one of the greatest cornerstone works of Advaita Vedanta - the Ashtavakra Gita, a philosophical/metaphysical dialogue between King Janaka of Mithila and Ashtavakra himself.

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