|Part of a series on|
The Ashtavakra Gita (Sanskrit in Devanagari: अष्टावक्रगीता; IAST: aṣṭāvakragītā) or the Song of Ashtavakra is a classical Advaita Vedanta scripture. Radhakamal Mukerjee, an Indian social scientist, dates the book to the period immediately after the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita (c. 500–400 BCE).
The Ashtavakra Samhita documents a dialogue between the sage Ashtavakra and Janaka, king of Mithila. Ashtavakra is probably identical to the holy sage with the same name who appears in Mahabharata, though the connection is not clearly stated in any of the texts. Mukherjee identifies Janaka as the father of Sita and disciple of the sage Yajnavalkya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.[a] Janaka is also depicted as a king who has attained perfection in the Bhagavad Gita (III,20,25).
Ashtavakra Gita presents the traditional teachings of Advaita Vedanta. The work was known, appreciated and quoted by Ramakrishna and his disciple Vivekananda, as well as by other well known gurus such as Swami Chinmayananda, Ramana Maharshi, Osho and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Radhakrishnan refers to it with great respect.
Further, Ashtavakra's bent body: originally a symbol of disease and weakness ultimately represents the symbol of true and all powerful knowledge by the end of his journey. In a conversation between Janaka and Ashtavakra pertaining to the deformity of his crooked body Ashtavakra explains that the size of a Temple is not affected by how it is shaped, and the shape of his own body does not affect himself (or Atman). The ignorant mans vision is shrouded by names and forms but a wise men sees only himself. (Chinmayananda 1997:n.p.) 
Ashtavakra Gita is a dialogue between Ashtavakra and Janaka on the nature of soul, reality and bondage. It offers an extremely radical version of non-dualistic philosophy. The Gita insists on complete unreality of external world and absolute oneness of existence. It does not mention any morality or duties and therefore, is seen by commentators as 'godless'. It also dismisses names and forms as unreal and a sign of ignorance.
|“||You are really unbound and action-less, self-illuminating and spotless already. The cause of your bondage is that you are still resorting to stilling the mind. (I.15)
You are unconditioned and changeless, formless and immovable, unfathomable awareness, imperturbable- such consciousness is un-clinging. (I.17)
The books comprises 20 chapters:
- I Saksi - Vision of the Self as the All-pervading Witness
- II Ascaryam - Marvel of the Infinite Self Beyond Nature
- III Atmadvaita - Self in All and All in the Self
- IV Sarvamatma - Knower and the Non-knower of the Self
- V Laya - Stages of Dissolution of Consciousness
- VI Prakrteh Parah - Irrelevance of Dissolution of Consciousness
- VII Santa - Tranquil and Boundless Ocean of the Self
- VIII Moksa - Bondage and Freedom
- IX Nirveda - Indifference
- X Vairagya - Dispassion
- XI Cidrupa - Self as Pure and Radiant Intelligence
- XII Svabhava - Ascent of Contemplation
- XIII Yathasukham - Transcendent Bliss
- XIV Isvara - Natural Dissolution of the Mind
- XV Tattvam - Unborn Self or Brahman
- XVI Svasthya - Self-Abidance through Obliteration of the World
- XVII Kaivalya - Absolute Aloneness of the Self
- XVIII Jivanmukti - Way and Goal of Natural Samadhi
- XIX Svamahima - Majesty of the Self
- XX Akincanabhava - Transcendence of the Self
English discourse 
Nath (1907) opened the discourse of this Gita into the English language. Mukerjee (1889–1968) continued the discourse into English with his posthumous work published in 1971. Stroud (2004) wrote on the Astavakra Gita as a work of multivalent narrative. Swami Chinmayananda has written a commentary on the Ashtavakra Gita, which has references to the Upanishads to help convey the meaning of the text. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has given commentary on Ashtavakra Gita in Hindi and English Language.
- Janaka receives the teaching of the supreme Self from Yajnavalkya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.
- Mukherjee 1971, p. i.
- Mukherjee 1971, p. 4.
- s:Ashtavakra Gita#Translator's Notes
- Mukherjee 1971, p. 1.
- s:Ashtavakra Gita#Translator's Notes
- Vanita, Ruth. "Full of God:Ashtavakra and ideas of Justice in Hindu Text". Equinox Publishing Ltd.
- Manuel Schoch (1 July 2007). Bitten by the Black Snake: The Ancient Wisdom of Ashtavakra. Sentient Publications. ISBN 978-1-59181-060-5. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Ruth Vanita (2005). Gandhi's Tiger and Sita's Smile: Essays on Gender, Sexuality, and Culture. Yoda Press. pp. 239–. ISBN 978-81-902272-5-4. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Astavakra Gita, Translation by John Richards. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Mukherjee 1971, p. iii.
- Baij Nath (Lala.) (1907). The Ashtavakra Gita: being a dialogue between King Janaka and Rishi Ashtavakra on Vedanta. Office of the Vaishya Hitkari.
- Radhakamal Mukerjee (1971). The song of the self supreme (Aṣṭāvakragītā): the classical text of Ātmādvaita by Aṣṭāvakra. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 81-208-1367-7, ISBN 978-81-208-1367-0. Source:  (accessed: Friday March 19, 2010)
- Stroud, Scott R. (2004). "Narrative as Argument in Indian Philosophy: The Astavakra Gita as Multivalent Narrative." Philosophy and Rhetoric - Volume 37, Number 1, 2004, E-ISSN: 1527-2079 Print ISSN: 0031-8213, pp. 42-71
- Mukerjee, Radhakaml (1971), Aṣṭāvakragītā (the Song of the Self Supreme): The Classical Text of Ātmādvaita by Aṣṭāvakra, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., ISBN 978-81-208-1367-0
Original text 
- in Original Sanskrit as PDF
- in Original Sanskrit
- in Devanagari
- in Romanized Sanskrit
- Ashtavakra Gita in Devanagari @ Wikisource
- Ashtavakra Gita in Devanagari with English translation side by side
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ashtavakra Gita|
- Poetic translation of Ashtavakra Gita in Hindi by Dr Mridul Kirti
- s:Ashtavakra Gita Translation at Wikisource by John Richards
- Online Translation by John Richards - second editions:Talk:Ashtavakra Gita#Different editions
- John Richards translation in pdf format
- First in a series of 41 Discourses on Ashtavakra Gita available for Free Downloading
- Swami Nityaswarupananda (1940). Ashtavakra Samhita: [Sanskrit] text with word-for-word translation, English rendering and comments. Mayavati, Almoral, Himalayas: Advaita Ashrama.