Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking
I am neither bound nor free because bondage and freedom are illusory concepts. The universe, though appearing in me, only appears to exist because of ignorance. Knowing I am the self, my belief in the illusion ceases.
-Ashtavakra Samhita 2:18
I appear to be bound by the universe when I believe it is real. But the universe cannot be real because it continuously changes in the waking state; it is periodically replaced by an ever-changing dream universe in the dream state; and it is completely absent in deep sleep. How real is that?
Perhaps the universe is still there when I don’t see it in the state of dream or deep sleep? Even if it is, that does not establish its reality. For if it were real, it would continue to be evident in dream and deep sleep. For that which truly exists is self-evident and does not need to be established any means of knowledge such as perception. The self alone is self-evident and self-established. I am that self and I alone exist. There is no bondage to escape from and no freedom to strive for. OM.