Ashtavakra was enlightened. There is a story he was enlightened even before he was born. When in his mothers womb, his father would recite the vedas and shlokas and would make mistakes. Ashtavakra would wince and his body would twist in mothers womb. So when he was born, he had 8 parts of his body crooked
Janak raja was a great rishi. He was a king. There were some minor issues that held back his enlightenment. Ashtavakra saw those deficiencies and came to his palace for the exclusive purpose of getting rid of those minor flaws. Now mind you,Janak raja was extremely advanced. He was following Raja yoga, the king of all yogas.
What follows is the highest of dialogue between him and Ashtavakra. Every paragraph is loaded the highest wisdom. Paramhansa Yogananda extolled it and wrote wrote about it also.
This is the 8 chapter of Ashtavakra – It has only 4 verses. But it is enough for us to realize who is liberated.
अष्टावक उवाच ॥
तदा बन्धो यदा चित्तं किन्चिद् वांछति शोचति ।
किंचिन् मुंचति गृण्हाति किंचिद् दृष्यति कुप्यति॥८-१॥
Ashtavakra: Bondage is when the mind longs for something,
grieves about something, rejects something, holds on to
something is pleased about something or displeased about
तदा मुक्तिर्यदा चित्तं न वांछति न शोचति ।
न मुंचति न गृण्हाति न हृष्यति न कुप्यति ॥ ८-२॥
Liberation is when the mind does not long for anything, grieve
about anything, reject anything, or hold on to anything, and is
not pleased about anything or displeased about anything.
तदा बन्धो यदा चित्तं सक्तं काश्वपि दृष्टिषु ।
तदा मोक्षो यदा चित्तमसक्तं सर्वदृष्टिषु ॥ ८-३॥
Bondage is when the mind is tangled in one of the senses, and
liberation is when the mind is not tangled in any of the senses.
यदा नाहं तदा मोक्षो यदाह बन्धनं तदा ।
मत्वेति हेलया किंचिन्मा गृहाण विमुंच मा ॥ ८-४॥
When there is no “me” that is liberation, and when there is “me”
there is bondage. Consider this carefully, and neither hold on nor
Very beautiful. This should leave no doubt in the readers mind
Now, let me ask you this, do you like movies? Perhaps you may enjoy Star Wars or Star trek? And the shows talk about space travel and the wonders
Many people will love it and thing it is awesome – those are the people who imagine freedom but dont have it
And contrast that with those who actually travel interseller. Those are the liberated beings
What would you rather have ? – A make believe situation and be under the false illusion of liberation or face the truth, maybe it stings but accept you have not reached there and work hard to get there?