Avadhuta Gita of Dattatreya with English translation and exhaustive introduction by Kanoo Mal published in On other page(s): History and calligraphy of the The Avadhuta Gita Source: # 73 to 75, Reprinted from Abhayananda, S., Dattatreya: The Song Of The Avadhut . THE AVADHUT GITA, or Avadhuta Gita, may be called an ancient non-dual text. Several errors in Hari Prasad Shastri’s English translation (1st edition, ).

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It is regarded as one of the greatest treatise on Advaita Dsttatreya and some scholars date it as far back as B. The word “avadhut” refers avadhutx one who has renounced all worldly attachments and connections and lives in a state beyond body consciousness. He has shaken off all cares and concerns, possessions avadhutta positions, along with all concepts and labels that interfere with his direct perception of Reality.

He holds out no compromise with illusion, he offers no foothold on separation, he allows no semblance of duality at all to creep into his direct perception.

He does not identify with his mind or body or “names and forms” and does not recognise a distinction between himself and the world around him. According to Dattatreya, an avadhut need not have any particular appearance, lifestyle, religion or social role. He may walk about naked or be dressed as a prince.

Avadhuta Gita of Dattatreya

He may appear pious or blasphemous, ascetic or hedonistic. Such a person is held to ddattatreya pure consciousness in human form. He is the ever-free Reality avadhuya. By the Grace of the impersonal, absolute Reality, those seeking liberation are inspired above all men with the disposition to non-duality, which relieves them of the great fear. How can I salute the Self [one’s true nature], which is indestructible, which is all bliss, which in Itself and by Itself pervades everything, and which is inseparable from Itself?

I alone am, ever free from all taint. The world exists like a mirage within me. To whom shall I bow? Reader, do you exist? Verily the one Self is all, free from differentiation and non-differentiation. Neither can it be said, “It is” nor “It is not. This is the whole substance of Vedanta; this is the essence of all knowledge, theoretical and intuitional. I am the Self, by nature impersonal and all-pervasive. I am pure knowledge, imperishable, infinite. I know neither joy nor pain; whom can they touch?


The actions of the mind, good and evil, the actions of the body, good and evil, the actions of the voice, good and evil, exist not within the Self. I am the nectar which is knowledge absolute; beyond the range fita the senses I am. The mind is as space, embracing all. I am beyond mind. In reality, mind has no independent existence. How can it be said that the Self is manifest? How can it be said that the Self is limited? I alone am existence; all this objective world am I.

More subtle than dattatreys itself am I. Know the Self to be infinite consciousness, self-evident, beyond destruction, enlightening all bodies equally, ever shining. In It is neither day nor night. Know the Self to be one, ever the same, changeless.

How can you say: The body was never yours. The ancient scriptures have repeatedly affirmed: You are all the absolute Reality, free from all change, the same within and without, absolute bliss. Run not to and fro like a ghost. Neither unity nor separation exist in you nor in me. All is Self alone. The subtle faculties of dahtatreya, taste, smell, form and sound which constitute the world without are not yourself, nor are they within you.

Birth and death exist not in the mind, not in you, as do also bondage and liberation. Good and evil are in the mind, and not in you. Beloved, why do you cry? Name and form are neither in you nor in me. Oh my mind, why do you range in delusion like a ghost?

Know the Self to be above duality and be happy.

You are the essence of knowledge, indomitable, eternal, ever free from modifications. Neither is there in you attachment nor indifference. Let not yourself suffer from desires. Know That to be who you are. Know all forms, physical and subtle, as illusion. Tita Reality underlying them is eternal. By living this Truth one passes beyond birth and death.

The sages call the Self the “ever-same”. By giving up attachment the mind sees neither duality nor unity. Concentration is not possible either on perishable objects, on dsttatreya of their mutability, nor on the Self. In the Self, freedom absolute, how is a state of Self-absorption possible?

Birthless, pure, bodiless, equable, imperishable Self you know yourself to be.

How then avsdhuta you say, “I know my Self” or “I know not my Self”? Thus have the sacred scriptures spoken of the Self; “That You Are!


All this is ever pervaded by you as the Self. In you is neither the meditator nor the object of meditation. Why, mind, do you shamelessly meditate? I know not Reality. How can I speak of Him?

Avadhuta Gita of Dattatreya by Dattātreya

Who Reality is I do not know. How can Avafhuta worship Gira I am the only Reality, like absolute space is my nature. In me is neither unity nor variety. The cause of imagination too is absent in me. Free from subject and object am I. How can I be Self-realisable? Endless is my nature, nothing else exists. Absolute Truth is my nature, nothing else gjta.

Self by nature, the supreme Reality am I, neither am Vaadhuta slayer nor the slain. On the destruction of a jar, the space in it unites with all space. In my Self and Reality I see no difference when the mind is purified. Absolute Reality alone is, as pure consciousness. In truth there is no jar, and no jar-space, no embodied Soul [Self], nor its nature. Some there are that prize non-dualism, others hold to dualism. They know not the Truth, which is above both.

How can the ultimate Reality be described, since It is neither white nor any other colour, has no qualities such as sound, and is beyond voice and mind?

Where the one Reality alone is, how can it be said that “this world is illusory” or “this world is not illusory”, “this is a shadow” or “this is not a shadow”?

I am without beginning and without end. Never was I bound. By nature pure, taintless is my Self.

This I know for sure. From subtle substance down to formed creation, there is nothing but the one Reality; most clearly do I see this. Where then is the division of caste?

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The absolute Void and its opposite, all am I everlastingly. Self is not male or female, nor is It neuter; neither is It happiness nor suffering.

How dare you pervert It? Self is not guta by the six methods of Yoga. Absence of the mind makes It no clearer. The teachings of a Guru reveal It not. It is all purity, in Itself, by Itself. I am neither bound nor free.