Avadhuta Gita

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Avadhuta Gita

The Avadhuta gita is one of the 36 minor philosophical poems composed in imitation of the well-known Bhagavad gita. It is an independent treatise Advaita Vedanta and preaches an uncompromising non-dualism. Its authorship is attributed to Avadhuta Dattatreya. Hence it is also called Datta gita or Datta-gita-yogasastra. It is also titled, though rarely, Vedantasara.

This small treatise of 271 verses is divided into 28 chapters. The first chapter deals with the nature of the atman, which is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; which has no birth, no death, no bondage and no liberation either. The second deals with the proofs for the same. Duality is born out of ignorance of the real nature of the one Divine. Incidentally, even the great Avadhuta has hinted at the need for a spiritual guide (2.23) in realizing the atman. The next two chapters deal with the inner nature of the atman in highly poetical tones. The fifth chapter advises a man to avoid all lamentations, as the atman is the same in all conditions. The sixth chapter negates all kinds of distinctions whether of caste or family, of senses or their objects, of the mind or the intellect or their activities because none of these exists when looked at from the standpoint of the atman. The seventh describes the state of the avadhuta. The eighth gives a definition of the word 'avadhuta' by interpreting each of the four syllables (a, va, dhu, ta) of that word.