अध्याय १ :- साक्षी
I Saksi - Vision of the Self as the All-pervading Witness.
It all starts when King Janaka asks the sage Ashtavakra how he can attain Knowledge, detachment, liberation. Ashtavakra tells him.
अध्याय २ :-
II Ascaryam - Marvel of the Infinite Self Beyond Nature
It works! Upon hearing Ashtavakra’s words Janaka realizes his True Nature. Enraptured, he describes the joy and wonder of his new state.
अध्याय ३ :- आत्मद्वैत
III Atmadvaita - Self in All and All in the Self
Ashtavakra is delighted for Janaka but sees inconsistencies. He fires off a series of confrontational verses about attachment to worldly pleasure.
अध्याय ४ :-सर्वात्मा
IV Sarvamatma - Knower and the Non-knower of the Self
Janaka asserts that the Lord of the Universe can do as he pleases.
अध्याय ५ :- लय
V Laya - Stages of Dissolution of Consciousness
Ashtavakra does not disagree, but in a terse four verses points to the next step—dissolution.
अध्याय ६ :- प्रक्र्तेह परः
VI Prakrteh Parah - Irrelevance of Dissolution of Consciousness
Janaka says “I know that already,” matching him in style and number of verses.
अध्याय ७ :- संत
VII Santa - Tranquil and Boundless Ocean of the Self
Unable to leave it at that, however, Janaka goes on to further describe his enlightened state.
अध्याय ८ :- मोक्ष
VIII Moksa - Bondage and Freedom
Still hearing too much “I” in Janaka’s language, Ashtavakra instructs him in the subtleties of attachment and bondage.
अध्याय ९ :- निर्वेद
IX Nirveda - Indifference
Ashtavakra continues to describe the way of true detachment.
अध्याय १० :- वैराग्य
X Vairagya - Dispassion
Ashtavakra hammers away at the folly of desire—no matter how elevated or subtle.
अध्याय ११ :- चिद्रुप
XI Cidrupa - Self as Pure and Radiant Intelligence
Ashtavakra further describes the state of desirelessness to which he points.
अध्याय १२ :- स्वभाव
XII Svabhava - Ascent of Contemplation
Janaka replies by describing the state of timeless stillness in which he now finds himself.
अध्याय १३ :- यथासुखम
XIII Yathasukham - Transcendent Bliss
Janaka, having been instructed by Ashtavakra in Chapter One to “be happy,” reports that he indeed is.
अध्याय १४ :- ईश्वर
XIV Isvara - Natural Dissolution of the Mind
Janaka then summarizes his exalted state with calm indifference.
अध्याय १५ :- तत्त्वं
XV Tattvam - Unborn Self or Brahman
Impressed but not through teaching, Ashtavakra relentlessly points to the vast emptiness of Self.
अध्याय १६ :- स्वास्थ्य
XVI Svasthya - Self-Abidance through Obliteration of the World
Ashtavakra attacks the futility of effort and knowing.
अध्याय १७ :- कैवल्य
XVII Kaivalya - Absolute Aloneness of the Self
Ashtavakra describes the nature of one who is truly free.
अध्याय १८ :- जीवनमुक्ती
XVIII Jivanmukti - Way and Goal of Natural Samadhi
Finally, Ashtavakra hits him with everything he’s got—100 verses of pure non-duality. If this doesn’t do it, nothing will.
अध्याय १९ :- स्वमहिमा
XIX Svamahima - Majesty of the Self
It works! Janaka no longer describes his enlightened state, but can speak only in questions revealing absence.
अध्याय २० :- अकिंचनभाव
XX Akincanabhava - Transcendence of the Self
In a final flurry of questions pointing only at their own meaninglessness, Janaka burns off the last vestiges of personhood and enters dissolution. He ends with: “No more can be said.”
Ashtavakra smiles, nods approvingly, and says no more.