them to be drowned by faithful servants employed by
thee. Hearing this, I have come before these
Brahmanas, to expound the doctrine of the unity of
the Supreme Being. Where is now Vandin? Tell
me so that I may approach him, and destroy him, even
as the sun destroyeth the stars.” Thereupon
the king said, “Thou hopest, O Brahmana, to defeat
Vandin, not knowing his power of speech. Can those
who are familiar with his power, speak as thou dost?
He hath been sounded by Brahmanas versed in the Vedas.
Thou hopest to defeat Vandin, only because thou knowest
not his powers (of speech). Many a Brahmana hath
waned before him, even as the stars before the sun.
Desirous of defeating him, people proud of their learning,
have lost their glory on appearing before him, and
have retired from his presence, without even venturing
to speak with the members of the assembly.”
Asthavakra said, “Vandin hath never entered
into disputation with a man like myself, and it is
for this only that he looketh upon himself as a lion,
and goeth about roaring like one. But to-day
meeting me he will lie down dead, even like a cart
on the highway, of which the wheels have been deranged.”
The king said, “He alone is a truly learned
man who understandeth the significance of the thing
that hath thirty divisions, twelve parts twenty-four
joints, and three hundred and sixty spokes.”
Ashtavakra said, “May that ever-moving wheel
that hath twenty-four joints, six naves, twelve peripheries,
and sixty spokes protect thee!" The king said,
“Who amongst the gods beareth those two which
go together like two mares (yoked to a car), and sweep
like a hawk, and to what also do they give birth?”
Ashtavakra said, “May God, O king, forfend the
presence of these two in thy house; aye, even
in the house of thine enemies. He who appeareth,
having for his charioteer the wind, begetteth
them, and they also produce him.” Thereupon
the king said, “What is that doth not close its
eyes even while sleeping; what is it that doth not
move, even when born; what is it that hath no heart;
and what doth increase even in its own speed?”
Ashtavakra said, “It is a fish that doth
not close its eye-lids, while sleeping; and it is
an a egg that doth not move when produced; it
is stone that hath no heart; and it is a river
that increase in its own speed.”
 This wheel is the wheel of Time—i.e.,
measured according to the solar, lunar and astral
revolutions. The importance of Ashtavakra’s
reply is this: May the meritorious deeds performed
at proper times, during the revolution of this
wheel of Time protect thee.
 Thunder and lightning
or misery and death.
 Cloud or the mind.
 The male being that is
 The mundane egg.
 The soul that has renounced
connection with the body.
 The heart of a Yogi.
“’The king said, “It seemeth, O
possessor of divine energy, that thou art no human
being. I consider thee not a boy, but a matured
man; there is no other man who can compare with thee
in the art of speech. I therefore give thee admittance.
There is Vandin."’”