Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit
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About the author:
Veeraswamy Krishnaraj, M.D; F.R.C.P (Canada) is a board certified pediatrician in active practice until the end of 1998. He immersed himself in study of Hinduism in depth. He has sufficient knowledge and understanding of Hindu religion that he is confident to publish this book. He kept the words simple, supple, illuminating and to the point, while retaining the original flavor, beauty and grace. Compound words in Sanskrit are a nightmare for the beginner, as they are spliced together compactly in one continuous stretch of characters. He parsed the compound words into digestible syllables or words with superscripts and sequential numbers and rearranged the words in the verse in a readable form in English. In this book, he claims ownership of shortcomings and cedes the rest to Bhagavan.
This book is good for students, and devotees reading the Bhagavad-Gita in Satsang (true company). Two verses nestle in two boxes in one page with no break or carry-over to the next page. Diacritics help the reader enunciate the words like a Sanskritist. The English words are reader-friendly. Wherever there is a need for elaboration, an addendum supports it.
Simplicity, authority, universality, and profundity are the hallmark of the Bhagavadgita, the Bible of the Hindus. The Bhagavadgita is the Song of the Lord. It provides guidelines for daily living with no dogmas and ritual overtones. It encourages and supports your individuality. It also explains the consequence of errant ways. Total surrender to Bhagavan releases the devotee from the ills of life on earth. Hinduism as a term is an external appellation from non-Hindus. Its true name is Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Law or Eternal Order) commensurate with Rta (Cosmic Order). The beauty about the Bhagavadgita is its appeal is universal.
The Supreme Knower, the Body, and the Prakriti
Ksetrajna, Ksetra, and Prakriti
13.0: Arjuna said:
Prakriti, Purusa, the field, and the knower of the field, knowledge, and the object of knowledge, I wish to know, O Kesava.
प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव क्षेत्रं क्षेत्रज्ञमेव च।
एतद्वेदितुमिच्छामि ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं च केशव।।
prakṛtiṁ puruşaṁ caiva kşetraṁ kşetrajñam eva ca
etad veditum icchāmi jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ ca keśava.
This above verse is present only in Bhagavad-gita as it is by Prabhupada. Thus it is given the number 13.0.
Purusa = The Enjoyer. Ksetram = Body. Ksetrajnam = Knower of the body. Jnanam = Knowledge. Jneyam = object of knowledge. Sariram = body. Ksetram = field. Ksetrajna = Knower of the body.
The human body is the ksetra or the field; the individual soul, trapped inside the body, is Ksetrajna or the knower of the field; the person owning the body is the apparent knower or ksetrajna. Knowledge is to know Brahman as Bliss. The idea here is that if unthinking prakriti makes the body, who is the knower of this body? The individual soul and the Higher soul are the Knowers of the field and have an organic relationship to each other. The individual soul or self is less of a knower than the Higher Self or Soul, because Prakrti burdens and conditions the individual soul. The field of activity for the Higher soul is not only this universe, but the individual souls too. The Lord is the Knower and the witness in bodies of gods and men, and His ksetra is the universe and the beings. He is the Soul also of gods and men. Once the knower understands the distinction between the soul and the body, salvation is within his reach.
All exist for His enjoyment. He is BhOkthA, BhOgyam and PrErithA. BhOktha is the individual. BhOgyam is that which is experienced. PrErithA (Animator) is BhagavAn. BhOktha is the enjoyer. Only if He wills, one can have the enjoyment. Ultimately He is all three. That is the VishEshArtham. That is the knowledge we should acquire. Bhagavan experiences us, because He remains inside us; thus He is the Ultimate BhOgyan (enjoyer or experiencer).
VishEshArtham = Elaborate explanation, (pointing out the special features and beauties of a stanza).
1:Putatma1 (பூதாத்மா) The Pure Self - One who is untainted by the effects of karma - good or bad. Puta Atma yasya sa putatma - One who has the pure Atma is pUtAtmA.
2:Paramatma2 (பரமாத்மா) The Supreme Soul - for whom there is no other guiding or superior soul
3:Muktanam Parama gatih3 (முக்தானாம் பரமகதி) One who is the ultimate goal for all muktas or Released or Liberated Souls.
Yagna = Yajna = Yagnam/Yajnam = யக்ஞம் = யஞ்ஞம் = Sacrifice = ritual Sacrifice.
In Vaishnava tradition and according to Sahasranamam, Bhagavan is PutAtma1, Paramatma2, Muktanam parama gatih3. Mukkur Lakshmi Narasimhachariyar questions who that Paramatma2 is. What is the reason for invoking Him as such? He is present in five Maha Yagnas (ஐவகைவேள்வி): Devata Yagnam1, Bhuta Yagnam2 , Bruhma Yagnam3 , Manushya Yagnam4, and Pitru Yagnam5. Thus Vishnu is known as Yagna-Purusha (யக்கியபுருடன்--yakkiya-purutan) meaning that Vishnu assumes the form of Sacrifice. What we eat is a great Yagnam. We eat not to sustain our body but for the Lord inside us. To perform Yagnam, we need a place. This body is the place for such Yagnam. Bhagavan says that this body is Ksetram. In our body the Homa Kundam is the mouth. Homa Kundam = Pit dug out in the ground for keeping sacrificial fire.
Five kinds of Sacrifice which a householder is enjoined to perform daily. கடவுள்வேள்வி1 ( தேவயஞ்ஞம்1), பூதவேள்வி2 (பூதயஞ்ஞம்2), பிரமவேள்வ3( பிரமயஞ்ஞம்3), மானிடவேள்வி4(மனுஷ்யயஞ்ஞம்4) தென்புலத்தார்வேள்வி5 (பித்ருயஞ்ஞம்5 ) = Devata Yagnam1, Bhuta Yagnam2 , Bruhma Yagnam3 , Manushya Yagnam4, and Pitru Yagnam5.
வேள்வி in Tamil = யஞ்ஞம் in transliterated Sanskrit = Sacrifice.
Devata Yagnam1 = தேவயஞ்ஞம் = sacrifice to deities performed in the consecrated fire.
Bhuta Yagnam2 = பூதயஞ்ஞம் = Giving food to animals.
Bruhma Yagnam3 = பிரமயஞ்ஞம் = Learning and Reciting the Vedas.
Manushya Yagnam4 = மனுஷ்யயஞ்ஞம் = Feeding of guests.
Pitru Yagnam5 = பித்ருயஞ்ஞம் = Offering of libations to ancestors.
(Saiva Siddhantists have a different view about the knowledge of the individual soul and God. Siva is Pure Consciousness separate from and higher than the physical world. He relates to the world through His Sakti, while Vishnu is all-pervasive. He is in you, me and that. Sakti is Siva's surrogate in all His dealings with the world of beings and matter. We are part Sat and part Asat and thus are not pure until we get rid of Asat.
The individual soul is not as pure as the Pure Intelligence, that is Siva, because Siva is pure knowledge and does not seek knowledge from an external source; He exercises Iccha, Jnana, and Kriya (desire, knowledge, and action) without any help from other outside entities. On the other hand individual soul seeks knowledge from the senses derived from the products of Maya (material cause of universe and beings). Apart from it, the individual soul is enveloped in a shroud of Mala or impurities. The individual soul is Sat-Asat (Asat = unconscious matter, insentient matter, Cit-Acit of Vaishnavites) because it uses Asat (sensory organs) to acquire knowledge. God is Pure knowledge; He does not need hands-on experience, direct perception, demonstration, or instruction to acquire knowledge. He sees without eyes; He hears without ears. The soul and its capacity to acquire knowledge are compared to an eye or crystal; God or Siva is the sun. All objects, including the crystal, disappear in the thick of darkness and the eye cannot perceive any object (in darkness); the eye and the crystal need sunlight to see and shine respectively. Siva provides sunlight of knowledge to the soul to cognize an object.
The soul is compared to an owl which is naturally equipped with the nictitating membrane in addition to the eyelids. The owl closes its eyes with its nictitating membrane and prevents light from entering its eyes. In like manner, the soul is covered by Anava Mala preventing the light of knowledge reaching the soul.)
Since the individual soul (Jiva) is trapped inside the body, he is a ksetrajna, bound by body, mind, and sense organs and therefore is called Nitya-baddha (eternally bound soul). He can obtain liberation by controlling his mind and senses. The other Ksetrajna is known as Nitya mukta, who lives free in Vaikuntha. For the soul to go into Vaikuntha is like buying a one-way ticket to eternal bliss (it is like crossing the Rubicon); the soul never leaves Vaikuntha once it arrives there. The individual soul is like a tenant in the body and the Paramatman is like the Landlord. The Lord can evict the soul from the body (physical death) and either takes the soul ito Vaikuntha or relocate it in another body-house. The Jiva-ksetrajna knows something about his field. The Lord knows and owns all jiva-ksetrajnas (all souls) and their bodies and therefore He is the Supreme Ksetrajna, the Supreme Knower.
As Prana (breath), sense organs, mind, and intelligence are unable to wake up the body of a sleeping person, the indwelling jiva-ksetrajna wakes up a person.
There are five sheaths in the body or the field: food, vital air, mind, Vijnāna, and bliss. Bliss or Anandamāyā kosa or causal body is the innermost layer, and knowing bliss as one's own form is knowledge. Even though the Self is not a manifest object, its presence is palpable in all experiences of the body. The difference between the individual self and the Higher Self is the latter is free from the limits and conditions of beings (with individual self).
The self, associated with the body, the senses, and the mind is the enjoyer (Svetāsvatara Upanishad, 1.8). An enjoyer is different from Knower: the former is sense-based and prakriti-bound, while the latter is mainly Brahman-bound and has tasted the nectar of knowledge of Brahman. This knower is also body-bound, yet not of the body, and his self is all-pervasive and experiences Bliss with Brahman. This immersion or absorption of the lesser self into Grater Self is comparable to water poured into water, ghee into ghee and milk into milk. It is oneness with Brahman according to Paingala Upanishad. In this state of oneness, the yogi burns the bonds and the bridges between prakriti and the self with the fire of the knowledge of Brahman. The knower, wherever and however he dies, merges with Brahman as the ether or space in a jar merges with the all-pervading ether or space when the jar breaks. Purusa is the ultimate Enjoyer and the Knower of all fields, because He is the inner controller of the universe and beings.
It is not the endless study of the Vedas; it is not standing on one leg (until it withers) for a thousand years; it is not the sacrifices, pilgrimages, and prayers; these are not the path to Bliss. True knowledge is to understand that liberation is to know Brahman, and giving up the I-consciouness, mine-ness, passions, and dualities.
Self, Soul, and Higher Self are equivalents; lower self, "self,” soul, and individual self are equivalents.
13.1: Sri Bhagavan said:
This body, O son of Kunti, is called the field; he, who knows this, is called the knower of the field by the learned ones.
The implication here is that not everybody knows who the knower of the field is.
13.2: Know Me as the Knower of the field in all fields, O Bharata. The knowledge of the field and its Knower is knowledge in My opinion or mind.
Ksetrajnnam: Knower of the field. Ksetra: Field. Ksetrajana is the Lord. He is the Knower of all fields.
He is the Knower and the Witness in the bodies of gods and men. His ksetra or the field is the universe and the beings. He is the Soul also of gods and Men.
He binds all beings from the highest to the lowest: All beings are strung together like flowers on a thread; man is a bead or a bud on the thread of the conscious Higher Self; thus, that Self or that thread is the Inner Controller. He is the earth, and is in the earth, but the earth knows not. He is the inner controller: He is all-pervasive in both the sentient and the insentient.
The whole world proceeds from the Imperishable Brahman. Brahman delegates Himself to become Isvara, the personal God, and in that transformation, He becomes the Mayin and exercises His māyā power. The Prakriti that projects is māyā itself; here māyā is both the power of the Mayin and the projected Prakriti. Māyā is both the cause and the effect: you know the cause when you see the effect, and Mayin (Isvara) owns both. Māyā is Sakti/power, which Siva uses to create this universe: This is the Saivaite view. Ramanuja believes the creative power remains in Lord Vishnu (in the form of Brahma). (According to Sankara, this union between Self and "non-self” is the basis of adhyāsa or superimposition.) The Lord is the Knower or the enjoyer of both the prakriti and the individual souls. The individual self is also a knower or an enjoyer of this matter (prakriti) in his own limited field: his body is his ksetra or field and he falsely identifies himself as the body.
His true identity is his soul.
The prakriti-bound (matter-bound) enjoyer is the ignorant bird who keeps on eating the sweet and sour fruits, and the Supreme Knower, Isvara perches Higher and acts as a witness. He is the Knower, the Maker, the Self-caused, the Ruler of time and nature, the Lord of excellence, the goal of liberation, the provider of sustenance, and dispeller of bondage. This whole universe and the living entities are his field lit up by His Consciousness. When he is Isvara and moves in prakriti, he is the Knower of the field, Ksetrajna. When He is Brahman, He is Parmatman or Supreme Self or Consciousness.
13.3: What the field is; what kind it is; what its transformations are; what its source is; what he is; who he is; and what his dominion is, hear from Me briefly.
Let Me tell you briefly about the field, its nature, its modifications, its source, its purpose, who the individual self is, the nature of the self, and its dominion.
13.4: The rishis sang this in many ways, in various Vedic hymns, and aphorisms of Brahma sutra with logic, reason, and certainty.
(The sages sang this in many ways, in various hymns and aphorisms of Brahma sutra, with logic, reason, and certainty.)
13.5: The great elements, the egoism, the intellect, the unmanifested, the senses, the mind, and the five sense objects.
13.6: Desire, hatred, pleasure and pain; the body as an agglomerate (of 25 elements), consciousness, and firmness: this is the field briefly described with their modifications.
Sanghatah: agglomerate. Cētana: consciousness. Dhrutih: firmness. Savikāram: modification.
Panchadasi (Chapter five) defines consciousness as follows: Consciousness is that by which a man hears, sees, speaks, tells different tastes apart. Brahman is the consciousness present in the gods, humans, horses, cows.
Each one of us (body) is an agglomerate of 24 elements and consciousness: earth, water, fire, air, ether (5); vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching (10); eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin (15); speech, grasp, locomotion, excretion and generation (20); buddhi, ego, mind and Avyakta (24). These 24 elements collectively called field or ksetra are subject to modifications (Savikāram): desire, hatred, pleasure and pain, experiences of life events and the final release, moksa. The individual self moves intimately in the elements and their modifications. The mode of behavior deeply rooted in the above elements finds firmness or anchor in the following: Sattva, goodness; Rajas, passion; or Tamas or darkness, which undergo modifications. The ultimate goal of all these modifications is to attain liberation by becoming totally Sattvic.
The five great elements are earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Ahankāra is the ego, Buddhi is the intellect, and Avyaktam is the unmanifest. The five senses are vision, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching (touch sense) served by the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. These are sensory Jnānendriyas. The "eater” or the enjoyer of the senses is bhoktar. The sense organs are different from senses and the five objects of senses are motor functions: speech, grasp, locomotion, excretion, and generation served by (Karmendriyāni) larynx, hands, feet, rectum, and genitals. The doer of these is kartar. Now we have five sensory functions and five motor functions with corresponding organs. Add to this the manas, the ahankara, and the buddhi. Manas (mind) has a dual function, both sensory and motor. If mind does not pay attention, sensory and motor functions of the respective Indriyas (organs) do not occur. You look but you do not see when your mind is not functional. On the sensory side, mind observes, evaluates, and determines the sensory input such as vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. On the motor side, actions are initiated, after the sensory input undergoes evaluation by the mind and buddhi.
Tanmatras namely sound, touch, color, taste, and smell are the subtle, supersensible, rudimentary and nonspecific particles from which the gross elements namely akasa, air, fire, water, and earth evolve respectively. There are two divisions in the gross (great) elements (Mahabhutas): Amurtta and Murtta, the formless and the formed. Akasa and air are formless elements, while fire, water and earth formed.
Panchadasi (2.88) says that Akasa is the most extensive element compared to the rest. Quantitatively starting from air each element is 10% of the former element. It attributes this statement to Puranas.
The tanmatras (merely that) are nonspecific in the sense that they lack qualities (according to Samkhya philosophy) such as Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas or calmness, turbulence and delusion. When the transformation takes place from the subtle to the gross, the gross elements acquire qualities. These gross elements again in turn are responsible for products downstream such as hearing, tactile sense, vision, taste, and smell collectively called sensory functions. The latter have corresponding peripheral organs to receive the respective sensations, namely the ear, the skin, the eyes, the tongue, and the nose, which again have their own respective brain centers.
Tanmātras ― Subtle Elements
The Tanmatras have specific names: Sabda Tanmatra (sound), Sparsa Tanmatra (touch), Rupa Tanmatra (color and form), Rasa Tanmatra (taste), and Gandha Tanmatra (smell). Sound abides in Sabda Tanmatra; same premise applies to all Tanmatras.
These Tanmātras are the subtle physical counterparts of sense perceptions: hearing, tactile sense, vision, taste, and smell. The subtle element that travels from the flower to the nose is tanmātra. The five bhūtas (the gross elements), ether, air, fire, water, earth evolve from Tamasic tanmātras. The dominant element's space or compartment consists of half (50%) of the dominant element and one eighth (12.5%) each of the other four elements. None of the reconstituted gross elements is pure in each compartment. We know now the gross elements developed from the subtle elements and so it is reasonable to deduce the gross elements exude subtle elements. For the gross elements to acquire the gunas (qualities), Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas (calmness, turbulence, and delusion) during the transformation from the subtle elements, the gross elements had to become compounds representing one dominant element and four other contaminants.
Compartment one, Ether: 50% is Ether and 12.5% each of air, fire, water, and earth.
Compartment two, Air: 50% is Air and 12.5% each of ether, fire, water, and earth.
Compartment three, Fire: 50% is fire and 12.5% each of ether, air, water, and earth.
Compartment four, Water: 50% is water and 12.5% each of ether, air, fire, and earth.
Compartment five, Earth: 50% is earth and 12.5% each of ether, air, fire, and water.
Compartment four, Water: 50% is water and 12.5% each of ether, air, fire, and earth.
Let us take water: 50% is water; Water is Hydrogen and oxygen; if you take the atoms, there is space. It is mixed with air (think of fish extracting oxygen from water). Water has Fire in it, meaning there is heat in water. When you remove heat from water it becomes ice. It has earth in it meaning it has minerals, which contributes to the taste of the water.
Table13.06 table: From the subtle and the finer elements, to the gross, to the sensory, to the Command and Control Center (Buddhi and Purusa), and to the motor organs: Chain of events go from the top to the bottom.
One example: Sound becomes Ether, which upon its gross manifestation becomes hearing; the latter needs an organ to receive the hearing. The peripheral organ needs pathways, central processing organ and organ of response to the sound -- Vestibulocochlear pathway, going to auditory region (Temporal lobe), Mind, Buddhi and Purusa, Mind, Motor cortex and actions.
Subtle and nonspecific
Subtle and nonspecific
Subtle and nonspecific
Subtle and nonspecific
Subtle and nonspecific
Gross and Specific
Gross and Specific
Gross and Specific
Gross and Specific
Gross and Specific
Auditory region of the cerebral cortex
Somatic sensory region of the cortex
Visual region of cerebral cortex
Gustatory region of cerebral cortex
Olfactory region of cerebral cortex
Buddhi & Purusa
Buddhi & Purusa
Buddhi & Purusa
Buddhi & Purusa
Buddhi & Purusa
Tanmātras is special to the Sankhya system, one of its greatest contributions. Mātra-Tan means "merely that". All objects and beings emanate tanmātras, subtle, supersensible and fine elements all the time. Let me give you an easily understood phenomenon. All warm-blooded beings emanate heat; that heat is fire, which traces its origin to the Rupa Tanmātra "Color and shape." All of us can detect that heat without any problem. We also emanate many other tanmātras, which only yogis can detect. You know that a shark can detect the tanmātra that emanates from a minute amount of blood spilled in the ocean within the range of its special sense. We do not have that ability. Likewise a bitch (a female dog) exudes pheromones in the urine during estrus, which is detected by the male dog many miles away. The proof is that the male dog goes out looking for the female dog. That is Tanmatra. We don't have that ability. Now you see how yogis can detect tanmātras that we miss. You can see the same phenomenon in the psychics. The dead bodies exude tanmātras that a psychic can sense, which we cannot detect. Vivekananda says the temples and places of worship emanate good tanmātras, which augment and strengthen the Sattvic quality in the devotees. When Sattvic yogis go to these temples of worship, the place acquires more beneficial tanmātras. You may call these tanmātras as vibrations.
Ether comes from elemental sound. Sound is primal. OM is primal. Akāsa is ether, the stem substance. Ether is perceived as sound.
Air comes from elemental sound and touch, and is primarily perceived as touch.
Fire comes from elemental sound, touch, and color, and is perceived primarily as color and form or shape.
Water comes from elemental sound, touch, color, and taste, and is perceived primarily as taste.
Earth comes from elemental sound, touch, taste and color, and is primarily perceived as smell.
Each gross element, as you see, becomes a compound when it is combined with other elements.
The gross elements, gross body, and their connection:
As ether, air, fire, water and earth gather mass (transformational change of Ether into gross substances) and become progressively grosser, they acquire progressively more qualities. Ether has five forms of motion. Ether moves everywhere unobstructed and makes it possible for other forces to work in its realm. When motion into space takes place, Vayu (air) is born and being heavier than ether, it propagates sound. When motion and expansion take place upwards, it becomes fire and is seen and felt. When motion takes place downward giving rise to contraction (precipitation) it becomes water that is seen, touched and tasted in space. When there is obstruction in motion, cohesion, agglutination, aggregation or sedimentation takes place giving rise to earth in space which is seen, touched, tasted and smelled. These are the five forms of matter: etheric (sarva vyapi, all- pervading; Nirupa, formless), aerial (Vayava), fiery (Prakasa and Tapa), fluid (Tarala and Calanasila) and solid (Ghana, Drdha, Samghata and Kaathinya--dense, fastened, joined and hard). When primordial clouds condense, they become matter, stars, planets that we see, says the modern science.
According to Samkhya, the eye is only a peripheral organ and the visual cortex in the brain is the organ of sight; the same rule applies for hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. The sensory input from all the peripheral sites are processed in their respective brain centers and presented to the manas or the mind. Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic Ahankāra processes information, and buddhi takes the product to Purusa. Purusa is the king and gives orders to buddhi, which in turn orders the mind to activate the motor response: The mind instructs the motor organs to carry out the orders. Instinctive Manas, ahankāra, and buddhi form a unit known as Citta or antakarana or inner organ. Ahankāra (ego) in its three colors is conceited and Rajasic, deluded and Tamasic, or virtuous and Sattvic. Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas colors buddhi too, and its response is according to the dominance of one of these three gunas.
Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas gunas rule the world, both sentient and the insentient. The transcendental Lord, Vishnu is beyond these three gunas. Yogamāyā of the Lord, the barrier between the Lord and the material world, is the external energy, from which Mahatatva and Ego take their origin.
Ego gives rise to the first five elements: the sky or ether (its subtle form is sound), the air, the fire, the water and the earth. The sense perception started with sound, later went on to hearing, touch, vision, taste, and smell. The objects that produce these sense perceptions, namely sky, air, fire, water, and earth also evolved alongside. The sensory organs that perceive these senses originate from the five elements.
Nose exists for smell (and for breathing–prāna); if there is no smell or prāna, there is no need for a nose. Naturally, smell or prāna existed first, before nose came. Sound existed first before the auditory apparatus came into being. The elements that produce these sensations such as smell come into existence alongside the senses. There are three parts to this equation. The subtle, nonspecific and finer elements are the sound, touch, vision, taste, and smell, all collectively called five tan-matras. Intermediate components are what travel between the subtle and the gross elements in a downstream fashion. That phenomenon is experience created by the infinitesimal particles. The corresponding gross components are ether, air, fire, water, and earth. The relationship between the five sense organs and the tanmatras is horizontal, while the relationship between the finer and the gross components is vertical.
Sense of Perception
Subtle element ¯
Ether (Gross element)
Air (Gross element)
Fire (Gross element)
Water (Gross element)
Earth (Gross element)
13.7: Humility, nonostentation (Adambhitvam), nonviolence, patience, straightforwardness, service to Ācārya, purity, steadfastness, self-restraint, (continued)
13.8: aversion towards sense objects, absence of egoism, having insight into the suffering related to birth, death, old age, disease, sorrow (continued)
Ego, Id and Superego form the personality. Ego in Latin means "I".
Id, based on “ancestry, heredity and environment” and called Prārabda karma, which is not under our control, is what the infant is born with. Sprouting seed karma is what it is: Prārabda Karma is in resolution or sprouting. It is in motion and it cannot be stopped: It is like the potter's wheel, it spins even after the external force ends, and it stops once the momentum is spent. It is like the discharged arrow from the bow: It is too late to stop the arrow in midflight. The archer has no control over it once the arrow leaves the bow; it cannot be stopped until the momentum is spent. You have to bite this bullet (of Prārabda karma). It is congenital and knowledge of Brahman cannot destroy it. There is no prevention or cure for this: It has to be resolved or lived.
That means one has to eat the bad and the good fruits of Prarabdha karma.
Libido energizes Id according to Freud. This libido is Prāna in Veda. Id in a vacuum is instinctive, its reactions are reflex jerks, and it has to be controlled.
Id is the basis, on which EGO is built: Ego is a dynamic process, by which the personality is built on the framework of Id, while it is in contact with the external reality. Id’s operating principle is pleasure principle, to ensure maximum pleasure and minimal frustration to the individual. Reality Principle is fulfillment of instinctual needs through dynamic process of awareness and adjustment to environment. Ego always tries to satisfy the reflex jerks of the Id, but Superego tries to modify the reflex jerks in behavior or response. Id tries to make the best out of a good or bad situation, in the context of I-consciousness, and Mine-ness. Ego has its own standards: ego ideal, which is dictated by external reality.
Superego is the conscience of the individual, which has the modulating influence on one’s satisfaction of needs according to one’s moral values. The societal norms and the prevailing environment to a certain extent dictate this superego. Under the influence of superego, the Id's instinctive reflex reactions can be modified, postponed, deferred, and sublimated. All of the Id, much of the ego and the superego are unconscious. Part of the ego and the superego sitting on top of them are at a conscious level. These three components are like an iceberg floating at an angle, where the Id is completely submerged, but only part of the ego and the superego are seen above the water level or consciousness.
There are three states of consciousness or awareness: the Conscious, the Preconscious, and the Unconscious one below the other. (More later on Superconsciousness.) The conscious state is general awareness and thoughts and remains on the surface. The Preconscious state is under the surface and is the warehouse of information that we can recall at moment’s notice: such as name of a person. Below that, the unconscious state is a repository of lost, suppressed, repressed, preverbal, infantile thoughts, ideas and experiences, and (do not get jolted) possibly memories from the previous lives. All of Id, a good deal of ego and superego are unconscious or under the water level or below conscious level and that is why some of our reactions to situations are automatic and unexplainable, unless we make a conscious effort to react to it in a conscious manner. Id plays a role in the dream sleep experiences. Pleasure principle is modified according to reality principle, superego, and ego ideal.
Id and ego are Ahankāra. The superego and the ego ideal are the buddhi illumined by Purusa, assuming that Sattva is the dominant mode in buddhi. Here manas (mind) takes order from buddhi. If Tamas is the dominant mode of the Superego and ego ideal, you have an antisocial being. Part of this id is accumulations of vāsanās (smell, tendencies, or impressions) left from previous transmigrations of the soul. That is the reason it is subject to karma (ancestry and heredity). If an infant can inherit genes from parents, why should not that infant inherit the vāsanās (tendencies or impressions) from previous births?
Self-image, self-worth, self-respect, I-ness, and mine-ness, egotism (vanity), you-ness (altruism):
According to Vedas, Self-image, Self-worth, self-respect, and you-ness must supersede I-ness and mine-ness for establishing dominance of self over the body, welfare of the world, and liberation or moksa of the individual.
Vivekananda says there are many kinds of consciousness: subconsciousness, consciousness, and superconsciousness. Subconsciousness is instinct seen in animals; it is hardwired, automatic, and reflex, 100 percent reliable, foolproof, and not reason-based; so, a bird knows instinctively the wherewithal to build a nest without being taught. On the other hand, the consciousness is ruled by reason and less instinctive. Errors are more often seen here than in those with the instinctive knowledge. It is a higher state of mind, seen only in human beings. Yogis possess a still higher state of consciousness known as superconsciousness. It is cultivated, and beyond the ordinary human range: One has to go beyond reason, and beyond consciousness, because that knowledge is beyond hearing, beyond what is heard, and beyond thought; it is revealed wisdom. By this superconsciousness, man becomes divine and free; he gains immortality, and his bondage is torn asunder. Instinct matures into reason and reason matures into Superconsciousness or Samādhi in the yogi. Some yogis acquired imperfect superconsciousness, experienced hallucinations without a full preparation for the state of a yogi, and received faulty revealed wisdom with superstitions. Elsewhere, you will find notes on yogi and samādhi.
Ahankāra has this automated unthinking reflex response to external stimuli and the manas is instinctive and not intuitive or discerning (here manas, the mind is not the same as west perceives), but it is matter, lacking thinking ability unless it is yoked with buddhi and Purusa. (It is like a chip not connected to a power source.) Before the manas acts on these external stimuli, they pass through the ego factor of I-ness, buddhi applies its sattvic filter and then come the actions from manas. As you see, the manas, ahankāra, and buddhi form a unit: Citta, the command and control center of the body or antahkarana (the inner organ). Buddhi is the modulator of response and therefore is the moderator and inherits Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas from Prakriti. The yogi gets rid of the Tamas and Rajas. Once Tamas disappears, darkness dissipates and buddhi becomes clear and translucent as water; then with the fall of Rajas, agitation is gone and stillness prevails. With the clarity and composure, and the turbidity removed, buddhi shows by its reflective mirror purusa in its self-luminous state, standing aloof from the hustle and bustle of prakriti (matter). Of course, you have to be a yogi to get to that stage.
13.9: detachment; absence of attachment to son, wife, home; constant equilibrium on attainment of the desirable and the undesirable; (continued)
A monk goes beyond desire to seek the Self. Brahman is the unborn Self. Knowing Him is all that we need to know. The Brahmanas seek to know Brahman by the study of Vedas, rituals, fasting, sacrifice, gifts, penance, and pilgrimage. On knowing Him, one uplifts oneself to be an ascetic. Monks wander looking for Brahman, and want not anything else in this world. Since the monks know this, they desire not for sons. Desire for sons is desire for wife, home, and wealth. The sage says, “What am I going to do with sons?” (Extract from Brhad Upanishad 4.4.22.) According to some modern psychologists, man wants to immortalize himself in this universe by leaving a progeny. It is the opposite for a monk; there is no immortality through wealth (and sons). (Brhad Upanishad 4.5.3.) Perpetuation in this physical world in the form of progeny is time away from seeking Brahman for the monk or the sage; seeking Brahman is antithetical to seeking wealth for the Sage.
Take for instance Mother Teresa. She took a vow of Chastity, poverty, Obedience and Enclosure. She forsake a vow of mundane ubiquitous married life at 18 years of age and switched to that of bride of Christ. Her call came when she was only a 12 year old girl.
Husband, wife, sons (and daughters), wealth, cattle, Brahmana, Ksatriya, gods, Vedas, and beings are dear, not for their own sake, but for the sake of Self in them. When their respective nature deserts or dies, each entity has only the all-pervasive Self. Brhad Upanishad 4.5.7. When people say, “I like you as you are,” they should mean that they like the Self in you, not you as a body, mind, wealth... That Self is the same in everybody.
13.10 Dedicated concentration and unswerving devotion to Me having no other refuge, resorting to solitary places, discomfort in the midst of people.
3.11: Constancy in the attainment of the knowledge of the Supreme Self, and insight into the knowledge of the Truth are (declared) the knowledge, and that which is otherwise is non-knowledge.
Swami Rama Tirtha (1873-1906) was great Advaitin who was also equally at ease with Persian, Arabic as well as Sanskrit literature. He happened to be in Lucknow in 1905 when Muslim Maulanas came to him to get enlightened on Hinduism and their own religion.
In a question and answer session with Muslims of India, Swami Rama Tirtha apologizes for being direct and to the point. He addresses himself in third person singular in the city of Lucknow.
Rama regrets to say all this. Rama has great respect and regard for the Islam, due to its simplicity and direct faith in God and, he takes Muslims as his own self. Rama says with love what he thinks to be right from his own experience and observation, because it is sin to hide any thing from his own dear ones. If he is wrong, he may be corrected. Rama will have the least objection to this.
He had a dialog with them about God. Here he defines Truth as said in Islam.
Dear friends, the word meaning of Kufra is to hide.
What? To hide Truth or Reality is Kufra and he who hides Truth is Kafir.
According to the Indian Muslims in general, Kafir is one who is not a Muslim. But this interpretation is absolutely wrong.
How does a Kafir hide Truth? He hides it behind the curtain of his Khudi or ego which has its roots in selfishness. In other words, the person, who asserts his ego or selfishness, as against Truth, is Kafir. And what is Truth? Truth is that which remains the same, yesterday, today and forever. But Truth or Reality is only one. It is only God who is immortal, eternal and imperishable. Therefore, the person who does not implement this Truth in his daily life and who, instead, lays stress on his ego or selfishness in his worldy dealings, is, as if, hiding God, the Truth, behind the curtain of his egoism. In other words, he remains unconcerned with God, as if there is no God for him. By such an attitude, he commits Kufra (sin) and deserves to be called a Kafir.
Now, it is for you to judge what is Kufra and who can be called a Kafir. Mere utterance of Kalma without practising it in your daily life will not help you. It will not absolve you of your sins or selfishness. You have to change your selfishness into selflessness or Godliness.
It is, therefore, most essential for all of us including, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, to live together with love and unity. The entire universe is one because of the direct connection with God, the creator of the universe. If your God has made them take birth in the non-Muslim families, who are you to shed their blood, annihilate them or hate them after branding them as Kafirs? How do you justify yourself in finding fault with God's doing? How dare you interfere in His planning?
According to Koran, all are equal in the eyes of God who is the Rabbul-Almin, the Lord of all the worlds.
Who are you, then, to create differences and disunity in the so-called Kafirs and the Momins, when God is common to all? Please reflect, if you yourself are a real Momin? Are you not a Kafir yourself, if you deny God and act with selfish motives? This is certainly not the teachings of the Islam, the 'Religion of Peace'. By Swami Rama Tirtha (1873-1906)
(lā ilāha illallāh, Muḥammadur rasūlullāh There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God" Kalma = word, declaration of faith. wikipedia.
All religions say the same thing; thus, brotherhood is advocated among all religions.
13.12: I will explain to you that by knowing which one gains the nectar of immortality. That beginningless Supreme Brahman is neither Sat nor Asat.
Sat and Asat were explained elsewhere. (See Chapter 9 Verse 19 Comments, Yoga of Sovereign Knowledge and Sovereign Secret.) A note on Sat and Asat or Being and Non-Being or Existence and Non-Existence. These words are confusing. How could you get something out of nothing? Asat is subtle and unmanifested; Sat is gross and manifested. What you do not see does not mean that such and such does not exist. An example is in order here. Water exists in humidity and when condensation takes place, you see water. Water is hydrogen and oxygen, two unseen substances: When Prāna (energy) is applied to hydrogen and oxygen water becomes "manifest". If you go back to the origin of hydrogen and oxygen, you go back to Ether or Akāsa, the stem substance. Asat is a state where names and forms are in hiding and are waiting for expression, where names and forms are mere thoughts, and where the potentialities and possibilities exist: Asat is undifferentiated, latent and unmanifest, while Sat is manifest. According to Sankara, Brahman is neither Asat nor Sat. He is Avyakta – the unmanifested. He is a homogeneous entity and through enzymatic inductive māyā power, this heterogeneous universe and beings are projected or superimposed on Brahman.
Parama Brahman according Sakti Worshippers
Parama-brahma is not creator and has no activity. Prakrti like iron moved by the magnet (Purusa) creates, upholds, and dissolves by the mere presence of Parama-Brahma. The proximity of the spring season is the mere efficient (Nimitta mātra) of the blossoming of the leaves and flowers on the trees. In the same way the Supreme Brahman is the mere efficient in creation and so forth, the three Gunas being the material cause (Upādanakāraṇa) .-Tarkalamkara. Page 69 The Worship of Sakti, The Great Liberation by Woodroffe.
(Oct 6, 2012)
13.13: Everywhere hands and feet; everywhere eyes, heads and faces; everywhere ears: He exists pervading everything.
सर्वतः पाणिपादं तत्सर्वतोऽक्षिशिरोमुखम् ।
सर्वतः श्रुतिमल्लोके सर्वमावृत्य तिष्ठति ॥१३- १३॥
sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādam tat sarvataḥ akṣi-śiraḥ-mukham
sarvataḥ śruti-mat loke sarvam āvṛtya tiṣṭhati 13.13
(Āvritya: covering, pervading.)
He is the embodiment of all living entities and therefore in this form, he is all eyes, ears, faces and all things. All entities are in this manifest form. In His unmanifest form, He is Param Brahman; He is silence; He is Pure Consciousness.
13.14: He is the light of all Indriyas and gunas; He is also the abstainer from Indriyas. He is unattached to anything; He is the supporter of all. He is devoid of any gunas and yet enjoys the senses.
Ābhāsam: light, splendor
Indriyas are the senses. Gunas are Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. He is the force or light behind the senses, enjoys the senses, and yet is not of the senses. He is Nirguna Brahman, unalloyed by the Gunas of Prakriti. He moves without foot, He grasps without hand, He sees without eyes, He hears without ears. He knows all that is to be known; of Him, no one knows. (Svetāsvatra Upanishad 3.19.)
Kena Upanishad (1.2-3) says that Brahman is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech of the speech, the breath of the breath, the eye of the eye, the wisdom in the aspirant. If it were not for the Eternal Reality, the Indriyas (senses) would not function.
Brahman, the Eternal Real, is where the eye, the speech, and the mind do not go. It means that Brahman is beyond comprehension and perception by senses such as the mind, the speech and the eye. Brahman is without eyes, but sees; the eyes see not Brahman; He is beyond the senses.
13.15: What is outside and inside all beings, and in the moving and the unmoving is too subtle (fine, minute, or small) for apprehension. That, which is near and yet is far away, is That.
Brhad Upanishad 2.5.15:
This Self is the Lord of all beings, the king of all beings. As the hub and the rim of a wheel hold the spokes together, so the hub of Self holds together all beings, all gods, all worlds, all breathing creatures, all these selves (jivatmas)
Trying to understand Brahman is impossible. Any assertions or attributes, one tries to add on Him, are met with frustration. Consider the following apparent contradictions: He sits here and moves far. He is lying here but goes everywhere. He rejoices and rejoices not. Katha Upanishad 1.2.21. Sankara asserts that Brahman is silence and stability in Nirguna Brahman. Ramanuja asserts that He is splendor in His form as Isvara.
13.16: He is undivided and yet He appears divided in all beings. He is the supporter of the world, also the object of knowledge, swallowing and creating also (of beings).
gras-ana-ishnu: accustomed to swallow, dissolution of the universe.
The Greater Self is present in the spiritual heart of every living being. Therefore, it appears divided, but not actually divided. It is like the luminous sun and its many reflections in the water; it is like one space with many jars of space. Similarly, One Brahman appears as many in all beings and as One in each being. The Brahman is like the sun and each one of us is like a little mirror reflecting the image of the sun: Brahman is One and undivided, but appears divided. God, Brahman, or Self is like the oil in the sesamum seeds, water in the dry riverbeds, latent fire in the friction sticks and wood, fragrance in the flower, and gold in the reef of gold.
13.17: He (that) is the light of all lights. He is beyond Tamas (darkness and delusion). He is the knowledge. He is the object of knowledge. He is the knowledge worthy of knowing. He stands firm in the hearts of all, so goes the saying
Purusam Mahāntam Āditya-varnam Tamasah parastāt = The Supreme Person of Sun color is beyond darkness (SvetāsvataraUpanishad 3.8)
13.18: Thus, the field, also knowledge, and the object of knowledge were briefly recited. My devotee, by understanding their wisdom, enters My own nature or state of Being.
13.19: Know that Prakriti and Purusa are both without beginning; know also that Vikārān and gunas (transformation and modes) are born of Prakriti.
Vikārān: transformation, modification. Gunas: modes or attributes
Vishnu the supreme being, is one, whilst he is all: He is Avikāra (அவிகாரன்) , not subject to change; Sadaikarழ்pa, one invariable nature: he is the liberator (tāra), or he who bears mortals across the ocean of existence: He is both single and manifold (ekānekarūpa = Eka-aneka-rupa = one-many-forms): and He is the indiscrete (avyakta அவ்வியத்தம் = that which is not perceptible to the senses = unmanifest) cause of the world, as well as the discrete (vyakta = வியத்தம் = That which is perceptible to the senses = manifest) effect; or the invisible cause, and visible creation.
Achyuta = அச்சுதன் = Not Fallen. A in Achyuta is privative. Chyuta is Fallen. Thus Achyuta (Vishnu) is Not Fallen. He is Imperishable Being. It also means that He is not distinct from final emancipation. It signifies that He is free from decay. Skanda Purana says that Vishnu never declines or varies from His own nature.
Vishnu is Supreme, the Best (Uttamam = உத்தமம் = That which is preeminent or excellent), Spirit (Purusha = புருடன்), Male, Sacrifice, Moksha Dharma.
He is Vasudeva. Vas = To dwell. He abides in all things; all things abide in Him. Deva is radiance, resplendent like the sun.
Samkhya philosophy says that Pradhana (பிரதானம்) is independent and coordinate (of equal importance) with Primary Spirit.
Vishnu is SadasadAtmika (Sat-Asat-Atmika = சத்து-அசத்து-ஆத்மிகம் = What Is-What is Not-Soul, comprehending soul = having the power of both cause and effect, giving origin to material things. Because of it, He does not increase or diminish; He is changeless. He is Anadi (அனாதி = without beginning = without birth = Not engendered from by any created thing). He is the Womb of the world, self-influenced by the Creator that is Himself.
The world is made from Purusha and Pradhana (Prakrti = Matter). The Indiscrete Cause (அவியத்த காரணம் = Avyakta Karanam) is Brahma, Vishnu in the form of Brahma.
After Mahapralaya (Total Great Dissolution), the crude Matter, Nature, or Chaos becomes the coexistent element with the Supreme. Pradhana after dissolution merges with Vishnu. Alvars say that Vishnu swallows the universe of matter and souls. The elements of creation (that he contains after dissolution) are in essence one with Vishnu, though they are detached and different in existence. This speaks of the doctrine of difference-non-difference (Bheda-Abheda).
Pradhana in its unmodified state is Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in equilibrium, contained separately by the Spirit ( Purusha = Spirit). What brings this contained matter to become active and blossom out in to a visible universe of matter? Times after certain interval, unites Matter, Pradhana and Purusha and brings about creation. H.H.Wilson opines that Phanes or Eros is the Hindu Spirit or Purusha; Chaos is Matter or Pradhana; and Chronons is KAla or Time. Pradhana is Vyaya (வியயம் = that which may be expended) or Parinamin (which may be modified). Purusha is Avyaya (அவ்வியயம் = Inconsumable) or Aparinamin (Immutable). Vishnu or Achyuta, the Male Spirit (Purusha) enters into Prakriti (also known as Maya) and implants Amsa ( Seed, tad or fragment) of Himself and agitates Pradhana or Prakriti. Time serves as an agent in the creation. Sankocha (சங்கோசம் = contraction, equilibrium of three qualities) or Inert Pradhana undergoes Vikasa (விகாசம் = blooming, evolution) meaning blossoming out of the material universe (preceded by disequilibrium and agitation).
The first product after agitation and expansion (Vikasa) is Mahat (the Great or Intellect). Mahat is presided by the Soul. Ksetranjana = (Knower of the Field or embodied Spirit) is the cosmic equivalent of Buddhi (intellect).
Mahat is the divine mind in creative operation and incorporeal substance. Buddhi is derived from Mahat; from Buddhi comes Ahamkara (Aham + KAra = I + doer = Egotism = I think, I feel, I am). Ahamkara has three subdivisions: Vaikarika or Satvika Ahamkara, infused with virtue and goodness. Taijasa or Rajasa Ahamkara has Tejas, heat, motion and passion. Butadi or Tamasa Ahamkara is elementary and has darkness. Sattvika Ahamkara gives rise to senses; from the Tamasika Ahamkara come the unconscious elements. Rajasa Ahamkara gives motion to the inert Sattvaika and Tamasa Ahamkaras. There are variations in the products and interpretation of these entities.
Janardhana, the one only God, takes the name of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva according to the needs and creates, maintains and destroys. Janardhana = Jana + Ardhana = men + worship = the adoration of mankind.
13.20: It is said that Prakriti is Kārya Kārana (cause of effect), instrument, and agency. The Purusa is said to be the cause of experience of pleasure and pain.
The thoughts expressed here are within the purview of Upanishads. Kārya Kārana = cause of effect. The cause is resident in the effect: Our bodies are the effect and prakriti is the cause. The instruments are the senses. Prakriti is also an instrument and agency and the Purusa is the cause of experience of pleasure and pain.
The individual soul is an agent of the Higher Soul or Atman. The individual soul is not only an agent but also the doer. Since the lesser soul is the doer, it is also an enjoyer and therefore experiences pleasure and pain. Since the lesser soul is an agent of the Higher Soul or the Supreme, the agent is under the control of the Higher Soul, which is responsible for the actions of the agent. So The Higher Soul is also an Enjoyer and Experiencer but with a difference. The experience of the doer, agent, and enjoyer does not affect HIM. Prakriti is the agency. Prakriti provides all products to the agent (to run his business or) for doing and experiencing. The products supplied by prakriti to the individual soul are body, buddhi, ahankāra, manas and Indriyas. Prakriti is also an instrument of the Owner of Prakriti, which is the Supreme Self. Prakriti is the agency and is comparable to the commercial franchise. The franchise holder, that is the individual soul, takes all the gains and losses in this instance. The Supreme Self is Karta (Creator-Agent), because He is the Intelligence and the Owner of Prakriti. That which sets Prakriti in motion is the Real Agent. The products of Prakriti, as supplied by the Supreme to run the franchise or agency, become the instruments (buddhi, manas, ahankāra, senses etc.) of the individual soul. The individual soul is the doer, enjoyer and an agent, because “he is asked to take his instruments with him, while roaming and wandering in his own body.” Once the agent is deprived of his instruments namely buddhi etc., he is no longer an agent. His agency is dissolved. His body and instruments go back to Prakriti (matter). The Supreme has control over the agent. The released soul is either recycled in another body or finds its way to liberation, depending on his karma.
13.21: Purusa situated in Prakriti certainly enjoys the gunas of Prakriti. Attachment to the gunas (modes) is the cause of birth of a being in good and evil wombs.
Evil womb is a reference to animal womb. Evil is Tamas, darkness, impenetrable darkness of the soul; that is fall from grace of a human being, entirely caused by bad karmic deeds of previous life. There are many kinds of good wombs: the parents of Krishna, The Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa....
13.22: The Mahā-Īsvara, the Great Ruler in the body is (said to be) the witness, the approver, the supporter, the enjoyer, the Supreme Self (Paramātmā) in the body, and the Supreme Purusa.
Anumantā: the one who approves, assents, permits.
The Supreme Self resides in the spiritual heart of the body and is like the Upper Bird acting as a Witness, while the lower bird (individual self) is eating sweet and sour fruits. He is the Great Ruler of the body and the enjoyer too. He supports the lower self and the body, meaning the prakriti-based body. Here the Lord is also the Supreme knower of the body.
In all experiences, The Lord is the Primary Experiencer and we the secondary enjoyers or experiencers. In The Uddhava Gita, Dialogue 11, Verse 36, Krishna says, "In the living, I am the movement, speech, rejection, acceptance, enjoyment, touch and sight, taste, hearing, and smell. I am that power by which the senses enjoy the objects of this world." Translation by Swami Saraswati.
13.23: He who understands Purusa and Prakriti with the gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas), is never born again though existing in the present in all modes (any mode).
13.24: By meditation, some see the Atman (The Greater Soul) in the self through intellect, others by the yoga of knowledge (Sānkhya yoga or Jnāna Yoga) and still others by Karma Yoga.
13.25: But others worship, ignorant of these yogas (Jnāna and Karma), by hearing from others. They certainly go (across) beyond death by (leap of faith) trust in what they heard.
Even those who are ignorant of Jnāna and Karma yoga, worship Me according to what they heard from others: the Truth. They cross the ocean of samsāra (birth and death) and attain Me, having faith in Me from what they heard.
13.26: Whatever comes into being, unmoving or moving, you must know that (it is by) the union of the ksetra and ksetrajna (field and the knower of the field).
13.27: He who sees the imperishable Supreme Lord, residing equally in all perishable living entities, really sees.
13.28: Seeing Isvara (Lord) equally abiding everywhere, he does not injure the (Greater) Self by the (individual) self, and then attains the Supreme goal.
Isvara is the resident in all beings and the controller of the individual self in all beings. The individual self that does not injure the Greater Self (the Lord) and considers the Greater Self as One and the same (equal and identical) in all beings, attains the Supreme goal: This is the basis for ahimsa or non-violence.
13.29: He, who sees that Prakriti (nature) performs all activities, knows that the self is not the doer; he truly sees.
Prakriti is the cause, the agency and the instrument, and performs all activities. The individual self appears as the apparent doer because of avidya and karma (ignorance and prārabda karma), but it is not the real doer. The individual self or the soul's true function in this instance is that of a witness. (Elsewhere it is mentioned that the Greater Self is the Witness: He is the Universal Witness, the Witness of the witnesses.) Imagine a riotous situation, where the distinction between a spectator and the protester is lost. Both of them are arrested and the spectator is mistakenly labeled a protester. Because the individual soul or self is all wrapped up in kosas or sheaths originating from Prakriti, and of avidya and karma, it is mistakenly accused of doership.
Sankara in his work Atma Bodham verse 19 says the following in line with Lord Krishna's statement on Prakriti and the organs.
Vyapruteshu Indriyeshu Atmā Vyāpārī۠va Avivekinām
Drusyate Abhreshu Dhavatsu Dhavanniva Yathā Sasī 19
As the clouds move in the sky, the moon appears to run for the ignoramus or the non-discriminating person. Likewise, Atman appears like the worker when the senses are working.
13.30: When one sees that the individuality of all living beings abides in One, and that all living beings are expansions of One, he attains Brahma (realization) then.
When one knows that the individuality of diverse species of living beings centers on God, and originates from Him, he attains Brahman. A learned humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and even a dog-eater are seen with an equal eye by a punditah (sage). BG Chapter 5 Verse 18.
That is because all beings are God's creatures. They all rise from Him and subside in Him. Brhad Upanishad 2.4.5: all beings are dear not for the sake of being(s) but for the sake of SELF (the Lord inside them).
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa kept his doors and heart open for all sincere seekers of God: doctors, lawyers, housewives, drunkards, prostitutes. (Think of Jesus Christ and his disciple Mary Magdalene.) To him all were children of Goddess Kali; in each one of them, he saw the Divine Mother playing hide-and-go-seek in their bodies and forms. Once Mother Goddess appeared as a well-known prostitute in the sanctum Sanctorum of the Kali temple, when no one was around. He said that Kali decided to sport the form of a prostitute that day, when he was the officiating priest in the temple.
13.31: The imperishable (or immutable) Supreme Self is without beginning and attributes, though dwelling in the body, O Kaunteya; It neither acts nor stains.
शरीरस्थोऽपि कौन्तेय न करोति न लिप्यते ॥१३- ३१॥
anāditvān nirguṇatvāt paramātmāyam avyayaḥ
śarīrasthopi kaunteya na karoti na lipyate 13.31
anāditvāt1 nirguṇatvāt2 paramātmā3 ayam4 avyayaḥ5
śarīrasthaḥ6 api7 kaunteya8 na karoti9 na lipyate10 13.31
avyayaḥ5 = The immutable; paramātmā3 = Supreme Soul; [is] anāditvāt1 = without beginning; [and] nirguṇatvāt2 = without attributes; api7 = though; śarīrasthaḥ6 = dwelling in the body; kaunteya8 = O Kaunteya; ayam4 = [This] It; na karoti9 = neither acts; na lipyate10 = nor is stained. 13.31
nirguṇatvāt2 = without Gunas. Ramanuja says Paramatma is 'free from Gunas', being devoid of Sattva and other Gunas of Prakrti, It neither acts nor gets tainted; it is not tainted by the qualities of the body.
In Ramanuja's Srivaishnava theology, Brahman is not afflicted by Prakrtic Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. But it does not mean Brahman is attributeless; Ramanuja says as opposed to Advaitins that Brahman is NOT impersonal and has kalyana Gunas (auspicious attributes).
Ramanuja's encounter and fallout with Yadava in Kanchi, excerpt from the book, 'Ramanuja's Teachings in His Own Words'. pages 4-5-6
Guru Yadhava: Brahman has eyes like the posterior (red genitals) of the monkey (in estrus).
Ramanuja (1017–1137 CE): God has eyes like the lotus which blooms before the morning sun.
Ramanuja drops a bomb on his Acharya (Guru). The ground buckles and fractures, a rift valley is formed and an unbridgeable chasm comes between the Guru and Ramanuja.
He found (Acharya) one in Yadavaprakasa. Here he joined the group of other students learning under that teacher. In the course of his lesson, Yadava came across the passage "Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma" in the "Taittiriya Upanisad. He explained it in a way which did not appeal to Ramanuja. Challenged by the teacher to furnish a better explanation Ramanuja argued that the passage meant not that Brahman is "Satyam, Jnanam and Anantam" but that Brahman has them as its qualities and that they are attributes which could coexist in Brahman without mutual contradiction, just as redness, softness and perfume could harmoniously coexist in the flower. Therefore to try to postulate an attributeless Brahman or a Brahman in whom different attributes cannot coexist is neither logical nor consistent with the affirmatory character of the Vedic passage in question. After hearing this, Yadava simply said in disdain "Thou, to argue with me?" and kept silent.
[In Vaishnava theology, Brahman has attributes. Attributeless Brahman is anachronism. In Advaita there two Brahmans: Nirguna or attributeless Brahman and Saguna Brahman or one with attributes.--Krishnaraj]
Another day, Yadava began to comment on the verse Tasya Yathā kapyāsam pundarīkam evam akṣiṇī of the Chhandogya Upanisad (1.6.7 Page 348 in book by Radhakrishnan on Upanishads, kapi = monkey) and said that it meant that Brahman had his eyes like the posteriors of a monkey. (The color of the lotus is compared to the posterior (external genitalia) of the monkey in estrus.-Krishnaraj)
When Ramanuja heard this, he felt a pang shooting across his heart to find that he should hear noble Vedic passages thus interpreted. His grief was so keen that a hot tear scalded his cheeks. Ramanuja said, "I am grieved that those beautiful Vedic lines are so awkwardly construed". "What is thy interpretation then?" angrily asked Yadava. "Sir", cried Ramanuja, "can you not see that Ka means water and pibati signifies drinking. Kapi means that which drinks water, the sun or the lotus stalk. āsa is to open. Pundarika is the lotus. And therefore the import of the passage is that God has eyes like the lotus which blooms before the morning sun". Yadava heard this and flared up saying "Haughty Youth: if thou canst accept my teaching, thou must leave". Ramanuja spoke not a syllable in reply but took his departure. The teacher and the disciple became thence forward estranged.
Tasya Yathā kapyāsam pundarīkam evam akṣiṇī of the Chhandogya Upanisad (1.6.7) = "His eyes are even as a red lotus flower." By Dr. Radhakrishnan.
The science behind kapyāsam:
kapyāsam = buttocks of a monkey; the swollen red external genitals of the female monkey in estrus, announcing to the male monkeys that she is receptive to their advance.--Krishnaraj
The Supreme Self is the Atman residing in the spiritual heart side by side with the individual self or jivātman. It is pristine, without beginning or end, imperishable, immutable, without attributes and unaffected by the Gunas, self-effulgent and remains as a Witness. We are like turbid waters; He devoid of the gunas is like clear water. The gunas stick on us but in Him the gunas or modes roll off like water from the surface of the Lotus leaf. He is like the sun and we are like the candles. He is stainless. He cannot be wetted.
He is immutable but yet changes; that is his nature; that is the apparent paradox. Immutability is essence of the Supreme. The changes proceed from him, but in himself, he does not change.
13.32: As the all-pervasive ether is not stained due to its subtle nature, the all-pervasive Self, taking abode in the body, is never stained.
The all-pervading Ether is the primal causal imperishable stem substance, out of which projects the prakriti and the manifested universe. This stem substance, ether evolves, transmutes, transforms, modifies, and projects under the influence of Prāna, and in this case, Rta is the prāna. During dissolution or pralaya, the manifested universe subsides into ether. This variegated universe goes from ether to ether. "From dust to dust,” and “from Dawn to Dawn" do not adequately explain the Vedic concept of ether.
13.33: As the sun lights up this the whole world, similarly, the ksetrin (the knower of the field) illuminates all of the ksetram (the field), O Bharata.
As the sun lights up this whole world, the knower of the field (Self or self) illuminates the whole field, the body, or the universe.
There are two parallels here. One is that the Greater Self or the creator, the ksetrin, the Knower of the field is illuminating the whole universe, which is His body. The other one is that the jivatma, the knower of the field is illuminating the physical body.
13.34: They who know the difference between the field and the knower of the field and who have the eye of wisdom focused on liberation of beings from Prakrti attain the Supreme.
The field is the created universe and the knower of the field is the creator or the Atman. Those Jnāna yogis, who know the difference between the field and the knower, and have knowledge of the ways and means of liberation from Prakriti, attain the Supreme.
End of BG Chapter Thirteen.