The Body called the Field, the Soul called the Knower
of the Field and Discrimination between them
The Field and the Knower of the Field
Highlighted Numbered Texts and Comments Dr. Radhakrishnan
Sanskrit Text, Transliteration and Word Translation
Prakṛti and Puruṣa, the field and the knower of the field, knowledge and the object of knowledge, these I should like to know, O Keśava (Kṛṣṇa),
This verse is not found in some editions. S. does not comment, on it. If it is included, the total number of verses in the Bhagavadgītā will be 701 and not 700, which is the number traditionally
'accepted. So we do not include it in the numbering of verses.
इदं शरीरं कौन्तेय क्षेत्रमित्यभिधीयते ।
एतद्यो वेत्ति तं प्राहुः क्षेत्रज्ञ इति तद्विदः ॥१३- १॥
śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri Bhagavan said: idam1 = this; śarīram2 = body; kaunteya3 = O son of Kunti; abhidhīyate6 = is referred to; iti5 = as; kṣetram4 = the field; yaḥ8 = he who; vetti9 = knows; etat7 = this; tadvidaḥ14 = the learned ones; prāhuḥ11 = call; tam10 = him; iti13 = as; kṣetraj˝a12 = the knower of the field. 13.1
The Blessed Lord said:
(13.1) This body, O Son of Kuntī (Arjuna), is called the field and him who knows this, those who know thereof call the knower of the field.
■á Prakṛti is unconscious activity and Puruṣa is inactive consciousness. The body is called the field in which events happen; all growth, decline and death take place in it. The conscious principle, inactive and detached, which lies behind all active states as WItness, is the knower of the field. This is the familiar distinction between consciousness and the objects which that consciousness observes. Kṣetraj˝a is the light of awareness, the knower of all objects.1 The witness is not the individual embodied mind but the cosmic consciousness for which the whole cosmos is the object. It is calm and eternal and does not need the use of the senses and the mind for its witnessing.
■á Kṣetraj˝a is the supreme lord, not an object in the world. He is in all fields, differentiated by the limiting conditions, from Brahma, the creator, to a tuft of grass though he is himself devoid of all limitations and incapable of definition by categories.2 The immutable consciousness is spoken of as cognizer only figuratively (upacarat).
■á When we try to know the nature of the human soul, we may get to know it from above or from below, from the divine principle or the elemental nature. Man is a twofold, contradictory being,
free and enslaved. He is godlike, and has in him the signs of his fall that is, descent into nature. As a fallen being, man is determined by the forces of prakṛti, He appears to be actuated solely by elemental forces, sensual impulses, fear, and anxiety. But man desires to get the better of his fallen nature. The man studied by objective sciences as biology, psychology and sociology is a natural being, is the product of the processes which take place in the world. But man, as a subject, has another origin. He is not a child of the world. He is not nature. He does not belong to the objective hierarchy of nature, as a subordinate part of it. Puruṣa or Kṣetraj˝a cannot be recognized as an object among other objects or as a substance. He can only be recognized as subject, in which is hidden the secret of existence, a complete universe in an individual form. He is not therefore a part of the world or of any other whole. As an empirical being he may be like a Leibnitian monad closed3, shut up without doors or windows. As a subject he enters into infinity and infinity enters into him. Kṣetraj˝a is the universal in an individually unrepeatable form.
■á The human being is a union of the universal-infinite and the universal-particular. In his subjective aspects, he is not a part of a whole but is the potential whole. To actualize it, to accomplish the universality IS the ideal of man. The subject fills Itself with universal content-achieves unity in wholeness at the end of its journey. Man's peculiarity is not the possession of the common
pattern of two eyes and two hands, but the possession of the inward principle which impels the creative acquisition of a qualitative content of life. He has a unique quality, which is nonşcommon. The ideal personality is unique and unrepeatable. Each person at the end of the road becomes a distinct, unrepeatable, unreplaceable being with a unique form.
I See also Śvetāśvatara Up., VI, 16; and Maitrayaṇī Up., II, 5.
2 Kṣetraj˝aṁ māṁ parameśvaram asaṁsāriṇam viddhi saruakṣetş reṣuyaḥ.
bhaktaṁ tam nirastasarvopādhibkedaṁ sadasadādiśabdapratyayagocaraṁ viddhi. S.
3Monads are elementary particles with blurred perceptions of one another. Monads are the ultimate elements of the universe. The monads are "substantial forms of being" with the following properties: they are eternal, indecomposable, individual, subject to their own laws, un-interacting, and each reflecting the entire universe in a pre-established harmony. Monads are centers of force; substance is force, while space, matter, and motion are merely phenomenal. The ontological essence of a monad is its irreducible simplicity. Unlike atoms, monads possess no material or spatial character. Text introduced by áVeeraswamy Krishnaraj November 19, 2013.
क्षेत्रज्ञं चापि मां विद्धि सर्वक्षेत्रेषु भारत ।
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोर्ज्ञानं यत्तज्ज्ञानं मतं मम ॥१३- २॥
māṁ viddhi sarvakṣetreṣu bhārata
ca2 = And; api3 = indeed; viddhi5 = know; mām4 = Me; [as] kṣetraj˝am1 = the Knower of the field; sarva-kṣetreṣu6 = in all fields; bhārata7 = O Bharata. tat12 = That; yat11 = which; [is] j˝ānam10 = knowledge; kṣetra8 kṣetra-j˝ayoḥ9 = of the field and the knower of the field; [is]; j˝ānam13 = knowledge. [That is] mama15 = My; matam14 = opinion. 13.2
■á S. holds that the Supreme Lord seems to be saṁsārin, by reason of the cosmic manifestation, even as the individual self appears to be bound by its identification with the body.1 The Fall, according to the Christian doctrine, is the forgetting of the image of God within man, which is freedom, and lapsing into the external, which is necessity. Man, essentially, is not a part of nature but is spirit that interrupts the continuity of nature.
1 tatraivam sati kśetraj˝āsyeśvarasyaiva sato'vidyākṛtopādhibhedataḥ
saṁsāritvam iva bhavati yathā dehādyātmatvam ātmanaḥ.á
तत्क्षेत्रं यच्च यादृक्च यद्विकारि यतश्च यत् ।
स च यो यत्प्रभावश्च तत्समासेन मे शृणु ॥१३- ३॥
tat kṣetraṁ yac ca yādṛk ca yadvikāri yataś ca yat
ca4 yat-vikāri5 yataḥ ca yat6
tat kṣetram yat1 = What field is that? [that-field-what]; ca2 = and; yādṛk3 = what kind it is? ca4 = and ; yat-vikāri4 = what are its transformations? [what-transformations]. yataḥ ca yat6 = And from what it originates? [from what-and-what originates]. saḥ ca yaḥ7 = And who is he? [he-and-who]. yat-prabhāvaḥ8 = What greatness pertains to Him? ca tat samāsena me śṛṇu9 = And hear that from Me briefly [and-that-briefly-from me-hear]. 13.3
ऋषिभिर्बहुधा गीतं छन्दोभिर्विविधैः पृथक् ।
ब्रह्मसूत्रपदैश्चैव हेतुमद्भिर्विनिश्चितैः ॥१३- ४॥
ṛṣibhir bahudhā gītaṁ chandobhir vividhaiḥ pṛthak
chandobhiḥ4 vividhaiḥ5 pṛthak6
ṛṣibhiḥ1 = The
Rishis/Sages; bahudhā2 = in many
ways; gītam3 = sang; pṛthak6 = separately;
chandobhiḥ4 = various
Vedic hymns; vividhaiḥ5 = of
different kinds;ca8 = and; eva9 = indeed; brahma-sūtra-padaiḥ7 = Brahma Sutra aphorisms; [with] hetumadbhiḥ10 = logic,
reason; [and] viniścitaiḥ11 = certainty [determined knowledge]. 13.4
(13.4) This has been sung by sages in many ways and distinctly, in various hymns and also in well-reasoned and conclusive expressions of the aphorisms of the Absolute (brahmasūtra).
■á The Gītā suggests that it is expounding the truths already contained in the Vedas, the Upaniṣads and the Brahma Sūtra or the aphorisms of Brahman, later systematized by Bādarāyaṇa.
The Vedic hymns are called cchandas or rhythmical utterances.
महाभूतान्यहंकारो बुद्धिरव्यक्तमेव च ।
इन्द्रियाणि दशैकं च पञ्च चेन्द्रियगोचराः ॥१३- ५॥
buddhir avyaktam eva ca
mahābhūtāni1 = The great elements; ahaṅkāraḥ2 = ego; buddhiḥ3 = Buddhi/intellect; avyaktam4 = the unmanifest; daśa8 = the ten; indriyāṇi7 = sense organs; eva5 = indeed; ca6 = and; ekam9 = the one [the mind]; ca10 = and; ca12 = also; pa˝ca11 = the five; indriya-gocarāḥ13 = objects of the senses. 13.5
(13.5) The great (five gross) elements, self-sense, understanding as also the unmanifested, the ten senses and mind and the five objects of the senses.
■á These are the constituents of the field of Kṣetra, the contents of experience, the twenty-four principles of the Sāṁkhya system. The distinction of mental and material belongs to the object side.
They are distinctions within the "field" itself.
■á The body, the forms of sense with which we identify the subject belong to the object side. The ego is an artificial construction obtained by abstraction from conscious experience. The witnessing consciousness is the same whether it lights up the blue sky or a red flower. Though the fields which are lit up may be different, the light which illumines them is the same.
इच्छा द्वेषः सुखं दुःखं संघातश्चेतना धृतिः ।
एतत्क्षेत्रं समासेन सविकारमुदाहृतम् ॥१३- ६॥
icchā dveṣaḥ sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ
icchā dveṣaḥ1 sukham duḥkham2
dveṣaḥ1 = desire,
hatred; sukham duḥkham2 = happiness,
sorrow; saṅghātaḥ3 = the
agglomerate [of body and organs, made of 25 elements]; cetanā =
sentience; [and] dhṛtiḥ4 = firmness: etat5 = this; kṣetram6 = field; udāhṛtam9 = is described; samāsena7 = in brief;
[with the] savikāram8 = modifications.
(13.6) Desire and hatred, pleasure and pain, the aggregate (the organism), intelligence and steadfastness described, this in brief is the field along with its modifications.
■á Even the mental traits are said to qualify the field because they are objects of knowledge. The knower is a subject and the turning of it into an object or a thing means ignorance, avidyā. Objectivization is the ejection of the subject into the world of the objects. Nothing in the object world is an authentic reality. We can realize the subject in us only by overcoming the enslaving power of the object world, by refusing to be dissolved in it. This means resistance, suffering. Acquiescence in the surrounding world and its conventions diminishes suffering; refusal increases it. Suffering is the process through which we fight for our true nature.
अमानित्वमदम्भित्वमहिंसा क्षान्तिरार्जवम् ।
आचार्योपासनं शौचं स्थैर्यमात्मविनिग्रहः ॥१३- ७॥
amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntir
ahiṁsā3 kṣāntiḥ4 ārjavam5
amānitvam1 = Humility; adambhitvam2 = nonostentation; ahiṁsā3 = non-injury; kṣāntiḥ4 = patience; ārjavam5 = straightforwardness; ācārya-upāsanam6 = service to teacher; śaucam7 = purity; sthairyam8 = steadfastness; ātma-vinigrahaḥ9 = self-restraint; 13.7 continued.
(13.7) Humility (absence of pride), integrity (absence of deceit), non-violence, patience, uprightness, service of the teacher, purity (of body and mind), steadfastness and self-control.
इन्द्रियार्थेषु वैराग्यमनहंकार एव च ।
जन्ममृत्युजराव्याधिदुःखदोषानुदर्शनम् ॥१३- ८॥
indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam anahaṁkāra eva ca
vairāgyam2 = non-attachment; indriyārtheṣu1 = to sense objects; anahaṅkāra3 = paucity of egoism; eva4 = indeed; ca5 = and; anudarśanam6G = having insight into; doṣa6F = suffering related to [fault or evil]; janma6A = birth; mṛtyu6B = death; jarā6C = old age; vyādhi6D = disease; duḥkha6E = sorrow... 13.8 continued
(13.8) Indifference to the objects of sense, self-effacement and the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age, sickness and pain.
असक्तिरनभिष्वङ्गः पुत्रदारगृहादिषु ।
नित्यं च समचित्तत्वमिष्टानिष्टोपपत्तिषु ॥१३- ९॥
asaktiḥ1 anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ2 putra-dāra-gṛhādiṣu3
asaktiḥ1 = detachment; anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ2 = absence of attachment or mineness; putra-dāra-gṛhādiṣu3 = for son, wife, & home; ca5 = and; nityam4 = constant; sama-cittatvam6 = mental equilibrium; [on] iṣṭa-aniṣṭa-upapattiṣu7 = attainment of the desirable and the undesirable... 13.9 (continued)
(13.9) Non-attachment, absence of clinging to son, wife, home and the like and a constant equal-mindedness to all desirable and undesirable happenings.
मयि चानन्ययोगेन भक्तिरव्यभिचारिणी ।
विविक्तदेशसेवित्वमरतिर्जनसंसदि ॥१३- १०॥
mayi cānanyayogena bhaktir avyabhicāriṇī
ca2 ananya-yogena3 bhaktiḥ4
ananya-yogena3 = dedicated concentration; ca2 = and; avyabhicāriṇī5 = unswerving; bhaktiḥ4 = devotion; mayi1 = to Me; vivikta-deśa-sevitvam6 = resorting to solitary places
[solitary-places-resorting]; aratiḥ-jana-saṁsadi7 = dissatisfaction [discomfort] in the company of people
(13.10) Unswerving devotion to Me with wholehearted discipline, resort to solitary places, dislike for a crowd of people.
अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वं तत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम् ।
एतज्ज्ञानमिति प्रोक्तमज्ञानं यदतोऽन्यथा ॥१३- ११॥
adhyātma-j˝āna-nityatvam1 = steadfastness
in the attainment of knowledge of the Self [Self-knowledge-steadfastness]
contemplation and insight into knowledge of Reality
[Truth-knowledge-insight-contemplation]: etat3 = this; proktam6 = is declared; iti5 = thus;
[as] j˝ānam4 = knowledge; yat8 = that which is; ataḥ
anyathā9 = other than
this [than this-other]; [is] aj˝ānam7 =
(3.11) Constancy in the knowledge of the Spirit, insight into the end of the knowledge of Truth-this is declared to be (true) knowledge and all that is different from it is nonşknowledge.
■á It is clear from this list of qualities that j˝āna or knowledge includes the practice of the moral virtues. Mere theoretical learning will not do.1 By the development of moral qualities the
light of the ever changeless Self witnessing all but attached to none is discriminated from the passing forms and is no more confused with them.
I nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo, na medkayā, na bahunā śrutena.
Kaṭha Up., II, 22; Muṇḍaka Up., III, 2-3.
ज्ञेयं यत्तत्प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वामृतमश्नुते ।
अनादि मत्परं ब्रह्म न सत्तन्नासदुच्यते ॥१३- १२॥
j˝eyaṁ yat tat pravakṣyāmi
pravakṣyāmi4 = I will explain; tat3 = that; yat2 = which; [is] j˝eyam1 = knowable; [by] j˝ātvā6 = knowing; yat5 = which; aśnute8 = one attains; amṛtam7 = ambrosia/immortality. param10 = The supreme; brahma11 = Brahman; [is] anādimat9 = one without a beginning. tat14 = That; ucyate17 = is said to be; na12 = neither; sat13 = being; na15 = nor; asat16 = non-being. 13.12
(13.12) I will describe that which is to be known and by knowing which life eternal is gained. It is the Supreme Brahman who is beginningless and who is said to be neither existent nor
anādimat param: beginningless supreme. S.
anādi matparam: beginningless, ruled by Me. R.
It is eternal, lifted above all empirical oppositions of existence and non-existence, beginning and end, and if we realize It, birth and death happen to be mere outward events which do not touch the eternity of the self.
The Knower of the Field
सर्वतः पाणिपादं तत्सर्वतोऽक्षिशिरोमुखम् ।
सर्वतः श्रुतिमल्लोके सर्वमावृत्य तिष्ठति ॥१३- १३॥
sarvataḥ1 = Everywhere; pāṇi-pādam2 = hands and feet; sarvataḥ4 = everywhere; akṣi-śiraḥ-mukham5 = eyes, heads and faces; sarvataḥ6 = everywhere; śruti-mat7 = having ears: tat3 = That; tiṣṭhati11 = exists; āvṛtya10 = pervading; sarvam9 = everything; loke8 = in the world. 13.13
■á As the one subject of all objects of experience, He is said to envelop all and have hands and feet, ears and eyes everywhere. Without the seeing Light, there is no experience at all. As the Supreme has the two aspects; the one of transcendence and detachment and the other of immanence in each particular union with the not-self, It is described in a series of paradoxes. He is without and within, unmoving and moving, far away and near, undivided and yet divided. M.B. says that when the self is associated with the modes of nature, it is called Kṣetraj˝a; when it is released from these it is called the Paramātman or the Supreme Self.1
1 atma kṣetraj˝a ity uktaḥ saṁyuktaḥ áprakṛtair guṇair
tair eva tu vinirmuktaḥ paramātmety udāhṛtaḥ.
Sāntiparva, 187, 24.
सर्वेन्द्रियगुणाभासं सर्वेन्द्रियविवर्जितम् ।
असक्तं सर्वभृच्चैव निर्गुणं गुणभोक्तृ च ॥१३- १४॥
[He is] sarva-indriya-guṇa-ābhāsam1 = the light of all organs and Gunas [all-organs-Gunas-light]; sarva-indriya-vivarjitam2 = abstaining from all sense organs [all-organs-abstaining]; asaktam3 = unattached; sarva-bhṛt4 = supporter of all; ca5 = moreover; eva6 = indeed; nirguṇam7 = devoid of Gunas; ca9 = also; guṇa-bhoktṛ8 = enjoyer of Gunas. 13.14. Guna = Sattva, Rajas and Tamas = Virtue, passion and darkness.
■á This verse makes out that the Supreme is the mutable and the immutable, the all and the one. He sees all but not with the physical eye, He hears all but not with the physical ear, He knows all but not with the limited mind. Cp.. Śvetāśvatara Up., III, 19, "He sees without the eye, He hears without the ear." The immensity of the Supreme is brought out by the attribution of qualities (adhyāropa) and denial (apavāda).
बहिरन्तश्च भूतानामचरं चरमेव च ।
सूक्ष्मत्वात्तदविज्ञेयं दूरस्थं चान्तिके च तत् ॥१३- १५॥
bahir antaś ca bhūtānām acaraṁ
caram eva ca
[What is] bahiḥ1 = outside; ca3 = and; antaḥ2 = inside; eva7 = also; [in] bhūtānām4 = beings; acaram5 = the non-mobile; ca8 = and; caram6 = the mobile; tat10 = That; sūkṣmatvāt9 = on account of subtleness; [is] avij˝eyam11 = unknowable; ca13 = and; tat16 = That; [is] dūrastham12 = far away; ca15 = and; antike14 = near. 13.15
अविभक्तं च भूतेषु विभक्तमिव च स्थितम् ।
भूतभर्तृ च तज्ज्ञेयं ग्रसिष्णु प्रभविष्णु च ॥१३- १६॥
avibhaktaṁ ca bhūteṣu
vibhaktam iva ca sthitam
avibhaktam1 ca2 bhūteṣu3 vibhaktam4 iva5 ca6 sthitam7
bhūta-bhartṛ8 ca9 tat10 j˝eyam11 grasiṣṇu12 prabhaviṣṇu13 ca14 13.16
j˝eyam11 = Knowable; tat10 = That [Para Brahman]; [is] avibhaktam1 = undivided; ca2 = and; vibhaktam4 = divided; bhūteṣu3 = in all beings; ca6 = and; iva5 = in the same manner; sthitam7 = Existing; bhūta-bhartṛ8 = Sustainer of beings; ca9 = and; grasiṣṇu12 = Devourer; ca14 = also; prabhaviṣṇu13 = the Creator.13.16
(13.16) He is undivided (indivisible) and yet He seems to be divided among beings. He is to be known as supporting creatures, destroying them and creating them afresh.
■á Cp. Dionysius: "Undivided in things divided." All things derive from Him, are supported by Him and taken back into Him.
ज्योतिषामपि तज्ज्योतिस्तमसः परमुच्यते ।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य विष्ठितम् ॥१३- १७॥
jyotiṣām api taj
jyotis tamasaḥ param ucyate
tat3 = That;
[is] jyotiḥ4 = the Light; api2 = even;
jyotiṣām1 = of lights; [It] ucyate7 = is said;
[It is] param6 = beyond; tamasaḥ5 = darkness; [It
is] j˝ānam8 = knowledge; [ It is] j˝eyam9 = knowable; [It is] j˝āna-gamyam10 = the Known; [It] viṣṭhitam13 = exists; hṛdi11 = in the
heart; sarvasya12 = of
(13.I7) He is the Light of lights, said to be beyond darkness. Knowledge, the object of knowledge and the goal of knowş ledge-He is seated in the hearts of all.
■á The Light dwells in the heart of every being. Many of these passages are quotations from the Upaniṣads, See Śvetāśvatara Up., III, 8 and I6; Īśa UP; 5; Muṇḍaka up; XIII, 1, 7; Bṛhadşāraṇyaka Up., IV..4, I6.
The Fruit of Knowledge
इति क्षेत्रं तथा ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं चोक्तं समासतः ।
मद्भक्त एतद्विज्ञाय मद्भावायोपपद्यते ॥१३- १८॥
iti kṣetraṁ tathā j˝ānaṁ j˝eyaṁ coktaṁ sanāsataḥ
iti1 = Thus; kṣetram2 = the field; tathā3 = also; j˝ānam4 = the knowledge; ca6 = and; j˝eyam5 = the knowable; uktam7 = were spoken of; samāsataḥ8 = briefly. mat-bhakta9 = My votary; vij˝āya11 = knowing; etat10 = this; upapadyate13 = attains; mat-bhāvāya12 = My nature.13.18
(13.18) Thus the field, also knowledge and the object of knowledge have been briefly described. My devotee who understands thus becomes worthy of My state.
■á When the devotee sees the Eternal Indwelling Divine, he puts on the divine nature with the characteristics of freedom, love and equality. "He attains unto my state."
प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव विद्ध्यनादी उभावपि ।
विकारांश्च गुणांश्चैव विद्धि प्रकृतिसंभवान् ॥१३- १९॥
prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva viddhy anādi ubhāv api
viddhi5 = Know; prakṛtim1 = Nature; ca3 = and; puruṣam2 = the individual souls; [are] ubhāu7 = both; eva4 = indeed; anādi6 = without beginning; ca10 = and ; viddhi14 = know; api8 = also; vikārān9 = transformation [change]; ca12 = and; eva13 = indeed; guṇān11 = Gunas; [are] prakṛti-sambhavān15 = born of Nature.13.19
(13.I9) Know thou that prakṛti (nature) and Puruṣa (soul) are both beginningless; and know also that the forms and modes are born of prakṛti (nature).
■á As the Supreme is eternal, so are His prakṛtis.1 Through the possession of the two pṛakrtis, nature and soul, Īśvara causes the origin, preservation and dissolution of the universe. The puruṣa described in this section is not the multiple puruṣa of the Sāṁkhya but the Kṣetraj˝a who is one in all fields. The Gītā does not look upon prakṛti and Puruṣa as two independent elements as the Sāṁkhya does but looks upon them as the inferior and the superior forms of one and the same Supreme.
1nityeśvaratvād Īśvarasya, tat prakṛtyor api yuktaṁ nityatvena bhavitum. S.
कार्यकरणकर्तृत्वे हेतुः प्रकृतिरुच्यते ।
पुरुषः सुखदुःखानां भोक्तृत्वे हेतुरुच्यते ॥१३- २०॥
kārya karaṇa kartṛtve hetuḥ prakṛtir ucyate
prakṛtiḥ3 = Nature; ucyate4 = is said to be; hetuḥ2 = the cause of; kārya-kāraṇa-kartṛtve1 = agency to body and sense organs [body-organs-agency]. puruṣaḥ5 = The individual soul [the self]; ucyate9 = is said be; hetuḥ8 = the cause; bhoktṛtve7 = in the experiencing; sukha-duḥkhānām6 = of happiness and sorrow. 13.20
(13.20) Nature is said to be the cause of effect, instrument and agent (ness) and the soul is said to be the cause, in regard to the experience of pleasure and pain.
The body and the senses are produced by prakṛti and the experience of pleasure and pain is by the puruṣa subject to certain limitations. The blissful nature of the self is stained by joy and sorrow on account of its identification with the objects of nature.
kārya-karaṇa-kartṛtve1: For kāryakaraṇakartṛtve, there is another reading "kāryakāraṇakartṛtve." See Franklin Edgerton: Bhagavadgita, Vol. I, p. I87 note.
पुरुषः प्रकृतिस्थो हि भुङ्क्ते प्रकृतिजान्गुणान् ।
कारणं गुणसङ्गोऽस्य सदसद्योनिजन्मसु ॥१३- २१॥
puruṣaḥ prakṛtistho hi bhuṅkte prakṛtijān
puruṣaḥ1 prakṛtisthaḥ2 hi3 bhuṅkte4 prakṛtijān5 guṇān6
kāraṇam7 guṇasaṅgaḥ8 asya9 sad-asad-yoni-janmasu10 13.21
puruṣaḥ1 = Purusa [Jivatma, the individual
living soul]; prakṛtisthaḥ2 = abiding in Prakrti; hi3 = indeed; bhuṅkte4 = enjoys; guṇān6 = Gunas; prakṛtijān5 = born of
Nature. guṇasaṅgaḥ8 = Attachment to Gunas; [is] kāraṇam7 = the cause; sad-asad-yoni-janmasu10 =
of birth in good or evil wombs [good-evil-womb-birth]; asya9 = for that Jivatma. 13.21
(13.2I) The soul in nature enjoys the modes born of nature. Attachment to the modes is the cause of its births in good and evil wombs.
उपद्रष्टानुमन्ता च भर्ता भोक्ता महेश्वरः ।
परमात्मेति चाप्युक्तो देहेऽस्मिन्पुरुषः परः ॥१३- २२॥
upadraṣṭānumantā ca bhartā bhoktā maheśvaraḥ
maheśvaraḥ6 = Mahesvara [Great Lord]; uktaḥ11 = is said to be; upadraṣṭā1 = the Witness; anumantā2 = the Approver; ca3 = and; bhartā4 = the Supporter; bhoktā5 = the Enjoyer; paramātma7 = the Supreme Soul; ca9 = moreover; iti8 = thus; api10 = even; asmin13 = this; paraḥ15 = Supreme; puruṣaḥ14 = Purusa; [is] dehe12 = in the body.13.22
Here the Supreme Self is different from the psychophysical individual who becomes the immortal self by transcending the separatist consciousness, due to entanglement in the activities of prakṛti. In the Gītā, no distinction is made between the knower of the field and the Supreme Lord.1
1 kṣetraj˝eśvarayoḥ bhedānabhyupagamād gītāśāstre. S.
य एवं वेत्ति पुरुषं प्रकृतिं च गुणैः सह ।
सर्वथा वर्तमानोऽपि न स भूयोऽभिजायते ॥१३- २३॥
ya evaṁ vetti puruṣaṁ prakṛtiṁ ca guṇaiḥ saha
yaḥ1 = He who; evam2 = thus; vetti3 = knows; puruṣam4 = man; ca6 = and; prakṛtim5 = nature; saha8 = with; guṇaiḥ7 =
Gunas/qualities; [though] vartamānaḥ10 = living; sarvathā9 api11 = in all ways; saḥ13 = he; na12
abhijāyate15 = is never
born; bhūyaḥ14 = again. 13.23
(13.23) He who thus knows soul (puruṣa) and nature (prakṛti) together with the modes, though he acts in every way, he is not born again.
sarvathā9 vartamānaḥ10 api11: though he acts in every way, whatever state of life he may be in. R.
Different Roads to Salvation
ध्यानेनात्मनि पश्यन्ति केचिदात्मानमात्मना ।
अन्ये सांख्येन योगेन कर्मयोगेन चापरे ॥१३- २४॥
kecid ātmānam ātmanā
dhyānena1 = By meditation; kecit4 = some; paśyanti3 = see/realize; ātmānam5 = Self; ātmani2 = in the self; ātmanā6 = through Buddhi/mind/intellect; anye7 = others; sāṅkhyena yogena8 = through Sankhya Yoga; ca10 = and; apare11 = others; karma-yogena9 = through Karma Yoga. 13.24
Sāṁkhya here stands for j˝āna.
अन्ये त्वेवमजानन्तः श्रुत्वान्येभ्य उपासते ।
तेऽपि चातितरन्त्येव मृत्युं श्रुतिपरायणाः ॥१३- २५॥
anye tv evam
tu2 = But; anye1 = others; evam3 = thus; ajānantaḥ4 = ignorant of [Yogas]; upāsate7 = worship; śrutvā5 = by hearing; anyebhyaḥ6 = from others [gurus or teachers]; ca10 = and; te8 = they; api9 = also; eva12 = indeed; atitaranti11 = cross over; mṛtyum13 = death; śruti-parāyaṇāḥ14 = by trust in what they heard.13.25
Even those who rely on the authority of teachers1 and worship according to their advice have their hearts opened out to the grace of the Lord and thus reach life-eternal.
1śrutiparāyaṇāh, kevalaparopadeśapramāṇāḥ svayaṁ vivekarahitāḥ. S.
यावत्संजायते किंचित्सत्त्वं स्थावरजङ्गमम् ।
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञसंयोगात्तद्विद्धि भरतर्षभ ॥१३- २६॥
yāvat saṁjāyate kiṁcit sattvaṁ sthāvarajaṅgamam
yāvat1 ki˝cit3 = Whatever; sa˝jāyate2 = comes into
existence; sattvam4 = beings; sthāvara5 = immobile;
[and] jaṅgamam6 = mobile; viddhi9 = know; tat8 = that; [it happens from] kṣetra-kṣetraj˝a-saṁyogāt7 = union of the field and the knower of the field
[field-knower of the field-union] bharatarṣabha10 = O the best of Bharatas.13.26
(13.26) Whatever being is born, moving or unmoving, know thou, O Best of the Bharatas (Arjuna), that it is (sprung) through the union of the field and the knower of the field.
All life is a commerce between self and not-self. According to S., the union of the two is of the nature of adhyāsa, which consists in confounding the one with the other. When the confusion is cleared, bondage terminates.
समं सर्वेषु भूतेषु तिष्ठन्तं परमेश्वरम् ।
विनश्यत्स्वविनश्यन्तं यः पश्यति स पश्यति ॥१३- २७॥
samaṁ sarveṣu bhūteṣu tiṣṭhantaṁ
saḥ10 = He; yaḥ8 = who; paśyati9 = sees; avinaśyantam7 = the imperishable; parameśvaram5 = Supreme Lord; samam1 = equally; sarveṣu2 = in all; tiṣṭhantam4 = existing; vinaśyatsu6 = perishable; bhūteṣu3 = beings; paśyati11 = [really] sees.13.27
He who sees the Universal Spirit in all things, sees and becomes himself universal.
"Never perishing when they perish.'' If all things are in a continual state of evolutionary development, then there is no unchanging God. Bergson, for example, makes God wholly immanent in the world, changing as it changes. An evolving God who is conceived as a part of the process of development of the world will cease to exist, when the universe ceases to move. The second law of Thermodynamics suggests a condition of eventless stagnation and perfect rest. An evolving or emergent God cannot be either the creator or the savior of the world.. He is not an adequate object for the religious emotions. In this verse, the Gītā assures us that God lives and endures even when the universe ceases to exist.
समं पश्यन्हि सर्वत्र समवस्थितमीश्वरम् ।
न हिनस्त्यात्मनात्मानं ततो याति परां गतिम् ॥१३- २८॥
samaṁ paśyan hi sarvatra samavasthitam īśvaram
paśyan2 = Seeing; īśvaram6 = the Lord; samam1 = equally; hi3 = indeed; sarvatra4 = everywhere; samavasthitam5 = equally abiding; [everywhere] [he] na hinasti7 =does not injure/destroy; ātmānam9 = Self; ātmanā8 = by the self/mind; tataḥ10 = therefore; [he] yāti11 = attains; parām gatim12 = the supreme goal.13.28
(13.28) For, as he sees the Lord present, equally everywhere, he does not injure his true Self by the self and then he attains to the supreme goal.
प्रकृत्यैव च कर्माणि क्रियमाणानि सर्वशः ।
यः पश्यति तथात्मानमकर्तारं स पश्यति ॥१३- २९॥
prakṛtyaiva ca karmāṇi
yaḥ7 = He who; paśyati8 = sees; karmāṇi4 = activities;
kriyamāṇāni5 = being
performed; sarvaśaḥ6 = in many
ways; prakṛtya1 = by Nature; eva2 = indeed; ca3 = and; tathā9 = also; ātmānam10 = the Self; [as] akartāram11 = the non-agent; saḥ12 = he; paśyati13 = sees. 13.29
(13.29) He who sees that all actions are done only by nature (prakṛti) and likewise that the self is not the doer, he verily sees.
The true self IS not the doer but only the witness. It is the spectator, not the actor. S. says that there is no evidence to show that there is any variety in him who is non-agent, unconditioned and free from all specialities, as there is no variety in the sky.1 Actions affect the mind and understanding and not the self.
1 kṣtraj˝am akartāraṁ sarvopādhivivarjitam.á nirguṇasyākartur
nirviśeṣasy akāśasyevā bhede pramāṇānupapattiḥ.
यदा भूतपृथग्भावमेकस्थमनुपश्यति ।
तत एव च विस्तारं ब्रह्म संपद्यते तदा ॥१३- ३०॥
yadā1 = When; anupaśyati4 = one
sees/realizes; bhūta-pṛthak-bhāvam2 = the
state of diversity and individuality of beings [living beings-diverse-state];
ekastham3 = abiding in
One; ca7 = and; [which are His] vistāram8 = expansions; tata5 eva6 = from That also; sampadyate10 = he attains; brahma9 = Brahman; tadā11 = at that time.13.30
(13.30) When he sees that the manifold state of beings is centered in the One and from just that it spreads out, then he attains Brahman.
When the variety of nature and its development are traced to the Eternal One, we assume eternity. "He realizes the all-pervading nature of the Self, inasmuch as the cause of all limitation is absorbed into the unity of the Self." Ᾱnandagiri.
शरीरस्थोऽपि कौन्तेय न करोति न लिप्यते ॥१३- ३१॥
anāditvān nirguṇatvāt paramātmāyam avyayaḥ
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
(13.3I) Because this Supreme Self imperishable is without beginning, without qualities, so, O Son of Kuntī (Arjuna), though It dwells in the body. It neither acts nor is tainted.
यथा सर्वगतं सौक्ष्म्यादाकाशं नोपलिप्यते ।
सर्वत्रावस्थितो देहे तथात्मा नोपलिप्यते ॥१३- ३२॥
yathā sarvagataṁ saukṣmyād ākāśaṁ
ākāśam4 na upalipyate5
yathā1 = As; sarva-gatam2 =
all-pervasive; ākāśam4 = Ether; na upalipyate5 = is
not stained; saukṣmyāt3 = due to its
subtle nature; sarvatra6 = everywhere; tathā9 = likewise; ātmā10 = the Self; avasthitaḥ7 = present; dehe8 = in the body; na upalipyate10 = is not stained [ by the Gunas due to its Nirguna state] 13.32
(13.32) As the all-pervading ether is not tainted, by reason of its subtlety, even so the Self that is present in every body does not suffer any taint.
यथा प्रकाशयत्येकः कृत्स्नं लोकमिमं रविः ।
क्षेत्रं क्षेत्री तथा कृत्स्नं प्रकाशयति भारत ॥१३- ३३॥
yathā prakāśayaty ekaḥ kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ
prakāśayati2 ekaḥ3 kṛtsnam lokam4
yathā1 = As; ekaḥ3 = one; raviḥ6 = sun; prakāśayati2 = lights up; imam5 = this; kṛtsnam lokam4 = whole world; tathā9 = likewise; kṣetrī8 = the Knower of the field; prakāśayati11 = illuminates; kṛtsnam10 = all; kṣetram7 = field/body; bhārata12 = O Bharata [Arjuna]. 13.33
(13.33) As the one sun illumines this whole world, so does the Lord of the field illumine this entire field, O Bharata (Arjuna).
The knower of the field illumines the whole field, the entire world of becoming.
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोरेवमन्तरं ज्ञानचक्षुषा ।
भूतप्रकृतिमोक्षं च ये विदुर्यान्ति ते परम् ॥१३- ३४॥
kṣetrakṣetraj˝ayor evam antaraṁ
ye7 = They who; viduḥ8 = know; antaram3 = the difference; kṣetra-kṣetraj˝ayoḥ1 = between the field and the Knower of the field; ca6 = and; evam2 = thus; j˝āna-cakṣuṣā4 = the eye of wisdom; [focused on] bhūta-prakṛti-mokṣam5 = liberation of beings from Nature [beings-Nature-liberation]; te10 = they; yānti9 = attain; param11 = the Supreme. 13.34
(13.34) Those who perceive thus by their eye of wisdom the distinction between the field and the knower of the field, and the deliverance of beings from nature (prakṛti), áthey attain to the Supreme.
bhūta-prakṛti: the material nature of beings.
iti... kṣetrakṣetraj˝avibhāgayogo nāma trayodaśo 'dhyāyaḥ á
This is the thirteenth chapter entitled The Yoga of the Distinction between the Field and the Knower of the Field.