Ksetra-Ksetrajna Vibhaga Yoga

discourse xiii

This discourse treats of the distinction between the body (not-Self) and the atman (the Self).

The Lord Said:
1. This body, O Kaunteya, is called the Field; he who knows it is called the knower of the Field by those who know.

श्रीभगवानुवाच |
इदंशरीरंकौन्तेयक्षेत्रमित्यभिधीयते |
एतद्योवेत्तितंप्राहु: क्षेत्रज्ञइतितद्विद: || 1|


2. And understand Me to be, O Bharata, the knower of the Field in all the Fields; and the knowledge of the Field and the knower of the Field, I hold, is true knowledge.

क्षेत्रज्ञंचापिमांविद्धिसर्वक्षेत्रेषुभारत |
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोर्ज्ञानंयत्तज्ज्ञानंमतंमम || 2||


3. What the Field is, what its nature, what its modifications, and whence is what, as also who He is, and what His power — hear this briefly from Me.

तत्क्षेत्रंयच्चयादृक्चयद्विकारियतश्चयत् |
स च योयत्प्रभावश्चतत्समासेनमेशृणु || 3||


6. Desire, dislike, pleasure, pain, association, consciousness, cohesion — this, in sum, is what is called the Field with its modifications.

इच्छाद्वेष: सुखंदु:खंसङ्घातश्चेतनाधृति: |
एतत्क्षेत्रंसमासेनसविकारमुदाहृतम् || 6||

The great elements are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. ‘Individuation’ is the thought of I, or that the body is ‘I’; the ‘Unmanifest’ is prakritior maya; the ten senses are the five senses of perception — smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing, and the five organs of action, viz.: the hands, the feet, the tongue, and the two organs of excretion. The five spheres or objects of the senses are smell, savour, form, touch, and sound.

‘Association’ is the property of the different organs to co-operate. Dhriti is not patience or constancy but cohesion, i.e. the property of all the atoms in the body to hold together; from ‘individuation’ springs this cohesion.

Individuation is inherent in the unmanifestprakriti. The undeluded man is he who can cast off the individuation or ego, and having done so the shock of an inevitable thing like death and pairs of opposites caused by sense-contacts fail to affect him. The Field, subject to all its modifications, has to be abandoned in the end by the enlightened and the unenlightened alike.

7. Freedom from pride and pretentiousness, nonviolence, forgiveness, uprightness, service of the Master, purity, steadfastenes, self-restraint;

अमानित्वमदम्भित्वमहिंसाक्षान्तिरार्जवम् |
आचार्योपासनंशौचंस्थैर्यमात्मविनिग्रह: || 7||


11. Settled conviction of the nature of the atman, perception of the goal of the knowledge of Truth — all this is declared to be Knowledge and the reverse of it is ignorance.

अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वंतत्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम् |
एतज्ज्ञानमितिप्रोक्तमज्ञानंयदतोऽन्यथा || 11||


12. I will (now) expound to thee that which is to be known and knowing which one enjoys immortality; it is the supreme Brahman which has no beginning, which is called neither Being nor non-Being.

ज्ञेयंयत्तत्प्रवक्ष्यामियज्ज्ञात्वामृतमश्रुते |
अनादिमत्परंब्रह्म न सत्तन्नासदुच्यते || 12||

The Supreme can be described neither as Being nor as non-Being. It is beyond defini¬tion or description, above all attributes.


13. Everywhere having hands and feet, every¬where having eyes, heads, mouths, everywhere having ears, It abides embracing everything in the universe.

सर्वत: पाणिपादंतत्सर्वतोऽक्षिशिरोमुखम् |
सर्वत: श्रुतिमल्लोकेसर्वमावृत्यतिष्ठति || 13||

15.Without all beings, yet within; immovable yet moving, so subtle that It cannot be perceived; so far and yet so near It is.

He who knows It is within It, close to It; mobility and immobility, peace and restlessness, we owe to It, for It has motion and yet is motionless.

बहिरन्तश्चभूतानामचरंचरमेव च |
सूक्ष्मत्वात्तदविज्ञेयंदूरस्थंचान्तिके च तत् || 15||


21. For the purusha, residing in prakriti, experi­ences the gunasborn in prakriti; attachment to these gunasis the cause of his birth in good or evil wombs.

Prakritiin common parlance is maya. Puru­shais the jiva. Jivaacting in accordance with his nature experiences the fruit of actions arising out of the three gunas.

पुरुष: प्रकृतिस्थोहिभुङक्तेप्रकृतिजान्गुणान् |
कारणंगुणसङ्गोऽस्यसदसद्योनिजन्मसु || 21||


22. What is called in this body the Witness, the Assentor, the Sustainer, the Experiencer, the Great Lord and also the Supreme atman, is the Supreme Being.

उपद्रष्टानुमन्ता च भर्ताभोक्तामहेश्वर: |
परमात्मेतिचाप्युक्तोदेहेऽस्मिन्पुरुष: पर: || 22||


23. He who thus knows purushaand prakritiwith its gunas, is not born again, no matter how he live and move.

य एवंवेत्तिपुरुषंप्रकृतिं च गुणै: सह |
सर्वथावर्तमानोऽपि न स भूयोऽभिजायते || 23||

Read in the light of discourses II, IX and XII this shloka may not be taken to support any kind of libertinism. It shows the virtue of self-surrender and selfless devotion. All actions bind the self, but if all are dedicated to the Lord they do not bind, rather they release him. He who has thus extinguished the ‘self or the thought of ‘I’ and who acts as ever in the great witness’ eye, will never sin nor err. the self-sense is at the root of all error or sin. Where the ‘I’ has ben extin­guished, there is no sin. This shloka shows how to steer clear of all sin.

24.Some through meditation hold the atman by themselves in their own self; others by Sankhya Yoga, and others by karma Yoga.

ध्यानेनात्मनिपश्यन्तिकेचिदात्मानमात्मना |
अन्येसाङ्ख्येनयोगेनकर्मयोगेनचापरे || 24||


28. When he sees the same Ishvaraabiding everywhere alike, he does not hurt himself by himself and hence he attains the highest goal.

समंपश्यन्हिसर्वत्रसमवस्थितमीश्वरम् |
न हिनस्त्यात्मनात्मानंततोयातिपरांगतिम् || 28||

He who sees the same God everywhere merges in Him and sees naught else; he thus does not yield to passion, does not become his own foe and thus attains Freedom.


29.Who sees that it is prakritithat performs all actions and thus (knows) that atman performs them not, he sees indeed.

प्रकृत्यैव च कर्माणिक्रियमाणानिसर्वश: |
य: पश्यतितथात्मानमकर्तारं स पश्यति || 29||

Just as, in the case of a man who is asleep, his “Self” is not the agent of sleep but prakriti, even so the enlightened man will detach his “Self” from all activities. To the pure, everything is pure. Prakritiis not unchaste, it is when arrogant man takes her as wife that of these twain passion is born.


30. When he sees the diversity of beings as founded in unity and the whole expanse issuing therefrom, then he attains to Brahman.

यदाभूतपृथग्भावमेकस्थमनुपश्यति |
ततएव च विस्तारंब्रह्मसम्पद्यतेतदा || 30||

To realize that everything rests in Brahman is to attain to the state ofBrahman. Then jivabecomes Shiva.


34. Those who, with the eyes of knowledge, thus perceive the distinction between the Field and the Knower of the Field, and (the secret) of the release of beings from prakriti, they attain to the Supreme.

क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोरेवमन्तरंज्ञानचक्षुषा |
भूतप्रकृतिमोक्षं च येविदुर्यान्तितेपरम् || 34||

Thus ends the thirteenth discourse, entitled ‘KshetraKshetrajnaVibhaga Yoga’ in the converse of Lord Krishna and Arjuna, on the science of Yoga, as part of the knowledge of Brahman in the Upanishad called the Bhaga­vad Gita.