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Thirteenth Chapter. The DIscrimination Of The Kshetra And The Kshetrajna In Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita

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Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita, English translation and commentary by Swami Swarupananda, [1909] Arjuna said: Prakriti and Purusha, also the Kshetra and the knower of the Kshetra, knowledge, and that which ought to be known—these, O Keshava, I desire to learn. 1 The Blessed Lord said: 1. This body, O son of Kunti, is called Kshetra, and he who knows it is called Kshetrajna by those who know of them (Kshetra and Kshetrajna). 1 2. Me do thou also know, O descendant of Bharata, to be Kshetrajna in all Kshetras. The knowledge of Kshetra and Kshetrajna is considered by Me to be the knowledge. 3. What the Kshetra is, what its properties are, what are its modifications, what effects arise from what causes, and also who He is and what His powers are, that hear from Me in brief. 3 4. (This truth) has been sung by Rishis in many ways, in various distinctive chants, in passages indicative of Brahman, full of reasoning, and convincing. 5-6. The great Elements, Egoism, Intellect, as also the Unmanifested (Mulâ Prakriti), the ten senses and the one (mind), and the five objects of the senses; desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the, aggregate, intelligence, fortitude,—the Kshetra has been thus briefly described with its modifications. 5 7. Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, forbearance, uprightness, service to the teacher, purity, steadiness, self-control; 7 8. The renunciation of sense-objects, and also absence of egoism; reflection on the evils of birth, death, old age, sickness and pain; 8 9. Non-attachment, non-identification of self with son, wife, home, and the rest, and constant even-mindedness in the occurrence of the desirable and the un-undesirable; 9 10. Unswerving devotion to Me by the Yoga of non-separation, resort to sequestered places, distaste for the society of men;  10 11. Constant application to spiritual knowledge, understanding of the end of true knowledge: this is declared to be knowledge, and what is opposed to it is ignorance. 11 12. I shall describe that which has to be known, knowing which one attains to immortality, the beginningless Supreme Brahman. It is called neither being nor non-being. 13. With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes, heads and mouths everywhere, with ears everywhere in the universe,—That exists pervading all. 14. Shining by the functions of all the senses, yet without the senses; Absolute, yet sustaining all; devoid of Gunas, yet their experiencer. 15. Without and within (all) beings; the unmoving and also the moving; because of Its subtlety incomprehensible; It is far and near. 15 16. Impartible, yet It exists as if divided in beings: It is to be known as sustaining beings; and devouring, as welt as generating (them). 16 17. The Light even of lights, It is said to be beyond darkness; Knowledge, and the One Thing to be known, the Goal of' knowledge, dwelling in the hearts of all. 17 18. Thus Kshetra, knowledge, and that which has to be known, have been briefly stated. Knowing this, My devotee is fitted for My state. 19. Know thou that Prakriti and Purusha are both beginningless; and know thou also that all modifications and Gunas are born of Prakriti. 19 20. In the production of the body and the senses, Prakriti is said to be the cause; in the experience of pleasure and pain, Purusha is said to be the cause. 20 21. Purusha seated in Prakriti, experiences the Gunas born of Prakriti; the reason of his birth in good and evil wombs is his attachment to the Gunas. 21 22. And the Supreme Purusha in this body is also called the Looker-on, the Permitter, the Supporter, the Experiencer, the Great Lord, and the Highest Self. 22 23. He who thus knows the Purusha and Prakriti together with the Gunas, whatever his life, is not born again. 23 24. Some by meditation behold the Self in their own intelligence by the purified heart, others by the path of knowledge, others again by Karma Yoga. 25. Others again not knowing thus, worship as they have heard from others. [paragraph continues] Even these go beyond death, regarding what they have heard as the Supreme Refuge. 25 26. Whatever being is born, the moving or the unmoving, O bull of the Bhâratas, know it to be from the union of Kshetra and Kshetrajna. 26 27. He sees, who sees the Lord Supreme, existing equally in all beings, deathless in the dying. 28. Since seeing the Lord equally existent everywhere, he injures not Self by self, and so goes to the highest Goal. 28 29. He sees, who sees that all actions are done by Prakriti alone and that the Self is actionless. 30. When he sees the separate existence of all beings inherent in the One, and their expansion from That (One) alone, he then becomes Brahman. 31. Being without beginning and devoid of Gunas, this Supreme Self, immutable, O son of Kunti, though existing in the body neither acts nor is affected. 31 32. As the all-pervading Akâsha, because of its subtlety, is not tainted, so the Self existent in the body everywhere is not tainted. 33. As the one sun illumines all this world, so does He who abides in the Kshetra, O descendant of Bharata, illumine the whole Kshetra. 34. They who thus with the eye of knowledge perceive the distinction between the Kshetra and the Kshetrajna, and also the emancipation from the Prakriti of beings, they go to the Supreme. 34   The end of the thirteenth chapter designated, The Discrimination of the Kshetra and the Kshetrajna. 288:1 This verse is omitted in many editions. 289:1 Kshetra: Literally, field; the body is so called because the fruits of action are reaped in it as in a field. 290:3 That: the true nature of Kshetra and Kshetrajna in all these specific aspects. 291:5 The Sânkhyas speak of those mentioned in the fifth Sloka as the twenty-four Tattvas or Principles. The great Elements—Mahâbhutas—pervade all Vikâras, or modifications of matter. Aggregate—Samghâta: combination of the body and the senses. Desire and other qualities which the Vaiseshikas speak of as inherent attributes of the Atman, are spoken of in the sixth Sloka as merely the attributes of Kshetra, and not the attributes of Kshetrajna. Desire and other qualities mentioned here, stand for all the qualities of the Antah-Karana or inner sense,—as mere mental states. Each of them, being knowable, is Kshetra. The Kshetra, of which the various modifications in their totality are spoken of as "this body" in the first Sloka, has been here dwelt upon in all its different forms, from 'The great Elements' to 'fortitude.' 292:7 Achârya—one who teaches the means of attaining Moksha. Purity—external and internal. The former consists in washing away the dirt from the body by means of water &c., and the latter—the purity of mind—consists in the removal from it the dirt of attachment and other passions, by the recognition of evil in all objects of the senses. 293:8 Sense-objects: such as sound, touch &c., of pleasures seen or unseen. Pain—whether Adhyâtmic, i.e., arising in one's own person, or Adhibhautic, i.e., produced by external agents, or Adhidaivic, i.e., produced by supernatural beings. Reflection . . . pain—or the passage may be interpreted as—reflection on the evils and miseries of birth, death, old age and sickness. Birth &c., are all miseries, not that they are miseries in themselves, but because they produce misery. From such reflection arises indifference to sense-pleasures, and the senses turn towards the Innermost Self for knowledge. 294:9 Identification of self—as in the case of a person who feels happy or miserable when another to whom he is attached, is happy or miserable, and who feels himself alive or dead when his beloved one is alive or dead. 294:10 Resort . . . places—favourable to equanimity of mind, so that uninterrupted meditation on the Self, . and the like, may be possible. Society of men: of the unenlightened and undisciplined people, not of the pure and holy, because association with the latter leads to Jnâna. 295:11 These attributes—from 'Humility' to 'Understanding of the end of true knowledge'—are declared to be knowledge, because they are the means conducive to knowledge. 297:15 Incomprehensible—to the unillumined, though knowable in Itself. Far—when unknown. Near—to the illumined, because It is their own Self. 298:16 Devouring—at the time of Pralaya. Generating—at the time of utpatti or origin of the universe. 298:17 The Light even of lights:—The illuminator of all illuminating things, such as the sun &c., and Buddhi &c. Indeed, these latter shine only when illuminated by the Light of the consciousness of the Self. 299:19 Modifications—Vikâras: From Buddhi down to the physical body. 299:20 Senses—five organs of perception, five of action, mind, intellect and egoism. Purusha: the Jiva is meant here. Kârya: The effect, the physical body. Karana: Senses. Some read Kârana, and explain 'Kârya and Kârana' as 'effect and cause.' 300:21 Seated in: identifying himself with. Gunas—manifesting themselves as pleasure, pain and delusion. 301:22 Looker-on, the Permitter—He himself does not participate in the activities of the bodily organs, the mind and the Buddhi, being quite apart from them, yet appears to be so engaged. And being a looker-on, He never stands in the way of the activities of Prakriti as manifested in the body. Indeed, all the consciousness or intelligence that manifests itself in the activities of life is but the reflection of the All-pervading, Absolute and Perfect Intelligence—the Supreme Spirit. 301:23 Whatever his life &c.: Whether he be engaged in prescribed or forbidden acts, he is not born again. For, the acts, the seeds of rebirth, of a knower of Truth are burnt by the fire of knowledge, and thus cannot be effective causes to bring about births. In his case they are mere semblances of Karma; a burnt cloth, for instance, cannot serve the purposes of a cloth. 303:25 Not knowing thus: not able to know the Self described above, by one of the several methods as pointed out. From others: Achâryas or spiritual teachers. Regarding—following with Shraddhâ. What they have heard, i.e., they solely depend upon the authority of others' instructions. 303:26 Union . . . Kshetrajna: The union of Kshetra and Kshetrajna, of the object and the subject, is of the nature of mutual Adhyâsa which consists in confounding them as well as their attributes with each other, owing to the absence of discrimination of their real nature. This false knowledge vanishes when one is able to separate Kshetra from Kshetrajna. 304:28 He injures . . . by self—like the ignorant man either by ignoring the Self in others (Avidyâ or nescience), or regarding the non-Self (physical body, &c.) as the Self (Mithyâ-jnâna or false knowledge)—the two veils that hide the true nature of the Self. 306:31 Being without beginning—having no cause. Neither . . . affected—Because the Self is not the doer, therefore He is not touched by the fruit of action. 307:34 Prakriti of beings: the material nature or delusion of beings due to Avidyâ.

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1 Enakshi Ganguly = ""There is a belief among commentators of the Bhagavadgita that the great Upanishadic statement ‘tat tvam asi’ has something to do with this threefold classification of the chapters of the Gita. The individual is tvam—‘thou’. This ‘thou’, or individual, is taken up for an intensified form of study in the first six chapters. Tat means ‘That’—the Supreme. The nature of ‘That’ is taken up for study in the next six chapters. Asi means ‘art’; ‘thou That art’. The unification of the ‘thou’ and the ‘That’, the methodology of attaining the unity between the individual and the Universal, in all its details, is supposed to be delineated in the coming chapters, from the Thirteenth onwards."Source: http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/bgita/bgita_38.html"
2 Enakshi Ganguly = ""The matter equipments and the world of objects perceived by them is the Field. The Knower of the Field is the Supreme Consciousness which illumines the Field and therefore apparently functions within the Field. It is obvious that one can be knower only so long as one is in the field of knowable. A driver is one so long as he is driving a vehicle. Once he is out of the vehicle he is no more a driver although he, as a person, remains the same. imilarly the Pure Consciousness when it perceives the world of plurality becomes the knower of the field (Driver). As the driver experiences the pains and pleasures of driving while performing the act of driving, the knower of the field (Consciousness) experiences the joys and sorrows of the pluralistic world while perceiving such world of multiplicity through the body equipments. Thus the joys and miseries of the samsara are the features of the knower of the field, the Jiva."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-13.pdf"
3 Enakshi Ganguly = ""From all the authoritative statements of the great sages, the Vedic hymns and the aphorisms of the Vedanta-sutra, the components of this world are earth, water, fire, air and ether. These are the five great elements (mahabhuta). Then there are false ego, intelligence and the unmanifested stage of the three modes of nature. Then there are five senses for acquiring knowledge: the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch. Then five working senses: voice, legs, hands, the anus and the genitals. Then, above the senses, there is the mind, which is within and which can be called the sense within. Therefore, including the mind, there are eleven senses altogether. Then there are the five objects of the senses: smell, taste, form, touch and sound. Now the aggregate of these twenty-four elements is called the field of activity. If one makes an analytical study of these twenty-four subjects, then he can very well understand the field of activity. Then there is desire, hatred, pleasure and pain, which are interactions, representations of the five great elements in the gross body. The living symptoms, represented by consciousness and conviction, are the manifestation of the subtle body--mind, ego and intelligence. These subtle elements are included within the field of activities. "Source: http://www.asitis.com/13/6-7.html"