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  • BG-Chap 13 (Pt-1) Kshetra Kshetrajna Vibhaaga Yogah- Yoga of Distinction between The Field and the Knower of the Field

BG-Chap 13 (Pt-1) Kshetra Kshetrajna Vibhaaga Yogah- Yoga of Distinction between The Field and the Knower of the Field


jneyam yattat pravakshyaami yajjnaatwaamritam ashnute
    anaadimatparam brahma na sattannaasaduchyate // 13.13 //

I will now describe that which  has to be known; knowing which one attains to immortality, the beginningless  Supreme Brahman, called neither existent nor non-existent.

After explaining in the previous  five verses the various auxiliary causes of knowledge, The Lord promises here  that He will explain what is to be known by this knowledge. Although He says He  will explain what is to be known, He does not do so directly but gives an elaborate  description of what the result would be of such knowledge. This is because the  glorification of the result of the knowledge would instill greater desire in  the seeker to realize it.

Knowledge by which one attains  the Immortal: Mortality is related to matter. If the Immortal Spirit identifies  itself with matter It suffers the imaginary sense of finitude and mortality.  But if the real nature of the Spirit is discovered in itself the concept of  finitude and death disappears and the sense of immortality dawns. To realize the  Spiritual Nature is the goal and meditation with the qualities described above  is the means.

Beginningless Supreme Brahman:  Beginning can occur with reference to a particular time. If time itself is a  created factor there cannot be any beginning. Therefore Brahman which is  substratum for all must be existent even before time. Thus the Supreme, the  Brahman, is always considered `beginningless'.

Neither Existent nor Non-Existent:  The Supreme Consciousness, being the very perceiving principle cannot be  perceived. With reference to it everything is an object and It is the one  subject. Since It cannot be perceived It is said to be non-existent, a Non-Being.  But because Truth cannot be defined as non-existent, It can be defined only as  neither Being nor Non-Being.

Sankara says the Brahman cannot  be existent (Sat) as it belongs to no category or class such as man, animal etc.,  nor does it have any qualities such as whiteness, blackness etc. But at the  same time It shows Itself to be not non-existent (asat) by manifesting itself  through living bodies.
  The concepts of being and  non-being are the work of human intellectual judgment .The Consciousness that  illumines these judgments is the Self. As the illuminator and the illumined  cannot be one and the same, the one subject, Brahman, as opposed to all the  objects cannot be either existent or non-existent because existence and  non-existence are two types of thoughts both of which are illumined by the Self.  Hence Brahman is neither `being' nor `non-being'.

The following verses describe  this all pervading nature of the knower of the field.

sarvatah paanipaadam tat sarvato’kshishiromukham
    sarvatah shrutimalloke sarvamaavritya tishtathi // 13.14 //

With hands and feet  everywhere, with eyes, heads and mouths everywhere, with ears everywhere he  exists in the world, enveloping all.

Hands and feet etc everywhere  suggest the Principle of Consciousness functioning behind them all.  The functioning of all the parts of the body  in every human being is based on the Life Principle. The functions of  perception, feeling and thinking are carried out only so long as there is life  in the body. Life is said to be everywhere and hence the Principle of  Consciousness exists pervading all. This Consciousness behind every living  being, that which is common to all, is Paramatman, Para Brahman.

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. The Supreme  has got two aspects. As for example so long as one is associated with an  Organization while in service he is called a Manager or President or Director  etc. Once he retires from service, although he loses all his designations he  does not become a zero, but continues to remain a human being as he was  earlier. Similarly, when the Self is associated with the modes of nature, it is  called Kshetrajna; when It is released from these, It is called the Paramatman  or the Supreme Self.

sarvendriyagunaabhaasam sarvendriyavivarjitam
    asaktam sarvabhricchaiva nirgunam gunabhoktru cha // 13.15 //

Shining by the functions of  all the senses, yet without the senses, unattached, yet supporting all, devoid  of qualities, yet their experiencer.

The Self in us functioning  through the sense organs looks as though It possesses all sense organs. But the  sense organs decay and perish while the Consciousness which functions through  them and which provides each of them with its own individual faculty is Eternal  and Changeless just as electricity is not the light in the bulb and yet when it  functions through the bulb it looks as if it were light.

The relationship of unattached  support can be explained as follows. Waves are not the ocean but the ocean  supports all the waves in as much as there can be no waves without the ocean.  Cotton is in the cloth but cloth is not the cotton. But it is the cotton in the  cloth that supports the cloth. Similarly the world of plurality is not the  Consciousness but it is the Consciousness that supports the world of  multiplicities.

The influences which govern the  human minds are called Gunas or Qualities. They are Sattwa (Unactivity), Rajas  (Activity) and Tamas (Inactivity). A live mind alone can experience these  influences. But Life is the illuminator of these influences. Thus Consciousness  conditioned by the mind is Jiva, the Ego and that is the experiencer of the Gunas.  Unconditioned by the mind, Consciousness in itself is `Its own nature', `It is  the Absolute'.

Thus the Self, the Absolute, is  beyond sense organs, mind and intellect, detached from everything and without  any relation to the various Gunas. But the same Self conditioned by the sense  organs looks as though It possess all these sense organs, It is the sustainer  of them all and It is the experiencer of all the Gunas.

bahirantashcha bhootaanaam acharam charameva cha
    sookshmatwaat tadavijneyam doorastham chaantike cha tat // 13.16 //

`That' is without and within  (all) beings, is the unmoving and also the moving; is too subtle to be known;  is far away and yet is near.

The all pervasiveness of the  Consciousness is indicated here.

Without and within all beings -  Consciousness is present in body, mind and intellect and also outside these  equipments just as sound waves converted into electric waves are present even  where there are no radio sets to receive them.

Unmoving and moving - All that  moves by itself is classified as alive and that which has no motion in itself  is inert. As Consciousness is all pervasive and all encompassing it cannot move  within itself and hence It is unmoving. Yet when Consciousness is conditioned  by the equipments through which it functions it looks as if it were moving.  Hence it is said to be moving. When we sit in a moving train we feel we are  moving although we are only sitting i.e. when we are conditioned by a moving  train we feel as if we were moving. So also Consciousness looks as if it were  moving when conditioned by moving things.

Although without Consciousness no  activity is ever possible none is able to perceive It, feel It or  intellectually comprehend It. This is because of its subtle nature. Grosser the  thing more it is perceptible. Subtle nature makes comprehension difficult.

Near and far : The concept of  distance-nearness and farness- arises only in respect of conditioned things or  those that which has limitations in terms of space or volume etc.

When a thing is all pervasive and  exists everywhere the question of its being near or far does not arise; such  things are both near and far. Consciousness is far because of its Absolute  nature and yet it is near because of the existence of the living beings with  shapes and forms through whom it functions.

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