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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

avibhaktam cha bhooteshu vibhaktamiva cha  sthitam
    bhootabhartru cha tajjneyam grasishnu prabhavishnu cha // 13.17 //

He is undivided, yet He exists  as if divided among beings; He is to be known as the supporter of beings; He  destroys them and creates them afresh.

Undivided yet divided: Paramatman  is all pervading and yet it individualizes as special manifestation only at  points where equipments are available just as electricity manifests as light  only at the point of filament in the bulb. Although space is one entity it  looks divided as room space, pot space etc.

Supports all, destroys all and creates  all: The Ocean is a supporter of waves, waves are born in the ocean and yet the  same ocean destroys all waves. The Truth or Self is the substratum on which the  world of plurality is projected by the deluded mind and intellect and when we  go beyond the mind and intellect the vision of samsar gets swallowed up  in the tranquility of the Self.

jyotishaamapi tajjyotistamasah paramuchyate
    jnaanam jneyam jnaanagamyam hridi sarvasya vishthitam // 13.18 //

He, the light of all lights,  is said to be beyond darkness. As Knowledge, the object of knowledge, the goal  of knowledge He is seated in the hearts of all.

Since the Consciousness in us  brings our various experiences within our understanding, it is compared to  light. To see an object it should be illumined by the light. Similarly to cognize  the outer world experiences there must be light within us to illumine our  emotions and thoughts that arise in us.

This light of wisdom by which we  become aware of our own mental and intellectual conditions is called the Light  of the Soul or the Self or the Consciousness. The Self is said to be the light  of all lights because without Consciousness even the sun which has immeasurable  light within itself cannot be perceived.

Beyond Darkness: If the sun were  to shine in a location all the twenty four hours, the concept of day and night  or brightness and darkness loses its meaning because the question of darkness appearing  anytime does not arise and it is sunshine all throughout. In this situation the  sun is said to know no darkness. Similarly, Consciousness is beyond the concept  of darkness; it is the Light Absolute; where there is consciousness there  cannot be any darkness or night.  Moreover the principle of Consciousness makes  us aware not only the light but also the darkness. That which illuminates both  light and darkness must be beyond the experience of light and darkness. Hence  the Self is said to transcend even darkness.

Knowledge (Jnaanam), the  thing to be known (Jneyam) and the goal of all knowledge (Jnaana  gamyam): This is the final experience to be gained for which groundwork has  been done from verses 7 to 18. This is the point of concentration. It is the  Consciousness that transcends all our experiences and illumines our life. It is  the very goal of all spiritual endeavors at all times and at all places.

Dwelling in the hearts of all:  The Lord says that Consciousness, the Infinite, dwells in the hearts of all.  Heart does not mean the blood supplying physical part of the body. It means the  mental area from where all noble thoughts emanate.  In a tranquil and pious  atmosphere when the intellect contemplates  upon the `Light' that is beyond darkness, all pervading, subtle, It can be realized  and hence it is stated to dwell in everybody's heart.

Many of these passages are  quotations from the Upanishads. Ref: Svetasvatara Up.III.8 and 16; Isa Up.  5; Mundaka Up. III. 1. 7; Brihadaranyaka Up. IV.4.16.


iti kshetram tathaa jnaanam jneyam choktam samaasatah
    madbhakta etadvijnaaya madbhaavaayopapadyate // 13.19 //

Thus the Field as well as the  Knowledge and the object of Knowledge have been stated. My devotee who  understands this enters into My Being.

Sri Krishna concludes the theme  of His discourse so far by saying those who seek the light through devotion to  Him reach Him. Devotion here implies not only emotional surrender unto The Lord  but intellectual apprehension of the Truth, the Self, through a correct  understanding of the Field and the Knower of the Field. One who is able to recognize  the one Sri Krishna as the vitalizing Consciousness Principle in all fields of  matter envelopments, he is the true devotee who as The Lord says `enters into  His Being', attains liberation or release from birth and death.

The `Field' is described in  verses 6 & 7, ‘Knowledge' is described in verses 8-12 and the `Knowable' is  described in verses 13-18. One who understands the Field, knowledge and the  object of knowledge knows the whole doctrine of the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita.

Concepts and Issues
Sri Krishna now describes the  Kshetra (Field) and the Ksherajna (Knower of the Field), the terms being used  in philosophic sense. The body is the Field and the Self or the Soul is the  Knower of the Field. Details of the two have been described by the sages in  several works. In the ultimate analysis Sri Krishna is the Knower of the Field  in all the Fields.

The Five elements, ego-sense,  intellect, sense-organs, mind, objects of the senses, pleasure and pain - all  these belong to the Field. Jnana or Knowledge consists in cultivating certain  virtues like humility, simplicity, non-violence, uprightness, service to  preceptor, purity, self control, and detachment, absence of egoism, equanimity  and devotion to Sri Krishna. Resorting to the lonely places, avoiding crowds,  steady devotion to spiritual wisdom also helps in getting knowledge.

Then Jneya or that which is to be  known viz. Brahman is described by knowing which one gets immortality. It is  without beginning and cannot be defined as either existence or non-existence.  It is everywhere. It pervades everything. Though It reveals Itself through the  functions of the senses, It is without sense organs. It is inside and outside  of all beings. It is the light of all the lights. It is the knowledge as well  as the known and is established in the hearts of all.

Live as the Gita Teaches You to Live
  In this Chapter the Lord teaches us  to be a witness, with discriminative understanding that everything in the  Universe is a product of Prakriti and the Self or Pure Consciousness is our destiny.

Points to Ponder
  1. Why the body is called the Field?  What are its constituents?
  2. Who is Knower of the Field? What  are His characteristics?
  3. What is Knowledge? What is knowable?
  4. What are the Spirit and the Matter?
  5. What is the benefit of knowing  the difference between the
      Field and Knower of the Field?

Next time we will proceed from the Verse 13.20


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