In this chapter Lord Krishna describes the Field (body) & the Knower of the Field(Soul). What constitute Knowledge? Who is the subject of Knowledge? Also,Prakrithi (nature) & Purusha (spirit) are described.
T. K. G. NAMBOODHIRI
BHAGAVAD GITA – THE DIVINE
Bhagavad Gita-Part of the
Mahabhaaratha.(200 BC to 200
700 verses in 18 chapters.
A conversation between Lord
Krishna and his close friend
Arjuna in the middle of the
battlefield just before the start
of the Kurukshetra battle.
Arjuna loses his heart and
refuses to fight his teachers
and relatives, and Krishna
revives him by his wise words
THE YOGA OF THE FIELD
IDAM SAREERAM KAUNTHEYA KSHETRAM
ITHYBHIDHEEYATHE’, ETHADYO VETHI THAM
PRAAHUH KSHETRAJNA ITHI THADWIDAH. (13.2)
Arjuna, this body is called the Field-as it
gives rise to fruits of work just as a field
does. Wise people designate him who
knows this field, as the Field-Knower.
KSHETRAJNAM CHAAPI MAAM VIDHI SARVA KSHETRESHU
BHARATHA, KSHETHRAKSHETHRAJNAYOR JNAANAM
YATHTHAJNAANAM MATHAM MAMA. (13.3)
Arjuna, also, know Me as the Field-Knower
present in all Fields. I deem the knowledge of
the Field & the Field-Knower to be the real
knowledge. ( Adi Sankara goes on a lengthy discussion of this verse
to establish the non-duality of the universe, & similar lengthy arguments
have been put forward to prove duality, by various saints.)
HRISHIBHIR BAHUDHAA GEETHAM CHCHANDOBHIR
VIVIDHAIH PRITHAK, BRAHMASUTHRAPADAISCHAIVA
The knowledge of the Field & Field-Knower has
been sung variously by seers in varied hymns (in
the Vedas); It has also been stated in the reasoned
& definitive words of the Brahmasoothraas.
MAHAABHOOTHAANYAHAMKAARO BUDHIR AVYAKTHAME’VA
CHA, INDRIYAANI DASAIKAM CHA PANCHA CHE’NDRIYA GOCHARA.
ICHCHAA DWE’SHAH SUKHAM DUKHAM SNGHAATASCHETANA
DRITHIH, ETHATH KSHETRAM SAMAASE’NA SAVIKAARAMUDAA
The lord describes the Field: The 5 great elements, the
intellect, the unmanifest (Maya), the 10 senses, mind
& the 5 sense objects.
Desire, antipathy, pleasure, pain, body &
senses, awareness, & sustentation – these briefly are
said to be the Field & its transformations.
IN THE NEXT 5 VERSES, THE LORD DESCRIBES
THE TRAITS, WHICH, AS MEANS TO
KNOWLEDGE, IS STYLED KNOWLEDGE, BY
POSSESSING WHICH ONE BECOMES ELIGIBLE
FOR GRASPING THE KNOWABLE.
SAUCHAM STHAIRYAMAATHMAVINIGRAHAH. (13.8)
Humility, unostentaciousness, non-
violence, endurance, simplicity, service to
the teacher, purity, persistence, & self-
INDRIYAARTHE’SHU VAIRAAGYAMANAHANKAARA EVA
CHA, JANMAMRITHYUJARAAVYAADHIDUKHA DOSHAANUDARSANAM.
ASAKTHIRANABHISHWANGAH PUTHRADAARAGRIHAA DISHU, NITHYAM
CHA SAMACHITHATHWAM ISHTAANISISHTOPAPATHISHU. (13.10)
Aversion to sense-objects, absence of
egoism, the perception of evils in
birth, death, old age, diseases & pain; non-
clinging, moderate love for
children, wife, home etc., equanimity in
pleasant & unpleasant circumstances.
THTHWAJNAARTHADARSANAM, E’THAD JNAANAMITHI
PROKTHAMAJJNANAM YADATHO ANYATHTHA. (13.12)
Unwavering devotion exclusively to Me, liking of
solitude, & aversion to human crowds. Unfailing
cultivation of spiritual knowledge & perception of
philosophical knowledge. All these constitute
knowledge. What is outside these is ignorance.
THE KNOWABLE (BRAHMAN)
THE NEXT SIX VERSES DESCRIBE THE SUBJECT OF
KNOWLEDGE, DESCRIBED BEFORE.IN ALL THE
UPANISHADS BRAHMAN IS SAID TO REPUDIATE ALL
DETERMINATIONS, VIDE, ‘’NOT THIS’’, BECAUSE
BRAHMAN TRANSCENDS ALL VERBAL EXPRESSIONS.
TO CONFIRM IT’S EXISTENCE, THE LORD EXPRESSES IT
AS BORNE OUT BY THE SENSE-ORGANS.
JNE’YAM YATH THATH PRAVAKSHYAAMI
YAJJNAATHWAAMRITHAMASNUTHE’, ANAADIMATH PARAM BRAHMA NA
SATH THANNASADUCHYATHE’, (13.13)
SARVATHAH PAANIPAADAM THATHSARVATHOKSHI
SIROMUKHAM, SARVATHAH SRUTHIMALLOKE’ SARVAMAAVRITHYA
I shall now set forth the knowable by knowing which
one attains immortality-the supreme Brahman. It is
said to be neither existent nor non-existent. On all
sides It has hands & feet, eyes, heads & mouths. It has
ears on all sides. It stands encompassing all things.
SARVENDRIYAGUNAABHAASAM SARVENDRIYA VIVARJJITHAM, ASAKTHAM
SARVABRICHAIVA NIRGUNAM GUNABOKTHRU CHA. (13.15)
BAHIRANTHASCHA BHOOTHAANAAMACHARAM CHARAME’VA
CHA, SOOKSHMATHWAATH THADAVIJNE’YAM DOORASTHAM CHAANTHIKE’ CHA
Apparently possessing all sense-organs & their
properties, but in truth devoid of them all, unattached &
veritably sustaining all, beyond all constituents & yet
experiencing them. It is both outside & inside
beings, what moves not & what moves, being subtle, hard
to know, far-off as well as very near
AVIBHAKTHAM CHA BHOOTHE’SHU VIBHAKTHAMIVA CHA
STHITHAM, BHOOTHABHARTHRU CHA THAJJNEYAM GRASISHNU PRABHAVISHNU
JYOTHISHAAMAPI THAJJYOTHISTHAMASAH PARAMUCHYATHE’, JNAANAM
JNE’YAM JNAANAGAMYAM HRIDI SARVASYA VISHTITHAM. (13.18)
In all It abides undivided; yet It seems divided; the
knowable is the sustainer of beings, their consumer, and
generator, too. It is the light of all lights; It is said to be
beyond darkness. The knowable is knowledge, accessible
through knowledge, and entrenched in the hearts of all.
PRAKRITHIM PURUSHAM CHAIVA VIDHYANAADEE
UBHAAVAPI, VIKAARAAMSCHAH GUNAAMSCHAIVA
VIDHI PRAKRITHI SAMBHAVAAN. (13.20)
Know both Prakrithi & purusha- Power & Spirit-to
be beginning less; also know that transformations
( pleasure, pain & delusion) & the constituents
(sathwa, Rajas & Thamas) are born of Prakrithi.
KARYAKAARANA KARTHRITHWE’ HE’THUH
PRAKRITHIRUCHYATHE’, PURUSHAH SUKHA
DUKHAANAAM BHOKTHRITHWE’ HETHUR UCHYATHE’.
Prakrithi is said to be the cause that accomplishes the
effects (the body) & instruments (sensual
pleasure, pain & delusion). Purusha (spirit) is said to
be the cause of the experience of pleasures & pains..
PURUSHAH PRAKRITISTHO HI BHUNGTHE’
PRAKRITHIJAAN GUNAAN, KAARANAM GUNASANGO
ASYA SADASADYONI JANMASU. (13.22)
Purusha (the embodied soul) lodged in Prakrithi
(body) experiences the constituents-born world
(sensual objects). This clinging to the constituents
& their transformations, is the cause of his births
in wombs, good & evil.
UPADRISHTAANUMANTHAA CHA BHARTHAA
BHOKTHAA MAHE’SWARAH, PARAMAATHME’THI
CHAAPYUKTHO DE’HE’ ASMIN PURUSHAH PARAH.
The Supreme Spirit exists in the body as a
close Observer, Giver of
sanction, Sustainer, Experiencer, & the Pre-
eminent Lord. TKG Namboodhiri
YAAVATH SANJAAYATHE’ KINCHITH SATHWAM
SAMYOGAATH THADWIDHI BHARATHARSHABHA.
Arjuna, whatever being is born, either
unmoving or moving, know it to be due to the
union of the Field & the Field-Knower.
SAMAM SARVE’SHU BHOOTHE’SHU THISHTANTHAM
YAH PASYATHI SA PASYATHI. (13.28)
He alone perceives who sees Him, the
supreme Lord, dwelling alike in all beings
& not perishing when the beings perish.
SAMAM PASYAN HI SARVATHRA SAMAVASTHITHAM
ISWARAM, NA HINASTHYAATHMANAATHMANAM
THATHO YAATHI PARAAM GATHIM.(13.29)
For, beholding alike the Lord dwelling
everywhere, one injures not the Self by
the self, & thus reaches the highest goal.
PRAKRITHYAVA CHA KARMAANI KRIYAMAANAANI
SARVASAH, YAH PASYATHI THATHAATHMAANAM
AKARTHAARAM SA PASYATHI. (13.30)
He alone perceives who, on all sides, sees
actions solely performed by Prakrithi
(nature) & sees also the Self as a non-
PARAMAATHMAAYAMAVYAH, SAREERASTHO API
KAUNTHEYA NA KAROTHI NA LIPYATHE’. (13.32)
Self, imperishable, beginning less & free
from attributes, though dwelling in
bodies, neither acts nor gets stained.
YATHAA SARVAGATHAM SAUKSMYAADAAKAASAM
NOPALIPYATHE’, SARVATHRAAVASTHITHO DE’HE’
THATHAATHMAA NOPALIPYATHE’. (13.33)
Just as the all-pervading space, duet its
subtlety, is not stained, so is the
Self, present in the body everywhere, not
YATHAA PRAKAASAYATHYE’KAH KRITHSNAM
LOKAMIMAM RAVIH, KSHE’THRAM KSHE’THREE
THATHAA KRITHSNAM PRAKAASAYATHI BHAARATHA.
Just as the one Sun illumines this entire
world, so Arjuna, the Knower of the Field (the
supreme Self) illumines the entire Fields.