by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words
The Bhagavad-gita Verse 13.20, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 13.20 from the chapter 13 called “Prakriti-purusha-vibhaga-yoga (Yoga through Understanding the distinctions between Material Nature and the Enjoyer)”
Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 13.20:
प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव विद्ध्य् अनादी उभाव् अपि ।
विकारांश् च गुणांश् चैव विद्धि प्रकृति-सम्भवान् ॥ २० ॥
prakṛtiṃ puruṣaṃ caiva viddhy anādī ubhāv api |
vikārāṃś ca guṇāṃś caiva viddhi prakṛti-sambhavān || 20 ||
prakṛtim–material nature; puruṣam–the living entity; ca–and; eva–clearly; viddhi–you should understand; anādī–without beginning; ubhau–both; api–also; vikārān–their transformations; ca–and; guṇān–all of their qualities; ca–and; eva–indeed; viddhi–understand; prakṛti-sambhavān–arise from material nature.
Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā
After explaining Paramātmā, Śrī Bhagavān is now explaining the jīvātmā, who is also kṣetra-jña, the knower of the field of the body. “Why did the relationship between this kṣetra-jña and māyā, the material energy, occur, and when did it start?”
Expecting this question, Śrī Bhagavān answers with this verse beginning with prakṛti. “Prakṛti (material nature) and puruṣa (the living entity) are both without beginning. That is, their cause has no beginning. Because they are the energy of Me, Īśvara, who am without beginning, they are also without beginning. Understand it in this way.”
It is also said in Bhagavad-gītā (7.4–5):
This material nature is divided into eight parts: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and ego, but it is inferior to another nature of Mine. The living entities are My superior energy. They accept this material world to enjoy the results of their actions (karma).
“According to My statement here, because both the material energy and the living entity are My energy, they are without beginning, and therefore their relationship with each other is also without beginning. But although they are related to each other, they are in fact different.” Śrī Bhagavān therefore says that the body and the senses (vikārāṃś ca) and the transformations of material qualities such as happiness, distress, lamentation and illusion (guṇāṃś caiva) are born from prakṛti (prakṛti-sambhavān). The living entity‚ who is modified in the form of kṣetra, the field of the body‚ is separate from prakṛti.
Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti
After Śrī Bhagavān explains both the kṣetras–the partial kṣetra-jña (the jīva), the complete kṣetra-jña (Paramātmā), jñāna and jñeya, He explains the transformations of kṣetra, such as lust, anger, affection and fear, and how the relationship between the kṣetra-jña-jīva and māyā has occurred. Both material nature (māyā) and the living entity are without beginning, being the energy of Parameśvara. This means that they are also eternal. Inert matter is called aparā-prakṛti, and the jīva is called parā-prakṛti.
jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya—kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’
kṛṣṇera ‘taṭasthā-śakti’ ‘bhedābheda-prakāśa’
sūryāṃśu-kiraṇa‚ yena agni-jvālā-caya
svābhāvika kṛṣṇera tīna-prakāra ‘śakti’ haya
kṛṣṇera svābhāvika tīna-śakti-pariṇati
cicchakti‚ jīva-śakti‚ āra māyā-śakti
kṛṣṇa bhūli’ sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṃsāra-duḥkha
By his constitutional nature, the living entity is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa’s marginal potency, the taṭastha-śakti, transforms into unlimited living entities. Since śakti (energy) and śaktimān (the energetic) are non-different, then the atomic conscious jīvas, which are transformations of śakti, are in some respects non-different from Kṛṣṇa. But they are also eternally different in various ways. Bhagavān is unlimitedly conscious and the living entity is minutely conscious. Both are non-different from the perspective of consciousness, but Bhagavān is the complete conscious entity and the living entity is an atomic conscious entity. Bhagavān is the master of māyā, and the living entity is subject to māyā. Bhagavān is the cause of creation, sustenance and destruction, but the living entity is not. The example is given that just as unlimited atoms are visible in the rays coming from the sun, the rays of Kṛṣṇa’s energy produce unlimited atoms in the form of the living entities. Similarly, just as unlimited minute sparks come out of a fire, so unlimited atomic conscious living entities emanate from Bhagavān.
These are partial examples to explain the relationship between sac-cid-ānanda Bhagavān and the atomic conscious living entity. This means that the purpose of these examples is to make this reality understood, and for this, śākhā-candra-nyāya, literally, ‘the logic of using the branch of a tree to locate the moon’ is employed. In this material world, no example can fully describe Parabrahma, but these examples give a partial understanding.
Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate limit of the Absolute Truth. His inherent trans-cendental potency is also known as the antaraṅgā-śakti, cit-śakti or parā-śakti. This internal potency manifests itself in three ways. When it manifests the spiritual world (cit-jagat) it is called cit-śakti. When it manifests unlimited living entities, it is called jīva-śakti and when it manifests the material universe, it is called māyā-śakti. By the will of Bhagavān, the living entities manifest from the jīva-śakti. It is therefore their constitutional nature to be eternal servants of Kṛṣṇa, but they can come under the influence of māyā because they are atomic by nature. The living entities situated in this illusory world have misused their free will, and they have forgotten their own svarūpa as well as Kṛṣṇa’s svarūpa due to associating with the deluding potency since time immemorial. Trapped in the cycle of birth and death, they are suffering, burned by the threefold miseries. When by some great fortune the living entities who have become bound in this material world attain the association of sādhus, they can come to realize their own constitutional nature. Following the process of bhakti, they engage in the service of Bhagavān, by which they can become situated in their actual identity.
This conclusion is confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.37):
The living entity is the eternal servant of Bhagavān, but by turning away from Bhagavān, he has forgotten his own svarūpa. Therefore, his eternal nature, service to Kṛṣṇa, has become covered. By associating with the deluding potency, he identifies himself with the body and, subsequently, he always fears for the material body, his house and other things. Bewildered by Kṛṣṇa’s external deluding energy, he undergoes various types of miseries. By some good fortune, an intelligent person will take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and will worship Śrī Kṛṣṇa with exclusive devotion. Only such a person is able to cross over māyā.
Furthermore it is said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.7.9):
seyaṃ bhagavato māyā yan nayena virudhyate
īśvarasya vimuktasya kārpaṇyam uta bandhanam
Some conditioned souls maintain that Śrī Bhagavān is overcome by illusion. And at the same time, they proclaim Him to be unconditioned. This opposes all logic.
Bhagavān’s potency is a special type. It can make the possible impossible and the impossible possible. This potency of Bhagavān makes it possible for the living entity to attain liberation from the bondage of the material world once he has attained the mercy of the ever-liberated Lord, and it also makes it possible for the living entity to be bound to this world. This fact cannot be understood merely on the strength of logic, and the influence of Bhagavān’s inconceivable potency cannot be understood merely by argument. This potency puts the living entity into delusion, rendering him unable to realize Bhagavān’s mercy.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura quotes Kṛṣṇa as saying, “I am explaining the result of knowing kṣetra, the field of the body, and kṣetra-jña, the knowers of that field. Three tattvas manifest in the existence of the living entity bound by matter: prakṛti, puruṣa and Paramātmā. The kṣetra is known as material nature, or prakṛti, the living entity is known as puruṣa, and My all-pervading manifestation in both of them as Paramātmā. Prakṛti and puruṣa are both without beginning. They exist even before material time and thus do not take birth within it. Rather, they appear by My potency in spiritual time, within My supreme existence. Under the shelter of mundane time, material nature merges into Me and again becomes manifest during creation. The living entity is a tattva that emanates from My eternal marginal potency, the taṭastha-śakti. But because he has become averse to Me, he has been enveloped by My material potency. Although the living entity is in fact a pure, conscious entity, his quality is marginal, and therefore, he has even acquired a usefulness for matter. Conditioned material intelligence and knowledge cannot ascertain how the conscious living entity became entangled in inert matter, because My potency of inconceivability is not subordinate to your limited knowledge. It is important for you to know this much only: all of the transformations and qualities of the conditioned soul are born from material nature and are not a part of his eternal constitution.”