Bhagavadgita

by Kashinath Trimbak Telang | 1882 | 125,859 words

Volume 8, The Sacred Books of the East. This part Contains the english translation of the Bhagavad-gita....

Chapter XIII

The Deity said:

This body, O son of Kuntī! is called Kṣetra[1], and the learned call him who knows it the Kṣetrajña.[2]. And know me also, O descendant of Bharata! to be the Kṣetrajña in all Kṣetras. The knowledge of Kṣetra and Kṣetrajña is deemed by me (to be real) knowledge. Now hear from me in brief what that Kṣetra (is), what (it is) like, what changes (it undergoes), and whence (it comes), and what is he[3], and what his powers, (all which) is sung in various ways by sages in numerous hymns[4], distinctly, and in well-settled texts full of argument, giving indications or full instruction about the Brahman. The great elements[5], egoism, the understanding, the unperceived also, the ten senses, and the one, and the five objects of sense, desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, body, consciousness, courage, thus in brief has been declared the Kṣetra with changes[6]. Absence of vanity, absence of ostentatiousness, absence of hurtfulness, forgiveness, straightforwardness, devotion to a preceptor, purity[7], steadiness, self-restraint, indifference towards objects of sense, and also absence of egoism; perception of the misery and evil of birth, death[8], old age, and disease; absence of attachment, absence of self-identifying regard for son, wife[9], home, and so forth; and constant equability on the approach of (both what is) agreeable and (what is) disagreeable; unswerving devotion to me, without meditation on any one else; resorting to clean places, distaste for assemblages of men[10], constancy in knowledge of the relation of the individual self to the supreme, perception of the object[11] of knowledge of the truth, this is called knowledge; that is ignorance which is opposed to this. I will declare that which is the object of knowledge, knowing which, one reaches immortality; the highest Brahman, having no beginning nor end, which cannot be said to be existent or non-existent[12]. It has hands and feet on all sides, it has eyes, heads, and faces on all sides, it has ears on all sides, it stands pervading everything in the world. Possessed of the qualities of all the senses, (but) devoid of all senses[13], unattached, it supports all, is devoid of qualities, and the enjoyer[14] of qualities. It is within all things and without them; it is movable and also immovable; it is unknowable through (its) subtlety; it stands afar and near[15]. Not different in (different) things[16], but standing as though different, it should be known to be the supporter of (all) things, and that which absorbs and creates (them). It is the radiance even of the radiant (bodies); it is said (to be) beyond darkness. It is knowledge, the object of knowledge, that which is to be attained to by knowledge, and placed in the heart of all[17]. Thus in brief have Kṣetra, knowledge, and the object of knowledge been declared. My devotee, knowing this, becomes fit for assimilation with me. Know nature and spirit both (to be) without beginning, and know all developments and qualities[18] (to be) produced from nature. Nature is said to be the origin of the capacity of working (residing) in the body and the senses; and spirit is said (to be) the origin of the capacity of enjoying pleasures and pains[19]. For spirit with nature joined, enjoys the qualities born of nature. And the cause of its birth in good or evil wombs is the connexion with the qualities[20]. The supreme spirit in this body is called supervisor, adviser[21], supporter, enjoyer, the great lord, and the supreme self also. He who thus knows nature and spirit, together with the qualities, is not born again, however living[22]. Some by concentration see the self in the self by the self; others by the Sāṅkya-yoga; and others still by the Karma-yoga[23]; others yet, not knowing this, practise concentration, after hearing from others[24]. They, too, being (thus) devoted to hearing (instruction) cross beyond death. Whatever thing movable or immovable comes into existence, know that to be from the connexion of Kṣetra and Kṣetrajña, O chief of the descendants of Bharata! He sees (truly) who sees the supreme lord abiding alike in all entities, and not destroyed though they are destroyed. For he who sees the lord abiding everywhere alike, does not destroy himself[25]by himself, and then reaches the highest goal. He sees (truly), who sees (all) actions (to be) in every way done by nature alone, and likewise the self (to be) not the doer. When a man sees all the variety of entities as existing in one[26], and (all as) emanating from that, then he becomes (one with) the Brahman. This inexhaustible supreme self, being without beginning and without qualities, does not act, and is not tainted, O son of Kuntī! though stationed in the body. As by (reason of its) subtlety the all-pervading space is not tainted, so the self stationed in every body is not tainted. As the sun singly lights up all this world, so the Kṣetrajña, O descendant of Bharata! lights up the whole Kṣetra. Those who, with the eye of knowledge, thus understand the difference between Kṣetra and Kṣetrajña, and the destruction of the nature of all entities[27], go to the supreme.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

I retain the original for want of a good equivalent.

[2]:

Cf. Śvetāśvataropaniṣad, p. 368, and Maitrī, pp. 25-72.

[3]:

I. e. the Kṣetrajña.

[4]:

Hymns = scil. from the Vedas about ordinary or special actions and so forth. Argument = e.g. in texts like 'How can entity come from non-entity? Who could breathe, if &c.?'

[5]:

Cf. Aitareya-āraṇyaka, p. 97. The subtle elements, earth, fire, &c., are meant. The unperceived = nature; the one = mind; courage = that by which the drooping body and senses are supported; egoism = self-consciousness-the feeling 'this is I.'

[6]:

See the last page. Changes = development.

[7]:

Internal as well as external; as to devotion to a preceptor, cf. Āpastamba, p. 11 (p. 23 in this series); Taittirīya-upaniṣad, p. 38; Śvetāśvatara, p. 117; and Sutta Nipāta, p. 87; as to egoism, see p. 52 supra.

[8]:

Cf. Sutta Nipāta, pp. 18-95.

[9]:

Cf. Sutta Nipāta, p. 12.

[10]:

Cf. Sutta Nipāta, p. 11.

[11]:

Viz. removal of ignorance and acquisition of happiness.

[12]:

Words indicate a class, a quality, an action, or a relation, says Śaṅkara. None of these can be predicated of the Brahman; so you cannot apply either of these words to it. Cf. pp. 84, 96 supra, also Śvetāśvatara, p. 346.

[13]:

Cf. Śvetāśvatara, p. 331. He has no ears, but has the quality of hearing, and so forth; unattached = really out of relation to everything, though seeming to be connected with other things through delusion.

[14]:

I. e. he perceives them.

[15]:

Īśopaniṣad, p. 12; Muṇḍaka, p. 313.

[16]:

Everything being really one. Cf. inter alia, p. 124 infra. The various manifestations of The Brahman are really one in essence, though apparently different, like foam and water.

[17]:

Cf. p. 88.

[18]:

Developments = body, senses, &c. Qualities = pleasure, pain, &c.; altogether the expression means the body and feelings and so forth.

[19]:

Śrīdhara says that 'is said to be' means by Kapila and others. For the notion that activity is not a function of the soul, see inter alia, p. 55 supra. Enjoyment, however, is, according to this passage, the function of the soul, not of nature. See also Maitrī-upaniṣad, pp. 107, 108.

[20]:

I. e. 'the senses,' says Śrīdhara; good = gods, &c. evil beasts, &c.

[21]:

Scil. concerning the operations of the body and senses. Cf. Nṛsiṃha-tāpinī, p. 224. He is adviser because, though he does not interfere, he sees and therefore may be said to sanction the operations alluded to. Supporter, i. e. of body &c. in their workings.

[22]:

I. e. though he may have transgressed rules.

[23]:

Concentration = fixing of the mind exclusively on the soul, the senses being quiescent. 'See the self,' i. e. the soul; 'in the self,' i. e. within themselves; 'by the self,' i. e. by the mind. Sāṅkhya-yoga = belief that qualities are distinct from the self, which is only a passive spectator of their operations. Cf. Śvetāśvatara, p. 109. Karma-yoga = dedication of actions to the supreme. Cf. as to this the gloss on Śaṅkara's Bhāṣya on Vedānta-sūtra IV, 2, 21.

[24]:

Cf. Sutta Nipāta, p. 49.

[25]:

Not to have true knowledge, is equivalent to self-destruction. Cf. Īśopaniṣad, pp. 9, 15, 16.

[26]:

I. e. absorbed at the time of the deluge in nature, one of the energies of the supreme; 'emanating,' i.e. at the time of creation.

[27]:

Nature, which is the material cause from which all entities are produced; the destruction of it results from true knowledge of the soul. See the third note on p. 107 infra.

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