Gita Saar, Chapter – 13
The Bhagwat Gita is the text in which God explains the fundamental logic of the paths towards liberation.
But before we discuss the paths to liberation, we have to ask an important question-Who is the one who seeks to travel the path to liberation?
Who is the ‘I’ that wants to reach Godhead?
These are some of the questions that are discussed and clarified in chapter 13.
The chapter starts with God clearly stating that what we think we are (The I) actually consists of two different entities. The first is our body field, also called the Kshetra- It being the tool through which we look at the manifestations of Prakriti and the second part of us is the actual being who sits inside us and looks at Sansaar through the capacities of the body field. This viewer is the real us and is called the Kshetrajana by Lord Krishna.
The person who is able to distinguish between these two things -the body field (Kshetra) and the viewer of the field(Kshetrajana), that person is the one who is the possessor of true knowledge.
God further describes the nature of the Kshetra and the nature of the Kshetrajana. He describes the Kshetra as the complex flux that is always manifesting and unmanifesting itself as per the laws of cause and effect and God also describes the glories of the Kshetrajana-the one who witnesses the play of the Kshetra.
The truth about the field and the viewer of the field has been the subject of study of the sages since time immemorial and is described in various spiritual texts such as the Brahmasutras and is also constantly chanted in vedic hymns This is because this truth is a key knowledge to be gained if success has to be reached on the spiritual path.
By understanding the difference between the body, the mind, the soul and the Super soul, the being can reach the highest levels of God realization since this discernment is necessary for success. On the other hand, if one does not know this difference, then one can get easily seduced by the manifestations of Prakriti and remain forever lost in the flux of Sansaar.
Lord Krishna explains the concept of Kshetra further. He says that the Kshetra is made up of the five senses; the organs of action; the mind, and the undifferentiated energy from which all these evolve. It is within this body field that one finds the source of desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, intelligence, and will. And this body interacts wth Sansaar and provides the viewership to the one who who sits within each particular body. The one who understands that he is not any of these bodies(fields) but is actually the viewer of these fields, finds his true nature and achieves freedom.
Those who find the the true path, become devoted not to their one temporary body, but to their inner viewer. What Prakriti shows such a person, as per his fate, it is viewed by such an advanced soul with interest and gratitude but never with a sense of ownership. Such people are full of gratitude about their lives and are full of inner-strength and control, since they are not obsessed with indulging in the specific, ever changing sense objects that their particular body-field provides on a daily basis.
Freedom from the body also means freedom from the vagaries of birth, suffering, old age, disease and death.
God further explains the difference between Prakriti and Purusha by saying that Prakriti is the matter from which all fields(bodies) emerge, while Purusha is the formless thread of the soul’s energy that is required to bind the body field together in a sensible legible way. Without the Kshetrajana’s anchor, the endless flux of Maya cannot form legible Kshetras-body fields and creation falls apart.
It is only by being together that the Kshetrajana and the Kshetra weave the quilt of life, with Prakriti being the agent and cause/ effect of every action, and Purusha being the viewer and experiencer of all dualities.
Because the Kshetra and the Kshetrajana are intertwined to create life, it is easy to confuse the two.
Thus if you identify more with the Kshetra-the body field, then you will be immersed in Sansaar and always overwhelmed by the experience of life but If you identify with the Kshetrajana, then you will go towards the origins of creation.
Lord uses the word ‘Self’ to distinguish that soul which is independent from the body and which witnesses the ebbs and flows and dramas that Prakriti constantly creates.
While the body is simply a function of prakriti, absorbing the remnants of karma of the self for the next round of the sansaric cycle, the supreme ‘Self’ is without a beginning, undifferentiated and deathless. It cannot be tainted, unlike the body. It might be veiled in Maya, but it can never be distorted by the experience of Maya.
The person who lives more in the self has the following qualities towards the world-Dispassion, absence of excess pride, non violence, uprightness,equipoise in all kinds of circumstances, detachment and gratitude for the life he has. Such people are also deeply attached and devoted to God or the Creator in whatever form they believe in. Such people see God in everything that they see in the world.
This attitude of seeing God in everything is declared as knowledge and the opposite is called Ignorance.
This is the knowledge that liberates a person from Sansaar and attaches him to God.
In chapter 13 further, Lord Krishna describes the nature of the supreme Brahma The supreme Brahman is called neither SAT nor ASAT. That is neither being nor non-being. The supreme being is also described as the progenitor of Purush and Prakriti as well.
The supreme Brahma has multiple hands and feet, endless mouths, eyes, ears,heads and bodies in all directions and it pervades the entire universe. The descriptions given above are limited but the actual supreme Brahma is beyond even these vast descriptions. The supreme Brahma is the base of all creation but it is far beyond the extents of creation. It is the Beej mantra of all things and it is the Beej mantra of the Beej mantra. Although sensing everything, it is without any senses. Although unattached to everything, it is the sustainer of all things and although attribute less it still enjoys the Gunaas through the three modes of Prakriti.
It exists within and outside all creation and within and outside all moving and all still things. It is incomprehensible to us and stands apart from us apart even though it is within us as well. It is like space that pervades all but which remains untainted by all it contains. It creates the universe(s) by taking on the limited role of Brahma, its sustains the worlds by taking on the limited form of Vishnu and it destroys the world by taking on the limited form of Rudra. Needless to say that it is actually far beyond the purview of all the Gods.
It is the light of lights, the goal of all goals and most fundamental knowledge.
And it is the only thing worth knowing in this universe.
Chapter 13 thus discusses three things. The Kshetra, the Kshetrajana and the most fundamental of all knowledge, which when attained grants realization.
Lord Krishna further says that not only is the supreme Brahma beginingless and endless in its attributes, even Purush and Prakriti-the first step in creation are also beginingless and endless. The cosmic dance of creation and destruction happens over and over again by various combinations of Purush and Prakriti and the Purush sitting in the body experiences the various creations of Prakriti and experiences the pain and pleasure of all dualities. So attached does the individual soul (Jeevatmaa) become with the experiences it gets, it constantly wants to experience more of it and it chases these creations through life after life and this is what causes the soul to take rebirth in pious and evil wombs.
And yet the soul inside each body is essentially the same as the supreme Brahma
The person who comes to realize this fact achieves Moksha even though he lives and experiences this world as a normal person.
God then further lists in chapter 13, the various methods by which a person may come to realize the nature of the supreme Brahma and the nature of creation as well.
God says that it can be done by meditation on the supreme spirit and by inquiry through ones intellect.
It can be done by following the path of knowledge-Gyaan yoga
It can be done by practicing the path of action without selfish motive
And even if a person is dull-witted, but if he faithfully practices the true teachings that have been given to him, such a person, reaches God-head.
The chapter ends by Lord Krishna saying that true seeing requires the viewer to see the supreme Lord in everything, even in those things that are perishable or those things that are inanimate.
If a person reaches this level of true vision, that person starts to see himself in all things and at the same time starts to see all things within himself.
Such a person essentially reaches Godhead and then forever resides in the supreme Brahma.