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Bhagavad Gītā 13

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Chapter 13



Union by distinguishing the kṣetra from the kṣetrajña


(Sanskrit terms and names can be clicked for explanation)



The Holy One said:

This body, O son of Kuntī, is called kṣetra [field, country]. Him who knows it, the wise call kṣetrajña [knower of the field]. (1)

Know me too to be the kṣetrajña in all kṣetras, O son of Bharata. That which is the knowledge of both the kṣetra and the kṣetrajña, is regarded as my knowledge. (2)

What that kṣetra is, what it is like, what changes [it undergoes] and whence it is, what he [the kṣetrajña is], and what the power, you will hear succinctly from me. (3)

It has been sung singly by ṛṣis in divers ways, in manifold verses, and also in texts of determined meaning, full of argument and of instruction about brahman. (4)

The great [primary] elements [mahābhūtāni], ahaṅkāra [the sense of I: egoism], the understanding and the unmanifest, the ten faculties of sense, and the one [ – Manas], the five ranges of the senses, (5)

Longing, aversion, happiness, sorrow, combination [of its parts], percipiency, constancy – this is the kṣetra set forth with its productions. (6).

Modesty, lack of deceit, not causing harm to others, peace, rectitude, truthfulness to teachers, purity, steadiness, self-control, (7)

Freedom from longing for objects of sense, freedom from egoism too, meditation on the pain and evil that birth, death, age, and disease are, (8)

Freedom from attachment, freedom from [desire-]obsession for son, wife, home, and the rest, constant equability of mind in the happenings of what is desired or not desired, (9)

Steadfast devotion in me through undistracted yoga, service in unfrequented places and dissatisfaction in the marts of men, (10)

Constancy in the knowledge of the adyātman [the primal self] [adyātmajñānanityatvaṁ], contemplation of the purpose of the knowledge of truth: – [all] this is said to be Knowledge. What is different from [all] this is ignorance. (11)

I shall now declare to you that which is the object of knowledge, knowing which one attains immortality: tat which has no beginning, beyond brahman [param brahma]. It is said to be neither being nor non-being [na sat tannasaduchate]. (12)

That is everywhere hands and feet, everywhere eyes, heads, mouth, everywhere ears. It stands, enclosing everything in the world. (13)

It possesses phantom-like all qualities of the senses, though devoid [in itself] of all senses, unattached and yet bearing all, without qualities, and yet the enjoyer of qualities. (14)

It is without and within all beings; it is moved and unmoved; on account of its minuteness [or subtlety: sūksmatvāt]. It is not knowable; though standing far off, it is also near. (15)

It is not divided into beings, yet it stands as if divided; it is to be known as the supporter of beings, the Devourer and also the Emanator. (16)

It is again the Light of lights; it is said to be beyond darkness [tamasaḥ]. It is Knowledge, the Object of Knowledge, and the End [purpose, ultimate limit – Ed.] of Knowledge. It is settled in the heart of All. (17)

Thus there have been briefly told [to you] the kṣetra, and knowledge, and the end of knowledge. My devotee knowing this, obtains to my nature. (18)

Know that prakṛti and puruṣa are both without beginning. Developments and guṇas, know these to be productions of prakṛti. (19)

In the working of effects and courses, prakṛti is said to be the impulse. Puruṣa is said to be the impulse in the perfection of pleasure and sorrow. (20)

For puruṣa invested with prakṛti, possesses the guṇas born of prakṛti. The cause of its births in good and evil wombs is the union of qualities. (21)

The supreme puruṣa in this body is called Supervisor, Adviser, Supporter, Enjoyer, maheśvara [– Great Lord] and paramātman [ – supreme Self]. (22)

He who thus knows puruṣa and prakṛti, with the qualities, although acting in whatever way, is not again reborn. (23)

By contemplative meditation some see the self in the self by the self. Others by the sāṅkhyayoga and still others by the karmayoga. (24)

But others, indeed, though ignorant of it [themselves] engage in [it], hearing [it] from others. These, too, verily pass beyond death, being devoted to instruction. (25)

Whatever entity, fixed or mobile, comes into being, know it, O Bull of the Bhāratas, to be from the association of the kṣetra and the kṣetrajña. (26)

He who sees the Supreme Lord [parameśvaram] standing [abiding] the same in all beings, the undecaying in the decaying, he sees indeed! (27)

For seeing the immanent Lord everywhere the same, he does not injure the self by the self. Hence he goes on the highest path. (28)

But he who sees that all acts are performed universally by Nature [prakṛtyaiva] alone, then he also sees that the self is not the actor. (29)

When he recognizes the separate production of beings [the diversity of entities] as [really] constituting One, and from this [recognizes] the diffusion of the universe, then he reaches into brahman. (30)

From being without beginning and without guṇas [the three qualities], this supreme, undecaying self, even though it abide in body, O son of Kuntī, neither acts nor is it stained. (31)

As the all-pervading ākāśa on account of its minuteness [or subtilty: saukshmyād] is not polluted, thus the self, everywhere abiding in the body, is not polluted. (32)

As one sun illumines all this world, so, O son of Bharata, does the kṣetrin [the husbandman or cultivator of the kṣetra, i.e. the kṣetrajña] illumine all the kṣetra. (33)

They who know the difference between the kṣetra and the kṣetrajña by the eye of knowledge, and the release from the nature [prakṛti] of all beings, go to the Supreme. (34)


Thus in the Holy

Bhagavad-Gītā. Thirteenth

chapter, by name —


Union by distinguishing the kṣetra from the kṣetrajña