Chapter 13 - Kshetra - Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga
Chapter 13, Verse 1
Arjuna after listening to Lord Krishna asks a doubt, to know more about the human body. Arjuna is curious to understand what is in a human body. the body that encompasses the soul, the enjoyer of all activities. the body that is made of Prakriti the material energy, what is this body? The body that encloses the knowledge what is that in it? Arjuna is having this doubt.
Chapter 13, Verse 2
Lord Krishna starts replying to the query of Arjuna regarding the human body. Lord Krishna says that the knowledgeable people know human body as a place where activity happens. Knowledgeable people treat this “human” body as a place. The place is one where some activity or another happens. in the same way, the human body is also “just” a place. some people get attached to the place thinking it is real and the realized people behave as if a body is just an entity, a medium to move forward and do not associate with it.
Chapter 13, Verse 3
Lord Krishna states what according to him is the real knowledge. Real knowledge is knowing that the body is a field, area that encompasses space in the universe and this space is filled by the consciousness of the supreme God. These two entities are different and the more a person has knowledge about the conscious part of the space that occupies the body, the lesser he will be engrossed with the body. The knowledge that differentiates these two entities supreme soul and the soul of the body is the real knowledge.
Chapter 13, Verse 4
Lord Krishna says he will explain the knowledge of the field of activity so that Arjuna can have the knowledge related to the field of activity. The soul/aatma reside in the field of activity body and both are deeply interlinked.
Chapter 13, Verse 5
It has been sung by the great sages and Rishis as to what exactly is the soul, the body and the complex interaction between the two. They also prove by conclusive evidence the existence of the soul. Lord Krishna says he will impart knowledge to Arjuna about that knowledge which is known to the great rishis.
Chapter 13, Verse 13
Lord Krishna says that the 20 qualities mentioned in the previous shlokas are necessary for a person to attain success in realizing the God. If anyone wants to know the truth, the reality, the God then the twenty attributes are necessary. The twenty attributes are necessary qualifications to have the knowledge related to the soul. Lord Krishna describes God as the one who doesn’t have a beginning and an end.
Chapter 13, Verse 14
In this shloka, Lord Krishna explains that the supreme God is omniscient and omnipotent. Omniscient because he is everywhere in the universe, omnipotent because his hands and feet are everywhere in the universe, he can accomplish anything. Also, Lord Krishna knows whatever is happening in the universe at any location.
Lord Krishna gives the qualifications necessary for the person who wants to know the knowledge of the supreme consciousness/soul/kshetra-agna.
The person should be free from pride, honour, having no attachments, practising vairagya in all aspects of life, having equanimity in every entity, practicing mindfulness(yoga), practicing non-violence in thought word and deed, is tolerant to the insults of his enemies, practices cleanliness of not only his body but also mind, is having self-control over his mind, free from false ego and keeps reflecting on the process of birth and old age, stable, consistent, regarding favourable and unfavourable situations equally, responding equally to happiness and pain , preference for solitary places, aversion for mundane activities of society, performing devotional service to the lord using the science of yoga, aspiring for self-realization and meditating on the ultimate truth all these qualities and the method/process/technology to obtain these qualities is knowledge.
Chapter 13, Verse 15
Lord Krishna says that the supreme consciousness is aware of everything that is happening in the universe because its senses are everywhere in the universe. However, it is not attached to anything in the universe as it does the work without any attachment to anything. Though it is unattached to material nature it sustains it and it separated from it.
Chapter 13, Verse 16
This is a very powerful shloka. Lord Krishna says the existence of the soul is both external and internal. Internal as long as the body is alive and external as the body dies. The existence of the soul is permanent whether be it in the body or outside the body.
Krishna also says that Soul is very subtle and subatomic. it is difficult to perceive because it is subatomic and does not have material nature like body. Our sense organs can perceive only things which have form, shape and are in three dimensions. the soul doesn’t have a dimension that is why it is difficult to perceive.
Through the soul rests within the body and is so near to a person, it is farther for the people who are ignorant and do not possess the twenty qualities mentioned earlier. if a person has those twenty qualities, then he can realize the near presence of soul quickly.
Chapter 13, Verse 17
In this shloka, Lord Krishna says that the supreme consciousness is one and it is the truth and it is indivisible. But for ordinary people, truth looks like it is divisible. the reality looks like a divisible reality. my body, his body, my things and other people things all these people look very divisible because of ego. The absolute truth soul /the supreme consciousness is the preserver of the universe. it maintains the universe and it also destroys the universe.
Chapter 13, Verse 18
It is mentioned here that the ultimate truth illuminates the individual by taking him away from ignorance. The truth creates the light in a person and makes him move out of the illusion. The truth resides in the heart of every person and is comprehensible to everyone with knowledge. It can also be known by direct experience of a person. All the person must do is strive to know the truth through knowledge, through perception and live life as per the twenty attributes are given by Krishna.
Chapter 13, Verse 19
Lord Krishna says that the devotees of the God are the knowers of knowledge and are clear what further knowledge is needed to attain the God. This shloka shows that a person should be clear in his goal of life as what is needed most for in life. Once a person is clear as to what he wants out in life then he is qualified to attain that knowledge.
Chapter 13, Verse 20
In this shloka, Lord Krishna says both the material energy or Prakriti and the supreme consciousness, both are eternal in nature. Both these entities are in existence since the beginning. The physical body and its transformation into various forms are possible because of the material energy. The body transformation happens because of the mix of different Guna’s in different proportions.
Chapter 13, Verse 21
The creation of material things, the happenings in the material world which have a cause and effect are all possible due to the existence of material nature. wherever we observe cause and effect we can conveniently say that it is the working of the universe. In the matter of experiencing, whether it is a happy experience or unhappy experience we can say that it is possible because of the existence of consciousness. This is very powerful shloka in Geetha which clearly says that there are two possible entities. Material nature(prakriti) and consciousness (purusa).
In material nature event happens and it is purusa that experiences. Purusa or consciousness is very important to experience the events of the material world. when a living entity ceases to exist it is the energy of experiencing that extinguishes.
Chapter 13, Verse 22
The individual consciousness situated in the material energy experiences the three modes of existence of nature. The three Gunas (qualities) mix among themselves in different proportions to produce various kinds of situations and the consciousness enjoys the Guna’s and their mixture.
The individual consciousness gets trapped in enjoying the different flavours of the mixture of Gunas’s and takes birth in innumerable births going through the cycle of existence, birth, and death.
Chapter 13, Verse 23
In this shloka, the concept of universal consciousness separate from the individual consciousness is put up. Lord Krishna says that within everybody, there exists two consciousness, one is the individual consciousness (jeevatma) and the supreme consciousness (paramatma). It is mentioned that supreme consciousness is the one which is the observer of everything that happens to the jeevatma. Paramatma is the witness, preserver, enjoyer of everything that is happening.
This is quite a powerful shloka which differentiates the two souls.
Chapter 13, Verse 24
Anyone who understands this logic and the deep meaning of consciousness is indeed liberated forever. A person has to have knowledge of this deep philosophy and after acquiring knowledge he has to conduct his lifestyle according to the knowledge acquired. This will lead to liberation.
Chapter 13, Verse 27
Lord Krishna states that whatever that has come into existence in this world, both living and non-living entities, it was all possible because of interaction between the material energy and the universal consciousness. All existing things are possible because of these two principal energies. the universal consciousness comes first and then it creates the material world or universal consciousness gives life to the material world.
Chapter 13, Verse 28
Lord Krishna says that whoever can see the universal consciousness in all beings is the “person with knowledge”. If a person can see the imperishable in the perishable and if he can see it equally among all the things then that person is known as the knowledgeable person.
Chapter 13, Verse 29
The knowledgeable person sees the universal soul in every person and in every creature and treats each and every person equally. he not only sees the universal soul in every person, but he also sees the universal consciousness within himself. Seeing the God in everything he tries to ensure that he does not degrade God by any means. he ensures that he does not degrade God by thought word or deed.
Chapter 13, Verse 30
The person having knowledge knows that all the activities done by a creature are the activities born out of material nature. There is no role of universal consciousness in any activity of any person. it is all the “prakriti” that performs the action. The universal consciousness is witness to all the material activity that is happening. Here in this shloka Lord Krishna wants us to understand who the doer is and non-doer in the world.
Chapter 13, Verse 31
Here Lord Krishna is saying that all the beings are born from the same primordial matter and all beings contain the same primordial soul. Modern Science has proven this fact that we all evolved from a single cell on this earth through many years of evolution. The basic material of DNA of all plants and animals is the same and it contains Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine. Basically made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen.
The person who realizes this truth that though everything looks dissimilar outside, everything is the same inside and inside all beings contain the same supreme soul and behaves so is called a liberated man.
Chapter 13, Verse 32
Lord Krishna says that though the supreme soul is present in all material things it is imperishable, and it is not tainted by the activities of the material nature. The supreme soul is “nirguna” meaning it does not have any Guna or qualities. The material nature is made of three guna’s whereas the supreme soul is made of pure energy/consciousness.
Chapter 13, Verse 33
Here Lord Krishna uses the example of space/ether to explain how supreme soul is not influenced by the actions of the body. In the earlier shlokas, it was explained that supreme soul resides in the body and is not tainted by the actions of the body. In this shloka, it is explained how it does not get tainted/influenced. The example of space is given, as for how space is not affected by the bodies present in it. The bodies, sun, moon, stars (billions and billions) of them are in the world. Though all these bodies exist in space, space is not influenced by the presence or actions of the bodies. in the same way, the soul is present in the body in every cell, but not influenced by the body or its actions. The supreme soul is too subtle to be influenced by the action of the body.
Chapter 13, Verse 34
In this shloka, it is said that just as sun emits light to the solar system and energizes it, in the same way, the supreme soul energizes the entire universe with its subtle energy. The energy is the energy of consciousness which will enable the mind to perceive things. If the mind energy will not be there, then it will not be able to perceive things properly.
Chapter 13, Verse 35
This shloka summarizes the chapter 13. Chapter 13 starts with Arjuna’s doubt about the nature of body and soul. Lord Krishna answers his prayer, informing Arjuna that there are basically three entities, the Prakriti (material entity), purusa and the Supreme God. Body is made of material energy and is driven by the three Guna’s it is made up of. The body is sustained by purusa the individual consciousness. These two (the mind and body are sustained by the third entity, the supreme consciousness/universal soul. the individual consciousness aim is to merge with the supreme consciousness, and it is called liberation. this usually does not happen because the body is trapped in Maya and does not pursue paths that allow the individual consciousness to merge with universal consciousness. The universal consciousness is present in all the bodies as a witness to the activities going on and is untainted by the activities of the body.