THE BHAGAVAD GITA: Chapter 13

Reference: Course on The Bhagavad Gita

English Translation By Swami Purohit Swami

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Chapter 13

अर्जुनउवाच
प्रकृतिंपुरुषंचैवक्षेत्रंक्षेत्रज्ञमेवच।
एतद्वेदितुमिच्छामिज्ञानंज्ञेयंचकेशव।।13.1।।

13.1 Arjuna asked: My Lord! Who is God and what is Nature; what is Matter and what is the Self; what is that they call Wisdom, and what is it that is worth knowing? I wish to have this explained.

श्रीभगवानुवाच
इदंशरीरंकौन्तेयक्षेत्रमित्यभिधीयते।
एतद्योवेत्तितंप्राहुःक्षेत्रज्ञइतितद्विदः।।13.2।।

13.2 Lord Shri Krishna replied: O Arjuna! The body of man is the playground of the Self; and That which knows the activities of Matter, sages call the Self.

क्षेत्रज्ञंचापिमांविद्धिसर्वक्षेत्रेषुभारत।
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोर्ज्ञानंयत्तज्ज्ञानंमतंमम।।13.3।।

13.3 I am the Omniscient self that abides in the playground of Matter; knowledge of Matter and of the all-knowing Self is wisdom.

The discourse now begins on the difference between Nature and what underlies that nature. The nature includes this body-mind system and the impulse that energizes it. Standing apart from Nature is the Static viewpoint. Nature is everywhere manifested in all different forms, but the Static viewpoint stands apart as One.

तत्क्षेत्रंयच्चयादृक्चयद्विकारियतश्चयत्।
सचयोयत्प्रभावश्चतत्समासेनमेश्रृणु।।13.4।।

13.4 What is called Matter, of what it is composed, whence it came, and why it changes, what the Self is, and what Its power – this I will now briefly set forth.

ऋषिभिर्बहुधागीतंछन्दोभिर्विविधैःपृथक्।
ब्रह्मसूत्रपदैश्चैवहेतुमद्भिर्विनिश्िचतैः।।13.5।।

13.5 Seers have sung of It in various ways, in many hymns and sacred Vedic songs, weighty in thought and convincing in argument.

महाभूतान्यहङ्कारोबुद्धिरव्यक्तमेवच।
इन्द्रियाणिदशैकंचपञ्चचेन्द्रियगोचराः।।13.6।।

13.6 The five great fundamentals (earth, fire, air, water and ether), personality, intellect, the mysterious life force, the ten organs of perception and action, the mind and the five domains of sensation;

Here we have the Nature being expressed from the Static viewpoint. The substance of the universe is energy, which condenses into matter. From matter springs life and life develops an intellect that ponders over its own nature. Manifested as mind it senses the external world through the perceptions of light, sound, touch, taste and smell.

इच्छाद्वेषःसुखंदुःखंसङ्घातश्चेतनाधृतिः।
एतत्क्षेत्रंसमासेनसविकारमुदाहृतम्।।13.7।।

13.7 Desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, sympathy, vitality and the persistent clinging to life, these are in brief the constituents of changing Matter.

अमानित्वमदम्भित्वमहिंसाक्षान्तिरार्जवम्।
आचार्योपासनंशौचंस्थैर्यमात्मविनिग्रहः।।13.8।।

13.8 Humility, sincerity, harmlessness, forgiveness, rectitude, service of the Master, purity, steadfastness, self-control;

इन्द्रियार्थेषुवैराग्यमनहङ्कारएवच।
जन्ममृत्युजराव्याधिदुःखदोषानुदर्शनम्।।13.9।।

13.9 Renunciation of the delights of sense, absence of pride, right understanding of the painful problem of birth and death, of age and sickness;

असक्ितरनभिष्वङ्गःपुत्रदारगृहादिषु।
नित्यंचसमचित्तत्वमिष्टानिष्टोपपत्तिषु।।13.10।।

13.10 Indifference, non-attachment to sex, progeny or home, equanimity in good fortune and in bad;

मयिचानन्ययोगेनभक्ितरव्यभिचारिणी।
विविक्तदेशसेवित्वमरतिर्जनसंसदि।।13.11।।

13.11 Unswerving devotion to Me, by concentration on Me and Me alone, a love for solitude, indifference to social life;

अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वंतत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम्।
एतज्ज्ञानमितिप्रोक्तमज्ञानंयदतोन्यथा।।13.12।।

13.12 Constant yearning for the knowledge of Self, and pondering over the lessons of the great Truth – this is Wisdom, all else ignorance.

These verses differentiate wisdom, which leads to freedom, from ignorance that binds one. Wisdom lies in the constant yearning for the knowledge of Self and pondering over the lessons of great Truth. Ignorance lies in clinging to life and to the changing constituents of matter.

ज्ञेयंयत्तत्प्रवक्ष्यामियज्ज्ञात्वाऽमृतमश्नुते।
अनादिमत्परंब्रह्मनसत्तन्नासदुच्यते।।13.13।।

13.13 I will speak to thee now of that great Truth which man ought to know, since by its means he will win immortal bliss – that which is without beginning, the Eternal Spirit which dwells in Me, neither with form, nor yet without it.

सर्वतःपाणिपादंतत्सर्वतोऽक्षिशिरोमुखम्।
सर्वतःश्रुतिमल्लोकेसर्वमावृत्यतिष्ठति।।13.14।।

13.14 Everywhere are Its hands and Its feet; everywhere It has eyes that see, heads that think and mouths that speak; everywhere It listens; It dwells in all the worlds; It envelops them all.

सर्वेन्द्रियगुणाभासंसर्वेन्द्रियविवर्जितम्।
असक्तंसर्वभृच्चैवनिर्गुणंगुणभोक्तृच।।13.15।।

13.15 Beyond the senses, It yet shines through every sense perception. Bound to nothing, It yet sustains everything. Unaffected by the Qualities, It still enjoys them all.

The Static viewpoint stands apart from energy, yet energy is there because of it. The Static viewpoint has no form, yet it appears to have the form of energy that it views. Since energy is everywhere, so also is this viewpoint. The sense perceptions are made of energy, and so the Static viewpoint also dwells in them. The Static viewpoint has no Qualities, yet it enjoys all the qualities of energy forms.

बहिरन्तश्चभूतानामचरंचरमेवच।
सूक्ष्मत्वात्तदविज्ञेयंदूरस्थंचान्तिकेचतत्।।13.16।।

13.16 It is within all beings, yet outside; motionless yet moving; too subtle to be perceived; far away yet always near.

अविभक्तंचभूतेषुविभक्तमिवचस्थितम्।
भूतभर्तृचतज्ज्ञेयंग्रसिष्णुप्रभविष्णुच।।13.17।।

13.17 In all beings undivided, yet living in division, It is the upholder of all, Creator and Destroyer alike;

ज्योतिषामपितज्ज्योतिस्तमसःपरमुच्यते।
ज्ञानंज्ञेयंज्ञानगम्यंहृदिसर्वस्यविष्ठितम्।।13.18।।

13.18 It is the Light of lights, beyond the reach of darkness; the Wisdom, the only thing that is worth knowing or that wisdom can teach; the Presence in the hearts of all.

As covered in these verses, the Static viewpoint spans over the opposites. That means it covers the whole dimension from one end to the other of all attributes. In short, it is relative to what is viewed, yet it views it completely without distortion. This is the viewpoint worth attaining.

इतिक्षेत्रंतथाज्ञानंज्ञेयंचोक्तंसमासतः।
मद्भक्तएतद्विज्ञायमद्भावायोपपद्यते।।13.19।।

13.19 Thus I have told thee in brief what Matter is, and the Self worth realizing and what is Wisdom. He who is devoted to Me knows; and assuredly he will enter into Me.

प्रकृतिंपुरुषंचैवविद्ध्यनादीउभावपि।
विकारांश्चगुणांश्चैवविद्धिप्रकृतिसंभवान्।।13.20।।

13.20 Know thou further that Nature and God have no beginning; and that differences of character and quality have their origin in Nature only.

कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वेहेतुःप्रकृतिरुच्यते।
पुरुषःसुखदुःखानांभोक्तृत्वेहेतुरुच्यते।।13.21।।

13.21 Nature is the Law which generates cause and effect; God is the source of the enjoyment of all pleasure and pain.

Those who are devoted assuredly shall attain the Static viewpoint and have the wisdom of Nature and Self. Neither energy (Nature) nor its energizing impulse (Self) has any beginning. All differences of character and qualities have their origin in Nature only. Pleasure and pain is a reaction that should make one look more closely the cause of this effect, and understand what is really there.

पुरुषःप्रकृतिस्थोहिभुङ्क्तेप्रकृतिजान्गुणान्।
कारणंगुणसङ्गोऽस्यसदसद्योनिजन्मसु।।13.22।।

13.22 God dwelling in the heart of Nature experiences the Qualities which nature brings forth; and His affinity towards the Qualities is the reason for His living in a good or evil body.

उपद्रष्टाऽनुमन्ताचभर्ताभोक्तामहेश्वरः।
परमात्मेतिचाप्युक्तोदेहेऽस्मिन्पुरुषःपरः।।13.23।।

13.23 Thus in the body of man dwells the Supreme God; He who sees and permits, upholds and enjoys, the Highest God and the Highest Self.

यएवंवेत्तिपुरुषंप्रकृतिंचगुणैःसह।
सर्वथावर्तमानोऽपिनसभूयोऽभिजायते।।13.24।।

13.24 He who understands God and Nature along with her qualities, whatever be his condition in life, he comes not again to earth.

There is gross to subtlest of impulses that dwell in the body. The grosser impulses are born out of the evolution of the energy as that body. The subtlest of the impulses, on which the grosser impulses depend, can understand this evolution of qualities in Nature and be unattached completely.

ध्यानेनात्मनिपश्यन्तिकेचिदात्मानमात्मना।
अन्येसांख्येनयोगेनकर्मयोगेनचापरे।।13.25।।

13.25 Some realize the Supreme by meditating, by its aid, on the Self within, others by pure reason, others by right action.

अन्येत्वेवमजानन्तःश्रुत्वाऽन्येभ्यउपासते।
तेऽपिचातितरन्त्येवमृत्युंश्रुतिपरायणाः।।13.26।।

13.26 Others again, having no direct knowledge but only hearing from others, nevertheless worship, and they, too, if true to the teachings, cross the sea of death.

यावत्सञ्जायतेकिञ्चित्सत्त्वंस्थावरजङ्गमम्।
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञसंयोगात्तद्विद्धिभरतर्षभ।।13.27।।

13.27 Wherever life is seen in things movable or immovable, it is the joint product of Matter and Spirit.

The freedom of the static viewpoint (from which all motion can be viewed) is arrived at through meditation, pure reason, right action, or worship based on right teachings. Motion arises from the energizing of matter by spirit.

समंसर्वेषुभूतेषुतिष्ठन्तंपरमेश्वरम्।
विनश्यत्स्वविनश्यन्तंयःपश्यतिसपश्यति।।13.28।।

13.28 He who can see the Supreme Lord in all beings, the Imperishable amidst the perishable, it is he who really sees.

समंपश्यन्हिसर्वत्रसमवस्थितमीश्वरम्।
नहिनस्त्यात्मनाऽऽत्मानंततोयातिपरांगतिम्।।13.29।।

13.29 Beholding the Lord in all things equally, his actions do not mar his spiritual life but lead him to the height of Bliss.

प्रकृत्यैवचकर्माणिक्रियमाणानिसर्वशः।
यःपश्यतितथाऽऽत्मानमकर्तारंसपश्यति।।13.30।।

13.30 He who understands that it is only the Law of Nature that brings action to fruition, and that the Self never acts, alone knows the Truth.

The Imperishable energizes everything equally. Everything acts according to its own nature. When you can make this differentiation you have achieved the static viewpoint.

यदाभूतपृथग्भावमेकस्थमनुपश्यति।
ततएवचविस्तारंब्रह्मसम्पद्यतेतदा।।13.31।।

13.31 He who sees the diverse forms of life all rooted in One, and growing forth from Him, he shall indeed find the Absolute.

अनादित्वान्निर्गुणत्वात्परमात्मायमव्ययः।
शरीरस्थोऽपिकौन्तेयनकरोतिनलिप्यते।।13.32।।

13.32 The Supreme Spirit, O Prince, is without beginning, without Qualities and Imperishable, and though it be within the body, yet It does not act, nor is It affected by action.

यथासर्वगतंसौक्ष्म्यादाकाशंनोपलिप्यते।
सर्वत्रावस्थितोदेहेतथाऽऽत्मानोपलिप्यते।।13.33।।

13.33 As space, though present everywhere, remains by reason of its subtlety unaffected, so the Self, though present in all forms, retains its purity unalloyed.

All diverse forms of life have evolved out of the same energy with the same internal impulse. They all are still rooted in that energy that has no beginning, no qualities and is eternal. That subtle energy is within the body and everywhere else. It neither participates nor is affected by the activities of the life organisms.

यथाप्रकाशयत्येकःकृत्स्नंलोकमिमंरविः।
क्षेत्रंक्षेत्रीतथाकृत्स्नंप्रकाशयतिभारत।।13.34।।

13.34 As the one Sun illuminates the whole earth, so the Lord illumines the whole universe.

क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोरेवमन्तरंज्ञानचक्षुषा।
भूतप्रकृतिमोक्षंचयेविदुर्यान्तितेपरम्।।13.35।।

13.35 Those who with the eyes of wisdom thus see the difference between Matter and Spirit, and know how to liberate Life from the Law of Nature, they attain the Supreme.”

The same spirit energizes all matter. Knowing the oneness that underlies all the laws of Nature liberates you from all confusion.

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Final Comment

Chapter 13 looks more closely at Nature and Self. Nature is energy that is everywhere manifested in all different forms. Self. however, is the Static viewpoint that stands apart. Energy condenses into matter. From matter springs life. Life develops an intellect. Intellect ponders over its own nature. Wisdom lies in the constant yearning for the knowledge of Self and pondering over the lessons of great Truth. Ignorance lies in clinging to life and to the ever changing constituents of matter.

The Static viewpoint stands apart from energy, yet energy is there because of it. The Static viewpoint has no form, yet it appears to have the form of energy that it views. Since energy is everywhere, so also is this viewpoint. The sense perceptions are made of energy, and so the Static viewpoint also dwells in them. The Static viewpoint has no Qualities, yet it enjoys all the qualities of energy forms.

Thus, the Static viewpoint spans over the dimensions of all attributes from one end to the other. It is relative to what it views. This is the viewpoint worth attaining. It is arrived at through meditation, pure reason, right action, or worship based on right teachings.

Though everything acts according to its own nature, everything is energized equally by imperishable spirit. When you can make this differentiation you have achieved the static viewpoint. Knowing the oneness that underlies all the laws of Nature liberates you from all confusion.

.

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