(Image Courtesy Mahanidhiswami)
The Conditioned Soul Seeks Sense Fulfilment, And He Is Assigned A Body, Or Area Of Activity, Based On This Ability As A Result, The Human Body Is Known As Kshetra
अर्जुन उवाच |
प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव क्षेत्रं क्षेत्रज्ञमेव च |
एतद्वेदितुमिच्छामि ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं च केशव || 13.1||
इदं शरीरं कौन्तेय क्षेत्रमित्यभिधीयते |
एतद्यो वेत्ति तं प्राहु: क्षेत्रज्ञ इति तद्विद: || 13.2||
prakṛitiṁ puruṣhaṁ chaiva kṣhetraṁ kṣhetra-jñam eva cha
etad veditum ichchhāmi jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ cha keśhava|| 1||
idaṁ śharīraṁ kaunteya kṣhetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ kṣhetra-jña iti tad-vidaḥ|| 2||
BG – Ch. 13- Ver. 1 and 2:
“O Keshav, please explain what prakiti and purusha are, as well as kshetra and khetrajna,” Arjun said. I’m also curious in what constitutes true knowledge and what this knowledge’s purpose is. The Supreme Divine Lord replied to Arjun: The sages who understand the truth about both name this body khetra (the field of activities), and the one who knows it khetraja (the knower of the field).
Arjuna was curious about nature, and the enjoyer, kshetra, the field, its knower, and knowledge and knowledge’s aim. When he asked Krishna about all of this, he was told that this body is known as the field, and that the one who knows it is known as the knower of the field. The conditioned soul’s field of activity is this body. The conditioned soul is trapped in physical existence and tries to rule over it. As a result, he is assigned a sphere of activity based on his ability to control material nature. The body is that sphere of action. What exactly is the body? The human body is made up of sensory organs.
The conditioned soul desires sense fulfilment, and he is given a body, or sphere of activity, based on his ability for sense gratification. As a result, the body is referred to as kshetra, or the conditioned soul’s area of activity. The individual who does not identify with the body is today known as kshetrajna, the field knower. The distinction between the field and its knower, the body and the knower of the body, is not difficult to grasp.
Anyone can consider that from childhood to old age, his body goes through many changes but he remains the same person. There is thus a distinction between the knower of the field of activities and the field of activities itself. A living conditioned soul can so recognise his separation from the body.
The living thing is defined in the beginning as being within the body, and that the body changes from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youth, youth to old age, and the person who owns the body is aware of the changes. The owner is clearly kshetrajna. The knower is distinct from the environment. We are aware that we are distinct from the things we are used to. Similarly, a little thinking teaches us that we are distinct from the body.
The living creatures are always inferior, but they suffer because of their forgetting. They approach the Supreme Lord in various capacities when enlightened by religious activities—as the troubled, those in need of money, the inquisitive, and those in need of knowledge.
Starting with the Thirteenth Chapter, the Supreme Lord explains how the living creature comes into contact with material nature and how he is delivered by the Supreme Lord through various kinds of fruitive actions, knowledge cultivation, and devotional service. Despite the fact that the living thing is distinct from the material body, he is nonetheless linked. This aspect is also clarified.
Shree Krishna starts discussing the difference between the body and the spirit here. The soul cannot eat, see, smell, hear, taste, or touch because it is divine. It performs all of these tasks vicariously through the body-mind-intellect mechanism, which is referred to as the field of activities. The body serves as a container for the individual’s actions. As a result, it is known as kshetra.
The soul is separate from the body-mind-intellect complex, but it identifies with these material beings, forgetting its divine essence. Despite this, it is known as khetrajna because it possesses bodily knowledge (the knower of the field of the body). Self-realized sages who were transcendentally positioned at the platform of the soul and sensed their individual identity independent from the body gave this word.
Verse & what we can learn
Because he saw himself as a body with friends and family, Arjuna became entangled in a web of grief and delusion. Arjuna was shown by Shri Krishna that his true nature was the infinite everlasting essence, not the body. He then took Arjuna through the steps necessary to reach this awareness, beginning with karma yoga, then karma sanyasa yoga, and lastly dhyaana yoga. We can only experience the genuine nature of our “I” as the “saakshi” or witness of our body, mind, and intellect through meditation.
Shri Krishna was intent on disclosing the genuine truth of our planet. We normally think of the world as being made up of numerous types of matter. Shri Krishna revealed to Arjuna that this world is made up of spirit, or life-giving consciousness, as well as matter. The lower and higher elements of Prakriti, or nature, are also known as these. He then disclosed that Prakriti is nothing more than Ishvara’s shakti or strength, and that Ishvara is in everything, and everything is in Ishvara. He is the universe’s material cause, or raw stuff, as well as the universe’s efficient cause, or intellect. Ishvara is the “adhishthaana,” the actual nature of the world.
Our antahakarana, or inner instrument, which includes the mind, intellect, ego, and memory, has three flaws. Our stock of unfulfilled desires is known as dirt. The tendency of the mind to leap from one thought to the next is known as “vikshepa.” The veil or covering that masks the comprehension of the true nature of the self, of who we are in essence, is known as “Aavarana.”
Karma yoga aids in the removal of the mala flaw by greatly reducing selfish desires. Through single-pointed devotion to Ishvara, Bhakti yoga aids in the removal of the vikshepa fault. We shall never reach complete self-realization unless we address Aavarana’s third flaw. The Gita’s final six chapters serve this aim.
The mahaa vaakya “Tat Tvam Asi,” which means “You Are That,” is revealed in the Gita. The nature of “Tvam,” which means “You,” as the saakshi or witness, was disclosed in the first six chapters of the Gita, and the actual nature of “Tat,” which means “That,” as Ishvara, the adhishthaana or foundation, was revealed in the next six chapters.
The final six chapters disclose “Asi,” the identity or equality of “You” and “That’s” true natures. Shri Krishna recognizes that this subject may be difficult to grasp, therefore he addresses Arjuna as “Kaunteya,” a person whose intellect is as keen as a knife ensuring that he remains sharp and vigilant throughout this chapter.
The phrase “share era,” or body, refers to the three bodies that make up a person: the physical body, the subtle body (mind, intellect, ego, memory, and physiological functions), and the causal body (our vaasanaas or unfulfilled desires). In other terms, “this body” refers to anything that is transient, changing, and perishable. According to Shri Krishna, anything we call “this body” is defined as the “kshetra,” or field. But there is something in us that is constant and recognizes its distinction from the ever-changing field. The “kshetragnya,” or knower of the field, is the intelligent principle in us, this consciousness. The knowers define both of these concepts.
Shri Krishna explains in this shloka that there is no distinction between an individual’s eternal essence and the world’s basis. There is just one kshetragnya, and any sense of separation is due to avidyaa or ignorance. There is no difference between you and Ishvara in essence.
Let’s look at what the word “Asi” means in the phrase “Tat Tvam Asi.” Tvam (You) Asi (Are Equal to) Tat is not to be taken literally (Ishvara). When the upaadhi is removed, asi means “are equal to.” When both of the upaadhis of You and Ishvara are removed, the mahaa vaakya reads: Tvam (You) Asi (are equal to) Tat (Ishvara). I have upaadhi of the physical body and everything it contains as a human.
Ishvara possesses the upaadhi of the entire universe in its visible form, which includes all trees, plants, animals, people, stars, planets, and other objects that we can perceive with our eyes. If we consciously withdraw our bodies as an upaadhi, We are left with the same eternal essence in both circumstances if we mentally dismiss the visible universe as an upaadhi. All kshetras, which are the same as upaadhis, contain the same eternal essence, the same kshetragnya.
The term “upaadhi” has another meaning: title or qualification, which can help us grasp this shloka better. It is difficult, but not impossible, to remove upaadhis in order to know our oneness with Ishvara. We understand how to get rid of minor upaadhis. In this chapter, Shri Krishna will show us how to use practical strategies to eradicate the largest upaadhis. He claims that knowledge of the kshetragnya, the kshetras or upaadhis, and how to experience oneness under the kshetras, rather than any other sort of knowledge, is the ultimate wisdom that one must learn.
To acquire knowledge and to implement that knowledge in life one needs to be mentally and physically active and healthy and for that daily meditation is a great tool.
There are various types of meditation like Buddhist meditation, heartfulness meditation, mindfulness meditation, meditation for stress, and each meditation benefits are countless. There is also numerous meditation techniques for beginners which help in practicing daily meditation so go ahead and start your journey towards a peaceful and balanced life.
Why do we need to understand such obscure terms? These phrases are used by Shri Krishna to set the foundation for the next shloka, which is one of the most essential in the Gita. He wants to lay a foundation for us to build on as we move on to the next shloka he tells about true knowledge.
Let’s learn to live with “The Gita” via Meditation Affinity…