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Title: Chapter 13 Prakriti Purusha Vibhaga Yoga
User: Bhushan Nityananda dasa Date: 2007-06-11 19:42:06
C H A P T E R T H I R T E E N
Arjuna: O Keshava, I wish to know more about nature, the enjoyer, the field and the knower of the field --- and about knowledge, and the object of knowledge.
Krishna: This body, O son of Kunti, is called the field because the happiness and distress tasted by the living being grows in this body. One who knows this body is called the knower of the field. I am also the knower of the field because I reside in all bodies as the Supersoul. The living being knows only his particular body, and that knowledge is also imperfect, but I know all bodies. And I know them completely. To understand this body, and its knower is called knowledge. That is My opinion.
Arjuna: Please tell me more about the field of activities, Krishna.
Krishna: Yes, Arjuna, I will give a brief description of this field, and how it is constituted, its transformations, its cause, who the knower of the field is, and what his influences are.
Arjuna: Krishna, who originally explained in detail this knowledge which You will now summarize?
Krishna: This knowledge is described by sages like Parashara Muni. It is presented in Vedanta sutra with all reasoning as to cause and effect.
The five great elements, false ego, intelligence, pradhana, the ten senses and the mind, the five sense objects, desire, hatred, happiness, distress, the aggregate, the life symptoms, and convictions --- all these are considered in summary to be the constitution of the field of activities and its interactions.
Now listen as I describe the process of knowledge, which is the means to escape the entanglement of the twenty-four elements. There are twenty items: humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona fide spiritual master; cleaniness; steadiness; self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; detachment; freedom from entanglement with family and home; even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization; and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth --- all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance.
Arjuna: And of the object of knowledge, Keshava?
Krishna: There are two objects of knowledge, Partha. The first is the individual spirit soul, which is beginningless and subordinate to Me. This spirit soul lies beyond the cause and effect of this world. The second is the Supersoul who has His hands and legs everywhere, pervading everything. The Supersoul is the original source of all senses, yet He is without senses. He is unattached, although He is the maintainer of all beings. He transcends the modes of nature and at the same time, He is the master of all the modes. He exists inside and outside of all beings.
Because He is subtle, He is beyond the power of the material senses to see or to know. Although far away, He is also near to all. Although the Supersoul appears to be divided among all beings, He is never divided, He is situated as one. Although He is the maintainer of everyone, He creates and destroys all. He is the source of light in all luminous objects, and He illuminates one's intelligence. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested. He is knowledge. He is the object of knowledge. He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyone's heart.
Thus I have described the field of activities, knowledge and the object of knowledge. Only My devotees can understand this thoroughly and thus attain to My nature.
Arjuna: O Lord, Your knowledge is unlimited.
Krsna: Now I will answer the first two questions you posed, Arjuna. Material nature and the living entities should be understood to be beginningless. However, any transformations that occur in this world are not caused by the living being, but are products of the material nature. This nature is said to be only the instrument of all material cause and effect, whereas the living being is the cause of the various sufferings and enjoyments in this world. The living being situated within the material nature lives his life enjoying the three modes of material nature. This is due to his association with that nature. Thus he takes birth in various good and evil species of life.
Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul. One who understands this philosophy is sure to attain liberation. He will not take birth here again --- regardless of his present position.
Arjuna: Vasudeva, are there any other means of attaining this stage?
Krishna: Yes, Arjuna, some people perceive the Supersoul within themselves through astanga yoga, others through sankhya yoga, and still others through karma yoga.
Arjuna: Krishna, if one cannot meditate or perform sankhya yoga, or karma yoga, then what can he do?
Krishna: There are others who do not know these paths, Arjuna, but they begin to worship the Lord by hearing about Him from others. They themselves do not study, but because of their tendency to hear from authorities with faith and without material desires, they also transcend the path of birth and death.
Arjuna: What is the cause of birth and death, Krishna?
Krishna: O chief of the Bharatas, whatever you see that is born in this world is only a combination of the field of activities and the knower of the field. When that knower separates from the field, that is death. When that knower reconnects with the field, that is birth. However, one who sees the Supersoul accompanying the individual soul in all bodies, and who understands that neither the soul nor the Supersoul within are ever destroyed, actually sees.
Arjuna: What is the advantage of having this vision?
Krishna: One who has this vision acts properly with discrimination. Such a person does not degrade himself by his mind, and is never disturbed or envious. Therefore he attains the supreme destination.
Arjuna: Please further describe this vision, Vasudeva. How should one see or act?
Krishna: One who can see that all activities are performed by the body, and sees that the self does nothing, actually sees. When a sensible man ceases to see different identities due to different material bodies and sees how beings are expanded everywhere, he attains the Brahman conception.
Arjuna: How is the living entity in the body and yet aloof from the body, Krishna?
Krishna: Those with the vision of eternity can see that the imperishable soul is transcendental, eternal, and beyond the modes of nature. Despite contact with the material body, Arjuna, the soul neither does anything nor is entangled.
Arjuna: If both the living entity and the Supersoul are in the body, how is it that they do not become bound to the nature of the body?
Krishna: As the sky, due to its subtle nature, does not mix with anything although it is all-pervading, similarly, the soul situated in Brahman vision does not mix with the body, though situated in that body.
Arjuna: Can You give another example?
Krishna: Yes, just as the sun does not become implicated by that which it illuminates, similarly the soul is aloof from the body which it illuminates. Those who see the difference between the body and the knower of the body, and can also understand the process of liberation, attain the supreme goal.