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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13 Verse 3

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 13 श्लोक 3

क्षेत्रज्ञं चापि मां विद्धि सर्वक्षेत्रेषु भारत।
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोर्ज्ञानं यत्तज्ज्ञानं मतं मम।।13.3।।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी तेजोमयानंद

।।13.3।। हे भारत तुम समस्त क्षेत्रों में क्षेत्रज्ञ मुझे ही जानो। क्षेत्र और क्षेत्रज्ञ का जो ज्ञान है? वही (वास्तव में) ज्ञान है ? ऐसा मेरा मत है।।

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The Supreme Lord Krishna is explaining that He is in fact the ksetrajnam or cognizant consciousness abiding within all jivas or embodied souls in its capacity of vivifying all tenements in deva or demigods, human, animal, bird, fish etc. and all living entities who are mad-atmakam or ensouled by Him and in possession of a soul and not those artificially created or cloned who are without an atma or eternal soul. The adverb api meaning furthermore in the expression capi mam viddhi meaning know me also, infers that the ksetra is also under Lord Krishnas complete control as well. The actual purport is that just as the ksetra or physical body is apprehended solely as the inseparable adjunct of the ksetra-jna which is designated as the atma; by the law of correlation of subject and predicate so are both the ksetra and the ksetra-jna of all sentient beings in creation to be understood as being inseparable adjuncts to the Supreme Lord Krishna. It will be pointed out subsequently that Parabrahman who is the actual source of the brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence and who is known as Vasudeva an expansion of Lord Krishna is a distinctly transcendental postulate of existence separate from even the ksetra-jna which is the atma and this is totally independent of the jiva in a state of moksa or baddha being liberation and bondage respectively which are also known by kshara or unliberated perishable souls and akshara or liberated imperishable souls. Later in chapter 15 verses 16, 17 and 18 Lord Krishna confirms that there are two kinds of atmas in this world the fallible and the infallible. The fallible refers to the kshara and is the sum total of all unliberated souls in existence the infallible refers to the akshara and is the eternal, infinite and sovereign param?tm? or the Supreme Soul which enters into all beings and sustains them. Since the Supreme Lord surpasses the kshara and even excels the akshara as well He is known as Purusottama the Supreme Personality. The ksetra is the composite of the material elements of earth, water, air, fire and ether. The ksetra-jna comprises the spiritual bodies of all souls in existence which qualitatively constitute the transcendental body of the Supreme Lord Krishna who is the Supreme Soul of all. The following Vedic scripture confirms: The Brihad-aranyaka Upanisad V.VII.III beginning yah prithivyam tishthan meaning : Who is situated in the Earth, who is the interior of the Earth, whom the Earth knows not, to who the Earth is a body, who rules the Earth from within, such a one is He the atma, eternal, immortal and sovereign. Further in the same scripture V.VII.XXII beginning ya atmani tishthan meaning: Who is situated in the atma, who is the interior of the atma, whom the atma knows not, to whom the atma is a body, who rules the atma from within, such a one is He as paramatma the Supreme Soul eternal, immortal and sovereign. Reference to the Supreme Lord in terms of ksetra-jnam etc. are justified in acccordance with the law of correlation of subject and predicate evidenced before with the predicate signifying the abidance of the Supreme Lord as the ksetrajnam within all ksetra-jnas as the paramatma within all atmas, internally monitoring and governing at all times all beings in existence everywhere throughout all creation. This law of correlation was evidence earlier in chapter ten verse 20 where Lord Krishna reveals that He is the atma situated within the etheric heart of all jivas or embodied beings. In verse 21 He proclaims that of the 12 Adityas, He is Vishnu. In verse 39 He declares that nothing in all creation which moves or is stationary can exist without Him and in verse 42 validates that He maintains and energizes the complete creation and total cosmic manifestation with but a mere fraction of His expansion. So with this clearly in mind one should comprehend that the Supreme Lord Krishna highly esteems as worth knowing the knowledge concerning the distinction between the ksetra and the ksetra- jna and the knowledge that Lord Krishna is the atma of all beings in existence. Contrarily some scholars and pandits interpret this verse of knowing the ksetrajna to be the Supreme Lord as a means to establish unity by the rule of common reference. In this case having to expound upon a united existence they postulate that the Supreme Lord is seen as the ksetrajna by which through ignorance duality of the cognizant and the incognizant which is implied has to be acknowledged and that the inculcation of unity is to dispel this ignorance. The explanation given is that the ignorance arising from the dualistic conception of the ksetra-jna is dispelled by such instructors interpretations of the wisdom emanating from the mouth of the Supreme Lord Himself the same as the instructor who teaches that a rope touched in the darkness is not a snake and causes the imagined snake disappears. Such interpretations must be seriously questioned as to their veracity. 1) If the instructor who teaches the unequivocal wisdom emanating directly from the Supreme Lord Himself in any of His incarnations or expansions and fully understands them, then there is no question of ignorance arising from dualistic conceptions as they are dispelled at the root and atma tattva or soul realization is soon forthcoming. 2) If the instructor whose ignorance supposedly has been dispelled on the dawning of atma tattva to then imagine that which is purely spiritual and nirvesa or without material qualities and which is pure consciousness and postulate it to be a contrary reflection of dualistic antithesis is highly objectionable in the same way as considering rain and water as dualistic. 3) If the instructor adheres to the dualistic conception of the Supreme Lord does not perceive Him as the one absolute, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent reality perpetually manifest in all creation then it is obvious that atma tattva has not consummated and been achieve and therefore His ignorance has not been dispelled. Therefore those who are in ignorance themselves have no qualification to impart knowledge of the atma or eternal soul to others because they have not realized it either. In chapter four, verse 34 Lord Krishna states: upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah meaning saintly souls endowed with the wisdom of divine revelation will impart spiritual knowledge. So in conclusion it should be succinctly comprehended that all polemics of this nature which are opposed to the siddhanta or conclusive truth of all the Vedic scriptures as well as logic and reason and which instead ostentatiously imposes a degraded and erroneous hypothesis upon the world deserves not to be further addressed. The factual reality of existence is found in the evidence and proofs found in Vedic scriptures which confirm distinctive characteristics of : 1) the experienced which is inherent deep within the nature of acit or non- sentient matter 2) the experiencer which is inherent deep within the nature of cit or consciousness 3) paramesvaram or the supreme controller inherent within every particle of creation The Vedic scriptures themselves declare this as reality as the following examples illustrate from the Svetasvatara Upanisad. In verse V.IX beginning asman mayi srijate visvam means that from matter the illusory nature constructs the creation. In verse V.X beginning mayantu prakritim vidyan mayinam tu maheshvaram means that the illusory energy to be verily matter which the Supreme Lord is far beyond. In verse I.X beginning ksharam pradhanam amritaksharam means that which is perishable is matter and that which is imperishable is the eternal soul and that which rules both is the Supreme Lord. In verse VI.II beginning sa kara jam karapadhipadhipo means the Supreme Lord is the cause, He is the Lord of matter, He is the Lord of the soul, there is no other god above Him, He is the supreme ruler of all matter and all souls. In verse I.VI beginning prithag atmanam preitaram and means the soul and the Supreme Lord are distinct and different whom by serving the soul achieves immortality. In verse I.IX beginning jnanajnau dvav-ajav-isanisau means the Supreme Lord is the omniscient one and the soul is not, both are eternal but only the Supreme Lord is the controller of all. In verse I.XII beginning bhokta bhogya preritaram means one must have knowledge of matter, the soul and the Supreme Lord. In verse VI.XIII beginning nityo nityanam means the Supreme Lord is the eternal Lord of all souls, the Supreme of the Supreme, who bequeaths desires. In Mundaka Upanisad III.I.I beginning tayor anyah pippalalm svadvatti means the individual soul reaps the results of actions while the Supreme Soul reaps not and illuminates everywhere. In the Taittiriya Upanisad X.V beginning ajam ekam lohita-sukla-krsnam means verily a unliberated jiva or embodied being embraces material existence in the form of matter and enjoys light and water and food and in answer to ones wishes bestows manifold progeny while a liberated jiva discards material existence after tasting its delights. Also in the Tattiriya Upanisad XI.I beginning patim visvasy atmesvaram sasvatam means the Supreme Lord is the Lord of all creation, the Lord of all souls, eternal and everlasting. Again in the Svestasvatara Upanisad IV.VII beginning samane vrikshe purusho nimagno means dwelling in the same field of activity as paramatma the Supreme Soul, the atma or individual soul immersed in the machinations of material existence is suffering greatly oblivious; but when the atma perceives paramatma the worshipable Supreme Lords localized manifestation in all its glory within the etheric heart of all living entities. completely transcendental to material nature, above and beyond the machinations of material existence; then all suffering ceases. The Supreme Lord is pradhana-ksetrajnam-patir gunesah meaning He is the lord of all attributes and qualities in all fields of activity. Many verses spoken by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita corroborate this. Such as in VII.IV beginning bhumir aponalo vayuh referring to His eight fold energies of the material energy. In VII. 5 beginning apareyam itas te anyam referring to the atma or soul and His superior spiritual energies. In IX.VII beginning sarva bhutani kaunteya explaining how all living entities are retracted back into His nature and later distinctly created and emitted again. In IX.VIII beginning prakrtim svam avastabhya He continues explaining how His agency of material nature manifests the jivas or embodied entities again and again millennium after millennium according to their karma or reactions to their actions. In IX.X beginning mayadhyaksena prakrtih he further explains how His sakti or feminine potency creates all things mutable and immutable and thus creation is manifest again and again. Then in XIII.IXX beginning prakrtim purusam He will confirm the eternality of the atma or soul and that material nature is without beginning and later in XIV.III beginning mama yonir mahad-brahma He explains that the complete material existence is the womb wherein He germinates all souls that exist from Brahma to the lowest one-celled living entity and impels their birth into being. The yoni or womb is the vast cosmic manifestation and prakriti is the supra-subtle material substratum pervading physical existence which is achit or unconscious and inanimate. Into this the Supreme Lord by His glance projects the infinitesimal embryonic seed which is chit or conscious and animate. Thereafter by His will they are united and by this compound alone all living beings created from matter are brought into existence from the highest demi-god to lower then a one-celled amoeba are al embodied in various corporeal and subtle bodies. The word brahma or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence denotes the primal root source of all elements and is evidenced in the Vedic scripture Mundaka Upanisad I.I.IX beginning tasmad etat brahma meaning by the Supreme Lords will the unmanifested cosmic creation and the manifested cosmic creation arise. Similarly other Vedic scriptures solemnly declare that the animate and inanimate of chit and achit and all conditions existing in relation to the experience and the experiencer both constitute the transcendental spiritual body of the Supreme Lord and subject to His will relate to Him in an indissoluble dependent and subservient position eternally and that an infinitesimal portion of the Supreme Lord is present as the atma or immortal soul within all living entities. Thus the Supreme Lord is the root cause and underlying basis for everything in existence and all living entities in both spiritual and material. References from other Vedic scriptures confirming this are given as follows. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad V.VII.III beginning yah prithviyam tisthan meaning: Who is seated in the Earth. Whom the Earth knows not. To whom the Earth is the body. Who from inside of the Earth rules. It is the Supreme Soul, the ruler of all, immortal. Commencing thus in the same Upanisad in verse V.VII.XXII beginning ya atmani tisthan meaning: Who seated in the soul. Whom the soul knows not. To whom the soul is the body. Who from inside of the soul rules. He is the Supreme Soul, the ruler of all, immortal. In chapter seven of the Subala Upanisad we find many examples beginning with: yah prithivim antare sancharan meaning: Who moving in the interior of the Earth. To whom Earth is the body. To whom the Earth knows not; and yo aksaram antare sancharam meaning: Who moving in the interior of the soul. Whom the soul is the body. Whom the soul knows not; and yo mrityum antare sancharan meaning: who moving in the material substratum. To whom the material substratum is the body. Whom the material substratum knows not; and esa sarva bhut antar atma meaning the Supreme Lord is the Supreme Soul of all beings, immortal, immaculate, divine. The term mrityu quoted above refers to the subtle state of the material substratum within inanimate objects and substances known by the appellation tamas or darkness. In chapter two of the Subala Upanisad beginning avaktyam aksara meaning the unmanifest merges into the imperishable and the manifest merges into tamas. In the Tattiriya Aranyaka III.X beginning antah pravishta sasta jananam meaning: Existing within all, the ruler of all creatures, the Supreme Soul pervades all. Now will be given references from other Vedic scriptures as well which confirm and explicitly express the truth that the Supreme Lord alone is the subject, predicated by the compounded bodies of all sentient beings and insentient elements existing in every condition and that the Supreme Lord is solely existent as the potential and as the actual manifestation of all creation. In the Chandogya Upanisad V1.II.I beginning sad eva somya meaning: This sat or eternal existence of the Supreme Lord was in the beginning all there was; and in VI.II.III beginning tad aikshata bahu shyam meaning: The Supreme Lord willed that He become many and multiplied and manifested illumination; and in VI.VIII.VI beginning san mulas somy emas sarvam meaning: Eternal existence of the Supreme is the root source manifesting all creation and its support and maintenance; and in VI.VIII.VII beginning aitad atmyam idam sarvam meaning: All creation is ensouled by the eternal existence of the Supreme Lord. In the Tattiriya Upanisad II.VI.II beginning so kama yata bahusyam meaning: The Supreme Lord willed may I be manifold and meditating thus He expanded creation with unlimited beings also in II.VI.III of the aforementioned scripture beginning satyan chanritali ca meaning: Both the eternal soul as well as perishable matter emanate from the ultimate truth of the Supreme Lord. This confirms what has been described in the Chandogya Upanisad VI.III.II beginning hanta ham imas tisro devatas and means: The Supreme Lord as the Supreme Soul interpenetrates all existence and material principles being fire, earth, air, water and ether as well as manifesting names and forms. This clearly illustrates the distinct differences between cit being the atma or eternal soul, acit being perishable matter and Isvara being the Supreme Lord. The Taittiriya Upanisad II.VI.II beginning tat sristi tva declares: After creating the complete cosmic manifestation comprised of all things sentient and insentient and permeating all things sentient as the atma or eternal soul and all things insentient as their eternal subatomic essence. One being constant and immutable and the other being variable and mutable both being separate manifestations of the Supreme Lord. With the consensus of the preceding Vedic references agreeing that the Supreme Lord is manifesting both the conscious imperishable soul and unconscious perishable matter with the embodiment of both as jivas or embodied beings; it can be ascertained that the principle being established throughout is the reality of immanent co-existence between the omnipresent atma and unlimited living entities. The manifestation of all the unlimited names and forms by the Supreme Lord is confirmed in the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad III.IV.VII beginning taddhedam tarhi meaning: Before all was unmanifest and later it was subsequently manifested by the Supreme Lord into names and forms. Thus it is established and clarified that the Supreme Lord alone is the originator of all whatever is chit or conscious and animate as well as whatever is achit or unconscious and inanimate. He alone is the principle of cause when both chit and achit are unmanifest in an imperceptible supra- subtle state and He alone is the principle of effect when they are manifest in a perceptible physical state. Therefore identifying the Supreme Lord as the sole source of everything and its ancillary causes and effects one can then comprehend that knowledge of Him is knowledge of both and that only knowledge of the Supreme Lord is complete knowledge. In the Chandogya Upanisad VI.III.II mentioned previously beginning hanta ham imas tisro devatas the word hanta refers to the life force of the Supreme Soul. The word devatas refers to the three states consisting of 1) everything in masse that is achit or unconscious in substance, 2) all jivas or embodied beings in whatever form they possess gross or subtle and 3) atma being the immortal soul is a direct infinitesimal spark of the Supreme Lord Himself. By understanding this it is evident that all names are sound symbols and have a direct relationship to the Supreme Lord activated by matter and spirit or body and soul. Hence the rule of identity of substance with its adjuncts finds its primary application in terms corrollating to the Supreme Lord as cause and such appellations give reference and signifies His mode as the source of effect as well. Since the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence, being a direct manifestation of the Supreme Lord is the cause containing both the atmas and matter in their subtle state; as well as the effect containing both body and spirit in their physical manifestation; the brahman can be said to be the cause of the material manifestation of creation. Although the brahman may be considered the material cause, the brahman is not in any way material and there is no intermingling or sharing of the essences of the brahman with matter or the atma. An example is a piece of colored cloth, the material cause is the combination of multicolored threads yellow, blue and red running through it. Although the cloth is considered as a single substance constituted as a whole, the qualities of the different colored threads are confined to the area of the cloth where they occur. In the same manner when the compound of matter, the atma and the brahman is declared to be the material cause, the effect of this cause is the material creation. So their should be no confusion concerning the distinctive characteristics of the experiencer, the experieince, or the controller of all being three distinctive principles combining to manifest the entire cosmos and correlating to produce the effect of matter, soul and Supreme Lord. Yet there is a difference between the colored cloth because all of the threads are able to be separated; whereas matter and the soul in all ways and all conditions constitute the transcendental body of the Supreme Lord. It is a case where the indiscernible attributive character of matter and the imperceptible nature of the atma or eternal soul as essences are integral parts of the transcendental substantive qualities of the Supreme Lord as a compound unit. Thus the Supreme Lord alone is both the cause and effect of the conscious atma as well as insentient matter and it is He alone upon whom every verbal symbol and annotation ultimately connotes. As for the differences in the components of the Supreme Lords manifestations and their non-interchangeable natures the analogy of the separate threads of colored cloth is applicable. When this is properly understood it is evident that the cause of all causes is the Supreme Lord Krishna and although as the source of all He enters His components into the effects there is no transformation of His essential essence and never any transmutation of His transcendental immutable nature. That He is the effect as well is understandable by He being the cause of the effect, for effect is actually the cause in a modified form. The contention that the Supreme Lord is nirguna-vada or devoid of qualities is only valid and justified when referring to material qualities. Another example is when the Supreme Lord is said to be immaculate or devoid of any sin. This does not preclude that the Supreme Lord is without transcendental attributes and divine qualities it is just that His attributes and qualities are purely spiritual. The Vedic scriptures confirm this. In the Chandogya Upanisad VIII.I-V beginning apa hata papana meaning: The Supreme Lord is destitute of sin, affliction, hunger, thirst, decrepitude and death. In the same passage beginning satya kamas satya sankalpah meaning: The Supreme Lord is without desires, self-sufficient, of infallible will and indomitable nature. So after expunging the lack of material deficiencies the virtues are expounded, affirmatively establishing the correct context of what is written in various Vedic scriptures about being devoid of qualities and that this factually means devoid of any material qualities. Next the discrepancy that the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence is not a conscious entity of the Supreme Lord who is completely omniscient and omnipotent and who is endowed with all superlative qualities and sublime attributes of goodness and is the antithesis to all that is negative and evil which is defined by the primary attribute of consciousness which exclusively categorises Him and His authorised incarnations as being Self-Illuminated. The Vedic scriptures confirm this such as: The Mundaka Upanisad II.II.VII beginning yas sarvajnas meaning: The Supreme Lord is omniscient and all knowing. The Svetasvatara Upanisad IV.VIII beginning para sya sakti meaning: The transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord is manifold and also are His divine attributes of wisdom, power and activities. The Brihadaranya Upanisad IV.IV.XIV beginning vijnataram are meaning By His transcendental qualities the Supreme Lord is to be known and proclaims Him as the most conscious of all beings. The Tattiriya Upanisad II.I.I beginning satyam jnanam meaning: The Supreme Lord is truth, wisdom and consciousness this is proclaimed by His being defined as the ultimate expression of truth and wisdom and the ultimate consciousness fully self-effulgent. In the Tattiriya Upanisad II.VI.II beginning sa kamayata meaning: The Supreme Lord willed that He become unlimitedly manifold. In the Chandogya Upanisad VI.II.III beginning tad aikshata meaning The Supreme Lord contemplated that He expand and become unlimitedly multitudinous. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad III:IV:VII beginning tanama rupa bhyam meaning: The Supreme Lord fashioned the manifold into names and forms. Again in the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad VI.V.VI beginning atmani khalv-are meaning: When the eternal soul within is perceived, experienced, witnessed, meditated upon and understood then all becomes known. Again in the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad VI.V.VII beginning sarvam tam paradat meaning: All that is witnessed is to be rejected except the witnessing of the eternal soul within. Again in the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad VI.V.XI beginning tasya ha meaning: What is the Rig Vedas except verily the breath of the Supreme Lord. This reveals that the Supreme Lord alone is parabrahman the Ultimate consciousness permeating the spiritual substratum pervading all existence and by His self-will alone He is existent in all forms movable and immovable. Certainly it is impossible for any type of consciousness or existence singular or manifold to manifest without the brahman and the eternal soul. There is absolutely no variation or configuration of any sentient being that could exist without the atma or eternal soul and likewise nothing insentient can exist without the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence. This is declared and confirmed in the Vedic scriptures that follow. In the Brihadaranayaka Upanisad IV.IV.XIX and also the Katha Upanisad IV.X:XI beginning mrityos sa mrityum meaning: Who perceives in the brahman the lack of diversity deserves to die and be bound in samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. Again in the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad VI.IV.XIX beginning neha nana asti meaning: Nowhere in the brahman is there limited diversity. Again in the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad beginning yatra hi dvaitam meaning: Although in the brahman may appear to be duality. And finally in the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad VI.V.XV beginning tad itana itaram meaning: All appears separate to one who does not see the soul but to one who sees the soul all is seen. Nor is the multitudinous of forms manifesting from the brahman alone as is confirmed in such Vedix scriptures as the Chandogya Upanisad VI.II.III beginning bahu syam prajayoga meaning: May I be multitudinous, may I procreate, which affirms the reality that the Supreme Lords by His own will manifests unlimited names and forms through His potency of the brahman. So it can be comprehended that the Vedic scriptures have established that: 1) The essential difference between the Supreme Lord and brahman, chit, achit and atma. 2) The qualitative differences amongst them. 3) The law of cause and effect. 4) The relativity of cause and effect. Thus it can be realized that a comprehensive harmony is existing amongst all the Vedic scriptures by the Vedic scriptures themselves and there is not the least contradiction to one who has received the knowledge of the Vedas from the bonafide spiritual master in one of the four authorised sampradayas revealed in Vedic scriptures. Nor is there any necessity to hypothecate contrary conclusions or erroneous suppositions such as brahman- ajana-vada or duality of the brahman due to ignorance which was Sankaras false contention and aupadhior ka-brahma-bheda-vada meaning the brahman becomes dualistic because of limiting conditions which was Bhaskaras false contention. So in conclusion let us take leave of such faulty tenets based on fallacy and which are opposed to the reality of the eternal Vedic scriptures.