Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
The Eighteen Lectures
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL
IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN
By CHARLES WILKINS 1785
L E C T U R E. 13.
EXPLANATION OF THE TERM ‘KṢETRA AND KṢETRAJÑA’.
(The Body called the Field, the Soul called the Knower of the Field, and the Discrimination between them.)
[ 101 ]
EXPLANATION OF THE TERM ‘KṢETRA AND KṢETRAJÑA’.
I NOW am anxious to be informed, O Keśava! what is Prakṛti, who is Puruṣa; what is meant by the
words Kṣetra and Kṣetrajña, and what by Jñāna and
Learn that by the word Kṣetra is implied this body, and that he who is acquainted with· it is called Kṣetrajña. Know that I am that Kṣetrajña in every mortal frame. The knowledge of the Kṣetra and the Kṣetrajña is by me esteemed Jñāna or wisdom. ·
Now hear what that Kṣetra or body is, what it resembleth, what are its different parts, what it proceedeth from, who he is who knoweth it, and what are its productions. Each hath been manifold sung by the Ṛṣis in various measures, and in verses containing divine precepts, including arguments and proofs.
[ 102 ]
●This Kṣetra or body, then, is made up of the five Mahābhūtā (elements), Ahaṁkāra (self-consciousness), Buddhi (understanding), Avyaktam (invisible spirit), the eleven Indriyas (organs), and the five Indriya-gocarā (faculties of the five senses); with Icchā and Dveṣa (love and hatred), Sukhā and Duḥkha (pleasure and pain), Cētana
(sensibility), and Dhṛti (firmness).
●Thus, have I made known. unto thee what that Kṣetra or body is, and what are its component parts.
Jñāna, or wisdom , is freedom from self-esteem, hypocrisy and injury; patience, rectitude, respect for masters. and teachers, chastity, steadiness, self-constraint, disaffection for the objects of the senses, freedom from pride, and
And a constant attention.102 to birth, death, decay, sickness, pain and defects, exemption from attachments and affection103 for children, wife, and home; a constant evenness of temper upon the arrival of every event, whether longed for or not; a constant and invariable worship paid to me alone; worshipping in a private place, and a dislike for the society of man; a constant study of superior spirit104 ; and the inspection of the advantage to be derived from the knowledge of the Tattva or first principle.
This is what is distinguished by the name of Jñānam or wisdom. Ajñānam, or ignorance, is the reverse of this.
I will now tell thee what is Jñeyam, or the object of wisdom, from understanding which thou wilt enjoy immortality. It is that which hath no beginning, and is supreme, even Brahman, who can neither be called Sat (ens = an existing or real thing; an entity.) nor Asat (non ens).105 It is all hands and feet; it is all faces, heads, and eyes; and, all ear, it fitteth during the world possessing the vast whole. Itself exempt from every organ, it is the reflected light of every faculty of the organs. Unattached, it containeth all things; and without quality it partaketh of every quality. It is the inside and the outside, and it is the moveable and immoveable of all nature. From the minuteness of its parts it is inconceivable. It standeth at a distance, yet is it present. It is undivided, yet in all things it standeth divided. It is the ruler of all things: it is that which now destroyeth, and now produceth. It is the light of lights, and it is declared to be free from darkness. It is wisdom, that which is the object of wisdom, and that which is to be obtained by wisdom; and it presideth in every breast.
●Thus, hath been described together what is Kṣetra or body, what is Jñānam or wisdom, and what is Jñeyam or the
object of wisdom. He my servant. who thus conceiveth me obtaineth my nature.
[ 104 ]
Learn· that both Prakṛti and Puruṣa are without beginning. Know also that the various component parts·
of matter and their qualities are co-existent with Prakṛti.
●Prakṛti is that principle which operateth in the agency of the instrumental cause of action.
● Puruṣa is that Hetu or principle which operateth in the sensation of pain and pleasure. The Puruṣa presideth in the Prakṛti and partaketh of those qualities which proceed from the Prakṛti. The consequences arising from those qualities, are the cause which operated in the birth of the Puruṣa 10 6, and determineth whether it shall be in a good or evil body. Puruṣa is that superior being, who is called Maheśvara, the great God, the highest spirit, who in this body is the observer, the director, the protector, the partaker. ·
●He who conceiveth the Puruṣa and the Prakṛti, together with the Guṇas or qualities, to be even so as I have described them, whatever mode of life he may lead, he is not again subject to mortal birth.
●Some men, by meditation, behold, with· the mind, the spirit within themselves; others, according to the discipline of the Sāṁkhya (contemplative doctrines), and the
discipline which is called Karma-Yoga (practical doctrines); others again, who are not acquainted with this, but have heard it from others, attend to it. But even these, who act but from the report of others, pass beyond the gulf of death.
●Know, O chief of the race of Bharat. that everything which is produced in nature, whether animate or inanimate, is produced from the union of Kṣetra and Kṣetrajña, matter and spirit. He-who beholdeth the Supreme Being alike in all things, whilst corrupting, itself uncorrupting; and conceiving that God in all things is the same, doth not of himself injure his own soul, goeth the journey of immortality. He who beholdeth all his actions performed by Prakṛti nature, at the same time perceiveth that the Ātmā or soul is inactive in them. When he beholdeth all the different species in nature comprehended in one alone, and so from it spread forth into their vast variety, he then conceiveth Brahman, the Supreme Being. This supreme spirit and incorruptible Being, even when it is in the body, neither acteth, nor is. it affected, because its nature is without beginning and without quality. As the all-moving Ākāsa, or ether, from the minuteness of its parts, passeth everywhere unaffected, even so the omnipresent spirit remaineth in the
[ 106 ]
body unaffected. As a single sun illuminateth the whole world, even so doth the spirit enlightens everybody. They who, with the eye of wisdom, perceive the body and the spirit to be thus distinct, and that there is a final release from the animal nature, go to the Supreme.