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The original Sanskrit verses and
(word for word translated) of the
Mahābhārata, Bhīshma Parva ch. 23-40.

with comments taken from the writings of



 

 

 

 

"DUTY is God; Work is Worship; and there is a dictum:
'Heads in the Forest; Hands in Society';
Do deeds that are holy and beneficial,
untarnished by ego and the greed to benefit.
Start on the sacred pilgrimage to the Divine Goal and
make every minute of your life holy and purposeful.
Then surely, this earth, your field of work, will be transformed
into a Karmakshetra and a Dharmakshetra.
 

1 2a 2b 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18a 18b

 

Chapter 13
The Yoga of Discrimination
'On the diffirence between the knower and the known'
Kshetra Kshetraj˝a Vibhāga Yoga  

  

    You must learn and practice what is called vibhaga-yoga in the Gītā. What does vibhaga mean, as in the Gītā expression kshetra-kshetraj˝a-vibhaga-yoga? Vibhaga means division, differentiation, discrimination, separation of one thing from another. Understand the distinction between the kshetra (the body, the field) and the kshetraj˝a (the knower of the body or the field) that is what the kshetra-kshetraj˝a-vibhaga-yoga means. The kshetraj˝a or the knower in this body, He who is aware of all that happens, who is the witness, the dehi (the embodied) is above all the dualities of pleasure and pain, good and bad. The base metal of modern civilization has got mixed up with the gold of sanāthana dharma, and so the vibhaga has to be done in order to get the pure gold. - Sathya Sai Speaks VI, p. 21

      The difference between destructibility and indestructibility is something that is very fine, that is very small. If there is no destruction, then we will not be able to comprehend what it is that IS permanent or indestructible. On the other hand, if there is no permanency or indestructibility, then we will not understand what it IS that gets destroyed. Sometimes these aspects will convey to you a lesson that they are related to each other so closely that one cannot be separated from the other. This is what is contained in the 13th chapter of the Bhagavad Gītā, where the kshetra and kshetraj˝a, that is, the place and one who lives in the place, have been dealt with. In very clear language, the relationship between the abode and the one who lives in the abode has been explained. We have to make an inquiry and ask if the realization of the self or the soul is the final achievement. That is not the end of the inquiry. Of course by such an inquiry, we understand what is the destructible part of man and what is the indestructible part of him. But there is something that is neither the body nor the soul. This something is what may be called the Purushottama and it exceeds both these things. We can take it that we have reached the goal of our practice only when we have been able to realize this Purushottama. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1972, pp. 26-7

      Arjuna wished to continue his questions. So Krishna said, "My dear brother-in-law! You are eager to question again?" Seizing the chance, Arjuna put in his query. "Krishna! You have explained the prakriti tatva or nature principle. Now, I wish very much to know what is meant by purusha; what are Its characteristics, what is Its nature." - Gītā Vahini, p. 190

 

   

   

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Verse 1-2.

 arjuna uvāca
prakritim purusham caiva
kshetram kshetra-j˝am eva ca
etad veditum icchāmi
j˝ānam j˝eyam ca keśava

 śrī-bhagavān uvāca
idam śarīram kaunteya
kshetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti tam prāhuh
kshetra-j˝a iti tad-vidah

       [to verse 1] "Arjuna!", Krishna said, "Whether you call It purusha or kshetraj˝a or j˝eya, it is the same. Kshetraj˝a is the knower of the kshetra or field. J˝eya is that which is known. Purusha is the jīva and prakriti is the deha or the body. The embodied is the purusha, the person who knows the body. The deha or body also has a number of names, each having a significant meaning. It is sariīa, because it wastes away; deha, because it is liable to be burnt. The jīva is what activates the body and becomes aware of its limitations." - Gītā Vahini, p. 190-1

      Prakriti is like a kshetra or field and Paramātmā is the kshetraj˝a or the Lord of the field. Kshetraj˝a contains in Himself the kshetra. If from the word Kshetraj˝a we removed the word kshetra, the syllable j˝a remains. J˝a stands for j˝āna or wisdom. Thus, a person who is part of prakriti becomes its master by acquiring j˝āna and cognizes the eternal reality of the purusha. He realizes that the universe is a combination of the kshara (destructible) and the akshara (indestructible). He sees the indestructible as immanent even in the destructible world. He developes ananya bhakti or one-pointed devotion. He transcends the manmade barriers of caste, creed and religion. He becomes dear to God. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 149.

       [to verse 2] In the Gītā, Lord Krishna says He is both the kshetra and the kshetraj˝a. The kshetra is not purposeful without kshetraj˝a, and vice versa. Both are interdependent. Because of this, Lord Krishna said that He is both the kshetra and the kshetraj˝a. He said that He is all pervading through both but there is little distinction between these two. It is clear by taking into consideration the letters of kshetra which are two syllables, we can see that it is different from kshetraj˝a, which has three syllables. The vital difference is in the syllable j˝a, which means j˝āna svarupa! Kshetraj˝a is that, which is j˝āna svarupa and without that it is merely kshetra. We will never enter into bad ways and have evil thoughts when we bear in mind that kshetra, which is almost inert, becomes sanctified by the residence of kshetraj˝a, which is j˝āna svarupa. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1972, pp. 293-4.

      "Krishna!", Arjuna asked, "Of what benefit is it to know these two entities: kshetra and kshetraj˝a?" Krishna laughed: He said, "What a foolish question to ask? By inquiring and knowing about the nature of the kshetra, one's grief is destroyed. Knowing about the nature of the kshetraj˝a, ānanda or bliss is acquired. This ānanda is also designated as moksha." - Gītā Vahini, p. 192.

Verse 3.

 kshetraj˝am cāpi mām viddhi
sarva-kshetreshu bhārata
kshetra-kshetraj˝ayor j˝ānam
yat taj j˝ānam matam mama

      Krishna replied: "It is through this body that merit can be acquired by engaging in various beneficient activities; the body is the vehicle for earning j˝āna or the universal vision; it is the body that leads you on to liberation itself. It is the repository of such great achievements and so it is called kshetra. Kshetra means, an armor, for it protects and guards the jīvi from harm. Another meaning is 'field', a meaning that is full of significance. Whatever seeds are sown or saplings planted in the field, the harvest depends on their nature and quality. The body is the field, the jīvi is the kshetrapalaka, the protector of the field and the crop. Sowing seeds of meritorious deeds, one reaps joy and happiness. Sowing the seeds of sin, one reaps the harvest of grief and worry. Sowing the seeds of j˝āna, one garners the harvest of moksha or liberation from the bondage of birth and death.

"Just as the ryot knows the nature and characteristics of the field, the kshetraj˝a or the jīvi must know the nature and qualities of his body. The only difference between kshetra and kshetraj˝a is the syllable j˝a. It means j˝āna, he who knows, the knower. So he who knows the field or the body, its excellencies and deficiencies; he is the kshetraj˝a. That which has no such knowledge, the inert material thing, that is the kshetra." - Gītā Vahini, p. 192.

Verse 4.

tat kshetram yac ca yādrik ca
yad-vikāri yataś ca yat
sa ca yo yat-prabhāvaś ca
tat samāsena me śrinu

Verse 5, 6, 7.

rishibhir bahudhā gītam
chandobhir vividhaih prithak
brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva
hetumadbhir viniścitaih

 mahā-bhūtāny ahankāro
buddhir avyaktam eva ca
indriyāni daśaikam ca
pa˝ca cendriya-gocarāh 

icchā dveshah sukham duhkham
sanghātaś cetanā dhritih
etat kshetram samāsena
sa-vikāram udāhritam

      [to verse 5-6]  Krishna replied, "Arjuna! The kshetra or body is associated with the gunas or attributes, tamas, rajas and sattva; so the jīvi, when in contact with it and when it identifies itself with the body, imagines that it is experiencing grief and joy, which are the consequences of those gunas; he is just a witness. When iron is in contact with fire, then it has the power of scalding; but it is not iron that scalds, it is the fire. Through contact with prakriti, purusha appears as the doer and experiencer.

"Therefore, it is not proper to infer that the jīvi is having grief and joy, by the very fact of its occupying the body that is the vehicle of the gunas. The earth sustains and helps the seed to grow into a tree or to decline. It is the guna of the earth that causes these two. So also the seed of jīvatatvam grows and blossoms into brahmatatvam in the body, which is the earth principle. Just as manure and water are essential for the tree to bloom and bear fruit, sathyam, saantham, samam and damam are essential for the blossoming of the spirit into wisdom. The attributes or gunas of prakriti make it assume multifarious forms." - Gītā Vahini, p. 193.

      Arjuna listened attentively to all this and at the end, he asked, "O Lord! What are the qualities that a j˝ānī should possess?". Krishna replied, "Partha! He must have the twenty virtues in ample measure. You may ask what they are. I shall tell you about them. Listen. But do not conclude that the goal can be reached when you have them all. The goal is immortality, amrithathwam. That can only be reached by brahmasakshathkara, experiencing brahman, as sarvam khalvidam brahmam. When knowledge is full, the knower becomes the known."

"For this consummation, one has to be purified by the virtues. Then the known can be experienced and realization reached. I shall, therefore, first tell you about this. Virtue first, then victory. What a splendid path! To seek brahman without first ensuring a moral and virtuous life is like desiring a flame without lamp or wick or oil. Acquire all these three, then you light it and get light. So it is with the light of brahmaj˝āna, or realization of brahman." - Gītā Vahini, p. 196.

       [to verse 7] "The first virtue is a-manitvam, pridelessness, humility. As long as you have manam or pride you cannot earn j˝ānam. Man's behavior should be like the behavior of water; whatever color you pour into water, it absorbs it and it never asserts its own color. It is humble without conceit. But the behavior of man is quite contrary. When he does the smallest service or donates the slightest amount, he is anxious that people should know about it. For this, he himself goes about prattling or arranges to get it published. The absence of such pride and ambition is what is recommended as amanitvam.

"Now for the second: a-dambhitvam, vanitylessness. This is a very great virtue in man. It means the absence of pretence, pompousness, boasting that one is great when one is not, claiming that one has power when one has nothing, that one has authority when one has no such title." Here, readers will note one point. The world today is full of this false pretence, this hypocrisy. Whichever field of activity you watch, whomsoever you observe, you discover this dire defect. The governments of nations are in the hands of people who are pretenders to power, authority and capacity. Those who have no knowledge claim to know everything. Those who have no one even to help them at home claim that they have a huge following.

      In every activity, this hypocrisy is the very first step. This ruins man in every field, like a pest that destroys the crop. If this is wiped off, the world will be saved from disaster. Pretence will make you lose this world and the next. It is harmful at all times and places. It does not suit ordinary men; how can it then be beneficial to the sadhaka? - Gītā Vahini, p. 197-8.

      "The third virtue is ahimsa. This also is an important virtue. Himsa (violence) is not simply physical; it means even more; the mental pain that is inflicted, the anxiety and worry that are caused to others by your actions and words. If you desist from causing physical pain to others, you cannot claim to have ahimsa. Your activities must not cause pain, must be unselfish; your thoughts, words and deeds must all be free from any motive to cause such pain.

"Then we have kshama as the fourth. This is called kshanthi, as well as sahana. It means that you should consider as unreal the evil that others do unto you, the loss that you suffer through them, the hatred they evince towards you. Treat these as you treat a mirage. That is to say, you must develop that degree of patience or fortitude. It is not the helpless putting up with the evil that others do because you are powerless to retaliate. It is the expression of the peace that reigns in the heart, this outer behavior or kshanthi. True, many people put up with the injury that others inflict because they lack physical, economic or popular support; their suffering cannot be honored as real kshama.

"Next, let us consider the fifth: rjuthwam, straightforwardness, integrity, sincerity. It means the agreement of action, speech and thought; this applies to secular and spiritual activity. This is a facet of the fourth virtue, a-dambhithwam.

"The sixth is ācāryopasana; the reverential service rendered to the spiritual teacher. This will promote affection for the pupil, so he can benefit a great deal. But the guru who has no goal will only mislead the disciple into perdition. The guru must shower grace on the disciple as freely and as spontaneously as the mother cow feeds the young calf with milk. The teaching of the guru is the source and sustenance for attaining God and acquiring liberation.

"The seventh virtue is śauca, or cleanliness - not merely outer cleanliness but inner cleanliness. And what is inner cleanliness? The absence of affection and hatred, of desire and discontent, lust and anger; and the presence of daivi (good i.e., godly) qualities. Water cleans the body, truth cleans the mind; knowledge cleans the reasoning faculty; the individual is cleaned by penance and discipline.

"The eighth virtue is called sthairyam: steadfastness, fixity of faith, the absence of fickleness or waywardness. The sadhaka must hold fast to what he has once fixed his faith upon as conducive to his spiritual progress. He should not flit from one ideal to another, changing the goal from day to day. This is also referred to as diksha. Fickleness is the product of weakness, a weakness that has to be scrupulously avoided.

"The ninth in the list is indriyanigraha: control of the senses. Be convinced that the senses have to subserve your best interests, not that you should subserve the interests of the senses. Do not be the slave of the senses; rather make them your slaves." - Gītā Vahini, p. 199-200.

Verse 8-12.

amānitvam adambhitvam
ahimsā kshāntir ārjavam
ācāryopāsanam śaucam
sthairyam ātma-vinigrahah

 indriyārtheshu vairāgyam
anahankāra eva ca
janma-mrityu-jarā-vyādhi-
duhkha-doshānudarśanam

 asaktir anabhishvangah
putra-dāra-grihādishu
nityam ca sama-cittatvam
ishthānishthopapattishu 

mayi cānanya-yogena
bhaktir avyabhicārinī
vivikta-deśa-sevitvam
aratir jana-samsadi

 adhyātma-j˝āna-nityatvam
tattva-j˝ānārtha-darśanam
etaj j˝ānam iti proktam
aj˝ānam yad ato 'nyathā

      [to verse 8] "Next, the tenth virtue, vairāgyam: detachment, renunciation, loss of appetite for sound, touch, form, taste, smell, etc. The senses run after these, for they titillate them and give them temporary joy. But the senses are not interested in dharma-artha-kāma-moksha of the sublime type. The ātmā can be discovered only through the pursuit of the sublime.

"The eleventh virtue is anahankāra, absence of egoism. Egoism is the breeding ground of all vices and faults. The egocentric individual pays no regard to right and wrong, good and bad, godly and wicked; he does not care for them, nor does he know about them. He is completely ignorant of dharma and morals. He will not conform to justice. To be devoid of this poisonous quality is to be endowed with anahankāra. Egoism is a foe in the guise of a friend.

"The next virtue is called: janma-mrityu-jarā-vyādhi-duhkha-doshānudarśanam, which means only this: The awareness of the inevitable cycle of birth and death, of senility and disease, of grief and evil and other signs of the temporariness of this created world, and life in it. Though people see these things happening to them as well as others, they do not investigate the reasons for these and the methods of escaping from them. That is the greatest mystery, the wonder.

"If only you go to the root of the problem, you will realize that whatever else you may escape, you cannot escape death. What man conceives as happiness now is, in reality, only misery in the guise of happiness. So understand. the truth of these things; reflect upon the flaws in the reasoning that delude you. Then, as a result, detachment is strengthened and through that, you attain j˝āna. Therefore, o Arjuna! Liberate yourself from janma (birth), mrithu (death), jarā (senility), vyādhi (illness) and duhkha (grief)". Thus spoke Krishna exhorting Arjuna, with a great deal of affection. - Gītā Vahini, p. 200-1.

 [to verse 9] "Then He spoke of asakti, or ana-asakti: the withdrawal of desire from objects, the absence of yearning. The greed to possess things that you see is caused by egoism. "I must have this", "I must be the proud owner of this valuable thing", this is how egoism prompts. It is a strong cord that binds you to objects. Withdraw the mind and treat all as manifestations of the Lord's Glory. Love all things as expressions of His Glory, but do not delude yourself into the belief that possessing them will make you happy. That is the illusion. Do not dedicate your life for their sake; use them for your needs, as and when necessary, that is all. That kind of impulse activating you will be a great handicap in your progress towards liberation. Whatever you may acquire as property will have to be given up some day. You cannot take with you on that last journey even a blade of grass or a pinch of dust. Keep this fact ever before the mind's eye and then you can realize the Reality.

"Before one's birth, one has no relationship with this world and its material objects. After death, they and all kith and kin disappear. This sojourn is just a game played in the interval. Getting fascinated with this three-day fair is foolish indeed. Desire tarnishes the mind and makes man unfit for higher pursuits. The sadhakas who seek liberation and realization must rid themselves of desire, for, like grease, it sticks and is difficult to remove once it is contacted.

"After this, attention has to be paid also to another virtue, sama-tvam-tithi: the state of equanimity, of undisturbed peace during joy and grief, prosperity and adversity, happiness and misery. This is the fifteenth virtue of a j˝ānī. Being elevated or depressed by success and defeat, profit and loss, honor and dishonor, is an activity that is futile. Accept all equally as from the Grace of God, His prasāda. As you wear shoes to tread over thorny places, or hold an umbrella to escape getting wet in rain, or sleep inside a mosquito curtain to escape the stings of insects; so too, arm yourself with an unshaken mind that is confident of the Lord's Grace and bear with equanimity, praise or blame, defeat or victory, pleasure or pain. To live bravely through life, this sama-cittatvam is declared essential. - Gītā Vahini, p. 201-2.

 [to verse 10] "Next is bhakti without any other thought or feeling, ananya-bhakti. When grief overtakes you, you run to God. When sankata (grief, danger, difficulty) overpowers, you take refuge in the Lord of Venkata (Lord Vishnu installed in Tirupati). When joy is restored, you throw Him overboard. When you are down with fever and your taste is ruined, you crave from some hot pickle; but when the fever subsides, you are normal again, you do not relish the same pickle. Bhakti is not a temporary salve. It is the unbroken contemplation of God without any interposing thought or feeling.

"Whatever the activity, recreation or talk, it must be saturated with the love of God. That is ananya-bhakti. Thereafter comes ekantha-vasam, dwelling in solitude. He must be fond of being alone. This does not mean keeping the body in some solitary place, far from the haunts of men. There must be solitude and silence in the mind; all its occupants must be forced or persuaded to quit. The mind should be nir-vishaya, contentless, turned away from the objective world.

"The eighteenth virtue that helps to promote j˝āna is mentioned as absence of interest in the company of men; that is to say, absence of the desire to mix with people engrossed in affairs that concern the objective world. One can attain equanimity even in the midst of wild animals; but it is difficult to win it while among worldly minded men. Sādhana will be affected by the company one keeps. Good men keep you good; bad men drag you away into badness. - Gītā Vahini, p. 203-4.

 [to verse 11] "The nineteenth virtue is the "awareness of the distinction between ātmā and anātmā". Fix your consciousness always on the atmic reality and discard the body and the senses as unreal and impermanent. ātmā is the eternal; so establish yourself only in that and not in the transient non-atmic illusions or objects. Life is a struggle to achieve victory over the illusion that haunts; I am the eternal ātmā in you and in all. So fix your mind on Me and engage yourself in the struggle, confident of victory. - Gītā Vahini, p. 204.

"The twentieth and last qualification one has to earn is tattva-j˝ānārtha-darśanam, the vision of the true nature of tattva (that), the universal principle of which the particular is but a shadow. It means that the sadhaka should have a keen desire to visualize the universal. - Gītā Vahini, p. 204.

Verse 13.

j˝eyam yat tat pravakshyāmi
yaj j˝ātvā mritam aśnute
anādimat-param brahma
na sat tan nāsad ucyate

Verse 14.

sarvatah pāni-pādam tat
sarvato 'kshi-śiro-mukham
sarvatah śrutimal loke
sarvam āvritya tishthhati

       "Sarvatah pāni pādam tat sarvato 'kshi śiro mukham, says the Gītā. All hands are His, all feet, all eyes and faces and mouths are His; He works through all hands, He walks through all feet, He sees through each eye, He eats and speaks through every mouth. Everything is He. Every step is His, every look, every speech, every act is His. That is the lesson that seva instills. Pray in agony, "Lord! Have you no ears?" and His ear will be listening. Pray, "Lord! Let me fall at Thy Lotus Feet!" and the feet will present themselves before you. They are at all places, at all times. Your call compels the manifestation, that is all. - Sathya Sai Speaks III, p. 16.

      To understand this better, take another instance. Pots, pans, plates and pails are all made of clay; but though there is clay in all these, clay is only clay. It is not pot, pan, plate or pail. So too in the ātmā, which is the basis, there are no gunas (or characteristics) like pot, pan, plate or pail; but the ātmā exists in the gunas as guna-svarūpa. It is the ātmā that is mistaken for the gunas, because it is conceived as limited and with name and form. The ātmā is the only reality that persists through all names and form, like the clay, which is the only substance in all the pots and pans. By this kind of inquiry, the conviction that the basis and the substance of everything is ātmā or kshe-thraj˝a or parabrahmam gets strengthened. - Gītā Vahini, p. 207

Verse 15.

sarvendriya-gunābhāsam
sarvendriya-vivarjitam
asaktam sarva-bhric caiva
nirgunam guna-bhoktri ca

Verse 16.

bahir antaś ca bhūtānām
acaram caram eva ca
sūkshmatvāt tad avij˝eyam
dūrastham cāntike ca tat

      Then Krishna was asked by Arjuna, thus: "It is indeed very difficult to know that basic ātmā, that inner reality of all things. He is everywhere but is nowhere visible! He is the inner core of all but cannot be contacted at all! What is the cause of this mystery?"

Krishna replied: "Arjuna! You have not understood yet. The ātmā is subtler than the subtlest and so it is difficult to cognize it. You know the five elements, do you not, earth, water, fire, wind and sky [or ether] [Mahābhūta]? Of these, each subsequent element is subtler than the previous one. Earth has five qualities: sound, touch, form, taste and smell; water has all these, except smell; fire has only three, sound, touch and form; wind has only two qualities, sound and touch; and the last one, sky [or ether] has only sound. That is why each of these is subtler than the previous one and also more widely spread. The sky is everywhere, penetrating in and through all, because it has only one characteristic. How much more subtle must be the ātmā, which has no qualities or characteristics! Imagine how much more immanent and universal it must be! Those who are objectively minded cannot grasp this phenomenon; only the subjective minded can have the solution." - Gītā Vahini, p. 207-8


Verse 17.

avibhaktam ca bhūteshu
vibhaktam iva ca sthitam
bhūta-bhartri ca taj j˝eyam
grasishnu prabhavishnu ca

Verse 18.

jyotishām api tajjyotis
tamasah param ucyate
j˝ānam j˝eyam j˝āna-gamyam
hridi sarvasya vishthhitam

Verse 19.

iti kshetram tathā j˝ānam
j˝eyam coktam samāsatah
mad-bhakta etad vij˝āya
mad-bhāvāyopapdyate

Verse 20.

prakritim purusham caiva
viddhy anādī ubhāv api
vikārāmś ca gunāmś caiva
viddhi prakriti-sambhavān

      You suffer now because all your attachment is towards nature, prakriti [material nature] and all your vairāgya [detachement] is towards Purusha or God! This has to be reversed! You must cultivate non-attachment towards prakriti and attachment to the Lord. - Sathya Sai Speaks II, p. 8

Verse 21.

kārya-kārana-kartritve
hetuh prakritir ucyate
purushah sukha-duhkhānām
bhoktritve hetur ucyate

      The purusha or the soul is simply the manifestation of the divine. On the other hand, the manifestation of matter, of material things, is this world. This prakriti or the world is something that is filled with all the five elements. All these are destructible. They are not permanent. But what is clear, what is clean, what is indestructible and what is effulgent and shining, is only one and that is the soul or purusha. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1972, p. 90

Verse 22.

purushah prakriti-stho hi
bhunkte prakriti-jān gunān
kāranam guna-sango 'sya
sad-asad-yoni-janmasu

Verse 23.

upadrashthānumantā ca
bhartā bhoktā maheśvarah
paramātmeti cāpy ukto
dehe 'smin purushah parah

Verse 24.

ya evam vetti purusham
prakritim ca gunaih saha
sarvathā vartamāno 'pi
na sa bhūyo 'bhijāyate

      Purusha is He who is aware of the kshetra [field or life], the kshetraj˝a [knower of the truth of life]. When one is able to distinguish between Purusha [Supreme spirit, Lord, God], and prakriti [causal matter, creation, nature] or, which is the same thing, between kshetra [field or life] and kshetraj˝a [knower of the truth of life], he becomes the witness and is free from all touch of want or wish. - Gītā Vahini, p. 205

Verse 25.

dhyānenātmani paśyanti
kecid ātmānam ātmanā
anye sānkhyena yogena
karma-yogena cāpare

      Every activity must be rendered valid and worthwhile by its contribution to the discovery of truth, both of the Self and of nature. Of what use is it to know everything about nature, if you do not know anything of the Self? Nature is only a projection of the Self, so, unless the Self is known, knowledge of nature is either distorted or deceptive. The Self is the ātmā, of which the entire creation is composed and so, knowledge of the Self alone can quench the thirst of man.- Sathya Sai Speaks IX, p. 51

Verse 26.

anye tv evam ajānantah
śrutvānyebhya upāsate
te 'pi cātitaranty eva
mrityum śruti-parāyanāh

Verse 27.

yāvat sa˝jāyate ki˝cit
sattvam sthāvara-jangamam
kshetra-kshetraj˝a-samyogāt
tad viddhi bharatarshabha

Verse 28.

samam sarveshu bhūteshu
tishthhantam parameśvaram
vinaśyatsv avinaśyantam
yah paśyati sa paśyati

      This faith can come only to those who can reason things out. It is a fatal thrust on those who bark, in season and out of season, that God cannot be immanent in everything because He is not to be perceived at all. They do not believe that God is above and beyond the trivial qualities with which they seek to measure Him. It is a pity, indeed. They tend to be as low as their thoughts. That is the inexorable law. God is as near to you as you are to Him; if you keep afar, He too remains afar. - Gītā Vahini, p. 208

Verse 29.

samam paśyan hi sarvatra
samavasthitam īśvaram
na hinasty ātmanātmānam
tato yāti parām gatim

Verse 30.

prakrityaiva ca karmāni
kriyamānāni sarvaśah
yah paśyati tathātmānam
akartāram sa paśyati

      The body moves, the reason moves, the mind moves, but the ātmā is unaffected; it is steady, firm, unchangeable. - Sathya Sai Speaks IX, p. 121

Verse 31.

yadā bhūta-prithag-bhāvam
eka-stham anupaśyati
tata eva ca vistāram
brahma sampadyate tadā

Verse 32.

anāditvān nirgunatvāt
paramātmāyam avyayah
śarīra-stho 'pi kaunteya
na karoti na lipyate

      The image of the sun in a lake quivers and shakes due to the quivering and shaking of the water; the sun is but a distant witness. It is unaffected by the media which produce the images. The ātmā likewise is the witness of all this change in space and time. - Upanishad Vahini, p. 16

Verse 33.

yathā sarva-gatam saukshmyād
ākāśam nopalipyate
sarvatrāvasthito dehe
tathātmā nopalipyate

      The ātmā is like akasa or ether, all pervasive. It may seem enclosed in certain limits, like a pot or a room, and may be spoken of as so individualized. But in that limitation there is no truth. - Upanishad Vahini, p. 27

Verse 34.

yathā prakāśayaty ekah
kritsnam lokam imam ravih
kshetram kshetrī tathā kritsnam
prakāśayati bhārata

      The awareness of one being only the witness of everything is the secret of self-realization. Self-realization is either the knowledge that "I am the truth of Me" or "I have known Myself" or "All are one ātmā" or "I have experienced that the individual and the universal are not distinct." This is what every person has to discover for himself; mere asceticism without this is sheer waste of time and energy. Man is not a mere animal. He has in him the spark of the divine, and he should not allow it to be quenched dead.

Why, even when the senses operate, they are prompted by the presence of ātmā. When the sun rises, birds take to wing, flowers bloom, the human community starts its varied activities. The sun does not directly engage in any of these; it is the prompter, that is all. The sun is not the cause; He is just the activator, the witness, the onlooker. He is above and beyond all this. He is not bound or based on man or beast or bird or flower. - Gītā Vahini, p. 206

Verse 35. 

kshetra-kshetraj˝ayor evam
antaram j˝āna-cakshushā
bhūta-prakriti-moksham ca
ye vidur yānti te param



 

Mahābhūta: the five physical, gross elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether or sky.
Elements (dhātavah): the essential parts of existence; water, fire, earth, air and ether. In a broader sense one also speaks of sixteen elements together with the intelligence and the ten working and perceiving senses. There are also divisions with 24 or 25 elements: the material elements, the subtle elements (the five objects of the senses: odor, color, taste, touch and sound), the ten senses of perception and action, spirit, intelligence, ego and consciousness with the element of time as the twenty-fifth element.
- Lord Krishna approves of seeing them in twenty-eight as follows: the nine of material nature (prakriti), the living entity (purusha), cosmic intelligence (mahat-tattva), the false ego (ahankāra) and the five objects of the senses (the tanmātrās) of the sound, what touches, the form, the taste and the aroma; the eleven of the coordinate sixth sense of the mind (manas) combined with the five working senses (karmendriyas) of the voice, the hands, the legs the anus and the genital plus the five knowledge aquiring (j˝ānendriyas) senses of the ears, the touch, the eyes, the tongue and the nostrils; the three of the modes of nature (the gunas) of passion, goodness and ignorance and the five of the gross elements (the mahā-bhūtas) of fire, water, earth, ether, sky and air (see also S.B.
11.19: 14 and S.B. 11.22).
ātma: in the self, of the soul or the self, selfrealized, of the living being, of one's own, the body, what is personal, what is of the self.
ātmā: soul, but also: body, mind, senses.
-'The soul is eternal, does not dwindle, is pure, the individual, the knower of the field, the original foundation, the unchanging, self-illumined, actual cause, pervading all, independent and unmoving. From these twelve symptoms of the soul is a conscious person impelled to give up the false conception of 'I' and 'Mine' that originates from the illusion of everything that belongs to having a body (7.7: 19-20)'.
- The being of God and man,
- Selfremembrance in alignment with Krishna,
- The end of the illusion of I.

   

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