Chapter 13 – Prakṛti-Puruṣa Viveka Yoga (The Yoga of Differentiation)
In Chapter 13 - Prakṛti-Puruṣa Viveka Yoga (The Yoga of Differentiation) of Swami B.G. Narasingha's Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa describes the three elements of existence - the field, the knower of the field, and the object of knowledge.
In Chapter 13 - Prakṛti-Puruṣa Viveka Yoga (The Yoga of Differentiation) of Swami B.G. Narasingha's Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa describes the three elements of existence - the field, the knower of the field, and the object of knowledge.
प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव क्षेत्रं क्षेत्रज्ञमेव च ।
एतद्वेदितुमिच्छामि ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं च केशव ॥१॥
arjuna uvāca –
prakṛtiṁ puruṣam caiva kṣetraṁ kṣetrajñameva ca
etad veditum icchāmi jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ ca keśava
Arjuna said: O Keśava, I wish to know about material nature (prakṛti), the enjoyer (puruṣa), the field, the knower of the field, knowledge and the object of knowledge.
इदं शरीरं कौन्तेय क्षेत्रमित्यभिधीयते ।
एतद्यो वेत्ति तं प्राहुः क्षेत्रज्ञ इति तद्विदः ॥२॥
śrī bhagavān uvāca –
idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity-abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ kṣetrajña iti tad-vidaḥ
Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa replied: O son of Kuntī, this body is known as the field and one who knows this field is said by the wise to be the knower of the field.
क्षेत्रज्ञं चापि मां विद्धि सर्वक्षेत्रेषु भारत
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोर्ज्ञानं यत्तज्ज्ञानं मतं मम ॥३॥
kṣetrajñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata
kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor jñānaṁ yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama
You should know that I am the knower of all fields, O descendant of Bharata. I consider the knowledge of the field and its knower to be real knowledge.
The basis of knowledge, namely the ability to differentiate between matter, consciousness and Super Consciousness will further be explained in this chapter. In the last few centuries western scientific understanding suggests that consciousness arises out of an inexplicable combination of material elements. In other words, they conclude that the body is the self. Bhagavad-gītā however, considers such an understanding to be ignorance. Without understanding the difference between material nature (prakṛti) and the self (kṣetrajña) who is the conscious knower of the body, there is no basis of real knowledge. Both are distinct from one another and one who understands this is truly learned.
The material body composed of the three subtle elements (mind, intelligence and false ego) and the five gross elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) is known as the field. The indwelling consciousness is known as the knower of the field, and the Super Consciousness situated within all bodies and within the individual consciousness is the knower of all fields of activity. This is the subject of this chapter, upon knowing which one becomes liberated from material bondage.
तत्क्षेत्रं यच्च यादृक्च यद्विकारि यतश्च यत् ।
स च यो यत्प्रभावश्च तत्समासेन मे शृणु ॥४॥
tat kṣetraṁ yac ca yādṛk ca yad vikāri yataś ca yat
sa ca yo yat prabhāvaś ca tat samāsena me śṛṇu
Now hear from Me in brief about what that field is, what constitutes it, what are its transformations, its origin and who is the knower of the field and what is his influence.
ऋषिभिर्बहुधा गीतं छन्दोभिर्विविधैः पृथक् ।
ब्रह्मसूत्रपदैश्चैव हेतुमद्भिर्विनिश्चितैः ॥५॥
ṛṣibhir bahudhā gītaṁ chandobhir vividhaiḥ pṛthak
brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ
This knowledge has been sung of in many different ways by different sages, by the Vedas, and is found in the logically conclusive chapters of the Vedānta-sūtras.
महाभूतान्यहंकारो बुद्धिरव्यक्तमेव च ।
इन्द्रियाणि दशैकं च पञ्च चेन्द्रियगोचराः ॥६॥
इच्छा द्वेषः सुखं दुःखं संघातश्चेतना धृतिः ।
एतत्क्षेत्रं समासेन सविकारमुदाहृतम् ॥७॥
mahā-bhūtāny-ahaṅkāro buddhir avyaktam eva ca
indriyāṇi daśaikaṁ ca pañca cendriya-gocarāḥ
icchā dveṣaḥ sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ saṅghātaś cetanā dhṛtiḥ
etat kṣetraṁ samāsena sa-vikāram udāhṛtam
The main elements are the false ego, intelligence, the unmanifest material nature, the ten senses, the mind, the five sense-objects, desire, hate, pleasure, pain, the gross body, consciousness and determination. All these elements that are described here are considered to be the field.
अमानित्वमदम्भित्वमहिंसा क्षान्तिरार्जवम् ।
आचार्योपासनं शौचं स्थैर्यमात्मविनिग्रहः ॥८॥
इन्द्रियार्थेषु वैराग्यमनहंकार एव च ।
असक्तिरनभिष्वङ्गः पुत्रदारगृहादिषु ।
नित्यं च समचित्तत्वमिष्टानिष्टोपपत्तिषु ॥१०॥
मयि चानन्ययोगेन भक्तिरव्यभिचारिणी ।
अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वं तत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम् ।
एतज्ज्ञानमिति प्रोक्तमज्ञानं यदतोऽन्यथा ॥१२॥
amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntir ārjavam
ācāryopāsanaṁ śaucaṁ sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ
indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam anahaṅkāra eva ca
asaktir anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ putra-dāra-gṛhādiṣu
nityaṁ ca sama-cittatvam iṣṭāniṣṭopapattiṣu
mayi cānanya-yogena bhaktir avyabhicāriṇī
vivikta-deśa-sevitvam aratir jana-saṁsadi
etaj jñānam iti proktam ajñānaṁ yad ato’nyathā
Desirelessness, humility, non-violence, tolerance, simplicity, service to the spiritual master, purity, steadiness, self-control, detachment from sense gratification, absence of false ego, perception of the miseries of birth, death, old age and disease, detachment, freedom from attachment to wife, children and household life, perpetual equanimity in both happy and distressful circumstances, constant and firm devotion unto Me, dwelling in a solitary place, free from the desire to socialise with the masses, constant determination in achieving self-realisation and a desire to gain knowledge of the Absolute Truth – all these qualities have been declared to be knowledge. Anything contrary to this is ignorance.
Here, the greater wealth of knowledge by which a human being can achieve the perfection of life has been described. This detailed explanation by Śrī Kṛṣṇa leads one to an understanding that promotes self-realisation and frees one from ignorance. Unfortunately, this knowledge is completely lacking in modern societies, both eastern and western. All contemporary fields of knowledge i.e. biology, physics, mathematics and philosophy lead one to accept the body as the self and to accept gratification of one’s mind, intelligence, ego and senses as the goal of life. Such an understanding is utterly devoid of the real purpose of life, considering that this one life is the all in all and that after death there is nothing.
The material world is a place of birth, death, old age and disease and is sometimes referred to as mṛtyu-loka or the planet of death. Birth, death, old age and disease are indeed the real problems facing all living beings regardless of race, nationality or belief. Any knowledge that does not aim to put an end to these miseries is certainly incomplete at best. There are, of course, medicines, drugs, surgery and medical machines to ease the pain of birth, slow the old age process, cure some diseases and prolong the process of dying, but these are only stopgaps or temporary solutions. One should recognise these problems of life and be inquisitive as to where the real solution is to be found.
Contrary to modern scientific and philosophical understanding, the Bhagavad-gītā says that this one life is not the all in all, and that there is life after death. There was life before coming to this material world and that life continues eternally. All that really changes is the type of body one has. For the pious there is future life in higher planets enjoying celestial pleasures, for the ignorant there are future sojourns within the bodies of lower species such as animals or plants, and for the yogī and for those who cultivate knowledge of consciousness and Super Consciousness, there is future existence beyond the material universes in the Vaikuṇṭha planets. There, life is eternal and all bodies are of the substance known as sac-cid-ānanda (eternity, knowledge and bliss).
ज्ञेयं यत्तत्प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वामृतमश्नुते ।
अनादिमत्परं ब्रह्म न सत्तन्नासदुच्यते ॥१३॥
jñeyaṁ yat tat pravakṣyāmi yaj jñātvā’mṛtam aśnute
anādimat paraṁ brahma na sat tan nāsad ucyate
I shall now explain the object of knowledge, knowing which one attains immortality. It is subordinate to Me and is the eternal Supreme Brahman that is beyond material cause and effect.
सर्वतः पाणिपादं तत्सर्वतोऽक्षिशिरोमुखम् ।
सर्वतः श्रुतिमल्लोके सर्वमावृत्य तिष्ठति ॥१४॥
sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādaṁ tat sarvato’kṣi-śiro-mukham
sarvataḥ śrutimal loke sarvam āvṛtya tiṣṭhati
His hands and feet are everywhere. His eyes, heads and mouths are everywhere. His ears are everywhere. Thus He exists, pervading all things.
सर्वेन्द्रियगुणाभासं सर्वेन्द्रियविवर्जितम् ।
असक्तं सर्वभृच्चैव निर्गुणं गुणभोक्तृ च ॥१५॥
asaktaṁ sarva-bhṛc caiva nirguṇaṁ guṇa-bhoktṛ ca
He illuminates all the senses and their functions, however He is devoid of any material senses Himself. He remains detached and He is the Maintainer of all. Although He is devoid of all material qualities, He is the Master of all qualities.
बहिरन्तश्च भूतानामचरं चरमेव च ।
सूक्ष्मत्वात्तदविज्ञेयं दूरस्थं चान्तिके च तत् ॥१६॥
bahir antaś ca bhūtānām acaraṁ carameva ca
sūkṣmatvāt tad avijñeyaṁ dūrasthaṁ cāntike ca tat
He is situated in all moving and non-moving beings. He is near yet simultaneously He is far away. Thus, He is most subtle and difficult to fully understand.
अविभक्तं च भूतेषु विभक्तमिव च स्थितम् ।
भूतभर्तृ च तज्ज्ञेयं ग्रसिष्णु प्रभविष्णु च ॥१७॥
avibhaktaṁ ca bhūteṣu vibhaktam iva ca sthitam
bhūta-bhartṛ ca taj jñeyaṁ grasiṣṇu prabhaviṣṇu ca
Although it seems that He is divided amongst all living beings, He is in fact undivided. He is to be known as the Creator, Maintainer and Destroyer.
ज्योतिषामपि तज्ज्योतिस्तमसः परमुच्यते ।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य विष्ठितम् ॥१८॥
jyotiṣām api taj jyotis tamasaḥ paramucyate
jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ jñāna-gamyaṁ hṛdi sarvasya viṣṭhitam
He is said to be the most brilliant of all luminaries, beyond darkness. He is knowledge, the object of knowledge and the aim of all knowledge.
इति क्षेत्रं तथा ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं चोक्तं समासतः ।
मद्भक्त एतद्विज्ञाय मद्भावायोपपद्यते ॥१९॥
iti kṣetraṁ tathā jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ coktaṁ samāsataḥ
mad-bhakta etad vijñāya mad-bhāvāyopapadyate
Thus the field of activities, knowledge and the object of knowledge have been briefly explained. By understanding these, My devotee attains love for Me.
As previously mentioned, the Absolute Truth is known in three phases of realisation – Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. The ‘He’ of whom Kṛṣṇa speaks of in these verses as being subordinate to Him, yet being the Supreme Brahman refers to the Paramātmā. His hands, feet, eyes and ears are everywhere and He is situated in the hearts of all living beings. He is all-pervasive throughout the universe, He divides Himself to be within all things, yet He Himself is not divided or diminished – He remains the Complete Person. This is stated in the invocation of the Īśopaniṣad as follows:
oṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate
The Supreme Person is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this material world, are also perfect and complete. Whatever emanates from the Complete Person is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Person, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.
It would seem that the discourse between the theist and the atheist is perpetually in a gridlock. But as mentioned in a previous Anuvṛtti, the student of Bhagavad-gītā does not consider either the so-called theist or the atheist to have complete knowledge. It may even be that sometimes the atheist is more correct in his opinion than the so-called theist. The theist establishes his God, and the atheist, upon examining the statements of the so-called theist, discovers that the God in question is wrathful, vindictive, jealous, vengeful, sadomasochistic etc. In this instance we would have to agree with the atheist – there is no such God.
However, the atheist then concludes that in the absence of God, the universe and all life within it has come from nothing – yet he has no experience or proof that something can arise from nothing. His proposal is thus self-defeating.
Both ‘God’ and His non-existence are but misconceptions in the minds of the so-called theist and the atheist. However, the student of Bhagavad-gītā knows that the subject matter is not a thesis about ‘God’. Bhagavad-gītā is a discourse aimed at enlightenment in the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth contains all things known, knowable and unknown – before the universe, within the universe, after the universe and beyond the universe.
प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव विद्ध्यनादी उभावपि ।
विकारांश्च गुणांश्चैव विद्धि प्रकृतिसम्भवान् ॥२०॥
prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva viddhyanādī ubhāv api
vikārāṁś ca guṇānś caiva viddhi prakṛti-sambhavān
You should know that both material nature and the living beings are without beginning. Try to understand that all transformations and the modes of nature originate from material nature.
कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वे हेतुः प्रकृतिरुच्यते ।
पुरुषः सुखदुःखानां भोक्तृत्वे हेतुरुच्यते ॥२१॥
kārya-kāraṇa-kartṛtve hetuḥ prakṛtir ucyate
puruṣaḥ sukha-duḥkhānāṁ bhoktṛtve hetur ucyate
It is said that material nature is the source of all causes and effects. The living beings are said to be the cause of their own happiness and distress.
पुरुषः प्रकृतिस्थो हि भुङ्क्ते प्रकृतिजान्गुणान् ।
कारणं गुणसङ्गोऽस्य सदसद्योनिजन्मसु ॥२२॥
puruṣaḥ prakṛtistho hi bhuṅkte prakṛti-jān guṇān
kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo’sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu
Situated within material nature, the living beings enjoy the modes that are born of material nature. Due to the individuals association with these modes, the living beings take birth repeatedly within higher and lower species of life.
उपद्रष्टानुमन्ता च भर्ता भोक्ता महेश्वरः ।
परमात्मेति चाप्युक्तो देहेऽस्मिन्पुरुषः परः ॥२३॥
upadraṣṭānumantā ca bhartā bhoktā maheśvaraḥ
paramātmeti cāpy-ukto dehe’smin puruṣaḥ paraḥ
The Supreme Person, who is known as the Super Consciousness (Paramātmā), resides within this body. He is the Witness of all things, the Supreme Authority, the Provider, the Maintainer and the Ultimate Controller.
य एवं वेत्ति पुरुषं प्रकृतिं च गुणैः सह ।
सर्वथा वर्तमानोऽपि न स भूयोऽभिजायते ॥२४॥
ya evaṁ vetti puruṣaṁ prakṛtiṁ ca guṇaiḥ saha
sarvathā vartamāno’pi na sa bhūyo’bhijāyate
Therefore, one who fully understands the Supreme Person, material nature and the modes of material nature, never takes birth again under any circumstances.
ध्यानेनात्मनि पश्यन्ति केचिदात्मानमात्मना ।
अन्ये साङ्ख्येन योगेन कर्मयोगेन चापरे ॥२५॥
dhyānenātmani paśyanti kecid ātmānam ātmanā
anye sāṅkhyena yogena karma-yogena cāpare
Through meditation, some yogīs glimpse the Supreme within the heart. Others see Him through the process of analysis (sāṅkhya), while others perceive Him through karma-yoga.
अन्ये त्वेवमजानन्तः श्रुत्वान्येभ्य उपासते ।
तेऽपि चातितरन्त्येव मृत्युं श्रुतिपरायणाः ॥२६॥
anye tv-evam ajānantaḥ śrutvānyebhya upāsate
te’pi cātitaranty eva mṛtyuṁ śruti-parāyaṇāḥ
There are also those that do not know these methods, but simply by hearing about Him from others, they engage in His worship. Because they have faith in what they have heard, they too transcend death.
It is described that both material nature (prakṛti) and the living beings (jīvātmā or puruṣa) are without beginning (anādi). This means that material nature and the living beings exist as eternal energies of Śrī Kṛṣṇa before the process of creation takes place. The living being’s origin is in the taṭasthā, or marginal plane, before the onslaught of time. In this regard, the origin of the living beings and material nature are both anādi, or having no first cause. They are without a first cause because they are śaktis, or potencies of the Absolute Truth who is Himself without origin. In other words, the cause of all causes is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Thus, He is known as sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam.
Though material nature and the living beings are eternal and without beginning, they nonetheless have distinctly different qualities and characteristics. They are not the same. Material nature is described as the body, senses and other elements as well as the transformations of qualities such as happiness, distress, lamentation and illusion. The living beings are part and parcel of the Supreme Person. They are sac-cid-ānanda – having the constitution of eternity, knowledge and bliss. When the living beings identify the self as the material body, they suffer under the miseries of happiness and distress and perpetually transmigrate from one body to the next in the cycle of birth and death.
One of the greatest questions in life, namely, “Where do we come from?” is certainly answered in Bhagavad-gītā. Yet the use of the word anādi in verse 20 has encouraged some thinkers to conclude that the living beings have always been in the material world. In other words, that although the living beings are eternal, they begin in the material universe and have always been in the material universe. This conclusion however is not supported by previous ācāryas of the Bhagavad-gītā such as Viśvanātha Cakravartī, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa and others. To them, anādi means beginningless, before time began.
Regarding the origin of the living beings and their beginning as anādi, the Vaiṣṇava ācārya Svāmī B. R. Śrīdhara Mahārāja says as follows:
Since time immemorial, man has inquired about the origin of the living being. Who am I? Where have I come from? How does the living being first appear in this world? From what stage of spiritual existence does he fall into the material world?
There are two classes of living beings who come into this world. One class comes from the spiritual Vaikuṇṭha planets by the necessity of nitya-līlā, the eternal pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. Another comes by constitutional necessity. The brahma-jyoti, the non-differentiated marginal plane, is the source of infinite living beings (jīvātmās), atomic spiritual particles of non-differentiated character.
The rays of the transcendental body of the Supreme Person are known as the brahma-jyoti, and a ray of the brahma-jyoti is the jīvātmā. The jīvātmā is an atom in that effulgence, and the brahma-jyoti is a product of an infinite number of jīvātmā atoms. Generally, jīvātmās emanate from the brahma-jyoti which is living and growing. Within the brahma-jyoti, their equilibrium is somehow disturbed and movement begins. From non-differentiation, differentiation begins. From a plain sheet of uniform consciousness, individual conscious units grow. And because the jīvātmā is conscious it is endowed with free will.
From the marginal position (taṭasthā-śakti) they choose either the side of exploitation (material world) or the side of dedication (Vaikuṇṭha). Kṛṣṇa bhuli sei jīva anādi bahirmukha. Anādi means that which has no beginning. When we enter the land of exploitation, we come within the factor of time, space and thought. And when we come to exploit, action and reaction begins in the negative land of loan.
When the jīvātmā, by exercise of his free will and out of curiosity, first enters into this land – from then he becomes a factor of this limited world. But his participation is beyond the beginning of this limited world. That is why it is said to be anādi. Anādi means that it does not come from within the jurisdiction of this limited world.
Once subject to contact with material nature, the living beings are then subject to karma, the laws of action and reaction. Under these laws the living beings enjoy and suffer in various species of life. During their material sojourn, the Paramātmā accompanies the living beings and is ever watchful for when they will turn their head towards the Absolute Truth. The Paramātmā directs the wanderings of the living beings, and when one desires to know the Truth, the Paramātmā manifests before the living beings as the spiritual master who teaches Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Hence the living being transcends the world of birth and death.
brahmāṇḍa brahmite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
According to their karma, the jīvātmās are wandering throughout the universe. Some jīvātmās who are most fortunate receive the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa, and by such mercy they receive the seed of the creeper of devotion. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 19.151)
यावत्सञ्जायते किञ्चित्सत्त्वं स्थावरजङ्गमम् ।
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञसंयोगात्तद्विद्धि भरतर्षभ ॥२७॥
yāvat saṁjāyate kiñcit sattvaṁ sthāvara-jaṅgamam
kṣetra-kṣetrajña-saṁyogāt tad viddhi bharatarṣabha
You should understand that whatever exists, whether moving or non-moving, is simply manifest from the combination of the field and the knower of the field, O best of the Bharata Dynasty.
समं सर्वेषु भूतेषु तिष्ठन्तं परमेश्वरम् ।
विनश्यत्स्वविनश्यन्तं यः पश्यति स पश्यति ॥२८॥
samaṁ sarveṣu bhūteṣu tiṣṭhantaṁ parameśvaram
vinaśyatsv-avinaśyantaṁ yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati
One actually sees when he perceives the Supreme Controller as being situated in all living beings, and realises that neither the Super Consciousness nor the individual unit of consciousness is perishable.
समं पश्यन्हि सर्वत्र समवस्थितमीश्वरम् ।
न हिनस्त्यात्मनात्मानं ततो याति परां गतिम् ॥२९॥
samaṁ paśyan hi sarvatra samavasthitam īśvaram
na hinasty-ātmanātmānaṁ tato yāti parāṁ gatim
By seeing the Supreme Person situated in all places equally, one does not become degraded. Thus he attains the Supreme Abode.
प्रकृत्यैव च कर्माणि क्रियमाणानि सर्वशः ।
यः पश्यति तथात्मानमकर्तारं स पश्यति ॥३०॥
prakṛtyaiva ca karmāṇi kriyamāṇāni sarvaśaḥ
yaḥ paśyati tathātmānam akartāraṁ sa paśyati
One who realises that all activities are performed by material nature, understands that he is not the doer.
यदा भूतपृथग्भावमेकस्थमनुपश्यति ।
तत एव च विस्तारं ब्रह्म सम्पद्यते तदा ॥३१॥
yadā bhūta-pṛthag-bhāvam eka-stham anupaśyati
tata eva ca vistāraṁ brahma sampadyate tadā
When one truly sees, he ceases to identify the body as the self. Realising that all living beings are equal, he attains the Brahman conception and sees them expanded everywhere.
The world is composed of moving and non-moving things. Moving species consist of humans, animals, fish etc. Non-moving objects include trees, mountains, minerals etc. Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that all these moving and non-moving things are a combination of material nature and the living beings. One who has deeper vision sees that the Super Consciousness is the Controller of all things and is situated in the hearts of all living beings, within every atom and in between every atom. Such a seer is a true knower and realises that consciousness and Super Consciousness are both eternal and imperishable.
A seer of the truth is never degraded by the influences of material nature. He gradually rises to perfection and attains the Supreme Abode of Kṛṣṇa. Those who are conditioned by material nature and who have no knowledge of Super Consciousness wrongly conceive that they are the doer of activities, or that they are the overlords of material nature. This however is a foolish idea since they themselves are helplessly suffering at the hands of death.
For those that have the eyes to see, all forms of life indicate the presence of a conscious living being. That is to say that not just humans are conscious or that only human consciousness is eternal. All things that manifest birth, growth, maintenance, reproduction, dwindling and death, regardless of higher birth (human) or lower birth (animal), are known as eternal beings transmigrating in the material world. Thus, one who is friendly, kind and compassionate must be so to all forms of life. It is not that humans are spared but animals and others can be killed or exploited for our pleasure. This idea falls short of the vision of Bhagavad-gītā which sees all living beings as part and parcel of the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa. Thus, all living beings have a right to life.
शरीरस्थोऽपि कौन्तेय न करोति न लिप्यते ॥३२॥
anāditvān nirguṇatvāt paramātmāyam avyayaḥ
śarīra-stho’pi kaunteya na karoti na lipyate
O Son of Kuntī, the Super Consciousness has no beginning, He is transcendental to the modes of nature and He is unlimited. Although He is situated within each individual body, He neither acts nor is He affected by any action.
यथा सर्वगतं सौक्ष्म्यादाकाशं नोपलिप्यते ।
सर्वत्रावस्थितो देहे तथात्मा नोपलिप्यते ॥३३॥
yathā sarva-gataṁ saukṣmyād ākāśaṁ nopalipyate
sarvatrāvasthito dehe tathātmā nopalipyate
Just as the subtle element of all-pervading space does not mix with anything, similarly, the individual unit of consciousness does not mix with the material body, although it is situated within.
यथा प्रकाशयत्येकः कृत्स्नं लोकमिमं रविः ।
क्षेत्रं क्षेत्री तथा कृत्स्नं प्रकाशयति भारत ॥३४॥
yathā prakāśayaty-ekaḥ kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ
kṣetraṁ kṣetrī tathā kṛtsnaṁ prakāśayati bhārata
O Bhārata, just as one sun illuminates the entire universe, the occupier of the field illuminates the whole field.
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोरेवमन्तरं ज्ञानचक्षुषा ।
भूतप्रकृतिमोक्षं च ये विदुर्यान्ति ते परम् ॥३५॥
kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor evam antaraṁ jñāna-cakṣuṣā
bhūta-prakṛti-mokṣaṁ ca ye vidur yānti te param
One who knows and sees the difference between the body and the self and who understands the process of liberation from material bondage, also attains the supreme goal.
The Paramātmā enters the material nature and makes all things possible within that nature, but He Himself is never contaminated. He is never in illusion, never under the influence of time, never subject to death or the reactions to work and the laws of material nature. Super Consciousness is always the Master of material nature and material nature is always subservient.
Although the living beings are situated within the material body, they do not actually mix or become one with it. The living beings are always distinct from the material body even when the living beings are conditioned by it. One who knows this in relation to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, attains the supreme goal of life.
ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमहाभारते शतसाहस्रयां संहितायां
श्रीमद्भगवदीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायं योगशास्त्रे श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे
प्रकृति-पुरूष-विभागयोगो नाम त्रयोदशोऽध्यायः।।
oṁ tat saditi śrī-mahābhārate-śata-sāhasryāṁ saṁhitāyāṁ
śrīmad bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṁ yoga-śāstre śrī kṛṣṇārjuna-saṁvāde
prakṛti-puruṣa-viveka-yogo nāma trayodaśo’dhyāyaḥ
OṀ TAT SAT – Thus ends Chapter Thirteen entitled Prakṛti-Puruṣa Viveka Yoga from the conversation between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna in the Upaniṣad known as Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, the yoga-śāstra of divine knowledge, from the Bhīṣma-parva of Mahābhārata, the literature revealed by Vyāsa in one hundred thousand verses.