Bhagavad-gītā 13.1–2 , Bombay , 1973-09-25
prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva
kṣetraṁ kṣetrajñaṁ eva ca
etad veditum icchāmi
jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ ca keśava
So four questions. Arjuna wanted to know from Kṛṣṇa the answers of four questions. First, prakṛti, this material nature; puruṣam, the enjoyer of the material nature; kṣetram, the field of enjoying, or field of activities; and kṣetrajñam, one who is enjoying, or one who is acting on the field. Etad veditum icchāmi jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ ca keśava. Another two things = jñānam, what is knowledge, and jneyam, what is the object of knowledge, the aim of knowledge.
So Kṛṣṇa replied, idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity abhidhīyate [Bg. 13.2] = "This body is kṣetra." Etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ kṣetrajñaḥ iti tad-vidaḥ: "And one who knows this body, he's kṣetrajña." The whole subject matter of Bhagavad-gītā is to know who is the proprietor of this body. Generally everyone, 99.9 percent, everyone knows that "I am this body." But that is not the fact. The owner of the body = one who knows that "I am not this body, but I am the proprietor of the body."
Just like I am sitting on this throne. I am not this throne, but I am a different person who is sitting on the throne. Similarly, when somebody asks me, "What you are?" if I give my identification...
[aside = These children must be removed.]
...with this body, that is my foolishness. In the śāstra it is said,
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādīṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
Go-kharaḥ. Go means cows and kharaḥ means asses. Person who is identifying this body as the self. This body is a bag of three dhātu = kapha, pitta, vāyu. According to Āyurvedic treatment, this body is made of kapha, pitta, vāyu. Otherwise, we can take it, this body is made of flesh, bone, blood, urine, stool, cough. If you analytically study this body, you'll find these are the ingredients of the body. Therefore these ingredients are not myself. This is the first ignorance. In spiritual knowledge, unless one understands fully that "I am not this flesh, blood, urine or other things in this body. I am separate from"; one who knows that "I am separate from this body. I am spirit soul. I am the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord," as it is stated, mamaivāṁśo jīva bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7], then my knowledge is complete.
So education is given to the students, but this knowledge is absent from the educational institution. Nobody knows that "I am not this body." Therefore śāstra says, "Anyone who is identifying this body as his self," yasyātmā buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13], "and in relationship with the body, others also," sva-dhīḥ, "thinking, 'They are our own men,' " sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ, and bhauma, "the land of birth is worshipable," ijya-dhīh... So this is going on. At the present moment, throughout the whole world, everyone is identifying himself with this body, and the land in which the body is born is taken as worshipable, bhauma ijya-dhīḥ, and persons who are in relationship with this body, "They are our own men, or kinsmen." This is going on. But according to śāstra, anyone who is accepting this identification, body as self and the country or the land as worshipable and the kinsmen or relatives, "They are our only own men," in this way this misconception of life is being accepted.
Therefore, according to Vedic civilization, this is a civilization of the cows and the asses. Sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB 10.84.13]. So in other words, it is an animal civilization. So you cannot be happy in animal civilization, in the societies of animals. Just like in the jungle there are animals. There is no peace. There is always struggle for existence, fight between one animal... Still, they are peaceful. But at the present moment, throughout the whole world, we have become less than the animals, because we do not know what is the basic principle of civilization, what is the ultimate goal of life, what is our perfection. These things we are lacking in knowledge.
Therefore Arjuna inquires, "What is jñānam, what is knowledge, and what is the object of knowledge?" So Kṛṣṇa replied that "This body, śarīram, idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetra, this is our field of activities." We have got different types of body. Yesterday I have explained, there are 8,400,000 forms of body, and according to our desire, nature is supplying a type of body for our activity. That is explained in another place in the Bhagavad-gītā = īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. The Lord is situated in everyone's heart. Kṛṣṇa is situated outside and inside also. Kṛṣṇa, antar bahiḥ, He is situated outside and inside. Simply we have to make our eyes and senses perfect to see Him. Kṛṣṇa is not invisible. He is visible. But one who has got the eyes to see Him, one can see; otherwise not. Therefore in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated, premāñjana-cchurita bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ hṛdayeṣu sadaiva vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. Those who have developed Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love of Godhead, they can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, śyāma-sundaraṁ acintya-guṇa svarūpam, the reservoir of all transcendental qualities. Acintya-guṇa... Acintya means inconceivable. The qualities which Kṛṣṇa has got, that is inconceivable by us. He has got qualities...
Just like Kṛṣṇa says that patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati, tad aham aśnāmi [Bg. 9.26]. Now, anyone offering Kṛṣṇa, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati, in devotion... So this quality, how Kṛṣṇa is eating? Just like at the present moment Kṛṣṇa is offered a dish. How Kṛṣṇa is eating, that we cannot see. But He is eating. Otherwise, Kṛṣṇa becomes a liar. He says, tad aham aśnāmi bhakty-upahṛtam [Bg. 9.26] = "Anyone who is offering Me in devotion," tad aham aśnāmi, "I eat." But how He is eating? It is not that He is not eating, but how He is eating, that we do not know. Therefore acintya-guṇa-svarūpam. He has that quality which is inconceivable.
Just like our conception of eating, that we can eat through the mouth. Whatever eatables are offered to us, we pick them and put into the mouth. We know this is the process of eating. But Kṛṣṇa, because He is acintya-guṇa-svarūpam, His eating process is different from ours. That is also stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā = aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛttimanti [Bs. 5.32]. He has the limbs of the body, different limbs of the body, they can work also for other limbs of the body. Just like with our eyes we can see. If I close our eyes, we do not see. But Kṛṣṇa, even He closes His eyes, He can see everything with His hand. Now, this is inconceivable. Acintya-guṇa-svarūpam.
Therefore it is called acintya. Aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛttimanti. So the foodstuff is offered there to Kṛṣṇa. He is eating by seeing. He can eat through His eyes. Just like we can eat through our mouth, not with our eyes, but Kṛṣṇa can eat through His eyes simply by seeing. Then you may argue that "The foodstuff is offered. If He has eaten, why it is lying as it is, as it was offered in the beginning?" That is answered in the Upaniṣad = pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate [Īśo Invocation]. Pūrṇasya. Kṛṣṇa can take the whole plate, but still the whole plate remains. It is not finished. That is spirituality. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate.
So this is a great science, spiritual science. Unfortunately, we have no educational system to understand this spiritual science. And especially in this age, everything is godlessness. Therefore people are not happy. Our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is only to make people happy by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, understanding everything in the right ways. That is our mission. Therefore... That is the mission of every devotee. Just like Arjuna is asking herewith. He knows everything. He is Kṛṣṇa's friend, personal friend. He is always living with Kṛṣṇa. There cannot be any ignorance on the part of Arjuna. But he's asking this question just for our benefit. Kṛṣṇa will answer this question.
Why Kṛṣṇa's answers will be taken so seriously? Because He is the supreme authority, Supreme Personality of Godhead. If we receive knowledge from the Supreme, then it is perfect knowledge. Just like if you get some knowledge from the superior, one who is more educated than you, one who is more experienced, that knowledge is perfect. So in this material world there may be somebody supreme, but he is not ultimate supreme. But ultimate supreme is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha, anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1]. So if we receive knowledge from the ultimate supreme, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ, then our knowledge is perfect. If we receive knowledge secondary, secondhand knowledge, that is also good. Secondhand knowledge means one who has received knowledge from Kṛṣṇa. That knowledge is perfect. But one who speculates, "It may be like that, it may be like this," that knowledge is not perfect.
So in the modern world every knowledge is speculative, hypothetical. There is no perfect knowledge. So if you want to be perfectly in knowledge, then you have to take knowledge from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is here delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, in the form of Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore Arjuna is asking this question so that people may receive the perfect knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, and their life may be perfect in that way.
kṣetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ
kṣetrajña iti tad-vidaḥ
yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama
This is jñānam. What is that jñānam? Jñānam means to know the kṣetrajña, the owner of the body. Just like in ordinary sense if you understand that the..., this is a house, and the proprietor of the house is such-and-such gentleman, then that knowledge is perfect. So similarly, if we understand what is this body and who is the proprietor of this body, then our knowledge is perfect. So Kṛṣṇa says that this body, there is the proprietor, the soul, but there is another kṣetrajña. Just like a house, there is an occupier and there is an owner. These are very easy to understand. Any house you take in Bombay, there are so many tenants or occupier, but there is a proprietor also. Similarly, in this body we are not actually the proprietor; we are simply occupier.
Just like if I give my motorcar to you for use, you are not proprietor; you are occupier or driver. But the owner is different. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says that kṣetrajñaṁ ca api māṁ viddhi: "I am also kṣetrajña. I am the proprietor indirectly of this body." Therefore Kṛṣṇa's name is Hṛṣīkeśa. Hṛṣīka means senses, and this body is full of senses. So actual proprietor is Kṛṣṇa, Hṛṣīkeśa. We are given for use. Therefore we are using this hand, but if the hand is paralyzed for some reason or other, we cannot repair it. This is not possible. Because the proprietor has withdrawn the power of this hand for activity, therefore it is no more working, although I am claiming, "This is my hand." This is not "I hand"; this is my hand.
Actually, it is not my hand. It is Kṛṣṇa's hand. That is knowledge. So long we are thinking that "I am this body" or "my body," that is not perfect knowledge. When you understand that it is Kṛṣṇa's body, then it is perfect knowledge. Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu. Not that Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor or kṣetrajña only of the human form of body. Sarva-kṣetreṣu. There are 8,400,000 different types of body. Kṛṣṇa is present there. That is also explained in the Fourteenth Chapter:
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ mahad-yonir brahma
aham bīja-pradaḥ pitā
Just like father makes the body, father gives the seed and mother gives the body, similarly, Kṛṣṇa is the supreme father. He has given the seed. Just like the father impregnates within the womb of the mother, the seed is given by the father, the mother develops the body, similarly, in this material world we have come from Kṛṣṇa. He is the seed-giving father, and the material nature has given us this body. This is compared with a yantra, or a machine.
hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati
Yantrārūḍhāni māyayā. So Kṛṣṇa has given us this body through the agency of material nature. So this is a body. This body is just like yantra.
So we are seated in this yantra, and we are traveling, yantrārūḍhāni māyayā, under the influence of māyā, seated on this car, this yantra. Bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni [Bg. 18.61] = we are wandering throughout the whole creation. Sometimes we are getting this body of human form, sometimes we are getting the body of a demigod. Sometimes we are getting the body of a rich man, sometimes we are getting the body of a poor man. Sometimes we are getting the body of a cat, sometimes of a dog. Sometimes so many things---trees, plants, aquatics. There are eight million four hundred... This is our position. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā, tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. As we are changing our body every moment, from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, similarly, by changing this body we get another body. Dehāntara-prāptiḥ. But we do not know what kind of body we are going to get next life. We are blind. This is called ignorance.
Generally, they are thinking this body is all in all; there is no rebirth. No. The example is given here in the Bhagavad-gītā: Just like a child has his future, another body, boyhood body. The boy has got his future, another body, young man's body. The young man has got another future, old man's body. Similarly, the old man has got another body after death. Tatha dehāntara-praptiḥ.
But people have become so irresponsible that they do not know what kind of body he's going to get next life. He's blind. Therefore this knowledge is required, how I am getting this body, how I can get better body or lower body. This is knowledge, not that how to eat, how to sleep and how to have sex life. This is not knowledge. This knowledge there in the animals. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca [Hitopadeśa 25]. Where to find out one's food, where to sleep, how to have sex life, how to defend, these animals also, they know how to do it. So if we devote our time only for these four principles of bodily wants, then we are no better than the cats and dogs.
The real knowledge is to know, "What I am? What is this body? Why I am suffering? I want to be happy, but why sufferings are there, always some kind of suffering is always there?" These are the questions. But people have become so foolish they do not inquire how to make solution of these sufferings, how to make solution of the problems of the life. They are blindly being led.
te 'pīṣa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
Durāśayā: they are hoping something, that by making arrangement in this material world they will be happy. That is not possible.
In the Western countries, Europe and America, they have made sufficient arrangement for living materially very happy, but that has not been possible. They are also disappointed, confused. So materially you cannot be happy. You must know. You must have full knowledge what you are, what is this body, how you'll be happy. Then your life is successful. If you live like cats and dog and try to adjust things like cats and dogs, that is a waste of life, waste of time.
Therefore kindly try to understand Bhagavad-gītā. There is full of knowledge. The knowledge is given by the most perfect, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no deficiency. In the knowledge received from imperfect person there are four deficiencies = illusion, mistake, cheating and imperfectness. So from so many deficiencies... You cannot get full knowledge, perfect knowledge from an imperfect person. You have to receive knowledge from the perfect. Then your life will be successful.
Therefore Arjuna is putting so many questions to Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa will answer these things in the Thirteenth Chapter. In all the chapters Kṛṣṇa's answers are there. Especially in the Thirteenth Chapter, Kṛṣṇa is giving the knowledge, the knowable objective, the subject matter, and what is this body, who is the owner of the body. So Kṛṣṇa, here it is said that kṣetrajñaṁ cāpy māṁ viddhi: He is also there.
The Māyāvādī philosopher says that there is only one spirit. No, there are two. Kṛṣṇa says ca. Ca means "another." "And as the living, individual living soul is the proprietor of this body"---not proprietor, he is the occupier---"similarly, I also, I have got interest in everybody." Just like a landlord. Landlord has got many houses. I may occupy one of the houses. So I have got only interest in that particular house where I am living. But the landlord has got interest in so many houses. So Kṛṣṇa has got interest not only in my body or your body. He has got interest in each and every body. Because He says, sarva-yoniṣu, "in every species of life."
sambhavanti murtayo yāḥ
tāsāṁ mahad yonir brahma
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
These things are to be understood very clearly, how Kṛṣṇa is related. He is not related [only] with the human society; He's related with the animal society, dog society, cat society, demigod society, aquatic society, tree society, plant society, insect society. Everywhere Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-dese 'rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. That is... Kṛṣṇa is claiming here that "I am also one of the participator in this body." Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi, kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor jñānaṁ yat taj jñānaṁ matam. If only one tries to understand what is the relationship between this body and the soul, the body and the Supersoul, Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa, when He says that "I am also kṣetrajna," He's the Supersoul, Paramātmā. Paramātmā. He can know everyone's pains and pleasure. I am the occupier of this body. I know the pains and pleasure of my body, but I do not know the pains and pleasure of your body. Neither you know that the pains and pleasure of my body.
Therefore you are individual, localized, but Kṛṣṇa is all-pervading. Kṛṣṇa knows the pains and pleasure of your body. Kṛṣṇa knows the pains and pleasure of my body. Kṛṣṇa knows the pains and pleasure of dog's body, cat's body, everyone's body. That is Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. Sarva-kṣetreṣu. He knows everything. That is Paramātmā feature. Paramātmā feature means He is even within the atom. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-shtaṁ govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi.
So this subject matter is very interesting. Of course, Bhagavad-gītā is the A-B-C-D of spiritual knowledge. If we do not understand even the A-B-C-D of spiritual knowledge, then where is the progress? Unfortunately, we are neglecting. But it is our duty to propagate this knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā. So we are doing our best, and we wish that everyone, especially Indians, should cooperate with this movement.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]