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Bhagavad-gita 13.1-3

Durban, October 13, 1975
Prabhupada: Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. We are reading one chapter from Bhagavad-gita, thirteenth chapter. The subject matter is nature, the enjoyer, and consciousness. In Sanskrit it is called ksetra-ksetra-jna. Ksetra means the field. Just like an agriculturist. They work on the field. The worker or the agriculturist owns the land, and he works there, and according to his labor he enjoys the fruits. Similarly, we have been given this body as the field of activity. Every one of us, not only human being, but also other living entities...
There are eight million four hundred thousand forms of living entities. Jalaja nava-laksani. In the water there are nine hundred thousand forms of living entity. Then, jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. Sthavarah means the living entities who cannot move, just like the trees, plants, grass, vegetables. They are standing in one place. They are also called "having no leg." Ahastani sahastanam apadani catus-padam. This is nature's law, that the living entities which have no hands, they are eatable for the living entities who have hands. Ahastani sahastanam apadani catus-padam. And the living entities which cannot move, they are the food for the living entities which has got four legs. Phalguni mahatam tatra jivo jivasya jivanam.
In this way the weak is the food for the strong. This is the law of nature, that one living entity is the food for another living entity. So when a person eats another living entity, it is not unnatural. This is nature's law. But when you come to the human form of living entity, you must use your discrimination. Just like one living entity is food for the another living entity. It does not mean... In the lower animals sometimes the father-mother eat the offspring, but in the history of human society it has not come into notice that the father and mother eating the offspring. But time has come when the mother is killing offspring. That has come already. This is due to Kali-yuga.
So here Arjuna's question is to understand the field and the worker on the field. He questions, arjuna uvaca, Arjuna inquired from Krsna,
Krsna's another name is Kesava. So he is addressing Krsna, "My dear Kesava, I want to know these subject mattersprakrti, purusa." Prakrti means nature, material nature, and purusa means the enjoyer, just like the living entities. We are trying to enjoy this material nature. Another prakrti-purusa... Purusa means, real purusa means, the supreme enjoyer, God, Krsna. And prakrti means which is enjoyed. Another meaningprakrti, means woman and purusa means man. So this material world is going onone party is trying to enjoy, and the other party is being enjoyed.
So Arjuna wanted to know what is the distinction, what is the integral part and parcel of this prakrti and purusa. Then ksetram ksetra-jna. Jna means one who knows, and ksetra-jna means one who knows the field. Just like the agriculturist, the cultivator, he knows that "This is my field." He works there. Different cultivator works in his own field. So this ksetra means this body, ksetra, the field of activity. We have got different field of activities. So ksetram ksetra-jnam ca, ksetram eva etad veditum icchami: "My dear Krsna, I want to know from You." Why he wants to know from Krsna? Because Krsna is infallible. Whatever knowledge we get from the infallible, that is perfect knowledge.
Ordinary human being, they are not perfect. Ordinary human being, they are subjected to four deficiencies. We are ordinary human being; we commit mistake. That's a fact, every one of us. We are illusioned. Our senses are imperfect, and with all this paraphernalia, when we want to teach, that is not teaching; that is cheating. Because I am imperfect, how can I be teacher? That is not possible. Therefore we have to learn from a person who has no defects in his life or a liberated person. Liberated person means he does not commit mistake, he is not illusioned, he does not cheat and his senses are not imperfect. This is the four signs of liberated person.
So our process, the Krsna consciousness movement, means we take knowledge from Krsna who is liberated from these four kinds of deficiencies. That knowledge is perfect. Similarly, Arjuna is also inquiring from Krsna. Etad veditum icchami. Etad veditum icchami jnanam jneyam ca kesava. What is actual knowledge and what is the subject matter of knowledge. That means six questions are presented by Arjuna before Krsna. One pair, prakrti-purusa, ksetra-ksetra-jna, and jnanam jneyam, what is knowledge and what is the subject matter of knowledge. Six questions. Sri bhagavan uvaca. Now, here Krsna is speaking, but Vyasadeva, who recorded this dialogue between Krsna and Arjuna, he is writing, "bhagavan uvaca." He does not say, "krsnah uvaca." "Krsna" may be misunderstood. But Krsna is bhagavan. He wants to stress on this point.
Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated by Vyasadeva that krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Similarly, in the Brahma-samhita it is stated, isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1]. Isvara means controller. So parama means the supreme. So every one of us, we are more or less controller. But we are not supreme controller. We must know this. Isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1]. There are some men who claim to become Isvara, to become God. So we have no objection, that if somebody says, "I am God," or "I am controller," we have no objection. But if somebody says that "I am supreme God," or "supreme controller," then we have got objection. Supreme means he has no controller. And ordinary controller, just like we are... You are controller. You are controlling some sphere of life. I am also controlling some. But I also being controlled.
But isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1] means He is the supreme controller. He has no controller over Him. He controls everyone, but He is not controlled by anyone. Therefore it is called
These are the Vedic statement. And our process of knowledge, Veda... Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda vido jnane. Supreme knowledge, perfect knowledge, that is Veda. So Krsna is the supreme person. He is the speaker of Vedas. The subject matter of Vedas is to know Krsna. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. If you are a student of Vedas, then you must have clear conception of God. That is real knowledge, no vague idea, but clear conception. That is knowledge, Vedic knowledge, ultimate... Therefore the Vedanta philosophy. Veda means knowledge, and anta means the ultimate. Everything has got ultimate. So Vedanta means the ultimate knowledge of Vedas. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. You will find in the fifteenth chapter. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedanta-vid vedanta-krd ca aham. [break]
So He is the compiler of Vedanta philosophy, and He is the knower of Vedanta philosophy. Therefore Arjuna is asking from Krsna because He is the ultimate knowle... And ultimate, supreme person means Bhagavan. Bhaga means opulence, and van means one who possesses. The word Sanskrit, vat, it is added when there is the question of possessing. Asty arthe vat and mat pratyaya. This is Sanskrit grammar. So bhagavat. Bhaga means opulence.
Opulence means six kinds of opulences, sad-aisvarya-purna: all wealth, all fame, all strength, all beauty, all knowledge, all renunciation. These are the opulences. We can have some money. You have some money, I have got some money, but none of us can claim that "I have got all the monies." That is not possible. That is claimed by Bhagavan. I have got some strength, you have got some strength, but nobody of us can claim that "I have got all the strength."
So one who possesses all the wealth, all the strength, all the fame, all beauty, all knowledge, all renunciation, he is called Bhagavan. The meaning of bhagavan is this, sad-aisvarya-purnam. Therefore Vyasadeva says, bhagavan uvaca. He is not ordinary person who is speaking. Who is full with all knowledge, because that is the qualification of Bhagavan. He is competent with all knowledge. So bhagavan uvaca.
So what does He, Bhagavan, says? Idam sariram kaunteya ksetram ity abhidhiyate: [Bg. 13.2] "My dear Kaunteya, Arjuna..." Arjuna's another name is Kaunteya because he is the son of Kunti. His mother's name is Kunti. Therefore he is addressed as Kaunteya. And Kunti has got relationship with Krsna. Kunti is the sister of Krsna's father, Vasudeva. Therefore out of affection for his aunt, He is addressing Arjuna as the son of his aunt Kunti, Kaunteya. Idam sariram kaunteya ksetram [Bg. 13.2], the field of activity, ity abhidhiyate. His two answers. Out of the six questionsksetra, ksetra-jna, prakrti, purusa, jnanam, jneyamHe is answering the first two, pair.
What is ksetra? So Krsna said, "This body is the ksetra." Ksetra means this body. And ksetra-jna... Etad yo vetti: "This body, one who knows this body," etad yo vetti tam prahuh ksetra-jnah, "he is called ksetra-jna." Just like I know my body. The pains and pleasure of my body, the necessities of my body, how I am situated in this bodyI know. You also know, you, about your body. And my... About my body you do not know, what pains and pleasure I am feeling. What pains and pleasure you are feeling, I do not know. But I know the pains and pleasure of my body. You know the pains and pleasure of your body. Therefore, in relationship with your body, you are ksetra-jna, and in relationship with my body I am ksetra-jna. My body is ksetra, the field of activities, and your body is the field of activities.
So this is clear conception of ksetra and ksetra-jna. The body is called ksetra, and the knower of the body... If we simply study our body, if we simply take this question, little seriously, "Whether I am this body or I am different from my body?" You study each and every part of your body. You study your finger. You will know or I will know "It is my finger." I do not say it is, "I finger." It is "my finger." Therefore I am different from my body. Just like I say, "This is my shoe." So I am not the shoe. So similarly, you study every part of your body. You know that it is your body. You are not this body.
This is study. This is meditation. First of all study your body, whether you are body or you are different body. That is actually.
The other day I was speaking that a man's father has died and he is crying, "My father has gone away. So my father..." Your father is lying on the bed. The father which you have seen so long, life long, the body, that is on the bed. Why you are crying your father is gone? That means he has never seen his father, neither the father has seen the son. Everyone sees this body, but not the owner of the body. That is the defect of modern education, that everyone by contemplation can understand that "This finger is my finger, not 'I' finger." Still, he cannot understand that he is different from this body. That is to be understood. That is real knowledge.
Ksetra-ksetra-jnayor jnanam. One should have very clear knowledge that "I am not this body. This is my body." You are not this body; it is your body. You are spirit; I am spirit. We are different from this body. This is the first instruction given in the Bhagavad-gita in the beginning.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]
We are not this body. I am not this body; you are not this body. We are changing body every moment, imperceptibly, changing body. Sometimes it is found that the child has grown now to become a boy. But he has not become suddenly a boy. The body has changed. Body has changed every minute. But all of a sudden or at a certain moment we see that the body has changed. So this is real knowledge, that "I am not this body. I am changing my body, and when I shall finally change this body I will get another body." This is my position. Tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13].
So Krsna says, etad yo vetti tam prahuh ksetra-jnah iti tad-vidah. If one understands that he is not this body, he is different from this body... From practical example and practical experience one can understand it. Especially human being can understand it. And if the human being neglect this understanding, then he remains animalsa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]. That is the injunction of the sastra.
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
[SB 10.84.13]
Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke. This body, according to Ayurvedic system of medicine, this body is made of three elementskapha, pitta, vayu: mucus, bile, and cough. So anyway, so tri-dhatuke... This body, is made of material elements. I am spirit soul; I am not material element. Aham brahmasmi: "I am spirit soul." This is knowledge. But if one does not take this knowledge, he remains with the bodily concept of life, "I finger," not "my finger," then he is in ignorance. "I head," not "my head." Nobody says, "I head." Everyone says "My head." But find out who is "I." This is knowledge.
Therefore Krsna says etad yo vetti: "One who understands this simple education in the beginning, etad yo vetti, "if anyone understands this, that 'I am not this body, I am the owner of the body. I am the occupier of the body...' " The body is just like a rented house, and there are two interested person. One is the occupier, and the other is the owner.
That will be explained, that I am the occupier of this body. I am not actually owner. The owner is Krsna, or God. This house is owned by Krsna, or God. But, just like the field. The agriculturist, the cultivator, takes the land from the king or the government. He pays little tax, and he works on it. Similarly, everything belongs to God. Isavasyam idam sarvam [Iso mantra 1]. Nothing belongs to us. We also belong to God. This is knowledge. But God has given this piece of farm or land for our activities. That will be explained in the next verse. Krsna says, ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi [Bg. 13.3]. Ksetra-jnam means... . Body is ksetra, and the living entity is the occupier of this body. So Krsna said, "There is another occupier, interested person, of this body." Ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi: "That is myself." Ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu bharata.
So what is the distinction between these two persons? One is the occupier, and the other is the owner. He says, sarva-ksetresu bharata: "In all different bodies I am the owner." The living entity is the occupier. Just like a big landlord. He has got many houses, and in each house or each apartment there are separate tenants, similarly these, everything, belongs to God. Isavasyam idam sarvam [Iso mantra 1]. Everything belongs to God. Nothing belongs to us. But the same relationshipHe is the owner; we are simply occupier. There are two persons interested in this body. One is the individual soul, living entity, and the other is the Supersoul, God. He is also within this body.
Where He is staying? Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. God is living within the core of the heart, and the living entity, he is also living within this core of heart. They are living just like two birds sitting on the branch of one tree. These are the Vedic statement. So there are two birds sitting on the branch of the same tree. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird, simply witnessing. This is the Vedic statement. So the eating bird, we are, living entity. We are eating the fruit as we are working, and the result of our working, we are enjoying. But God, the Supersoul, He is not interested in eating the fruits of the tree. He is self-satisfied. He is simply observing how you are working, because we are working with this body and God is situated in the same heart. So God is there, and we, individual soul, also there.
So then why He is there? Because He is friend. Suhrdam sarva-bhutanam [Bg. 5.29]. It is stated in the Vedas that two friendly birds. God is our actual friend, well-wisher friend, suhrdam. He is simply trying to turn our face towards Him. So long he does not do so, he is changing different body and God is also going with himHe is so friendlyjust to advise him in due time, that "Why you are changing from one body to another, one body to another? Why don't you come to Me and live peacefully in blissful life?" That is God's mission. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati, tadatmanam srjamy aham [Bg. 4.7].
So God is so great friend of ours. He is always witnessing, witnessing. And as I am desiring, God is giving us facility. "All right, you want to enjoy like this? You take this body and enjoy." Actually you are not enjoying. When we have no discrimination of food, we can eat anything and everything, just like the hogs and pigs, so God says, "All right, you take the body of a pig and hog, and you can eat even up to stool. I give you the facility." That is as we are desiring.
So God is supplying a type of body for our enjoyment.
He orders the material nature that "This individual soul wants a certain type of body to enjoy like this, so give him." So material nature immediately makes ready a type of body. Yam yam vapi smaran loke tyajaty ante... [Bg. 8.6]. So at the time of death, as our desires, my mind is obsessed with certain type of desireimmediately a similar body is ready. The... Daiva-netrena, by superior law, the living entity is entered into the womb of a particular mother and he develops the particular body. Then he comes out and enjoys or suffers. This is going on. Bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19].
So God is witness. He is along with us always. Whatever we are desiring, whatever we are working, He is witness and He is giving the result. Therefore Krsna says, ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi: [Bg. 13.3] "I am also one of the occupant of this body. But what is the difference between you and Me? You know simply about your body. I know everything of everyone's body." That is the difference." Ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu. God knows what are the desires and activities of a little ant, and He knows what are the desires and activities of Lord Brahma, the biggest of the biggest living entity within this universe, and the smallesteverywhere God. It is said, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati: [Bg. 18.61] "He is situated in everyone's heart." It does not mean that He lives in the brahmana's heart and not in the ant's heart. Everyone's heart.
A small insect, a full-stop-like size, it has also the same anatomical, physiological structure of the body and the same way, jumping and enjoying. You might have seen. So there is no difference between the bodily construction. Everyone has got heart and everything, complete. But according to the desire and karma we are getting different types of body.
This is called material existence. So long we shall desire to enjoy this material world, God will give us facility to possess a similar body so that we can satisfy our desires. Therefore He is situated, witness. Anumanta upadrasta. He is overseer. And without His sanction you cannot act, we cannot act. Therefore His name is anumanta; He gives sanction: "All right, you want to do it? Do it as you like."
But ultimately Krsna advises that in this way we'll never be happy. This constant change, repeated change of body and different types of desire, if you continue, you will never be happy. Therefore He advises, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "You just surrender unto Me and just be engaged in My service. Then you will be happy." So here it is said,
So this is jnana, knowledge. We must know what is the constitution of this body, who is the occupier of the body, who is the supreme occupier of this body, how they are acting, how the bodily changes are taking place and how we are suffering in this... I say purposefully, "suffering," because in the material world there is no enjoyment. It is illusion. It is only suffering. Only suffering. Duhkhalayam asasvatam [Bg. 8.15]. This place is duhkhalayam, simply for suffering. And if you say, "Never mind it is. I shall stay here and continue like this," then it is asasvatam. That also will not be allowed. You cannot stay. You have to change the position. This is material condition of life.
So Krsna... Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata [Bg. 4.7]. He comes down to instruct us that "This sort of life, materialistic way of life, will never make you happy. You take to Krsna consciousness. You surrender unto Me. Act according to My advice. Then you will be happy." This is Krsna consciousness movement. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)

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