Essence of SrI bhagavath gIthA – Chapter 13 (kshEthra kshEthragya vibhAga yOga)

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Essence of SrI bhagavath gIthA

<< Chapter 12

In the seventeenth SlOkam of gIthArtha sangraham, ALavandhAr explains the summary of thirteenth chapter saying “In the thirteenth chapter – the nature of body, the means to attain the nature of jIvAthmA, the cause for bondage (of AthmA (soul) with achith (body)) and the method to distinguish (between AthmA and achith) are spoken”.

Important SlOkams/Verses

SlOkam/Verse 1

SrI bhagavAn uvAcha
idham SarIram kaunthEya kshEthram ityabhidhIyathE |
Ethadh yO vEththi tham prAhu: kshEthragya ithi thadhvidha: ||

SrI bhagavAn spoke – Oh arjuna! This body is said to be the field (for AthmA’s enjoyment). Athma gyAnis (those who are knowledgeable about the soul) call such a person, who knows this body, as kshEthragya: (knower of the field).

Note: krishNa starts explaining the nature of self and body, without even arjuna asking for the same, since he felt that it was important to explain this clear difference at this juncture.

SlOkam/Verse 2

kshEthragyam chApi mAm vidhdhi sarvakshEthrEshu bhAratha |
kshEthrakshEthragyayOr gyAnaṁ yath tath gyAnam matham mama ||

Oh bhAratha! Know me as the antharyAmi in all bodies (such as celestial, human etc which are known as kshEthra) and the AthmAs which are known as kshEthragya; this knowledge which explains “the body and soul are different from each other, and both have me as their antharAthmA” is considered as true knowledge (which is acceptable) – this is my conclusion.

Note: bhagavAn highlights himself as the antharyAmi for all chith and achith entities and establishes his supremacy over both.

In the 3rd SlOkam, he vows that he is going to elaborate the nature of the two entities which were explained briefly in the first 2 SlOkams.

In the 4th SlOkam, he says that the true knowledge about AthmA and achith which is to be explained by him are already explained by sages and in vEdham and brahma sUthram.

In the 5th and 6th SlOkams, he briefly explains about achith as the field of action for AthmAs.

In the next 5 SlOkams, that is from 7th to 11th SlOkam, krishNa explains the qualities which are expected in a person who is seeking self realisation. The 20 qualities which are cause for self realisation, such as humility, not seeking fame, non-violence, peace, honesty etc are to be compulsorily present in such seekers.

In the next 6 SlOkams, that is from 12th to 17th SlOkam, the nature of kshEthragya, that is chith/AthmA is explained as the knower of kshEthra. The true nature of AthmA is very pure; though he is not connected to the body, he sustains different types of bodies. AthmAs are present everywhere. He is very subtle and difficult to comprehend. He is residing in the hearts of creatures. He is realised through gyAnam.

SlOkam/Verse 18

ithi kshEthram thathA gyAnam gyEyam chOktham samAsatha: |
madhbhaktha Ethadh vigyAya madhbhAvAyOpapadhyathE ||

In this manner, the body which is known as kshEthram, the means to acquire knowledge about AthmA, the true nature of AthmA which is to be known are all briefly explained. Knowing these three truly, my devotee will become qualified to remain detached from samsAram (materialistic aspects).

From 19th to 22nd SlOkam, the cause for the bondage between AthmA and achith is explained. This bondage is said to be anAdhi (without a beginning) and is due to the presence together forever.

SlOkam/Verse 23

ya Enam vEththi purusham prakruthim cha guNai: saha |
sarvathA varthamAnO’pi na sa bhUyO’bhijAyathE ||

One who knows truly this jIvAthmA (soul) who was explained previously and the prakruthi (matter) with the qualities such as sathvam, rajas and thamas, though bound in any body such as dhEva (celestial), manushya (human), thiryak (animal) or sthAvara (plant), will not be born again.

In the next 2 SlOkams, he explains the stages of knowledge about self.

SlOkam/Verse 26

yAvath sanjAyathE kinchith sathvam sthAvarajangamam |
kshEthraksheEragyasamyOgAth thadh vidhdhi bharatharshabha ||

Oh head of bharatha clan! Know that how many ever entities are born as an immovable entity or a movable entity, all such entities are (created) due to the combination of the two principles namely kshEthra (body) and kshEthragya (soul) .

From 27th SlOkam till the end of this chapter, he explains how to distinguish between AthmA and achith. AthmA is imperishable; achith is temporary. AthmA is the controller; achith is controlled; AthmA is the witness for actions; body is the one which performs the actions.

SlOkam/Verse 34

kshEthrakshEthragyayOr Evam antharam gyAnachakshusha |
bhUthaprakruthimOksham cha yE vidhur yAnthi thE param ||

Those who know the difference between kshEthra (body) and kshEthragya (soul) and the qualities such as amAnithvam etc which are means to free oneself from the primordial matter which is in the form of various creatures through the vision of knowledge (which discriminates between body and soul) as explained in this chapter, they attain the transcendental AthmA (which is free from worldly bondage).

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –