Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 216

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

The Body called the Field, the Soul called the Knower of the Field and Discrimination between them

4 rsibhIr bahudha gitam
chandobhir vividhaih prthak
brahmasutrapadais cai 'va
hetumadbhir viniscitaih
(4) This has been sung by sages in many ways and distinctly, in various hymns and also in well-reasoned and conclusive expressions of the aphorisms of the Absolute (brahmasutra) The Gita suggests that it is expounding the truths already contained in the Vedas, the Upanisads and the Brahma Sutra or the aphorisms of Brahman, later systematized by Badarayana. The Vedic hymns are called chandas or rhythmical utterances.

5. mahabhutany ahamkaro
buddhir avyaktam eva ca
indriyam dagai 'sam ca
panca ce ndriyagocarah
(5) The great (five gross) elements, self-sense, understanding as also the unmanifested, the ten senses and mind and the five objects of the senses.
These are the constituents of the field of Ksetra, the contents of experience, the twenty-four principles of the Sarinkhya system. The distinction of mental and material belongs to the ob]ect side. They are distinctions within the "field" itself. The body, the forms of sense with which we identify the subject belong to the object side. The ego is an artificial construction obtained by abstraction from conscious experience. The witnessing consciousness is the same whether it lights up the blue sky or a red flower. Though the fields which are lit up may be different, the light which illumines them is the same.

6. wccha dvesah sukham
duhkham sarnghatas` cetana
dhrtih etat ksetram samasena
savikaram udahrtam
(6) Desire and hatred, pleasure and pain, the aggregate (the organism), intelligence and steadfastness described, this in brief is the field along with its modifications
Even the mental traits are said to qualify the field because they are objects of knowledge. The knower is a subject and the turning of it into an object or a thing means ignorance, avidya. Objectivization is the ejection of the subject into the world of the objects. Nothing in the object world is an authentic reality. We can realize the subject in us only by overcoming the enslaving power of the object world, by refusing to be dissolved in it. This means resistance, suffering. Acquiescence in the surrounding world and its conventions diminishes suffering; refusal increases it. Suffering is the process through which we fight for our true nature.

7. amanitvam adambhitvam
ahimsa ksantir arjavam
acaryooasanam saucam
sthairyam atmavintigrahah
(7) Humility (absence of pride), integrity (absence of deceit), non-violence, patience, uprightness, service of the teacher, purity (of body and mind), steadfastness and self-control.

8. indriyarthesu vairagyam
anahamkara eva ca
(8) Indifference to the objects of sense, self-effacement and the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age, sickness and pain.

9. asaktir anabhisvangah
nityam ca samacittatvam
(9) Non-attachment, absence of clinging to son, wife, home and the like and a constant equal-mindedness to all desirable and undesirable happenings.

10. nays ca 'ncinyayogena
bhaktir avyabhicarini
aratir janasamsadi
(10) Unswerving devotion to Me with wholehearted discipline, resort to solitary places, dislike for a crowd of people.

11. adhyatmajananityatvamananityatvam
etaj jnanam 'iti proktam
aynanam yad ato 'nyathei
(11) Constancy in the knowledge of the Spirit, insight into the end of the knowledge of Truth this is declared to be (true) knowledge and all that is different from it is non-knowledge. It is clear from this list of qualities that jnana or knowledge includes the practice of the moral virtues Mere theoretical learning will not do.[1]By the development of moral qualities the light of the ever changeless Self witnessing all but attached to none is discriminated from the passing forms and is no more confused with them.


References and Context

  1. nayam atma pravacanena labhyo, na medhaya, na bahuna .srutena. Katha Up., II, 22; Mundaka Up., III, 2-3.