Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 37

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 37
Bhagavad Gita Chapter XIII

The Holy One said, 'This body, O son of Kunti, is called Kshetra. Him who knoweth it, the learned call Kshetrajna.[1] Know me, O Bharata, to be Kshetras. The knowledge of Kshetra and Kshetrajna I regard to be (true) knowledge. What that Kshetra (is), and what (it is) like, and what changes it undergoes, and whence (it comes), what is he (viz., Kshetrajna), and what his powers are, hear from me in brief. All this hath in many ways been sung separately, by Rishis in various verses, in well-settled texts fraught with reason and giving indications of Brahman. The great elements, egoism, intellect, the unmanifest (viz., Prakriti), also the ten senses, the one (manas), the five objects of sense, desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, body consciousness, courage,—all this in brief hath been declared to be Kshetra in its modified form. Absence of vanity, absence of ostentation, abstention from injury, forgiveness, uprightness, devotion to preceptor, purity, constancy, self-restraint, indifference to objects of sense, absence of egoism, perception of the misery and evil of birth, death, decrepitude and disease,[2] freedom from attachment, absence of sympathy for son, wife, home, and the rest, and constant equanimity of heart on attainment of good and evil, unswerving devotion to me without meditation on anything else, frequenting of lonely places, distaste for concourse of men,[3] constancy in the knowledge of the relation of the individual self to the supreme, perception of the object of the knowledge of truth,—all this is called Knowledge; all that which is contrary to this is Ignorance.[4] That which is the object of knowledge I will (now) declare (to thee), knowing which one obtaineth immortality. [It is] the Supreme Brahma having no beginning, who is said to be neither existent nor non-existent; whose hands and feet are on all sides, whose eyes, heads and faces are on all sides, who dwells pervading everything in the world, who is possessed of all the qualities of the senses (though) devoid of the senses, without attachment (yet) sustaining all things, without attributes (yet) enjoying (a) all attributes,[5] without and within all creatures, immobile and mobile, not knowable because of (his) subtlety, remote yet near, undistributed in all beings, (yet) remaining as if distributed, who is the sustainer of (all) beings, the absorber and the creator (of all); who is the light of all luminous bodies, who is said to be beyond all darkness; who is knowledge, the Object of knowledge, the End of knowledge and seated in the hearts of all.



  1. The learned, i.e., they that are themselves acquainted with is Kshetra and what not. As explained by Krishna himself below, Kshetra is Matter, and Kshetrajna is Soul.
  2. Dukha-dosha is explained by both Sankara and Sreedhara as a Dwanda compound.
  3. Vivikta is explained by the commentators as Suddha or Chittaprasadakara. There can be no doubt, however, that it is in opposition to Janasamsadi following. Hence I render it "lonely"
  4. The object of the knowledge of truth is the dispelling of ignorance and the acquisition of happiness.
  5. Nor having eyes, etc., yet seeing, etc.; without attributes, yet having or enjoying all that the attributes give.