Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 37:2

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 37:2
Bhagavad Gita Chapter XIII

Thus Kshetra, and Knowledge, and the Object of Knowledge, have been declared (to thee) in brief. My devotee, knowing (all) this, becomes one in spirit with me. Know that Nature and Spirit are both without beginning (and) know (also) that all modifications and all qualities spring from Nature.[1] Nature is said to be the source of the capacity of enjoying pleasures and pains.[2] For Spirit, dwelling in nature enjoyeth the qualities born of Nature. The cause of its births in good or evil wombs is (its) connection with the qualities.[3] The Supreme Purusha in this body is said to be surveyor, approver, supporter, enjoyer, the mighty lord, and also the Supreme Soul.[4] He who thus knows Spirit, and Nature, with the qualities, in whatever state he may be, is never born again. Some by meditation behold the self in the self by the self; others by devotion according to the Sankhya system; and others (again), by devotion through works. Others yet not knowing this, worship, hearing of it from others. Even these, devoted to what is heard, cross over death.[5] Whatever entity, immobile or mobile, cometh into existence, know that, O bull of Bharata's race, to be from the connection of Kshetra and Kshetrajna (matter and spirit). He seeth the Supreme Lord dwelling alike in all beings, the Imperishable in the Perishable. For seeing the Lord dwelling alike everywhere, one doth not destroy[6] himself by himself, and then reacheth the highest goal. He seeth (truly) who seeth all actions to be wrought by nature alone in every way and the self likewise to be not the doer. When one seeth the diversity of entities as existing in one, and the issue (everything) from that (One), then is one said to attain to Brahma.

This inexhaustible Supreme Self, O son of Kunti, being without beginning and without attributes, doth not act, nor is stained even when stationed in the body. As space, which is ubiquitous, is never, in consequence of its subtlety tainted, so the soul, stationed in every body, is never tainted.[7] As the single Sun lights up the entire world, so the Spirit, O Bharata, lights up the entire (sphere of) matters. They that, by the eye of knowledge, know the distinction between matter and spirit, and the deliverance from the nature of all entities, attain to the Supreme.[8]



  1. All modifications, i.e., of material forms; all qualities, i.e., pleasure, pain, etc. The word rendered "nature" is Prakriti (primal matter), and that rendered "spirit" is Purusha (the active principle). Vikarna and Gunan include all material forms and attributes of the soul.
  2. Karya-karana-karttritwa is explained by both Sankara and Sreedhara to mean "the capacity of working (residing) in the body and the senses." K. T. Telang adopts this. Mr. Davies in his text has "in the activity of the organs of action." In course of his philological notes, however, he gives the correct rendering. 'Is said to be' is explained by Sreedhara as referring to Kapila and others.
  3. It is the embodied spirit only that can enjoy the qualities of Nature. Then again, the kind of connection it has with those qualities settles its birth in good or evil wombs.
  4. Mr. Davies misunderstands the grammatical connection of the words in the second line of this verse. K. T. Telang, following Sreedhara, says, the word should be rendered "approver."
  5. What is heard, i.e., the Srutis or the sacred doctrines.
  6. Destroying self by self is to be deprived of true knowledge.
  7. Sarvatra in the second line is explained by Sreedhara as "in every body, superior and inferior." Grammatically it may mean also, "in every part of the body." Such a theory, however, of the seat of the soul would be contrary to all Hindu ideas.
  8. Bhuta-Prakriti-moksha is explained by both Sankara and Sreedhara as moksha or deliverance from the prakriti (nature) of bhutas' or entities. It is true knowledge that effects such deliverance. Mr. Davies renders it "deliverance of beings from Nature." This is evidently incorrect. "Beings" is not synonymous with self or soul.