NOW would I hear, O gracious Kesava!〖The Calcutta edition of the Mahábhárata has these opening lines.〗

Of Life which seems, and Soul beyond, which sees,

And what it is we know—or seem to know.


Yea! Son of Kunti! for this flesh ye see

Is Kshetra, is the field where Life disports;

And that which views and knows it is the Soul,

Kshetrajna. In all “fields,” thou Indian prince!

I am Kshetrajna. I am what surveys!

Only that knowledge knows which knows the known

By the knower!〖This is the nearest possible version ofKshetrakshetrajnayojnánan yat tagjnán matan mama.〗 What it is, that “field” of life,

What qualities it hath, and whence it is,

And why it changeth, and the faculty

That wotteth it, the mightiness of this,

And how it wotteth—hear these things from Me!

.......〖I omit two lines of the Sanskrit here, evidently interpolated by some Vedantist.〗

The elements, the conscious liefe, the mind,

The unseen vital force, the nine great gates

Of the body, or the five domains of sense,

Desire, dislike, pleasure and pain, and thought

Deep-woven, and persistency of being;

These all are wrought on matter by the Soul!

Humbleness, truthfulness, and harmlessness,

Patience and honor, reverence for the wise,

Purity, constancy, control of self,

Contempt of sense-delights, self-sacrifice,

Perception of the certitude of ill

In birth, death, aye, disease, suffering, and sin;

Detachment, lightly holding unto home,

Children, and wife, and all that bindeth men;

An ever-tranquil heart in fortunes good

And fortunes evil, with a will set firm

To worship Me—Me only! ceasing not;

Loving all solitudes, and shunning noise

Of foolish crowds; endeavors resolute

To reach perception of the Utmost Soul,

And grace to understand what gain it were

So to attain,—this is true Wisdom, Prince!

And what is otherwise is ignorance!

Now will I speak of knowledge best to know—

That Truth which giveth man Amrit to drink,

The Truth of HIM, the Para-Brahm, the All,

The Uncreated; not Asat, not Sat,

Not Form, nor the Unformed; yet both, and more;—

Whose hands are everywhere, and everywhere

Planted His feet, and everywhere, His eyes

Beholding, and His ears in every place

Hearing, and all His faces everywhere

Enlightening and encompassing His worlds.

Glorified by the senses He hath given,

Yet beyond sense He is; sustaining all,

He dwelleth unattached: of forms and modes

Master, yet neither form nor mode hath He;

He is within all beings—and without—

Motionless, yet still moving; not discerned

For subtlety of instant presence; close

To all, to each, yet measurelessly far!

Not manifold, and yet subsisting still

In all which lives; for ever to be known

As the Sustainer, yet, at the End of Times,

He maketh all to end—and re-creates.

The Light of Lights He is, in the heart of the Dark

Shining eternally. Wisdom He is

And Wisdom's way, and Guide of all the wise,

Planted in every heart.

So have I told

Of Life's stuff, and the moulding, and the lore

To comprehend. Whoso, adoring Me,

Perceiveth this, shall surely come to Me!

Know thou that Nature and the Spirit both

Have no beginning! Know that qualities

And changes of them are by Nature wrought;

That Nature puts to work the acting frame,

But Spirit doth inform it, and so cause

Feeling of pain and pleasure. Spirit, linked

To moulded matter, entereth into bond

With qualities by Nature framed, and, thus

Married to matter, breeds the birth again

In good or evil yonis.〖Wombs.〗

Yet is this—

Yea! in its bodily prison!—Spirit pure,

Spirit supreme; surveying, governing,

Guarding, possessing; Lord and Master still

PURUSHA, Ultimate, One Soul with Me.

Whoso thus knows himself, and knows his soul

PURUSHA, working through the qualities

With Nature's modes, the light hath come for him!

Whatever flesh he bears, never again

Shall he take on its load. Some few there be

By meditation find the Soul in Self

Self-schooled; and some by long philosophy

And holy life reach thither; some by works.

Some, never so attaining, hear of light

From other lips, and seize, and cleave to it

Worshipping; yea! and those—to teaching true—

Overpass Death!

Wherever, Indian Prince!

Life is—of moving things, or things unmoved,

Plant or still seed—know, what is there hath grown

By bond of Matter and of Spirit: Know

He sees indeed who sees in all alike

The living, lordly Soul; the Soul Supreme,

Imperishable amid the Perishing:

For, whoso thus beholds, in every place,

In every form, the same, one, Living Lord,

Doth no more wrongfulness unto himself,

But goes the highest road which brings to bliss.

Seeing, he sees, indeed, who sees that works

Are Nature's wont, for Soul to use, not love,

Acting, yet not the actor; sees the mass

Of separate living things—each of its kind—

Issue from One, and blend again to One:

Then hath he BRAHMA, he attains!

O Prince!

That Ultimate, High Spirit, Uncreate,

Unqualified, even when it entereth flesh

Taketh no stain of acts, worketh in nought!

Like to th' ethereal air, pervading all,

Which, for sheer subtlety, avoideth taint,

The subtle Soul sits everywhere, unstained:

Like to the light of the all-piercing sun

[Which is not changed by aught it shines upon,]

The Soul's light shineth pure in every place;

And they who, by such eye of wisdom see

How matter, and what deals with it, divide;

And how the Spirit and the flesh have strife,

These wise ones go the way which leads to Life!

Here ends Chapter XIII. of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ,

entitled “Kshetrakshetrajnavibhâgayôgô,”

or “The Book of Religion by Sepa-

ration of Matter and Spirit”

All Directories