13: THE YOGA OF DISCRIMINATION
On the difference
between the knower and the known.
said: 'Of nature and the original person and indeed also
of the field of action and its knower I for sure wish to
know all the knowledge and that what is known, o
Supreme Lord said: 'This body, o son of Kuntî, is
so called the field of action and he who knows this is by
those who know thus called the knower of the
Certainly you should understand Me as the knower of the
field in all fields, o son of Bharata; that which is of
the field as well as of the knower of the field is true
knowledge in My vision (4)
What that field of action actually is and what its
changes are, where it is from and about him as also what
his influence is, you may now in short hear from
In many ways it is in the vedic hymns glorified by the
sages and in different ways by the various aphorisms of
the holy scriptures affirmed in logic and reason: in
summary do the basic elements, the false ego, the
intelligence and the unmanifest as surely also the eleven
of the senses, the five sense objects, like and dislike,
happiness and distress, the combinations of them, the
consciousness and the determination, form the field of
action with its transformations (8-12)
Humble, modest and nonviolent; peaceful, simple and loyal
to the teacher of example; clean, steadfast, and
self-controlled; detached and unidentified with the
sensory and surely aware of the defects and miseries of
birth, death, old age and disease; without preference or
clinging to son, wife and home and being constant and
balanced in the realization of the wanted and unwanted;
of an unalloyed unbroken devotion unto Me also and going
for secluded places without being attached to people in
general; of selfknowledge and stable in the realization
of truth for the good of the divine encounter - all this
is declared to be of true knowledge and that which
deviates from it is nescience.
I will now explain that which is to be known and is
subordinate to Me and of which is said that it is neither
the true nor the untrue; knowing it one will taste the
nectar of the beginningless spiritual realm.
That which has hands, legs everywhere; eyes, heads and
faces all around and ears to the world, pervades
everything that exists. (15)
Of all the senses and their qualities being the original
source it is yet without all those senses and unattached
itself, and as the maintainer of each and certainly also
being outside the modes of nature, it is yet the master
of the modes of matter itself. (16)
Inside as well as being outside of the living entities,
not moving and moving as well and not known of being
subtle, that being far away is also near as that.
Undivided in all living beings it seems to be divided and
while situated as the maintainer of all it is also to be
understood as devouring and developing all.
It is also the source of light of all luminous objects
and said to be beyond the darkness as the knowledge,
realized as the wisdom of this direct experience situated
in the heart of everyone.
Thus the field as also the knowledge and what is to be
known has been described in summary. My devotee will,
after understanding all of this, attain My nature.
Both material nature and the original person you must
certainly know as beginningless and the transformations
and modes of nature surely as being produced by that
material nature. (21)
Material nature is said to be the reason of cause and
effect in the matter of creation, while the original
person is said to be the reason of happiness and distress
in the experiencing. (22)
Of the original person being situated in the material
energy one certainly enjoys by the qualities of that
material nature and consequently of the attachment to it
one is of the channels of birth in the true and untrue.
As the witness and allower, supporter and enjoyer, the
Great Lord and Supersoul, is indeed the transcendental
original person said to be also present in this body.
Anyone who thus understands the original person, material
nature and its qualities will, despite of however one is
situated, never take birth again.
Some do by meditation see the Supersoul within
themselves, others do so by minding exercises of yogic
analysis, and still others do so by acting in giving up
the fruits of action. (26)
But others who do not know of all this begin to worship
by hearing from others and as well transcend for sure the
path of death in affinity with that process of hearing.
O chief of the Bhâratas, whatever comes into being,
anything existing that is animate or inanimate, you must
know as a combination of the knower and the field.
He who sees that the imperishable Lord of the beyond is
equally present in the perishable of all living beings,
truly sees. (29)
He who for sure sees the Lord equally in all does not
lose his selfrespect with the soul and consequently
reaches the goal of transcendence. (30)
Anyone who sees that all activities certainly in all
respects are the result of material conditioning and that
one as the soul is not the doer, sees perfectly.
When one following that tries to see that the diversity
of the living beings is resting in oneness and that it
expanded to that reality, at that time one attains the
Absolute of the Spirit.
This inexhaustible soul is because of being beginningless
and its freedom from the modes of nature of the beyond;
although embodied, o son of Kuntî, it never does
anything nor is it entangled. (33)
As the ether is all pervading and in its subtlety never
mixes with anything, so does the soul within the body
never mix. (34)
Like one sun illumining the whole world, so does the soul
within this body similarly illumine all, o son of
Those who, trough spiritual insight, thus know of the
difference between the field and the knower of the field
and know about the liberation of the living being from
material nature; they reach the Supreme.