Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Bhagavad Gita Interpreted - Part 13

Krishna said:

—You are the Field and the Knower of the Field. The Field is both body and mind; these are ephemeral, transient. They produce the illusion of “I am.” Like clouds, they form and change and pass in time. The Knower is the inviolable Self, which no fire may burn, nor water wet, nor wind make dry. Above the Field, it blazes like the sun where night never falls.

—My creation gives rise to the illusion that the Field is the same as the Knower. But these are not the same. The one who cannot distinguish between them is lost. You are only the eternal Self, not body, not mind. In death they are the clothes you put off, they are the smoke of the pyre. Only the Knower remains. And I am the Knower of all the Fields of My creation.

—The truth of this is plain. Seers and saints sings of it, and in story and scripture propound it. Briefly I will reveal that all elements, and the illusion of “I am,” and the mind, all senses and motion and all that is sensed, attraction and aversion, pain and pleasure, the physical body, thought and awareness, these are the Field.

—Humility, reserve, benevolence, patience, virtue, respect and courtesy, purity, endurance, and self-control, detachment from sense and from objects of sense, modesty and sincerity, awareness of the limits of being, of birth, of aging, of illness and unhappiness, and of death, dispassion toward home and possession, equanimity in censure and success, unwavering devotion to Me, solitude, self-awareness, apprehension of what is Real, all this is the knowledge of the Knower. Its opposite is ignorance.

—I will reveal the object, the purpose, the end of this knowledge. Through it, you may reach the Most High, which has neither beginning nor end, which is neither existent nor nonexistent.

—Within all things it reaches, and faces all directions. It hears all that is spoken and all that is unspoken. It envelops the worlds of creation.

—Without senses, it senses all things. Unsustained, it sustains all things. Nothing contains it, it contains all things. It is the nest, the one that fashions the nest, the tree that bears it, the bird within it, the egg it protects.

—Transcending all qualities of the phenomenal world, it is always in their midst. Transcending all creatures, it is within them all. It is within everything, yet exceeds all things. It is motionless, yet never at rest. Subtler than any subtlety, it is before you, not a hair’s breadth away, yet is more distant than the farthest place.

—It is inaccessible, yet all things have their portion of it. It creates, sustains, destroys all creatures. Light of all lights, no darkness diminishes it. It is the object of knowledge; it is knowledge itself. Here I have revealed the nature of the Field and the Knower. To know these truths is to know with My knowledge. 

—The phenomenal world and the inviolable Self are without beginning in time. The world is inconstant; it is the source of sense and of the qualities of sense. The world creates the conditions for joy and sorrow. Yet it is the Self that experiences them. Within the world, the Self experiences the world's sensations. By attachment to them, the Self is in bondage to the world's ephemeral rewards and punishments.

—The Most High creates, witnesses, and sustains the world. The one who knows the inviolable Self, the phenomenal world of sense and qualities of sense, he is free from the snare of material reward and punishment.

—In contemplation some find the Self, or by insight. Some find it in action. Others, even in ignorance, hear of it and believe in it. All such believers overcome the lures of the world and subdue death.

—All that exists is born through the union of the Field and the Knower. The Most High is in all creatures, but is not contingent on any of them. Wherever you turn your gaze, see the Most High. All action is performed by the world, yet the Self does not act. Seeing that all creatures have but one inexhaustible source, you may reach that source and become one with the Most High.

—Because it has no beginning in time, the inviolable Self transcends all senses and qualities of sense. The Self illumines the mind and body, as the sun shines upon the world. But the world cannot touch the sun; nor can the mind and body touch the Self. The one who distinguishes between the Field and the Knower, and sees how the Self stands apart from mind and body, has reached the Most High.