Chapter Thirteen: Nature, the Enjoyer and Consciousness
Bg 13.1-2 — Arjuna said: O my dear Kṛṣṇa, I wish to know about prakṛti [nature], puruṣa [the enjoyer], and the ﬁeld and the knower of the ﬁeld, and of knowledge and the object of knowledge. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: This body, O son of Kuntī, is called the ﬁeld, and one who knows this body is called the knower of the ﬁeld.
Bg 13.3 — O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies, and to understand this body and its knower is called knowledge. That is My opinion.
Bg 13.4 — Now please hear My brief description of this ﬁeld of activity and how it is constituted, what its changes are, whence it is produced, who that knower of the ﬁeld of activities is, and what his inﬂuences are.
Bg 13.5 — That knowledge of the ﬁeld of activities and of the knower of activities is described by various sages in various Vedic writings. It is especially presented in Vedānta-sūtra with all reasoning as to cause and effect.
Bg 13.6-7 — The ﬁve great elements, false ego, intelligence, the unmanifested, the ten senses and the mind, the ﬁve sense objects, desire, hatred, happiness, distress, the aggregate, the life symptoms, and convictions – all these are considered, in summary, to be the ﬁeld of activities and its interactions.
Bg 13.8-12 — Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona ﬁde spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratiﬁcation; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; detachment; freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest; even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization; and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth – all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance.
Bg 13.13 — I shall now explain the knowable, knowing which you will taste the eternal. Brahman, the spirit, beginningless and subordinate to Me, lies beyond the cause and effect of this material world.
Bg 13.14 — Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes, heads and faces, and He has ears everywhere. In this way the Supersoul exists, pervading everything.
Bg 13.15 — The Supersoul is the original source of all senses, yet He is without senses. He is unattached, although He is the maintainer of all living beings. He transcends the modes of nature, and at the same time He is the master of all the modes of material nature.
Bg 13.16 — The Supreme Truth exists outside and inside of all living beings, the moving and the nonmoving. Because He is subtle, He is beyond the power of the material senses to see or to know. Although far, far away, He is also near to all.
Bg 13.17 — Although the Supersoul appears to be divided among all beings, He is never divided. He is situated as one. Although He is the maintainer of every living entity, it is to be understood that He devours and develops all.
Bg 13.18 — He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested. He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyone’s heart.
Bg 13.19 — Thus the ﬁeld of activities [the body], knowledge and the knowable have been summarily described by Me. Only My devotees can understand this thoroughly and thus attain to My nature.
Bg 13.20 — Material nature and the living entities should be understood to be beginningless. Their transformations and the modes of matter are products of material nature.
Bg 13.21 — Nature is said to be the cause of all material causes and effects, whereas the living entity is the cause of the various sufferings and enjoyments in this world.
Bg 13.22 — The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.
Bg 13.23 — Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.
Bg 13.24 — One who understands this philosophy concerning material nature, the living entity and the interaction of the modes of nature is sure to attain liberation. He will not take birth here again, regardless of his present position.
Bg 13.25 — Some perceive the Supersoul within themselves through meditation, others through the cultivation of knowledge, and still others through working without fruitive desires.
Bg 13.26 — Again there are those who, although not conversant in spiritual knowledge, begin to worship the Supreme Person upon hearing about Him from others. Because of their tendency to hear from authorities, they also transcend the path of birth and death.
Bg 13.27 — O chief of the Bhāratas, know that whatever you see in existence, both the moving and the nonmoving, is only a combination of the ﬁeld of activities and the knower of the ﬁeld.
Bg 13.28 — One who sees the Supersoul accompanying the individual soul in all bodies, and who understands that neither the soul nor the Supersoul within the destructible body is ever destroyed, actually sees.
Bg 13.29 — One who sees the Supersoul equally present everywhere, in every living being, does not degrade himself by his mind. Thus he approaches the transcendental destination.
Bg 13.30 — One who can see that all activities are performed by the body, which is created of material nature, and sees that the self does nothing, actually sees.
Bg 13.31 — When a sensible man ceases to see different identities due to different material bodies and he sees how beings are expanded everywhere, he attains to the Brahman conception.
Bg 13.32 — Those with the vision of eternity can see that the imperishable soul is transcendental, eternal, and beyond the modes of nature. Despite contact with the material body, O Arjuna, the soul neither does anything nor is entangled.
Bg 13.33 — The sky, due to its subtle nature, does not mix with anything, although it is all-pervading. Similarly, the soul situated in Brahman vision does not mix with the body, though situated in that body.
Bg 13.34 — O son of Bharata, as the sun alone illuminates all this universe, so does the living entity, one within the body, illuminate the entire body by consciousness.
Bg 13.35 — Those who see with eyes of knowledge the difference between the body and the knower of the body, and can also understand the process of liberation from bondage in material nature, attain to the supreme goal.