Eighteen chapters of Gita are
divided into three shatkams of six chapters each. As per Swami Paramarthananda each shatkam
focuses on three important topics. Prayatna, Karma yoga and Jiva
svarupa jnanam are the three important topics in the first shatkam; Prasada,
Upasana yoga and Isvara svarupa Jnanam in the second shatkam and Sadgunas,Jnana yoga and Aikya jnanam in the third shatkam. Of the the three important topics of the third shatkam which starts from Chapter 13,
Aikya jnanam is the main topic, Jnana Yoga is sadhana for this
Jnanam, and Sadgunas, the essential qualification to absorb this Jnanam.
Chapter 13, the first
chapter of the third shatkam, opens with a question of Arjuna seeking
clarification regarding six technical terms used in Vedanta. The six terms are; Prakrithi,Purusha,Kshertam,Kshetrajna, Jnanam and Jneyam. Lord Krishna first takes up the words Kshetram
and Kshetrajna. Kshetram is defined
as the body, which implies the body-mind complex, for Kshetram means that
which decays i.e. kṣiyathe iti kṣetraṁ.
Body-mind complex being made of pancha bhuthas is subject to
change and decay and is insentient. It is
only the unchanging Athma that makes the body-mind complex sentient. Lord Krishna by defining Kshetrajna as
the knower of the body implies that Athma is Kshetrajna in the body. From this it follows that Kshetram, the body-mind complex, is anathma. To prevent the
misunderstanding that there is separate Athma for each body, Lord clarifies
that Kshetrajna is one only in all bodies and that is Lord Himself i.e.
Paramathma. Athma in individual body is
called Jivathma. So this
means that Jivathma is none other than Paramathma, which is termed as
Jivathma ParamathmaIkyam. He further explains that this knowledge about Kshetram
and Kshetrajna is the real knowledge called Jnanam. From what we have seen, we can now call
Knowledge about Kshetram and Kshetrajna either as Aikyaa Jnanam or as Athma jnanam as both the terms are
synonymous and here Lord calls it the real Jnanam.
After this introduction Lord
goes on to describe Kshetram in detail in verses 6 and 7.
“The five subtle elements, Ahankara,
Intellect and also unmanifested Nature (MulaPrakrithi), ten
sense organs, Mind, and the five objects of senses, desire, hatred, pleasure, pain,
the body-mind complex, intelligence, fortitude --- all this, enumerated above
briefly, is Kshetram together with its modifications.” (verses 6 &
Five subtle elements (space,
air, fire, water and earth), Ahamkara (Cosmic ego), Intellect (Mahat,
cosmic intellect), the Unmanifested (Avyaktha), Ten sense organs
(five sense organs of perception plus five sense organs of action), Mind
together with the five objects of senses (vision, hearing, smell, taste and
touch) constitute 24 factors which are the same as the 24 principles (tattvas)
of the Sankhyan Philosophy. To these is added their modifications such as
desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the assemblage of body, mind and intellect, intelligence
and fortitude in Lord’s definition of Kshetram. In short the entire objective universe
including body, mind, sensory system, mental, emotional, intellectual ideas
that are knowable excepting the Consciousness which is the Subject constitute Kshetram
or Field and they are all matter only. The Consciousness, the Subject and the
Knowing Principle, is the only sentient principle, and that will come under Kshetrajna,
the knower of the Field, which Lord will discuss in detail under Jneyam
and Purusha, which also refertoConsciousness only. When
discussing Purusha, Kshetram as Prakrithi will also be
Lord takes up next Jnanam
for discussion and under this head elaborates on the moral qualities and virtues,
referred to earlier as Sadgunas, which cultivates the mind for assimilating
Athma Jnanam. In verses, from 8 to
12, He discusses 20 Sadgunas. They are
1)Amanitvam – Humility,
absence of vanity and self-conceit
2)Adambitvam – Unpretentiousness,
not trumpeting one’s own glory
3)Ahimsa – Non-violence,
not harming other living beings intentionally
4)Ksanti – Forbearance,
patiently bearing with all persons and situations without getting stressed
5)Arjavam – Uprightness,
straightforwardness in behaviour
6)Achryopasanam – Service
to the teacher with reverence and sraddha.
purity, external and internal involving purity of thoughts and emotions.
8)Sthairyam – Steadfastness,
concentration of all efforts to achieve the spiritual goal
vinigrahaha – Self-control, Restraint of Self in dealing
vairagyam – Dispassion or absence of attachment for sense objects
Absence of egoism
12)Janma mrityu jara vyadhi dukha dosha
anudarsanam – Thorough understanding of the changes every physical body
undergoes i.e. birth, death, old age and sickness with all its accompanying sorrows
and troubles. This awareness of pain and
sorrow steels one in his spiritual efforts.
13)Asakthih – Non-attachment, without
mamakara, feeling of mineness
putra dara grhadishu – Absence of excessive love (without intense
attachment) towards child, wife, home and the like
15)Nityam cha sama chittatvam ishta-nishtopa
pathishu – Even-mindedness in all circumstances, desirable and undesirable.
16)Mayi cha ananya yogena
bhakthiravyabhicharini – Unflinching devotion to Me (the Lord) by ananya
17)Viviktha desa sevitvam – Resort to
18)Aratir jana samsadhi – Distaste for
crowds and crowded social life
19) Adhyathma Jnana nityatvam –
Constant pursuit of Self-knowledge with the practice of moral values.
20)Tatva Jnanartha darsanam – Realisation
of the purpose of True knowledge.
described from Verse 8 to Verse 12 are declared to be the true `knowledge' by
the Lord because when they are fully acquired, then the mind is ripe to absorb
the true knowledge of the Self. Lord
also declares that the contrary qualities such as pride, hypocrisy, cruelty,
impatience, insincerity and the like are only ignorance as they lead to
perpetuation of Samsara.