Chapter 13

  1. Arjuna said:
    Life and the one who experiences life; the battlefield, and he who is aware of the battlefield. I want to understand all of this, and I want to understand awareness and the object of awareness, Krishna
  2. The Blessed One said:
    Son of Kunti, this body is the battlefield; so is it said by one who knows. Thus, those who know this are called 'aware of the battlefield'.
  3. And certainly know me as the one who is aware of the battlefield; of all fields, scion of Bharata. The field and he who is watching the field; to realize the difference is true awareness, in my opinion.
  4. I will explain that field, as it is, and what kind of changes it undergoes and how, and what influence it can have, in brief.
  5. It is in many ways described by the sages, by the various chants in various ways, by the sayings of the scriptures (Brahma-Sutras), as having very certain causes and effects.
  6. The great elements, ego, enlightenment, the impersonal, the eleven sensations, the five sources of sensation.
  7. Desire, hatred, happiness, sorrow, the school, the proof of life, determination; all of these are just some parts of the field, and examples of its interactions.
  8. Humility, lack of pride, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity, service toward a saintly teacher, cleanliness, steadiness, focus on the soul.
  9. The renouncing of the senses, egolessness, and witnessing the causes of birth, death, age, disease, and sorrow.
  10. Being free of attachment, free of associating yourself as a father, husband, homeowner, and so on. And also having obtained constant balance, neither drawn to the desirable nor away from the undesirable.
  11. Also by dedicated yoga, and devotion unto me, without pausing, going into the quiet places, being unattached toward people in general.
  12. Constant in awareness of the soul, for the sake of awakening the vision of awareness of the real. All of these things I declare to be awareness. All else is ignorance.
  13. I will explain the possible subjects of awareness. And when one tastes the infinite nectar of this awareness, one will know my greater form, Brahma. Then one will be beyond all causes and effects.
  14. It has hands and legs everywhere. Eyes, heads, and faces, with ears everywhere, filling all that exists in the world.
  15. It is the original source of all the elements (gunas) of the senses, although it is itself without senses. Without being attached, it is the maintainer of all life. And without any physical form, it is the controller of all the physical elements as well.
  16. Inside and outside of all living beings, mobile and immobile at once. Undefinable due to its multitude of definitions. Far away, and also near at once.
  17. Indivisible, though apparently divided into all living beings. The maintainer of all living beings, that must be understood as the devourer as well as the creator of all.
  18. It is in all radiant things, and it is also the source of all radiance. It is said to be beyond all darkness. It is awareness, it is the source of awareness, it is the longing in everyone's heart to be aware.
  19. Thus the battlefield, and awareness, and the possible subjects of awareness have now been explained in brief by me. Any devotee of mine who understands all of this will attain to my nature.
  20. You must know the world of matter and the living beings in it as being eternal. Their transformations through the gunas are the result of the interactions of matter.
  21. The interaction of matter is said to be the instrument that creates causes and effects. The interactions of living beings are likewise the instruments of the creation of joy and sorrow.
  22. Living beings that exist in matter certainly have experiences of matter. These experiences are caused by the gunas. The guna that a living being identifies most closely to will determine his good and bad experiences in his lives.
  23. The overseer who allows all of this, the master and true owner is the great divine master, the supersoul. And indeed it is said that the true experiencer within the body is this greater experiencer.
  24. Thus, anyone who knows about the living beings, the material world, and the gunas, whatever his present state, he will never again be forced to take birth.
  25. By meditating on the soul, some will see the supersoul in the soul. Others will see it through self-inquiry, yoga, or the works of union.
  26. But others still, without any special training, by merely hearing of this from others, will begin to practice. They will also transcend the path of death, for these ones are predisposed to hearing the truth.
  27. Whatever comes into existence of any kind, mobile or immobile, know that it is only a great combination of the observer and the subject observed, best of the Bharatas.
  28. Anyone who sees that the great divine master is equally present in all living things; that it is in all mortal things but is itself immortal, that one has true vision.
  29. Seeing the divine master equally everywhere, one will find no limit to the soul within the soul. Then one will reach the greater goal.
  30. Anyone who sees that regardless of which activities are done in the material realm, one's soul remains free of activity, that one has true vision.
  31. When one endeavours to see the separate personalities of living beings as being in fact oneness, then one will attain expansion into Brahma.
  32. This soul is eternal, transcendent of matter, infinite. Son of Kunti, though it is in the body, it never acts nor can action be taken upon it.
  33. It is the astral force (akasha). It is within all things but can never be affected. Likewise, the soul is everywhere in the body but can never be affected.
  34. As the sun gives light to the whole world, this subject gives light to the whole body, scion of Bharata.
  35. Thus with the vision of awareness one can see the difference between the body and the one who witnesses the body. Those living beings who know this will gain liberation from material bondage, and will approach the greater.