Chapter 13The Individual Consciousness and The Ultimate ConsciousnessVerse 6, 7


Sanskrit Vocal





Commentaries of the Four Authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

as confirmed in the Garga Samhita Canto 10, Chapter 61, Verses 23, 24, 25, 26
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Sridhara Swami's Commentary

The characteristics and components of the ksetra are being elucidated by Lord Krishna beginning with the five fundamental elements which are earth, water, fire, air and ether. The false ego, the intellect, the unmanifest element of existence, the five perceptual senses being the eye, ear, nose, tongue and sense of touch. The five objects of the perceptual senses being sight, sound, smell, taste and form The five senses of activity being the voice, the hands, the legs, the genitals and the anus. The internal sense being the mind. Desire, aversion, happiness, unhappiness, the body, the intuition, patience and the six material modifications being birth, sustenance, growth, maturity, declination and destruction. Thus the Supreme Lord Krishna has enumerated the 24 categories which comprise the field of activity known as the ksetra.

The physical body is an aggregate of these 24 elements. Intelligence which is a cognitive function of the mind is imbued with patience and fortitude. Desire, aversion, etc. are merely effects of cognition and included as part of the ksetra as attributes solely of the mind and not of the atma or eternal soul. The qualities mentioned also include by implication other qualities of the mind as well such as reflection and introspection. Brihadaranyaka Upanisad I.V.III states: Desire, reflection, doubt, faith, lack of faith, patience, impatience, modesty, intelligence and fear are all products of the mind. In this way the qualities of the ksetra are introduced and enumerated by Lord Krishna. Thus the ksetra along with its modifications such as the perceptual senses, etc. has been described in brief and this concludes the topic regarding the ksetra.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Desire, repugnance, joy, misery, etc. are known as the modifications of the ksetra. The word cetana meaning awareness refers to the entire perceptual faculties of the mind. The word sanghata preceding it includes perception of the physical body and cetana refers to the total aggregate of mental facilities which includes modifications such as ego and patience.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The maha-bhutani which are the fundamental elements of creation being earth, water, fire, air and ether along with the ahankara or false ego, the buddhi or intellect and the avyaktam the primordial root which in essence is prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and from whom the fore mentioned emanate as the germinating foundations of the ksetra in different manifestations and modifications of an evolving process. The five perceptual senses being the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch corresponding respectively with their five objects being the visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory and tactual; along with the five senses of activity being the vocal, the prehensible the hands, the locomotive the legs, procreative the generative organs and the excretory organ for evacuation. The one known as the internal sense is the mind. Desire, aversion, joy and affliction are considered modifications of the ksetra as they are solely products of the mind influenced by moods and affections. The words sanghatas cetana dhrtih means the perceptual faculties of the mind and includes the physical body. The words catana dritih denotes adritah inferring adharah which means the basis, the medium for fundamental ingredients. The word sanghata meaning the physical body is the aggregate expression of the collocated ingredients that are utilised.

The ultimate purpose is to utilise the physical body to interact harmoniously with the mind and intellect to realise the eternal principle inside the heart in the form of the atma or immortal soul and the path to the Supreme Lord. Otherwise one will misuse their precious human form of existence to procure material happiness on Earth while experiencing joy and grief in doing so and take another birth in usually a lower species of life; or to perform activities in an attempt to procure entrance into the heavenly planets to enjoy celestial delights as a demigod for an allotted time period but which may or may not guarantee success and one has to be born again; or to strive for moksa or liberation from the cycle of birth and death to achieve an impersonal beatitude but if failing in this is forced to take birth again in one of the 8,400,000 some species in the material existence as well.

This is what is available in the ksetra. All of its characteristics and attributes are manifested out of prakriti the material substratum pervading physical existence and is the foundation of the mind and all the senses. It is the compound which gives rise to the change of temperament such as desire and aversion, happiness and misery and the medium by which the jiva or embdied being experiences pleasure, pain, joy and grief, etc. This concludes Lord Krishna concise exposition on the ksetra with its variations and modifications.

Next the virtues and attributes that will enable one to obtain atma-tattva or knowledge of the immortal soul which is connected to the ksetrajna will be enumerated by Lord Krishna.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Now Lord Krishna speaks of the characteristics and nature of the ksetra or field of activity beginning with the words maha-bhutani meaning the five fundamental elements being earth, water, fire, air and ether. These are the elements comprising material existence and these are the elements that constitute the physical body. Ahankarah is the false ego, buddhi is the intellect, avyaktam is the unmanifest nature known as prakriti the material substratum pervading all physical existence. The five organs of perception for the senses being the five senses: eye, ears, nose, tongue and skin. The five objects of the senses being sight, sound, smell, taste and touch and the five organs of action being the hands, the legs, the voice, the genitals for procreation and the anus for evacuation. These 24 elements have already been iterated by Lord Krishna millenniums before in His lila avatar or pastime incarnation as Kapila deva; but here He also names the modifications such as desire and aversion as well. Desire is attachment to that which gives happiness and repugnance is aversion to that which gives misery. Both are mental tendencies formed from a conditioned perception of what is favourable and unfavourable relegated by the karma or reactions to one's meritorious and unmeritorious actions and as they are caused by the actions of the physical body they are experienced by the jiva or embodied being through contact of the physical body as it is the receptacle of feeling for all jivas. The word cetana meaning awareness is apparent in all forms and species of life relative to their individual consciousness. This starts with being conscious of food only to being conscious of life with its six transformations of birth, infancy, youth, maturity, old age and death; to being conscious of the atma or the immortal soul, to being conscious of a Supreme Lord to being conscious of loving devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna. All these things have been explained in brief as being part of the ksetra along with the mind, the senses, the objects of the senses and the modifications of dsire and aversion which causes the sensations of pleasure and pain for the jivas.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 13, verse 6, 7 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 6, 7

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