The Hindu Tradition - The Bhagavad-Gita

Chapter 13: Creation and the Creator

The Supreme Lord said: O Arjuna, this body (the miniature universe) may be called the field or creation. One who knows the creation is called the creator by the seers of truth. (13.01)

Know Me to be the creator of all creation, O Arjuna. The true understanding of both the creator and the creation is considered by Me to be the transcendental or metaphysical knowledge. (13.02)

What the creation is, what it is like, what its transformations are, where the source is, who that creator is, and what His powers are, hear all these from Me in brief. (13.03)

The sages have described Him in many ways, in various Vedic hymns, and also in the conclusive and convincing verses of the Brahmasutra. (13.04)

The five basic elements, the "I" consciousness or ego, the intellect, the unmanifest Prakriti, the ten senses, the mind, and the five sense objects; (See also 7.04) (13.05)

Desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the physical body, consciousness, and resolve. Thus the field (the creation or body) has been briefly described with its transformations. (13.06)

Humility, modesty, nonviolence, forbearance, honesty, service to guru, purity (of thought, word, and deed), steadfastness, self-control; and (13.07)

Aversion towards sense objects, absence of ego, constant reflection on the agony and suffering inherent in birth, old age, disease, and death. (13.08)

Detachment, non-fondness with son, wife, and home; unfailing equanimity upon attainment of the desirable and the undesirable; and (13.09)

Unswerving devotion to Me by the yoga of exclusivity, love for solitude, distaste for social gossips; and (13.10)

Steadfastness in knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, and the perception of (the omnipresent God as) the object of true knowledge is called knowledge; what is contrary to this is ignorance. (13.11)

I shall fully describe the object of knowledge, knowing which one attains immortality. The beginningless Supreme Brahman is said to be neither Sat nor Asat. (See also 9.19) (13.12)

Having hands and feet everywhere; having eyes, head, and face everywhere; having ears everywhere; the creator exists in the creation by pervading everything. (13.13)

He is the perceiver of all sense objects without the senses; unattached, yet the sustainer of all; devoid of the Gunas, yet the enjoyer of the Gunas. (13.14)

He is inside as well as outside all beings, animate and inanimate. He is incomprehensible because of His subtlety. He is very near as well as far away. (13.15)

Undivided, yet appears as if divided in beings; He, the object of knowledge, is the creator, sustainer, and destroyer of (all) beings. (13.16)

The light of all lights, He is said to be beyond darkness. He is the knowledge, the object of knowledge, and seated in the hearts of all beings, He is to be realized by the knowledge. (13.17)

Thus the creation as well as the knowledge and the object of knowledge have been briefly described. Understanding this, My devotee attains Me. (13.18)

Know that Prakriti and Purusha are both beginningless; and also know that all manifestations and Gunas arise from the Prakriti. (13.19)

The Prakriti is said to be the cause of production of physical body and organs (of perception and action). The Purusha (or the consciousness) is said to be the cause of experiencing pleasures and pains. (13.20)

The Purusha associating with Prakriti (or matter), enjoys the Gunas of Prakriti. Attachment to the Gunas (due to ignorance caused by previous Karma) is the cause of the birth of Jeevaatma in good and evil wombs. (13.21) (Jeevaatma or Jeeva is defined as Atma accompanied by the subtle (or astral) body consisting of the six sensory faculties and vital forces; the living entity; the individual soul enshrined in the physical body. )

The Supreme Spirit in the body is also called the witness, the guide, the supporter, the enjoyer, and the great Lord or Paramaatma. (13.22)

They who truly understand Purusha and Prakriti with its Gunas are not born again regardless of their mode of life. (13.23)

Some perceive God in the heart by the intellect through meditation; others by the yoga of knowledge; and others by the yoga of work (or Karma-yoga). (13.24)

Some, however, do not understand Brahman, but having heard (of it) from others, take to worship. They also transcend death by their firm faith to what they have heard. (13.25)

Whatever is born, animate or inanimate, know them to be (born) from the union of the field (or Prakriti) and the field knower (or Purusha), O Arjuna. (See also 7.06) (13.26)

The one who sees the imperishable Supreme Lord dwelling equally within all perishable beings truly sees. (13.27)

Seeing the same Lord existing in everybeing, one does not injure the other self and thereupon attains the Supreme goal. (13.28)

Those who perceive that all works are done by the (Gunas of) Prakriti alone, and thus they are not the doer, they truly understand. (See also 3.27, 5.09, and 14.19) (13.29)

When one perceives diverse variety of beings resting in One and spreading out from That alone, then one attains Brahman. (13.30)

The imperishable Supreme Self, being beginningless and without Gunas, though dwelling in the body (as Atma) neither does anything nor gets tainted, O Arjuna. (13.31)

As the all-pervading ether is not tainted because of its subtlety, similarly the Self, seated in everybody, is not tainted. (13.32)

O Arjuna, just as one sun illuminates this entire world, similarly the creator illumines (or gives life to) the entire creation. (13.33)

They, who understand the difference between the creation (or the body) and the creator (or the Atma) and know the technique of liberation (of Jeeva) from the trap of Maya with the help of knowledge, attain the Supreme. (13.34) 

Chapter 13
        (The Book of Religion by Separation of Matter and Spirit)

Arjuna said:

1. [What is] Nature? [What the] 'person'? [What] the 'field' and [what] the 'knower of the field'? This, Krishna, would I know. [What too] is knowledge? [What] that which should be known?

The Blessed Lord said:

2. The body is called the 'field' and he who knows it is the 'knower of the field', or so it has been said by those whio know it.
3. And know that I am the 'knower of the field' in every field; knowledge of [this] field and [this] knower of the field I deem to be [true] knowledge.
4. What that field is and what it is like, what are its changes and which derives from which, and who He is, [the knower of the fireld,] and what his powers, hear [now] from Me in brief.
5. In many ways has it been sung by seers, in varied hymns each in its separate way, in aphoristic verses concerning Brahman, well reasoned and conclusive.
6. Gross elements, the ego, intellect (buddhi), the Unmanifest, the eleven senses, and the five [sense objects] on which the senses thrive,
7. Desire, hate, pleasure, pain, sensus communis [the aggregate of or bringing together of the human senses], thought and constancy,--these, in briefest span, are called the field together with their changes.


8. To shun conceit and tricky ways, to wish none harm, to be long-suffering and upright, to reverence one's teacher, purity, steadfastness, self-restraint, 9. Detachment from the senses' objects and no sense of 'I' most certainly, insight into birth, death, old age, disease, and pain, and what constitutes their worthlessness,
10. To be detached and not cling to sons, wives, houses, and the like, a constant equal-mindedness whatever happens, pleasing or unpleasing,
11. Unswerving loyalty-and-love for Me with spiritual exercise on no other bent, to dwell apart in desert places, to take no pleasure in the company of men,
12. Constant attention to the wisdom that appertains to self, to see where knowledge of reality must lead, [all] this is 'knowledge',--or so it has been said. Ignorance is what is otherwise than this.

                        THE REAL OBJECT OF KNOWLEDGE

13. [And now] I will tell you that which should be known: once a man knows it, he attains to immortality. The highest Brahman It is called,--beginningless,--It is not Being nor is It Not-Being.
14. Hands and feet It has on every side, on every side eyes, heads, mouths, and ears; in the world all things encompassing [changeless] it abides.
15. Devoid of all the senses, It yet sheds light on all their qualities, [from all] detached, and yet supporting all; free from Nature's constituents, It yet experiences them.
16. Within all beings, yet without them; unmoved, It yet moves indeed; so subtle is It you cannot comprehend It; far off It stands, and yet how near it is!
17. Undivided in beings It abides, seeming divided: this is That which should be known,--[the one] who sustains, devours, and
generates [all] beings.
18. Light of lights, 'Beyond the Darkness' It is called: [true] knowledge, what should be known, accessible to knowledge,
established in the heart of all.
19. And so in brief I have explained the 'field' and 'knowledge' and 'that which should be known'; the man who
loves-and-worships Me, on knowing this, becomes fit to [share in] my own mode of being.

                              MATTER AND SPIRIT

20. 'Nature' and 'Person': know that these two are both beginningless: and know that change and quality arise from Nature.
21. Material Nature, they say, is [itself] the cause of cause, effect, and agency, while 'person' is said to be the cause in the
experience of pleasure and pain.
22. For 'person' is lodged in material Nature, experiencing the 'constituents' that arise from it; because he attaches himself to
these he comes to birth in good and evil wombs.
23. [And yet another One there is who,] surveying and approving, supports and [Himself] experiences [the constituents of
Nature], the Mighty Lord: 'Highest Self' some call Him, the 'Highest Person' in this body.
24. Whoever knows 'person', material Nature, and its constituents to be such, in whatever state he be, he is not born again.
25. By meditation some themselves see Self in self (atamanam atmana), others by putting sound reason into practice
(Samkhyena or Jnana yoga), yet others by the exercise of works (Karma yoga).
26. But some, not knowing thus, hear it from others and revere it; and even these, taking their stand on what they hear,
overcome death indeed.
27. Whatever being comes to be, be it motionless or moving, [derives its being] from union of 'field' and 'knower of the field':
this know.


28. The same in all contingent beings, abiding [without change], the Highest Lord, when all things fall to ruin, [Himself] is not
destroyed: who sees Him sees [indeed].
29. For seeing Him, the same, the Lord, established everywhere, he cannot of himself to [him]self do hurt, hence he treads the
highest way.
30. Nature it is which in every way does-work-and-acts; no agent is the self: who sees it thus sees [indeed].
31. When once a man can see [all] the diversity of contingent beings as abiding in One [alone] and their radiation out of It, then
to Brahman he attains.
32. Because this Highest Self knows no beginning, no constituents, it does not pass away: though abiding in [many] a body, it
does not act nor is it defiled.
33. Just as the ether, roving everywhere, knows no defilement, so subtle [is its essence], so does [this] Self, though
everywhere abiding embodied, know no defilement.
34. As the one sun lights up this whole universe, so does the 'owner of the field' illumine the whole 'field'.
35. Whoso with wisdom's eye discerns the difference between 'field' and 'knower of the field', and knows deliverence from
material Nature to which [all] contingent beings are subject, goes to the further [shore].