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Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 6

Mahaabhootaanyahankaaro buddhiravyaktameva cha;
Indriyaani dashaikam cha pancha chendriyagocharaah.

The great elements, egoism, intellect and also unmanifested Nature, 
the ten senses and one, and the five objects of the senses.


In this shloka, Lord Krishna is talking about the elements present in the field of a person. He says that the field of a person consists of the great elements. The great elements that Lord is talking about are the five elements of nature like earth, water, fire, air and ether. Apart from that the field also is consists of the egoism and the intellect of an individual. It also has the unmainfested nature embedded in it. This unmanifested nature makes the field unique and differentiates it from others. Lord Krishna also says that the field has the ten senses plus an additional one along with the five objects of the senses.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s life!

If you count the number of elements that Lord Krishna is talking about in this shloka it totals to 24. The great elements are 5, adding ego, intellect and unmanifested nature its 8. Ten senses plus one makes it 19 and the five objects of senses takes it to 24. The great elements are called Pancha maha bhutas which are Earth, water, fire, air. Next are the five sense objects are taste, touch, smell, sight and sound. The next question that comes to our mind is what are these ten plus one senses. Actually Lord Krishna is talking about 11 senses here when He says ten plus one. The five knowledge senses here are ears, eyes, tongue, skin and nose.

We have to understand that sound is a sense object and the ear is a knowledge sense. When sound which is a sense object present in the field touches a sense organ ear, it stimulates a response and we hear that sound. Thats how we understand words and sentences and various other sounds that are generated. The same applies to other sense objects as well as other sense organs. Apart from five knowledge senses, we also have five working senses. These are voice, hands, legs, genitals, and anus. Each of these working senses has a definite work to perform like the voice in speaking, hands in doing work, legs in traveling, genitals in reproduction and anus in removing the waste from the body.

Thus the 10 senses include 5 working senses and 5 knowledge senses. Added to this the eleventh one Lord is referring to here is the material energy which is also called mind. This completes 21 elements. The remaining 3 elements are egoism, intellect and unmanifested nature. Egoism is the person’s controlling power or nigraha shakti. It helps you in resisting temptations. The intellect is the ability of the person to assimilate knowledge and convert into wisdom, making him a learned man. Finally the unmanifested nature is the special ability that gives a unique persona to you and something which makes you different from others. All this Lord Krishna says are the fields.

For your convinience here is the list of 24 elements in the field.

I. Pancha Maha bhutas
1. Earth
2. Water
3. Fire
4. Air 
5. Ether

II. Sense objects
6. Taste
7. Touch
8. Smell
9. Sight
10. Sound

III. Knowledge senses
11. Ears
12. Eyes
13. Tongue
14. Nose
15. Skin

IV. Working Senses
16. Voice
17. Hands
18. Legs
19. Genitals
20. Anus

V. Others
21. Egoism
22. Intellect
23. Mind
24. Unmanifested nature