Tag Archives: Soul

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 4

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 4

Sarvayonishu kaunteya moortayah sambhavanti yaah;
Taasaam brahma mahadyonir aham beejapradah pitaa.

Whatever forms are produced, O Arjuna, in any womb whatsoever, 
the great Brahma is their womb and I am the seed-giving father.

Interpretation

This is the second part of the shloka where Lord Krishna talks about Him and Brahma in the creation of this universe. As we have already known from the previous shloka that the entire universe is the creation of Brahma and Vishnu. Here the Lord is comparing them both by giving a gender connotation. He says that every form of being that is produced in any womb, whatsoever Brahma is the womb. Here He compares Brahma to the female energy in creating the life. Then He goes on to compare Himself to the seed giving male energy which we normally call as the father. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

A very important concept that we need to learn from this shloka is about gender and gender neutrality. In today’s world there is so much of talk about the gender and the role of the respective gender. From ancient times, the roles and responsibilities of each gender have been well defined and they are also expected to adhere to the norms. Even to this date most of the norms are sacrosanct and not subject to change. Many of us will find it strange when Lord Krishna says “Brahma is their womb”. How can a male be compared to an womb? Usually womb is associated with the females is what all of us know. 

The real meaning of this shloka is at the highest level, gender is just a name. A women need not be associated with a womb nor a man needs to be always compared to seed. It is just to be noted that womb is required for the body to take shape and the seed to carry the origin of life upon which the soul enters the womb and fits inside the body. Gender is always secondary. When Lord Krishna says Sri Maha Vishnu is the seed or the male energy here, there is also an instance where He became Mohini, the female energy with a womb and gave birth to Lord Ayyappan fathered by Lord Shiva. This clearly explains the concepts of womb and the seed and their importance in shristhi.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 35

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 35

Kshetrakshetrajnayor evam antaram jnaanachakshushaa;Bhootaprakritimoksham cha ye vidur yaanti te param.

They who, through the eye of knowledge, perceive the distinction between the Field and its Knower, and also the liberation from the Nature of being, they go to the Supreme.

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna is talking about the liberation from the nature and how one goes to the Supreme. It is also described in the previous shloka as to how one gets to know the size and position of Supreme soul and where it is seated. Lord Krishna in this shloka underscores the importance of knowledge in distinguishing the field and the knower of the field. It is purely knowledge that distinguishes the field and the knower of the field and the one who acquires that knowledge to know the field becomes the knower of the field. Thus the person who acquires that knowledge of the field is liberated from the nature which is also called prakruti and attains the Supreme. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The phrase that needs to be looked at here is “eye of knowledge”. Eye of knowledge is nothing but the intuitive power that a person gets as a result of knowledge and meditation. We all have some intuitive powers within us which is the result of the spiritual development that our soul has acquired in its previous births. Intuition is also called as 6th sense, which is nothing but the voice of the soul. One can enhance this 6th sense by constant meditation and by acquiring knowledge. Meditation helps in conversing with the soul and knowledge helps in enriching the soul. This constant process of acquiring knowledge and meditating increases the power of intuition in an individual which in turn leads to “eye of knowledge”.

This eye of knowledge helps an individual to distinguish the field from the knower. We also come to know from the instructions of the Guru and the scriptures, that the field is incapable of understanding things, and its only the senses that makes sense of the field. A person who is a doer, acquirer of knowledge and in a constant en-devour to overcome the influences of nature, ignorance and other darkness’s will be able to understand the field. Once he understands that the field is what was created by the knower of the field and this knower of the field ie Supreme soul has directed every soul to know about the field, he goes on the en-devour to know the field. Thus he also becomes the knower of the field and attains the Supreme. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 34

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 34

Yathaa prakaashayatyekah kritsnam lokamimam ravih;
Kshetram kshetree tathaa kritsnam prakaashayati bhaarata.

Just as the one sun illumines the whole world, 
so also the Lord of the Field the Supreme Self illumines the whole Field, O Arjuna!

Interpretation

After talking about different aspects of field, the composition of the field and the constituents and the influencers of the field and also talking about the steps involved in knowing the field to become the knower of the field, Lord Krishna in this shloka finally talks about what lightens and brightens up and illuminates the field. He compares that to the sun, who illuminates the whole world. In the similar way, the Lord of the field whom we call as the Supreme soul, which is seated inside every soul, only has the power to illuminate the whole field, says Lord Krishna. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

I need to go back to Upanishads again to illuminate on the concept of a Supreme soul. We have been always talking about the Supreme soul in this chapter. Now we are comparing it to the sun. So, naturally a question will come into your minds on what exactly is the size of the Supreme soul and where exactly is it seated in your mind? The size of the Supreme soul is so tiny that Shwethashvatar Upanishad which talks about it, gave this example to describe the Supreme soul: “If we divide the tip of a hair into a hundred parts, and then divide each part into further hundred parts, we will get the size of the Supreme soul.”

Scientists who have been searching for the “God Particle” are actually searching for this “Supreme Soul” which is the life-giving the part for any being in this universe and when life is taken out of it, the Supreme soul just disappears by ejecting itself from the body of a person. The God particle is Higgs boson and its nothing but poetic justice to name the God Particle after the famous scientist Satyendra nath Bose from India. All the knowledge and spiritual wealth that has been carried by us for hundreds of years helped us, Indians to reach the God particle. We have in a way discovered that there is a particle which gives life, and the existence of this particle in a way is the proof of the existence of God in each being, as Supreme soul. 

Where exactly is the God particle or the Supreme soul located in your body? Everywhere is the answer, as this God particle the to every other cell, molecule, atom, and sub-atomic particles present in our body. But to pin point it, its precisely located at the mid point of the Crown chakra on the central part of your head. The point from where your body can be a divided into millions and trillions of equal parts is where your Supreme soul is located. Its the power house of your brain, that is why it is called as Crown Chakra and the Supreme soul is seated right at the middle of the Crown chakra. That particle alone can illuminate your whole field says Lord Krishna.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 33

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 33

Yathaa sarvagatam saukshmyaadaakaasham nopalipyate;
Sarvatraavasthito dehe tathaatmaa nopalipyate.


As the all-pervading ether is not tainted because of its subtlety, 
so the Self seated everywhere in the body, is not tainted.

Interpretation

In this shloka, Lord Krishna continues to talk about the Supreme soul that is seated in all the beings. Here He talks about the purity of the self and how it is untouched by anything. Lord Krishna compares the soul here with the ether space in the atmosphere around us. Ether is an empty space which looks to be empty but has every characteristic present in it. This nature of ether brings an element of subtlety to it. Just like ether which spreads across all the available spaces in the universe but never gets tainted, the soul also which is seated everywhere in your body is not tainted. It is because just like ether, soul is also subtle. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The dictionary meaning of subtle is “something which is so delicate or precise that it becomes difficult to describe or analyse.” A thing which is subtle is there with you and when you want to hold it, it just escapes from you. Subtle is something, which is there but not there. Love is the best example for it. Love exists everywhere but the moment you want to physically hold it, it just escapes from you. The presence of God in you is also very subtle. You can feel that inside you but the moment you want to see it, it disappears totally, leaving no trace of its existence. The most subtle thing that you ever see is the ether space around you.  

The ether space is an empty space in appearance but filled with everything that universe can hold. You can feel but you cannot see. If you want to touch, it will never come to your hand. We have been sending radio waves, sound waves, infra red and UV rays into the ether space and it works in medicine, science and technology etc. It is subtle, so you can only feel it and use it but cant own it or see it. Since it is untouched by anyone or anything it is said to be untainted. In the same way, our body has the soul seated everywhere but you cant see where it is. It is subtle just like ether space and it is untouched by anything that our mind or body does. 

Soul in our body is very subtle and it is there only to advice the senses about the real purpose of their existence. We have already discussed this in the previous shlokas that soul will be silently waiting for the body controlled by senses, to come out of the control, listen to it and find out the path to spirituality. One can only feel the soul, they cannot touch it or see it. So, in comparison it is just like the ether space. In the way, ether space which is untouched remains untainted, the soul also remains untainted as it also remains untouched by anything that the body and senses do. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 31

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 31

Yadaa bhootaprithagbhaavam ekastham anupashyati;
Tata eva cha vistaaram brahma sampadyate tadaa.

When a man sees the whole variety of beings as resting in the One, 
and spreading forth from That alone, he then becomes Brahman.

Interpretation

This is a shloka that directly talks about how a person could attain Brahman. Lord Krishna was till now talking about the field and the ways to understand it. Now, He is talking how to become the knower of the field. Knower of the field here means Brahman. According to him the first step towards it is, a person should understand that all the beings in this universe are resting in one and that one is none other than Brahman. Second is that all these beings multiply or spread from Brahman only and no one else has the power to replicate what Brahman creates. Such kind of person who understands this will be the one who understands Brahman and goes into Him.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This shloka talks about the different forms of life, but all having one soul created by God. For example, if you look at a bucket full of water, a pond, a river and a ocean you will say that all these are different. But if you see carefully, its all the same, all of them contain water. Same is the case with grass, a rose plant, a bamboo tree and a banyan tree. All of them appear to be different but they are all same. All of them are immovable living beings. So, there are variety of beings in this universe starting from a single celled amoeba to a complex multi-cellular human being. All of them might look different, but all of them are the same and the God seated in their soul is also the same. The one who understands this will alone understands the Brahman and goes to Him.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 30

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 30

Prakrityaiva cha karmaani kriyamaanaani sarvashah;
Yah pashyati tathaa’tmaanam akartaaram sa pashyati.

He sees, who sees that all actions are performed by Nature alone 
and that the Self is actionless.

Interpretation

Last shloka talked about Lord talking about the person who sees the same God dwelling in different living beings without discrimination, and the importance of it in attaining the salvation. In this shloka, Lord Krishna talks about the actions performed and how they should be viewed. So, what kind of person does Lord Krishna see? Here Lord mentions two things. First, is Lord Krishna says that He sees the person who sees that all actions performed by any individual are due to the influence of nature alone. The second aspect that He touches upon is, that person should also see the self as the action-less. Such people will be dearer to God.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

When you have read the interpretation of this shloka am sure you would have felt that you have read this before also that the actions are usually performed by nature alone. This shloka is not a repetition. What we have read previously was what one has to do. What is told by Lord Krishna is how one should see when others do it. Understanding this difference is very essential because usually there is a lot of difference between how one does things and how one sees when others do the same things. Simple example, we feel that cracking jokes and being jovial is a good thing and we crack jokes on different people and things. But if someone else cracks the same joke on us, we feel hurt and insulted.

This behavior comes because we have a different yardstick for measuring what we do and how we see others doing the same thing. Lord expects us to change this habit. First, whatever you are doing is done by nature which is also called Prakriti. so, nature is completely perceptual, and everyone behaves as the way they perceive things. Here another example also can help. Suppose you are a very serious person who doesn’t talk much and silently do your activities. How would you see a talkative person who is an extrovert and jovial? You should not have a negative view of the person or feel that this kind of behavior is wrong. One should always understand that behaviors are the result of our perceptions emerging out of nature and whether someone is like you or not like you, you should always see his actions emerging from nature alone.

The second aspect is Lord telling us that self is action-less. This is very crucial for misunderstanding or understanding a person. When someone does an undesirable act like theft, physical violence or sexual abuse or any other socially unacceptable behaviour we have a tendency to punish that person. So, what are you punishing here? Are you punishing the person’s senses or the soul? Here we need to understand the purpose of sending a person to jail. Jailing a person is a way of isolating him so that he is cutoff from the perceptions and nature’s influences. In isolation he will contemplate and meet his soul and do some search on his behaviour and comes out as a reformed person. So, the purpose of jailing is very different from what actually is followed today. The soul is never a part of activity and one needs to meet the soul to understand himself and that is possible only in isolation, which is very important for a person to change or reform.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 25

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 25

Dhyaanenaatmani pashyanti kechidaatmaanamaatmanaa;
Anye saankhyena yogena karmayogena chaapare.

Some by meditation behold the Self in the Self by the Self, 
others by the Yoga of knowledge, and others by the Yoga of action.

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna preaches how one can realise the supreme soul within oneself. In previous chapters also He has dealt with attaining of moksha through, worship, knowledge, meditation and by doing their work wholeheartedly. This shloka also talks about similar things even for realising the Supreme soul within us. How do we turn around and see the Paramatma within us? Lord Krishna says that some people do it through meditation and feel the supreme soul inside while others do it through the yoga of knowledge, which means by acquiring right kind of knowledge they realise the Paramatma within them. Some of them also do it by performing the right kind of actions.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We all are creations of God and each one of us is different from other. In the same way we all have different ways of realizing the Supreme soul within us. There are people who remain silent and contemplate and realize the God within them. This contemplation process is called meditation. Meditation is silencing the whole world to listen to your inner voice. To see the paramatma in a person, if that person is taking the route of meditation, then he needs to concentrate on his mind by cutting off the influence of the senses. That is the only way through which he can realize the Supreme soul within himself.

The second way is through knowledge. According to Srimad Bhagavatam “True knowledge is that which helps us develop love for God. The fulfilment of Karma occurs when it is done for the pleasure of God”. So, the message is clear. Seek the knowledge that makes you feel closer to God. That happens only when you listen to the signs given by God for you to learn things. Knowledge according to vedas can be acquired by hearing to gurus and knowledgeable people, contemplating within yourself and developing a firm faith or belief on the information you acquired. Only if you have faith in the information it multiplies and helps you acquire more information which subsequently turns into knowledge and wisdom. The other way is to do actions in the name of God to attain salvation.

Bhagavdgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 23

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 23

Upadrashtaanumantaa cha bhartaa bhoktaa maheshwarah;
Paramaatmeti chaapyukto dehe’smin purushah parah.

The Supreme Soul in this body is also called the spectator, the permitter, 
the supporter, the enjoyer, the great Lord and the Supreme Self.

Interpretation

After talking about the role of prakruti and purush in understanding the field, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about the Supreme Self and its presence in the field. He says that Supreme soul, which is nothing but Lord Sri Maha Vishnu Himself, is seated inside one’s body and He is a mere spectator of what is happening inside your body. He only watches your soul along with the senses making various decisions. He silently supports those decisions, doesn’t interfere to stop them and enjoys as you face the consequences of all those actions, either good or bad. He is that Supreme soul which is present in every body, says Lord Krishna.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

I want to quote a narration from “Mandukyopanishad”. Amongst all the Upanishads, Mandukyopanishad is the shortest but has a lot of spiritual wealth in it. In one of its verses it narrates a beautiful story. The story goes like this: Two birds are seated in the nest (which is compared to your senses), of the tree (which is like the body of the living being).  They are called the jivatma or individual soul and Paramatma or the Supreme Soul.  The jivatma is sitting with its back facing the paramatma, and is busy enjoying the fruits of the tree, which are the results of the karmas it receives while residing in the body.  When a sweet fruit comes, it becomes happy. when a bitter fruit comes, it becomes sad. 

The Paramatma is a friend of the jivatma, but He never interferes in anything that jivatma does. He simply sits and watches.  If the jivatma can only turn around to see the Paramatma, all its miseries will come to an end because Paramatma can help Jivatma in decision making, but as its sitting with its face turned away it can never sense the presence of paramatma next to it. In life we are all like that bird, where we never know the presence of God in us, as we never really turn around and look at Him, but we are busy worshipping Him all the time. Turning around here is not an easy exercise. It means you need to change your outlook. You need to accept the fact that whatever you were doing till now is not the right way and have to abandon that way. Then only you can turnaround.

The jivatma has been bestowed with free will which is nothing but the freedom to turn away or towards God. Paramatma never talks about His superiority nor forces jivatma to listen to Him. He simply waits for the right moment for jivatma to turn around and see the presence of Him next to his soul, which can take him to the right path. Jivatma never understands paramatma and its presence so it remains in the permanent bondage of maya, happiness, sadness, relationships and various other pulls that prakruti gives it. But once jivatma turns to paramatma everything changes. With this story, we can understand the world of ignorance we are living in. The light is next to you and you are holding the switch also. All that you need to do is switch it on. Then, you see how the life changes!

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 21

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 21

Kaaryakaaranakartrutwe hetuh prakritiruchyate;
Purushah sukhaduhkhaanaam bhoktritwe heturuchyate.

In the production of the effect and the cause, Nature or matter is said to be the cause; in the experience of pleasure and pain, the soul is said to be the cause.

Interpretation

This shloka further talks about the nature and the soul and its importance in understanding the field. Lord Krishna says here that nature or prakruti which is linked and perceived by the senses, as we have discussed in the previous shloka is responsible for all the effects and causes. This simply means that whatever cause and effect phenomenon that we experience in life is the result of nature. The other part of the shloka talks about pain and pleasure. Here Lord Krishna says that the soul is said to be the one that gives us the experiences of the pain and the pleasure that the body experiences.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

When we talk about nature here we are not just talking about the human beings alone but about every kind of species that exists in this universe. According to puranas, there are around 84 lakh varieties of species in this universe and all of them are the part of the prakruti or nature. We need to understand the fact here that prakruti is nothing but what we see externally. A lizard on a wall or a dog barking outside your home or a money plant in your balcony all are examples of nature or prakruti. They all combine to produce an effect on us that will have a lasting impact on our minds. Its true that other humans have a maximum impact on us than these animals, but we cannot completely rule out the possibility of the effect that other species can have on us.

Simply to put it, when we see nature in its full glory our mood changes and with that lot of our thought processes also change. Here the cause is the beauty of the nature that is perceived by the senses and the effect is the happiness and content feeling that our mind experiences. Conversely when we see a snake or an ugly lizard or a cockroach we experience feelings of hate, fear and disgust. The cause is the appearance of these species as perceived by our mind and the effect is the feelings of fear and disgust. so, nature does have an impact on all our thought processes. The other part is how the cause and effect of the nature can create the feelings of pleasure and pain inside us.

Here we have to understand that the effect is the result of nature as perceived by our senses and where body and soul both get affected. In the previous shloka yesterday, we have read that soul remains untouched and its the nature or prakruti which is responsible for all the modifications. But one has to also understand that soul cannot be isolated from the body. Pain is felt by the body, but will soul not get affected by it? It will. Body is the window for soul and though soul remains unaffected and is immortal, it will take all its learnings from the senses connected to the body and it is quite natural for it to feel the pinch of all the emotions that a body will feel. That is why when body cries loudly in pain, soul silently weeps.