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Chapter 5: Third Shatkam of GS

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Nov 22 1995 - 14:26:19 PST

CHAPTER 5:THIRD SHATKAM (GITA CHAPTERS 13-18)
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THIRTEENTH CHAPTER OF GITA:
KSETHRA -KSHETRAJNA  VIBHAGA YOGAM (THE  DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN BODY(KSHETRA)
AND THE ONE WHO KNOWS ABOUT IT (KSHTRAJNA)

Alavandaar"s masterly summary of this  chapter takes this form:

DEHASVARUPAMAATMAAPTIHETURAATMA  VISODHANAM I
BANDAHETURVIVEKASCCHA TRAYODASA UDHEEYATEH II

In a key sloka of this chapter( 13. 34), Parthasrathy states that those with the
eye of knowledge perceive the difference  between the Kshetra (body and its
attributes) and Kshetrajna
 (The Jeevatma that resides inside the body) .Such people obtain release from
the bonds of Samsara. They are emancipated from the Mula Prakriti of beings as
a result of their clear understanding of the relation between the Jeevatma and
the Body and thus qualify themselves 
for Moksha. Alavandaar focusses on this key point. 
The literal translation of the Verse of Alavandaar is as Follows:

" The essential nature of the Body,the means for Self-realization,the
examination of the nature 
of the Self, the cause of bondage and discriminatory knowledge(relating to self
and body) are 
(all) expounded in the thirteenth chapter. 

Parthasarathy also explains that whatever that is born in this Universe ,be it
moving or stationary,
arises from the union of Ksethra and Kshetrajna (13. 26).
Alavandaar focusses on the message of  the Lord , which deals with
DEHASVAROOPAM, BHANDHA HETU,VIVEKAM RESULTING FROM AATMA VISODHANAM.

Parthasarathy explained that Kshetram or Saareeram or body is the product of
Pancha Bhoothas
 or five elements. The purpose of the body is to provide a theatre (Kshetram )
for the Jivan to experience the happiness and sorrow resulting from its
accumulated Karmas. He explains further
that  Kshethrajnan stands apart from the body and to understand their
differences ,one needs a noble code of conduct  free from egotism and
self-centeredness.By observing the humble way of
life devoid of Ahamkaaram and Mamakaaram, one overcomes the Sareeraatma Brahmam
(the delusion caused from ignorance about the body and jivan) and attains
Moksham (freedom form the cycles of Births and  Deaths) . The Vivekam
(Discriminatory intelligence) to recognize the Jivan
as distinct from the body made up of Pancha Bhoothas  (five elements) and  Mula
Prakrti 
has been expained as the discrimination between Ksetram and Kshetrajnan, a key
step to attain the goal of Moksham.

Swami Desikan translates  closely  Alavandaar"s sanskrit slokam into Tamil in
his summary.
His verse is as follows:
OONIN PADIYUM UYIRIN PIRIVUM UYIR PRUVAAR 
JNANAM PERUVAHAIYUM JNANAM EENRA UYIR PAYANUM
OON NINRATHARKU ADIYUM UYIR VERIDUM ULL VIRAHAUM
THEHN NINRA PAADAN TELIVITTHANAN SILAIPAARTHANUKKEH

 Here, OONIN PADI stands for Deha Svaroopam, the word used by Alavandaar to
describe 
the nature of the body(Kshetram)  made up of Pancha Bhoothas,three tatvaas
(Prakrti, Mahaan and
Ahankaaram ). This body becomes the house for the eleven Indriyas: Five karma
Indriyas(, Five
Jnaendriyaas and Manas. There the Dharma Bhootha Jnanam distorts to accomodate
desire, hate, pleasure and pain. The purpose of the body (Kshetra) is to provide
a house for the Jivan to experience Sukham and Dukkham.

 By the Choice of UYIRIN PIRIVUM, Swami Desikan refers to Kshetrajnan , who is
the  eternal 
Jivan. 

Through the  third group of words, Swami Desikan uses to describe the way in
which the discriminatory knowledge about the distinction between the perishable
body and the eternal Jivan is ganed.There are twenty ardous  steps to gain the
Vivekam , that sets one free by the knowledge that the Kshetra is distinctly
different than Kshetranjaa. These  steps  are :

1. Modesty towards the learned  inspite of one being blessed with Education,
Heritage and wealth
2. Doing Duties prescribed by Saastraas without expectation of praise from
others for doing them
3. Ahimsa practise (not hurting others) by speech, thought or body
4. Equanimity towards even those, who cause pain 
5. Consistency between thought and  deed in dealings with others.
6.  Long and devoted service to the Acharya from whom he receives
clarifications  on the true  nature of Jivan and its diferences from the Body
7.  Practise of the cleanliness of the mind by chasing desires; cleanlines of
speech through 
telling truth (Satyam); cleanliness of the Body by not eating foods prohibited
by the saastraas.
The obtainment of cleanlinessa t the above three levels.
8. Clarity of mind arising  from a clear understanding of the meaning of the
Vedas and Upanishads 
without the admixture of thoughts not sanctioned by them ( Incorrect
intrepretations provided by 
other philosophies).
9. Turning the mind from its natural tendency to run after myriad things and
making it focus on 
the Jivan or Kshetrajnan
10.  cultivation of Fear to engage in thoughts  causing greif arising from such
strayings of the mind
11. Removal of delusion (sareeraatma Bramam) caused by misidentifying Jivan with
Body and  the Mamakaaram due to a sense of false ownership of Jivan as one"s own
, which really belongs to Paramatma.
12. Constant reflection about the unavoidability of birth, death, old age,
disease  and the sorrow 
arising from them , while in the Jivan resides in the Body.
13. Detatchment from objects that appear to be one's own and focussing only on
the Jivan
14. Attachment to Children, Wife/Husband, property only to the extent prescribed
by the Saastaas
15. Equanimity of mind regarding happiness and sorrow relating to one's children
et al.
16.Devotion to Sriman Narayana alone (Ananya Devata Bhakti)
17. Stay at places devoid of huge crowds
18. fear of the People,, who do not have Sattwa Guna
19.Unceasing thoughts on Jivan and its true nature
20.Engagement in deeds that increase such knowledge

These  are the twenty Saadhanas to gain Aatma Sakshaatkaaram or the cognition of
the Jivan and its true nature. The remaining three points that Parthasarathy
taught to Arjuna is covered by Swami
Desikan through three choice group of words: Jnanam Eenra Uyir Payanum, OON
ninratharku adiyum and Uyir Veridum Ul Virahum. The gaining of Discriminatory
knowledge (Vivekam),the reasons for the Bandham or tight coupling to Samsara and
the union of Both Body and  the Jivan 
 during the earthly existence inspite of their distinctness are covered by Swami
Desikan through 
these three groups of Words.

The comments of the other chapters will follow in the future  postings.

V.Sadagopan
Yuva Samvatsara, Kartigai Masam: Sarva Amaavasyai , Visaaka Nakshatram.