Correcting Misplaced “I” Identity Using Logic & Waking, Dream, Sleep Analysis (121)


Lesson 121 shows 5 points of error where “I” is placed. 3 States of experience also depend on the Knower, thus can't be the Knower. Why we call everything the world, except this body. 3 Levels of Knowing oneself.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 1

Revision of 5 Points of Error:

  • When Kṣetrajña (knower) identifies with individual layers, it seems to take on attributes of the layer it is identified with. Layers of erroneous identification are:
    1. Annamaya Kosha:
        • “I am pretty, unattractive, lean, fat, back pain. I cannot sit down”. All are identities with the BODY.
      • Why it’s not Kṣetrajña?
        • These attributes are all objects of knowledge. They are bunch of “knows” in the presence of the Knower, “I”.
    2. Pranamaya Kosha:
        • “My energy levels are low today. I am hungry/thirsty. My blood pressure has shot up. I feel sick and want to vomit”.
        • “I’m dying, going weaker each hour.”
      • Why it’s not Kṣetrajña?
        • Levels of tiredness, hunger, energy is changing throughout the day. Implying there much be an unchanging reality (Kṣetrajña).
          • IE: A fluctuations can only be evidenced in contrast to a non-fluctuation.
    3. Manomaya Kosha:
        • I am confused. I have a doubt.
        • I feel lustful, jealous, irritated, intrigued, optimistic, vulnerable.
          • Once “I” (kṣetrajña) identifies with anger, it creates corresponding hormones at level of body.
            • Eyes become flushed red, begin to perspire, and sentences fracture.
      • Why it’s not Kṣetrajña?
        • When emotion goes away, “I” don’t go away. “I” remain, and because I remain, there is Knowing of the coming/going of emotional vacillations.
    4. Vijnanamaya Kosha:
        • I believe ___. I think ___.
        • I am a Non-dualist, Christian, Caucasian, Indian, scholar, supporter, action-taker.
        • Mass example: “I’m a Democrat”, “I’m a Republican”.
        • “It is my understanding that ___”.
      • Why it’s not Kṣetrajña?
        • Thoughts are ongoing evolution. If “I” was evolving with them, then I (from standpoint of today), would have no connection to previously evolved thoughts.
          • EG:
            • From standpoint of today, “My thinking has doubled in sharpness since a year ago”.
            • From standpoint of future, “My thinking has quadrupled in sharpness since two years ago.”
          • Implying at any moment, in the presence of self (Kṣetrajña), there is knowledge about quality of thoughts.
    5. Causal Body:
      • How is it known as an Object of Knowledge?
        • When we say “I’m going to sleep”, do we mean:  (A) I’m going to dream (B) I desire to go that place of total freedom of objects. A place of nothingness. No life. No 4 kośas.
          • The fact that you RELATE towards the 2 options given, implies both options are objects of Knowledge. To whom? To Kṣetrajña (self).
        • So what is Deep sleep? Ignorance of objects (because no 4 kośas). And this (ignorance of objects) IS the object of knowledge.
        • This implies Kṣetrajña (knower) is not the Causal Body (the seed of all saṃskāras/prārabdha-karma).

Revision of Kṣetram / Kṣetrajña:

  • Knower (kṣetrajña) is one. Known (kṣetram) are many.
  • Kṣetrajña is different from kṣetram.
      1. I KNOW about the waking, dream and deep sleep state. Thus all 3 states (and everything that happens in them) are different from Me (kṣetrajña).
      2. I can’t be the mind. That would mean as many minds, as many I’s. Meaning a blunt-mind-I would never appreciate a smart-mind-I, since I is dull.
        • But reality is, a dull-mind aspires to be a smart-mind. Meaning the Knower of dull-mind has not taken attributes of the dullness.
      3. We say “My mind/life”, implying possessor and possessed are different. If mind was I, then no one would say “my mind”.
      4. For world/mind to be called “changing”, it is only possible in presence of unchanging substratum. Else one couldn’t relate to yesterday because there would be no “linking unchanging thread” in-and-through each day. The linking-thread can’t be memory because memory involves “doing the remembering”. But there is sense of continuity without effort.

    • What is difference between body-mind-kṣetram AND world-kṣetram?
    • WORLD:
      • World distanced from body-mind. So easy to identify as not-I. No-one mistakes chair with themselves.
    • BODY-MIND:
      • Body is intimately worn by kṣetrajña (as it were). Thus harder to recognize body as world also.
        • EG: Person mentions everything infront of them except worn spectacles.
        • Once wear spectacles, they’re quickly included in the subject (Knower). Hence instrument originally intended for sight, gets mistaken for “I” (the one looking through the instrument).
      • What is body-mind?
        • Just like spectacles, it’s an instrument for perceiving the world.
        • Meaning:
          • WITH presence of body-mind… I (kṣetrajña) experience the world and my own body-mind (kṣetram)… made up of form/color, sound, tastes, smells, sensations, emotions, thoughts, memories.
          • WITHOUT presence of body-mind, there’s no experience of world; as body-mind gives light to the world. While the kṣetrajña gives light (consciousnesses) to the body-mind.
            • EG: In deep sleep, “I” (kṣetrajña) experience no world. Because there's no body-mind. Although it can be said sukshma-sharira's citta (memory) is still partially operable; that's why there's remembrance of “having slept” after waking.

    • Pervades the inert body, giving it capacity to be Aware of itself.
    • Known as self-evident existence. Word “known” here isn’t parokṣa-jñānam, but aparokṣa (the ever present subject).
    • So what is human being?
      • Neither, just body-mind, nor just Consciousness. But mixture of both. Combination of kṣetrajña & kṣetra.
  • How to convert this kṣetrajña & kṣetra knowledge into actuality:
    • By changing how one thinks about one’s existence.
      • Parokṣa-Jñānam:
        • L1: I am the body.
        • L2: I am the body, and in me there is Consciousness (kṣetrajña).
      • Aparokṣa-Jñānam:
        • L3: I am Consciousness, and body is incidental/borrowed instrument through which I am engaging in the world. Short: I am Consciousness with an incidental body.
        • This needs training through constant repetition (nididhyāsanam) until it transfers from intellectual (parokṣa-jñānam) to actualized (aparokṣa-jñānam).


Keywords: aparoksha-jnanam, ksetra, ksetrajna, kshetra, kshetrajna, pancha kosha, paroksha-jnanam


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 20 April, 2021


One Comment

  1. Hi Andre. My name is Wil , I recognized your divine presence ,namaste. I like to thank you for explaining The Bhagavad Gita. I was able to understand everything very clear. My spiritual teacher is Joel Goldsmith he made his transition in 1964. He wrote about 30 books they all derived from one book ,first published after his God contact-realization, The Infinite Way. He also recorded about 960 lectures which you can find in YouTube. I would like if may to contemplate two of his books; The Master Speak and his first book. If you can comment I would like to know if you can’t thanks anyways. I think you are doing your part in this world ;the awakening of consciousness for mankind. I’m studying and meditating to get freedom and liberation. Everything I need is within me. The reason why I’m writing is to show gratitude and love for your commitment. Also I want to say that my teacher Joel took Sanskrit in the university with just an 8th grade level of education. His knowledge of Sanskrit lead him to seek the writings of Buda, Krisna, Adi Shakara . He recognized the many pathways and the common universal principles of truths. We are all part of the Creative Principle and Oneness of the Infinite Consciousness thats in man , animals ,plants and minerals . Once
    again thank you very much for your knowledge and contribution 🙏🙏🏽

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