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


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