Because ‘I AM', This Object Experience IS (Sat-Cit is Far & Near) (145)


Lesson 145 shows how Brahman is outside & inside. Far & near. Moving & unmoving. How Brahman remains unrecognized despite being everything (space, electricity egs). Complete devotion = emotion + intellectual study + practice.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 15, 16, 17, 18.


  • We are undertaking V12-18, expounding Jñeyam (Brahman, or the Knower). The Knower being myself, can never become an object-of-knowledge (sat / asat).
    • Only way to know the Knower is to own up, “I am never NOT the Knower, because in presence of Self… sat & asat are objectified.”
    • Verse 12-18 indicates the nature of the Knower (Brahman / jñeyam).
  • VERSE 12: Brahman is neither sat nor asat. But the presence because of which, sat and asat, are distinctly identified.
  • VERSE 13: Jñeyam is the Total-Existence that (seemingly) modifies into individual-form-existences, like: eyes, hands, legs, mouths.
  • VERSE 14: Even though Brahman is the content of all individual-form-existences, it remains unaffected by what happens to each of those individual-form-existences.
    • EG: Even though the sand supports the oasis-mirage in the distance, it’s not made wet by it. Sand is not associated in any way to the mirage. It’s unattached.
    • This is why Īśvara is able to perfectly coordinate the universe, because the vast intelligence remains unattached to creation. However we think, we need to be emotionally attached to serve/perform well. But opposite is true.
      • EG:
        • Master surgeon is not allowed to perform surgery on his wife, due to attachment.
        • Sometimes child/beloved will under-perform in presence of another due to attachment to family history.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 15:

bahiḥ-antaḥ ca bhūtānām acaram caram eva ca ।
sūkṣmatvāt tat avijñeyam dūrastham ca antike ca tat ॥ 13-15 ॥

That (jñeyam brahma) is outside and inside living beings. It is unmoving and moving. It is far and near. Because it is subtle, it is not known and it is far as well as near.

  • bahiḥ-antaḥ ca bhūtānām: Brahman (jñeyam) is outside and inside living beings.
    • EG: Space is same inside/outside room. Space seems unique from within the room because of room attributes like size and objects inside it.
      • No matter how big room increases, it’s only ever increasing in the space that was already “waiting” to accommodate it.
      • EG: 5 min ago room said, everything outside my walls is not me. But 5 min later the room size increases and is now capturing the very space it rejected as not-self, just 5 min ago.
    • Likewise, Existence can’t be localized to size/object. Because it’s only because of Existence, that attribute IS.
  • acaram caram eva ca: Jñeyam Brahma is moving and unmoving.
    • How to resolve contradiction? How can it be both?
      1. UNMOVING: Jñeyam’s svarūpa is non-moving, because that which has no boundaries doesn’t need to move, since it obtains everywhere. Only a finite object needs to move from A to B.
      2. MOVING: Jñeyam seems to move because of it’s upādhi (or reflecting medium).
        • Upādhi: that which, as though, lends it’s attributes to something else, called upahita (that which as though takes on attributes of something else). EG:
          1. HAND: Light doesn’t move. Hold hand (medium), light is present. Move hand, light seems to have moved with the hand, and is absent in preceding location. Thus hand movement seemingly moved the light.
          2. LIGHTHOUSE: One unmoving light. With rotating dome with 3 holes. One light is shining all-around, but appears to be moving due to being limited by the moving instrument.
          3. GLOOMY DAY: We say “I feel gloomy”. Thereby day (upahita) becomes gloomy.
          4. EXISTENCE: Body-mind travels from A to B. Existence doesn’t move, but seems to because we mistakenly associate body-mind to Existence.  In reality, because of Existence, body-mind IS… in location A, B, C, etc.
  • dūrastham ca antike ca tat: It is near and far.
    • MEANING 1:
      • Meaning Brahman will never “come” to me, because it’s evident that “I am”. While all roles individual plays, depend on am-ness.
      • One needs not induce Self through action, because any action implies “It’s far away and my action will bring it closer”.
        • EG: Kundalini-Awakening. Looking for divine experience to Validate Me.
      • Also clears up notion that Bhagavān is far away. So when someone asks, “Is Bhagavān in Heaven/Vaikunṭḥa?”, answer, “Yes, ALSO in Heaven. Also residing in mind right now”.
    • MEANING 2: (Adi Shankara)
      • For the wise, Brahman is near, knowing THIS Existence-Awareness evident right now, is Brahman.
      • For the ignorant, Brahman is far because it’s interpreted as SPECIFIC object-of-experience. Thus search continues by looking for more refined high’s, more peaceful, more holy, less desiring, etc.
  • sūkṣmatvāt tat avijñeyam:
    • QUESTION: If Brahman is everything, everywhere — how come it remains unrecognized? Because it’s free from attributes. It’s attributes that help one recognize something. Less attributes, harder to comprehend. More attributes, easier to capture.
      • EG: Universe is made up of 5 elements. One sense organ assigned to each.
        1. EARTH: Easiest to relate because recognized through: Sound, Air, Form, Taste, Smell.
        2. WATER: Doesn’t have: Smell.
        3. FIRE: Doesn’t have: Smell, Taste.
        4. AIR: Doesn’t have: Smell, Taste, Form.
        5. SPACE: Doesn’t have: Smell, Taste, Form, Air. Hence hardest to grasp.  Most think it refers to “outer space”. Einstein defined “space”: Curved, elastic matter.
      • BRAHMAN: Even subtler then space, hence hardest to comprehend. Need a mind even more sensitive then of a quantum physicist.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 16:

avibhaktam ca bhūteṣu vibhaktam iva ca sthitam ।
bhūta-bhartṛ ca tat jñeyam grasiṣṇu prabhaviṣṇu ca ॥ 13-16 ॥

That (jñeyam brahma) remains undivided in beings. Yet (it appears) as though divided in beings. That (jñeyam brahma) is the sustainer of the beings and elements, and is the devourer and the creator.

  • LINE 1 OF VERSE: avibhaktam ca bhūteṣu vibhaktam iva ca sthitam: Consciousness (Brahman) remains undivided, yet appears as if divided.
    • EG 1:
      • Here”, consciousness is recognized. “There”, consciousness recognized (in you). But NOT in-between. So we conclude: “THIS/my consciousness is different from YOUR consciousness, from elephants consciousness”.
        • Demonstrated with light: Stretch fingers on black surface. Only see light on fingers. Not between, since no reflecting medium.
          • In fact, division belongs to fingers and not light. Division belongs to forms, not existence-consciousness. Because even in-between, IS.
    • EG 2:
      • Though space is One, it can manifest as room-space, cup-space… only when seemingly conditioned by the walls or cup.
    • EG 3:
      • Electricity is all-pervading, yet conditioned by bulb… manifests AS effulgence at the filament.
        • Similarly, all-pervading Existence-Consciousness, conditioned by forms, seems to be different in different forms.
  • LINE 2 OF VERSE: bhūta-bhartṛ ca tat jñeyam grasiṣṇu prabhaviṣṇu ca: Brahman (by His inscrutable power of māyā), takes the role of manifestor, sustainer and dissolver of everything.
    • EG 1: Plants are born of, and dissolve into source from which they came, Earth (support/devours them).
    • EG 2: All ornaments are born of gold… reside in gold and dissolve into gold.
    • CONCLUSION: In reference to plurality, every object/experience (whether in manifest, sustained or unmanifest state), is borrowing from sat-cit.
      • If don’t know this, then will invest every life fascinated into individual objects-experiences, thereby enjoying-suffering (saṃsārī).

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 17:

jyotiṣām api tat jyotiḥ tamasaḥ param ucyate ।
jñānam jñeyam jñānagamyam hṛdi sarvasya viṣṭhitam ॥ 13-17 ॥

That (jñeyam brahma) is the light of all lights. Is said to be beyond ignorance. It is knowledge, it is that which has to be known. It is that which is arrived at by knowledge, and is present in the minds of all.

  • jyotiṣām api tat jyotiḥ: Krishna is borrowing from Mundaka Upaniṣad, V9-10 to describe Brahman as the light of all lights. Just as Kena Upaniṣad describe sat-cit as: Eye of the eye, ear of the ear, mind of the mind.
      1. Because of sun light alone, I can see what is infront of me. Extending to verse…
      2. In reference to external objects, they are “seen”, because the sense organs are the light.
        • EG:
          • Hearing is called light, because in presence of hearing, sound is known.
          • Smelling is called light, because in presence of smelling, fragrances are known.
          • Logic is light because, because through reasoning, I come to understand/grasp.
          • Words are light because, one can be led in a dark house through words.
        • CONCLUSION: Every sense instrument is a light for world objects.
      3. Light of sense organs, is the mind (assimilates/cumulates the sensory data).
        • Mind modifies into the total scene constructed by help of the 5 sense instruments.
      4. Finally, the light of the mind, is Consciousness (Brahman).
        • Because if there no Consciousness, then anything previously-mentioned is meaningless.
        • For this reason, Existence-Consciousness is called, “light-of-all-lights”. The light in whose presence, all other lights become meaningful.
  • tamasaḥ param ucyate: Jñeyam is beyond darkness.
    • Vyāvahārika light can illumine everything but darkness. Can eyes illumine darkness? Because eyes stop functioning when no light enters them.
      • Then what illumines darkness in pitch-black or when eyes-closed? I (conscious presence).
      • Hence unlike physical light, which can illumine everything but darkness… consciousness can even illumine (physical) darkness. Consciousness can also illumine absence-of-knowledge (ignorance).
  • jñānam jñeyam jñānagamyam: Brahman is also:
    1. jñeyam:
      • Subject.
      • The Knower, Self.
    2. Jñānam:
      • Any object (whether known or unknown).
      • Knowing instrument (antaḥ karaṇa / buddhi / sense organs).
      • Process of knowing / figuring things out.
      • That through which we come to know the Truth > Brahma-vidyā in form of scriptures.
    3. Jñāna-gamyam: Destination one is seeking, is Brahman.
  • hṛdi sarvasya viṣṭhitam: Jñeyam is dwelling in heart of all.
    • Philosophically, “heart” refers to buddhi which serve as a reflecting medium of Consciousness.
      • If heart/buddhi is impure, it sullies the pure reflection of Consciousness.
        • Hence even though Brahman is illumining everyone’s buddhi/heart, only those with a pure mind are able to discern it as Self.
      • And how to understand Self as Brahman?
        • There’s only one way, “I am a conscious being”. Then refrain from attributing this fact-of-being-conscious, to aliveness of the body-mind.
        • Understand the fact-of-consciousness is YOU. One in whose presence, both IS and IS-not are evidenced.
          • EG: My mind is blank (thought IS-not). Hence Consciousness is the witness of (presence OR absence) of thoughts.
  • CONCLUSION: Arjuna, I have expounded the topic of jñeyam Brahman.
    • Jñeyam VS Kṣetrajña:
      • Both refer to Brahman (Consciousness, sat-cit).
      • Kṣetrajña is Existence-Consciousness obtaining in body-mind. Also called ātmā (in other contexts can relate to antaḥkaraṇa/mind) or jivātmā (in some context can relate to ignorant-jīva). Microcosm.
      • Jñeyam is Existence-Consciousness obtaining as everything (sat/asat, sentient/insentient). Also called: paramātmā / īśvara. Macrocosm.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 18:

iti kṣetram tathā jñānam jñeyam ca uktam samāsataḥ ।
mat-bhaktaḥ etat vijñāya mat-bhāvāya upapadyate ॥ 13-18 ॥
Thus kshetram (sat/asat), jñānam (the means of gaining knowledge of that which is beyond sat/asat), and Jñēyam (what is to be known; Brahma) have been taught briefly. Knowing this, my devotee becomes fit to attain My nature.

  • Of the 6 topics in CH13…
    • 4 have been discussed:
      1. Kṣetra: Matter. CH7, aparā-prakṛti.
      2. Kṣetrajña: Awareness shining through the gross-subtle-causal body. In CH7, parā-prakṛti.
      3. Jñānam: 20 values.
      4. Jñeyam: That which is to be known, as the Truth of everything.
    • 2 Remain:
      • 5/6: Prakṛti-puruṣaḥ. V19-23.
  • Who among seekers is fit for this great Knowledge? Madbhaktaḥ: My devotees alone are fit.
    • Those who specifically want to know God completely.
      • Those who want to know what’s inside a frog are frog-devotees. Rituals for worldly success = success-devotees. Get high IQ score = IQ devotees. Etc.
    • Krishna is talking about Devotion.
      • Complete devotion is not merely emotional surrender (unto the Lord out of love). But is also backed by:
        1. Intellectual appreciation of the Truth.
        2. Active discrimination of the Field (Kṣetra) and the Knower-of-the-Field (Kṣetrajña).

Keywords: kshetra, kshetrajna, jnanam, jneyam, upadhi, upahita

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

Recorded 28 Sept, 2021



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