When the Purusha begins to observe, witness the movement of Prakriti by its glance, it gets engaged with observation. This engagement of Purusha in the observation of Prakriti is called ‘bondage’, bandhana. The Purusha as it were gets engaged and goes on observing; it’s also called the act of forgetting, the Purusha forgets itself and gets entangled into observation. By that forgetting there is identification with Prakriti, thinks itself as Prakriti: it is this forgetfulness, it is this engagement with Prakriti, entanglement with Prakriti which is the bondage.
And that bondage can be broken only when Buddhi begins to dominate, because it is by Buddhi that discrimination is made, so when Buddhi is developed, then the Purusha begins to discriminate between that which is the snare, that which has been binding the Purusha and gets himself liberated. This is the fundamental proposition of the Sankhya.
So, first is the ‘avyakta’, Buddhi is avyakta, unmanifest, with the glance of Purusha; the unmanifest Prakriti begins to unfold, and the first enfoldment is the ‘Vast’, which is also the capacity to divide and discriminate and from there all the other things begin to develop, (namely ahaṅkāra), in each division, each divided thing begins to behave as if itself it is alone, in conflict with others, but separate from the others: ahaṅkāra is only this sense of being separate, in some way independent of all the rest, divided from all the rest and affirming itself as if it is different from all the rest: this is ahaṅkāra.
And the basis of ahaṅkāra is Buddhi: if there was no division, then on what would ahaṅkāra rest for its division and separateness. If there was no thing separated, then there is nothing on which ego can say ‘I am different from the others’. Because Buddhi prepares divisions, then out of these divisions arise tendencies of egoism. So, first is the manifestation of Buddhi; then is the manifestation of ahaṅkāra. Out of this ahaṅkāra…this is a subjective manifestation, because ahaṅkāra is a conscious manifestation, it is a subjective manifestation of Prakriti in the form of Buddhi and ahaṅkāra, which gets further, developed into manas.
ahaṅkāra gives rise to the manifestation of a sense: the real sense is only one, namely ‘mind’. Mind is the only sense of which all other senses are only specialisations: that is why when mind is not present; the senses don’t function as in sleep. When all the senses are closed, the mind is withdrawn, then even is there is a mosquito bite, unless it is very sharp, the sleep is not broken, because the mind is not present, there is nothing to sense it. So, ‘Mind’ is the real sense of which different senses are only manifestations.
So, indriyāṇi daśaikaṁ, (XIII, 5), the mind and 10 other senses which are specialisations, namely the 5 senses of knowledge and the five senses of action; and pañca cendriyagocarāḥ, and the five…they are called tanmātrā(s), sight, smell, etc are called tanmātrā(s) in sanskrit, indriyagocarāḥ, those which are direct object of senses are tanmātrā(s): all this is a subjective aspect of the manifestation of Prakriti which gets concretised in the objective form in pañca mahābhūta(s). So, mahābhūtāny, all the five great objects: earth, water, fire, air and ether, these are all called 24 elements on the side of Prakriti and Prakriti’s manifestations, 25th is Purusha: these are all Prakriti’s movements, all that we see is Prakriti, other than that is the real observer at whose command the Prakriti moves: that is Purusha. This is the most elementary exposition of Sankhya. There is much pore to be done; we shall come to it later on.
It is because of this that there are in this field certain psychological experiences. What are they? icchā dveṣaḥ, (XIII, 6), ‘all desire and envy’, they are movements of Prakriti; it’s of kṣetra, its not you; when there is dveṣa, when there is icchā, when there is envy, when there is desire, be sure it is not you, it is part of the kṣetra, part of the ‘field’; sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ, the happiness and misery, they also belong to the kṣetra, not to you; saṅghātaś cetanā, the cetanā, the awareness of saṅghāta, of receiving blows, dhṛtiḥ, whether you are shaken or whether you remain firm, (dhṛtiḥ is firmness).
etat kṣetraṁ samāsena savikāram ,
I have now told you in totality, samāsena, totality, etat kṣetraṁ, this entire field, savikāram, with all its modifications; with illustrations I have told you.
So, in two sentences as it were, Sri Krishna describes the entire kṣetra.