We were towards the end of the 13th chapter now, 26th. It speaks of the birth of the universe by the union of the union of the ‘field’ and the ‘knower of the field’. In the terms of Sankhya that we discussed last time, it is by the union of Purusha and Prakriti that the world is produced. In terms of the Vedanta, it is the union of Sat and Chit that the world is produced. Sat corresponds to Purusha and Chit corresponds to Chit-Shakti, to Prakriti or force.
And the substance of this particular verse is a derivative of all that has gone before where the emphasis falls upon the knowledge of the ‘field’ and of the ‘knower of the field’, that is to say, the knower of the field no only knows the field, but the knower of the field also knows ‘the knower of the field’ himself. The knower of field also looks upon himself as an object of knowledge. Therefore as far as the object of knowledge is concerned both the field is the object of knowledge and the knower of the field is also the object of knowledge.
In Sanskrit it is called ‘jñeya’, that which is to be known. That which is to be known is both the field and the knower of the field. And the important point is that you cannot know the field properly unless you know the knower of the field. It is not as if you observe the field and your knowledge, or the observation of the field will be perfect. Unless and until you also know the knower of the field, by introspection, by inner perception, even the field will not so clear. The more you know the knower, the more you know the field. The field will be illuminated when the knowledge of the knower also increases.
And when this knowledge is full, complete, the integral knowledge consists of the knower of the field which is not only the individual self but also the supreme Self. The knowledge of the field is not only the knowledge of Prakriti as it is now known, but even of Para Prakriti which is at the root of Prakriti and thirdly you also know the individual self which is a portion of the Supreme: all the three constitute, put together, is the subject of the integral knowledge.
Once you have this knowledge, then in the next verses we have a few verses, (not only one verse but several verses), which gives us a characteristics of one who has gone to the knowledge of all the three.
samaṁ sarveṣu bhūteṣu tiṣṭhantaṁ parameśvaram |
vinaśyatsv avinaśyantaṁ yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati ||27|| (XIII)
“When this knowledge is obtained, then among all the objects you perceive the Parameshwara, the supreme Lord, even in the perishable things, you see that which is imperishable.” It is only when you see the Purushottama, the supreme Lord, and when you see the Imperishable in the perishable, then only you can see now you have seen.
What is the definition of ‘having seen’: you have not seen unless you have seen the Lord and unless you have seen the imperishable in the perishable; yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati, “Who ever see this, he really perceives.”