THE FIELD AND THE KNOWER OF THE FIELD
cherish God Ganesha, who is identical with my Self. Then I bow at the feet of my Master, who is the abode of all lores. Whoever thinks of him masters the art of poetic composition and holds the lores at the tip of his tongue. He possesses such a sweet eloquence that it surpasses nectar and the nine sentiments take recourse to all his words. The exegesis discloses its secrets and explains the different doctrines. When our mind meditates upon the feet of the Master, then their meaning dawns upon us, the lucky ones (1-5). Bowing to the feet of his Master, Jnanadeva says that the Lord of Lakshmi, father of god Brahma, spoke thus,
The blessed Lord said:
O you Arjuna, who grasps the meanings of words, that intellect which realises the distinction between the Field and the knower of the field. sees truly and grasps the meaning of worlds. In order to realise this distinction between the two, the spiritual aspirants wear away the thresholds of the men of wisdom (1126-1130). It is for this that learned men amass the wealth of tranquillity and study the scriptures. Some undertake the yogic discipline and move heaven and earth with the hope of knowing him. Some hold in contempt their bodies and other possessions and render devout service at the feet of the saints (literally. carry their wooden slippers on their heads). By employing such various ways, they become free from sorrow. And some attain to the discriminating knowledge between the Held and the knower of the Field which I value more than my own knowledge (1131-1135). They know the real nature of the illusory prakriti which decks herself in different forms such as the gross elements and seems to affect the embodied Selves according to the maxim of the parrot and the tube (in which the parrot who, although in no way bound to the tube, imagines through fright that he is bound to it and clings to it frantically). Just as one knows the real nature of a flower wreath when the delusive knowledge of its being a serpent disappears or one recognises the shell when the delusive knowledge of its being silver vanishes, in the same way those who know the prakriti as distinct from the purusha, attain to Supreme Brahman (1136-1140). They become, O Partha, that Supreme Truth, which is more pervasive than the sky, which is beyond the prakriti, which, when attained, leaves no room for such feelings as identity or distinction and which remains in the non-dual form with the elimination of form, individuality and duality. Such persons know the difference between the prakriti and purusha and in this respect are like swans (which separate milk from water).
Shri Jnanadeva says, in this way did the Lord unravel the mysterious doctrine of prakriti and purusha to his bosom friend Arjuna. The Lord imparted this knowledge to him, as one pours water from one jar into another (1141-1145). But who imparted it to whom, since they are both Nara and Narayana? Lord Krishna himself said that he is Arjuna (X-37). But why should I say this without being asked? In short, the Lord gave to Arjuna his all. Yet the mind of Partha was not satisfied, he longed to hear more and more the Lord's talk. Just as the lamp flares up with the addition of oil, his longing to hear the Lord became intense. When the hostess is expert in cooking and liberal in serving food and the guest is fond of good food, the hands of both remain busy in serving and eating to their full satisfaction (1146-1150); so it was in the case of the Lord and Arjuna. Seeing Arjuna's intense longing to hear more and more, the Lord was greatly thrilled and encouraged to prolong his discourse. Just as with favourable wind the clouds gather and pour rain or with the rising of the full moon the sea gets into full tide, the speaker's eloquence waxes with the - response of the audience.
O King, now listen to the elocution of the Lord, which will make the whole world full of joy. This dialogue between the Lord Krishna and Arjuna, which has been narrated by sage Vyasa with his unlimited talent in the Bhishmaparva of Mahabharata, I shall now render in beautiful ovi verse in the local language (115I-1155). I shall now narrate the tale full of the serene sentiment, which will surpass even the erotic sentiment. I shall use such beautiful diction that it will redound to the credit of literature and even make nectar insipid in sweetness. My soft cooling phrases will even surpass the moon (who makes the moonstone ooze) arid by their captivating eloquence will muffle the divine resonant sound. If persons with a demoniacal bent of mind were to hear them, they will be filed with sattvic sentiments and those with a divine bent of mind will enter into samadhi Dallying with speech, I shall All the world with the import of Gita and make the whole world a pleasure-ground (1156-1160). May the poverty of discreet thought vanish, may the ears and the mind attain fulfillment, and wherever one sees. May one see the mine of the Brahmic lore. May the supreme Truth come within the vision of everyone, may the happy festive occasions come within the reach of all and may the knowledge of the Self become plentiful in the world. I shall now give such a fine discourse that it will bring about all that I have said, for I have come under the wing or my Guru shri Nivrittinatha. I shall explain every word in the text clearly, employing poetical language and similes in rich profusion. My magnanimous preceptor has made me proficient in all the lores (1161-1165) and it 1s because of his grace that whatever I say receives your approbation. Any capability that I possess to explain the meaning of Gita to an audience like this is entirely due to his favour. Now that I have taken refuge at your feet, there is no obstruction in my way. O Masters, is it ever possible that the goddess of speech will have a dumb child? It is also not possible that goddess Lakshmi will lack auspicious signs on her palm. How then can it ever happen that a person who has taken refuge with you remain ignorant? I shall now sprinkle all the nine sentiments (rasas) copiously in my discourse. But, O Saints, give me some respite so that I shall give a detailed exposition of the Gita (1166-1170).