iti kṣetraḿ tathā jñānaḿ
jñeyaḿ coktaḿ samāsataḥ
mad-bhakta etad vijñāya
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 13.19
Thus the field of activities [the body], knowledge and the knowable have been summarily described by Me. Only My devotees can understand this thoroughly and thus attain to My nature.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The Lord has described in summary the body, knowledge and the knowable. This knowledge is of three things: the knower, the knowable and the process of knowing. Combined, these are called vijnana, or the science of knowledge. Perfect knowledge can be understood by the unalloyed devotees of the Lord directly. Others are unable to understand. The monists say that at the ultimate stage these three items become one, but the devotees do not accept this. Knowledge and development of knowledge mean understanding oneself in Krishna consciousness. We are being led by material consciousness, but as soon as we transfer all consciousness to Krishna’s activities and realize that Krishna is everything, then we attain real knowledge. In other words, knowledge is nothing but the preliminary stage of understanding devotional service perfectly. In the Fifteenth Chapter this will be very clearly explained.
Now, to summarize, one may understand that verses 6 and 7, beginning from maha-bhutani and continuing through cetana dhrtih, analyze the material elements and certain manifestations of the symptoms of life. These combine to form the body, or the field of activities. And verses 8 through 12, from amanitvam through tattva-jnanartha-darshanam, describe the process of knowledge for understanding both types of knower of the field of activities, namely the soul and the Supersoul. Then verses 13 through 18, beginning from anadi mat-param and continuing through hridi sarvasya visthitam, describe the soul and the Supreme Lord, or the Supersoul.
Thus three items have been described: the field of activity (the body), the process of understanding, and both the soul and the Supersoul. It is especially described here that only the unalloyed devotees of the Lord can understand these three items clearly. So for these devotees Bhagavad-gita is fully useful; it is they who can attain the supreme goal, the nature of the Supreme Lord, Krishna. In other words, only devotees, and not others, can understand Bhagavad-gita and derive the desired result.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
In this verse the Lord summarizes the topic about the field and other items previously described along with the result for those who practice. The field consists of the items starting with the five gross elements and ending with dhrti, perseverance in verses 5 and 6. Knowledge was described starting with pridelessness (amanitvam) and ending with reviewing the goal of liberation (tattvajnartha darsanam) in verses 7 through 11. The object of knowledge to be attained by the process of knowledge was described in verses 12 through 18 starting with the word anadi and ending with the word dhistam. The one truth known as brahman, bhagavan and paramatma has thus been briefly described.
The jnani with some devotion (mad bhaktah), knowing this, merges with me (mad bhavaya). An alternate meaning of the sentence is “My ekanta bhakta, understanding that I, his master, have such powers (etad vijnaya), becomes endowed with prema (mad bhavaya) for me.”
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
13.19 This is a brief description of the principle of Ksetra — i.e., the text beginning with ‘The great elements, the Ahankara’ (13.5) and ending with ‘An association’ (13.6). ‘Knowledge’ which is the means for attaining the comprehension of the principle known as the self has been taught in the text beginning with ‘Modesty’ (13.7) and ending with ‘Reflection for attainment of knowledge of truth’ (13.11). The nature of Ksetrajna (the self) which is the object of knowledge has also been concisely taught by the text beginning with ‘The beginningless brahman having Me for the Highest’ (13.12) and ending with ‘present in the heart of all’ (13.17). My devotee, on knowing this, i.e., the truth about the Ksetra, the truth about the means for attaining the nature of the self as distinct from the Ksetra, and the truth about the Ksetrajna, becomes worthy to attain My state of being. What is called My state of being is My own nature (Svabhava), namely, the transcendence of transmigratory existence. The meaning is that he becomes worthy to attain the state of freedom for transmigratory existence. Next (1) the beginninglessness of the conjunction between the Prakrti and the self which are completely distinct, (2) the difference in the workings of these two when they are associated with each other, and (3) the cause of this conjunction — these are treated:
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Thus the reality concerning the ksetra or field of activity and the ksetra- jna the knower of the field of activity has been explained in conjunction with the rewards of this knowledge and description of one qualified by this knowledge. What has been previously taught in detail by great sages like Vasistha and Parasara concerning the ksetra or field of activity was given in brief by Lord Krishna beginning in verses 6 and 7 with the maha-bhutany or the five fundamental elements. Continuing in verses 8 to 12 beginning with amanitvam or humility and ending with tattva-jnana-artha-darsanam or the goal of spiritual knowledge. Concluding in verses 13 to 17 of an explanation of Parabrahma and the examination of His nature. All these things have been precisely enumerated in a concise manner. Knowing well these things and practicing them incessantly a devotee of Lord Krishna as described in chapter 12 becomes qualified and worthy to attain His eternal association in this very life.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
In verses 8 to 12 Lord Krishna has given the means of knowledge by imbibing the 20 super excellent spiritual endowments beginning with amanitvam or reverence and adamvitam or humility even before explaining the modifications of the ksetra or field of activity. This is because they hold the primary position and the many modifications of the ksetra hold a secondary position. Here Lord Krishna is not at all implying any merger or absorption into His nature by a qualified aspirant. The words mad- bhavayopapadyate means qualification for the Supreme Lords service. When a jiva or embodied being becomes a devotee of the Supreme Lord one becomes qualified to attain bhakti or exclusive loving devotional service unto Lord Krishna and subsequently when one achieves moksa or liberation from material existence at that time one attains the Supreme Lords association in the spiritual worlds.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna is pointing out that His devotees are particularly qualified and reveals what they achieve by being devoted to Him. Beginning with the words iti ksetram tatha jnanam meaning knowledge of the field of activity He is referring to the ksetra of five fundamental elements, the senses, ego and mind, etc. described in verses 6 and 7. The words tatha jnanam refers to the 20 super excellent spiritual endowments given in verses 8 to 12 beginning amanitvam or reverence where concluding this theme He confirms that factual knowledge of atma tattva or soul realisation and the ksetra- jna or knower of the field of activity is actual knowledge and all knowledge that does not facilitate this realisation is nescience. From their to verse 18 is described in a nutshell how imbibing the 20 spiritual endowments lead to this realisation and concludes by revealing that He resides in the etheric heart of all living beings and that invariably it is His devotees by virtue of their possessing these spiritual endowments that are able to attain Him. This is denoted by the word vijnaya or knowing. Knowing the true nature of the ksetra or field of activity by virtue of the 20 spiritual endowments is the means to realise the ksetra-jna or the knower of the field of activity which is the atma the immortal soul and transcends samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. The conclusion is that Lord Krishna’s devotees knowing the true nature of spiritual eternity and what is the ultimate reality qualify themselves faithfully and enthusiastically in His exclusive loving devotion.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
13.19 Iti, thus; uktam, has been spoken-commencing from ‘I shall speak of that which is to be known’ (12) and ending with ‘It is spoken of as beyond darkness’ (17); samasatah, in brief; the ksetram, field -beginning with the ‘great elements’ and ending with ‘for titude’ (5,6); tatha, as also; jnanam, Knowledge-beginning from ‘humility’ (7) and ending with ‘contemplation on the Goal of the knowledge of Reality’ (11); and the jneyam, Knowable. All this has been stated by way of summarizing the purport of the Vedas and the Gita. Who is fit for this true knowledge? The answer is: madbhaktah, My devotee, who attributes the fact of being the Self of all to Me who am God, Vasudeva, the Omniscient, the supreme Teacher, (and) whose conviction has been saturated with the idea that whatever he sees, hears or touches, all that verily is Lord Vasudeva. Vijnaya, by understanding; etat, this, the aforesaid true knowledge; he upa-padyate, becomes qualified; mad-bhavaya, for My State (bhava) -the State of being the supreme Self; for that State of Mine. He attains Liberation. There in the Seventh Chapter have been presented the two aspects [Cf. 15.16-18.] of God, viz the higher and the lower, characterized as the field and the Knower of the field. And it has also been said, ‘(Understand thus) that all things have these as their source’ (7.6). The explanation as to how creatures have the two aspects, the field and the Knower of the field, as their source is now being stated:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
13.19 Etat etc. He, who understands this traid of the Field, the knowledge and what is to be known-he alone is a devotee of Mine; and he atains My state. After making this definition, the same is now examined as –
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
iti ksetram tatha jñanam
jñeyam coktam samasatah
mad-bhakta etad vijñaya
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
iti — �� thus; kṣetram — the ﬁeld of activities (the body); tathā — also; jñānam — knowledge; jñeyam — the knowable; ca — also; uktam — described; samāsataḥ — in summary; mat-bhaktaḥ — My devotee; etat — all this; vijñāya — after understanding; mat-bhāvāya — to My nature; upapadyate — attains.