In Bhagavad Gita the lord explains the word Kshetram thus
महाभूतान्यङ्ककारो बुद्धिरव्यक्त मेव च |
इन्द्रियाणि दशैकं च पञ्च चेन्द्रियगोचरा: || – Gita 13.6
The field of activities is composed of the five great elements, the ego, the intellect, the unmanifest primordial matter, the eleven senses (five knowledge senses, five working senses, and mind), and the five objects of the senses.
इच्छा द्वेष: सुखं दु:खं सङ्घातश्चेतना धृति: |
एतत्क्षेत्रं समासेन सविकारमुदाहृतम् || – Gita 13.7
Desire and aversion, happiness and misery, the body, consciousness, and the Will—all these comprise the field and its modifications.
The great elements: egoism, intellect, and also unmanifested nature, the ten senses and the mind, and five objects of the senses. Desire, hatred, pleasure, pain – altogether there are 24 tattvas are called ‘Kshetra’.
God is the indwelling consciousness. Bhagavad Gita interprets ‘Kshetra’ and ‘Kshetrajna’ like this. This is how Kshetra and Kshetrajna are presented in Bhagavad Gita.
When we understand that our body is the residence of God when we understand that the goal of our life is to know the indweller, then we will never misuse this body, we will never commit mistakes and the immoral actions that we do knowingly or will never drink alcohol.
We will use our body, mind, and senses in the right manner. We will go to temples, meet spiritual masters, listen and live according to their teachings, listen to scripture, use your limbs to prostrate, and do service to the spiritual masters.
Like this, we use our bodies in the proper way. By doing this we will achieve our goal of God-realization. The whole matter in the universe is Divine Mother. She is the ruler of all matter. We observed that She is the divine presence in each being.
The next mantra is
kṣaya vṛddhi vinirmuktā
(who is free from growth and decay.)
The general meaning of this mantra is “The Divine Mother is free from growth and decay”. We take notice of two things in this universe. That which is potent and that which is inert. This is briefly explained in Lalita Sahasranama as
cicchakti – cetanā rūpā – jaḍa śakti – jaḍātmikā
Everything that has pure consciousness is the Divine Mother. Everything that is inanimate is also the Divine Mother. Divine Mother is the object of cause and object of effect. She is both the inherent cause and the instrumental cause. To understand better, I will discuss it briefly.
A pot is made up of mud. Pot is the effect and mud is the cause. We see ornaments. Ornaments are the effect and gold is the cause. Mud, gold all these are objects of cause. Suppose we made a Cloth. The cloth is the effect and thread is the cause.
Now we understand that mud, gold, thread – all these are objects of cause and pot, ornaments, and cloth are objects of effect. The divine mother is the object of cause and the object of effect. She is both the creator and the creation.
Amma says that this is not two. This is the cause for dispute among all the religions. Nobody is bothered about the inert objects. All potent objects are one, they are not two.
Shankaracharya also said the same thing. But he did not say one, he used the word – “Advaita (non-duality)”, that is ‘not two’. What we see in the outer world, river, mountain, men, and other living beings all these we consider separate, with different names and forms.
But he made it clear that the living force, the consciousness, the individual soul, and the supreme self that is present in all these is one. At the same time, people like Madhvacharya argued that this can never be one. They proposed that God and the living beings are different.
We usually see the universe in three forms. In the projected world everything is different, the names and the forms are different. We call them accordingly. The world that we know through our senses can be compared to seeing objects in dim light.
When we see a rope in the dim light we may mistake it for a snake. In the light we will not have any doubt, we understand it as a rope. In darkness (of ignorance) there is nothing to be mistaken. Because we do not see anything, confusion happens only in between.
When we look at the world, we feel that everything is different this is unreal. But in truth, for God Realized persons, and for us also, when we have the eye of wisdom, we will understand that in reality, everything is one. This is the principle that Shankaracharya has established.
At the same time, masters like Madhvacharya had another opinion. Suppose we have an unbroken coconut. We call it coconut. But when we remove the fiber and seed is separated, now the seed is called coconut.
When the shell of the seed is broken, the water inside is separated. Now we have coconut water and coconut is still there, next we scrap the meat out, now there is a shell and still, there is coconut.
Madhvacharya wanted to establish that in the projected world the names and forms are different. Once when he was asked about this he asked for some water somebody brought water. He took it in a spoon it had as much water as it can take.
Next, he took it in a vessel. He could fill it with as much water as it can take. If you take in a pot you can take it to the fill. A pond can hold as much as its size. In the river, there will be much more. Thus it should be determined according to the size of the vessel. He propagated his theory that as long as one cannot see it as one, better see it as two.
Now the mantra, “kṣaya vṛddhi vinirmuktā” the meaning of the mantra is ‘She who is free from growth and decay’. We usually talk of the six forms of changes- birth, existence, growth, transformation, decay, and death. This happens to everybody.
The Divine mother does not have these six forms of change. Because there is no other matter in this universe than the Divine Mother. There is nothing apart from the Divine Mother. So the Divine Mother does not have the state of growth and decay.
Consciousness and lifeless, both are Divine Mother. So she has no growth or decay. The next few mantras illustrate this principle of Self. We will discuss the principles and the glory of the Divine Mother in the coming days.