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The Field and the Knower of the Field

Another way that the divine teacher spoke of the body and its indweller, was in terms of the field and the knower of the field. By the knower is meant the one who is conscious and filled with the highest knowledge, whereas the field is without such consciousness and knowledge. What is this field which is devoid of the highest knowledge? It is the body with its gross and subtle aspects; it is the dwelling place of the Lord. Know that the Lord, who has all knowledge and wisdom, resides in this field of the body. It is his residence here on earth.

In your day-to-day life, you refer to your body as my body. In other words, you acknowledge that you are not the body, but that this body is yours; it belongs to you. Similarly, the indweller considers that he is not the field, but that the field belongs to him. When you say, "this is mine", then you are declaring that you and the object are different. When you state, "this is my handkerchief", you are asserting your separateness from the handkerchief; it is something different from you. When you say, "this is my body", it means that you are distinct from your body. In the same way, when the Lord declares that the field is his, then he is free to give it up any time he wishes.

The body is given to you in order that you may realize who you truly are, in order that you may recognize its indweller. Without a body you would not be able to know him; you would not be able to perform any activity and follow any spiritual path. All your work, both worldly and spiritual, can only be performed with the help of the body. The body consists of 20 principles; these are the five organs of perception, the five organs of activity, the five vital airs and the five sheaths. When you add to these the lower mind, the power of discrimination, the seat of feelings and remembrance in the heart, and the ego, together with the indwelling self, then the total comes to 25 principles which comprise an individual. This knowledge of the body and the indwelling spirit relates to the path of wisdom.