The Search by Tridandi Swami B.H. Bon

"The Search" was originally published in 1943 and has been reprinted in 1982 and 1999.
Below is the second edition (1982).

“The Geeta: as a Chaitanyite reads it” by Tridandi Swami B.H. Bon, "Chapter Thirteen : Creation"

ARJUNA said: "O Keshava ! I beg Thee to explain
Prakriti, the Female Principle of creation;
Purusha-the Male-Principle;
Kshetra-the body as the spirit's habitation;
Kshetrajna-the soul and Over-soul;
Jnana-the Knowledge; and Jneya-the knowable."
Sree Bhagavan said ; Arjuna ! to make thee under-
The esoteric principle of Bhakti,
I have explained the real nature of the soul
As well as the various actions of the soul conditioned.
I have told thee explicitly about pure Bhakti.
The triple paths of Karma, Jnana ann Bhakti have
also been explained.
Now I shall tell thee of Jnana and Vairagya
Or abnegation from the angle of transcendental
Which will all the more confirm thy faith in
unalloyed devotion.

THE esoteric truth anent conception of the God-
Which I explained to Brahma in the Bhagavatam,
Is that the knowledge about Me and My most secret
Together with My transcendental Love and the
Means of realising them
Can only be acquired through My Grace.
Thereby I explained the fourfold truths regarding
Jnana or true knowledge,
Vijnana or transcendental esoteric knowledge,
Rahasya or the mystery of Love Divine
And Tadanga, the means of realising it.
If these four principles are not completely under-
The mystery of Love Divine is not unravelled.
I shall endow thee with such discernment
That thou shalt realise what My Divine Love is.

ONCE pure devotion is awakened in the heart,
A transcendental knowledge and a genuine
To objects that are adverse to My service,
And a spontaneous acceptance of all
That does support My cause, will follow soon ;
For pure devotion, transcendental knowledge
And genuine asceticism go hand in hand.
Know therefore these two latter principles
By practicisng a pure devotion.

O Son of Kunti ! this body is called Kshetra,
And he who is well versed in its faculties
Is known as Kshetrajna.
This body is called Kshetra, because it is the
germinating ground
Of that development which is the world-tree-
The field of carnal pleasure.
He who knows the nature of this body
Both in its conditioned and its freed state
Is a Kshetrajna or a Jiva-soul.
Conditioned, it identifies itself with the fallacious
And vainly thinks itself enjoyer and possessor of
the world's phenomena;
Freed, it is no longer proud of worldly relativities.

IN considering Kshetra and Kshetrajna,
Thou must understand, Bharata ! these three
The Over-soul, the individual soul and Matter.
As every form enshrines an individual soul
As its Kshetrajna, so I am Iswara-
The Lord and the Supreme Knower or Kshetrajna
of the Universe.
I am Paramatma, the Primordial Knower of all
Of the various Kshetras as well as all the worlds.
Those who conceive of these three Principles-
God, soul and Matter,
By understanding Kshetra and Kshetrajna and the
Are blessed with knowledge true,
And this knowledge is Vijnana.

THOU hearest now from Me, what Kshetra is,
What is its nature, its changes, whence it
Who is Kshetrajna, who and what are the powers
and functions of the Kshetrajna-
Jivatma or the soul, and Paramatma
Or the Over-soul.

TRUE conceptions of Kshetra and Kshetrajna
Have been described in many ways by sages
Like Vasistha in the Yoga-Scriptures;
And the Vedas by Vyasa;
And in the Smritis by the saints.
They have explaned them separately
And in distinctly different way;
The Brahma-sutras, aphorisms of the Vedanta,
Established them by reasoning as truths exact.
From those aphorisms of the sages and the saints,
The Vedas and the Vedanta, it is established that
the Kshetra
Is composed of twenty-four material principles.
These are the five great elements
Earth, water, fire, air and ether;
Ahankara or perverted ego, Buddhi or discrimi-
Avyakta or Pradhana-the Prakriti of triple qualities
Which is the cause of Mahattattwa, the female
principle in Nature;
The ten external organs of sense and action-
The eyes, ears, nose, tongue, touch,
Voice, hands, legs, anus and penis;
The mind or the internal organ of both sense and
And sight, sound, smell, taste, touch-
The five faculties of these five senses.
Knowing these twenty-four material principles,
Man can understand what is Kshetra and what its
functions are.
Note that Prakriti begets Mahattattwa,
Mahattattwa begets Ahankara,
And Ahankara begets Mahabhutas.
Desire, hatred, pleasures, pains
Are the effects of the five great elements or
And with the body are concerned ;
The perverted self or mind, patience and suchlike
Are vitiations of the Kshetra,
Followed by birth, death, fear and hunger,
And therefore by Kshetra both the body and the
mind are meant.

NOW I will tell thee of twenty qualities of
Which the unwise think are twenty vitiations of
the Kshetra :
Defiance of arrogance and inoffensiveness,
Forbearance, coveting no honour, uprightness,
Services to the Preceptor, inward and outward
Steadfastness and self-control and absence of
Aversion to objects of a sensual pleasure ,
Insight into the transcience and evils
Of birth, death, decrepitude, disease and sorrow,
Non-attachment to offspring, wife, home and
Aloofness from the pleasures and the penalties of
Equanimity at the approach of both desirable and
undesirable events,
Unflinching pure devotion unto Me,
Resorting to solitude and sacred places,
Avoiding places where the evil-minded live,
Constancy in morals and searching for salvations as
the desired end-
The unwise think these twenty traits
To be vitiations of the body and the mind.
But they are not corruptions of the Kshetra ;
They tend towards the knowledge Absolute.
They are antidotes to such corruption of these
twenty things;
Single-minded pure devotion unto Me alone
Stands foremost and must be adhered to;
The nineteen that remain contribute to devotion,
And purify the blemishes of earthly mind and body
And ultimately waken from its dream
The pure eternal heart within the soul,
Which is the seat of pure devotion.
Knowest thou these nineteen to be the throne of yet
Bhakti or devotion, as the Queen.
This is all true and transcendental knowledge,
The rest is ignorance.

I have thus told thee of Kshetra
With its nature, pervertions and their antidotes,
And I have told thee of Kshetrajna,
Which is compounded of Jivatma and Paramatma,
And constitutes the secret Knower of the body.
I have explained to thee that knowledge
Of the Kshetra and Kshetrajna is called Vijnana.
Let Me now tell thee about the Knowable
That may be known by means of that Vijnana.
That Knowable without beginning,
Is a subordinate Principle to Me;
It is beyond the scope of gross and subtle sustances,
Beyond cause and effect,
And it is known as "Brahman".
When its true nature is perceived,
It leads man to the everlasting nectar of devotion
unto Me.

JUST as the sun's rays emanate from the sun,
So also Brahman, the Great,
Is but a reflection of My Glowing aspect.
Brahman* is the Receptacle of all beings,
In infinity from Brahma* to the smallest ant.
(* Brahman is the Negative Aspect of the Absolute Whole,
the Supreme Lord ; Brahma is only an individual soul with
deligated power to create the fourteen worlds or the Universe in
which we live-He is supposed to have four heads, having the
capacity to gauge the fourth dimension and is superior to ordi-
nary entities. Brahman is the highest of the four castes in
Hinduism ; Brahma is a follower of a Pantheistic sect in
Hinduism, started by Raja Rammohan Roy.)
That Being Infinite possesses an infinity of hands
and feet,
Of eyes and mouth, of heads and ears.
Thus does the Neuter-God Brahman exist,
Accomodating every entity within It.
Though that Great Principle, the Neuter-God,
Does manifest all mundane senses, it is Itself devoid
of such;
Ever detached from earthly relativities ;
Preserver of the world as Vishnu.
It is devoid of all worldly qualities,
Yet does posses six thousand qualities.*
(* Cf. Svetasvatara Upanishad 19)
That distinguish Him as Bhagavan.

THAT Great Principle. The Neuter-God exists as
Containing every object in Itself ;
And It lives as Paramatma in each atom.
Thus the He-God does exist both in and out of
every entity.
All the sentient and insentient worlds have emanated
from Him.
Inconceivable is He to human senses
For He is greater than the greatest,
And infinitely smaller than the smallest ;
He is simultaneously both near and far away.*
(* Cf. Isha Upanishad-"Tatdure tadwantike")
Undivided He remains though He may seem divided
In the diverse beings He exists within.
Though He exists in every individual Jiva
As the Unit-Purusha, Vishnu,
Yet He retains His Undivided Life
As the Great Aggregate-Parameswara-
The Lord Supreme of all the entities of all the
worlds together.
He is the Sustainer within sustenance,
Destroyer in destruction, and the Creator in creation

HE is the Master-Light of lights ;*
(* Cf. Katha Upanishad.)
He is beyond all darkness and is ever radiant ;
He is the Knowledge and the Knowable
In His Manifestive Form Divine
And He is the Object of that Khowledge ;
He lives as the Great Indweller of the hearts of all
things living.
Thus I have briefly told thee about Kshetra,
Jnana and Jneya or the Object of all knowledge,
Full understanding of these principles is called the
Knowledge Transcendental.
My devotees possessing Transcendental Knowledge
Attain the purest Prema-Bhakti.
Non-devotees deprive themselves of this Knowledge
Owing to their pointless wrangling
Over sect and the false notion of their oneness with
This Jnana is no less than solid rock on which the
Having realised his purest self and functions,
Builds up the shrine of his devout activities.
This will be more explicitly explained with
I shall now tell thee the results
Of understanding Kshetra and Kshetrajna.
Three principles are noticed in the shackled lives
of Jiva-entities :
Prakriti, Purusha and Paramatma.
The Kshetra-that is the fleshy body composed of
all five elements,
The subtle form of mind, the perverted ego and the
Is Prakriti;
The Jiva is Purusha
Due to his enjoying mood in his conditioned state;
And Paramatma is My Immanent Manifestation
between these two.
Prakriti and Purusha are both eternal;
They existed even before the dawn of worldly time
and space,
Born of My Potencies which co-exist with My
Supreme Divinity
Within the spacious undivided spirit-time that is
The Cosmic Power was dormant in Me ;
I made it manifest in worldly time
When to create the universe I willed.
The Jivas also are among My Potencies Eternal
For they have stepped into the realm of Cosmic
By turning their back upon Me,
On account of the misuse of their free will,
Submitting to the slavery of an enjoying mood,
Of mastering phenomena within the bounds of time
and space;
Albeit the Jivas are essentially all spiritual in their
unalloyed existence.
It was My Inward Potency that gave the Jivas
Their own Tatastha-Nature, or the oscillating
Upon the margin which offered them a free choice
To come to Me and be most lovingly attached to Me
and My service,
Or cast themselves within the bounds of earthly
To offer adulation unto Maya.
How an eternal spiritual entity could be enthralled
by Maya
Can never be determined by the human reason.
My inconceivable capacities transcend
The understanding of the human senses.
Know thou this however:
That the pervertions and the qualities of the conditioned Jivas
Are born of Matter coming into contact with Prakriti,
Those qualities and actions belong not to the Jivas
in their unalloyed existence.

MATERIAL causes and effects,
That is the bodies and enjoying mood of all
their senses,
Are of Prakriti.
Out of their perverted egotism,
Jivas derive their moods of pleasure and of pains
According to their vacillating tendency
Between the transcendental and the mundane.
The pure souls have no lording or enjoying mood,
But only when they misidentify themselves
With gross and subtle bodies born of Matter or
In their fettered state of life,
Do they adopt this attitude of mastering phenomena.

KARYA refers to the material body ;
Karana signifies the senses;
And Kartrittva the presiding deities of senses.
All these concern Prakriti, the Material Cause
Of these three factors, due to her contact with
Who, as a fallen soul, enjoys the pleasures and the
Which are the consequent effects.
Prakriti is the root of all effects and causes
And their agency, as well as of enjoyment.
She dominates the first three by her influence on
While Purusha, being spiritual, causes his enjoying
mood, in his perverted state.
Prakriti is the cause of all material effects
Within the changing Universe.
Purusha or Jiva misapprehending his identity
Causes the enjoyment or the suffering of these
While Purushottama is the Efficient, Final Cause
Of all the causes and effects.

WHEN Jiva misidentifies with physical and
subtle forms
Born of Prakriti-caused by his ignorance
Arising from his choice of lower worlds
When on the border-line of the ephemeral and the
eternal sphere-
He deems himself appreciator of effects oaused] by
Jiva emanates from the Tatastha-Potency of the
Lord Supreme.
Tatastha-shakti is that potency existing on the
Between the Esoteric and the Exoteric Potencies,
Partaking of the influence of both.
A Jiva can thus make the right use of his free will
By following the trend of the Internal Potency
Leading to progressive service of the Lord,
Or by misusing the same will
He may be overpowered by Maya,
And thus forget his real nature.
He is thence ousted from his normal place within
the Transcendental Realm
And lodged within his tenement of clay;
Thenceforth does he enjoy or suffer on the wheel of
Rising and falling.
He then becomes attached to gross and subtle forms,
Born of Prakriti, forgetting that his preference
Is only possible while his true nature sleeps.
He therefore undergoes a round of births and deaths
by force of Karma.
His pious deeds afford him righteous birth,
His sinful acts ensure his birth of evil womb.
Nor piety nor sin can help such fallen Jiva
Out of the relativities of earth.

JIVA is My companion ever ;
When he directs his mind and heart to Me,
He comes in closer contact with Me.
By nature, he is free to choose his inclination,
Of proceeding this way or that way from the border-
By turning towards Me, he achieves the acme of
Endowed with My pure Love.
But when by adverse choice he enters the material
I, as his Eternal Comrade, accompany him as
Within the person of the Jiva,
I am the Observer of his actions,
Existing nearest to him, yet apart from him.
I am his Approver and Preserver;
His sole Appreciator and his Saviour ;
To him I am forever Paramatma.
I am the Lord Supreme and the Supreme Purusha
of his person.
I am the Bestower of rewards
According to the actions done by him in his
conditioned state.
He who is conversant with these principles of the
Jivatma and Paramatma-which are beyond the
triple qualities,
And of Prakriti or the Cosmic Energy and her own
Shall never undergo rebirths again
Though he may be in the material universe.
By My Grace, he turns his face towards Me
And reaches My Eternal Realm of Transcendental

THE fallen Jivas are divided into two groups
According to their spiritual endeavours-
Those who are averse to Me
And those who are addicted to My Love Divine.
Eccentric are they who are materialists, atheists
and sceptics ;
Agnostics and cold moralists-they do not turn
towards Me.
The selfless Karma-Yogins trust the Spiritual
And being honest seekers after Truth, they and My
Have their inward vision turned towards Me.
Of these, the devotees stand foremost,
For they behold and meditate upon the Paramatma
On the transcendental plane beyond the limits of
the worldly plane
And reaching to the plane of pure self.
The Sankhya-Yogins, belonging to the second class,
seek the Godhead.
Knowing Prakriti and her twenty-four elements and
They recognise the twenty-fifth, the Jiva proper, to
be all spiritual,
And by degrees devote themselves to worship of
the Bhagavan,
The twenty-sixth Substance.
Even inferior to them are selfless Karma-Yogins,
Who dedicate the fruits of all their actions unto Me.
They thereby have the chance of being blessed
With inclination to My worship.
Sankhya, Astanga and selfless Karma-Yoga are
indirect and qualitative means
Resorted to by those respective Yogins, for realising
The Jnana-Yogins realise the Godhead when the
goal of all their knowledge
Is the Transcendental Personality of God
And not emancipation from their worldly bondage.
Purest devotion alone leads man directly to
Of the God of All-Love and His Prema.

STILL lower in the scale than selfless Karma-
Are those who, trusting on the next world,
Seek reality and gather knowledge of the Truth,
They hear from others.
They also attain to pure devotion
By being in the company of Sadhus or true devotees,
And listening to what they say of God.
Know thou, O best of the Bharatas !
All that is born among the mobile and immobile
To be the product of union of Kshetra and Purusha.

EVEN though the Lord Supreme exists as
Equally in every being-sentient and insentient,
He does not yield to changeability
Albeit those whom He pervades are mortal.
He who knows Paramatma thus,
Is rightly conversant with His Truth.
Submission to the lure of Maya or Prakriti
Has placed the fallen souls in diverse circumstances
and environments.
Amongst them, he who knows Me, by pure intuition
As Paramatma equally pervading every object,
Does not degrade his real self to depths of worldliness
Or yield to a corrupted mind.
He who beholds this can see his true self to be
In every action of his life and thus can say:
"It is Prakriti in the form of senses and body,
Who does all this and I, the pure self, do not
perform such Karma."

WHEN the truly wise, by spiritual vision
Perceives that differences in shape and
colour, size and form
Of mobile and immobile objects and their diversities
Merge into the same Prakriti only at the time of
universal cataclysm,
And that all manifest phenomena
Spring from the same and sole Prakriti at creation,
Then all his notions of material differences vanish.
He is then established in transcendence
And recognises that his spiritual nature
Is one with that of Brahman.
How such a Jiva, as observer, observes Paramatma,
The Observed, is told thee later on.

THUS permeated with the vision of Brahman,
Such Jiva then beholds that Paramatma is
Eternal and Primordial, and far beyond all Mayik
Though He is the Monitor Indweller of the body,
Existing along with Jivatma, He is, unlike the
Not implicated in the nature and the influence of
A Brahman-realised Jiva then is not involved
In earth's affinities though he has knowledge o
Just as ether is accesible to all parts owing to its
Yet is not involved in any object,
So also Jiva, who has realised his nature
To be identical with that of Brahman,
Is not entangled by affections and influences of the
Though he permeates the body, following the
Paramatma's nature.

O Bharata ! as the single sun illumines all this
So does the knower of the Kshetra-
Body and Prakriti-reaveal the Kshetra.
The knower of the body as Kshetra is the Jivatma,
While the Knower of Prakriti as Kshetra is
All the actions and effects of Cosmic Energy are
Both spiritual entities-Jivatma and the Paramatma,
Are known as Kshetrajna.
He who perceives the difference between Kshetrajna
And Kshetra, with eyes of spiritual knowledge,
And knows the way to the emancipation from
phenomenal affinities,
Realises Bhagavan, Who is superior to both
Jivatma and Paramatma.

Pranam to Swami Bon

"I make my obeisances with deep and loving devotion for ever and ever to my Gurudev, who is known by the name of Srimad Bhakti Hriday Bon, who being attracted by the lotus-feet of Radha-Madhab is for ever and ever immersed in the perennial stream of supramundane joy emanating therefrom.

I bow down again and again with loving devotion to my Gurudev who is a wandering Tridandi mendicant and erudite Vaishnava (who) is always following in the wake of Sri Rupa; I make my obeisances in all humility, at all times with sincere loving devotion to my Gurudev who resides happily in the
Kunja (bower) allotted to him by Shrimati Radhika, the dearest Divine Consort of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna who is Rasa epitomized, who has taken to the way of Bhakti in consonace with the teachings of Sri Chaitanya - nay, whose whole pattern of life is moulded on the teachings and precepts of Sri Chaitanya."