Verse 11: And what is the Knower?

triguṇam-aviveki viṣayaḥ sāmānyam-acetanaṃ prasava-dharmi |
vyaktaṃ tathā pradhānaṃ tadviparitaḥ tathā ca pumān ||

tri – three
guṇa – attribute/quality of nature
pradhāna – original souce / primordial nature
viparīta – inverted / contrary
tathā – similar
pumān – spirit

The Knower (Spirit) is without the three Gunas and is opposite & similar to the Manifest and Unmanifest.

  1. In verse 10 the Manifest (Vyakta) and Unmanifest (Avyakta) were portrayed as having opposite qualities. They also have some common qualities.
  2. A discerment of that which the Manifest and Unmanifest have in common is required in order to discern the Knower (Spirit).
  3. These are the qualities shared by the Manifest and Unmanifest.
    1. They both have the qualities of the three Gunas.
    2. They are both inseparable (into parts): they cannot evolve anything on their own; in order to produce other things they are mixed (united) with other things; no thing can produce anything else without something else therefor no thing is really separate from other things. Where does the root of a tree begin and where does it end? where does the soil begin and where does it end?
    3. Objective: they are not merely ideas – they are objects to which the mind can be applied; if everything is merely an idea then there would be no possibility for shared experience: we could not observe together the “redness” of a poppy flower.
    4. Non-intelligent: they are not sentient. An insentient clay produces an insentient pot. If sentience is not present in an effect it must also not be present in its cause.
    5. Productive: they are in constant causal productive flux.
  4. Now, knowing of these similarities, I can discern the Knower – it is “opposite & similar”:
    1. The relationship between the Knower Spirit and the Unmanifest is opposite of the relationship between the Manifest and the Unmanifest.
    2. The Knower it also similar to the Unmanifest.
Manifest UnmanifestKnower
CausedNot caused=Not caused
Not eternalEternal=Eternal
Not pervasiveOmnipresent=Omnipresent
MergentNon mergent=Non mergent
SubordinateNon subordinate=Non subordinate
Triguna=TrigunaWithout gunas
Objective=ObjectiveNon objective

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