ichchaa dveshaha sukham duhkham sanghaataschetanaa dhritihi |
etatkshetram samaasena savikaramudaahritam || 6 ||

Desire, hatred, joy, sorrow, assembly, awareness, fortitude. This field with its modifications has been illustrated in brief.
ichchaa : desire
dveshaha : hatred
sukham : joy
duhkham : sorrow
sanghaataha : assembly
chetanaa : awareness
dhritihi : fortitude
etat : this
kshetram : field
samaasena : in brief
savikaram : with modifications
udaahritam : has been illustrated
Previously, Shri Krishna explained the creation and make-up of the world and the individual as comprised of 24 constituents. Now he explains how the individual comes into contact with the world. We saw in the last shloka that all of us come with a stock of unfulfilled desires or vaasanas that causes the individual to be born in this world. Shri Krishna says that the sprouting of desires or “ichchaa” causes us to approach the world for fulfillment of those desires. If we obtain what we desire, we experience joy, and if we don’t obtain it, we experience sorrow. If something repeatedly gives us sorrow, we develop a sense of hatred or “dvesha” towards it.
Desire, hatred, joy and sorrow are modifications or changes in the inner instrument, the antahakarana. The antahakarana always wants to create a sense of wholeness or completeness out of the diversity of limbs, hair, nerves, nails etc that make up one body. But it also wants to keep this collection of what it calls the body distinct from everything else in the world. This notion of completeness is called “sanghaata” meaning assembly, and the will to preserve the assembly and keep it distinct from the world is called “dhriti” or fortitude. All biological desires arise from this desire to maintain the body as a distinct single entity.
Now we come to the modification of the antahakarana that gives it the quality of awareness and sentiency, known as “chetanaa” or awareness. Though we may be tempted to think that this sentiency in the antahakarana is the soul, the aatmaa, the eternal essence, it is not. It is a borrowed kind of awareness caused by a reflection of the eternal essence in the antahakarana, just like a pot filled with water reflects the sun in it. In fact, chetanaa and the six other modifications mentioned in this shloka are variously assumed to be the eternal essence by various schools of philosophy. Shri Krishna asserts that everything mentioned in this shloka and the prior shloka is not the eternal essence. It is kshetra, the field.