The Nature of the Godlike and the Demoniac Mind
Those of Divine Nature
Translation and Comment by Dr. Radhakrishnan
Sanskrit Text, Transliteration & Word Translation by
अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिर्ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः ।
दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् ॥१६- १॥
śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri Bhagavan
said: abhayam1 = fearlessness; sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ2 = purity of the mind; jñāna-yoga-vyavasthitiḥ3 = steadiness in Yoga of
knowledge; dānam4 = charity; damaḥ5 = self-control [of organs]; ca6 = and; yajñaḥ7 = sacrifices; ca8 = and; svādhyāyaḥ9 = study of the scriptures; tapaḥ10 = austerity; ārjavam10 = rectitude... 16.1 continued.
The Blessed Lord said:
(16.1) Fearlessness, purity of mind, wise apportionment of knowledge and concentration, charity, self-control and sacrifice, study of the scriptures, austerity and uprightness.
l In Indian religious symbolism, the distinction between the devas, the shining ones and the asuras, the titans, the children of darkness is an ancient one. In the Ṛg.Veda we have the struggle between the gods and their dark opponents. The Rāmāyaṇa represents a similar conflict between the representatives of high culture and those of unbridled egoism. M.B. tells us of the struggle between the Pāṇḍavas, who are devotees of dharma, of law and justice, and the Kauravas who are lovers of power. Historically, mankind remains remarkably true to type, and we have today as in the period of the M.B. some men who are divinely good, some who are diabolically fallen and some who are damnably indifferent. These are the possible developments of men who are more or less like ourselves. The devas and the asuras are both born of Prajāpati. Chāndogya Up., I, 2, I.
अहिंसा सत्यमक्रोधस्त्यागः शान्तिरपैशुनम् ।
दया भूतेष्वलोलुप्त्वं मार्दवं ह्रीरचापलम् ॥१६- २॥
ahiṁsā satyam akrodhas
akrodhaḥ3 tyāgaḥ4 śāntiḥ5 apaiśunam6
ahiṁsā1 = non-injury; satyam2 = truthfulness; akrodhaḥ3 = freedom from anger; tyāgaḥ4 = renunciation; śāntiḥ5 = tranquility; apaiśunam6 = abstaining from slander; dayā7 = compassion; bhūteṣu8 = to all creatures; aloluptvam9 = absence of greed; mārdavam10 = gentleness; hrīḥ11 = modesty; acāpalam12 = absence of agitation... 16.2 Continued...
(16.2) Non-violence, truth, freedom from anger, renunciation, tranquillity, aversion to fault finding, compassion to living beings, freedom from covetousness, gentleness, modesty and
steadiness (absence of fickleness).
तेजः क्षमा धृतिः शौचमद्रोहो नातिमानिता ।
भवन्ति संपदं दैवीमभिजातस्य भारत ॥१६- ३॥
tejaḥ kṣamā dhṛtiḥ
śaucam adroho nātimānitā
tejaḥ1 kṣamā2 dhṛtiḥ3 śaucam4
tejaḥ1 = vigor; kṣamā2 =
forgiveness/patience; dhṛtiḥ3 = fortitude; śaucam4 = cleanliness; adrohaḥ5 = absence of
malice; na6 atimānitā7 = absence of great haughtiness; bhavanti8 = are; abhijātasya11 = born of; daivīm10 = divine; sampadam9 = nature; bhārata12 = O best of Bharatas. 16.3
(16.3) Vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, freedom from malice and excessive pride―these, O Pandava (Arjuna), are the endowments of him who is born with the divine nature.
l The human race is not divided into the kingdom of Ormuzd and the kingdom of Ahriman. In each man are these two kingdoms of light and of darkness.
Ormuzd: chief deity of Zoroastrianism; source of light and embodiment of good.
Ahriman: Zoroastrianism the supreme evil spirit and diabolical opponent of Ormuzd
l The teacher has set forth the distinctive qualities of those who are seeking for the divine perfection. Now he states the qualities of those who aim at power, glory and easy life. The distinction is neither exclusive nor comprehensive. Many beings partake of the natures of both. M.B. says: "Nothing is wholly good or wholly evil."1
1 nātyantaṁ guṇavat kiñcin nātyantaṁ doṣava: tathā.
दम्भो दर्पोऽभिमानश्च क्रोधः पारुष्यमेव च ।
अज्ञानं चाभिजातस्य पार्थ संपदमासुरीम् ॥१६- ४॥
dambho darpobhimānaś ca krodhaḥ pāruṣyam eva ca
krodhaḥ5 pāruṣyam6 eva7
Ostentation; darpaḥ2 = arrogance; bhimānaḥ3 =
self-conceit; ca4 = and; krodhaḥ5 = anger; ca8= also; pāruṣyam6 =
rudeness/roughness; ca10 = and; ajñānam9 = ignorance; [are] eva7 = indeed; abhijātasya11 = born of; āsurīm14 = demonic; sampadam13 = nature; pārtha12 = O partha. 16.4
(16.4) Ostentation, arrogance, excessive pride, anger, as also harshness and ignorance, these, O Partha (Arjuna), are the endowments of him who is born with the demoniac nature.
दैवी संपद्विमोक्षाय निबन्धायासुरी मता ।
मा शुचः संपदं दैवीमभिजातोऽसि पाण्डव ॥१६- ५॥
daivī saṁpad vimokṣāya nibandhāyāsurī
vimokṣāya3 nibandhāya4 āsurī5 matā6
daivī1 = Divine; sampat2 = nature; [is] vimokṣāya3 =
for liberation; āsurī5 = demonic; matā6 = is intended; nibandhāya4 = for bondage;
mā7 do not; śucaḥ8 = grieve; pāṇḍava13 = O Pandava; asi12 = you are; abhijātaḥ = born of; daivīm10 = divine; sampadam9 = nature. 16.5
(16.5) The divine endowments are said to make for deliverance and the demoniac for bondage. Grieve not, O Paṇḍava (Arjuna), thou art born with the divine endowments (for a divine destiny).
l The traditional virtues of a devout Hindu are brought together as indicating a "godly" state of life. The asuras are clever and energetic but suffer from an exaggerated egoism and have no moral scruples or spiritual aims.
The Nature of the Demoniac
द्वौ भूतसर्गौ लोकेऽस्मिन्दैव आसुर एव च ।
दैवो विस्तरशः प्रोक्त आसुरं पार्थ मे शृणु ॥१६- ६॥
dvau bhūtasargau lokesmin daiva āsura eva ca
bhūta-sargau2 loke3 asmin4
daiva5 āsuraḥ6 eva7
[There are] dvau1 = two; [kinds of] bhūta-sargau2 = created beings; asmin4 = in this; loke3 = world: daiva5 = divine; ca8 = and; āsuraḥ6 = demonical: eva7 = indeed; daivaḥ9 = the divine; proktaḥ11 = has been spoken of; vistaraśaḥ10 = expansively; [now] śṛṇu15 = hear; [about] āsuram12 = the demonical; me14 = from me; pārtha13 = O Partha. 16.6
See Bṛhadāraṇyaka Up., I, 3, I.
प्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च जना न विदुरासुराः ।
न शौचं नापि चाचारो न सत्यं तेषु विद्यते ॥१६- ७॥
pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ
ca janā na vidur āsurāḥ
āsurāḥ8 = Demonical; janāḥ5 = people; na6 = do not; viduḥ7 = know; pravṛttim1 = appropriate
[permitted] action; ca2 = and; nivṛttim3 = prohibited
action; ca4 = also; na śaucam9 = neither purity; ca11 = and; na api10 = nor even; ācāraḥ12 = good behavior; na satyam13 = nor truthfulness; vidyate15 = exist; teṣu14 = in them. 16.7
(16.7) The demoniac do not know about the way of action or the way of renunciation. Neither purity, nor good conduct, nor truth is found in them.
असत्यमप्रतिष्ठं ते जगदाहुरनीश्वरम् ।
अपरस्परसंभूतं किमन्यत्कामहैतुकम् ॥१६- ८॥
te jagad āhur anīśvaram
asatyam1 apratiṣṭham2 te3
jagat4 āhuḥ5 anīśvaram6
= They [the Demonic and the Lokayātikas]; āhuḥ5
= say; jagat4
= world; [is] asatyam1
= unreal; apratiṣṭham2
= without basis; anīśvaram6 =
without Controller or God; aparaspara7
= without [primordial] cause; sambhūtam8
= born of union between male and female. kim anyat8 =
what other [cause is possible]; [except] kāma-haitukam9
= lust-cause [sexual union]? 16.8
l apratiṣṭham2: without a basis, without a moral basis. This is the view of the materialists.
aparaspara7sambhūtam8: not brought about in regular sequence. It is interpreted in other ways also. The world presided over by Īśvara conforms to a settled order, where things proceed from others according to law and the materialists deny the order in the world and hold that things arise anyhow. They believe that there is no regular succession and that the world is there only for the sake of enjoyment.
l "This is the view of the Lokāyatikas that sexual passion is the sole cause of all living creatures." S.
एतां दृष्टिमवष्टभ्य नष्टात्मानोऽल्पबुद्धयः ।
प्रभवन्त्युग्रकर्माणः क्षयाय जगतोऽहिताः ॥१६- ९॥
etāṁ dṛṣṭim avaṣṭabhya naṣṭātmānolpabuddhayaḥ
etām1 dṛṣṭim2 avaṣṭabhya3 naṣṭa-ātmānaḥ4 alpa-buddhayaḥ5
avaṣṭabhya3 = Holding; etām1 = this; dṛṣṭim2 = view; naṣṭa-ātmānaḥ4 =
lost souls; alpa-buddhayaḥ5 = of meager intelligence; [and] ugrakarmāṇaḥ6 = violent actions; prabhavanti6 = become strong; [and] ahitāḥ9 = harmful; [causing] kṣayāya7 = destruction; jagataḥ8 = of the world. 16.9
(16.9) Holding fast to this view, these lost souls of feeble understanding, of cruel deeds, rise up as the enemies of the world for its destruction.
काममाश्रित्य दुष्पूरं दम्भमानमदान्विताः ।
मोहाद्गृहीत्वासद्ग्राहान्प्रवर्तन्तेऽशुचिव्रताः ॥१६- १०॥
kāmam āśritya duṣpūraṁ dambhamānamadānvitāḥ
kāmam1 āśritya2 duṣpūram3 dambha4A-māna4B-mada4C-anvitāḥ4D
āśritya2 = given to; duṣpūram3 = insatiable; kāmam1 = lust; dambha4A-māna4B-mada4C-anvitāḥ4D = endowed with4D ostentation4A, pride4B, [and] arrogance4C; mohāt5 = due to delusion; gṛhītvā6 = pursuing; asad-grāhān7 = false premises; [they] pravartante8 = undertake; aśuci-vratāḥ9 = impure vows.16.10
(16.10) Giving themselves up to insatiable desire, full of hypocrisy, excessive pride and arrogance, holding wrong views through delusion, they act with impure resolves.
l Cp. Bṛhaspati Sūtra, which declares that kāma is the supreme end of man.1
चिन्तामपरिमेयां च प्रलयान्तामुपाश्रिताः ।
कामोपभोगपरमा एतावदिति निश्चिताः ॥१६- ११॥
cintām aparimeyāṁ ca pralayāntām upāśritāḥ
cintām1 aparimeyām2 ca3
upāśritāḥ5 = Clinging to; aparimeyām2 = immeasurable/innumerable; cintām1 = cares; pralayāntām4 = until death; ca3 = and; kāma-upabhoga-paramāḥ6 = having sense indulgence as the supreme goal; [they] niścitāḥ9 = determined; etāvat7 = so far; iti8 = thus.16.11
This is the materialist doctrine which asks us to eat, drink and be merry, for death is certain and there is nothing beyond.2
2 Cp, yāvad jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet, ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet
bhaśmībhūtasya dehasya punar āgamanaṁ kutaḥ.
आशापाशशतैर्बद्धाः कामक्रोधपरायणाः ।
ईहन्ते कामभोगार्थमन्यायेनार्थसञ्चयान् ॥१६- १२॥
āśāpāśaśatair baddhāḥ kāmakrodhaparāyaṇāḥ
āśā-pāśa-śataiḥ1 baddhāḥ2 kāma-krodha-parāyaṇāḥ3
baddhāḥ2 = Bound by; āśā-pāśa-śataiḥ1 = hundreds of fetters of hope; [hope-bonds-hundreds]; kāma-krodha-parāyaṇāḥ3 = taking refuge in passion and anger [passion-anger-taking refuge]; īhante4 = they strive for; artha-sañcayān7 = wealth accumulation; anyāyena6 = by unjust means; kāma-bhoga-artham5 = for the enjoyment of sense objects [passion-enjoyment- sense objects]. 16.12
(16.12) Bound by hundreds of ties of desire, given over to lust and anger, they strive to amass hoards of wealth by unjust means, for the gratification of their desires.
इदमद्य मया लब्धमिमं प्राप्स्ये मनोरथम् ।
इदमस्तीदमपि मे भविष्यति पुनर्धनम् ॥१६- १३॥
idam adya mayā
labdham imaṁ prāpsye manoratham
adya2 mayā3 labdham4
imam5 prāpsye6 manoratham7
[He thinks as
follows:] adya2 = today; idam1 = this; labdham4 = was gained;
mayā3 = by me; prāpsye6 = I shall
gain; imam5 = this;
manoratham7 = object desired by my mind; asti9 = there is; idam8 = this; idam10 = this; api11 = also; [is] me = mine; dhanam15 = riches; bhaviṣyati13 = will come; punaḥ14 = again. 16.13
(16.13) "This today has been gained by me: this desire I shall attain, this is mine and this wealth also shall be mine (in future).
असौ मया हतः शत्रुर्हनिष्ये चापरानपि ।
ईश्वरोऽहमहं भोगी सिद्धोऽहं बलवान्सुखी ॥१६- १४॥
asau mayā hataḥ śatruḥ haniṣye ca aparān api
mayā2 hataḥ3 śatruḥ4 haniṣye5
ca6 aparān7 api8
asau1 = That; śatruḥ4 = foe; hataḥ3 = has been killed; mayā2 = by me; ca6 = and; haniṣye5 = I shall
destroy; aparān7 = others; api8 = indeed; aham10 = I am; īśvaraḥ9 = God; aham11 = I am; bhogī12 = the experiencer/enjoyer; aham14 = I am; siddhaḥ13 = perfect; balavān15 = strong; [and] sukhī16 = happy. 16.14
(16.14) "This foe is slain by me and others also I shall slay. I am the lord, I am the enjoyer, I am successful, mighty and happy.
l This is the greatest sin of all, the sin of Lucifer, the claim to be oneself the god-head. The temptation to achieve power and exercise sovereignty has been widespread. The disposition to dominate others has made man a slave. The divine souls reject the temptation as Jesus did in the wilderness. But the demoniac souls accept these ends and exalt pride, self-conceit, cupidity, hatred, brutality as virtues.
Lucifer = the leader of the rebellion of the angels: usually identified with Satan.
आढ्योऽभिजनवानस्मि कोऽन्योऽस्ति सदृशो मया ।
यक्ष्ये दास्यामि मोदिष्य इत्यज्ञानविमोहिताः ॥१६- १५॥
āḍhyobhijanavān asmi konyosti
āḍhyaḥ1 abhijanavān2 asmi3 kaḥ anyaḥ asti4 sadṛśaḥ5 mayā6
āḍhyaḥ1 = I am
wealthy; abhijanavān2 = I am
high-born; asmi3 = I am; kaḥ anyaḥ asti4 =
who-else-is there; sadṛśaḥ5 = similar; mayā6 = to me; yakṣye7 = I will offer sacrifices; dāsyāmi8 = I shall give; modiṣye9 = I shall be full of joy; iti10 = thus; [thinks the one with] ajñāna-vimohitāḥ11 = ignorance-delusion. 16.15
अनेकचित्तविभ्रान्ता मोहजालसमावृताः ।
प्रसक्ताः कामभोगेषु पतन्ति नरकेऽशुचौ ॥१६- १६॥
aneka-citta-vibhrāntāḥ1 = Disoriented by many thoughts
[many-thoughts-bewildered by]; moha-jāla-samāvṛtāḥ2 = tangled in the net of delusion [delusion-net-tangled in]; prasaktāḥ3 = engaged in; kāma-bhogeṣu4 = enjoyment of sensual desires; [they] patanti5 = fall; aśucau7narake6 = into unclean hell. 16.16
आत्मसंभाविताः स्तब्धा धनमानमदान्विताः ।
यजन्ते नामयज्ञैस्ते दम्भेनाविधिपूर्वकम् ॥१६- १७॥
ātmasaṁbhāvitāḥ stabdhā dhanamānamadānvitāḥ
ātma-sambhāvitāḥ1 = Self-conceited; stabdhā2 = arrogant; dhana-māna-mada-anvitāḥ3 = possessed of wealth, pride and delusion [wealth-pride-delusion-possessed
of]; te6 = they; yajante4 = perform sacrifices; nāma-yajñaiḥ5 = sacrifices in name only; dambhena7 = with vanity; avidhi-pūrvakam8 = devoid of sacred injunctions.16.17
अहंकारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं च संश्रिताः ।
मामात्मपरदेहेषु प्रद्विषन्तोऽभ्यसूयकाः ॥१६- १८॥
ahaṁkāraṁ balaṁ darpaṁ kāmaṁ krodhaṁ ca saṁśritāḥ
darpam3 kāmam4 krodham5
saṁśritāḥ7 = Engaged in; ahaṅkāram1 balam2
darpam3 kāmam4 ca6 krodham5 = egoism, strength, pride, lust, and
anger; abhyasūyakāḥ11 = the jealous or the envious; pradviṣantaḥ10 = hate; mām8 = Me; [abiding] ātma-para-deheṣu9 = in their own and other's bodies [as the Inner
(16.18) Given over to self-conceit, force and pride and also to lust and anger, these malicious people despise Me dwelling in the bodies of themselves and others.
l "God dwells as witness of their evil life.'' S.
तानहं द्विषतः क्रुरान्संसारेषु नराधमान् ।
क्षिपाम्यजस्रमशुभानासुरीष्वेव योनिषु ॥१६- १९॥
tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krurān
dviṣataḥ3 krurān4 saṁsāreṣu5 nar-adhamān6
tān1 = Those; [who are] dviṣataḥ3 = hateful; krurān4 = cruel; aśubhān9 = the inauspicious; nar-adhamān6 = the lowest of men; saṁsāreṣu5 = in the worlds; aham2 = I; kṣipāmi7 = throw; [them] ajasram8 = for ever; āsurīṣu10 yoniṣu12 = into the demonic wombs; eva11 = indeed. 16.19
आसुरीं योनिमापन्ना मूढा जन्मनि जन्मनि ।
मामप्राप्यैव कौन्तेय ततो यान्त्यधमां गतिम् ॥१६- २०॥
āsurīṁ yonim āpannā
āpannāḥ3 mūḍhāḥ4 janmani-janmani5
āpannāḥ3 = Having obtained; āsurīm1 = demonic; yonim2 = womb; janmani-janmani5 = birth after birth; mūḍhāḥ4 = the fools; aprāpya7 = without ever coming to; mām6 = Me; eva8 = indeed; yānti11 = attain; gatim13 = states tataḥ10 adhamām12 = lower than that; kaunteya9 = O Kaunteya.16.20
(16.20) Fallen into the wombs of demons, these deluded beings from birth to birth, do not attain to Me, O Son of Kuntī (Arjuna), but go down to the lowest state.
l We are advised to shake off this demoniac nature. This does not mean predestination, for it is said that it is always open to us to turn Godward and achieve perfection. It is not impossible
at any stage. The Indwelling Spirit is in each soul and that means the hope of immortality is always there. Even the greatest sinner, if he turns to God, can achieve freedom. See IV..36.
त्रिविधं नरकस्येदं द्वारं नाशनमात्मनः ।
कामः क्रोधस्तथा लोभस्तस्मादेतत्त्रयं त्यजेत् ॥१६- २१॥
trividhaṁ narakasyedaṁ dvāraṁ nāśanam
idam3 dvāram4 nāśanam5 ātmanaḥ6
idam3 = This; dvāram4 = gate; narakasya2 = of hell; nāśanam5 = the annihilator; ātmanaḥ6 = of the self or soul; [is of] trividham1 = three kinds: kāmaḥ7 = lust; krodhaḥ8 = anger; tathā9 = also; lobhaḥ10 = greed; tasmāt11 = therefore; etat12 = these; trayam13 = three; [should be] tyajet14 = given up. 16.21
(16.21) The gateway of this hell leading to the ruin of the soul is threefold, lust, anger and greed. Therefore these three, one should abandon.
एतैर्विमुक्तः कौन्तेय तमोद्वारैस्त्रिभिर्नरः ।
आचरत्यात्मनः श्रेयस्ततो याति परां गतिम् ॥१६- २२॥
etair vimuktaḥ kaunteya tamodvārais tribhir naraḥ
kaunteya3 tamaḥ-dvāraiḥ4 tribhiḥ5
kaunteya3 = O Kaunteya; vimuktaḥ2 = liberated; etaiḥ1 = from these; tribhiḥ5 = three; tamaḥ-dvāraiḥ4 = gates to darkness; naraḥ6 = a person; ācarati7 = does strive; śreyaḥ9 = for the good; ātmanaḥ8 = of the soul; tataḥ10 = thereby; yāti11 = he obtains; parām gatim12 = Supreme Goal. 16.22
(16.22) The man who is released from these, the three gates to darkness, O son of Kuntī (Arjuna), does what is good for his soul and then reaches the highest state .
यः शास्त्रविधिमुत्सृज्य वर्तते कामकारतः ।
न स सिद्धिमवाप्नोति न सुखं न परां गतिम् ॥१६- २३॥
yaḥ śāstravidhim utsṛjya vartate kāmakārataḥ
yaḥ1 śāstra-vidhim2 utsṛjya3 vartate4 kāma-kārataḥ5
yaḥ1 = He; utsṛjya3 = having abandoned; śāstra-vidhim2 = scriptural injunctions; vartate4 = acts; kāma-kārataḥ5 = under the dictates of desires; saḥ7 = he; avāpnoti9 = attains; na6 = neither; siddhim8 = perfection; na sukham10 = nor happiness; na parām gatim11 = nor the Supreme State.16.23
(16.23) But he who discards the scriptural law and acts as his desires prompt him, he does not attain either perfection or happiness or the highest goal.
तस्माच्छास्त्रं प्रमाणं ते कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ ।
ज्ञात्वा शास्त्रविधानोक्तं कर्म कर्तुमिहार्हसि ॥१६- २४॥
tasmāc chāstraṁ pramāṇaṁ te kāryākāryavyavasthitau
tasmāt1 śāstram2 pramāṇam3 te4
tasmāt1 = Therefore; [let] śāstram2 = sacred texts; [be] te4 = your; pramāṇam3 = authority; kārya-akārya-vyavasthitau5 = in the determination of sanctioned action and prohibited action [san.action-proh.action-determination]. [After] jñātvā6 = knowing; śāstra-vidhāna-uktam7= the sayings of Sastric injunctions [Sastras-injunctions- sayings]; arhasi11 = you should; kartum9 = perform; karma8 = action; iha10 = here [in this world]. 16.24
(16.24) Therefore let the scripture be thy authority for determining what should be done and what should not be done. Knowing what is declared by the rules of the scripture, thou shouldst do thy work in this world.
l The drive of desire must be displaced by the knowledge of right action, but when the supreme end of the freedom of spirit is attained, the individual acts not from instinct, not from law but from a deep insight into the spirit of all life. We generally act according to our personal desire, then regulate the course of our conduct by reference to prescribed social codes and ultimately attain a deeper intention of life's meaning and act according to its guidance. The prompting of desire (XVIII, 59), the guidance of law (XVI, 24) and the spontaneity of spirit (XVIII, 64; XI. 33) are the three stages.
ity ••• daivāsurasaṁpadvibhāgayogo nāma ṣoḍaśo 'dhyayaḥ
This is the sixteenth chapter entitled The Yoga of the Distinction between the Divine and the Demoniac Endowments. 1 Cp, śāsti ya: sādhanopāyam puruṣāthasya nirmalam,
tathā eva bādhanāpāyam tat śāstram iti kathyate.