Bg-Ch16 Daivaasura Sampad Vibhhaaga Yogah-Yoga Of Division Betn The Divine & The Demoniacal Traits

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Preamble

In  this Chapter the entire mankind has been classified as the divinely (Good-Deva)  and the diabolical (Fallen-Asura). It enumerates their respective qualities and ways of  conduct.

The demoniac always live contrary to scriptural  injunctions in agitation, sorrow and bondage. With endless desires they go  through the cycles of birth and death. The divine conquer their desires. They  live in peace and happiness until they reach the goal of Enlightenment.

The purpose of this Chapter is that one may adopt the  divine qualities and reject the demoniac qualities after fully understanding  their nature in the journey towards God-realization. Hence this Chapter is  designated as “Yoga of the Division  between the Divine and the Demoniacal Traits”. Lord Krishna  brings out quite clearly the intimate connection between ethics and  spirituality, between a life of virtue and God realization and liberation.

Listing two sets of qualities of opposite kinds, the Lord  urges us to eradicate the latter and cultivate the divine qualities. What kind  of nature should one develop? What conduct must one follow? What way should one  live and act if one must attain God and obtain divine bliss? These questions  are answered with perfect clarity and very definitely.

The  Text

TRAITS OF DIVINE NATURE

sri bhagavaan uvaacha
    abhayam sattwasamshuddhih jnaanayogavyavasthitih
    daanam damashcha yajnashcha swaadhyaayastapa  aarjavam // 16.1 //

Sri  Bhagavan said
    Fearlessness,  purity of heart, steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga, charity , control of the  senses, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity and straightforwardness,

The  Lord had earlier described in Chapter 13 verses 7-11 twenty values of life.  Here He enumerates the nobler traits in a cultured man who lives those twenty  values of life.

Fearlessness  - abhayaam - comes first in these Divine Qualities. Fear is the expression of  ignorance and when there is knowledge there is fearlessness.

Purity  of heart - honesty of intentions and purity of motives.

Steadfastness  in Knowledge and Yoga - Ethical purity can not be brought about when the mind  is turned outward. Only when it is turned inward it can renounce worldly desires.  Devotion to knowledge is the positive way to persuade the mind to leave all low  temptations and make it aware to the joys of the Self.

Charity,  Restraint of the Senses and Sacrifice - These are the techniques by which  steady devotion to knowledge is cultivated. Oneness between the giver and the  recipient is the basis of real charity. It is the capacity to restrain one's  instinct of acquisition and attachment to wealth and replacing it with the  spirit of sacrifice and sharing. Charity can be at the level of head and heart  also and need not be merely at the material level. Sharing with others our  sympathy and kindness and to distribute one's knowledge are also charities.  Restraint of the sense organs is the saving of energy for the higher purposes  of meditation.

Study  of the scriptures - It implies not only the regular study of scriptural texts  but also the practice of their teachings.

Austerity  - It means the denial of sensual requirements and concentrating on the divine.
  Straightforwardness  - Avoidance of crookedness in thoughts, words and actions.

These  ethical qualities, if pursued sincerely, will contribute to the discovery of  the Divine in oneself.

ahimsaa satyamakrodhas tyaagah shaantirapaishunam
    dayaa bhooteshvaloluptwam maardavam hreerachaapalam  // 16.2 //

Harmlessness,  truth, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, absence of crookedness,  compassion towards beings, uncovetousness, gentleness, modesty, absence of  fickleness.

Harmlessness  - This connotes not as much physical non-injury as avoidance of injury in the  thought process itself because in the world of living physical injury in some  form or the other to another can not be avoided. But in so living one can  always maintain pure and clean motives in which case the harm caused is not an  injury.

Truth  is explained under straightforwardness in the previous verse.
  Absence  of anger - It is the capacity to check anger as it arises and manifests in  actions under its influence.

Renunciation  - Without renunciation an even temper can not be maintained.

Peacefulness  - Keeping a balance in the midst of stormy conditions of life.
  Absence  of crookedness - Honesty of conviction and avoiding double-talk, full of  devotion, love and sincerity to others.

Compassion  towards beings - Recognising the imperfections in others and loving them.
  Uncovetousness  - Remaining in self-control over sense enjoyments.

Gentleness  and modesty - This is the result of an individual's good training.

Absence  of fickleness - Economy of physical energy in any activity.

tejah kshamaa dhritih shauchamadroho naatimaanitaa
    bhavanti sampadam daiveem abhijaatasya bhaarata // 16.3  //

Vigor,  forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, and absence of pride - these  belong to the one born in a Divine   State, O Bharata.

Vigor  - This is not of the physical structure of the body but the brilliance of the  seeker's intellect, his peaceful nature, quietitude in his activities and his  love for all.

Forgiveness  - It implies unruffled serenity even in the face of powerful oppositions and  provoking situations in life.

Fortitude  -  Strength of faith, conviction of the  goal, consistency of purpose, vivid perception of the ideal and the spirit of  sacrifice in the task undertaken.

Purity  - Purity of thoughts and motives, purity of environments, cleanliness of habits  and personal belongings.

Non-hatred  - It implies not only absence of hatred but also absence of even a vague desire  to injure any living creature.

Absence  of pride - Leaving the sense of one's own over exaggerated pride and notions of  self honor and importance.

The  twenty six qualities described above give a complete picture of the man of Divine State.  They serve as a guide to all those who are in search of a right way of living  and endeavor to become perfect.

Sri  Krishna now starts the description of a man of demoniac (Asuric) nature in the  following verses. It should, however, be born in mind that human race is not  divided into two exclusive categories; many beings partake of the natures of  both. Nothing is wholly good or wholly evil.