BG-Ch16 Daivaasura Sampad Vibhhaaga Yogah-Yoga of Division betn The Divine & the Demoniacal Traits


trividham narakasyedam dwaaram naashanamaatmanah
    kaamah krodhastathaa lobhastasmaadetattrayam tyajet  // 16.21 //

Triple  is the gate of this hell, destructive of the Self -lust, anger and greed-  therefore, one should abandon these three.

etairvimuktah kaunteya tamodwaaraistribhirnarah
    aacharatyaatmanah shreyas tato yaati paraam gatim  // 16.22 //

A  man who is liberated from these three gates to darkness, O Kaunteya, practices  what is good for him and thus goes to the Supreme goal.

Sri  Krishna says that an individual having repeatedly reached the Asuric  environments, life after life, fails to realize the Infinite Self. They never  climb higher in their culture and sink to the bottom most level in their  evolution and thus complete their fall.

The  Lord advises how even the one who has fallen so hopelessly can improve his  spiritual evolution. He says that there are three gateways to hell viz. desire,  anger and greed. These characteristics are corollary to each other. He emphasizes  that these three evils must be abandoned if one wants to rise up in the ladder  of spirituality.
  The  Lord says that the one who has abandoned these three gateways to darkness will  steadily progress towards the life's goal. He will be practicing what is good  for him; good in the sense that which not only brings happiness to the  practitioner but also contributes much to the well being of the others around  him. Progressing thus in the right direction such an individual goes to the  Supreme, reaches the goal of life.


yah shaastravidhimutsrijya vartate kaamakaaratah
    na sa siddhimavaapnoti na sukham na paraam gatim //  16.23 //

He,  who has cast aside the ordinances of the scriptures, acts under the impulse of  desire, attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the Supreme goal.

Scriptures  need not mean the ritualistic ones but they mean the texts discussing the  theory of Truth - Brahma Vidya. A  seeker should renounce desire, anger and greed. Anger is the result when  fulfillment of desire is obstructed and greed is the consequence of  satisfaction of one desire.

Sri  Krishna warns that if one were not to obey the life advocated in the scriptures  he will live a life of restless agitations and passions. Such a man cannot feel  any happiness or attain any cultural development.

tasmaat shaastram pramaanam te  kaaryaakaaryavyavasthitau
    jnaatwaa shaastra vidhaanoktam karma  kartumihaarhasi // 16.24 //

Therefore,  let the scriptures be the authority in determining what ought to be done and  what ought not to be done. Having known what is said in the ordinance of the  scriptures you should act here in this world.

The  seeker should therefore follow the authority of the scriptures in conducting  his way of life as to what is to be pursued and what is to be avoided. Sri  Krishna concludes with the command that having known the scriptural injunctions  regarding the right way of living, one should act here and now without desire,  anger or greed.

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.

om tat sat  iti srimadbhagavadgeetaasu upanishatsu brahma  vidyaayaam yogashaastre sri krishnaarjuna samvaade daivaasura sampad vibhhaaga  yogo naama shodasho'dhyaayah ||

Thus  in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita,the science of the Eternal, the  scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the  sixteenth discourse entitled  The Yoga of  the Division Between the Divine and the Demoniacal Traits.
    Concepts and Issues
  Sri  Krishna discusses those traits of character that make a person divine or  demoniac, since the former leads to liberation whereas the latter leads to  bondage. The list of divine traits comprises of 26 qualities, the chief ones being:  fearlessness, purity of mind, self control, Scriptural studies, austerity,  non-violence, and truth, spirit of renunciation, compassion, forgiveness and  absence of pride.

The  other list of demoniac traits consists of six vices: hypocrisy, vainglory,  egoism, anger, harsh speech and ignorance of higher values.

Then  the description of the demoniac persons and their way of life follows. They  know neither the performance of good works nor the need to withdraw from the  evil ones. They have neither purity nor truth. They consider lust as the sole  cause of creation. Being addicted to it, they out of delusion, try to get  unholy things. They boast about their wealth or works and take pleasure in destroying  their enemies. They dislike The Lord who is the Self of all beings. Such  persons are thrown by The Lord into abominable births.

The  gateway to hell that ultimately causes self-destruction is threefold: lust,  anger and greed. One who is free from these attains the highest abode. But, for  this, one has to act according to the scriptures with Sraddha or faith.

Live as the Gita Teaches You to Live
  This  Chapter teaches that everyone should analyze himself and find out the  undesirable traits in one's own character and rectify them then and there with  discrimination and introspection. For this one must be true to oneself and be a  witness of the mental functions. Then alone one can know whether the thoughts  and actions will prove to be instruments of self-development.

  “In  Indian religious symbolism, the distinction between the devas, the shining ones, and the asuras, the children of darkness is an ancient one. In the Rig Veda  we have the struggle between the Gods and the Rakshasas. The Ramayana  represents a similar conflict between the representatives of high culture and  those of unbridled egoism. The Maha Bharata tells of the struggle between the  Pandavas who are devotees of dharma,  of law and justice and the Kauravas, who are the lovers of power.

Historically  mankind remains remarkably true to type, and we have today as in the period of  the Maha Bharata 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 us. The devas and asuras are both born of prajapati. (Chhandogya Upanishad I.2.i.)”.  Dr.S.Radhakrishnan.

Is  the world we live in at present any different with all its multi-pronged fight  against terrorism, scams, man-made disasters, trade wars, territorial  aggressions, gross injustice etc.? The guidelines set forth in this Chapter  will certainly help us to know where we are heading for and provide us tools to  take corrective steps, if one cares to improve himself.
    Points to Ponder
  • Comment on the three vices:       Desire, Anger and Greed. Why they have to be conquered? 
• Why one should follow       the rules laid down in the scriptures?

Next time we shall take up Chapter 17


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