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Sixteenth Chapter. The CLassification Of The DIvine And The Non-DIvine Attributes In Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita

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Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita, English translation and commentary by Swami Swarupananda, [1909] The Blessed Lord said: 1. Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga; almsgiving, control of the senses, Yajna, reading of the Shâstras, austerity, uprightness; 1 2. Non-injury, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, tranquillity, absence of calumny, compassion to beings, un-covetousness, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness; 2 3. Boldness, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of pride; these belong to one born for a divine state, O descendant of Bharata. 4. Ostentation, arrogance and self-conceit, anger as also harshness and ignorance, belong to one who is born, O Pârtha, for an Asurika state. 4 5. The divine state is deemed to make for liberation, the Asurika for bondage; grieve not, O Pândava, thou art born for a divine state. 6. There are two types of beings in this world, the divine and the Asurika. The divine have been described at length; hear from Me, O Pârtha, of the Asurika. 7. The persons of Asurika nature know not what to do and what to refrain from; neither is purity found in them nor good conduct, nor truth. 7 8. They say, "The universe is without truth, without a (moral) basis, without a God, brought about by mutual union, with lust for its cause; what else?" 8 9. Holding this view, these ruined souls of small intellect and fierce deeds, rise as the enemies of the world for its destruction. 9 10. Filled with insatiable desires, full of hypocrisy, pride and arrogance, holding evil ideas through delusion, they work with impure resolve. 11. Beset with immense cares ending only with death, regarding gratification of lust as the highest, and feeling sure that that is all; 11 12. Bound by a hundred ties of hope, given over to lust and wrath, they strive to secure by unjust means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyment. 13. "This to-day has been gained by me; this desire I shall obtain; this is mine, and this wealth also shall be mine in future. 14. "That enemy has been slain by me, and others also shall I slay. I am the lord, I enjoy, I am successful, powerful and happy. 15. "I am rich and well-born. Who else is equal to me? I will sacrifice, I will give, I will rejoice." Thus deluded by ignorance, 16. Bewildered by many a fancy, covered by the meshes of delusion, addicted to the gratification of lust, they fall down into a foul hell. 17. Self-conceited, haughty, filled with the pride and intoxication of wealth, they perform sacrifices in name, out of ostentation, disregarding ordinance; 18. Possessed of egoism, power, insolence, lust and wrath, these malignant people hate Me (the Self within) in their own bodies and those of others. 19. These malicious and cruel evildoers, most degraded of men, I hurl perpetually into the wombs of Asuras only, in these worlds. 19 20. Obtaining the Asurika wombs, and deluded birth after birth, not attaining to Me, they thus fall, O son of Kunti, into a still lower condition. 21. Triple is this gate of hell, destructive of the self,—lust, anger and greed; therefore one should forsake these three. 21 22. The man who has got beyond these three gates of darkness, O son of Kunti, practises what is good for himself, and thus goes to the Goal Supreme. 23. He who, setting aside the ordinance of the Shâstra, acts under the impulse of desire, attains not to perfection, nor happiness, nor the Goal Supreme. 23 24. So let the Shâstra be thy authority in ascertaining what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Having known what is said in the ordinance of the Shâstra, thou shouldst act here. 24   The end of the Sixteenth Chapter designated: The Classification of the Divine and the Non-Divine Attributes. 337:1 Yoga—consists in making what has been learnt from the Shâstras and the Achârya an object of one's own direct perception, by concentration and self-control. 338:2 Uncovetousness: Unaffectedness of the senses when in contact with their objects. Absence of fickleness: Avoidance of useless actions.—Sridhara. 339:4 Asurika: demoniac. 340:7 What to do . . . from: What acts they should perform to achieve the end of man, nor what acts they should abstain from to avert evil. 341:8 Without truth: As we are unreal so this universe is unreal, and the sacred Scriptures that declare the truth are unreal. What else—but lust can be the cause of the universe?—This is the view of the Lokâyatikas, the materialists. 341:9 Small intellect—as it concerns itself only with sense-objects and cannot soar higher. 342:11 Cares—as to the means of acquiring and preserving the innumerable objects of desire. 346:19 Wombs of Asuras: Wombs of the most cruel beings, as tigers, snakes, etc. Worlds: Paths of Samsâra passing through many a hell. 347:21 Destructive of the self: making the self fit for no human end whatever. 348:23 Perfection: fitness for attaining the end of man. 348:24 Here: in this world.

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1 Enakshi Ganguly = ""In this Chapter the entire mankind has been classified as the divinely (Good-Deva) and the diaboical (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?"Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
2 Enakshi Ganguly = ""The social institution known as varnasrama-dharma--the institution dividing society into four divisions or castes--is not meant to divide human society according to birth. Such divisions are in terms of educational qualifications. They are to keep the society in a state of peace and prosperity. The qualities mentioned herein are explained as transcendental qualities meant for making a person progress in spiritual understanding so that he can get liberated from the material world...All these twenty-six qualifications mentioned are transcendental qualities. They should be cultivated according to the different statuses of the social order. The purport is that even though material conditions are miserable, if these qualities are developed by practice, by all classes of men, then gradually it is possible to rise to the highest platform of transcendental realization."Source: http://www.asitis.com/16/1-3.html"
3 Enakshi Ganguly = ""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. earlessness - 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."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
4 Enakshi Ganguly = "" The meritorious qualities of the divine nature which follows the nature of Brahma who as the secondary creator manifested all creatures is self evident. The emphasis is on the word tapasyameaning austerity. Adherence to brahminical qualities and attributes is itself an austerity. Ahimsa is non-violence to any being. Animosity is the intent to cause injury to others, it is the defect pointed out in rulers and military commanders. The Amarakosa dictionary mentions this as well. Kings and emperors ruling without fear by the strength of their might proudly regard all others as inferior. This is said to be arrogance. Tyagah is renunciation of possessiveness such as obsession with position, family, wealth, etc. The word ksama meaning tolerance is the state of mind which forgives and refrains from harming those who have caused harm."Source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-16-01.html"
5 Enakshi Ganguly = ""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. bsence 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."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
6 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Ahimsa means not arresting the progressive life of any living entity. One should not think that since the spirit spark is never killed even after the killing of the body there is no harm in killing animals for sense gratification. People are now addicted to eating animals, in spite of having an ample supply of grains, fruits and milk. There is no necessity for animal killing. This injunction is for everyone. When there is no other alternative, one may kill an animal, but it should be offered in sacrifice. At any rate, when there is an ample food supply for humanity, persons who are desiring to make advancement in spiritual realization should not commit violence to animals. Realahimsa means not checking anyone's progressive life. The animals are also making progress in their evolutionary life by transmigrating from one category of animal life to another. If a particular animal is killed, then his progress is checked. If an animal is staying in a particular body for so many days or so many years and is untimely killed, then he has to come back again in that form of life to complete the remaining days in order to be promoted to another species of life. So their progress should not be checked simply to satisfy one's palate. This is called ahimsa. "Source: http://www.asitis.com/16/1-3.html"
7 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Lord Krishna gives the six demerits that are part of the demoniac nature and are formidable obstacles obstructing all progress in spiritual advancement. The word damah or ostentatious denotes hypocrisy, mendacity and lack of religiosity.Darpah is pride erroneously exuding from intoxication of position, wealth and power. The word krodah means anger resulting from frustration causing animosity and the impetus to injure and harm others by parusyam or cruelty and harshness without any mercy. This is a defect especially found in sovereigns and rulers due to abhimanhor extreme egotism in the illusion that they are the most powerful and worshipable instead of the Supreme Lord. Thus their mentality being deluded is ajnanam or ignorance, void of actual knowledge and destitute in discrimination of what is eternal and what is temporary."Source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-16-02.html"
8 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Lord Krishna explains the opposing results of the divine nature and the demoniac nature. The divine nature which follows the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures has been regarded from time immemorial by self-realised sages and rishis as conducive to moksa or liberation from material existence due to spiritual knowledge and attaining communion with the Supreme Lord. The demoniac nature leads one to act contrarily to the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures and hence are conducive to enslavement in samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death and bondage in material existence taking birth each time in lower and more degraded life forms. Seeing despondency on His devotees face, Lord Krishna assures him not to worry for he is without a doubt born of the divine nature."Source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-16-03.html"
9 Enakshi Ganguly = ""The material world is the place where actions are performed and subsequent karma or reactions to actions are created. Created beings who are of the divine nature engage in activities that are of a divine nature and created beings that are of the demoniac nature engage in activities of a demoniac nature. From their very birth it has been predetermined from the merits and demerits accumulated in unlimited past life activities whether or not a jiva or embodied being is of the divine nature following the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures and devoted to the Supreme Lord Krishna or is of the demoniac nature, belligerent and antagonistic to the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures which compassionately guide all of creation and opposed to Lord Krishna. Those of the divine nature have been described at length and are the aspirants who strive and endeavour to follow the path of the Supreme Lord engaging in yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness by karma or selfless actions, jnana or knowledge of self-realisation and bhakti or exclusive loving devotion unto the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures. Next the demoniac will also be described in length, illustrating what they were born for and how they behave."Source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-16-04.html"
10 Enakshi Ganguly = "Question: How can one be wholly Demonic/Divine in nature? Isn't the Divine in every one of us? Or is it that is the Divine present in some more than others? Isn't that still under the control of God? Perhaps, those who are more 'demonic' in nature are in that state because of the impious actions that they did not abstain from. Perhaps, we are not naturally one thing or another, but just a product of our actions. But aren't actions a product of who we are? Isn't who we are a product of God? Then, wouldn't God produce our inherent nature and our actions?"
11 Enakshi Ganguly = "This is definitely a very bigoted and nonsensical interpretation of this chapter, BUT it is worth noting that there are these ugly aspects of Hinduism (or at least those who pretend to be Hindus):"As for behavior, there are many rules and regulations guiding human behavior, such as the Manu-samhita, which is the law of the human race. Even up to today, those who are Hindu follow the Manu-samhita. Laws of inheritance and other legalities are derived from this book. Now, in the Manu-samhita, it is clearly stated that a woman should not be given freedom. That does not mean that women are to be kept as slaves, but they are like children. Children are not given freedom, but that does not mean that they are kept as slaves. The demons have now neglected such injunctions, and they think that women should be given as much freedom as men. However, this has not improved the social condition of the world. Actually, a woman should be given protection at every stage of life. She should be given protection by the father in her younger days, by the husband in her youth, and by the grown-up sons in her old age. This is proper social behavior according to the Manu-samhita. But modern education has artificially devised a puffed-up concept of womanly life, and therefore marriage is practically now an imagination in human society. Nor is the moral condition of women very good now. The demons, therefore, do not accept any instruction which is good for society, and because they do not follow the experience of great sages and the rules and regulations laid down by the sages, the social condition of the demoniac people is very miserable."Source: http://www.asitis.com/16/7.html"
12 Enakshi Ganguly = ""“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 aha 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."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
13 Enakshi Ganguly = ""The devilish personality is incapable of deciding about the actions to be pursued and those to be avoided. He does not possess outer cleanliness or inward harmony. Good conduct is absent in him. He can not maintain truthfulness in his words. They fail to recognize the truth that upholds the Universe i.e. they do not recognize the eternal unchanging Reality behind the ever-changing flux of things. According to them there is no commanding intelligence that orders, regulates, determines and guides the happenings in the world. They believe that the universe is formed as a result of mutual combination of the elements and the driving force that determines the creation is nothing but lust."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
14 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Bound by hundreds of ties of desire, given over to lust and anger, they strive to amass by unjust means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyment. This materialistic doctrine which states “yavad jivet sukham jivet rnam krtva ghrtam pibet | bhasmibhutasya dehasya punar aagamanam kutah||  “Eat, drink and be merry, for death is certain and there is nothing beyond”. ...Satisfaction of lust is their highest goal. Their firm conviction is that there is nothing beyond this in life. They do not know what is peace, harmony and joy in life. According to them sorrows and cares alone are the contents of life...They become restless and impatient with their surroundings and lose their sense of judgment. Irritated and constantly unhappy with their environment, they become angry over unfulfilled desires. They ceaselessly try to acquire more and more wealth to satisfy their sensual hunger losing sight of a diviner principle of existence."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
15 Enakshi Ganguly = ""In short, such people fall into hell because of a) their fanciful egocentric ideas b) their judgment and discrimination getting eclipsed by delusion and false values and c) their addiction to sense gratification."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
16 Enakshi Ganguly = ""Sri Krishna describes the characteristics of the demoniac people. He states that the spirit of selfless effort in the service of mankind is the greatest Yagna i.e. work is to be considered as worship. The Demoniac people because of their very personality are incapable of selfless service and whatever they do as sacrifice is merely an act influenced by their sensuality, arrogance and false values of life. As a result of this sorrow only ensues. Such men continue to fall lower and lower each day. They are full of egoism, brute strength, arrogance, passion and anger. A person of this kind of attitude would ignore the sanctity of life, become malignant and because of egoism would hate The Lord Himself or the Paramatman in his own body and those of the others. They will hate to seek the Self. These people are called as the worst among the men in the world. They are malicious against the dignity of themselves and cruel to the people around. Hence Sri Krishna assuming the role of the Law of Action and Reaction orders such people again and again to be born in the Asuric environments till such time as they realize their follies."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
17 Enakshi Ganguly = ""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."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
18 Enakshi Ganguly = ""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."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
19 Enakshi Ganguly = ""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."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"
20 Enakshi Ganguly = ""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."Source: http://esamskriti.com/essays/BG-CH-16.pdf"