Scripture taken from: "Bhagavad-Gita As It Is" (1972 Edition)
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 16: The Divine and Demonic Natures (p.235-244)
1-3. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said:
Fearlessness, purification of one's existence,
cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, sense control,
performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity, simplicity, nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, peacefulness, aversion to faultfinding, compassion toward every living entity, freedom from greed, gentleness, shyness, determination, vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, and freedom from both envy and the passion for honor -
these are the transcendental qualities, born of the godly atmosphere,
O son of Bharata.
In the beginning of the Fifteenth Chapter,
the banyan tree of this material world was explained.
The extra roots, coming out of it, were compared
to the activities, of the living entities, some auspicious, some inauspicious.
In the Ninth Chapter, also, the devas or godly,
and the asuras, the ungodly, or demons, were explained.
Now, according to Vedic rites, activities, in the mode of goodness,
are considered auspicious for progress on the path of liberation,
and such activities, are known as daiva-prakrti, transcendental by nature.
Those, who are situated, in the transcendental nature,
are making progress on the path of liberation.
For those, who are acting in the modes of passion and ignorance,
on the other hand, there is no possibility of liberation.
Either they will have to remain in this material world as human beings,
or they will descend among the species of animals,
or other, even lower forms of life.
In the Sixteenth Chapter, the Lord explains
the transcendental nature, and its attendant qualities,
as well as the demonic nature, and its qualities.
He also explains, the advantages and disadvantages of these qualities.
4. Those, who are born with demonic qualities, exhibit
pride, arrogance, false prestige, anger, harshness, and ignorance,
O son of Prtha.
In this verse, the royal road to hell, is described.
The demonic, want to make a show of religion,
and advancement in spiritual science,
although, they do not follow the principles.
They, are always arrogant,
proud of possessing some type of education or wealth.
Desiring, to be worshiped, by others,
they demand respect, although, they do not command respect.
Over trifles, they grow very angry, and they speak harshly, not gently.
They, do not know, what should be done, and what should not be done.
They, do everything - whimsically, according to their own desire,
and they, do not recognize any authority.
These demonic qualities, are taken by them,
from the beginning of their bodies in the wombs of their mothers,
and as they grow, they manifest, all these inauspicious qualities.
5. The transcendental assets, lead to liberation,
whereas, the demoniac assets, are meant for bondage.
But, do not worry, O son of Pandu,
for you are born with transcendental qualities.
6. O son of Prtha, in this world, there are two kinds of created beings.
One, is called divine, and the other, demoniac.
I, have already explained to you, at length, the divine qualities.
Now, I shall describe the demoniac.
7. Those, who are of demoniac quality,
do not know what is to be done, and what is not to be done.
They, are unclean,
they, do not know how to behave, nor is there any truth in them.
8. They, say that this world is unreal, that there is no foundation,
and that there is no God in control.
It, is produced of sex desire, and has no other cause than lust.
The demonic conclude, that the creation of the world, is a phantasmagoria.
There is no cause or effect, no controller, no purpose: everything is unreal.
As the will-o'-the-wisp is caused by certain atmospheric changes,
so this cosmic manifestation,
is due to chance material actions and reactions.
That, is their conclusion.
They, do not think that the world was created by God, for a certain purpose.
They, have their own theory: that the world has come about in its own way, and that, there is no reason to believe that there could be a God behind it.
For them, there is no difference, between spirit and matter,
and they, do not accept the Supreme Spirit.
Everything, is matter - only,
and the whole cosmos, is supposed to be a mass of ignorance.
According to them, everything is void,
and whatever manifestation exists, is due to our ignorance in perception.
They, take it for granted, that all manifestation of diversity,
is a display of ignorance.
Just, as in a dream, we, may create so many things,
which actually have no existence,
so when we are awakened, we shall see that, everything is simply a dream.
But, factually, although the demons say, that life is a dream,
they are very expert, in enjoying this dream.
And so, instead of getting knowledge,
they become more and more implicated, in their dreamland.
9. Following such conclusions,
the demoniac, lost to themselves, and without intelligence,
engage in unbeneficial, horrible works, meant to destroy the world.
The demoniac, are engaged in activities,
that will lead the world to destruction.
The Lord, states here that, they are less intelligent.
The materialists, who have no concept of God, think that they are advancing.
But, according to the Bhagavad-gita,
they are unintelligent, and devoid of all sense.
They, try to enjoy this material world, to the utmost limit,
and therefore, always engage in, inventing something for sense gratification.
Such materialistic inventions,
are considered the advancement of human civilization;
But, the result is that,
the people are growing more and more violent,
and more and more cruel,
cruel to animals, and cruel to other human beings.
They, have no idea, of how to behave toward one another.
Animal killing, is very prominent among demoniac people.
Such people, are considered the enemies of the world, because ultimately, they invent or create something, that will bring destruction to all.
Indirectly, this verse points to, the invention of nuclear weapons,
for which, the whole world is today, very proud.
At any moment, war may take place,
and these atomic weapons may create havoc.
Such things, are created, solely, for the destruction of the world,
and this is indicated, in Bhagavad-gita.
Due to godlessness, such weapons, are invented in human society.
They, are not meant for the peace and prosperity, of the world.
10. Taking shelter, of insatiable lust, pride, and false prestige,
and being thus illusioned, the demoniac are always sworn,
to unclean work, attracted, by the impermanent.
11. Their belief, is that, to gratify the senses, until the end of life,
is the prime necessity, of human civilization.
Thus, there is no measurement, for their anxiety.
The demoniac, accept that, the enjoyment of the senses,
is the ultimate goal of life, and this concept, they maintain - until death.
They, do not believe in life after death;
And, they, do not believe there are different grades of bodies,
according to one's karma, or activities, in this world.
Their plans for life, are never finished.
They, go on preparing, plan after plan, all of which - are never finished.
We, have personal experience, of a person, of such demoniac mentality, who, even at the point of death,
was requesting the physician to prolong his life, for four years more, because, his plans were not yet complete.
Such foolish people, do not know that,
a physician cannot prolong life, even for a moment.
When, the notice is there, there is no consideration, of the man's desire.
The laws of nature, allow, not even a second beyond,
what one is destined to enjoy.
12. Being bound, by hundreds and thousands of desires, by lust, and anger, they secure money, by illegal means for sense gratification.
13-15. The demoniac person thinks:
"So much wealth, do I have today,
and I, will gain more, according to my schemes.
So much is mine now, and it will increase in the future, more and more.
He is my enemy, and I, have killed him.
And, my other enemy, will also be killed.
I, am the lord of everything, I, am the enjoyer.
I, am perfect, powerful, and happy.
I, am the richest man, surrounded by aristocratic relatives.
There, is none, so powerful, and happy, as I am.
I, shall perform sacrifices.
I, shall give some charity, and thus, I, shall rejoice."
In this way, such persons, are deluded by ignorance.
16. Thus, perplexed, by various anxieties,
and bound, by a network of illusions,
one becomes too strongly attached, to sense enjoyment,
and falls down - into hell.
The demoniac man, has no limit, to his desire, to acquire money.
For that reason, he does not mind acting, in any sinful way.
Thus, he deals on the black market, for illegal gratification.
He, is enamored, by the possessions, he already has, such as:
land, family, house, and bank balance,
and he, is always thinking of improving them.
He, believes in his own strength,
and he, has no knowledge, that, whatever he is gaining,
is due to his past good deeds.
He, is given the opportunity, to accumulate such things,
but, he, has no conception, of the past causes.
He, simply thinks that, all his mass of wealth, is due to his own endeaver.
A demoniac person, believes in the strength of his personal work,
not, in the law of karma.
According to the law of karma,
a man takes his birth, in a high family, or becomes rich,
very well educated, or very beautiful, because of good work in the past.
The demoniac, thinks that, all these things are accidental,
and due to the strength of one's personal ability.
He, does not sense any arrangement,
behind the varieties of people, beauty, and education.
Anyone, who comes into competition,
with such a demoniac man,
is - his enemy.
There are many demoniac people, and each - is enemy, to the others.
This enmity, becomes more and more deep -
between persons, then between families,
then between societies, and at last, between nations.
Therefore, there is constant strife, war, and enmity, all over the world.
Each demoniac person, thinks that he can live, at the sacrifice of all others.
Generally, a demoniac person, thinks of himself, as the Supreme God.
And, demoniac preachers, instruct their followers:
"Why, are you seeking God elsewhere?
You, are all yourselves Gods!
Whatever you like, you can do.
Don't believe in God.
Throw God away.
God is dead."
These, are their preachings.
17. Self-complacent, and always impudent,
deluded by wealth, and false prestige,
they, sometimes perform sacrifices, in name, only,
without following any rules or regulations.
18. Bewildered, by false ego, strength, pride, lust, and anger,
the demon, becomes envious,
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead -
who, is situated, in his own body, and in others,
and blasphemes, against the real religion.
A demoniac person, being always,
against, the existence of God's supremacy,
does not like to believe in the scriptures.
He, is envious, of both the scriptures,
and the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
because of his so-called prestige,
and his accumulation of wealth, and strength.
He, does not know that, the present life, is a preparation, for the next life.
Not knowing this, he, is actually envious, of his own self, as well as of others.
He, commits violence, on other bodies, and on his own.
He, does not care for the supreme control,
of the Personality of Godhead,
because, he, has no knowledge.
Being envious of the scriptures,
and the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
he, puts forward false logic,
against the existence of God,
and refutes the scriptural authority.
He, thinks himself - independent and powerful, in every action.
He, thinks that since no one can equal him in strength, power, or wealth,
he, can therefore act in any way, and no one can stop him.
If, there is any enemy,
who might check, the advancement of his sensual activities,
he, will plan to cut him down, by his own power.
19. Because they, are envious, and mischievous, the lowest of men,
I, ever put them back into the ocean of material existence,
into various demoniac species of life.
In this verse, it is clearly indicated,
that to put a particular individual soul, in a particular body,
is the prerogative of the supreme will.
The demoniac person, may not agree, to accept the supremacy of the Lord, and it is a fact that, he may act according to his own whims,
but his next birth, will depend upon the decision,
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and not on himself.
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Third Canto,
it is stated that, an individual soul, after his death,
is put into the womb of a mother, where he gets a particular type of body, under the supervision of superior power.
Therefore, in material existence,
we find so many species of life - animals, men, and so on.
This, is all arranged, by that superior power.
It, is not accidental.
As for the demoniac, it is clearly said here,
that they, are perpetually put into the wombs of demons,
and thus, they continue to be envious, the lowest of mankind.
Such demoniac species of life,
are held to be always, full of lust, always violent,
and hateful, and always unclean.
20. Gaining repeated birth, among the species of demoniac life,
such persons, can never approach Me.
Gradually, they sink down, to the most abominable position, of existence.
It is known, that God is all-merciful,
but here, we find that God is never merciful, to the demoniac.
It is clearly stated, that the demoniac people,
life after life, are put into the wombs of similar demons.
Not achieving the mercy of the Supreme Lord,
they, go down and down, so that at last,
they, achieve bodies, like those of cats, dogs, and hogs.
It, is clearly stated, that such demons,
have practically no chance of receiving the mercy of God,
at any stage of later life.
In the Vedas, also, it is stated that,
such persons, gradually go down, to become dogs and hogs.
It may be argued that, God, should not be advertised, as all-merciful,
since He is not merciful, to such demons.
In answer to this question, in the Vedanta-sutra,
we find that, the Supreme Lord, has no hatred, or favor, for anyone.
To put the asuras, the demons, into the lowest status of life,
is simply another feature, of His mercy.
Sometimes, the asuras are killed by the Supreme Lord.
This killing, is also good for them, for in Vedic literature,
we find that, anyone, killed by the Supreme Lord, is liberated.
There are instances in history, of many asuras -
Ravana, Karinsa, Hiranyakasipu,
to whom the Lord appeared, in various incarnations, just to kill them.
Therefore, God's mercy is shown to the asuras,
if, they are fortunate enough, to be killed by Him.
21. There are three gates, leading down to hell -lust, anger, and greed.
Every sane man, should give these up,
for, they lead to the degradation of the soul.
22. One, who is freed from these gates to hell, O son of Kunti,
performs acts, conducive, to his self-realization,
and thus, gradually attains to the supreme destination.
One, should be very careful,
of these three enemies to human life: lust, anger, and greed.
The more a person is freed from lust, anger, and greed,
the more, his existence becomes pure.
Then, he can follow the rules and regulations,
enjoined, in the Vedic literature.
By following the regulative principles of human life,
one gradually raises himself, to the platform of spiritual realization.
If, one is so fortunate, by such practice,
to rise to the platform of Krsna consciousness,
then, success is guaranteed for him.
In Vedic literature, the ways of action and reaction, are prescribed,
just to bring one, to the stage of purification.
The whole method, is based on, giving up: lust, greed, and anger.
By cultivating knowledge, of how to do this,
one, is elevated, to the highest position, of self-realization.
This self-realization, is perfect in devotional service.
In devotional service, the liberation, of the conditioned soul, is guaranteed.
Therefore, according to the Vedic system,
there are instituted, the four orders of life, and the four social statuses,
called the spiritual order system, and the caste system.
There are different rules and regulations,
for different castes or divisions of society,
and if a person is able to follow them,
he will be automatically raised to the highest platform of spiritual realization.
Then, he can have liberation, without a doubt.
23. One, who acts whimsically, not caring,
for the regulations of the scriptures, can never attain perfection,
nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.
24. One, should understand, what is duty, and what is not duty,
by the regulations of the scriptures.
Knowing such rules and regulations,
one should act, so that he may gradually be elevated.
As stated, in the Fifteenth Chapter,
all the rules and regulations, of the Vedas, are meant for knowing Krsna.
If one understands Krsna, from the Bhagavad-gita,
and becomes situated in Krsna consciousness,
engaging himself, in devotional service,
he has reached the highest perfection of knowledge offered,
by the Vedic literature.
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, made this process very easy.
He asked people simply to chant:
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna,
Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,
and to engage in the devotional service, of the Lord,
and eat the remnants of food offered to the Deity.
One, who is directly engaged in all these devotional activities,
should be understood, to have studied all the Vedic literature,
and to have come to the conclusion perfectly.
Of course, for ordinary persons, who are not Krsna conscious,
or engaged in devotional service,
what is to be done, and what is not to be done,
must be decided by the injunctions, of the Vedas.
One, should act accordingly, without argument.
That, is called following the principles of sastra, or scriptures.
Sastra, is free, from the four principal defects,
visible, in the conditioned soul:
imperfect senses, the propensity for cheating,
certainty of committing mistakes, and certainty of being illusioned.
These four principal defects, in conditioned life,
disqualify one, from putting forth rules and regulations.
Therefore, the rules and regulations, as described, in the sastra -
being above these defects - are accepted, without alteration,
by all great saints, acaryas, and great souls.
In India, especially, there are many parties of spiritual understanding, generally classified, as two types: the impersonalists and the personalists.
Both, of them, however, lead their lives,
according to the principles of the Vedas.
Without following the principles of the scriptures,
one cannot elevate himself, to the perfectional stage.
In human society, aversion,
to the principles of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
is the cause of all falldowns.
That, is the greatest offense of human life.
Therefore, maya, the material energy,
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
is always giving us trouble in the shape of the threefold miseries.
This material energy, is constituted, of the three modes of material nature.
One, has to raise himself, at least to the mode of goodness,
before the path to understanding, the Supreme Lord, can be open.
Without raising oneself to the standard of the mode of goodness,
one remains in ignorance, and passion,
which cause one, to become gradually demoniac.
Those, in the modes of passion, and ignorance,
deride the scriptures, deride the holy men,
and deride the proper understanding of
the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
They, disobey the instructions of the spiritual master,
and they do not care for the regulations of the scriptures.
In spite of hearing the glories of devotional service,
they are not attracted to it,
And, therefore, they manufacture their own way of elevation.
These, are some of the defects of human society,
that lead to the demoniac condition of life.
If, however, one is able, to be guided,
by a proper and bona fide spiritual master,
who can lead one, to the path of elevation, to the highest stage,
then, his life becomes successful.
Thus, end the Bhaktivedanta purports, to the Sixteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, in the matter of the Divine and Demoniac Natures.
The best example, of a demoniac man, was Ravana,
whose history, is in the narrative of the Ramayana.
He, offered a program, to the people,
by which, he would prepare a staircase,
so that, anyone could reach the heavenly planets,
without performing sacrifices - such as those, prescribed in the Vedas.
Similarly, in the present age,
such demoniac men, are striving, to reach the higher planetary systems,
by mechanical arrangements.
These, are examples, of the bewilderment, of the demoniac.
The result, is that, without their knowledge, they are gliding toward hell.
Here, the Sanskrit word, moha-jala, is very significant.
Jala means net.
Like fishes, caught in a net, they, have no way to come out.