Bhagavadgita !

Chapter 16 Summary

Daivasura Sampat Vibhaga Yoga !

Sanskrit text in Devanagari, Kannada, Gujarati, English, Telugu

||om tat sat||
अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः ज्ञानयोग व्यवस्थितिः।
दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्याय स्तप आर्जवम्॥1||
"Fearlessness, purity in mind, being established in the yoga of Knowledge, charity, being in control of himself, sacrifice, study of scriptures, and austerity"


In the fifteenth chapter namely Purushottama Prapti Yoga while elaborating on the Asvattha, the tree of life, Krishna says its stems are grown by the Gunas (तस्य शाखाः गुणप्रवृद्धाः). They grow upwards "ऊर्ध्वं च" towards Brahma loka and "अथः च" downwards towards worldliness and self-destruction. Whether the stems grow upwards or downwards depend on the nature of that person. Krishna talked about that nature which will uplift a person or drag him down too, in the chapter seven as well as chapter nine.

In the seventh chapter saying "असुरं भावमाश्रिताः those with nature aligned with demons" will not attain me, " मां न प्रपद्यन्ते". That is a firm declaration. Again, in the ninth chapter Krishna talks about those possessed of the demon's disposition. He says they are, "मोघाशा मोघकर्माणो मोघज्ञान विचेतसः", meaning those with selfish desires, selfish actions, vain knowledge and those who are senseless".

Again, in the ninth chapter Krishna speaks about the other type of people "दैवीं प्रकृति माश्रिता"- those who are possessed of the divine nature.

Those possessed of divine nature, "भजन्ति", serve me without any other thought - "अनन्य मनसो". Saying thereby that those possessed of divine nature are on the path to liberation or मोक्ष.

Again, in the Purushottama Prapti Yoga saying -" निर्मानमोहा जितसंग दोषाः अध्यात्म नित्या विनि वृत्तकामाः" those free from pride and non-discrimination, free from association of evil, those who are devoted to spirituality, those who are free from desires, they obtain "अव्ययं पदं गच्छन्ति" - that state from which there is no decay.

Thus, those with the nature of demons move on a path of self-destruction and those with divine nature move on the path of liberation.

Elaborating on the nature which covers the divine (दैव) and demoniacal (असुर) attributes is the focus of this chapter. This nature is also the fortune (संपत्) one has. Hence this chapter is called दैवासुर संपद्विभागयोगः, the wealth of divine and demoniacal attributes.

Krishna starts this chapter with his discourse. He starts his discourse about the divine attributes which is a fortune one owns.
Reading the slokas narrating divine attributes is a pleasing thought.

अभयं सत्वसंशुद्धिर् ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः
दानंदमश्चयज्ञश्च स्वाध्याय स्तप आर्जवम्.॥1||
अहिंसा सत्यमक्रोधः त्यागश्शान्तिरपैशुनम्
दयाभूतेष्व लोलत्वं मार्दवं ह्रीरचापलम्॥2 ||
तेजः क्षमा दृतिश्शौचं अद्रोहोनातिमानिता
भवंतिसंपदंदैवीं अभिजातस्यभारत ||3||

In these three slokas what is elaborated is the divine nature and its attributes:
These are as follows.
- Fearlessness
- Purity of mind
- Being established in the Yoga of Knowledge
- Charity
- Control of external organs
- Yoga of Knowledge
- Study of scriptures
- Austerities
- Harmlessness
- Nonviolence
- Truth
- Being rid of anger
- Renunciation
- Peace
- Not focusing on the other's faults
- Being kind to all
- Not being focused on the material aspects
- Gentleness
- Not doing actions which are not in consonance with right way.
- Freedom from restlessness,
- Kindness to all creatures,
- Not being fickle
- Excellence
- Patience
- Courage
- Internal and external cleanliness,
- Absence of vilification,
- Absence of haughtiness.

These are all divine attributes. These twenty-six attributes are the most desirable and hence should be acquired by all.

Then there are some attributes like religious ostentation, pride and haughtiness, anger and rudeness. These are demoniacal attributes. The people of demoniacal nature even feel that these attributes are very desirable attributes. They bear these attributes with pride as it were and display them with arrogance.

The divine qualities lead one on the way for liberation -"विमोक्षाय"- or the path of liberation. The demoniacal qualities lead one towards "निबंधाय" or bondage (16.5).

Krishna says playing with the materialistic wealth and thus spending all the time one would only be forever locked up in the unending cycle of life and death. Thus, moving away from path of real and permanent happiness.

Compared to the wealth of divine qualities the materialistic wealth has no value. Hence one ought to focus on the divine qualities and move on the path to liberation.

Let us delve into the twenty-six divine attributes stated as above.

Topping the list is "fearlessness". The fearlessness grows out of being aware or being knowledgeable. The one steeped in knowledge is fearless. He is like the one who is acting without selfish motives who also has no fear too. Thus, fearlessness grows out of several other attributes. This is an attribute of one who attained that state of renunciation. In fact, the first three attributes - अभयं सत्वसंशुद्धिर् ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः - the fearlessness, purity of mind, being established in the Yoga of knowledge are all attributes applicable to one who is enlightened who is in that stage of renunciation- or sannyasa. "अभयं" also means protection provided by Bhagavan. That is also an appropriate meaning in this context.

Some of the attributes are meant for other three stages of life namely Brahmacharin, Grihastha, and Vanaprastha. Svadhyaya (study of scriptures) is meant for Brahmacharin. दानं दमः यज्ञः" charity , control of external organs and sacrifice , these three are meant for a house holder. The Tapas or austerity is meant for those retiring to Vanaprastha.

Beyond these all-other attributes are applicable to all, irrespective of the stage of life they are in. But they seem to be addressed to people in different capabilities or castes.

The attributes of अहिंस, सत्यं अक्रोधम् त्यागः शांतिः, namely the nonviolence, truthfulness, absence of anger, renunciation, control of internal organs are all attributes applicable to Brahmins. The attributes of तेजः क्षमा धृतिः namely the maturity, forgiveness, and the fortitude are the attributes more applicable to the warrior class (kshatriya). Similarly, the two attributes namely- शौचम् - purity in the sense of freedom from hypocrisy and false hood and अद्रोहः the freedom from malice these two are the attributes of a trading class person. नातिमानित , not being haughty is also a divine attribute more focused towards to Shudras.

Krishna then continues to elaborate on the two types of people who have these divine and demoniacal attributes.
The attributes of the divine nature have been explained by Krishna above. It is the demoniacal attributes that Krishna elaborates now.

The people with demoniacal nature do not know what is to be done or what is not to be done. They believe in saying that the world is unreal, and it has no basis. It is without a God. Enjoyment of desirable objects is the highest goal.

Thus, these people follow the philosophy of Charvaka. They believe that the world is built on the relationship between the man and woman only.

Elaborating on the nature of the people with demoniacal attributes, Krishna says as follows:
Bhagavan said
इदमद्य मयालब्धं इमं प्राप्स्येमनोरथम्।
इदमस्तीदमपि मे भविष्यति पुनर्धनम्॥13||
असौ मयाहतश्शत्रुः हनिष्ये चापरानपि।
ईश्वरोऽहमहं भोगी सिद्धोऽहं बलवान्सुखी॥14||

These people steeped in the wealth of demoniacal nature and are ever proud. Their thinking is as follows,
"इदं अद्य मया लब्धं
"- This has been gained by me today!
"इदं प्राप्स्ये मनोरथम्
" - This desire I can obtain!
"इदं अस्ति
" - This is in hand.
"इदं अपि मे पुनः भविष्यति"
- This also will come to me in future!
"असौ शतृः मया हतं"
- This enemy has been killed by me.
"अपरान् अपि हनिष्ये च"
- Others also will be killed.
"अहं ईश्वरः"
- I am the Lord,
"अहं भोगी"
- I am the enjoyer
"अहं सिद्धः"
I am well established"

These are kinds of thoughts that permeate the thinking of a man lost in the bright lights of ego. He has the demoniacal attributes. He would say with pride " I am the Lord. I am powerful and happy. There is no one equal to me" (16.15).

They are self-conceited haughty and filled with pride and intoxication of wealth. Such people think they are the repository of all knowledge. Thinking that they are wise they abuse others. They do not realize that the same Brahman is the resident of both. In the process of abusing others, they abuse the Brahman resident in the other person. (16.18)

The people with Demoniacal attributes are forever jealous of others.

Thus, the people with such demoniacal attributes are forever lost.

It is said that "आगमनार्धंतु देवानां गमनार्धंतु रक्षसाम्", meaning " oh Divine beings please come! O Demons please go!". Following this dictum everyone should welcome divinity into their heart which is the abode of Brahman.

The people with demoniacal attributes enter the demoniacal wombs going through birth after birth, until they acquire divine attributes. The most important step for this is staying away from the three evil qualities of passion anger and greed. These three are the gateways to hell!

Krishna says:
त्रिविधं नरकस्येदं द्वारं नाशनमात्मनः।
कामः क्रोधस्तथा लोभः तस्मादेतत्रयं त्यजेत्॥21||

"The door to hell is of three kinds which are a source of destruction. These three are passion, anger and greed. So, one should forsake all the three.

The one who overcomes passion, anger and greed will be on the path for higher achievement and the highest goal. (16.22)

Completing the discourse on the divine and demoniacal attributes Krishna emphasizes the need to follow the established practices and scriptural instructions.

Krishna says:
यश्सास्त्रविधिमुत्सृज्य वर्तते कामकारतः
न स सिद्धिमवाप्नोति न सुखं न परांगतिम् ||23||

" Ignoring the scriptural instructions, he who acts willfully he does not attain success, nor happiness, nor the excellent goal "

When one is to decide on what is to be done or what cannot be done one may take the scripture as the authority (16.24).

|| om tat sat ||

तस्माच्छास्त्रं प्रमाणं ते कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ।
ज्ञात्वा शास्त्र विधानोक्तं कर्मकर्तुमिहार्हसि॥24||
"Therefore, the scripture is the authority in the matter of determining what is to be done and what is not to be done. After understanding actions as presented by the scriptural instructions, you ought to perform your duty here".
||om tat sat ||