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Bhagavad Gita 16

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Chapter 16

 of the Bhagavad Gita by G de Purucker


Union through accomplishment in distinguishing Divine from Demoniac Natures


(Sanskrit terms and names can be clicked for explanation)



The Holy One said:

Fearlessness, purity of nature, discrimination in the yoga of knowledge, liberality, self-restraint, sacrifice, study, penance, rectitude, (1)

Harmlessness, truth, freedom from anger, renunciation, equanimity, freedom from tale-bearing, compassion for all beings, absence of agitation, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness, (2)

Spiritedness, patience, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from malice, freedom from pride, are the divine accomplishments of him who is born, O son of Bharata. (3)

Deceit, arrogance, self-conceit, anger, harshness too, ignorance, are the demoniac accomplishments of him who is born, O son of Pṛthā. (4)

Divine accomplishments are deemed to be for liberation, demoniac for bondage. Grieve not, O son of Pāṇḍu. You are born to divine accomplishments. (5)

Two emanations of beings [are there] in this world: the divine [daiva] and the demoniac [āsura]. The divine has been declared at length; the demoniac, O son of Pṛthā, hear from me [now]. (6)

Neither the manifestation [of the universe] nor its cessation [pravrittim cha nivrittim cha], do the people of demoniacal nature know. Neither purity, nor upright conduct, nor truth is found in them. (7)

They say that the universe is vain, unsettled, without governor, produced in an uninterrupted series [aparasparasambhūtaṃ], i.e. by mere causal relation of material impulses]. What else? Caused by kāma [mere desire]. (8)

Holding this view, [these men of] ruined self, of little understanding, of fierce deeds and hostile, spring forth for the destruction of the world. (9)

Indulging insatiable desires, following deceit, pride, and madness, adopting false ideas through delusion, they act, addicted to impurity. (10)

Indulging immeasurable thoughts until death, convinced that the highest [thought] is the gratification of desire until then, (11)

Bound by hundreds of snares of desire, prone to desire and anger, they strive, for accumulation of goods, by unjust means, for the gratification of desire. (12)

This today, I have gained, – that which I shall attain, – this wealth is mine, – this [wealth] will be mine too. (13)

You enemy I have slain, – and I shall slay others too, – I am lord, – I am the possessor, – perfect am I, strong, happy, – (14)

‘I am wealthy, of noble descent who else is like me? – I will sacrifice – I will make gifts – I will rejoice.’ Thus speak those who are deluded by ignorance. (15)

Hurried by many thoughts, enwrapped in the net of delusion, clinging to the enjoyment of desires, they fall into a foul hell. (16)

Self-honored, dull, full of the pride and intoxication of wealth, they perform sacrifices which are such in name only, with ostentation, and against rule. (17)

Depending on egoism, might, arrogance, desire, and anger, [these] calumniators hate me hate me who am in their own and in others’ bodies. (18)

These haters, ferocious, vile men, and unlucky, I continually hurl down into demoniac wombs [āsurīshveva yonishu]. (19)

Entered into demoniac wombs [āsurīṁ yonim āpannā] deluded in birth after birth, not having attained to me, they go thence, O son of Kuntī, to the lowest path. (20)

Threefold is the gate to hell [narakasya], the loss of the self [ātmanaḥ]: desire; wrath, and avarice. Hence one should abandon this triad. (21)

The man who is released from these three gates of darkness [tamadvārais], O son of Kuntī, approaches the better [part] of his self [ācharatyātmanaḥ]. Thence he goes to the highest path. (22)


He who casting aside the injunctions of the scriptures acts only according to impulses of desire, does not obtain perfection [siddhim], nor happiness, nor the highest path. (23)

Therefore the scriptures should be your standard, what is to be done and what is not to be done being [thus] settled, Having ascertained what is declared by the injunctions of scripture, you are able to perform action here. (24)


Thus in the Holy

Bhagavad Gītā: the Sixteenth

chapter, by name —


Union through accomplishment in distinguishing Divine from Demoniac Natures