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The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 16: The Yoga of the Division between the Divine and the Demoniacal

The Holy Lord said:
Courage, purity, firmness in
Knowledge and yoga, almsgiving,
Sense-control, sacrifice, study,
Austerity, and uprightness, (1)

Harmlessness, absence of anger,
Truthfulness, renunciation,
Tranquillity, truth, compassion,
Uncovetousness, gentleness,1 (2)

Boldness, forgiveness, fortitude,
Purity, absence of hatred,
Absence of pride–all these belong
To one born for a divine2 state. (3)

Flamboyance, arrogance, anger,
Self-conceit, harshness, ignorance–
All these qualities belong to
One born for a demonic3 state. (4)

The divine state is deemed to make
For liberation–for bondage,
The demonic; but do not grieve:
You are born for a divine state. (5)

There are two types of beings in
This world: divine and demonic.
The divine type has been described;
Now hear of the demonic type. (6)

Those of demonic nature know
Not what to do or refrain from;
Purity is not found in them,
Nor is good conduct, nor is truth. (7)

“The universe is without truth,
Without a basis, without God,
Produced by mutual union,
With lust for cause–what else?” say they. (8)

Holding this view, these ruined souls
Small-minded and of cruel deeds
Arise as the enemies of
The world, bent on its destruction. (9)

Filled with insatiable desires,
Full of hypocrisy, pride, and
Arrogance, holding evil thoughts
Through delusion, they foully work. (10)

Beset with immense cares ending
Only with death, and regarding
Gratification of lust as
The highest–feeling it is all; (11)

Bound by a hundred ties of hope,
Given over to lust and wrath,
They strive to gain by unjust means
Wealth for sensual enjoyment. (12)

“This today has been gained by me;
And this desire I shall obtain;
All this is mine, and now this wealth
Also shall be mine in future. (13)

“I slew that enemy, and more
I shall slay. For I am the Lord,
I enjoy, I am successful,
Perfect, powerful, and happy. (14)

“I am rich and well-born,” they say,
“Who else is equal unto me?
I will sacrifice, give, rejoice.”
Thus deluded by ignorance, (15)

Led astray by many fancies,
Covered by delusion’s meshes,
Addicted to gratifying
Lust, they fall into a foul hell. (16)

Self-conceited, stubborn, filled with
The pride and foolishness of wealth,
They sacrifice in name, for show,
Contrary to the prescribed forms. (17)

Given over to egoism,
Power, insolence, lust and wrath,
These malignant people hate Me
In both themselves and in others. (18)

These malicious evildoers,
Cruel, most degraded of men,
I hurl perpetu’lly into
Only the wombs of demons here. (19)

Entering the demonic wombs,
And deluded birth after birth,
Not attaining to Me, they fall
Into still lower conditions. (20)

Yea, triple is this gate of hell,
That is destructive of the self–
Lust, anger, and greed; therefore one
Should forsake ev’ry one of these. (21)

The man who has got beyond these
Three gates of darkness, Arjuna,
Practices what is good for him,
And thus goes to the Goal Supreme. (22)

He who sets aside the counsels
Of scriptures from desire’s impulse,
Attains not unto perfection,
Nor happiness, nor Goal Supreme. (23)

The scriptures should be your guide in
What should be done and what should not.
Knowing what the scriptures prescribe,
You should act here within the world. (24)

Om Tat Sat
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.

Read the next Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: The Yoga of the Division of Threefold Faith


1) To maintain the meter, the complete list could not be given. It is: “Non-injury, veracity, absence of anger, renunciation, serenity, non-calumny, compassion for beings, freedom from desire, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness.” [Go back]

2) Daivim: The state of a deva or “shining one.” In this instance it means those positive souls who are progressing toward divinity. [Go back]

3) Asurim: The state of an asura, one who dwells in darkness (a-sura–without the light). Here it means those negative souls who are turned away from divinity and moving further into degredation of consciousness and mode of life. [Go back]

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