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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Shrimad Bhagavad Gita > Gita By Acharyas > Gita 16 Daivasura Sampada Yoga

Ch 16. Daivasura Sampada Yoga

The Yoga of Discerning the Divine and Demonic Qualities

This chapter explains the daivic and asuric natures. The jiva who is bewildered by Bhagavan's maya is controlled either by daivic or by asuric qualities. When one takes shelter of the daivic nature he becomes inclined towards bhagavat-bhajana. Those who adopt the asuric nature, however, become opposed to Bhagavan, and as a result go to hell. Those of an asuric nature preach mayavada. It is necessary to become freed from this asuric tendency. This can be achieved by performing bhagavat-bhajana with faith, in the association o suddha bhaktas.

The Glories of Chapter Sixteen (Mahatmya)

Lord Siva said, “My dear Parvati, I will now tell you the glories of the Sixteenth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita.
In Gujarat, there is a town of the name Sourastra (Surat). King Khadgabahu had his kingdom there, where he lived just like another lndra, king of heaven. He kept a very passionate male elephant of the name Arimardana from whose temples liquid oozed due to his pride. One day that elephant, in a fit of anger, broke loose from his chains and started to destroy the elephant shed, after which he began running here and there, wildly chasing the citizens. Everyone fled as fast as possible. The elephant keepers immediately reported the news to the king and when the king heard, he went along with his son to the place, where the mad elephant was. King Khadgabahu knew the art of controlling wild elephants. When the king reached the spot, where the elephant was running amok, he saw that many persons had been trampled and others were running here and there to avoid that elephant. Just then, as the king was watching that chaotic scene, he saw one brahmana peacefully returning from taking his bath in the lake. That brahmana was silently reciting the first three slokas from the Sixteenth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, which start with the word; abhayam (fearlessness). When the people saw that brahmana walking towards the elephant, they tried to tell him not to go near him, but that brahmana did not take any notice of them and walked straight up to that mad elephant and started to stroke him. When the elephant saw the Brahmana approaching, he immediately lost all anger and lay down peacefully.

After that brahmana had patted the elephant for a few moments, he went peacefully on his way. When the king and all the citizens saw these amazing incidents, they were astonished. The king immediately went and fell at the feet of that brahmana and inquired from him, “what austerities and worship have you performed to attain such peacefulness and amazing powers?” The brahmana replied; “Daily I am reciting some slokas from the sixteenth Chapter of the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita.”

Lord Siva said; “That king requested the brahmana to come to the palace, where he offered to him in charity, one hundred gold coins and requested that pious brahmana to instruct him in the chanting of those verses from the Sixteenth Chapter of the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

After King Khadgabahu had been chanting those verses for some time, he one day along with his guards went to the place where that mad elephant was kept and ordered the elephant keepers to release him. At that, the citizens became upset with the king thinking that the elephant would begin to run amok again. The king went before that mad elephant, which immediately lay down and he started to stroke him. After that the king returned to his palace and installed his son on the throne and left for the forest, where he worshipped Lord Krishna by chanting those slokas from the Sixteenth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita and very quickly he attained the lotus-feet of Lord Krishna.

Anyone who chants the Sixteenth Chapter of the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, however sinful he is, very quickly attains the same goal as King Khadgabahu, the lotus-feet of Lord Krishna.


shri bhagavan uvaca
abhayam sattva-samshuddhir / jnana-yoga-vyavasthitih
danam damash ca yajnash ca / svadhyayas tapa arjavam

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ahimsa satyam akrodhas / tyagah shantir apaishunam
daya bhuteshv aloluptvam / mardavam hrir acapalam

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tejah kshama dhritih shaucam / adroho nati-manita
bhavanti sampadam daivim / abhijatasya bharata

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shri bhagavan uvaca---the all-opulent Supreme Lord said; bharata---O scion of Bharata; abhaya---freedom from fear; sattvasa mshuddhih---purification of one's existence; jnana-yogavyavasthiti h---the steadfast study of divine knowledge; dana--- charity; damah---subduing the external senses; ca---and; yajnah---performance of sacrifice; ca---and; svadhyayah---reading the Vedas; tapah---austerity; arjavam---simplicity; ahimsa---nonviolence; satyam---truthfulness; akrodhah---freedom from anger; tyagah---giving up possessiveness towards wife, sons and so forth; shantih---peacefulness; apaishunam---avoiding fault-finding; daya---mercy; bhuteshu---to all beings; aloluptvam---freedom from greed; mardavam---gentleness; hrih---modesty; acapalam--- without fickleness; tejah---vigour; kshama---forgiveness; dhritih--- determination; shaucam---cleanliness (both internal and external); adrohah---absence of hatred; na atimanita---freedom from conceit; bhavanti---these (qualities) manifest; abhijatasya---for one born; daivim---having divine; sampadam---qualities.

Shri Bhagavan said: Fearlessness, joyfulness of heart, steadfastness in the process of acquiring knowledge, charity, control of the senses, performance of yajna, study of shastra, penance, simplicity, non-violence, truthfulness, lack of anger, detachment from wife and family, peacefulness, avoidance of fault-finding, kindness to all beings, freedom from greed, gentleness, modesty, lack of fickleness, vigour, forgiveness, patience, internal and external cleanliness and complete absence of hatred and conceit.these are the daivika qualities, O Bharata, which become manifest in a person who appears in this world at an auspicious moment, that is, one who is born with divine qualities.


In the Sixteenth Chapter, Bhagavan Shri Krishna describes daivika (divine) and asurika (demonic) qualities. He also describes the disposition of two sorts of created beings which correspond to these two qualities, the deva and the asura. The first shloka of the Fifteenth Chapter, urdhva-mulam adhah-shakham, describes the ashvattha tree of the material world, but does not mention its fruits. Considering this, in the present chapter Shri Bhagavan explains the tree's two types of fruits: one which liberates and one which binds. In the first three shlokas, Shri Bhagavan explains the fruit that gives moksha.

"How will I maintain my life alone in a solitary forest without my wife and family?" Being free from this type of fear is called fearlessness. Happiness of the citta (heart) is called sattva-samshuddhih. Jnana-yoga-vyavasthitih means being steadfast in the process of acquiring knowledge, not being proud, for example, of one's learned status. Danam means offering one's own foodstuffs to others after dividing it properly. Damah means to control the external and internal senses. Yajnah means worship of the Deity and the devas. Svadhyayah means study of the Vedas. Tyagah means to give up possessiveness towards wife and family. Aloluptvam means being free from greed. The meaning of the rest of the words is clear.

These twenty-six qualities, beginning with fearlessness, indicate a sattvika disposition. They are attained by a person who takes birth at a time that illuminates that sattvika nature.


The daivika and asurika qualities and propensities that were described briefly in the previous chapter are now being explained in detail. Being trapped in the network of maya, persons of an asurika nature take birth in various asurika species of life which results in misery and pain. On the other hand, those of a daivika nature, being endowed with divine qualities, cross over the miserable ocean of birth and death, and gradually advance on the most auspicious path through the process of bhagavad-bhakti. Finally they taste the bliss of service to Bhagavan in His dhama. Such liberated persons never again become bound by this material world. The host of divine qualities mentioned herein can only manifest in exalted persons who take birth at an auspicious time from parents who have auspicious qualities, and who underwent the garbhadhana-samskara, the process of conceiving progeny according to Vedic injunctions. This is the secret meaning of the word abhijatasya in the above shloka. Parents should at least not produce children as cats and dogs do. Shri Krishna Himself has said in the Gita that He is that sex life which gives rise to good children. Therefore, sex life is not forbidden, but when it is only for sense enjoyment like that of the animals, it is of a hellish nature.

In the varnashrama system, a sannyasi is considered to be the foremost guru of society's four varnas and ashramas. The brahmana is the guru of the other three varnas: kshatriya, vaishya, and shudra. Only a real sannyasi who possesses all divine qualities is the guru of the brahmana.

All such good qualities are visible in shuddha-bhaktas. A surrendered sadhaka of bhakti must be fearless and have the firm conviction, "Bhagavan is my protector and He is always with me. He sees and knows everything and He sustains me." When a devotee develops faith like this, he remains completely fearless wherever he may live, in the home or in the forest. Prahlada Maharaja, Draupadi, the five Pandavas and Haridasa Thakura are examples of this. Shri Haridasa Thakura remained fearless, even while being beaten by low-class, cruel persons in twenty-two market places in Navadvipa, which was under the strict rule of fanatical Muslims. After beating him, they threw him in the Ganga, but he emerged from there with a healthy body and returned to his bhajana-kutira. Seeing this, the Kazi and others became amazed. Therefore, the bhakti-sadhaka should always be fearless.

Sattva-samshuddhi means the purity of the atma. The conduct of the bhakti-sadhaka is pure. The sannyasis and brahmacaris in particular, who have given up home, wife and family, should not keep intimate relationships with women. It is forbidden for them to joke with or even talk with a woman in a solitary place. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very strict in this regard. This does not mean that He felt malice towards women in general; He made this restriction for sannyasis and brahmacaris who have renounced their family lives. For men, the association of women is forbidden, and for women, the association of men is forbidden. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave up His dear Chota Haridasa forever because he associated with a woman. In one sense, to look at any object with the desire to enjoy it is considered associating with women (stri-sanga). Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer of everyone, and everyone is meant for His enjoyment. A sadhaka should always remain pure and consider himself to be Krishna dasa.

To remain engaged in the cultivation of tattva-jnana is called jnana-yoga-vyavasthitih. Sankirtana-yajna has been accepted as the foremost of all yajnas. Himsa means violence to the jiva. To not cause pain to any jiva, either by body, mind or words is ahimsa. Specifically, one should not be violent to animals. It is violence to block any jiva's progress to the higher levels of consciousness. When an embodied being experiences an untimely death, he has to take birth again in the same species of life and, after completing his remaining period in that body, he enters another species. One should not stop the progress of any living entity for the satisfacton of the tongue or any other selfish purpose. This is non-violence. The twenty-six qualities described above are called daivika. By developing these qualities, one can gradually reach the highest platform of self-realisation.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes, "Now, Arjuna may doubt the validity of various statements of shastra that one should attain jnana while cultivating sattvika qualities. To dispel this doubt Shri Bhagavan says, "The ashvattha tree in the form of the material world has two fruits. One fruit strongly binds the jiva to the material world, and the other gives liberation from it. Sattva-samshuddhi, the purification of one's existence, is the only fearless path for the jiva. The jiva's very existence is composed of shuddha-sattva, but in the bound state his shuddha-sattvika nature is dominated by the three gunas. All shastras indicate that the cultivation of jnana-yoga purifies one's existence. Sattva-guna is conducive for the cultivation of knowledge which leads to liberation. All these qualities are a divine opulence (daivi-sampad) and assist the jiva in realizing his pure existence. That which blocks the jiva's sattva-samshuddhi is called asuri-sampad (demonic qualities). Fearlessness, purity of existence (sattva-samshuddhi), jnana-yoga, charity, control of the senses, yajna, penance, simplicity, study of the Vedas, non-violence, truthfulness, lack of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, giving up criticism of others, kindness, absence of greed, gentility, shyness, lack of fickleness, vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness and lack of envy and pride are the twenty-six qualities called daivi- sampad. If one takes birth at an auspicious moment, he receives these qualities.""


dambho darpo'bhimanash ca / krodhah parushyam eva ca
ajnanam cabhijatasya / partha sampadam asurim

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partha---O son of Pritha; eva---certainly; dambhah---hypocrisy; darpah---arrogance; abhimanah---conceit; ca---and; krodhah--- anger; parushyam---heartlessness; ca---and; ajnanam----lack of discrimi-nation (are manifest); abhijatasya---for one born; asurim---having demonic; sampadam---qualities.

O Partha, hypocrisy, arrogance, conceit, anger, hardheartedness and lack of discrimination are found in those born with asurika qualities. Those who are born at an inauspicious moment receive these asurika qualities.


Now Shri Bhagavan is explaining the fruits that bind one to material existence. To pose as a religious person while being irreligious is called dambha, hypocritical. Pride in wealth and education is called darpah, or arrogance. Desire to be respected by others and attachment to wife and family is called abhimanah, conceit. The meaning of the word krodha (anger) is clear. Parushyam means being hard-hearted. Ajnanam means lack of discrimination. Asuri-sampad also indicates rakshasi-sampad. One who takes birth at a time that gives rise to rajasika and tamasika qualities receives such qualities accordingly.


Those who are born at an extremely inauspicious time, having not undergone auspicious purificatory rites (samskaras), have an asurika nature. It is people of such a nature who make a show of religion and advancement in spiritual life. Thus, they cheat simple and innocent people. They consider that acquiring wealth, women and prestige is the perfection of life. They do not follow the instructions of shastra, yet they have great pride. They become angry over petty matters. There is not a scent of humility in them. They are hard-hearted and devoid of discrimination. All these qualities are asurika. One should always remain at a distance from such qualities.


daivi sampad vimokshaya / nibandhayasuri mata
ma shucah sampadam daivim / abhijato'si pandava

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daivi---the divine; sampat---qualities; mata---are considered; vimokshaya---to lead to liberation; asuri---the demonic; nibandhaya---to bondage; ma shucah---do not lament; pandava--- O son of Pandu; asi---you are; abhijatah---born; daivim---having divine; sampadam---qualities.

Daivika qualities are the cause of moksha, and asurika qualities are the cause of bondage. O son of Pandu, do not lament, for you are born with daivika qualities.


Now in this shloka beginning with daivi, Shri Bhagavan is showing how these two natures function. First of all, if Arjuna laments, "Alas! Alas! I must possess asurika qualities such as hard-heartedness and anger, for I desire to kill my relatives with arrows," Shri Bhagavan says ma shucah, "Do not lament," to give him solace. "You are born in a dynasty of kshatriyas. Dharma-shastra approves of you being hard-hearted and angry while at war. However, to be violent in other circumstances is asurika."


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "It is only by daivika qualities that one can attain moksha, and it is by asurika qualities that one becomes bound to this world. O Arjuna, by cultivating jnana-yoga while following varnashrama dharma, one achieves sattva-samshuddhi (the purification of one.s existence). You are blessed with daivi-sampad (divine qualities), being born in a noble kshatriya caste. It is not asurika to kill one's relatives in a dharmika battle by shooting them with arrows, and engaging in other aggressive activities in accordance with the injunctions of shastra. Having heard this instruction, you should give up your grief."


dvau bhuta-sargau loke'smin / daiva asura eva ca
daivo vistarashah prokta / asuram partha me shrinu

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.6 <>

partha---O son of Pritha; asmin---in this; loke---world; (there are) eva---certainly; dvau---two; bhuta-sargau---created beings; (the) daivah---divine; ca---and; (the) asurah---demonic; daivah---the divine; proktah---have been spoken of; vistarashah---at length; shrinu---now hear; me---from Me; asuram---of the demonic.

O Partha, in this world there are two types of created beings: the daivika and the asurika. The daivika qualities have been described at length. Now hear from Me about the asurika nature.


Shri Bhagavan is giving a detailed description of asurika qualities to the despondent Arjuna, even though Arjuna was born with daivika qualities. The daivika qualities have been described in detail in the series of shlokas beginning with abhayam sattva-samshuddhi.


Bhagavan Shri Krishna is giving a detailed description of asurika qualities so that after knowing them, one can completely give them up. The Padma Purana states:

dvau bhuta-sargau loke 'smin daiva asura eva ca
vishnu-bhaktah smrito daiva asuras tad-viparyayah

Bhaktas who perform bhajana to Bhagavan are called devatas. Conversely, those who are envious of Bhagavan and His bhaktas are called asuras. Those who follow the instructions of shastra, becoming free from mundane attachment and hatred, and who engage in bhagavad-bhakti, should be considered as devatas. Those who violate the instructions of shastra due to being guided by material attachment and envy, and who engage in adharmika activities, are called asuras.


pravrittin ca nivrittin ca / jana na vidur asurah
na shaucam napi cacaro / na satyam teshu vidyate

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asurah---demonic; janah---persons; na viduh---do not comprehend; pravrittim---the tendency to virtue; ca---and; nivrittim--- refraining from vice; na---neither; shaucam---cleanliness; na--- nor; api---even; acarah---good conduct; na---nor; satyam---truthfulness; vidyate---exists; teshu---in them. Those who are asurika do not comprehend virtue, nor indeed how to abstain from vice. Cleanliness, proper conduct and truthfulness are not to be found in them.


The word pravritti means inclination to virtue (dharma), and nivritti means abstaining from vice.


asatyam apratishtham te / jagad ahur anishvaram
aparaspara-sambhutam / kim anyat kama-hetukam

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te ahuh---they say; jagat---the world; (is) asatyam---unreal; apratishtham---without a basis; anishvaram---without a controller; aparaspara-sambhutam---born of sexual union; (and) kim--- what?; anyat---other; kama-hetukam---cause than lust.

Asuras describe the world as unreal, without basis, and godless. They say it is the product of sexual union, or that it is self-generated. Not only this, they even say that it is the result of selfish desires.


Shri Bhagavan is describing the philosophy of the asuras. "They say that the material world is asatyam, unreal, and a result of illusion. That which has no basis is called apratishtha. They say that just as a flower in the sky has no basis, in the same way this material world has no basis." Anishvaram means that since the world is unreal, it has not been created by Ishvara; rather, it has come about accidentally without any mutual union, like living entities born from perspiration. "Not only this, they say that this world is only the result of kama, the selfish desire of the creator, if there is one. Since they claim that this world is unreal, they feel that they have licence to give speculative explanations about it." Furthermore, some say that the evidence given in the Vedas and Puranas is false. The asuras say: trayo vedasya karttaro muni-bhandani shacarah. "Thinkers, jesters and demons who are selfish and whose views differ, have composed the Vedas."

Apratishtha means that dharma and adharma are not defined in the Vedas and that they are the result of illusion. Anishvaram means that even Ishvara has been concocted as a result of illusion. "If somebody says that this material world seems to manifest from the union of male and female, then in response the asuras say, aparaspara-sambutam, there is no such cause and effect behind it, and that the birth of a child from parents is also an illusion. They say that when a potter makes a pot from mud, he knows what he is doing, but when parents procreate a child, they do not know how it happens, therefore, the process of begetting a child is also illusion. O Arjuna, what more can I say? Asuras say that the only cause of the universe is selfish desire. According to their logic, atoms, maya, Ishvara, or whatever are the cause behind the creation of the world."


In the present shloka, Shri Bhagavan is explaining the philosophy of those who possess an asurika nature. The essence of Shri Baladeva Vidyabhushana's commentary on this shloka is as follows:

1) According to the opinion of the mayavadis, this material world is asatya, apratishthita and anishvara. They say it is asatya because it is an illusion, just as a rope can be taken for a snake; apratishthita because it has no basis, like a flower in the sky, and anishvara, because Ishvara is not the cause behind creation.

2) According to the svabhava-vadi Buddhists, the material world is aparaspara-sambutam, that is, not born of mutual union between male and female, but comes from svabhava, and that the natural and necessary action of substances according to their inherent properties produce and sustain the universe.

3) According to Carvaka, this material world is kamahaitukam, born from the flow of lust between male and female.

4) According to the Jains, kama (selfish desire) is the cause of this world. On the basis of their speculative logic, they disregard the authoritative Vedic literatures and engage in useless endeavour to ascertain the cause of this material world.

Shri Krishna's statement, mayadhyakshena prakritih suyate sacar acaram (Gita 9.10), very clearly explains that this entire material world, consisting of moving and non-moving beings, has been created by prakriti under His supervision. Since this world has been created by the will of satya-sankalpa Bhagavan (He whose desires must come to pass), this world is also real, but changeable and perishable. The asuras imagine various types of temporary atheistic conclusions because they are bereft of pure and perfect wisdom. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "Those of an asurika temperament call this world asatya, apratishthita and anishvara. Their philosophy is that there is no purpose in accepting the existence of Ishvara, since the relationship of cause and effect is not the basis of the creation of the universe. Some say that Ishvara does exist, but, when He created the world, He was influenced by His selfish desires, therefore He is not qualified to be the object of our worship."


etam drishtim avashtabhya / nashtatmano'lpa-buddhayah
prabhavanty ugra-karmanah / kshayaya jagato'hitah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.9 <>

ahitah---the harmful asuras; alpa-buddhayah---who are of meagre intelligence; nashta-atmanah---without knowledge of atma-tattva; avashtabhya---taking shelter; etam---of this; drishtim---philosophy; ugra-karmanah---absorbed in violent acts; prabhavanti---take birth; kshayaya---for the destruction; jagatah---of the world.

Asuras are bereft of atma-tattva. They take shelter of this atheistic view and, thinking their bodies to be their real selves, engage in violent acts. They are the personification of inauspiciousness and take birth solely to destroy this world.


In this way, some of these asuras have completely lost themselves. Some have very little intelligence, and others engage in wicked acts, are frivolous and destined for hell. For this reason, Shri Bhagavan is speaking eleven consecutive shlokas, the first of which begins here with the word etam. Avashtabhya means taking shelter.


Asuras are bereft of atma-jnana. They invent various types of machines on the pretext of advancing human civilization. Many weapons and machines are being devised to kill the maximum amount of people in the minimum amount of time, even if they are in distant continents. The asuras are very proud of such inventions. Due to these weapons, this world can be destroyed at any moment. Because asurika society has no faith in Ishvara and the Vedas, they are working to destroy the world.


kamam ashritya dushpuram / dambha-mana-madanvitah
mohad grihitva 'sad-grahan / pravarttante 'shuci-vratah

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ashritya---taking shelter; dushpuram---of insatiable; kamam---lust; anvitah---filled with; dambha---hypocrisy; mana---pride; mada--- and arrogance; mohat---out of delusion; grihitva---accepting; asatgr ahan---temporary objects; ashuci-vratah---taking a vow of depravity; pravarttante---they engage (in the worship of the insignificant upadevatas).

Driven by insatiable desires and filled with hypocrisy, pride and arrogance, the deluded asuras always hanker after temporary objects. Sworn to depravity, they engage in the worship of insignificant devatas.


Asad-grahan pravarttante means that they become inclined to follow bogus ideology, and ashuci-vratah refers to those who have given up pure conduct and behave in an abominable manner.


Those of an asurika temperament, who do not accept Ishvara and the Vedic conclusions, consider that the success of human life is only to accumulate wealth and fulfil their selfish desires. For this reason, they remain attached to impure activities such as drinking wine, eating meat, having illicit sex and gambling. They deride the Vedic siddhanta, being completely intoxicated by false prestige and the false ego. These are the only people glorified in modern atheistic society. Although they are pushing society to the threshold of destruction, they proudly consider themselves to be highly intelligent.


cintam aparimeyan ca / pralayantam upashritah
kamopabhoga-parama / etavad iti nishcitah

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asha-pasha-shatair baddhah / kama-krodha-parayanah
ihante kama-bhogartham / anyayenartha-sancayan

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upashritah---engaged; aparimeyam---in unlimited; cintam---anxiety; pralaya-antam---until the dissolution of the body; etavat--- such; nishcitah---is their determination; iti---that; paramah---the highest (goal of life); kama-upabhoga---is to delight the senses; ca---and; baddhah---bound; shataih---by hundreds; pasha---of ropes; asha---of desire; parayanah---absorbed; kama-krodha---in lust and anger; ihante---they endeavour; anyayena---by unjust means; sancayan---for accumulation; artha---of wealth; artham---for the purpose; kama-bhoga---of sensual pleasures.

They are beset with unlimited anxieties until the time of death, believing that sense enjoyment is the highest purpose of life. Bound by the ropes of unlimited desires, and always overpowered by lust and anger, they endeavour to secure wealth by any unjust means for the sake of indulging in sensual pleasures.


Pralayantam means until death. Etavad iti refers to those who have concluded from shastra that the senses should remain drowned in sense enjoyment. "Why should we worry for anything else?"


idam adya maya labdham / idam prapsye manoratham
idam astidam api me / bhavishyati punar dhanam

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adya---today; idam---this; labdham---has been obtained; maya--- by me; (and) prapsye---I shall realise; idam---this; other) manah- ratham---desire; idam---this; asti---is (mine); (and) api---also; idam---this; punah---increase; dhanam---of wealth; bhavishyati--- will be; me---mine.

Asuras think, "Today I have attained so much and I will fulfil my cherished desires. So much wealth is now mine, and it will increase in the future more and more."


asau maya hatah shatrur / hanishye caparan api
ishvaro.ham aham bhogi / siddho'ham balavan sukhi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.14 <>

asau---this; shatruh---enemy; hatah---has been slain; maya---by me; ca---and; hanishye---I shall slay; aparan---the others; api---also; aham---I (am); ishvarah---the lord; aham---I (am); bhogi---the enjoyer; aham---I (am); siddhah---perfect; balavan---powerful; (and) sukhi---happy.

"I have killed this enemy and I will kill others. I am the lord and the enjoyer. I am perfect, powerful and happy."


adhyo'bhijanavan asmi / ko'nyo'sti sadrisho maya
yakshye dasyami modishya / ity ajnana-vimohitah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.15 <>

asmi---I am; adhyah---wealthy; abhijanavan---of noble birth; kah---who?; anyah---else; asti---is there; sadrishah---compared; maya---with me; yakshye---I shall sacrifice; dasyami---I shall give in charity; modishye---I shall enjoy; iti---thus (are); ajnanavimohit ah---persons illusioned by ignorance.

"I am wealthy and of noble birth. Who is there to compare with me? I will perform yajna, I will give in charity and thus I will enjoy great happiness." Deluded by ignorance, they speak in this way.


aneka-citta-vibhranta / moha-jala-samavritah
prasaktah kama-bhogeshu / patanti narake'shucau

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.16 <>

vibhrantah---perplexed; aneka---by many; citta---anxieties; samavritah---caught; jala---in a net; moha---of delusion; prasaktah---addicted; kama-bhogeshu---to sense enjoyments; patanti---they fall; ashucau---into an unclean; narake---hell.

Perplexed by many desires and anxieties, entangled in a net of delusion, and excessively addicted to sense enjoyment, they fall into situations that are impure and hellish.


Ashucau narake means in the hells such as Vaitarani.


Asurika persons consider themselves to be Ishvara, even though they are agitated by various useless anxieties and bound in a net of delusion. They become instructors and teach their followers, "You yourself are Ishvara. You can do whatever you like. Only a fool believes in any other Ishvara. There is no such entity." These people imagine that they can manufacture a special airplane by which they can go to any higher planet. They do not have faith in Vedic yajnas and rituals or in the process of bhakti. Among such asuras, Ravana was prominent. He had a plan to build a staircase to Svarga, by which even an ordinary person could go there without performing any Vedic yajna. But he was killed by Shri Ramacandra, and his plan was thus thwarted.

At present, those with an asurika disposition are endeavouring to reach higher planets in various types of spacecraft. They do not know they are on a path of destruction.

Here the words moha-jala-samavritah mean that, due to the intense greed of the tongue, a fish becomes caught in a net and loses its life. In the same way, those with an asurika nature fall into a network of delusion, from which there is no escape. Thus, they are destroyed.


atma-sambhavitah stabdha / dhana-mana-madanvitah
yajante nama-yajnais te / dambhenavidhi-purvakam

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.17 <>

atma-sambhavitah---those overwhelmed by self-esteem; stabdhah---arrogance; mana-mada-anvitah---filled with intoxication of personal honour; dhana---due to wealth; te---they; yajante nama-yajnaih---perform sacrifices in name only; dambhena---ostentatiously; avidhi-purvakam---without following the vidhi (injunctions prescribed in shastra).

Full of their own self-importance, arrogant, and intoxicated with false prestige due to wealth, these asuras perform ostentatious yajnas in name only, disregarding all the injunctions of shastra.


Atma-sambhavitah means that they consider themselves to be worshipable; therefore, they are stabdhah, not humble, but arrogant. However, no sadhu gives them respect. Namayaj naih means acts which are yajnas in name only.


Having understood the symptoms and activities of those with daivika and asurika natures, Arjuna asked Krishna, "Some people give up the rules and regulations of shastra and whimsically worship some insignificant devatas according to their own speculative ideas. In which category is their worship?" At the present time, the majority of persons worshipping the devatas and other personalities do so according to their own speculative whims, disregarding the injunctions of shastra. In this regard, we must hear the instructions given by Shri Krishna.


ahankaram balam darpam / kamam krodhan ca samshritah
mam atma-para-deheshu / pradvishanto'bhyasuyakah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.18 <>

samshritah---taking shelter; ahankaram---of the false ego; balam---false (physical) strength; darpam---insolence, pride; kamam---selfish desires; ca---and; krodham---anger; pradvishantah---they hate; abhyasuyakah---and envy (attributing faults to the good qualities of the sadhus); mam---Me; deheshu--- in the bodies; atma-para---of those who are dedicated to the Supreme Soul.

Bewildered by false ego, bodily strength, pride, lust and anger, they direct their envy and criticism towards Me through the devoted sadhus within whose hearts I, (Paramatma), always dwell.


"They envy Me, Paramatma, by disregarding Me. They despise Me, who am situated in the body of atma-parah sadhus devoted to Paramatma, because to envy a sadhu is indeed to envy Me." Abhyasuyakah means to see the good qualities of sadhus as faults.


tan aham dvishatah kruran / samsareshu naradhaman
kshipamy ajasram ashubhan / asurishv eva yonishu

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.19 <>

aham---I; ajasram---forever; kshipami---cast; tan---those; dvishatah---envious of sadhus; kruran---who are cruel; ashubhan--- inauspicious; nara-adhaman---degraded men; eva---certainly; samsareshu---into materialistic; asurisu---demonic; yonishu--- wombs (species).

Those who are envious of sadhus, cruel-hearted and malevolent, are the most degraded of human beings. I perpetually cast them into mundane existence among the various species of asuras.


asurim yonim apanna / mudha janmani janmani
mam aprapyaiva kaunteya / tato yanty adhamam gatim

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.20 <>

kaunteya---O son of Kunti; mudhah---those fools; apannah---receiving; asurim---demonic; yonim---births; janmani janmani--- birth after birth; eva---certainly; aprapya---not attaining; mam--- Me; tatah---then; yanti---go; adhamam---to the vilest; gatim--- destination.

O Kaunteya, accepting birth after birth in the asurika species, such fools can never attain Me. Thus, they descend further into the lowest and most vile forms of life.


"Mam aprapyaiva means that by not attaining Me, they fall into a degraded species. However, when I appear at the end of the Dvapara-yuga in the twenty-eighth catur yuga of Vaivasvata manvatara, those who envy Me, such as Kamsa, attain mukti when they come before Me. I, who am an ocean of unlimited compassion, bestow that rare mukti attained in the matured stage of bhakti-mishra-jnana (jnana mixed with bhakti), even to sinners such as Kamsa. It is said in the prayers of the Shrimad- Bhagavatam (10.87.23): "O Prabhu! Simply by constantly thinking of You, even Your enemies have attained the same Supreme Absolute Reality as the munis who are fixed in yoga and who worship You by controlling their breath, mind and senses." Therefore, My supremacy, as described earlier, is established." This is also found in a shloka from the Laghu-Bhagavatamrita, which states that, as long as those who envy Krishna do not attain Him, they remain in a degraded species of life. This is very clear.


In the nineteenth shloka, Shri Krishna said that He throws people who are envious of sadhus, who are cruel and the most degraded of human beings, into a miserable asurika species of life. From this statement, someone may question such behaviour of Bhagavan, saying that it is not equanimous but an indication of partiality. However, although Isvara is able to do anything and everything, karttum akarttum anyatha karttum samarthah ("The Lord is able to do or undo anything He wishes"), usually the jiva only gets the result of his own karma (action). Therefore, in order to undergo the result of their own karma, sinful people who are opposed to the Vedas, bhaktas and Bhagavan again and again enter the asurika species of life. Due to repeated demonic births, they do not get a chance to become free from their offences. If the offences and sins that are committed in human life are not atoned for in human life, a person does not get the chance to clear them when he goes to lower species, such as birds and beasts. A birth in all species, except the human species, is only meant for reaping the results of past karma (bhogayoni). In this regard, Shrila Madhusudana Sarasvati writes:

ihaiva naraka-vyadhesh cikitsam na karoti yah
gatva niraushadham sthanam sarujah kim karishyati

If a person cannot cure the disease of sinking to hellish life while living in this human body, what will he do when he goes where there is no remedy, namely, a lower species of life? Ishvara is never partial. This was explained in detail earlier. Here, one should note that those such as Hiranyakashipu, Hiranyaksha, Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Shishupala and Dantavakra took birth in kshatriya dynasties because they were cursed to do so, and directly opposed Bhagavan's avataras such as Shri Nrisimha, Shri Varaha, Shri Rama and Shri Krishna, considering Them to be their enemies. But because they were killed by these avataras, they attained a virtuous destination and gave up their asurika life. Those who were killed by Shri Krishna specifically attained the highest destination. Furthermore, it should be noted that they all had faith in the Vedas and Vedic activities, and had performed Vedic yajnas. They indirectly believed in a supreme controller, kala- shakti (the potency of time), and in the Supreme Lord. The supremacy of Shri Krishna, the glory of His supreme tattva and His specific quality of bestowing mukti upon those whom He kills is established by studying these avataras. When the asuras who are envious of Bhagavan are killed by avataras other than Krishna Himself, they attain immense enjoyment in Svarga and other places, or birth in a high family. But when they are killed by Shri Krishna Himself, who is the source of all avataras, they attain mukti: sarupya, salokya, sarshti or samipya. They may even attain service to Bhagavan as one of His associates. Therefore, Shri Krishna alone is said to be the fountainhead of all avataras: ete camshakal a pumsah krishnas tu bhagavan svayam (Shrimad- Bhagavatam 1.3.28). "All the avataras mentioned are either plenary portions, or portions of the plenary portions of Svayam Bhagavan, the original Personality of Godhead." Krishna even gave Putana the position of acting as a nurse to Him. When He descended in the form of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He even bestowed bhagavat-prema on Jagai, Madhai and the Chand Kazi.

In the phrase mam aprapyaiva, Krishna Himself is expressing this deep secret by the word eva, which means certainly. "It is certain that as long as a person does not attain Me, Krishna (or the path which leads to Me), there is no chance of him being completely liberated from miserable material life."


tri-vidham narakasyedam / dvaram nashanam atmanah
kamah krodhas tatha lobhas / tasmad etat trayam tyajet

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.21 <>

idam tri-vidham---there are three kinds; dvaram---of gates; narakasya---to hell; kamah---lust; krodhah---anger; tatha---and; lobhah---greed; nashanam---they cause the destruction; atmanah---of the soul; tasmat---therefore; tyajet---one should give up; etat---these; trayam---three.

There are three gates leading to hell: lust, anger and greed. They cause the destruction of the atma, and therefore, one should completely abandon them.


The asurika qualities have now been explained in detail. "O Arjuna, do not grieve, since you have been born with daivika qualities. (Gita 16.5)" This statement is certainly correct. These evil effects (lust, anger and greed) are natural only for the asuras, therefore, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word tri-vidham.


The asurika qualities described above are both self-destructive and the gateways to hell. Three of these qualities---lust, anger and greed---are the root of all other asurika qualities. Therefore, every human being who desires his own welfare should give them up completely. Despite their various endeavours, it is not even possible for the karmis, jnanis or yogis to control these tendencies, but a shuddha-bhakta, by the influence of sadhu-sanga, easily engages these three enemies in the service of Shri Hari, and displays an extraordinary example of controlling them.


etair vimuktah kaunteya / tamo-dvarais tribhir narah
acaraty atmanah shreyas / tato yati param gatim

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.22 <>

kaunteya---O son of Kunti; narah---a man; vimuktah---liberated; etaih---from these; tribhih---three; tamo-dvaraih---gates to hell; acarati---practises; shreyah---welfare work; atmanah---for the soul; tatah---thereafter; yati---he enters; param---the supreme; gatim--- destination.

O Kaunteya, one who is liberated from these three gateways to hell acts for the welfare of his own atma. Thereafter, he attains the supreme destination.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "Becoming free from these three gateways to darkness, a person should act for the upliftment of his atma. Only then will he achieve the supreme destination." The import is that by practising dharma and following a regulated life as a means of selfpurification, one attains krishna-bhakti, the supreme destination.

The jiva can only attain a fearless position as a result of his purified existence (freedom from material bondage) when there is a proper relationship between pure work (karma) and pure knowledge as a means and an end, as described in shastra. This is how mukti functions as a maidservant of Bhakti-devi."


yah shastra-vidhim utsrijya / varttate kama-caratah
na sa siddhim avapnoti / na sukham na param gatim

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.23 <>

sah---he; yah---who; utsrijya---puts aside; shastra-vidhim---the codes of shastra; varttate---behaving; kama-caratah---by the influence of desire; na avapnoti---neither attains; siddhim--- perfection; na---nor; sukham---happiness; na---nor; param---the supreme; gatim---destination.

He who discards the injunctions of shastra, and acts according to his whimsical desires, attains neither perfection, happiness, nor the supreme destination.


To be devoted to Bhagavan is most auspicious. For this purpose, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word yah. Kama-caratah means to act whimsically, and it leads one to hell. Only the theists are sadhus and only they attain the supreme destination. Those who are atheists go to hell. This is the essence of this chapter.

Thus ends the Bhavanuvada of the Sarartha-Varshini Tika, by Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, on the Sixteenth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, which gives pleasure to the bhaktas and is accepted by all saintly persons.


Unrestrained people who disregard the codes of shastra cannot attain the highest destination. It is stated in Bhaktiras amrita-sindhu (1.2.101):

shruti-smriti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate

Although engaged in aikantika-bhakti to Shri Hari, if one transgresses the regulations mentioned in the shruti, smriti, Puranas, and the Narada-Pancaratra, great misgivings (anarthas) are produced.


tasmac chastram pramanam te / karyakarya-vyavasthitau
jnatva shastra-vidhanoktam / karma karttum iharhasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.24 <>

tasmat---therefore; shastram---shastra (is); te---your; pramanam--- authority; vyavasthita---related to; karya---proper; (and) akarya--- improper duty; jnatva---by knowing; uktam---what is spoken; vidhana---concerning the precepts of spiritual practice; shastra--- in the Vedic scriptures; arhasi---you should; karttum---perform; karma---your work; iha---in this world.

Shastra, therefore, is the only authority concerning what is correct and incorrect behaviour. Regarding your dharma, you should perform all your actions in realisation of the essence of shastra.


Having learned the injunctions of shastra, it is proper for those who desire eternal auspiciousness to cultivate bhakti to Shri Hari under the guidance of the guru-varga, according to their respective adhikara. It is not spiritually favourable for an intelligent person to act against the codes of shastra, and consider as authoritative the imaginary ideas of so-called instructors who are glorified by non-devotees. Only the shrutis are authoritative in verifying what is correct or incorrect behaviour, because they are apaurusheya (not composed by any human being), and are free from the four defects such as bhrama (illusion) and pramada (negligence). The instructions of a person who has the four defects, of illusion, negligence, imperfect senses and the desire to cheat others are not authoritative.

Special Instruction: The root offence of the jiva is the misuse of his free will, and his subsequent aversion to the service of Shri Bhagavan. Therefore, maya, who is like a maidservant of Bhagavan, causes the jiva's bondage. Being bound by maya, the jiva gives up that sattvika nature which enables him to understand Bhagavan. Thus, by accepting tamasika qualities, the jiva becomes asurika. At that time, many offences manifest, such as criticising sadhus; maintaining the conception that there are many gods, or that there is no God; disobeying the guru; disregarding the shastra; thinking that the glory of bhakti as described in shastra is false; proposing that karma and jnana are bhakti; not having faith in bhakti; and instructing bhakti to unqualified people.

This chapter teaches that, after giving up this asurika nature, it is obligatory to engage in the practice of the nine types of bhakti with faith, following the principles described in shastra.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Therefore, only shastra is authoritative in determining correct and incorrect behaviour. The conclusion of shastra is that one should perform bhakti. Knowing this, you will become qualified to lead an active devotional life. Theists attain the supreme destination by having faith in Bhagavan, and the faithless atheist goes to hell. This is the meaning of this chapter."

Thus ends the Sarartha-Varshini Prakashika-vritti, by Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, on the Fourth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita.