CHAPTER 16: Good and Evil Natures
©2001, TheBhagavatGita.com



Text: 1-3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-12, 13-15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

TEXT 1-3

sri-bhagavan uvaca
abhayam sattva-samsuddhir
jnana-yoga-vyavasthitih
danam damas ca yajnas ca
svadhyayas tapa arjavam

ahimsa satyam akrodhas
tyagah santir apaisunam
daya bhutesv aloluptvam
mardavam hrir acapalam

tejah ksama dhrtih saucam
adroho nati-manita
bhavanti sampadam daivim
abhijatasya bharata

WORD FOR WORD

sri-bhagavan uvaca -- The Supreme said; abhayam -- fearlessness; sattva-samsuddhih -- purification of one's existence; jnana -- in knowledge; yoga -- of linking up; vyavasthitih -- the situation; danam -- charity; damah -- controlling the mind; ca -- and; yajnah -- performance of sacrifice; ca -- and; svadhyayah -- study of Vedic literature; tapah -- austerity; ariavam -- simplicity; ahimsa -- nonviolence; satyam -- truthfulness; akrodhah -- freedom from anger; tyagah -- renunciation; santih -- tranquillity; apaisunam -- aversion to fault-finding; daya -- mercy; bhutesu -- towards all living entities; aloluptvam -- freedom from greed; mardavam -- gentleness; hrih -- modesty; acapalam -- determination; teiah -- vigor; ksama -- forgiveness; dhrtih -- fortitude; saucam -- cleanliness; adrohah -- freedom from envy; na -- not; ati manita -- expectation of honor; bhavanti -- are; sampadam -- the qualities; daivim -- the transcendental nature; abhijatasya -- of one who is born of; bharata -- O son of Bharata.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme said: Fearlessness; purification of one's existence; cultivation of spiritual knowledge; charity; self-control; performance of sacrifice; study of the Vedas; austerity; simplicity; nonviolence; truthfulness; freedom from anger; renunciation; tranquillity; aversion to faultfinding; compassion for all living entities; freedom from covetousness; gentleness; modesty; steady determination; vigor; forgiveness; fortitude; cleanliness; and freedom from envy and from the passion for honor -- these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.

 



TEXT 4

dambho darpo 'bhimanas ca
krodhah parusyam eva ca
ajnanam cabhijatasya
partha sampadam asurim

WORD FOR WORD

dambhah -- pride; darpah -- arrogance; abhimanah -- conceit; ca -- and; krodhah -- anger; parusyam -- harshness; eva -- certainly; ca -- and; ajnanam -- ignorance; ca -- and; abhijatasya -- of one who is born of; partha -- O son of Prtha; sampadam -- the qualities; asurim -- the demoniac nature.

TRANSLATION

Pride, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance -- these qualities belong to those of demoniac nature, O son of Prtha.

 



TEXT 5

daivi sampad vimoksaya
nibandhayasuri mata
ma sucah sampadam daivim
abhijato 'si pandava

WORD FOR WORD

daivi -- transcendental; sampat -- assets; vimoksaya -- meant for liberation; nibandhaya -- for bondage; asuri -- demoniac qualities; mata -- are considered; ma -- do not; sucah -- worry; sampadam -- assets; daivim -- transcendental; abhijatah -- born of; asi -- you are; pandava -- O son of Pandu.

TRANSLATION

The transcendental qualities are conducive to liberation, whereas the demoniac qualities make for bondage. Do not worry, O son of Pandu, for you are born with the divine qualities.

 



TEXT 6

dvau bhuta-sargau loke 'smin
daiva asura eva ca
daivo vistarasah prokta
asuram partha me srnu

WORD FOR WORD

dvau -- two; bhuta-sargau -- created living beings; loke -- in the world; asmin -- this; daivah -- godly; asurah -- demoniac; eva -- certainly; ca -- and; daivah -- the divine; vistarasah -- at great length; proktah -- said; asuram -- the demoniac; partha -- O son of Prtha; me -- from Me; srnu -- just hear.

TRANSLATION

O son of Prtha, in this world there are two kinds of created beings. One is called the divine and the other demoniac. I have already explained to you at length the divine qualities. Now hear from Me of the demoniac.

 



TEXT 7

pravrttim ca nivrttim ca
jana na vidur asurah
na saucam napi cacaro
na satyam tesu vidyate

WORD FOR WORD

pravrttim -- acting properly; ca -- also; nivrttim -- not acting improperly; ca -- and; janah -- persons; na -- never; viduh -- know; asurah -- of demoniac quality; na -- never; saucam -- cleanliness; na -- nor; api -- also; ca -- and; acarah -- behavior; na -- never; satyam -- truth; tesu -- in them; vidyate -- there is.

TRANSLATION

Those who are demoniac do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Neither cleanliness nor proper behavior nor truth is found in them.

 



TEXT 8

asatyam apratistham te
jagad ahur anisvaram
aparaspara-sambhutam
kim anyat kama-haitukam

WORD FOR WORD

asatyam -- unreal; apratistham -- without foundation; te -- they; jagat -- the cosmic manifestation; ahuh -- say; anisvaram -- with no controller; aparaspara -- without cause; sambhutam -- arisen; kim anyat -- there is no other cause; kama-haitukam -- it is due to lust only.

TRANSLATION

They say that this world is unreal, with no foundation, no God in control. They say it is produced of sex desire and has no cause other than lust.

 



TEXT 9

etam drstim avastabhya
nastatmano 'lpa-buddhayah
prabhavanty ugra-karmanah
ksayaya jagato 'hitah

WORD FOR WORD

etam -- this; drstim -- vision; avastabhya -- accepting; nasta -- having lost; atmanah -- themselves; alpa-buddhayah -- the less intelligent; prabhavanti -- flourish; ugra-karmanah -- engaged in painful activities; ksayaya -- for destruction; jagatah -- of the world; ahitah -- unbeneficial.

TRANSLATION

Following such conclusions, the demoniac, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world.

 



TEXT 10

kamam asritya duspuram
dambha-mana-madanvitah
mohad grhitvasad-grahan
pravartante 'suci-vratah

WORD FOR WORD

kamam -- lust; asritya -- taking shelter of; duspuram -- insatiable; dambha -- of pride; mana -- and false prestige; mada-anvitah -- absorbed in the conceit; mohat -- by illusion; grhitva -- taking; asat -- nonpermanent; grahan -- things; pravartante -- they flourish; asuci -- to the unclean; vratah -- avowed.

TRANSLATION

Taking shelter of insatiable lust and absorbed in the conceit of pride and false prestige, the demoniac, thus illusioned, are always sworn to unclean work, attracted by the impermanent.

 



TEXTS 11-12

cintam aparimeyam ca
pralayantam upasritah
kamopabhoga-parama
etavad iti niscitah

asa-pasa-satair baddhah
kama-krodha-parayanah
ihante kama-bhogartham
anyayenartha-sancayan

WORD FOR WORD

cintam -- fears and anxieties; aparimeyam -- immeasurable; ca -- and; pralaya-antam -- unto the point of death; upasritah -- having taken shelter of; kama-upabhoga -- sense gratification; paramah -- the highest goal of life; etavat -- thus; iti -- in this way; niscitah -- having ascertained; asa-pasa -- entanglements in a network of hope; sataih -- by hundreds; baddhah -- being bound; kama -- of lust; krodha -- and anger; parayanah -- always situated in the mentality; ihante -- they desire; kama -- lust; bhoga -- sense enjoyment; artham -- for the purpose of; anyayena -- illegally; artha -- of wealth; sancayan -- accumulation.

TRANSLATION

They believe that to gratify the senses is the prime necessity of human civilization. Thus until the end of life their anxiety is immeasurable. Bound by a network of hundreds of thousands of desires and absorbed in lust and anger, they secure money by illegal means for sense gratification.

 



TEXTS 13-15

idam adya maya labdham
imam prapsye manoratham
idam astidam api me
bhavisyati punar dhanam

asau maya hatah satrur
hanisye caparan api
isvaro 'ham aham bhogi
siddho 'ham balavan sukhi

adhyo 'bhijanavan asmi
ko 'nyo 'ti sadrso maya
yaksye dasyami modisya
ity ajnana-vimohitah

WORD FOR WORD

idam -- this; adya -- today; maya -- by me; labdham -- gained; imam -- this; prapsye -- I shall gain; manah-ratham -- according to my desires; idam -- this; asti -- there is; idam -- this; api -- also; me -- mine; bhavisyati -- it will increase in the future; punah -- again; dhanam -- wealth; asau -- that; maya -- by me; hatah -- has been killed; satruh -- enemy; hanisye -- I shall kill; ca -- also; aparan -- others; api -- certainly; isvarah -- the lord; aham -- I am; aham -- I am; bhogi -- the enjoyer; siddhah -- perfect; aham -- I am; bala-van -- powerful; sukhi -- happy; adhyah -- wealthy; abhijana-van -- surrounded by aristocratic relatives; asmi -- I am; kah -- who; anyah -- other; asti -- there is; sadrsah -- like; maya -- me; yaksye -- I shall sacrifice; dasyami -- I shall give charity; modisye -- I shall rejoice; iti -- thus; ajnana -- by ignorance; vimohitah -- deluded.

TRANSLATION

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 enemies 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.



TEXT 16

aneka-citta-vibhranta
moha-jala-samavrtah
prasaktah kama-bhogesu
patanti narake 'sucau

WORD FOR WORD

aneka -- numerous; citta -- by anxieties; vibhrantah -- perplexed; moha -- of illusions; jala -- by a network; samavrtah -- surrounded; prasaktah -- attached; kama-bhogesu -- to sense gratification; patanti -- they glide down; narake -- into hell; asucau -- unclean.

TRANSLATION

Thus perplexed by various anxieties and bound by a network of illusions, they become too strongly attached to sense enjoyment and fall down into hell.

 



TEXT 17

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

WORD FOR WORD

atma-sambhavitah -- self-complacent; stabdhah -- impudent; dhana-mana -- of wealth and false prestige; mada -- in the delusion; anvitah -- absorbed; yajante -- they perform sacrifice; nama -- in name only; yajnaih -- with sacrifices; te -- they; dambhena -- out of pride; avidhi-purvakam -- without following any rules and regulations.

TRANSLATION

Self-complacent and always impudent, deluded by wealth and false prestige, they sometimes proudly perform sacrifices in name only, without following any rules or regulations.

 



TEXT 18

ahankaram balam darpam
kamam krodham ca samsritah
mam atma-para-dehesu
pradvisanto 'bhyasuyakah

WORD FOR WORD

ahankaram -- false ego; balam -- strength; darpam -- pride; kamam -- lust; krodham -- anger; ca -- also; samsritah -- having taken shelter of; mam -- Me; atma -- in their own; para -- and in other; dehesu -- bodies; pradvisantah -- blaspheming; abhyasuyakah -- envious.

TRANSLATION

Bewildered by false ego, strength, pride, lust and anger, the demons become envious of The Supreme, who is situated in their own bodies and in the bodies of others, and blaspheme against the real religion.

 



TEXT 19

tan aham dvisatah kruran
samsaresu naradhaman
ksioamy ajashram asubhan
asurisv eva yonisu

WORD FOR WORD

tan -- those; aham -- I; dvisatah -- envious; kruran -- mischievous; samsaresu -- into the ocean of material existence; nara-adhaman -- the lowest of mankind; ksipami -- I put; ajashram -- forever; asubhan -- inauspicious; asurisu -- demoniac; eva -- certainly; yonisu -- into the wombs.

TRANSLATION

Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, I perpetually cast into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.

 



TEXT 20

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

WORD FOR WORD

asurim -- demoniac; yonim -- species; apannah -- gaining; mudhah -- the foolish; janmani janmani -- in birth after birth; mam -- Me; aprapya -- without achieving; eva -- certainly; kaunteya -- O son of Kunti; tatah -- thereafter; yanti -- go; adhamam -- condemned; gatim -- destination.

TRANSLATION

Attaining repeated birth amongst the species of demoniac life, O son of Kunti, such persons can never approach Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence.

 



TEXT 21

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

WORD FOR WORD

tri-vidham -- of three kinds; narakasya -- of hell; idam -- this; dvaram -- gate; nasanam -- destructive; atmanah -- of the self; kamah -- lust; krodhah -- anger; tatha -- as well as; lobhah -- greed; tasmat -- therefore; etat -- these; trayam -- three; tyajet -- one must give up.

TRANSLATION

There are three gates leading to this hell -- lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul.

 



TEXT 22

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

WORD FOR WORD

etaih -- from these; vimuktah -- being liberated; kaunteya -- O son of Kunti; tamah-dvaraih -- from the gates of ignorance; tribhih -- of three kinds; narah -- a person; acarati -- performs; atmanah -- for the self; sreyah -- benediction; tatah -- thereafter; yati -- he goes; param -- to the supreme; gatim -- destination.

TRANSLATION

The man who has escaped these three gates of hell, O son of Kunti, performs acts conducive to self-realization and thus gradually attains the supreme destination.

 



TEXT 23

yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya
vartate kama-karatah
na sa siddhim avapnoti
na sukham na param gatim

WORD FOR WORD

yah -- anyone who; sastra-vidhim -- the regulations of the scriptures; utsrjya -- giving up; vartate -- remains; kama-karatah -- acting whimsically in lust; na -- never; sah -- he; siddhim -- perfection; avapnoti -- achieves; na -- never; sukham -- happiness; na -- never; param -- the supreme; gatim -- perfectional stage.

TRANSLATION

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.

 



TEXT 24

tasmac chastram pramanam te
karyakarya-vyavasthitau
jnatva sastra-vidhanoktam
karma kartum iharhasi

WORD FOR WORD

tasmat -- therefore; sastram -- the scriptures; pramanam -- evidence; te -- your; karya -- duty; akarya -- and forbidden activities; vyavasthitau -- in determining; jnatva -- knowing; sastra -- of scripture; vidhana -- the regulations; uktam -- as declared; karma -- work; kartum -- do; iha -- in this world; arhasi -- you should.

TRANSLATION

One should therefore 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.

 



Bhagavad-Gita