Bhagavad-Gita: Chapter 16-18
Daiva-asura Sampad-Vibhaga Yoga: The Divine and Demoniac
In chapter sixteen Lord Krishna explicitly explains the divine
qualities found to be in righteousness along with their conduct and
actions which are so conducive to divinity. Then He delineates what
are demoniac tendencies of evil and ill conduct which are
unrighteous in nature and which are antagonistic to divinity. Thus
chapter sixteen is entitiled: Daiva-asura Sampad-Vibhaga Yoga or The
Divine and Demoniac Natures Defined.
Verses 1, 2, 3
Lord Krishna, the possessor of all opulences said: Fearlessness,
pure heartedness, established in the wisdom of discrimination of
spirit and matter by the science of uniting the individual
consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness, charity, self
restraint, performance of sacrifice study of Vedic scriptures,
austerity, uprightness, nonviolence, truthfulness, aversion to fault
finding, compassion to all being, absence of avarice, gentleness,
modesty and determination. O Arjuna, radiance, forgiveness,
fortitude, purity, freedom from malice, absence of pride arisein one
born of the divine nature.
Pseudo-religiosity, pretentious pride, conceitful arrogance,
anger, harshness and ignorance arise in one born of the demoniac
nature, O Arjuna.
The divine nature is considered the cause of liberation and the
demoniac nature the cause of bondage; do not worry, O Arjuna, you
are born of the divine nature.
There are only two types of created beings in the material
worlds; the divine and the demoniac. The divine has been described
extensively, now hear from I O Arjuna, of the demoniac.
Persons of demoniac nature cannot understand actions in their
best spiritual interests and actions in their worst spiritual
interests; there is never purity, nor good conduct nor even truth in
The persons of demoniac nature say, the entire cosmic
manifestation is unreal, without a creator, without a supreme
controller, without cause, originating from mutual cohabitation due
only to lust, no more than this.
Accepting this vision the demoniac being deficient in spiritual
intelligence having lost contact with their soul; degradedly engage
in abominable activities to influence the destruction of the
Addicted to insatiable lusts, the demoniac, irrational due to
arrogance, vanity and conceit, outof illusion endeavor for
impermanent things engaging in impure acts by premeditated vows.
Verses 11, 12
Overwhelmed with a life full of unlimited fears and anxieties;
the demoniac consider that thegratification of the senses as the
highest goal of life; being bound by the entanglement of hundreds of
schemes, overcome by lust and anger striving to accumalate wealth
illicitly for the purpose of gratifying their senses.
Verses 13, 14, 15
This was gained by I today, I shall obtain this according to my
desires, this wealth is mine and in the future more also will come.
This enemy has been killed by I and futhermore I shall kill other
enemies; I am the controller, I am the enjoyer, I am perfect,
powerful and happy. I am rich and aristocratic, is there another who
is like me? I will perform sacrifice, I will give in charity, I will
rejoice; thus the demoniac are deluded by ignorance.
Afflicted with innumerable fears and anxieties, enveloped in a
net of illusions, engrossed in gratification of the senses they
glide down into abominable hells.
Self- complacent, impudent, deluded by vanity and haughtiness
due to wealth, the demoniacperform sacrifices out of pride, in name
only, such sacrifices are performed without any regard for
Possessed of self-conceit, power, insolence, lust and anger; the
demoniac always envious, blaspheme Me, who is the soul residing in
Those envious, cruel, evil, lowest of mankind; verily I hurl
perpetually into the cycle of birth and death into the wombs of the
O Arjuna entering demoniac wombs birth after birth, these fools
receive an even more abominable destination unable to achieve Me.
The three kinds of doorways to hell are lust, anger and greed;
therefore these three are so destructive to the embodied self must
O Arjuna, a person being liberated from these three doorways of
nescience, performs austerities for the embodied self; thereafter
reaching the supreme goal.
One who transgresses the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures
whimsically acting under the impulse of desire, never attains
perfection, neither happiness nor the supreme goal.
Therefore the injunctions of theVedic scriptures in ascertaining
what should be done and what should not be done are your authority;
knowing the ordinances of the Vedic scriptures as prescribed, you
should perform actions in this world as a matter of duty.
Thus ends the Bhagavad-Gita Trust translation of Bhagavad-Gita,
chapter sixteen, entitled: Daiva-asura- Sampad-Vibhaga Yoga: The
Divine and Demoniac Natures Defined.
Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga: The Three Divisions of
In chapter seventeen Lord Krishna clarifies the three divisions
of faith revealing that these three inherent qualities of faith in
God determine the quality and characteristics and consciousness of
all living entities which constitutes their existence in the
Arjuna said: O KìÉèa what of those who transgress the
injunctions of the Vedic scriptures; but perform sacrifices
possessing faith? Is the conviction of those to be in goodness,
passion or ignorance?
Lord Krishna the possessor of all opulences said: the faith of
the embodied manifests in threeways: goodness, passion and
nescience; conforming unto the impressions of past life experiences.
Now hear about this.
The faith of everyone comes according to the perceptions of the
mind. O Arjuna. the living personality is the embodiment of faith,
one is identified by whatever faith one has.
Those in goodness worship the demigods, those in passion worship
the demoniac, others persons in nescience the spirits of the dead
Verses 5, 6
Indiscriminate persons who out of pride, false ego and lust;
torture the combination of the five material elements comprising the
body; and I as well residing within the body, by ostentatious
displays of bodily and mental prowess, enacting ghastly practices
against the ordinances of the Vedic scriptures. Understand them as
There are three kinds of food dear to everyone; similarly also
for performance of sacrifices, austerities and charity. Now hear the
differences between them.
Foods which promote life, vitality, strength, health, happiness
and satisfaction; which are succulent, juicy, nourishing and
pleasing to the heart are dear to one in goodness. Foods which are
very bitter, very sour, very salty, very hot, very pungent, very dry
and burning, causing unhappiness, misery and disease are palatable
by one in passion.That food which is stale, tasteless, putrid,
decomposed, foul and impure as well as the leavings of others is
dear to one in nescience.
The performance of sacrifice which is executed according to the
ordinances of the Vedic scriptures by those not hankering for
fruitive rewards, with the firm conviction that it is a matter of
one's duty to do is in the nature of goodness.
But understand, O Arjuna that sacrifice which is executed
motivated by fruitiveness, ostentatiously for material benefit is in
the nature of passion.
Performance of sacrifice contrary to the ordinances of Vedic
scriptures without distribution ofauthorised and prescribed
foodstuffs, unaccompanied by recitations of the appropriate Vedic
hymns, without charity to the holy ones and without any faith is
considered to be the nature of nescience.
Worship of the Vedic authorised diety form of the Supreme Lord,
the brahmanas, the spiritualmaster and men of wisdom; cleanliness,
simplicity, celibacy and nonviolence to any livingentity is declared
austerity of the body.
Truthful speech which is inoffensive to others, pleasing and
beneficial as well as regular recitation of the Vedic scriptures is
declared austerity of speech.
Serenity of thought, compassion, gravity, self-control, purity
of purpose; all these are declaredausterity of the mind.
These three kinds of austerities when practised without
hankering for fruitive rewards by devout persons of ardent faith is
designated as being in the nature of goodness.
That austerity which is performed ostentatiously for the sake of
gaining respect, honor, adulation and reward is unstable and
unenduring in this world and is stated as of the nature of passion.
That austerity which is performed by the whims of the foolish,
causing pain to ones self; or for the harm of others is described as
of the nature of nescience.
Charity which is given without consideration of anything in
return, at a sanctified and holy place and at an astrologically
auspicious time, given as a matter of duty to one qualified; that
charity is regarded as of the nature of goodness.
But the charity which is given with expectation of some return
or desiring some result or moreover with reluctance is understood as
of the nature of passion.
That charity which is given disrespectfully and scornfully at an
inappropriate place and time to one unworthy is described as of the
nature of nescience.
Om Tat Sat, the eternal, transcendental sound vibration of the
Ultimate Consciousness, the threefold representation known to
indicate the Ultimate Truth; in ancient times the brahmanas, the
Vedic scriptures and the performance of sacrifice were ordained by
Therefore in accordance to the ordinances of the Vedic
scriptures, duties based on sacrifice, charity and austerity, by
followers of VedÇnta and the Ultimate Truth always begin well by
pronouncing Om the eternal, transcendental sound vibration of the
For persons seeking liberation, uttering tat signifies the
performance of sacrifices, austerities and the duty of bestowing
charity without desiring any of the fruits of the actions.
O Arjuna the word sat representing the eternal is designated to
signify the all pervading existence of the Ultimate Truth in this
way the sound sat, representing the eternal is utilised for all
auspicious activities. Being established in the performance of
sacrifice, austerities and charity is described also by the word
sat, also actions solely meant for the satisfaction of the supreme
is indicative by the word sat.
O Arjuna, offering oblations, enacting charity, austerities or
anything else performed withoutfaith is declared as counter
productive; in this world and in the next.
Thus ends the Bhagavad-Gita Trust translation of Bhagavad-Gita,
chapter seventeen, entitled: Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga: The Three
Divisions of Material Existence.
Moksa-Opadesa Yoga: Final Revelations of the Ultimate
In chapter eighteen Lord Krishna sums up the conclusion of the
previous chapters and describes the attainment of salvation by the
path of karma yoga the yoga of action and the path of jnana yoga the
yoga of knowledge. The information revealed becomes progressively
more and more confidential concluding in its final analysis that one
must fully surrender offering everything unto the Supreme Lord
without reservation if one truly wishes to attain the supreme
destination. Thus chapter eighteen is entitled: Moksa- Opadesa Yoga
or Final Revelations of the Ultimate Truth.
Arjuna said; O mighty armed one, O master of the senses, O
slayer of the Kesi demon, I wish to understand the factual
distinction of renunciation and the renouncing of the fruit of
Lord Krishna, the possessor of all opulences said: the learned
know that abandonment of all activities inspired by fruitive desire
is renunciation and the experienced say relinquishing the results of
all actions is renunciation.
Some in wisdom say to renounce action, due to its defect of
being a desire and others say thatactions based on performance of
sacrifice, charity and austerity should not be renounced.
O Arjuna, hear from Me, the factual understanding regarding
renunciation; verily renunciation is described as threefold, O tiger
Actions based on performance of sacrifice, charity and austerity
should never be renounced; they certainly must be enacted;
performance of sacrifice, charity and austerities are purifying for
those in wisdom.
Moreover these activities should be performed as duty,
renouncing attachment to fruitive results; this is My topmost,
definitive conclusion, O Arjuna.
But renunciation of prescribed activities is not recommended;
abandoning them due to illusion is declared as the nature of
Giving up such actions out of fear of bodily discomfort or as
troublesome enacts renunciation in the nature of passion; one
certainly never obtains the fruitive results of this renunciation.
O Arjuna, prescribed actions which are performed as a matter of
duty giving up attachment to fruitive results is considered
renunciation in the nature of goodness.
The intelligent renunciate endowed with the nature of goodness,
freed from all doubts, neither disdains disagreeable actions nor
becomes attached to agreeable ones.
The embodied being can never completely give up activities; but
it is described that by renouncing the fruitive results of actions
that one is renounced.
Results of the three kinds of activities accrue after death,
leading to hellish planets, leading toheavenly spheres and to the
human worlds imbetween for those desiring the results of action;but
never at anytime for the renunciate.
Learn from me, O mighty armed one, these five causes, for the
perfection of all activities as described conclusively in the Vedic
scriptures. The body, also the ego, the different separate
perceptual senses, the various yet seperated vital forces, and the
fifth being the Ultimate Consciousness as the indwelling monitor.
Whatever action a being performs by the body, speech and mind,
whether proper or improper; these five factors are its cause.
But such being the case, then one who sees the embodied self as
the doer, that ignorant beingdevoid of any spiritual intelligence
One whose mentality never considers being the doer and whose
spiritual intelligence is not attached to fruitiveness; such a
person even if warring with the whole world; does not actually slay
anyone nor become entangled by fruitiveness.
Knowledge, the objective of knowledge, the knower of knowledge;
these three are the impetus of action. The endeavor, the
corresponding action and the doer, these three are the basis of
Knowledge, action and the doer are described in the Vedic
scriptures as three kinds only according to the different modes of
material nature, now hear about these as well in due order.
Understand that knowledge by which one undivided, imperishable
reality is seen within all diverse living entities is in the nature
But that knowledge by which one experiences seperated diversity
within all living entities, variety in quality, and plurality in
essence; understand that knowledge as in the nature of passion.
That by which one is engrossed in some fragmental conception as
if it encompasses all, irrational; without knowledge of reality and
whimsically is called the nature of nescience.
That action which is devoid of fruitive desires, free from
attraction and repulsion, without attachment; which is performed as
duty is called the nature of goodness.
Then again that action which one with desires for fruitive
results or one egotistically performswith great endeavor is known as
in the nature of passion.
That action which is begun out of illusion without considering
consequence, destruction, violence and one's own ability to fulfill
it, is called in the nature of nescience.
The liberated and detached performer of actions devoid of false
ego, endued with fortitude and great enthusiasm, unaffected by
success and failure is called in the nature of goodness.
The obsessed craving fruitive desires, greedy, malevolent,
impure, subject to joy and sorrow, such a performer is declared in
the nature of passion.
The unqualified, degraded, slothful, deceptive, overbearing,
lazy, morose and procrastinatingperformer of actions is called in
the nature of ignorance.
Hear this, O Arjuna, I shall now describe comprehensively and
individually the spiritual intelligence as well as the resolve
according to the threefold variety of the modes of material nature.
O Arjuna, spiritual intelligence in the nature of goodness is
that which factually knows the propriety of things as well as the
impropriety of things, duty and non-duty, fear and fearlessness,
bondage and liberation.
That spiritual intelligence, O Arjuna by which righteousness and
unrighteousness; what is duty and what is non-duty are perceived
imperfectly is in the nature of passion.
That spiritual intelligence enveloped in ignorance, which
regards unghteousness as righteousness and everything contrary to
what they are, is in the nature of nescience.
O Arjuna, the uninterrupted, determination which motivates the
activities of the mind, the life breath and the senses by the
science of uniting the individual consciousness with the Ultimate
Consciousness is determination in the nature of goodness.
But that determination by which righteousness, sensual desire
and wealth are motivated by attachment to fruitive desires, O
Arjuna, is in the nature of passion.
That determination O Arjuna, by which the unintelligent is
unable to abandon dreaming, fearing, grieving, depression and
foolhardiness is in the nature of nescience.
O Arjuna, but now hear from Me, the three kinds of happiness by
the cultivation of which one enjoys and one attains the cessation of
all distress. That which in the beginning is like poisonand at the
end is like nectar. That happiness arising from the serenity of
spiritual intelligenceof the embodied self is designated in the
nature of goodness.
That happiness from the combination of the senses and the sense
objects which in the beginning is like nectar and at the end is like
poison; that is known as in the nature of passion. Verse 39
Happiness arising from sleep, sloth and irresponsibility which
deludes the embodied self in the beginning and at the end is called
in the nature of nescience.
There is no being existing on the Earth, in the celestial
spheres or in any universal planetary system which is free from the
influence of these three modes born of material nature.
O Arjuna, the activities of the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas
and sudras are clearly divided according to the qualities born of
their own nature.
The actions of a brahmana arising from his own nature are
serenity, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty,
knowledge of the Vedas, wisdom and firm faith.
The actions of a ksatriya born of his own nature are heroism,
exuberance, determination, resourcefulness, without trace of
cowardice in battle, generosity and leadership.
The actions of a vaisya born of his own nature are agriculture,
cow protection and trade; also the actions of a sudra born of his
own nature consists in service to brahmanas, ksatriyas and vaisyas.
Following each his own activity, a man achieves finally
perfection; now hear how the performer of action prescribed
according to qualification attains perfection.
>From whom is the existence of all living entities, by whom
all this is pervaded; through worshipping Him, by ones own actions
prescribed accordingly by qualification one achieves perfection.
Ones righteous duty imperfectly done is better than anothers
duty done perfectly; by performing actions predicated according to
ones own nature, one does not incur sinful reactions.
Actions prescribed according to ones nature nust not be given
up, O Arjuna, even if defective;since all endeavors are covered with
defects as fire is covered by smoke.
Detached by spiritual intelligence from everything, controlling
the mind, without material desires, one attains the paramount
perfection in the cessation of reactions by renunciation.
Now hear in summation from Me, O Arjuna, how one achieving the
perfection of cessation ofreactions attains the supreme state of
Verses 51, 52, 53
Endowed with spiritual intelligence, fully purified and
regulating the self by determination, giving up mundane sense
objects such as hearing and touching and casting away obsession and
repulsion, avoidance of materialistic persons, moderate in eating,
controlled in body, mind and speech, always absorbed in the science
of yoga, detached from all mundanities, the relinquishing of
egotism, power, pride, lust, anger and accepting charity and
donations; the peaceful one without any sense of proprietorship is
qualified for realizing the Ultimate Truth.
Being one with the Ultimate Truth, joyous within the self,
neither lamenting nor craving; equpoised to all living entities, one
achieves transcendental devotion to Me.
By transcendental devotional service one is able to know Me,
truly, as all pervasive and also as I am; knowing in truth,
thereafter enters unto Me, thereby.
Although always performing innumerable activities, those who
take exclusive shelter of Me; achieves the everlasting, imperishable
abode, by My grace.
Resigning every activity unto I by the intellect, with I as
the paramount goal, taking refuge of the spiritual intelligence by
uniting the individual consciousness with the UltimateConsciousness;
be always conscious of Me.
Being in consciousness of Me, you will overcome all obstacles
and difficulties, by My grace; but if due to false ego, you do not
listen, you shall perish.
If rationalizing due to false ego, you resolve not to fight such
a decision is only in vain; your own nature will compel you.
O Arjuna, that which out of delusion, you do not wish to
perform, you will do unavoidably, being bound by your inclinations
born of your own nature.
Within the hearts of all living entities, resides the Supreme
Lord, O Arjuna and by the potency of the illusory energy
orchestrates the movements of all living entities like figurines on
Just surrender solely unto Him, completely in everyway, O
Arjuna; by His grace you will receive transcendental peace and the
Thus the most confidential wisdom of all that is confidential
has been described by I to you; deliberating fully on this;
accordingly act as you wish.
Again hear My most confidential of all paramount instructions;
being very dear to Me, I am speaking for your benefit.
Just think of Me, be My devotee, worship Me, offer obeisances
unto Me; certainly you will come to Me, I promise this in truth to
you being dear to Me.
Relinquishing all ideas of righteousness, surrender unto I
exclusively; I will deliver you from all sinful reactions, do not
You should never disclose this science to one devoid of
austerities, nor to one who is not devoted, nor to one adverse to
spiritual advancement and never anyone who is envious of Me.
One who promulgates this paramount of confidential secrets
amongst My devotees attains transcendental devotion unto I and
comes to I certainly without a doubt.
No one among humanity is more dear to I than the promulgator of
Bhagavad-Gita and there will never be another more dearer to Me,
than he in this world.
And for one who will study this most righteous discourse of
ours; I shall be propitiated by that as a performance of sacrifice
of wisdom; this is My proclamation.
Even the person who only listens to this with faith and without
envy is liberated and will reach the elevated planetary systems of
those of virtuous activities.
O Arjuna, have you heard this with concentrated attention? O
conqueror of wealth has your bewilderment due to illusion been
Arjuna said: My illusion has been dispelled, O Krishna, by Your
grace realization is restored to me; I am stable and all my doubts
are removed. I shall execute Your command.
Sanjaya said: I have heard thiswonderful, electrifying discourse
of Lord Krishna to Arjuna.
By the grace of Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva, I have heard this
supreme, confidential science from Lord Krishna of uniting the
individual consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness as it
emanated from the Supreme Lord Krishna.
O King,repeatedly recollecting this sacred and wonderful
discourse of Lord Krishna to ArjunaI rejoice again and again.
O King also repeatedly recollecting that most wonderful form of
Lord Krishna, great is my wonder and I am rejoicing again and again.
Wherever there is the Supreme Lord Krishna the master of those
following the science of uniting the individual consciousness with
the Ultimate Consciousness and wherever there isArjuna; there is
firmly established fortune, victory, power and virtue. This is my
Thus ends the Bhagavad-Gita Trust translation of the
Bhagavad-Gita, chapter eighteen, entitled: Moksa-Opadesa Yoga: Final
Revelations of the Ultimate Truth.