Bhagavad-Gita: Chapter 16-18


Chapter 16

Daiva-asura Sampad-Vibhaga Yoga: The Divine and Demoniac Natures Defined

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.

Verse 4

Pseudo-religiosity, pretentious pride, conceitful arrogance, anger, harshness and ignorance arise in one born of the demoniac nature, O Arjuna.

Verse 5

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.

Verse 6

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.

Verse 7

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 them.

Verse 8

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.

Verse 9

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 universe.

Verse 10

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.

Verse 16

Afflicted with innumerable fears and anxieties, enveloped in a net of illusions, engrossed in gratification of the senses they glide down into abominable hells.

Verse 17

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 scriptural injunctions.

Verse 18

Possessed of self-conceit, power, insolence, lust and anger; the demoniac always envious, blaspheme Me, who is the soul residing in all bodies.

Verse 19

Those envious, cruel, evil, lowest of mankind; verily I hurl perpetually into the cycle of birth and death into the wombs of the demoniac.

Verse 20

O Arjuna entering demoniac wombs birth after birth, these fools receive an even more abominable destination unable to achieve Me.

Verse 21

The three kinds of doorways to hell are lust, anger and greed; therefore these three are so destructive to the embodied self must be abandoned.

Verse 22

O Arjuna, a person being liberated from these three doorways of nescience, performs austerities for the embodied self; thereafter reaching the supreme goal.

Verse 23

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.

Verse 24

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.


Chapter 17

Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga: The Three Divisions of Material Existence

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 material creation.

Verse 1

Arjuna said: O Ka 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?

Verse 2

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.

Verse 3

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.

Verse 4

Those in goodness worship the demigods, those in passion worship the demoniac, others persons in nescience the spirits of the dead and ghosts.

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 confirmed demons.

Verse 7

There are three kinds of food dear to everyone; similarly also for performance of sacrifices, austerities and charity. Now hear the differences between them.

Verses 8,9,10

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.

Verse 11

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.

Verse 12

But understand, O Arjuna that sacrifice which is executed motivated by fruitiveness, ostentatiously for material benefit is in the nature of passion.

Verse 13

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.

Verse 14

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.

Verse 15

Truthful speech which is inoffensive to others, pleasing and beneficial as well as regular recitation of the Vedic scriptures is declared austerity of speech.

Verse 16

Serenity of thought, compassion, gravity, self-control, purity of purpose; all these are declaredausterity of the mind.

Verse 17

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.

Verse 18

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.

Verse 19

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.

Verse 20

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.

Verse 21

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.

Verse 22

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.

Verse 23

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 them.

Verse 24

Therefore in accordance to the ordinances of the Vedic scriptures, duties based on sacrifice, charity and austerity, by followers of Vednta and the Ultimate Truth always begin well by pronouncing Om the eternal, transcendental sound vibration of the Ultimate Consciousness.

Verse 25

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.

Verses 26,27

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.

Verse 28

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.


Chapter 18

Moksa-Opadesa Yoga: Final Revelations of the Ultimate Truth

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.

Verse 1

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 action.

Verse 2

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.

Verse 3

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.

Verse 4

O Arjuna, hear from Me, the factual understanding regarding renunciation; verily renunciation is described as threefold, O tiger among men.

Verse 5

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.

Verse 6

Moreover these activities should be performed as duty, renouncing attachment to fruitive results; this is My topmost, definitive conclusion, O Arjuna.

Verse 7

But renunciation of prescribed activities is not recommended; abandoning them due to illusion is declared as the nature of nescience.

Verse 8

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.

Verse 9

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.

Verse 10

The intelligent renunciate endowed with the nature of goodness, freed from all doubts, neither disdains disagreeable actions nor becomes attached to agreeable ones.

Verse 11

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.

Verse 12

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.

Verses 13,14

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.

Verse 15

Whatever action a being performs by the body, speech and mind, whether proper or improper; these five factors are its cause.

Verse 16

But such being the case, then one who sees the embodied self as the doer, that ignorant beingdevoid of any spiritual intelligence realizes nothing.

Verse 17

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.

Verse 18

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 action.

Verse 19

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.

Verse 20

Understand that knowledge by which one undivided, imperishable reality is seen within all diverse living entities is in the nature of goodness.

Verse 21

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. Verse 22
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.

Verse 23

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.

Verse 24

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.

Verse 25

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.

Verse 26

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.

Verse 27

The obsessed craving fruitive desires, greedy, malevolent, impure, subject to joy and sorrow, such a performer is declared in the nature of passion.

Verse 28

The unqualified, degraded, slothful, deceptive, overbearing, lazy, morose and procrastinatingperformer of actions is called in the nature of ignorance.

Verse 29

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.

Verse 30

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.

Verse 31

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.

Verse 32

That spiritual intelligence enveloped in ignorance, which regards unghteousness as righteousness and everything contrary to what they are, is in the nature of nescience.

Verse 33

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.

Verse 34

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.

Verse 35

That determination O Arjuna, by which the unintelligent is unable to abandon dreaming, fearing, grieving, depression and foolhardiness is in the nature of nescience.

Verses 36,37

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.

Verse 38

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.

Verse 40

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.

Verse 41

O Arjuna, the activities of the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras are clearly divided according to the qualities born of their own nature.

Verse 42

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.

Verse 43

The actions of a ksatriya born of his own nature are heroism, exuberance, determination, resourcefulness, without trace of cowardice in battle, generosity and leadership.

Verse 44

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.

Verse 45

Following each his own activity, a man achieves finally perfection; now hear how the performer of action prescribed according to qualification attains perfection.

Verse 46

>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.

Verse 47

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.

Verse 48

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.

Verse 49

Detached by spiritual intelligence from everything, controlling the mind, without material desires, one attains the paramount perfection in the cessation of reactions by renunciation.

Verse 50

Now hear in summation from Me, O Arjuna, how one achieving the perfection of cessation ofreactions attains the supreme state of knowledge.

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.

Verse 54

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.

Verse 55

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.

Verse 56

Although always performing innumerable activities, those who take exclusive shelter of Me; achieves the everlasting, imperishable abode, by My grace.

Verse 57

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.

Verse 58

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.

Verse 59

If rationalizing due to false ego, you resolve not to fight such a decision is only in vain; your own nature will compel you.

Verse 60

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.

Verse 61

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 a carousel.

Verse 62

Just surrender solely unto Him, completely in everyway, O Arjuna; by His grace you will receive transcendental peace and the eternal abode.

Verse 63

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.

Verse 64

Again hear My most confidential of all paramount instructions; being very dear to Me, I am speaking for your benefit.

Verse 65

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.

Verse 66

Relinquishing all ideas of righteousness, surrender unto I exclusively; I will deliver you from all sinful reactions, do not despair.

Verse 67

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.

Verse 68

One who promulgates this paramount of confidential secrets amongst My devotees attains transcendental devotion unto I and comes to I certainly without a doubt.

Verse 69

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.

Verse 70

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.

Verse 71

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.

Verse 72

O Arjuna, have you heard this with concentrated attention? O conqueror of wealth has your bewilderment due to illusion been dispelled?

Verse 73

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.

Verse 74

Sanjaya said: I have heard thiswonderful, electrifying discourse of Lord Krishna to Arjuna.

Verse 75

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.

Verse 76

O King,repeatedly recollecting this sacred and wonderful discourse of Lord Krishna to ArjunaI rejoice again and again.

Verse 77

O King also repeatedly recollecting that most wonderful form of Lord Krishna, great is my wonder and I am rejoicing again and again.

Verse 78

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 resolve.

Thus ends the Bhagavad-Gita Trust translation of the Bhagavad-Gita, chapter eighteen, entitled: Moksa-Opadesa Yoga: Final Revelations of the Ultimate Truth.