A marvellous sun has risen, who dispels the illusory form of the world and makes the lotus in the form of non-dualism blossom; I bow to him. This sun in the form of My Master dispels the dark night of ignorance, puts out the stars in the form of knowledge and ignorance and shows to the enlightened men the auspicious day of Self-realisation. When this sun rises, he gives the eye of wisdom and the birds in the form of beings leave their nests in the form of body-consciousness. With the rise of this sun, the bee in the form of the subtle body full of desires, is released from its confinement. This lamp of the world reunites the pair of chakravaka birds (the brahmany geese) in the form of the intellect and knowledge and makes them happy the chakravaka birds who had been trapped in the darkness of ignorance as a result of their being caught in the difficult situation of the incomprehensible words of the scriptures and were lamenting their separation on the two banks of distinction. (1-5) When knowledge dawns the time stolen by the thief in the form of distinction comes to an end and the wayfarers in the path of yoga walk along the way leading to Self-realisation. With the rays of this sun in the form of discrimination, the sun stone in the form of knowledge becomes ignited and burns the forests in the form of worldly affairs. When the rays of this sun fall on the sandy plains of the self. the latter becomes flooded with the mirage in the form of the great miraculous powers (mahasiddhis). When this sun reaches the zenith of Self-realisation in the noon of Brahmic state. then the shadow cast by delusive knowledge in ' the form "I am the body", vanishes (lit remains under his feet) (6-10). When in this state the dark night in the form of Maya ends, then who would remember the dream of world appearance and slumber in the form of false knowledge? When the bliss becomes plentiful in the city in the form of non-dualism, dealings in the form of worldly happiness become slack and what is more, in the light of this sun come the bright days in the form of liberation. When this king of the sky in the form of the Self rises, he does away with the rising and setting along with the directions and. destroying knowledge along with ignorance, he displays the knowledge of the Self which had been covered by them so long. In short, he creates this unique dawn (11-15). Who can see this sun of knowledge, who is beyond day and night and who is a globe of self-illumination without the aid of things that illuminate?

Whatever praise I offer to this sun in the form of consciousness is full of limitations and so I bow to him again and again. In order to praise the great glory of my Master adequately, the intellect has to become identified with the object of its adoration. The articulate speech, vaikhari, along with the inarticulate speeches para, pashyanti and madhyama fade away in praising your good Self who becomes known with the cessation of all empirical knowledge of worldly things, who can be praised adequately only through silence and who is attained only with the elimination of the ego (16-20). If I were to request you to be pleased with the ornate hymns of praise, it will diminish our blissful state of unity. When a poor person coming across the sea of nectar does not know what hospitality should be extended to it and offers it vegetable dishes, that meal should be reckoned as a feast after taking into account the fervour with which it is offered. If someone were to wave the wick-lamp before the sun, he should not think it as a lesser form of worship but view it in the light of his devotion. Who would call it a child, if it knows what is good for it? But the mother feels happy at its ignorant chatter. See if a stream comes to join the Ganga with its dirty water. does the latter tell it to go back? (21-25) The sage Bhrigu kicked Lord Vishnu in the chest; but did not the Lord receive it with satisfaction as honour done to him out of affection? When the sky darkened by the night comes forward to meet the sun, does the sun tell it to go away? Forgive me, O my Master, for attempting to weigh you with the sun in a scale hung on the beam in the form of duality. Please treat me as you treated the Yogis who attained to you through meditation and praised you with Vedic hymns and forgive me. When I long to praise your virtues, do not take it as an umbrage. But in whatever way you take it, I would not stop without satisfying my strong urge to praise you. (26-30) When I started praising your nectar-like gift in the form of the Gita, my strength increased two-fold and fortune smiled upon me. O my Master, my tongue did penance of speaking the truth through many births, as a result of which I landed on the island of the Gita in this sea of worldly existence. The merit which I had specially accumulated so far gave me the ability to sing your praises and discharge its obligation to me. I had entered the forest of life in the commune of death, but I have got out of that wretched state. You extended your grace to me by asking me to describe the Gita, the well-known scripture which has become strong with the conquest of ignorance (31-35). When the goddess of riches visits the house of a poor man, can we call him indigent? If the sun visits the house of darkness as a guest, does not that darkness give light to the whole world? Does not God before whose glory this entire world seems a tiny speck assume a form for his devotee? In that way, my attempt to speak on the Gita is as improbable as the smelling of the sky-flower. But you with your might has made it possible for me. So Jnanadeva says, "I shall, through your grace, explain all the verses in the Gita in an easy and clear way" (36-40).

In the fifteenth chapter, Lord Krishna disclosed clearly the doctrine of the Gita to Arjuna. Just as an expert physician diagnoses a disease afflicting the body, so the Lord described this world in a flowery language with the simile of the Ashvattha tree. There the Lord explained in clear terms that the imperishable purusha, the consciousness, being joined to limiting conditions (upadhi) became embodied. Then the pure Self was disclosed clearly as the Supreme Person. Next he explained .in clear terms how knowledge is the best internal means for the attainment of the Supreme Self (41-45). So there is nothing left which is worth speaking about. But there remained the strong bond between the preceptor and the disciple. Besides all the things narrated in the previous chapter were fully appreciated by the wise, but the desires of seekers remained unfulfilled. In the previous chapter the Lord of the three worlds has talked about the discerning person, all-knowing and the greatest among his devotees, who has attained him through knowledge and has also described the importance of knowledge in the last verse of the chapter. He said, "When my devotee gulps down the worldly existence through this knowledge and attains to my vision, he secures a place of honour in the kingdom of bliss" (46-50). He added that there is no other effective means to the attainment of Brahman and that this knowledge is the king among all means. So the seekers waved their very lives before this knowledge with great regard and pleasure. Now it is a sign of love that the more you like a subject, the more you think about it. So those seekers who had not attained knowledge were anxious to know how to secure it and after securing it, how to retain it. They, therefore, felt it necessary to know how to secure this divine knowledge and how to increase it, (51-55) why that knowledge cannot be secured and even if secured whether there is something hostile to knowledge which leads one astray. Then the seekers longed to give up those things which are hostile to knowledge and adopt all means which were beneficial for the attainment of knowledge. The Lord will now speak to fulfil that desire and to describe the glory of the divine endowment, which conduces to knowledge and also enhances the peace of the mind. He will also explain the terrible form of the demoniacal endowment, which lends support to passion and hatred through the knowledge of the sense-objects. (56-60) The subject of these two endowments, which respectively lead to desirable and undesirable actions, was mentioned briefly in the Nineth Chapter and should have been treated fully there. But this could not be done as other subjects intervened, and so the Lord will broach the same subject now. This discourse is contained in the Sixteenth Chapter and should be treated as a detailed exposition of the former statement. Thus there are two endowments, of which one is conducive to knowledge, and the other detrimental to it. Now first listen to the description of the divine endowment, which keeps one company in his march towards liberation and is like a torch in the form of duty which shows the way in the dark night of delusion. (61-65) If one gathers at one place many things which mutually support one another, such a collection of things is called an endowment. It is called divine endowment if it promotes happiness and is secured by a person only through good luck.

  1. Fearlessness, purity of mind, steadiness in Yoga and knowledge, charity, self-restraint, sacrifice, Vedic study, austerity, uprightness,

    Now that virtue which is foremost in this divine endowment is known as fearlessness. Just as a person, who does not leap into a great flood, is not afraid of being drowned, or one who follows the prescribed diet does not feel concern about being ill, so he who has no egoistic feeling while performing actions or not performing them, has no fear of worldly existence. (66-70) When' his mind is filled with the notion of non-dualism, he knows that the whole world is pervaded by Brahman and discards fear. Just as when the water starts to dissolve salt, the salt itself becomes fluid, so the non-dual state destroys fear. O Arjuna, this is the characteristic of what is known as fearlessrless and it is followed by true knowledge. Now that which goes by the name of purification of the mind should be known by the following signs. Just as the ashes do not burn nor are extinguished, or as the moon has the subtlest phase when the new moon night is gone, but the first day of the lunar month is yet to dawn (71-75) or the river Ganges is in its natural state when its flood of the rainy season has subdued but before the summer has begun, so the intellect, after discarding desires and doubts and dropping the burden of rajas and tamas qualities, develops a liking for meditation on the Self and so it is not disturbed the least if the senses present to it desirable and undersirable sense- objects. Just as the mind of a chaste wife pining for her husband who has gone to a distant place is not deflected by any consideration of loss or gain, so the intellect becomes fond of the Self and solely devoted to it. This state is known as the purity of the inward disposition, so said Lord Krishna, the killer of demon Keshi. (76-80) Then for attaining this Self one has to make one's mind steady on either knowledge or yoga and discard all other worldly ideas. Just as a person free from desire should make his final offering at the conclusion of the sacrifice, or a man of good family should give his daughter in marriage to a boy from a noble family and live in peace, or the goddess Lakshmi, after coming out of the churning of the Milky sea, should wed only Lord Vishnu, so he should engage himself in the yoga or knowledge, being free from doubts. This is the third characteristic of knowledge, so said Lard Krishna. Now true charity consists in not refusing help through body, speech and mind to a person in distress, even though he be an enemy and in not sending him empty-handed (81-85). O winner of wealth, just as a roadside tree never fails to give to a passer by its flowers and fruits, shade, roots and its leaves, so one offers wholeheartedly, as the occasion demands, corn or money to a tired guest to his satisfaction. This is charity and it is a sort of antimony, which helps a person to discover the hidden treasure of liberation. Now I shall tell you the characteristics of sense-restraint. Like a warrior who kills his enemy with his sword, the yogi does not allow the senses to combine against him but instead he brings about their separation. He prevents sense-objects from storming his mind through the doors of the senses and so by harnessing the senses through regular practice brings them under the sway of self-restraint (86-90). He sets fire of non-attachment to the ten sconces, so that their natural propensity to activity deserts the mind. He observes many vows more rigorous than breath-control without a moment's pause. This is the sign of what is known as dama or restraint of the senses.

    I shall now tell you briefly the characteristics of sacrifice. Beginning with Brahmins and ending with women they should observe the injunctions and perform their religious duties as laid down in the scriptures. (91-95) The brahmin should perform the six duties prescribed by the scriptures and the sudra should pay homage to the brahmin by which both of them acquire the merit of performing a sacrifice. In this way everyone should perform a sacrifice according to his qualification. but should not pollute the sacrifice by the expectation of its fruit. He should not entertain the egoistic feeling that he is the performer of the sacrifice, but he should follow the dictates of the Vedas in this regard. O Arjuna, this is what is called sacrifice as laid down in the scripture and it becomes the knowledgeable guide in the journey towards liberation. Now one throws the ball on the ground so that it should rebound and come into the hand or the farmer sows seed in the field in order to reap the harvest later (96-100). One takes the lamp in hand for finding a thing in the dark or one waters the tree at the roots for the growth of its branches and fruits. Likewise one willingly keeps the mirror clean in order to see one's face clearly in it. In the same way, one has to study the Vedas continuously in order to comprehend the nature of God, who is propounded by them. The Brahmins should, for example, study the aphorisms on the Brahman, and others should repeat the hymns and mutter the name of God. Lord Krishna says that this is what is known as sacred 'study' (svadhyaya).

    Now, I shall tell you the meaning of austerity (101-105). The bitter colocynth withers after bearing fruit, the incense burns itself in order to give fragrance to others, the gold sheds its weight by burning to become pure, or the moon wanes in the dark fortnight of the lunar month to nourish medicinal plants. So, O Arjuna, to chasten one's life, senses and body is called austerity. The other kinds of austerities should be properly scrutinised before accepting them. Just as the royal swan puts his beak in milk mixed with water and separates the milk, so he keeps awake in his mind discrimination and separates the Self from the body, with which it is in conjunction. (106-110) When a person cogitates on the Self, his intellect contracts itself (i.e. withdraws itself from mundane things) and becomes introspective, in the same way as both sleep and dream cease after one wakes up. O Arjuna, that by which one turns to the thought of the Self, that is the true nature of austerity. Just as the mother's milk is good for the infant or consciousness abides equally in all beings, so polite behaviour towards all beings is known as 'uprightness'.

  2. Non-injury, truthfulness, absence of wrath, relinquishment, tranquillity, non-calumny, compassion for creatures, lack of greed, gentleness, humility, absence of fickleness,

    Now to conduct oneself with body, speech and mind with the sole object of making the world happy is the essence of non-violence. The bud of a flower, although pointed, is soft and the moonlight, although lustrous is cool. (111-115) There is no medicine which will cure the disease but has no bitter taste and so bears no comparison with truth. Just as water, brushed against the eyeball, does not prick it, but the same water pierces through hard rocks, so (speech), though hard as steel in dispelling doubt but more pleasant to the ears than sweetness; penetrates through to Brahman on the strength of its truthfulness (116-120). The hunter's song is sweet to the ears, but the motive behind it is bad; the Are performs its work of burning openly; but fie upon such outrageous truth! So that speech which is sweet to hear but pierces the heart with its import is not sublime but is verily fiendish. The mother's anger is harsh on the surface but is tender like a flower in cherishing and protecting the child. So the speech which is like a mother's talk pleasant to hear and is beneficial in its consequence and is at the same time free from passion, that is truthful speech.

    Now just as a rock, sprinkled with water, does not produce sprouts, or butter cannot be secured by churning whey (121-125) or the slough of a cobra does not raise its hood when trampled upon, or the sky does not grow flowers in the spring, or even the sight of the nymph Rambha does not excite passion in the mind of sage Shuka, or ghee poured on ashes cannot kindle Are or prostrating before god Brahma does not make a dead person rise again, so when the utterance of words, which makes even an innocent child red with anger, does not produce wrath in him, that is the state of 'absence of anger', so said Lord Krishna to Arjuna (126-130). Now if one abandons the clay, one abandons the earthen pot; if one abandons the yarn, one abandons the cloth and if one abandons the seed, one abandons the tree. So if one abandons the wall, sleep, water, rainy season and riches, one automatically abandons the painting (on the wall), the dream, ripples, clouds and sensuous enjoyments respectively. In the same way enlightened persons relinquish the worldly affairs by abandoning the body-consciousness. This is known as tyaga, relinquishment (of fruit of action), so said Lord Krishna, the enjoyer of sacrifice.

    Comprehending it, the lucky Partha asked (131-135), "O Lord, tell me in very clear terms the characteristics of tranquillity". Then the Lord replied, it is a good question, now listen attentively. Tranquillity is that state in which the knowable object is fully known, and both the knower and the knowledge cease to exist. When at the time of the deluge the waters flood the entire universe and pervade it through and through everywhere, then all distinctive terms such as the source, current, joining the sea etc. become obliterated and no one is even aware that the whole world is covered with water; in the same way when the knower becomes one with the knowable object, "the state of knowing" also ceases to exist and whatever remains is the true nature of tranquillity (136-140).

    A good physician treats a patient suffering from illness or mental anguish, without caring whether the patient belongs to his circle or is a total stranger. or one extricates a cow stuck in the mire without pausing to see whether she is a milch-cow or a dry cow. or one saves the life of a drowning person without asking him whether he is a brahmin or a shudra. or a gentleman does not look at a woman disrobed by a wicked person in a dense forest, until she gets properly dressed. In the same way, to those who have become addicted to despicable deeds owing to ignorance, heedlessness or as a result of their past actions (141-145) he imparts his goodness and makes them forget the misery which afflicts them. He purges the deficiencies of those who come to him by his glance and then looks at them with favour. Just as one offers worship to God and then fixes his mind upon him, or one sows the seed and goes to the field to protect the crop, or as one satisfies the guest and seeks his blessings, so he looks at others after making their deficiencies good by his meritorious conduct. Not only this, but he does not taunt others for their foibles, and does not involve them in wicked deeds nor does he point his finger at their short-comings (146-150). He uplifts the persons who are depraved without taunting them for their weak points and he does not belittle them by comparing them with noble men. This is the true sign of absence of slander and it is an easy means of transport in the journey towards liberation.

    Now compassion should be like this. Just as the moon on the full-moon night does not distinguish between persons as great or small in making them cool, so he relieves the misery of a person in distress without pausing to think whether he is noble or mean (151-155). Is there anything in this world other than water, which perishes itself and saves the withering grass? So even if he has to give all, he relieves the suffering of a person and thinks it a small sacrifice. Just as water does not flow over a ditch without filling it, so he does not take a step forward without comforting a tired person he comes across. Just as a shooting pain resulting from a prick of a thorn registers itself on one's face, he feels compassion at the suffering of others. Just as the eyes benefit from the cooling sensation of the sole, he fees happy by seeing others happy (156-160). His very living is meant for relieving the suffering of others, as water is created in this world to quench thirst. Such a person is compassion incarnate and I become beholden to him since his life began. With the sunrise the lotus blooms, but the sun does not smell it. When the spring comes, the trees look fresh with foliage, but he passes on without enjoying that scenic beauty. When goddess Lakshmi approaches Lord Vishnu along with all miraculous powers, he does not even take notice of her. (161-165) In the same way, even if the pleasures of this and the next world come to him, he does not feel like enjoying them. In short, that state in which he does not entertain any desire for sensuous pleasures, is known as non-covetousness.

    Just as the honey-comb is dear to the bee, water to the aquatic creatures, or the open sky to the birds, so he behaves gently with all beings. His gentleness is like the love of the mother for her child, like the soft and fragrant breeze blowing on the Malaya mountain at the advent of the spring, or the sight of dear and near ones to the eyes, or the fond look of a female tortoise which nourishes its chicks (166-170). Had the camphor, which is soft to the touch, tasty to the mouth, fragrant to the nose and clean in appearance, not been harmful when taken in a large quantity, it would have served as a good simile for this gentleness. Just as the space which carries all the gross elements in its compass, is contained in the smallest atom or assumes the form of the universe, so he lives his life only for the entire world. I call that state of his gentleness.

    A king, when defeated, feels depressed or a self-respecting person becomes dispirited when reduced to a low position (171-175). A worthy ascetic becomes crest-fallen when he Ands himself in the house of a low-caste person, or a member of the warrior-caste feels ashamed when he flees from a battlefield. A chaste wife (with her husband living) feels abashed when she is called a widow, or when a handsome fellow suffering from leprosy feels as if he is in the throes of death or a respectable person feels the same when he is accused of a shameful act. In the same way, he feels ashamed to live like a corpse in the body three and half cubit long, to go through birth and death again and again or to pass his time in a womb, which is a mould of fat filled with blood and urine (176-180). In short, he does not think anything more disgraceful than to get into such a body and assume name and form. The nausea which a sinless person feels for such a loathsome body is known as humility, but a shameless person derives great pleasure in it. Just as the movement of a puppet comes to a stop with the snapping of the string (in the hand of the puppeteer), so his organs of action cease their activity when he practises breath-control. Just as the rays of the sun cease after sunset, so his organs of sense cease to function with self-control. In this way all the ten senses become feeble and this is known -as absence of fickleness (181-185).

  3. Vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, absence of envy and pride these, O Bharata, belong to one born to the divine endowment.

    When a person longs to pursue the path of knowledge for God-realisation, he does not feel the lack of strength. There is nothing so dreadful than immolation, but a chaste wife does not hesitate to enter the pyre of her dead husband. In the same way, a person longing to attain his Lord, the Self, rejects sensuous pleasures like poison and treads the difficult path leading to the formless Brahman. In this journey he is not obstructed by precepts or prohibitions nor is he lured by the miraculous powers. In this way, his mind is directed, of its own accord, towards the Supreme Self and this is known as spiritual vigour. (186-190) Now as the body is not aware of the numerous hair on it, so one is not proud that he is the best among those blessed with patience. This absence of pride is known as forbearance. When the senses have a strong appetite for sensuous pleasures, or a dormant disease raises its head, or one has to suffer separation from the dear and near ones and association with undesirable ones, when a person is flooded with such calamities, he stands Arm and faces it squarely like sage Agastya. Just as a gentle breeze disperses a heavy column of smoke in the sky, so he digests all the three classes of corporeal, physical and supernatural afflictions, if they fall to his lot (191-195). To sustain courage and stand steadfast on occasions of extreme perturbation of the mind is what is known as fortitude. When a gold pot is cleaned and filled with water of the Ganges, it becomes pure. Purity is like that. Disinterested activity and discrimination of the mind are the signs of external and internal purity. Just as the water of the Ganges eliminates the sins and afflictions of those who bathe in it and also nourishes the trees on its banks, or as the Sun makes his rounds in the sky, dispelling darkness. and opening chambers of beauty (196-200), so he liberates persons from their bondage, lifts up those drowning in the sea of worldly existence and relieves the sufferings of persons in distress-nay, he thinks that in promoting the happiness of others day and night he is furthering his own interest. He never entertains even the idea of causing harm to others to serve his self-interest. This, O Arjuna, is what is called absence of envy and I have told it in such a way that it is easy for you to understand. O Partha, just as the Ganga became ashamed when Lord Shiva bore her on his head, so to feel abashed when honoured (201-205) is known as absence of pride. I have explained this to you before (XIII-7) and so why should I repeat it now? This is the divine endowment consisting of twenty-six virtues, which is a gift of the Supreme Self, the sovereign of salvation. This divine endowment is like the river Ganga flowing with holy waters in the form of these virtues, who has descended to save Sagara in the form of the detached Yogi. Or it is like the bride with a garland in her hands, who has come to wed a person who is selfless. It is as though the Gita, holding a lamp with twenty-six flames in the form of these virtues, has come to wave it in front of her Lord, the Supreme Self (206-210). Or it is as though spotless pearls in the form of these virtues have come out from the mother-of-pearl in the form of the divine endowment from the sea in the form of the Gita. Now how much more should I describe this divine endowment? It is not sufficient to know it but realise it. So I have described to you the characteristics of this endowment of a person who is endowed with these virtues.

    Now know well the demoniacal endowment which is full of misery and demerits like a creeper full of thorns. Even if a thing is of no use and fit to be discarded, one has to know it well in order to abandon it. In this demoniacal endowment all the faults have combined to give hellish afflictions to the beings (211-215). As if all venoms are blended to form a deadly poison, the collection of all faults is this demoniacal endowment.

  4. Hypocrisy, arrogance and conceit, wrath as also harshness and ignorance - these, O Partha, belong to one born to the demoniacal endowment.

    That which is well-known as the foremost fault in the demoniacal endowment is hypocrisy. If the mother, even though sacred, is brought naked before the public, it leads one, .to perdition. The esoteric knowledge received from the preceptor leads to good results, but it causes harm if it is proclaimed publicly. A boat rescues persons caught in a great flood and takes them safe to the other shore; but a person who carries it on his head is drowned (216-220). O Son of Pandu, food ordinarily sustains life; but if one stuffs himself with it because it is tasty, it acts like poison. Therefore, if a religious act which is a friend in this and the next world, is proclaimed publicly, it causes more harm than good. O warrior, if religious acts performed by one are given wide publicity, they become impious. Know that this is hypocrisy. (Now to talk about arrogance) just as a foolish person who has just learnt his alphabets is not satisfied by a conference of persons well-versed. in Vedic lore or the insolent horse of an expert horseman scoffs at Airavata (elephant of god Indra), or a chameleon, who has climbed a thorny tree, considers the heaven as too low (221-225), or the flames of fire fed on grass reach even the sky, or the Ash in a pond holds the sea in contempt, in the same way a person becomes intoxicated with the possession of a wife, riches, education, praise and great honour like a beggar who becomes intoxicated by eating food given by others. It is as though an unlucky person, after seeing the shade of clouds, should pull down his house or a foolish person, after seeing the mirage, should fill up his well. In the same way, know that being puffed up with pride on account of one's riches is arrogance.

    The mankind has full faith in the Vedas and so holds God who illumines the world in high reverence (226-230). It aspires for a high place, even sovereignty in the universe and likes that it should not meet with death. There can be no dispute about this. If, therefore, men sing zealously the praise of Vedas and God, he becomes furious with envy after hearing it. He says, "I shall swallow God, destroy the Vedas and their authority with my might." In the way the moth dislikes the light of the lamp, the glow-worm hates the sun or the lapwing bears enmity with the sea, he does not bear through conceit to hear even name of God, if uttered in his presence. He treats even his father with a hostile feeling out of fear that he will ask for a share in his wealth (231-235). He is a person, who is stiff with self-importance,' overbearing and full of infatuation. This conceit is a high-way to hell.

    (Now hear about wrath). His mind (i.e. of a demoniacal person) is poisoned by fiery wrath, when he happens to see others happy. If a drop of water is added to boiling water, it shoots up and when the jackal sees the moon, he becomes furious. The owl loses its vision at the rising of the sun, who illumines the world. The morning which gives pleasure is more painful to the thief than death and milk given to a serpent turns into poison (236-240). The submarine fire flares up by drinking sea water and never cools down. In the same way, when he sees the learning, luxurious living and good fortune of others, he becomes flush with anger. Know that this is wrath. (Now hear about harshness). He whose mind is like the hole of a serpent, whose sight is as fiery as a sharp-pointed arrow, whose speech is like the shower of live coals, whose actions are like a sharp saw and whose conduct is painful to others, is vile among men and harshness incarnate.

    Now I shall tell you the characteristics of ignorance (241-245). Just as a rock does not feel cold or hot or a person blind from birth does not know day from night or the Are does not know what it should consume and what not, or the philosopher's stone does not distinguish between iron and gold or a ladle does not know the taste of juices in which it is dipped or the wind does not know the difference between a highway and a by-path, so he is blind to good and bad actions. Just as a child puts anything in its mouth without knowing whether it is good or bad (246-250), he consumes the hotchpotch of merit and sin without knowing whether it is bitter or sweet. There is no doubt that this state of mind is ignorance.

    Thus I have explained to you the six faults, which have given strength to the demoniacal endowment. Even if the viper is tiny, its poison is deadly. Even if the fires namely world-conflagration at the time of dissolution, Are of lightning and the sub-marine fire are only three in number, the world is not sufficient for a ritual offering to them. When one suffers from the derangement of the three humours of the body (phlegm, wind and bile), one cannot escape death even if he seeks the protection of god Brahma. Now here are six faults, twice the number three (251-255) and since the demoniacal endowment is founded on these six faults, it never lacks anything. As if there should be a conjunction of evil planets in one sign of the zodiac or sins should pursue a slanderer, or all ' the ailments should attack a person when he is at the point of death or there should be a conjunction of evil planets, at an inauspicious time, or one trusting a thief should get into his clutches, or an exhausted person should fall into a great flood so these six faults are disastrous to a person. These six faults pounce upon a person in the same way as a seven-stinged scorpion should sting a dying sheep (256-260). Even if a dribble of these six faults falls upon a person who has taken to the path of liberation, he sinks in worldly affairs and, descending the steps of vile births, he reaches the bottom and takes birth into the species of the immovable (such as trees and stones). In short, these six faults combine to enhance the demoniacal endowment. In this way, I have explained to you the different characteristics of these two endowments which are famous in the world.

  5. The divine endowment is known to lead to release, and the demoniacal to bondage. Grieve not, for you are born to the divine endowment, O son of Pandu.

    Know that of the two the first, namely the divine endowment, is the dawn before the sunrise in the form of liberation. (261-265) The other demoniacal endowment is verily like an iron chain in the form of infatuation binding the Self. But do not entertain any apprehension after hearing this. Does the sun ever feel afraid of the night? O winner of wealth, only he who gives shelter to these six faults, is fettered by them. O Arjuna, you are born in such a way that you are the treasure of the divine virtues just mentioned. O Partha, you should become the lord of these divine virtues and enjoy the bliss of liberation in course of time (266-270).

  6. There are two creations of beings in this world; the divine and the demoniacal. The divine has been told at length; hear from Me, O Partha, of the demoniacal.

    The actions of persons endowed with the divine and demoniacal endowments flow in different paths from time immemorial. Just as the thieves and other men transact their business during the night and the day respectively, so those who belong to the divine and demoniacal orders carry on their business. I have explained to you in detail the divine endowment earlier, while describing the means of knowledge. Now I shall speak to you about the persons who belong to the demoniacal order. Please give your careful attention (271-275). Just as there is no musical sound without a musical instrument or honey without flowers, so this demoniacal endowment does not become perceptible except when it takes recourse to a human body. Then just as the Are latent in Are-sticks remains pervading it, so the demoniacal endowment resorts to a human body and takes charge of it. It goes on expanding with the growth of the body in the same way as the juice in the sugar cane increases with the growth of the cane. O Arjuna, now I shall mention to you the characteristics of those who possess the demoniacal endowment (276-280).

  7. The demoniacal do not know when to act and when to refrain from action. They have no truthfulness, nor purity nor right conduct.

    His mind is ignorant about what meritorious acts he should perform and what sinful acts he should avoid. Just as a silk-worm shuts itself in a cocoon, without knowing whether there is an exit to get out of it or a fool advances his money to a thief without considering whether he will return it, so the persons who are endowed with demoniacal endowment do not know what they should do or avoid, nor do they dream what purity is like. The coal may at times abandon its dark colour or the crow may become fair (in complexion) or a demon may feel sick of meat (281-285); but these demoniacal persons will have no purity like a decanter filled with wine. They do not like the dictates of scriptures and do not go the way of their elders, nor do they know what is good conduct. As the sheep grazes wherever it likes, or the wind blows at its sweet will or the fire burns everything unchecked, so these demoniacal persons behave without restraint and develop deadly enmity towards truth. If a scorpion could tickle with its sting (286-290) or if the wind released by the anus be sweet-smelling, then one can find truth in them. Even if they do nothing, they are wicked by nature. I shall' now tell the peculiar way in which they talk. Can you find any limbs in a camel which are straight and decent-looking? The ways of these demoniacal persons are like that. I shall tell you something about it as the occasion demands. Words come out of their mouths like columns of smoke from the mouth of a chimney.

  8. They assert that the universe is godless, without truth and without moral foundation. It is born from the mutual union (of man and woman) - what else? It is caused by passion.

    People believe (they say) that this world has existed from time without beginning and that God is its controller and ruler. There the Vedas hold a court and decide what is just and what is unjust. (291-295) Those who are adjudged immoral receive the punishment of life in hell and those who are adjudged as moral dwell happily in heaven. They say that this governance of the world, which has come from eternity, is all false. (They further say that) those who are crazy about sacrifice are deceived by it. Those who are mad after deities are misled by idol-worship and the yogis, who wear ochre-coloured robes, are duped by the illusion of samadhi (abstract meditation). They contend that whatever one can secure through one's ability one should enjoy it; is there, they argue any good other than this? They further argue as follows: it is sin not to have the stamina to gather objects of sense-enjoyment and not enjoy them on account of one's physical disability (296-300). If it is sin to kill a rich person, the acquisition of his property is the fruit of merit. If it is harmful for the strong to destroy the weak, how is it that the big fish who devour the small ones are not annihilated through lack of progeny? Couples get married at auspicious moment after a proper enquiry into the background of their families with the object of begetting good progeny. But the lower orders progeny; who gets them married after fixing the auspicious time for their marriages? Have the stolen riches ever proved poisonous to anyone? Do persons, who commit adultery out of love, ever suffer from leprosy? (301-305) The scriptures say that there is god who rules the world and dispenses the fruits of actions, both righteous and unrighteous and one has to suffer the fruit of one's actions in the next world. But all this is false, as no one can see the next world or god. When the doer of the meritorious deed or sin meets his death, who remains to experience the fruit of his actions? As we see, the worms find pleasure in refuse as much as the lord of heaven does in the company of nymph Urvashi. So neither heaven nor hell is a reward for merit or retribution of sin. In both cases it is the satisfaction of sexual urge, which brings happiness. The world is born and sustained through the union of men and women under the urge of passion (306-310). This passion promotes whatever is beneficial to man and (when it is thwarted), it destroys the world through mutual hatred. The men of demonical temperament thus aver that there is no other cause of the world except sexual passion. Let us stop this discussion on an odious subject which only exhausts the tongue.

  9. Holding fast to this view, these lost souls of feeble wit and of fierce deeds, come forth to destroy the world as its enemies.

    Thus they scorn God and indulge in empty talk. Not only this, but they have reached the firm conviction that there is no god. In fact the give the impression of being heretics and atheism seems to be rooted in their bones. (311-315) The saplings (faint glimmerings) of faith in heaven and dread for hell in their minds get withered. Then they are caught in the stock of a body and like bubbles in dirty water they sink in the mire of sensual pleasures. Just as when the death of fish becomes imminent, the fishermen gather at the lake to catch them, so diseases of all kinds raise by sin (316-320). Just as fire does not look round while burning things, so they destroy everyone who comes within their orbit. Now I shall describe to you with what zeal they commit such misdeeds, so said lord Krishna to Arjuna.

  10. Resorting to insatiable passion, full of hypocrisy, pride and arrogance, they act with impure vows holding false views through delusion.

    Even if one pours water in a net, it does not get filled up and the fire is not satisfied with any quantity of firewood. So the demonical men resort to lust which easily takes the first rank among insatiable things and which is hard to satisfy and give it the aid of hypocrisy and false pride. Just as an elephant in rut becomes wild if given an alcoholic drink, they get puffed up with pride as they grow old. (321-325) when folly gets added to obstinacy, which is ingrained in their body, there is hardly any limit to their perversity. They are from their very birth habituated to doing acts which cause harm to others and destroy their lives. They look down upon the world and proclaim their exploits from their housetops. They spread the net of their desires in all directions and go on increasing their misdeeds with great excitement, in the same way as a stray cow goes on grazing wherever it likes.

  11. Beset with countless worries that last until death, they become immersed in the gratification of desires, convinced that that is all.

    With this object in view they conduct their affairs and also feel anxious about their state after death. (326-330) this anxiety is deeper than the nether world and higher than the sky and in comparison with it evens the three worlds looks insignificant. Just as the yogi feels anxiety whether he is observing the rules of yoga properly, so this unrestrained worry does not leave him. Just as chaste wife does not leave her husband, these demonical persons, longing for sense-enjoyments, suffer acute anxiety to secure them. They are fond of hearing the women sing, beholding their beauty and clasping them in close embrace, and feel like throwing away nectar to gain this happiness. They are fully convinced that there is no happiness, which is greater than what one receives from a woman (331-335). To secure that happiness they are ever ready to go to the heaven, the nether world or beyond the quarters.

  12. Bound by hundred ties of hope, given wholly to passion and anger, they seek, for the sake of sensual gratification, to amass wealth by unlawful means.

    Just as the fish swallows without thought the hook for the sake of the bait, sexual desire makes them reckless. If they do not succeed in securing their objects of desire, they go on spinning futile hopes like the silkworm, who spins a web round itself. If their desire is thwarted, it turns into hatred and then they think that the human life has no other worthy end than the fulfilment of desire and anger. Like a watchman who has to keep a watch during the day and do the patrolling by night, they do not get any rest (336-340). So these demonical beings roll down from the cliffs of (unfulfilled) desires and dash against the rocks of hatred, but inspire of this their penchant for desire and wrath does not diminish. When they feel such intense longing for sense-enjoyments, how can they satisfy it without lucre? So they assail the world to secure wealth sufficient for the satisfaction of their desires. They wait for an opportunity to catch a person single and then kill him, completely robe some one and hatch out a plot to ruin another. Just as a hunter goes to hunt on the mountain equipped with snares, snacks, nets, dogs, falcons, pairs of tongs, spears etc. ( 341-345) and kill many creatures to earn their living, so they too perform evil deeds. Now hear with what gusto they acquire riches by destroying the lives of other creatures.

  13. "This I have earned to day; this desire I shall gain (next); this is already mine, more riches will come in future."

    The demonical person says, "I have seized the riches of others, how blessed I am! No sooner he goes boasting like this than an intense longing catches hold of his mind. He says, "I shall still rob the riches of other men and suing this money as capital, I shall secure all movable and immovable property I can lay my hands on (346-350). I shall thus become the master of the world's riches and I shall appropriate whatever comes within my ken.

  14. "That enemy has been slain by me; I shall kill other too. I am the master, I am the enjoyed; I am successful, powerful and happy."

    The enemies I have killed so far are few. I shall slay some more and live happily a luxurious life. I shall make other slave for me and destroy the rest. In short, I shall become the master of the entire universe. I shall be the king of this world and enjoy all pleasures, and even Indra, the lord of heaven, will feel shame seeing my glory. How cans anything which I take up in my hand with body, speech and mind not be completed? Who else is there to command and be implicitly obeyed (351-355)? Even Death can boast of its prowess, so long as it has not seen my power. Truly, I am the sole repository

  15. "I am rich and of noble birth; who else is there equal to me? I shall perform sacrifices, give alms and rejoice" so they think, deluded by ignorance.

    Kuber is no doubt rich, but he too is not my peer in riches, and even the lord of goddess of wealth does not possess riches equal to mine. Even god Brahma would look deficient compared to the greatness of my family and the assemblage of my kith and kin. So no one who boasts of being God can equal me. I shall now revive the black magic that has become extinct and perform sacrifices in order to cause pain to other beings (356-360). I shall shower gifts on those who will sing my praise and entertain myself with dancing and melodramatic shows. I shall appropriate all happiness in this world partaking of intoxicating dishes and drinks and enjoying the embraces of women." In short, in this way these crazy persons of demonical temperament long with great hope to smell the flower of the sky.

  16. Bewildered by many such fancies, caught in the web of delusion and addicted to sensual enjoyments, they fall into foul hell.

    Just as a patient raves at random in delirious fever, so these demonical men babble their fancies. The dust in the form of their ignorance rises high and become the whirlwind in the form of hope, which keeps on soaring in the sky in the form of desires. (361-365). Just as clouds appear in the sky one after another in the month of Ashadha (July) or the waves form on the sea continuously, so their desires grow for constant sensuous enjoyments. Then their designs grow and spread like a creeper, but they are shattered like flowers when they are snatched from the thorny bushes or like an earthen pot dashed against a rock. As the intensity of darkness increases with the advancing night, infatuation grows in their minds, giving rise to a passion for sensual pleasures, which breeds sinful acts (366-370). When the sin derives strength and becomes crowded, then they suffer hellish life even in this world.

    Therefore, O talented Arjuna, harbouring such wicked desires in their minds, these demonical men come to dwell (after death) in those places, where there are trees with sharp-edged leaves like swords, where there are mountains of live coals of khadira trees (agacia catachus), where seas of boiling oil rush forth, where there are a series of agonising tortures devised by the god of death; into such a hell they fall. Although born in this world but destined to fall into hell they fall. Although born in this world but destined to fall into hell, they too perform sacrifices assiduously in an infatuated state. (371-375) but, O Arjuna, even though such prescribed sacrificial rites are in order and should be performed as enjoined, they prove fruitless as they are performed with ostentation as in a dramatic performance. This is like a whore who lives under the protection of her lover and remains contented, pretending to be a loyal wife.

  17. Self – glorifying and stubborn, drunk with wealth and pride, they offer sacrifices in name only, ostentatiously not conforming to scriptural injunctions.

    In this way, they put on airs of greatness and become puffed up with pride. Then they remain rigid like a cast-iron pillar or a rock rising up high in the sky, living in comfort and luxury. On the strength of their riches, they look down upon others as if they are blades of grass (376-380). Moreover, intoxicated with the pride of wealth, they dismiss from their minds all thoughts of what is proper or improper. When such things accumulate and crowd in their minds, how could they be expected to perform sacrifices as prescribed? But one cannot be sure as to what such half-crazy persons will do. Some times in a frenzy of foolishness they are ready to perform a sacrifice sanctimoniously. For this, they do not need a sacrificial pit, nor a pavilion, nor an altar nor the materials necessary for a sacrifice and they are ever opposed to scriptural injunctions. They cannot bear to hear the names of deities and Brahmin priests wafted on their ears by a breeze. In such a situation who will care to attend their sacrifice? (381-385). But just as clever persons, stuffing the skin of a dead calf with rice straw and keeping it before the cow, milk it, so they invite people under the pretext of a sacrifice in order to exact presents from them. So they perform sacrifices some times to gain prosperity and desire the ruin of other people.

  18. Given to egoism, strength, arrogance, passion and wrath, these malicious persons cavil at me in their own and other' bodies.

    Then beating big kettle-drums and unfurling flags, they show themselves off as initiated sacrifices, but all this is in vain. These mean persons become self-conceited by this false greatness. As darkness given a coating of lamp-black becomes more dark, (386-390) so their folly and arrogance increase and their egotism and thoughtlessness become doubled. Then they increase their power still more, so that no one should take anybody else's name. Thus, when their egotism increases, the sea of their arrogance crosses its limits. When their arrogance becomes exuberant, their passion gets excited and in its heat the fire of wrath is kindled. Then just as a big store of oil and ghee catches a blazing fire in hot season, and it becomes fanned by a strong wind (391-195), so their egotism becomes strong and their arrogance becomes shrouded in passion and wrath. When these two (egotism and arrogance) combine, will they then hesitate to cause injury to others according to their whims? O archer, they offer in sacrifices their own blood and flesh in order to secure success in black magic. When they torture their body in this way, I, dwelling in their body also suffer. And when they cause harm to others through black magic, they cause suffering to me, who dwell in their bodies as self (396-400). If any person escapes from the clutches of this black magic, they belabour them with their sly gossip. These demonical persons hurl sharp and poisoned arrows of slander at chaste women, saints, men of charitable disposition, great ascetics and monks, or devotees and magnanimous souls, who are my favourite places of abode, which have become holy by the performance of scriptural rites.

  19. I always throw such evil, hateful, cruel and vile men in the world into demonical wombs.

    Now hear how I deal with these sinful persons who are always hostile to me. (401- 405). Those, who assuming a human body, bear hatred to the world, I deprive them of their human form and deal with them as follows. I place these fools in the tamsic orders in the dunghill of the hamlet in the form of afflictions or the drain-water of the town in the form of worldly life. Then I make sure that they take birth in the species of tiger, scorpion etc. in forests where they cannot even have grass to eat. Suffering from pangs of hunger, they bite their own flesh and after death take birth in the same order again and again. Or I give them birth in the holes, where in the heat of their own poison, their skins get parched (406-410). I do not allow these wicked persons to rest even for a brief span of time taken by the exhalation of the breath. I do not release them from their agonies, even if they have to remain in these conditions for a number of kalpas. This in fact in the first step in the long journey leading to their ultimate destination. Will they not then suffer greater agonies when they reach their final destination?

  20. Thus attaining demonical wombs, they become deluded birth after birth and sink into the lowest state; without attaining me, o son of Kunti.

    Because of their demonical nature they sink into the vilest state. Then I deprive them of whatever little solace they have in the body of the species of tiger etc. (411-415) and throw them into the state of tamas, in which even darkness in blacked out. This state of tamas is abhored by sin and dreaded by hell and the travail caused by it makes toil giddy. The contact of these demonical persons makes even filth more filthy, makes toil giddy. The contact of these demonical persons makes even filth more filthy, makes heat more heated and makes the abject fear tremble. They are detested even by sins, even inauspicious things find their touch unpropitious and even pollution is afraid of being polluted by them. O winner of wealth, in this way these vile persons, after suffering birth in many tamasic species, ultimately reach this tamas state (416-420). The faculty of speech mourns while describing this state and the mind becomes startled by its remembrance. Alas, what means have these fools accumulated to earn life in hell! Why do they cherish unnecessarily this demonical nature which leads to such a dreadful fall? Therefore, O Arjuna, you should avoid visiting the places where these demonically endowed persons dwell. And do I have to tell you that you should shun the company of those who possess in a great measure the six faults such as hypocrisy?

  21. This is the triple gate to hell, which spells doom for the self-passion, anger and greed; therefore, one should discard these three.

    O Arjuna, know that wherever these three, passion, wrath and greed are in the ascendant, there is sure to be an abundant crop of evil things (421-425). All miseries in this world have posted them as their guides, so that they bring persons to meet them. Or one can say that this triad forms and assemblage of all sins to push the sinners into hell. So long as these three faults do not arise in man's mind, the existence of hell is not known beyond the scriptures. Because of them, calamities occur with ease, agonies become cheap and what is ordinarily called ruin is not really so; these three spell real ruin. O great warrior, this three-pointed spike of vile faults is verily a gate to hell (426-430). He who receives these three wholeheartedly occupies a place of honour in the assembly-hall of hell. It is for this reason, O Arjuna, I repeat again and again that you should discard this evil triad of faults.

  22. A person, O son of Kunti (Arjuna), who is freed from these three gates of darkness, practises what is good for him and then reaches the highest goal.

    One who becomes free from this triad of mental disorders can think of achieving the four ends of human life. So long as these mental disorders are active in anybody's mind, he will not achieve weal. If anyone says that he wills, I am not going to listen to him, so said lord Krishna. He further said, anyone who longs for his own good or is afraid of his doom, should remain watchful and should not cherish these three faults (431-435). If one can hope to cross the sea on the strength of his arms after tying a stone round his belly or to survive after eating a meal of deadly poison, then alone can one expect to achieve the goal of life in association with passion, wrath and greed. So you should wipe them out without leaving a trace of them. If one can break the chain of these three faults, then one can walk comfortably on the path of happiness. He who has got rid of these three faults becomes happy like a body freed from the three disorders (phlegm, wind and bile) or like a town free from theft, malicious gossip and a town free from theft, malicious gossip and harlotry or like a mind free from three-fold affiliations. He then secures the company of righteous persons and treads the path of liberation (436-440). Then on the strength of the company of the virtuous persons and under the guidance of the scriptures, he crosses the waste lowlands in the form of births and deaths. Thereafter, he attains the beautiful spot in the form of Guru's grace, where abides eternal bliss of self. There he meets the mother self, who is the acme of affection, and in whose embrace the kettle-drum of the world existence ceases to beat. Thus, he alone, who frees himself from passion, anger and greed wins the prize of self.

  23. (But) he, who ignoring the scriptural injunctions, lives indulging his desires, does not attain perfection, nor happiness nor the highest goal.

    Now he who has no liking for the attainment of the self and who indulges in passion and the rest, he brings his own ruin (441-445). He disregards the feathery Vedas, which are uniformly kind to all and which show, like the headlight, the path of merit and demerit. He shows scant regard to the rules of conduct laid down by the Vedas, neglects his own interests and indulges the senses. He clings to passion, anger and greed and does not ignore their dictates. Thus, he (giving up the highway to liberation) enters the jungle in the form of wild conduct and wanders freely there. He cannot free himself from these mental disorders even for a moment and he does not even dream of getting out of their clutches. In this way he loses the heavenly joys and cannot enjoy even the pleasures of this world (446-450). If a Brahmin enters the river to catch fish and is drowned, he incurs the obloquy of being a heretic. In this way, in the pursuit of sensuous enjoyments, he loses heaven and gets into the clutches of death. He thus gains neither the joys of heaven nor the pleasures of this world; then why talk of his securing liberation? In view of this, whoever under the urge of passion, strives for sensuous enjoyments, does not secure either worldly or heavenly pleasures or achieve salvation.

  24. Therefore let the scriptures be your authority for determining what is your duty and what is not. After knowing what is prescribed in the scriptures, you should do your work in this world.

For this reason, O dear Arjuna, one who has solicitude for his own good, should not disregard the dictates of the Vedas (451-455). A loyal wife wins the favour of her husband and thereby secures her good. The disciple who moulds his conduct keeping in mind the instruction of the preceptor, attains to the knowledge of the self. Moreover, if a person has hidden his treasure in a dark place, he has to take a lamp to get it back. In the same way, if one desires to master the four ends of life, he must show profound reverence to the rules laid down by the scriptures and codes of law (smriti). He should renounce what is forbidden by them, and even if it be a kingdom, he should treat it as a blade of grass. One should follow that is enjoined by the scriptures, even though it be deadly poison (456-460). How can one who has such implicit faith in the Vedas ever come to evil? O Arjuna, there is no mother in this world like the scripture who protects her child from evil and promotes its well-being. Therefore do not forsake this motherly scripture, which leads one to the attainment of the supreme and devote yourself to her with single-mindedness. O Arjuna, you are born in this world on the strength of your past deeds to demonstrate the fruitful message of the scriptures and you have won for yourself the nickname 'follower of Dharma' (meaning also younger brother of Yudhishthira who is also known as Dharma). You should, therefore, not do anything contrary to the Vedic precepts (461-465). You should judge the propriety or otherwise of your actions with sole reference to the scriptures. You should shun whatever is improper and carry out sincerely your duties to their completion. O talented Arjuna, you now possess the signet-ring in the form of intellect, which is held as valid all over the world. You have, therefore, become fit to guide the world by your conduct on the righteous path.

In this way, the lord explained to Arjuna the characteristics of the demonical nature and also the way of escape from it. Now Arjuna will question the lord on the nature of faith; please listen to it attentively (466-40). I am telling you though the grace of Shri Nivrittinatha what Sanjaya said to Dhritarashtra at the behest of sage Vyasa. O saints, if you look at me with your kind glances, I shall be as great as yourselves. Shri Jnanadeva says, kindly show me the favour of your attention so that I shall achieve my cherished object (471-475).


© Saibaba.Org and respective authors.