Bhagavad Gita English 16

”’अथ षोडशोऽध्यायः”’

The topics discussed in this chapter are:      










Glory of Purushottama Jnyana

19 to 20



VERSE – 16: 01

Symptoms of a yogi endowed with daive sampatti


अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिर्ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः ।

दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् ॥१६:१॥


abhayaṁ sattvasaṁśuddhirjñānayōgavyavasthitiḥ |

dānaṁ damaśca yajñaśca svādhyāyastapa ārjavam ||16:1||

अभयम् सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः

दानम् दमः च यज्ञ्ः च  स्वाध्यायः तपः  आर्जवम्


The blessed Lord said

अभयम्-fearlessness सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः- purity of mind ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः-steadfast in knowledge and yoga दानम्- charity दमः-control of senses च- and यज्ञ्ः-performence of sacrifice च-and  स्वाध्यायः-study of shastras तपः-austerity आर्जवम्- straight forwardness

The Supreme Divine Lord said: O scion of Bharata, these are the saintly virtues of those endowed with  divine nature—fearlessness, purity of mind, steadfastness in spiritual knowledge, charity, control of the senses, performance of sacrifice, study of the sacred books, austerity, and straightforwardness.


In the first three verses the Lord describes 26 divine qualities. These may be called divine estate दैवी संपत्ति.  संपत्ति means wealth. We all know the physical wealth or opulence. This leads us towards bondage.  But the divine opulence leads  us towards liberation. One who has tasted the divine affluence

disregards the physical wealth as peanuts. He has seen the best. Mother Sita gifted to hanuman a necklace of precious gems. Hanuman bit each bead and threw it away bcause the name of Ram was not written there. So, it should be a trash

  1. 1. अभयम्

The opposite of Bhaya is abhaya meaning fearlessness. We have several types of fear. e.g., fear of loss of prestige, fear of ignominy, fear of scandal, fear of ailment, fear of punishment by law or Lord. Then there is the greatest fear of death. The total absence of all these fears is called अभय. Such a man becomes intrepid.

  1. सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः Purity of mind or antahkarana. sattva or antahkarana represents the conglomeration of mind, intellect, memory and ego. Samshuddhi or samyak shuddhi is total purity. Mind is like a mirror. It has to be cleaned often. Mind is polluted by attractionsand repulsion, lust and anger. it is also polluted by our past actions. How to purify the mind? There are several methods. The second line speaks about dana, dama and yajnya. In addition to these three shama (control of mind), the practice of 4 D’s. The 4 D’s are: : discrimination, Dispassion, Disciplines and Deliverance. Then there are karmayoga and jnyana yoga. A man of pure mind does not cheat another by his action or speech. He does not involve in fraud and deceipt and evil actions.
  2. ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः Understanding the nature of Brahman is called knowledge or ज्ञान. This is acquired by shravana, manana and nidhidhyasana. Yoga योग is cessation of flow of thoughts in the mind, concentration of mind. व्यवस्थितिः

abiding of the mind in ज्ञान and योग

4.दानम्– or charity. It consist in giving away food, clothing, knowledge, medicine and other useful things in a disinterested spirit. Charity is not given with a feeling of superiorty but with a sense of greatfulness for the opportunity to help other beings. It helps in सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः Purity of mnd.

  1. दमः It is control of sense organs. It consists of disconnecting its contact with sense objects. (संस्पर्शजा, मात्रास्पर्श) Then the sense objects do not cause any temptation for its enjoyment.
  2. यज्ञ्ः In 4th chapter Krishna has described 12 types of yajnya starting with dravya yajnya. The scriptures mention about agnihotra, soma yaga etc. Dharma shastras mention about 5 mandatory sacrifices to be fallowed by a grihasta. These are देव यज्ञ, पित्र यज्ञ, भूत यज्ञ, मनुष्य यज्ञ, and ऋशि यज्ञ.   
  3. स्वाध्यायः-This word has two components स्व अध्याय. स्व means Atma. अध्याय or अध्ययन means study and teaching of scriptures. It leads to understanding the nature of Atman and spiritual progress. In taittiriya Upanishad the Guru addresses the students at the time of convocation, स्वाध्याय प्रवचनाभ्याम् न प्रवदितव्यम्. That means do not neglect your study and teaching.
  4. 8. तपः means heat as also penance. The body-mind-senses are such that, if we pamper them, they become pleasure-seeking, but if we restrain them, they become disciplined. Thus, austerity is the voluntary acceptance of hardships for purifying the body, mind, and intellect.
  5. आर्जवम् straight forwardness. honesty, candour. My

expressed opinion is same as is my thought. मनस्यॆकम् वचस्येकम् कर्मण्येकम् महात्मनः The noble people think as they speak and do as they speak.

Shankaracharya points out that the Lord has enumerated three qualities of jiva in 9th chapter. Here are they. मानुषी 9:11 आसुरी 9:12 and  दैवी 9:13. In order to explain these qualities in detail, 16th chapter starts with अभयम् सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः. The daivi sampatti liberates us from the bondage of world. The characters mentioned in asuri sampatti are binding in nature hurls us again and again into the objective world.  पुनरपि जननम् पुनरपि मरणम्

VERSE – 16: 02

Divine opulence  continued

अहिंसा सत्यमक्रोधस्त्यागः शान्तिरपैशुनम् ।

दया भूतेष्वलोलुप्त्वं मार्दवं ह्रीरचापलम् ॥१६:२॥

ahiṁsā satyamakrōdhastyāgaḥ śāntirapaiśunam |

dayā bhūtēṣvalōluptvaṁ mārdavaṁ hrīracāpalam ||16:2||

अहिंसा सत्यम् अक्रोधः त्यागः शान्तिः अपैशुनम् दया भूतेषु अलोलुप्त्वम्  मार्दवम् ह्रीः अचापलम्

अहिंसा-harmlessness सत्यम्-truth अक्रोधः-absence of anger त्यागः-renunciation,  disclaiming doership of action शान्तिः- peacefulness अपैशुनम्-absence of cruckedness दया- compassion भूतेषु-in beings अलोलुप्त्वम्- uncovetousness मार्दवम्-gentleness ह्रीः-modesty अचापलम्-absence of fickleness

Krishna continues to enumerate marks of a yogi endowd with divine virtues. – non-violence, truthfulness, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, absence of cruckedness, restraint from fault-finding, compassion toward all living beings, are the marks of a yogi endowed with divine estate.


  1. अहिंसा– is non-voilence in thought (by mind) and action (by body, and speech). Inflicting pain on any being is an act of

voilence. Not using abusive language. Any act or speech which causes another person pain and harm is violence.

11.सत्यम् – truthfulness and veracity. Truth is a conformity to fact or actuality. सत्यम् ब्रूयात् प्रियम् ब्रूयात् न ब्रूयात् सत्यमप्रियम् -Speak truth, speak agreeable truth, do not speak disagreeable truth. The upanishat says सत्यम् वद, प्रियम् वद , speak truth speak agreeable truth. Truth is “I am Brahman”. Untruth is I am the body.

One needs guts to tell the truth. If we do a mistake, we tell so many lies to cover the mistake. This causes a mound of trash in the mind.

12.अक्रोधः– Absence of anger. This is internal indignation

expressing itself externally as bad temper. We get angry or rage when we are subjected to insult, injury, or columny, or abuses or commit something unfavourable to us. Absence of anger in all these cases is akrodha.

Krodha is a product of rajoguna. क्रोधात् भवति सम्मोहः. Krishna calls it as enemy of man. All other negativities like frustration, greed,  arrogance, and delusion, results by uncontrolled anger.

  1. त्यागः– sacrifice, abandonment, renunciation. Give up, let Go. It is a skill useful in worldly as well as spiritual progress. The upanishats have given a lot importance for tyaga. It says, “त्यागेनैके अम्रुतत्वमानशुः” One can become immortal after tyaga. Gita says, “त्यागात् शांतिरनंतरम्” one begets peace after tyaga.

What is tyaga. It does not stop with giving up ones possessions.The internal attachments, negativities, erratic impulses of kama and krodha, craze to enjoy sense objects (विषय व्यामोह) the sense of doership and enjoyership are the real objects to be renunciated.

  1. शान्तिः– peacefulness. It is a divine quality. Krishna says: ”अशांतस्य कुतः सुखम् “ How one can be happy without peace?

All the veda mantras end with repetition of the word shanti as ॐ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः. Shanti or peace and tranquility is

required not only in individual life but also in carporates, community and comity of nations.

  1. अपैशुनम्– restraint from fault finding. Discovering the faults of others, slandering another person go by the name पैशुन (paishunam). The opposite of this is apaishunam.
  2. 16. दया भूतेषु – Mercy. compassion towards all beings. Compassion is a feeling of sympathy and sorrow for someone struck in distress with an urge to alleviate his pain without expecting anything in return. He finds happiness in relieving pain of others. A vedic hymn says, ‘Let all people be happy. Let no one be in pain” Here is the hymn.

ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।

सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om, May all be Happy, May all be Free from Illness.

May all See what is Auspicious, May no one Suffer.

Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

  1. 17. अलोलुप्त्वम् – absence of covetness, freedom from desire. Feeling attracted to sense objects and the longing created in the mind to posses it and enjoy it is called Loluptva विषय चापल्य). The absence of this is called aloluptva.
  2. मार्दवम् -softness, gentleness, leniency. Being soft in

action, mind and seech.

  1. ह्रीः be ashamed, blush, modesty. The hesitation one feels in violating the established code of conduct.
  2. अचापलम् – lack of fickleness. Vicissitudes of mind

VERSE – 16: 03

Divine opulence continued

तेजः क्षमा धृतिः शौचमद्रोहो नातिमानिता ।

भवन्ति संपदं दैवीमभिजातस्य भारत ॥१६:३॥

tējaḥ kṣamā dhr̥tiḥ śaucamadrōhō nātimānitā |

bhavanti saṁpadaṁ daivīmabhijātasya bhārata ||16:3||

तेजः क्षमा धृतिः शौचम् अद्रोहः न अतिमानिता

भवन्ति संपदम् दैवीम् अभिजातस्य भारत

तेजः-vigour क्षमा-foregiveness धृतिः-fortitude शौचम्-purity अद्रोहः-absence of hatred न-not अतिमानिता- absence of pride vanity, or self esteem भवन्ति- are संपदम्-estate दैवीम्-divine अभिजातस्य- of those endowed with भारत- O Bharata

Vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred,

absence of pride, -these qualities belong to a man of divine


21.तेजःsplendour, virility. It is a unique property of a noble monk by which even individuals who are of  vile disposition, desist from doing wrong in his presence. His presence or speaking to him or hearing his speech gives a sense of wellness. He has good power of memory and understanding.

  1. धृतिःfortitude, courage. It is the strength not to deviate from the right action, uner the influence of lust, anger, fear or calamity.
  2. क्षमा– forgiveness, forebearence. It is the noble quality of the sage who does not want to punish or retaliate to a wrong doer. He treats the wrong done to him as no offence. We have studied अक्रोध which is a negation of anger. Forebearence means no intention even to punish for an offence
  3. शौचम् – Purity. It is of two types internal and external.

Internal purity has been considered under the head सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः in verse 1. External purity means purity of body brought about by in bathing with water.  Money is purified through honest and truthful dealings. One’s diet is purified by purchasing ration with such pure money. One’s conduct is purified through appropriate behavious.

  1. 25. अद्रोहः– bearing no enmity towards those who are inimical to us.
  2. 26. नातिमानिता – absence of vanity or pride. Its opposite is

अतिमानिता. It means over estimating oneself. He regards himself as superior, exalted, or worthy of adoration. He

cherishes a special craving for adoration, honour, fame and prestige. total negation of these is called नातिमानिता.

भवन्ति संपदम् दैवीम् अभिजातस्य भारत

These are the marks of those who are born with divine estate or gifts. These virtues which are conductive to God realization and are divine in character.

VERSE – 16: 04

दम्भो दर्पोऽभिमानश्च क्रोधः पारुष्यमेव च ।

अज्ञानं चाभिजातस्य पार्थ संपदमासुरीम् ॥१६:४॥

dambhō darpō’bhimānaśca krōdhaḥ pāruṣyamēva ca |

ajñānaṁ cābhijātasya pārtha saṁpadamāsurīm ||16:4||

दम्भः दर्पः अभिमानः च क्रोधः पारुष्यम् एव च अज्ञानम्  च  अभिजातस्य पार्थ संपदम् आसुरीम्

दम्भ- deceipt, fraud, feigning, ostentation दर्पः-arrogance अभिमानः- self-conceit च-and क्रोधः-wrath पारुष्यम्-harshness एव-even च-and अज्ञानम्- ignorance  च- and अभिजातस्य- of those endowed wth पार्थ- O Partha संपदम्- estate, endowment आसुरीम्- demonical

O Partha, the qualities of those who possess a demoniac

nature are hypocrisy, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness, and ignorance.

These are the qualities of a rojoguni

  1. 1. दम्भःswindle, cheat, deceipt. Feigning as a virtuous man, false show of pity, generosity, devotion etc. If he sits in meditation he desires that it should be known by every one. His generosity should be published. A person used to come to Swami Ramakrishna’s ashram. He used to sit in such a place that everyone who enters the ashram could see him meditating.
  2. दर्पः-arrogance. It is a feeling of exalted pride that one gets by his learning, power, position, property, noble birth etc. An account of this imagined greatness, he looks down upon others and shows disrespect them.
  3. 3. अभिमानः– pride, It is a feeling which consists in regarding oneself as superior, exalted or worthy of adoration. A conceited person has an exalted opinion of his birth, his community, money and education. He is aways hankering after honour, fame, prestige, respect etc. He feels delighted on attaining this.
  4. क्रोधःthe feelingpeopleget when something unfairpainful, or bad happens.
  5. 5. पारुष्यम्Parushya is sterness or total negation of mildness. Yelling at others, taunting them or using bitter words constitute harshness of speech. The spirit of revenge is the sterness of mind
  6. अज्ञानम् –ignorance. It is the lack of correct knowledge about truth and untruth, what is virtue or sin. One makes a wrong notion or decision about them.

अभिजातस्य पार्थ संपदम् आसुरीम् These are the qualities of one who is borne with demonical disposition

VERSE – 16: 05

The Lord describes the fruit of divine and demoniac gifts.

दैवी संपद्विमोक्षाय निबन्धायासुरी मता ।

मा शुचः संपदं दैवीमभिजातोऽसि पाण्डव ॥१६:५॥

daivī saṁpadvimōkṣāya nibandhāyāsurī matā |

mā śucaḥ saṁpadaṁ daivīmabhijātō’si pāṇḍava ||16:5||

दैवी संपत् विमोक्षाय निबन्धाय आसुरी मता मा शुचः संपदम् दैवीम् अभिजातः असि पाण्डव

दैवी- divine संपत्- estate, endowment विमोक्षाय-for liberation निबन्धाय-for bondage आसुरी-demonical मता-is deemed मा-do not शुचः- grieve संपदम्- estate दैवीम्- the devine अभिजातः- endowed with असि- you are पाण्डव- Arjuna

The divine qualities lead to liberation, while the demoniac qualities are the cause for a continuing destiny of bondage. Grieve not, O Arjuna, as you were born with saintly virtues.

दैवी संपत् विमोक्षायThe divine estate leads to liberation. The divine estate is described in verses 1 to 3. It secures freedom from bondage of  mundane existence and unites with one with God.

निबन्धाय आसुरी मताAs against this, the demonical estate or gift leads one to bondage. It has an admixture of tamas and rajas and binds the man to worldly existence, into the roller coaster of birth and death. Refer to verse 4.

मा शुचः संपदम् दैवीम् अभिजातः असि पाण्डव Grieve not arjuna, you are borne with divine endowment. This is an assurance to Arjuna about his position.

This verse brings to our mind a similar expression in Amritabindu Upanishad. Here is the verse:

मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः।

बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मुक्तं निर्विषयं स्मृतम्‌॥ २॥

Mind alone is the cause of people’s bondage and liberation. When the mind is attached to objects it causes bondage and when free from objects it causes liberation. 

VERSE – 16: 06

द्वौ भूतसर्गौ लोकेऽस्मिन्दैव आसुर एव च ।

दैवो विस्तरशः प्रोक्त आसुरं पार्थ मे शृणु ॥१६:६॥

dvau bhūtasargau lōkē’smindaiva āsura ēva ca |

daivō vistaraśaḥ prōkta āsuraṁ pārtha mē śr̥ṇu ||16:6||

द्वौ भूतसर्गौ लोके अस्मिन् दैवः आसुरः एव च दैवः विस्तरशः प्रोक्तः आसुरम् पार्थ मे शृणु

द्वौ-two भूतसर्गौ-types of beings लोके-in the world अस्मिन्-this दैवः-the divine आसुरः- demoniacal एव-even च- and दैवः- the divine विस्तरशः- at great length प्रोक्तः-has been discussed  आसुरम्-demoniacal पार्थ-Arjuna, the son of Pritha मे- from me शृणु- listen

There are two kinds of beings in this world—those endowed with a divine nature and those possessing a demoniac nature. I have described the divine qualities in detail, O Arjuna, Now hear from me about the demoniac nature.


द्वौ भूतसर्गौ लोके अस्मिन् दैवः आसुरः एव च – There are two thypes of people in this world- one possessing divine nature and the other possessaing a demoniac nature. The Lord has used the words एव च which means only these two. Thre are other groups but these two are the principle ones and others are also a part of these two. The divine group consists of sattvika nature.

“the godly and demoniac natures could coexist in the same person’s heart. That is the dilemma of human existence, where the higher self pulls it upward toward God, while the lower self pulls it downward.” -Swami Muktananda.  

दैवः विस्तरशः प्रोक्तः आसुरम् पार्थ मे शृणु – The nature and conduct of divine endowment has been described in verses 1 to 3. Now hear from me about the demoniacal nature.

VERSE – 16: 07

The Lord starts describing men of demoniacal qualities

प्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च जना न विदुरासुराः ।

न शौचं नापि चाचारो न सत्यं तेषु विद्यते ॥१६:७॥

pravr̥ttiṁ ca nivr̥ttiṁ ca janā na vidurāsurāḥ |

na śaucaṁ nāpi cācārō na satyaṁ tēṣu vidyatē ||16:7||

प्रवृत्तिम् च निवृत्तिम् च जनाः न विदुः आसुराः न शौचम् न  अपि च आचारः न सत्यम् तेषु विद्यते

प्रवृत्तिम्-action च-and निवृत्तिम्-inaction च-and जनाः-the men न-not विदुः- know आसुराः- the demoniac न- not शौचम्-purity न- not  अपि-also च-and आचारः-right conduct न- not सत्यम्-truth तेषु-in them  विद्यते- exists

Those possessing a demoniac nature do not comprehend what actions are proper and what are improper. Hence, they possess neither purity, nor good conduct, nor even truthfulness.

प्रवृत्तिम् च निवृत्तिम् च जनाः न विदुः आसुराः– They do not know what actions are porper and what are improper. प्रवृत्ति

consists of all actions which are necessary to achieve the goal of life I.e.  पुरुषार्थ. निवृत्ति represents avoiding all actions which are not conductive to achieve the goal.

न शौचम् न  अपि च आचारः न सत्यम् तेषु विद्यते – they possess neither purity, nor good conduct, nor even truthfulness. शौचम् is purity of body, and mind or external and internal purity. आचारः noble activities . It is connected to purity and truth. सत्यम् -truth is conformity to fact or actuality. The men possessing demoniac qualities do not have these virtues. their life is marred by impurity, and immorality. 

VERSE – 16: 08

The Lord describes the atheistic outlook ofdemoniac men

असत्यमप्रतिष्ठं ते जगदाहुरनीश्वरम् ।

अपरस्परसंभूतं किमन्यत्कामहैतुकम् ॥१६:८॥

asatyamapratiṣṭhaṁ tē jagadāhuranīśvaram |

aparasparasaṁbhūtaṁ kimanyatkāmahaitukam ||16:8||

असत्यम् अप्रतिष्ठम् ते जगत् आहुः अनीश्वरम् अपरस्परसंभूतम् किम् अन्यत् कामहैतुकम्

असत्यम्-without truth अप्रतिष्ठम्-without moral basis ते- they जगत्-the world आहुः-they say अनीश्वरम्-without a God अपरस्पर- without a cause संभूतम्-created किम्- what अन्यत्- else कामहैतुकम्- for sexual gratification only

They say, “The world is without any foundation,  absolutely unreal and godless, It is created from the combination of the two sexes, and has no purpose other than sexual gratification.”


असत्यम् अप्रतिष्ठम् ते जगत् आहुः अनीश्वरम् –This universe consisting of animate and inanimate creation, has no basis in the form of god or moral law and has no reality. That is to say that no living being had any existence prior to its birth nor does a creature have any life after death. There is no creator or controller like god. It has been brought forth by mutual union of male and female and it has no other object to fulfil other than carnal desires” – Jayadayal Goyandka

अपरस्परसंभूतम् किम् अन्यत् कामहैतुकम् – This world is brought about by the mutual union of male and female. कामहैतुकम् means conceived in lust. अन्यत्  किम्- what else

Swami Ramakrishna says: The wordly man’s mind is like a worm in a garbage. It is happy to be there. If you put it on a lotus flower, it dies due to the good smell of the flower. Similarly, the worldy man, cannot do any activity for the upliftment of soul.

VERSE – 16: 09

एतां दृष्टिमवष्टभ्य नष्टात्मानोऽल्पबुद्धयः ।

प्रभवन्त्युग्रकर्माणः क्षयाय जगतोऽहिताः ॥१६:९॥

ētāṁ dr̥ṣṭimavaṣṭabhya naṣṭātmānō’lpabuddhayaḥ |

prabhavantyugrakarmāṇaḥ kṣayāya jagatō’hitāḥ ||16:9||

एताम्  दृष्टिम् अवष्टभ्य नष्टात्मानः अल्पबुद्धयः प्रभवन्ति उग्रकर्माणः क्षयाय जगत् अहिताः

एताम् -such  दृष्टिम्- views अवष्टभ्य-holding नष्ट-misdirected  आत्मानः-souls अल्पबुद्धयः- of small intellect प्रभवन्ति-arise   उग्रकर्माणः-of fierce actions क्षयाय-for desrtuction जगत्- of the world अहिताः- enemies

Holding fast to such views, these misdirected souls, with small intellect and cruel actions, arise as enemies of the world threatening its destruction.

एताम्  दृष्टिम् अवष्टभ्य नष्टात्मानः अल्पबुद्धयः– These men of poor intellect clinging to such an atheistic outlook deny the existence of soul. They are body centred or materialists.  They never feel an inclination to do virtous deed. So, their mind gets debased.

प्रभवन्ति उग्रकर्माणः क्षयाय जगत् अहिताः – involve in gruesome deeds, hatching evil designs against others. They harm themselves and also  destroy the entire creation. जगत् अहिताः means enemies of the world

Christian theology deals with the deedsof darkness in length. Some of the sinful acts are: adultery, uncleanness, idolatry, which craft, hatred, wrath, strife, envying, reeling etc.

VERSE – 16: 10

These men of insatiable lust filled with pride and arrogance

are deluded by their false doctrine

काममाश्रित्य दुष्पूरं दम्भमानमदान्विताः ।

मोहाद्‌गृहीत्वासद्ग्राहान्प्रवर्तन्तेऽशुचिव्रताः ॥१६:१०॥

kāmamāśritya duṣpūraṁ dambhamānamadānvitāḥ |

mōhād–gr̥hītvāsadgrāhānpravartantē’śucivratāḥ ||16:10||

कामम् आश्रित्य दुष्पूरम् दम्भ मान मदान्विताः

मोहात् गृहीत्वा असद्ग्राहान् प्रवर्तन्ते अशुचिव्रताः

कामम्- desire, आश्रित्य-taking refuse दुष्पूरम्-insatiable दम्भमानमदान्विताः दम्भ-hypocracy  मान- pride and arrogance मद-intoxication, inebriated अन्विताः-posses of मोहात्- the illusioned गृहीत्वा- being attracted to असद्ग्राहान्- असत्-impermanent  ग्रहान्- things, false doctrine प्रवर्तन्ते-they flourish अशुचिव्रताः- men of impure conduct

Harboring insatiable lust, full of hypocrisy, pride and arrogance, the demoniac cling to their false tenets. Thus

illusioned, they are attracted to the impermanent and work with impure conduct.  

कामम् आश्रित्य दुष्पूरम् दम्भ मान मदान्विताः -These lecherous and lustiful men of insatiable desire are  full of hypocracy pride and arrogance. The men of demoniac disposition resort to ‘kama’ instead of ‘Rama’.  The lust is never satiated. The more you enjoy the more you desire. Krishna has described them as दम्भ मान मदान्विताः, inebriated with conceipt and

arrogance. The lust is said to be दुष्पूरम् insatiable.

There was a king by name yayati. He had high sexual libido. Even as he grew older, his sexual appetite was not satiated. He exchanged his youth with his son’s youth. Thus, he enjoyed all pleasures of senses’ for a thousand years. ‘ By experiencing passion to the full, he comes to realize its utter futility. He said, “Not all the food, wealth and women of the world can appease the lust of a man. It is not removed by indulgence, but is aggravated like ghee poured into fire”, he said.

मोहात् गृहीत्वा असद्ग्राहान् प्रवर्तन्ते अशुचिव्रताः -These men of impure conduct, holding their weird doctrine of sense

enjoyment  remain deluded and ignorant.  अशुचिव्रताः means men of impure conduct.

VERSE – 16: 11

The men of diabolic nature  are devoted to enjoyment of sensous

pleasure till the end of life.

चिन्तामपरिमेयां च प्रलयान्तामुपाश्रिताः ।

कामोपभोगपरमा एतावदिति निश्चिताः ॥१६:११॥

cintāmaparimēyāṁ ca pralayāntāmupāśritāḥ |

kāmōpabhōgaparamā ētāvaditi niścitāḥ ||16:11||

चिन्ताम् अपरिमेयाम् च प्रलयान्ताम् उपाश्रिताः ।

कामोपभोगपरमाः एतावत् इति निश्चिताः ॥ 

चिन्ताम्-worry, botheration अपरिमेयाम्-unmeasurable, endless च-and  प्रलयान्ताम्- प्रलयाः अन्ताम्- until death

उपाश्रिताः-followers, supporters कामोपभोगपरमाः- कामः उपभोग- gratification of desires परमाः- highest एतावत्- that is all इति-thus निश्चिताः- certain, complete assurance

They are bestowed with perpetual anxieties that end only with death. Still, they remain devoted to the enjoyment of sensous pleasures  and accumulation of wealth as the highest purpose of life.


चिन्ताम् अपरिमेयाम् च प्रलयान्ताम् उपाश्रिताः –The men of demonic disposition face endless anxieties and tensions till their death.

Swami Ramakrishna had once gone to a devotee’s house. A gradma wanted to see him. She was 98 years old, bed ridden and ill. The Swamiji asked her, “Are you praying to God”?. for that she replied. “How can I? They are looking for a match for my grand daughter. When she gets one, I have no more

desire and will pray to God”.  They carry this chinta (worry) till the end of this life and also a baggage of it for the next life.

कामोपभोगपरमाः एतावत् इति निश्चिताः -indulge in sensuous pleasures. They are convinced that, it is life! They indulge in enjoyment of sense desires and think that it is the purushartha (पुरुषार्थ) or the goal of life. आहार निद्रा मैथुनंच, food, sleep and sexual intercourse are the goals of life.

VERSE – 16: 12

Bondaged by with hundddreds of  ties, the diabolic men

strive to achieve their sensual pleaures.

आशापाशशतैर्बद्धाः कामक्रोधपरायणाः ।

ईहन्ते कामभोगार्थमन्यायेनार्थसञ्चयान् ॥१६:१२॥

āśāpāśaśatairbaddhāḥ kāmakrōdhaparāyaṇāḥ |

īhantē kāmabhōgārthamanyāyēnārthasañcayān ||16:12||

आशापाशशतैः बद्धाः कामक्रोधपरायणाः ।

ईहन्ते कामभोगार्थम् अन्यायेन अर्थसञ्चयान् ॥ 

आशापाशशतैः- आशा-desire पाश- bondage शतैः-by hundreds  बद्धाः-bound कामक्रोधपरायणाः- काम-lust क्रोध-anger परायणाः- dedicated to ईहन्ते-strive कामभोगार्थम्- काम-lust भोगार्थम्-  gratification of senses , sensual enjoyment अन्यायेन-by unjust means अर्थसञ्चयान्- अर्थ-wealth सञ्चयान् -accumilation


 Held in bondage by hundreds of desires, and driven by lust and anger, they strive to accumulate wealth by unjust means, all for the enjoyment of sensous pleasures.


आशापाशशतैः बद्धाः कामक्रोधपरायणाः

The mind of a man of demoniac disposition are tied by hundreds of desires. He revels in various projects of sense gratification. His mind hovers between many activities which give him pleasure, wealth and power. In this way he never gets free from shakles of hope.

For the realization of these hopes, he never depends on God or ethical means. He is ever devoted to desire and anger. He gets irritated when a desire is not fulfilled. He gets angry on those who are the cause of his failure. He is full of anxiety and tension. Greed is intensified desire. Anger is frustrated desire.Starting point all negativites is desire.

ईहन्ते कामभोगार्थम् अन्यायेन अर्थसञ्चयान्

they strive to accumulate wealth by unjust means, all for the enjoyment of sensous pleasures. They try to usurp others possessions by taking recourse to unlawful and unethical means such as hypocracy, violence, deceipt, etc. He accumulates wealth by unfair means. He does not mind to commit the sins of darkness to acheve his goal.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa gives an example. The camels are fond of shoots of the shrub Gokhru (Tribulus terrestris ).  But the plant has a lot thorns. It injures the mouth of camel leading to gum bleeding.  Still the camels continue to eat the tasty plant. Similarly, the men of diabolic nature, inspite of the pain and tribulations continue to strive for sensuous pleasure. 

VERSE – 16: 13

The wish-list of an asuri man who is egoism and greed

इदमद्य मया लब्धमिमं प्राप्स्ये मनोरथम् ।

इदमस्तीदमपि मे भविष्यति पुनर्धनम् ॥१६:१३॥

idamadya mayā labdhamimaṃ prāpsye manoratham |

idamastīdamapi me bhaviṣyati punardhanam ||16:13||

इदम् अद्य मया लब्धम् इमम्  प्राप्स्ये मनोरथम्

इदम् अस्ति इदम् अपि मे भविष्यति पुनः धनम्    

इदम्-this अद्य-today मया-by me लब्धम्-gained इमम्- this प्राप्स्ये-I shall acquire मनोरथम्- desire इदम्- this अस्ति- is present इदम्- this अपि- also में-mine भविष्यति-shall be पुनः-again धनम्- wealth  

The demoniac persons think, “I have gained so much wealth today, and I shall now fulfill this desire of mine. This is mine, and tomorrow I shall have even more


इदम् अद्य मया लब्धम् इमम्  प्राप्स्ये मनोरथम् –I have secured this much toay. I shall obtain all my wishes. What is the wish-list? wife, progeny, wealth., land, house, honour, fame and all other objects that are sought by the mind. I will become very rich.

इदम् अस्ति इदम् अपि मे भविष्यति पुनः धनम्     So much wealth is already with me. And yet again this shall be mine. He is ware of his wealth and power. But his ambition is to get more. He never says ‘enough’. The more he has, the more he craves.

Swami Chinmayanda says, “This stanza shows the materialist’s  attitude to his relation to things around him. The next stanza give his attitude towards the world.”

This is like a sheep which is being taken for sacrifice. On the way it tries to eat the leaves of the festoons. It does not know what is in store for it.


VERSE – 16: 14

The demonic man says: I am affluent, powerful. I finish off my enemies. I am the  lord.

असौ मया हतः शत्रुर्हनिष्ये चापरानपि ।

ईश्वरोऽहमहं भोगी सिद्धोऽहं बलवान्सुखी ॥१६:१४॥

asau mayā hataḥ śatrurhaniṣye cāparānapi |

īśvaro’hamahaṃ bhogī siddho’haṃ balavānsukhī ||16:14||

असौ मया हतः शत्रुः हनिष्ये च अपरान् अपि

ईश्वरः अहम् अहम् भोगी सिद्धः अहम् बलवान् सुखी

असौ-that मया-by me हतः-slain शत्रुः-enemy हनिष्ये-I shall destroy च-and अपरान्-others अपि-also ईश्वरः-Lord अहम्- Iam अहम्-I भोगी- the enjoyer सिद्धः- perfect अहम्-I am बलवान्-powerful सुखी -happy

That enemy has been slained by me, and I shall destroy the others too! I am like God himself, I am the enjoyer, I am powerful, and I am happy.


असौ मया हतः शत्रुः हनिष्ये च अपरान् अपि That enemy has been slain by me. I shall destroy others too. Thre is no competator for me. Men of demonic nature become slaves of lust and anger. They have an inflated opinion of their virtues and power. They are infatuated with pride and feel that there is nothing in this world which they cannot achieve.

ईश्वरः अहम् अहम् भोगी सिद्धः अहम् बलवान् सुखी – I am the Lord. I am the the enjoyer of all pleasures. I am mighty and happy. I am perfect.

They perform the ritualistic practices prescribed in the vedas to become materially prosperous or to show off their devition.  However, like the vulture that flies high but keeps its sight fixed low, the demoniac sometimes rise in social status, but their actions remain mean and lowly.

VERSE – 16: 15

Such men  Make a spectacle of their opulence and powerto get more popularity

आढ्योऽभिजनवानस्मि कोऽन्योऽस्ति सदृशो मया ।

यक्ष्ये दास्यामि मोदिष्य इत्यज्ञानविमोहिताः ॥१६:१५॥

āḍhyo’bhijanavānasmi ko’nyo’sti sadṛśo mayā |

yakṣye dāsyāmi modiṣya ityajñānavimohitāḥ ||16:15||

आढ्यः अभिजनवान् अस्मि कः अन्यः अस्ति सदृशः मया

यक्ष्ये दास्यामि मोदिष्ये इति अज्ञानविमोहिताः

आढ्यः- wealthy अभिजनवान्- having highly placed contact अस्मि- I am कः- who अन्यः-else अस्ति-is  सदृशः-equal मया-to me यक्ष्ये-I shall perform sacrifice दास्यामि-I shall give alms मोदिष्ये-I shall rejoice इति-thus  अज्ञानविमोहिताः- अज्ञान- ignorance विमोहिताः-deluded

I am wealthy and I have highly placed relatives. Who else is equal to me? I shall perform sacrifices (to the celestial gods); I shall give alms; I shall rejoice.” In this way, they are deluded by ignorance.

आढ्यः अभिजनवान् अस्मि कः अन्यः अस्ति सदृशः मया –I am wealthy. I have good connection with corridor of power.  I have a large family, friends, associates and followers. I can muster so many supporter just by one telephone call. Who is there equal to me. I am the greatest. They boast of their wealth and big family and power. They are narcissist.

यक्ष्ये दास्यामि मोदिष्ये इति अज्ञानविमोहिताः -I will sacrifice to Gods. I will give alms. I will make merry. Thye make an external show of sacrifice, charity and compassion. Thre is no real inention to help the poor and destitute. All this are mere flaunting to get more popularity.

VERSE – 16: 16

The perpetrators of sins for their sensual gratification are condemned to hell

अनेकचित्तविभ्रान्ता मोहजालसमावृताः ।

प्रसक्ताः कामभोगेषु पतन्ति नरकेऽशुचौ ॥१६:१६॥

anēkacittavibhrāntā mōhajālasamāvr̥tāḥ |

prasaktāḥ kāmabhōgēṣu patanti narakē’śucau ||16:16||

अनेकचित्तविभ्रान्ताः मोहजालसमावृताः

प्रसक्ताः कामभोगेषु पतन्ति नरके अशुचौ    

अनेकचित्तविभ्रान्ताः- अनेक-many चित्त-imaginations विभ्रान्ताः-bewildered  मोहजालसमावृताः- मोह-delusion जाल-mesh समावृताः-wrapped in, enveloped प्रसक्ताः-addicted कामभोगेषु- gratification of sensual pleasures पतन्ति-they fall नरके-in the hell अशुचौ- foul 

Possessed and led astray with many thoughts, enveloped in mesh of delusion and addicted to enjoyment of sensuous pleasures, they descend into foulest hell.


अनेकचित्तविभ्रान्ताः मोहजालसमावृताः –This compound word Is a combination of अनेक चित्त and विभ्रान्ताः deluded by numerous thoughts. They are not able to focus on any one thought. They are fickle minded because their mind spends itself out in thinking of multiple sensual pleasures, fancies and imaginations. Again the word मोहजालसमावृताः is a combination of the words मोह-delusion जाल-mesh समावृताः-wrapped in, enveloped. His mind is cought in a mesh of delusion. He is not able to take an independent righteous view. He always complains of being reated unjustly. If he is offered a cup of milk, he thinks why the milk is only half filled. Why the door is half opened for me?

प्रसक्ताः कामभोगेषु  engaged in enjoyment of sensual pleasures. He looks upon gratification of senses as the sole object of his life.  

पतन्ति नरके अशुचौ  –fall into the foulest hell. The men who perpetuate sinful acts for their own benefit, are condemned to hell.

VERSE – 16: 17

Such men  perform sacrifices and charity pompously to get pubicity. Theya re tamasik

आत्मसंभाविताः स्तब्धा धनमानमदान्विताः ।

यजन्ते नामयज्ञैस्ते दम्भेनाविधिपूर्वकम् ॥१६:१७॥

ātmasaṁbhāvitāḥ stabdhā dhanamānamadānvitāḥ |

yajantē nāmayajñaistē dambhēnāvidhipūrvakam ||16:17||

आत्मसंभाविताः स्तब्धाः धनमानमदान्विताः

यजन्ते नामयज्ञैः ते  दम्भेन अविधिपूर्वकम्  

आत्मसंभाविताः-self-conceited स्तब्धाः-stubborn धनमानमदान्विताः- धन-wealth मान-pride मद-arrogance अन्विताः-full of, posses of यजन्ते-perform नामयज्ञैः- नाम-name sake यज्ञैः- sacrifice ते-they  दम्भेन-out of ostensibly अविधिपूर्वकम्- with no regards to the rules of the scriptures

Such self-conceited and stubborn people, intoxicated by wealth and honour, ostensibly perform nominal sacrifice with no regard for the rules of scriptures.

आत्मसंभाविताः स्तब्धाः धनमानमदान्विताः -the big headed

obstinate men intoxicated with wealth, and honour.  आत्मसंभाविताः are the ones who indulge in self- glorification (आत्मस्तुति) and disparaging (परनिंदा) of others. He always boasts about his or his family’s  accomplishment, smartness, wealth, power, and honour.  They are not humble or

respect Guru and seniors. They are so conceited and arrogant. No doubt they perform sacrifices, free distribution of food and medicines to the poor people. This is also for publicity. They give big publicity in the media and television. They are mad at worldy enjoyment, hoarding and accumulation of wealth. स्तब्धाःhauty, indicates that they do not have politeness

यजन्ते नामयज्ञैः ते  दम्भेन अविधिपूर्वकम्  – perform nominal sacrifice with no regard for the rules of scriptures. The sacrifice, benevolence, charity etc done by hem lack honesty and faith. they do such acts to impress others. These aare acts of

tamasik nature. The Lord calls such sacrifice as tamasa yajnya in chapter 17:13.

VERSE – 16: 18

An evil man hates the soul who resides in his body and the body of others by his evil acts

अहंकारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं च संश्रिताः ।

मामात्मपरदेहेषु प्रद्विषन्तोऽभ्यसूयकाः ॥१६:१८॥

ahaṁkāraṁ balaṁ darpaṁ kāmaṁ krōdhaṁ ca saṁśritāḥ |

māmātmaparadēhēṣu pradviṣantō’bhyasūyakāḥ ||16:18||

अहंकारम् बलम् दर्पम् कामम् क्रोधम् च संश्रिताः

माम् आत्मपरदेहेषु प्रद्विषन्तः अभ्यसूयकाः

अहंकारम्-egotism बलम्-srength दर्पम्-arrogance कामम्-desire, lust क्रोधम्-anger च- and संश्रिताः- resorted to माम् -me आत्मपरदेहेषु- आत्म पर देहेषु- within one’s own body and bodies of others प्रद्विषन्तः-abuse अभ्यसूयकाः- the envious

Blinded by egotism, strength, arrogance, desire, and anger, the demonic abuse my presence within their own body and in the bodies of others.

अहंकारम् बलम् दर्पम् कामम् क्रोधम् च संश्रिताः -A demoniac man has dresrted to egotism, brut force, arrogance, and 

indignation. Birds of same feather flock together. An evil man chooses characters suitable to him. Ego is an exaggerated sense of self-importance and conceipt. Other negative emotions like strength, hautiness, anger fallow ego. This is called ego family. It is his id. He uses brute force to get his work done without bothering to antagonise many men. Given to lust he indulges in immoral acts. Obsessed with anger he threatens to kill whosoever comes in his way. -Goyandka

माम् आत्मपरदेहेषु प्रद्विषन्तः अभ्यसूयकाः -They abuse my presence within their own body and in the bodies of others. Asuya is jelousy, envy, wishing ill of others. He discovers falt in others and and paint them as vile. He repudiates the virtue of another person. He cavils even at God and holy men. What is the meaning of men of demonic attributes abuse my presence within their body and the body of others? God dwells in the body of evil as well as virtuous people as inner controller. to hate and harm another is equivalent to hating god dwelling in his body and dthe body of others.

च- and -The use of the word ‘cha’ indicates that there are many more evils in addition to explicitely mentioned in this verse

VERSE – 16: 19

The vile and sinful men  are reborn in demoniacal womb only

तानहं द्विषतः क्रुरान्संसारेषु नराधमान् ।

क्षिपाम्यजस्रमशुभानासुरीष्वेव योनिषु ॥१६:१९॥

tānahaṁ dviṣataḥ krurānsaṁsārēṣu narādhamān |

kṣipāmyajasramaśubhānāsurīṣvēva yōniṣu ||16:19||

तान्  अहम्  द्विषतः क्रुरान् संसारेषु नराधमान्

क्षिपामि अजस्रम् अशुभान् असुरीषु एव योनिषु  

तान्-those अहम्-I द्विषतः-hateful  क्रुरान्-cruel संसारेषु- in worlds नराधमान्- vile among men क्षिपामि-hurl  अजस्रम्-again and again अशुभान्- inauspicious, impure असुरीषु-demoniac एव-only योनिषु- in the wombs 

I constantly hurl these hateful and cruel persons, the vile and vicious of humankind, into the wombs of those with similar demoniac nature in the cycle of rebirth of the

material world.

तान्  अहम्  द्विषतः क्रुरान् संसारेषु नराधमान् –These hateful, cruel,  perpetrators of evil are the vile and vicious of mankind. Their abnoxious and immoral practices alone are responsible for their destiny. These cruel and wiked men of 

demoniacal nature have malice to all, bring corruption, and evil into society by their acts.

क्षिपामि अजस्रम् अशुभान् असुरीषु एव योनिषु   I hurl them again and again into the demoniac wombs. They have an option to go up to rajasik level by doing ood work and praying to God. They will go down to much lower level if they continue to do sinful acts.  

असुरीषु एव योनिषु– in demoniac womb only.

Krishna has given three characteristic of naradhamas, the vilest among men.

  1. They hate he Lord and good people

2.They are engaged in violent behaviour

  1. They perform activities which are against the scripture and law of the land

VERSE – 16: 20

The studpid men take birth in Aasuri womb birth after birth.

आसुरीं योनिमापन्ना मूढा जन्मनि जन्मनि ।

मामप्राप्यैव कौन्तेय ततो यान्त्यधमां गतिम् ॥१६:२०॥

āsurīṁ yōnimāpannā mūḍhā janmani janmani |

māmaprāpyaiva kauntēya tatō yāntyadhamāṁ gatim ||16:20||

आसुरीम् योनिम् आपन्नाः मूढाः जन्मनि जन्मनि

माम् अप्राप्य एव  कौन्तेय ततः यांति अधमाम् गतिम्   

आसुरीम्-demoniac योनिम्-wombs आपन्नाः- gaining मूढाः- the ignorant जन्मनि जन्मनि-in birth after death माम्- me अप्राप्य-not reaching एव- indeed  कौन्तेय-Arjuna, the son of Kunti  ततः-thereafter यांति-go अधमाम्-lower गतिम्-destination   

These ignorant souls take birth again and again in demoniac wombs. Failing to reach me, O Arjuna, they gradually sink to the most abominable type of existence.


आसुरीम् योनिम् आपन्नाः मूढाः जन्मनि जन्मनि – These ignorant souls take birth again and again in demoniac wombs. They are reborn in asuri families. It is like convicts not trying to improve in spite of incarceration several times. A dull student who has failed in a class has to repeat another year.

माम् अप्राप्य एव  कौन्तेय ततः यांति अधमाम् गतिम्    Failing to reach me, O Arjuna, they gradually sink to the most abominable type of existence.

माम् अप्राप्य एव – without reching me only. The word ‘only’ points out that such stupid men, even having obtained the human birth forfeit the golden opportunity of realization by refusing to improve their life style.

VERSE – 16: 21

Desire, anger and greed are the three gateways to hell. They have to avoided

त्रिविधं नरकस्येदं द्वारं नाशनमात्मनः ।

कामः क्रोधस्तथा लोभस्तस्मादेतत्त्रयं त्यजेत् ॥१६:२१॥

trividhaṁ narakasyēdaṁ dvāraṁ nāśanamātmanaḥ |

kāmaḥ krōdhastathā lōbhastasmādētattrayaṁ tyajēt ||16:21||

त्रिविधम् नरकस्य इदम् द्वारम् नाशनम् आत्मनः

कामः क्रोधः तथा लोभः तस्मात् ऎतत् त्रयम् त्यजेत्  

त्रिविधम्-triple, three types of नरकस्य-to the hell इदम्-this द्वारम्-gate नाशनम्- destructive आत्मनः- of the self

कामः-desire, lust क्रोधः-anger तथा-and लोभः-greed तस्मात्- therefore ऎतत्-thesse त्रयम्-three त्यजेत्- should be abandoned 

Lust, anger and greed are the three gates to hell. They bring about the ruination of the soul. Therefore, one should avoid all these three.

त्रिविधम् नरकस्य इदम् द्वारम् नाशनम् आत्मनः -There are three gates to hell which cause ruination of soul. Under the spell of desire, men commit sins of various kinds. Even advanced

 yogis forget all their books and sadhanas.  These three enemies may pay a surprise visit. So, one has to be always

vigilent not to come under their sway. A electric lineman uses shock proof ruber gloves. Similarly, sadhaka has to employ the practice of viveka and vairagya to stay away from desire.

कामः क्रोधः तथा लोभः तस्मात् ऎतत् त्रयम् त्यजेत् –  Desire anger and greed are the three gates to hell. Thefore  one should avoid these three. Desire is a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction. It shows up in many ways as an urge for money, craving for sensual pleasure, prestige and power. Unfulfilled desisre causes anger. Extreme desire casues greed. Hence desire is the root casue of all evils. They are therefore to be avoided.

VERSE – 16: 22

Those who are free from these three faults work for their

own welfare and do not bring about their degradation

एतैर्विमुक्तः कौन्तेय तमोद्वारैस्त्रिभिर्नरः ।

आचरत्यात्मनः श्रेयस्ततो याति परां गतिम् ॥१६:२२॥

ētairvimuktaḥ kauntēya tamōdvāraistribhirnaraḥ |

ācaratyātmanaḥ śrēyastatō yāti parāṁ gatim ||16:22||

एतैः विमुक्तः कौन्तेय तमोद्वारैः त्रिभिः नरः 

आचरति आत्मनः श्रेयः ततः याति पराम् गतिम्  

एतैः-from this  विमुक्तः- liberated कौन्तेय-Arjuna तमोद्वारैः-from these three gaes of hell त्रिभिः-three नरः- a person

आचरति-practices आत्मनः-his own श्रेयः- welfare ततः- thereby याति-attains पराम्-supreme गतिम्-goal  

A man who is freed from these three gateways to darkness, endeavors for the welfare of his soul and thereby

attains the supreme goal.


What happens to a person who acts according to his own

belief disregarding the injunction of scriptures

एतैः विमुक्तः कौन्तेय तमोद्वारैः त्रिभिः नरः  -A man who is freed from these three gateways to darkness. In the previous verse it was explained that lust, anger and greed are the three gateways to darkness. The hells like taamisra andhaataamisra (तामिस्र, अन्धतामिस्र) are full of darkness. एतैः विमुक्तःone who is freed from these three meaning kama, krodha and moha, three gates to hell. Thre are three more emotions which come in this family. Together they are  अरि षड्वर्ग the aggregate six. Thye are the six inner foes or faults of men. How one becomes free from thse foes? Kama is confounded by

vairagya or dispassion. Krodha is defeated by sahana shakti or tolerance. Lobha is won by contentment.

आचरति आत्मनः श्रेयः ततः याति पराम् गतिम्  – practices for the upliftment of his own self and attains salvation  आचरति- practices sadhana chatushtaya. I.e 4 D’s. Discretion, dispassion, discipline and deliverance. He works in a disinterested spirit for salvation.  आचरति also means the practice of daivi samptatti.

One is reminded of Krishna advice in chapter 6. Here is the shloka.

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।

आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ॥6:5॥

Men who are slaves of desire, anger and greed bring about their own degradation. While those who are free from these strive for their salvation”-Goyandka.

श्रेयः welfare, prosperity, superior, excellent. In this verse, Shree Krishna gives the result of renouncing lust, anger, and greed. As long as these are present, one is attracted toward preya, or happiness that seems sweet in the begining but becomes bitter in the end. But when materialistic yearnings diminish, the intellect, freed from the material mode of passion, is able to perceive the shortsightedness of pursuing the path of preya. Then one gets drawn towards  shreya, or happiness that is unpleasant in the present but becomes sweet in the end. And for those attracted to shreya, the path of enlightenment opens up. They begin endeavoring for the eternal welfare of their soul, thereby moving toward the supreme goal.-Swami Muktananda

VERSE – 16: 23

If one acts according to his own  desisres, disregarding the shastra it brings him no reward

यः शास्त्रविधिमुत्सृज्य वर्तते कामकारतः ।

न स सिद्धिमवाप्नोति न सुखं न परां गतिम् ॥१६:२३॥

yaḥ śāstravidhimutsr̥jya vartatē kāmakārataḥ |

na sa siddhimavāpnōti na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim ||16:23||

यः शास्त्रविधिम् उत्सृज्य वर्तते कामकारतः

न सः सिद्धिम् अवाप्नोति न सुखम् न पराम् गतिम्  

यः-who शास्त्रविधिम्-scriptural injunctions उत्सृज्य- discarding वर्तते- acts कामकारतः-under he impulse of desire न-not सः-he सिद्धिम्- perfection अवाप्नोति-attains न-not सुखम्happiness- न-not- पराम्-the supreme गतिम्-goal

One who acts under the impulse of desire, discarding the

injunctions of the scriptures, attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme goal in life.


यः शास्त्रविधिम् उत्सृज्य वर्तते कामकारतः- One who disregards the injunctions of the scriptures and acts according to his own desires. The word, ’shastra’ covers vedas, upanishads, shruti, purana and epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. In short Shastra is that by which the knowledge of Brhman is discussed, and righteousness (dharma) is advocated. The shastras commands what is to be done and what is to be avoided. When you are driving in a highway, you meet a roundabout of 5 roads. Then you look at the signboard and take the road for your destination. Shastra is also like that. We have to often check if our decision is acceptable to shastras.

न सः सिद्धिम् अवाप्नोति न सुखम् न पराम् गतिम्  – attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme goal in life.On the other hand, if he acts promted by some desire, eventhough his decision is is reasonable and logical, if it is against shastra brings him no reward.

VERSE – 16: 24

Arjuna, th test of your actions, whether it is right or wrong is the injunction of shastras.

तस्माच्छास्त्रं प्रमाणं ते कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ ।

ज्ञात्वा शास्त्रविधानोक्तं कर्म कर्तुमिहार्हसि ॥१६:२४॥

tasmācchāstraṁ pramāṇaṁ tē kāryākāryavyavasthitau |

jñātvā śāstravidhānōktaṁ karma kartumihārhasi ||16:24||

तस्मात् शास्त्रम् प्रमाणम् ते कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ

ज्ञात्वा शास्त्रविधानोक्तम् कर्म कर्तुम् इह अर्हसि   

तस्मात्-therefore शास्त्रम्-scriptures प्रमाणम्-authority ते-they कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ- कार्य-duty अकार्य-forbidden action व्यवस्थितौ-in determining  ज्ञात्वा-having known शास्त्रविधानोक्तम्- शास्त्र-scriptures विधान-injunctions उक्तम्-as revealed कर्म-actions  कर्तुम्-perform इह- in this world अर्हसि- you should  

Therefore, let the scriptures be your authority in determining what should be done and what should not be done. Knowing this, you have to perform only such action as is prescribed by the scriptures.

तस्मात् शास्त्रम् प्रमाणम् ते कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ –The vedas and other scriptures based on them like Smruti, Purana, and the epics, guide us n determining what actions are to be done what are to be abstained. Even such virtuous acts are to be done with disinterested spirit because only such actions lead us to liberation.

Sometimes, even well-intentioned people say, “I do not care for rules. I follow my heart and do my own thing.” It is all very well to follow the heart, but how can they be sure that their heart is not misleading them? As the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Thus, it is always wise to check with the scriptures whether our heart is truly guiding us in the proper direction.Swami Mukundananda

ज्ञात्वा शास्त्रविधानोक्तम् कर्म कर्तुम् इह अर्हसि   

Knowing this, you have to perform only such action as is

prescribed by the scriptures.


ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे

श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे दैवासुरसंपद्विभागयोगो नाम षोडशोऽध्यायः ॥१६॥

Aum Tat Sat

In the Upanishad of the holy Bhagavad Gita – the discourse of Lord Krishna to Arjuna, which in the scriptures of yoga and the science of God realization—this is the sixteenth  chapter, called daivasura sampat vibhaga yoga.

Summary of 16th chapter

Based on Swami Paramarthananda’s audio lecture