Daivasura is a combination of two words viz., Daivi (Divine) and Asura (Devilish). Sampat means wealth. Vibhaga means Division.

            In this chapter Krishna has divided the various Karmas which a human being performs, into two kinds (a) Divine and (b) Demonic, and elaborated on them. In the first four verses He talks about the Divine wealth, thus,

Divine and demoniac qualities

            "Freedom from fear, purity, development of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice, study and practice of spiritual literature, austerity, simplicity, non violence. truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, peace, aversion from finding faults with others, compassion for all beings, greedlessness, gentleness, modesty, steady mind, vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and freedom from craving for honour - these are divine qualities and they belong to the one endowed with divine nature. Pride, arrogance, conceit, anger, brutality and ignorance - these qualities belong to those born with demoniac nature."

            Each child inherits certain qualities at birth. They come from past associations with Karma and desires. A person who has been finding faults with others all his life, will have this quality in him in next human birth also. All these good and bad qualites are a result of the past. In general, we inherit a mixture of them so that we have both divine and demoniac tendencies. It is upto us to change those qualities which are not good. The good ones are called Divine because they can take us up on the path of self realization. If we cannot succeed in our goal, they help us to be reborn in good surroundings. The other type is called Asuri (demoniac) because they lay the foundation of next birth in devilish surroundings.

            The divine qualities can deliver us from Karmic bondage, but the demoniac ones tighten the ropes. Krishna then says to Arjuna in verse no. 5, "Arjuna, you are born with divine qualities so do not grieve."

            Then in verse no. 6 Krishna says, "In this world there are two kinds of beings, one called divine and the other demoniac. I have told you at length about the divine qualities, now hear the demoniac ones." Then in verses nos. 6 to 18 He elaborates them.

Prakruti and Nivrutti

            Such people do not understand how to behave in society. There are two ways of doing any Karma. Each Karma stems from some desire or the other. This desire turns into a tendency to either put it into action physically or by speech, or to suppress it for the time being. The first one is known as Pravrutti (getting out), the second one is called Nivrutti (subduing or suppressing).

            You had asked your wife to do certain important job. It had to be done that day itself. You telephone her from your office in the afternoon and learn that she completely forgot about it. You are angry. you come home in angry mood. You want to give your wife a piece of your mind. When you are home, you find that she has two of her old friends, sitting with her. You know them. Now you have two ways of action, either to scold her for her forgetfulness in front of her two friends or leave the matter unactioned for the time being, and talk to her later when you are alone with her. Your action will depend upon what quality of a person you are. The demoniac one will just blurt out and scold her without thinking if it is right or wrong to do so at that time. He will not know when to act, when not to act.

Behaviour of a person with demoniac qualities

            These people have no regard for cleanliness, proper behaviour nor they care for truth. If there is dirt or dust gathered on the floor they will not bother to clean. In the house of such a person you may find many things lying here and there. He may not have respect for others in the sense that he will lack mannerisms. He will easily tell a lie and will doubt the truth in other's words.

            They do not believe in God. They say that it is not true that this world was created by anybody. Nobody controls the world and it has no foundation at all. Beings have desire for sex which makes them work. Everything works because of lust. There is no hand of God anywhere. These people obviously do not have any regard for feelings of others. They can commit blunders. "So what!" they will say. Their motto is to enjoy while you live. Once you die, everything is over. In their opinion, all talk of Atma and Parmatma is foolish. Because of such thoughts they are lost to themselves. Their intellect rots; they do not use it. Mind rules them and senses guide them. They are ever ready to do nasty acts which cause destruction and harm to others. They never think of humanity or the world at large. Self interest is the only thing they know. The dominant guna in them is Tama. It never allows the Sattwa to come up. They love animal meat. They like to see chaos, anarchy and problems created. They are happy with riots, commotion and anything else that breaks general peace.

            They take refuge in lust. All their actions are based and guided by lust. Hence they have conceit and pride which can be seen in their behaviour. They get disillusioned by what their senses perceive. If somebody says something, they will not stop to think whether it is true or not. They are very easily excited and are liable to be tempted by small pleasures. They do not care for lasting values. Any sensual gratification, however temporary it may be, will attract them and they will go to any length to get it.

            Such a person can easily attack a woman. He will not hesitate to steal anything from a friend's house, if his mind is set on that thing. All this is a result of poor intellect and high indulgence in senses. The main cause is the Tama guna dominating all the time. They believe that human life is gratifying senses only. Because of this thought ruling them, they are never at peace. They are always lost in anxiety. Such a person is absessed with lust and is surrounded internally by hundreds of thousands of desires. Some of them cannot be fulfilled. So he gets angry and tries to find out whatever he needs to gratify these desires. Securing money by illegal means is not a bad thought to him.

            You see many such people in your society. You read in newspapers about incidents of rape, robbery for small gain, treachery and so on. In fact now a days this type of news predominates. We say crime is on the increase. This is because of people with demoniac tendencies. This is Kaliyuga. This is just the beginning. You may not be one of this type but you have to live with these people. What would happen after hundred years, thousand or ten thousand years. Will the things improve? Doubtful, is it not? They may become worse and worse. Do you want to be born again and again and again? Think it over and decide. Your destiny is in your hands.

            They always brag about their illegal gains and achievements. "Today I got this, tomorrow I will get that. I am so much worth, I will have so much more in course of time," - these thoughts rule them.

            In today's society we find many such people, not only in lower classes but also in the upper ones. People with high degree of intelligence easily fall victims to their own desires. When desires dominate life, and intellect follows the mind, corruption sets in. The person becomes diseased from within. Politicians, with a desire to be on the top, lose moral values. They show scanty respect to the masses. Accumulating money illegally and by doing wrong things becomes a matter of routine for them. People who have power, find ways to get more money. Whatever wealth they have, does not satisfy their lust, because desires can never be satisfied.

            Such people are not ashamed to kill others. We read in newspapers of moneyed people paying hundreds of thousands of rupees to some crime loving person just to kill a rival or a competitor. Astonishing fact, however, is that these people are not afraid of society or the laws. They know they can use their money to silence those in authority. There is always a rat race for accumulating wealth, gaining power and prestige, and being in the limelight. Such people always boast "I am the greatest, I can do and undo things. I am satisfied and happy. I am God because my word is a command to everybody." "There is nobody so powerful and happy as I am. I shall perform sacrifices, give some money for charity and thus I shall rejoice." In this way these persons live in ignorance.

Age old truth seen in Kaliyuga

            It is interesting to note that Krishna spoke to Arjuna more than five thousands years ago of things which we see actually happening in the world today. It is these people who do more damage to the world. Yet they think they are benevolent. They live in a delusion that their acts are for the good of the people. If that was so, we would not see majority people struggling to make both ends meet in underdeveloped and developing countries while a small section of society enjoys.

            Such a person's mind is always clouded by various anxieties and bound by a net of illusions. Always interested in sense enjoyment, he goes to hell, after death. It is very well known that desires, when not fulfilled, produce anger and, therefore, loss of peace. The mind remains always anxious. So imagine when a person is all the time thinking of gratifying senses, what will happen. Such a person will be restless and he may do any rash act when his desire does not get satiated.

            Somebody owes you some money. He is your friend who borrowed from you when he needed it. He promised to pay you back in two months time. It is six months now, still he has not paid. Every time you ask, he gives you a date. This is going on for four months, If you are a person with demoniac qualities, you may go to his house and create a scene in front of neighbours, insisting on immediate payment. You may beat him. Because your desire to get your money back is so powerful that you just cannot let it lie down low. You want action. You will not think rationally or find some honourable way to deal with the situation. This is the result of demoniac nature.

            Such people amass wealth by unfair means. Then they feel that something must be done for the good of others. They proudly perform sacrifices but do not follow any rules. They want to be known as pious people. They think that performing yagnyas or giving charity or donations to religious institutions will earn them prestige.

            They always have false ego. They have the strength and power of money to back them. They are aware that in general, people are always in need of money. These people have tons of it. So they can use that money power, and get their jobs done. They have pride, lust and anger. They criticise and talk ill of others. In this way they insult the Atma in them as well as in others. Abusing those who do not follow them or do not listen to them, is their nature. They perform seemingly religious work, like spending money in big religious festivals or giving donations to build houses of God. But they trample the real religion,which is human religion.

            These people do not realise that God exists in all beings. Hurting others is hurting God. Killing others for the sake of monetary gain; destroying an individual or a family just to acquire some piece of land; making many families homeless by forcing them out from their residence, just to buy the land and build shopping complex, all these acts are against God. They are against religion. Even if you give hundreds of thousands of rupees or dollars to build a Mandir or a Church, out of the money earned by such blasphemous deeds, you are not a religious person. You are an enemy of God and of yourself. Your place is nowhere else but hell, after death.

What happens to demoniac people?

            In verses nos. 19 and 20, Krishna, tells us about the fate of these people. He says, "Such people who are by nature envious, cruel killers, the lowest among humans, I throw them into the world in various demoniac species of life. They are born in those species again and again but they never come to Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence."

            Krishna has dealt with the demoniac qualities in greater details in this chapter. In the beginning He said he was going to tell about His divine wealth and demoniac wealth. The word wealth may be confusing. By wealth we understand lot of money. There are two types of wealth, one gained by honest means which is divine. The other is acquired by dishonest and cruel means. This is the demoniac wealth.

            In this world of ours, money makes the mare go. Money is required for everything. In whatever currency form it may appear, without it you cannot survive. you may need little money for survival, a little extra to have a comfortable living. But you need lots of it to enjoy sense pleasures and gratify desires. Some people are fortunately placed in a position where they can earn lot of money and lead a luxurious life. The business they do is honourable. They do not resort to killings, cheating or dishonest means.

            But there are others who are born with the characteristics or qualities like unsatiable lust, greed, dishonesty, coruelty etc. When they wish to gratify every sense desire, they need lot of money. But their profession in which they are engaged, does not yield that kind of money. So they resort to dishonest means.

            The word wealth, therefore, is to be taken in that sense. People with divine qualities have nothing to worry about the life after death, in this life. They will follow the cycle of birth and death and stand a chance to come out of it. But those born with and indulge in demoniac qualities are unfortunate. They go to hell and have no escape.

            This chapter is mainly for people who run after amassing wealth to satisfy their lust and who employ dishonourable and cruel means as mentioned in details above.

All is not lost

            Even though they may be born with some bad qualities, they can mend their ways. They may not believe in God but if they read this chapter again and again, some of them may fear the worse and try to change. They must remember that Krishna has said, "even the worst kind of sinner can reach Him, provided he repents and sincerely desires to be pardoned. But if he does not, and dies in this world with all those bad, inhuman qualities stuck permanently in his mind, and if he has behaved in really inhumanly and barbaric manner, then there is no other way for him than to go to hell and rot there.

Three gates of hell - lust, gread, anger

            In verses nos. 21 to 23 Krishna says, "There are three gates leading to hell. They are lust, anger and greed. They destroy a person. Hence everybody should give them up. He who remains away from them, performs Karmas conducive to self realisation. He reaches the supreme destination. He who discards laws of spiritual studies and behaves according his own whims does, not attain perfection, nor happiness nor does he reach the supreme destination."

            It is very important for us to know which ways are dangerous. Suppose you send your 10 year son on a vacation trip, along with his schoolmates and teacher. You know the place where the students are going. So you tell your son, "look son, do not go inside the lake, stay away from the tip of the cliff and never thrust your hand in a whole in the ground." You know the dangers lurking there. You don't feel it is necessary to tell him, "do not jump, do not run fast or you may fall" etc. After all, your son has to enjoy life. He may stumble and fall while running. But he will get over it. If he gets minor injuries, he may be distressed but no harm will be done. Yet if he attempts to do, what you have told him not to do, it may cost him his life. It is easy for your son to remember what he must not do. He will stay away from the pond, the cliff and wholes in the ground.

            In the same way Krishna is telling us, His children in Kaliyuga, to stay away from three things which are likely to ruin us totally. He has told us the divine qualities which, if we have or acquire, we will benefit from them anyhow. There is no need to elaborate more on them. It is sufficient for us to know that those are good qualities and will always bring us some good. But we must stay away from bad ones and certainly discard those ones which are sure to destruct us.

            Hence, these three, lust anger and greed, must be avoided. Lust is totally destructive. Anger also does not do any good but when you live in this world, you cannot dispense with it totally. Anger rests in desire. And desires are necessary for performing Karmas. You own a new car, a brand new TV and other things. They are yours. You have bought them with your hard-earned money. Suppose a friend of yours comes to you and says, "O' what a nice TV. The reception is fantastic; and so many channels! Waw! I am taking it." He starts packing it.

            You laugh at him and say, "don't joke, sit down." But he does not listen. You realise that he means what he has said. At this time if there is no anger in you, what will happen? You cannot obstruct him. He will take your TV. Take another example. You are leisurely having an evening walk with your wife. A passer by comes near and starts making passes at her. You do not get angry. He is happy. He comes near, holds her hand. You are still not angry because you  have discarded anger. What will happen? Your wife is scared. He will hold her in his arms, try to molest her. You are still calm. Is this right? Never. So anger is required. But we must understand that it is dangerous. A person with divine qualities will not become mad with anger. He will take necessary action and fight the passer-by. But a person with demoniac quality will become insane and even kill the man. Hence anger, in the mind of such a person is dangerous.

            Greed also is dangerous. It can lead a person to do unjust acts including killing. We all can live without greed. It is no good. It is a pitfall which will take us down the pit, where, there may  not be a way to come up.

Way out for people in Kaliyuga

            It is for us now, to examine our hearts and minds to see where we stand. Many of us have some divine and some demoniac qualities in various degrees. That is one reason why we are never contented. In spite of having all the necessities of life, we seem  to be dwelling in anxiety. The reason is, the presence of some demoniac qualities, though in very negligible amount.

            If you aspire for peace, happiness and to come out of the cycle of birth and death, you have to increase the content of divine qualities and reduce the demomiac ones. You have still a chance to reach your goal, if not in this, may be in some future life. But you must stay away from lust, greed and excessive unjustified anger, if you do not want to go to hell. These are permanent rules applicable everywhere, at all times. Hence they are said to be part of spiritual practices. They cannot go wrong. We are told that you follow these paths which are dangerous, and you will be lost for ever. Nobody, not even God can save you. So why taste the bitter fruit, when we know it is posion?

            In the last verse no. 24 of this chapter, Krishna says, "Arjuna, one should therefore understand what is right and what is wrong according to accepted scriptures, and take those actions which are right. I have told you everything. Now you should see what is right as per your Dharma and take action accordingly."

            Thus ends the 16th chapter of Gita. We have to understand that in the end, everything boils down to one question, which Krishna has asked Arjuna in the beginning. "Is this right what you are doing at this time?" Arjuna's behaviour at that time was not according to Dharma. His Dharma was to fight. But he was running away from it.


            What lesson should we take from this chapter? We must inspect our mind to see what qualities we have, and if any of them prevents us from doing what we must do at any given time. Usually, it is the bad quality which stops us from taking wrong action. We must check it and not succumb to the mind.

            Sometimes, the desire to do a wrong act is so strong that before we know, the mind overpowers intellect and we take the action. In such circumstances, at least, make sure that your wrong action is not as a result of lust, greed or unjustified anger. If it is, stop it. You are unknowingly walking towards hell.

            And if any of you, my dear readers, is already on a wrong path and accustomed to amass wealth because you want to satisfy lust and greed, be aware, you are not only digging your own grave, you are making sure, you will be lost till eternity. Once you enter hell through one of the three gates mentioned above, you remain there. Hence, think and change while there is time. God will still lift you up, wipe out all your previous sins, if you really and sincerely repent.

Copyright © 2003
R.P.L. Kornet®
. Alle rechten voorbehouden aan Bhai Gavankar™ India.