16:1-3: The Blessed One said: Fearlessness, purification of one's existence, determination in acquiring spiritual knowledge, charity, self-restraint, sacrifice, scriptural exegesis, austerity and straight-forwardness,
Non-violence, truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, peacefulness, an aversion to backbiting, compassion towards all beings, freedom from ardent desires, gentleness, modesty, and freedom from unsteadiness,
Vigor, forgiveness, resoluteness, purity, freedom from malice, avoidance of excessive honor - these are the qualities of those in whom godliness is born, O descendent of Bharata.
16:4: Deceit, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance - these are the qualities of those in whom a demonic nature is born, O child of Partha.
16:5: Godly qualities promote liberation whereas demonic qualities result in continued bondage. Do not grieve, O child of Pandu, you are born of godly qualities.
16:6: There are two types of beings in this world, one is godly, the other is demonic. The godly have been described in depth, now hear from Me about the demoniacal, O child of Partha.
16:7-9: Demonic people do not distinguish between activity and inactivity. There is no purity, proper behavior or truth in them.
They say the universe is devoid of truth and has no foundation, that it is without a god and is only arisen due to mutual union - that desire is its only causative.
Maintaining this misunderstanding, these less intelligent endangered souls arise to perform awesome and detrimental activities for the destruction of the universe.
16:10-12: Taking refuge in insatiable desire, wickedness and pride, possessed by delusion-wrought madness, seizing and believing in the non-eternal, they function with impure resolve.
Having taken refuge in unlimited anxieties even to the point of death, holding sense gratification to be the highest goal of life, being convinced that this is all there is;
Fettered by hundreds of chains of hope, yet bound by a consciousness absorbed in the desire for sense enjoyment, they employ improper means for accumulating worldly prosperity.
16:13-16: They say: "This has been acquired by me today, this I will obtain, by my desire this is mine and again, this wealth will be mine.
My enemy has been slain by me, I will slay my other enemies as well. I am the master of all I survey; I am the enjoyer, I am perfect, powerful and happy.
I am wealthy, the creme de la creme. Who is equal to me? I will perform sacrifices; I will give liberally; I will rejoice." Thus deluded by ignorance and confused by the multiformed diversity they behold, encompassed in a snare of delusion and addicted to sense gratification, they descend into the vile infernal regions of Naraka.2
16:17: Self centered, obstinate, maddened by wealth and pride, they hypocritically perform sacrifices in name only, without knowledge of the ancient customs.
16:18-20: Having taken refuge in false ego, personal strength, arrogance, desire and anger, these malicious people detest Me even within their own bodies or within others.
I dispatch these cruel enemies of Mine, lowest among mankind, into material existence where they perpetually enter into inauspicious demonic wombs.
O child of Kunti, after entering into demonic wombs through repeated births without achieving Me, the foolish eventually go to the vilest destination.
16:21, 22: Lust, anger and greed are the three gateways to the infernal regions and the destruction of the soul. These three must be abandoned.
O child of Kunti, liberated from these three gateways of ignorance, a person should practice what is beneficial to the Self and thus attain the supreme destination.
16:23, 24: One who abandons the scriptural ordinances and indulges in worldly desires obtains neither perfection, happiness nor the supreme destination.
Therefore the scriptures are the standard for determining what ought to be done and what ought not be done. Knowing the scriptural precepts as disclosed you should perform your activities in this world.
Go to: Chapter Seventeen.
Go to Notes and References.
Go to: the Beginning.
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