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DNYANESHWARI
(The Philosophical Part)


 
 

CHAPTER 16
 
 

DIVINE AND DEMONIACAL ENDOWMENTS

 
THE TWO ENDOWMENTS

A subject for which one develops a liking penetrates the mind deeper and deeper and that is called "love".  It is natural that curious persons who have not experienced this love should feel worried about whether they would gain Knowledge and having gained it how it would last.  Therefore it is necessary to first ponder over the questions:  "How that pure Knowledge may be attained and how it will last after it is attained ?, or "Why am I not attaining that Knowledge?  or "Which is that powerful anti-Knowledge entity that would set one on the wrong path?  Shri Krishna will now speak in this chapter in order to satisfy the wishes of the curious seekers so that they would get rid of things which are impediments in the path of Knowledge and concentrate on those things which increase it.  He will sing the praises of the divine endowment which gives rise to Knowledge and increases peace.  Similarly, the terrible nature of the demoniacal endowment which supports the evil emotions like anger and enmity due to knowledge related to sense objects will also be described. During the discussions in the ninth chapter it was mentioned in passing that these two natures cause good and bad effects and thus the topic was already introduced.  This topic should have been discussed in detail there but other topics came up, therefore Shri Krishna is explaining it now.  Therefore this sixteenth chapter may be considered as an extension of the earlier chapter. But enough of this introduction.  The present topic concerns the fact that the power of these two endowments causes a good or a bad form to be imparted to Knowledge.

Now listen first to the nature of the divine endowment which guides the seekers like a flame illuminating the path through the darkness of delusion.  Collection of several objects which support one another is called wealth in this world. Divine wealth creates happiness and one gets it by gift from the divine and therefore it is called divine endowment. (16:53-67).

THE TWENTY-SIX DIVINE ENDOWMENTS

Fearlessness: Shri Krishna says,  "The best among the qualities of this divine endowment is fearlessness. (16:68).  He who is not allowing ego to develop while he is working or at rest is not afraid of this world. When non-duality pervades the mind he realises that the whole universe is filled with Brahman and he abandons even mentioning fear.  Spirit of non-duality destroys fear.  These are the indications of the quality called fearlessness and it is part of the path towards true Knowledge. (16:70-73).

Purity:  Now the quality called purity of the mind is to be recognised by the following indications. (16:74).  After one gives up the tendency towards desires and doubts and casting of the burden of Raja and Tama attributes the intellect is attracted towards contemplation about the Self.  The intellect does not waver at all even when enticed by sense objects.  Intellect becomes dedicated having developed a liking for the form of the Self. (16:77-78). This is what is called purity of the mind. (16:80).

Steadiness:  Concentrating and involving oneself completely in one of the two paths, the path of Knowledge and the path of yoga, whichever is suitable for attaining Self while abandoning other tendencies of the mind and ridding one's mind of all doubts is the third quality called steadiness in Knowledge and Yoga. (16:81-82, 84).

Charity:  Practising charity by helping a distressed person in every possible way and in all sincerity, even if he were an enemy, giving whatever one can and not sending him away empty handed is a quality which shows the path to real Knowledge. (16:85,87-88).

Self-restraint:  Now listen to the indications of self-restraint.  A yogi separates the organs from the sense objects. Also he does not permit the breath of sense objects from the sense organs to touch the mind.  For this purpose he binds the organs in the chains of discipline and controls them. By lighting the fires of detachment in the organs he expels the tendencies for sense objects hidden in the corners of the mind.  He observes ceaselessly routines stricter that those of breath control.  These are the indications of what is called self-restraint. (16:89-93).

Yajna or sacrifice:  Now I shall briefly tell about the indications of Yajna or sacrifice. Everyone, from a brahmin to a woman should do religious asctions according to the rightful code of conduct appropriate to him or her, in the manner prescribed in the Shastras.  For example, a brahmin observing the six rituals and a shudra making obeisance to him, both lead to a like sacrifice from each of them.  Thus, everyone should perform the sacrifice as per his entitlement but let it not be contaminated by the poison of the desire of fruits.  And let one not think out of ego that "Oh! I have performed the sacrifice.", for the code set by the Vedas must in any case be obeyed.  Arjuna, this is what is called appropriately conducted sacrifice. Such a sacrifice should be considered as a knowledgeable guide in the path of liberation. (16:93-99).

Personal study of Vedas: God is the subject of discussion in the Vedas which one should constantly study in order to understand Him. For attaining Self, brahmins should contemplate over the writings about the Brahman in the Vedas.  Others should frequently sing the songs praising God or utter the His name. This is what is called the personal study of Vedas. (16:103-105).

Austerity:   Now I shall tell you the meaning of austerity (Tapas).  To give away oneís all possessions is to put them to best use and that is real austerity. (16:106) Straining oneís body, organs and life force for experiencing the Self is called austerity.  All other types of austerities which people talk about must be critically examined.  Austerity keeps alive in a person the sense of discrimination which separates "I am the living soul" feeling from the "I am the body" feeling.  While contemplating on the Self, the intellect turns inwards.  Just as when one wakes up both sleep and dreams vanish, similarly that which makes a person turn to contemplating about the Self is the real nature of austerity. (16:108-112).

Uprightness:  Just as life may be of diverse type but all have similar life-force, similarly to show gentleness to all is called uprightness. (16:113).

Non-injury:  To behave by words and actions and feelings with the intention of making the world happy is the indication of non-injury. (16:114).

Truthfulness :  Truthfulness is pointed but soft and bright but comfortable.  Just as one cannot find  a medicine which can cure a disease but is not bitter in taste, similarly a simile cannot be found for truthfulness.  Water sprinkled on the eyes does not hurt the eyeballs but the same water is capable of breaking stones.  Similarly truthfulness is hard like iron in crushing doubts but is sweet to the ears.  With its  strength it penetrates the principle of the Brahman. In short, that which is sweet but not deceptive like the song of a trapper, (16:115-121), and  which does not hurt and proves to be true and which is without evil aspects is to be considered as truthfulness here. (16:124).

Absence of wrath : The state of mind in which a person does not get angry even by words which normally would make even a boy angry is called absence of wrath. 16:128-130).

relinquishment : Freeing themselves of the "I am the body" attitude, intelligent people give up worldly affairs. This is called relinquishment. (16:134-135).

Tranquillity : After knowing the knowable (i.e. experiencing the Brahman), the state in which both the knower and the knowledge dissolve is called tranquillity. (16:137).

Non-calumny:  When one sees somebody drowning, he does not bother whether that person is a brahmin or a untouchable but thinks that saving him is his first duty. (16:143).  Such a person, instead of bothering about the failings of another, tries to overcome that by his own good qualities and does not taunt him about them. (16:149-150).  Not taunting people for their failings by comparing them with perfect persons is the indication of non-calumnyand there is no doubt that this is one of the resting stages in the path to liberation. (16:152-153).

Compassion :  Compassion is that which does not let one distinguish between high and low while helping to remove the miseries of the unfortunate. (16:155).  When he sees the sorrows of others he thinks nothing of sacrificing everything he possesses in order to mitigate them.  If he encounters a destitute, he does not go a step further without satisfying him. (16:157-158).  His life is spent in helping the miserable. Such a person is compassion personified and I am indebted to him from birth. (16:162).

Lack of greed : The state of mind when one  is averse to enjoying the pleasures of this world or the world beyond even if they are available to him at his  mere wish,  and what more,  when one has no desire of any kind for sense-pleasures is the indication of  lack of greed. (16:166-167).

Gentleness:  A tender loving behaviour towards all creatures (16:170) and a life devoted to welfare of the world is the indication of gentleness. (16:174)

Humility:   When a person feels ashamed of being imprisoned in this body of three and a half hand-span length, of being born and dying again and again, of remaining in the uterus immersed in blood and urine to be cast as a human being, is the sign of humility. Only persons without blemish feel so ashamed, but others take pleasure in it. (16:179-182)

Absence of fickleness : When life-force is controlled the organs of action become slow.  Similarly, just as sun-rays do not come out after sunset, the sense-organs become dim after the mind is controlled.  Thus all the ten organs become inactive by the control of mind and the life force.  This condition is called absence of fickleness. (16:183-185)

Spiritual vigour : When the determination to follow the path of Knowledge for attaining God is very strong then there is no dearth of strength. (16:186).  The individual, anxious to realise his master the Soul, follows the difficult path towards the formless Brahman treating the sense objects like poison.  In this path he is not hindered by the ritualistic rules neither is he attracted by the great Siddhis.  This quality of mind which goes towards God automatically is called spiritual vigour. (16:188-190).

Forgiveness :  Now, forgiveness is the quality by which one does carry pride about being superior among those who are tolerant. (16:191).

Fortitude :  Even when flooded with calamities, one holds courage and faces them like Rishi Agastya did.  He tolerates all distresses of spiritual, divine and earthly origin.  The quality which keeps a person from getting distressed in mind by maintaining oneís courage is called fortitude. (16:193-196).

Cleanliness:   It is like the purity of Ganges water filled in a clean gold pot. Because doing actions without desire of fruits and maintaining discretion in the mind is the indication of cleanliness from inside and outside. (16:197-198).

Absence of envy: And just as Ganges water removes the batherís sins and troubles and at the same time also supports the trees on the bank while flowing to meet the ocean, (16:199), similarly such a person liberates those who are bound to this world and removes the difficulties of the afflicted.  In fact he gains his goal by helping others be happy. Not only that the idea of hurting anybody for his own success never touches his mind. These are signs of absence of envy. (16:200-204).

Lack of pride : And just as Ganges felt shy when Shiva bore her on his head, similarly feeling shy after one gets recognition is the quality called lack of pride.

These are the twenty-six qualities of divine endowment and is the gift of the great emperor of Liberation. (16:207).  How much can I describe it to you? It has to be experienced by itself. (16:212).

THE SIX DEMONIACAL ENDOWMENTS

Now, the demoniacal endowment is the creeper of sorrow in the heart and it is full of thorns of failings.  Understand it thoroughly because even if an object fit only to be rejected is of no use to us, yet one should understand its nature properly before it is rejected.  The set of serious defects which are brought together in order to subject beings to horrible tortures of hell is actually the demoniacal endowment. It is the storehouse of all failings. (16:213-216).

Hypocrisy  : The principal among the failings of the demoniacal endowment is the hypocrisy. (16:217). If one publicises his practising of Dharma (the code of righteous behaviour), the companion and friend in this world and the next, then instead of helping to take him towards liberation, it actually becomes a hindrance.  The righteous behaviour in effect becomes unrighteous behaviour (Adharma) and this must be considered as hypocrisy. (16:222-223).

Arrogance Just as a beggars feels himself to be great just by a single alms, a person becomes haughty due to possession of women, wealth and learning, and by listening to praise and due to honour bestowed on him. (16:227).  Swelling by pride of being rich is what is called arrogance. (16:229).

Conceit  God is venerable to the whole world because it believes in the Vedas.  Because it desires to gain a high position and likes to be immortal, people enthusiastically praise Vedas and God.  But a person burns with jealousy and says that he is going to swallow God, poison the Vedas and destroy their power by his strength.  Overcome by pride he is unable to tolerate people uttering Godís name.  His nature is such that he gives step-motherly treatment to his own father for the fear that he will be a claimant to his wealth. Such a person is said to possess conceit and is arrogant. Such a conceit is a certain path to hell. (16:230-236).

Wrath  A person gets angry by seeing the happiness in others. (16:237).  He is annoyed at seeing the learning, development, wealth and fortune of others. This is what is called wrath. (16:242).

Harshness He whose mind is like a snake-hill, eyes like the throw of an arrow, speech like a shower of cinders and other actions also like a sharp saw and whose all external and internal behaviour is troublesome to others is a very contemptible person and an icon of harshness. (16:243-245).

Ignorance Now I shall tell you the sign of ignorance. (16:245). The condition of blindness to thoughts of evil deeds, (16:249). lack of understanding of what is good and what is bad is called ignorance. (16:251-252).

Thus I have told you about the signs of all the six failings. (16:252).  The demoniacal endowment has become strong because of these six failings.  That it is founded only on six failings does not mean that it is unimportant. (16:255-256). On the other hand the coming together of these six can create horrible consequences to a person.   He who, ignoring his inclination towards the path of liberation, immerses himself in the worldly affairs descends down the ladder of rebirth to states even below that of the non-moving species (trees etc.).  Thus I have explained to you the two types of endowments. (16:259-264).

WARNINGS ABOUT DEMONIACL ENDOWMENTS

Of these two, the first divine endowment is like the dawn before the sunrise of liberation while the second demoniacal endowment is really like iron shackles in the form of delusion. (16:265-266).  There are well established modes of behaviour of people possessing these two types of endowments. (16:271).  Out of these the divine endowment has been discussed earlier in detail.  Now listen carefully to what I am going tell about the demoniacal endowment. (16:275).  The demoniacal endowment does not become evident unless it has taken shelter in the body. (16:277).  After taking shelter in the body the demoniacal endowment takes possession of it and grows with it.  Arjuna, I shall now tell you the signs of a person who are afflicted by the failings of the demoniacal endowment. (16:279-280).

Signs in Afflicted Persons His mind is dark about thoughts that one should be inclined towards meritorious actions or averse to sinful actions. (16:281).  People afflicted with demoniacal endowment do not understand what is action and what is non-action and they do not even dream about what is purity. (16:284).  They do not bother about prescribed actions, do not follow the path of their elders and do not even know the language of proper behaviour. (16:287).  Their behaviour is uninhibited and they are always averse to truth. (16:289).  They may not have done anything, but by nature they are evil. Now I shall tell you about the strange things they talk. (16:292).

Defiance of the Vedas This universe has been going on from time without beginning and is controlled and ruled by God. Vedas clearly and openly decide about what is moral and what is immoral.  People whom Vedas consider as immoral are punished by being sent to hell.  Those who are considered as moral go to heaven where they remain happily. Now, these people (afflicted with demoniacal endowment) say that this arrangement which has been going on since time immemorial, is all false.  They further say that people obsessed with yajnas perform them and get cheated.  Those who love god worship idols and those who become yogis by wearing ochre coloured clothes get deceived by the illusion of Samadhi . One should enjoy whatever one can get by own capability.  There is no merit other than this.  Real sin is not being able to enjoy sensual pleasures due to physical weakness. Though it is a sin to kill the rich, the wealth one gets from it is the result of merit.  If strong destroying the weak is objectionable then how is it that big fish which eat small fish do not become extinct?  Marriages are arranged on auspicious time between boys and girls of good families with the intention of producing progeny but who arranges the marriages of birds and animals who produce abundant progeny?  Has anybody ever been poisoned by stolen wealth?  Or has anybody ever been afflicted by leprosy because he had loved and had sexual relations with another manís wife?  Vedas say that God is the ruler of this universe and He rewards or punishes people according to their righteous or unrighteous behaviour and the fruits of the deeds in this world are obtained in the next.  But one can neither see God nor the other world therefore it is all untrue.  If the person who does meritorious or sinful deeds himself dies then who is there left to enjoy or suffer for them?  Just as Indra lives happily with Urvashi in heaven, the worm in the mud is also lives contentedly in it.  Therefore heaven and hell are not the consequences of meritorious or sinful deeds because in both places the lust is satisfied.  When man and woman come together inspired by lust, the world is created therefore whatever is beneficial to the world is all supported by the lust. And because of the mutual enmity it is the lust that destroys the world.  Thus the people afflicted with demoniacal endowment say that there is no reason for the creation of the world other than the sensual pleasure.  Now let us not discuss these evil things further because they cause strain to the tongue. (16:295-313).

Evil Nature They despise god and spend time in meaningless talk.  Not only that, they have already decided that God does not exist and they openly profess that they are atheists.  Atheism is well entrenched in them. Belief in the existence of heaven or fear of hell have completely disappeared from their minds.  They are then caught in the trap of the body and like a bubble of gas in dirty waters they get immersed n the mire of sensual desires. (16:314-317).  Persons with demoniacal endowment are born for destruction of people.  They are like living victory towers of sin. Like fire which does not bother what it burns, they destroy everybody who comes near them.  I shall describe the enthusiasm with which they do all this destruction. (16:319-322).

They sustain insatiable lust, the foremost among the insatiable desires and add to it hypocrisy and pride.  As they grow in age these persons with demoniacal endowment become arrogant.  To the obstinacy is added foolishness too.  And then who can say what they decide to do? Right from birth their tendency is to do things which create misery for others or destroy their life.  They treat the world as trivial and brag about their own deeds.  They spread the net of their desires in all directions. The persons with demoniacal endowment increase their load of sins enthusiastically. (16:322-329).

All their actions are thus governed by this approach while they live and they worry in the same way about their future after death. (16:330).  The boundless worry does not leave them even at the time of death. Pining for futile sense-objects the persons with demoniacal endowment worry endlessly about attaining them.  The idea that there is nothing better than enjoyment of sex is fixed in their minds.  They are then ready to go to heaven or hell or to the four corners of the world. (16:333-336).

The Trap of Desire and Anger Like fish swallowing the bait, desire for sense objects makes them heedless.  If they do not get what they desire then they get trapped within the cocoon of dry hope that they will some day get it and if the desire is still not fulfilled then immediately hatred is born. And then they feel that there is no valour other than desire and anger. (16:337-339).  The individuals who are pushed away from the precipice of desire crash on the rocks of anger below but even then their love for desire and anger does not diminish.  Now, even if the desire arises in the mind, how can it be satisfied without money?  Therefore they raid the world for earning money at least enough to satisfy the desires.  They waylay a person and kill him or loot somebody.  They scheme and plot for destroying somebody. (16:340-344).  They kill others and loot their wealth and feel happy when they get it. (16:347).

The person with demoniacal endowment says, " I have taken away the wealth of many. I am happy and satisfied."  And immediately greedy thoughts of looting more people rise in his mind. He decides to use his gains to earn more estate and ultimately own everything in this world by possessing everything that he sets his eyes on. He says, "I shall kill bigger enemies than what I have destroyed so far and I alone shall enjoy the wealth.  Then they would become my servants. Besides, I shall destroy others and will be the master of the living and non-living universe. I shall be the king of this mortal world and gain all happiness.  Even Indra will be put to shame when he sees my splendour.  How can anything fail when I apply my mind to it?  Who is there more powerful than me to issue orders?  Time may brag about his power as long as he has not seen the powerful me. I am really the bundle of all happiness. No doubt Kuber is wealthy but nothing as compared with me and even Vishnu, husband of Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth is not as wealthy as me.  The greatness of my family, my friends and relatives is such that even Brahmadeo will be lower in comparison.  Therefore none of those who consider themselves superior in the name of God can be compared with me.  Now I shall revive the now forgotten techniques of black magic and perform yajnas which will cause distress to people. As for people who sing my praises and entertain me through dances and dramas,  I shall give them whatever they ask. I shall enjoy the pleasure of intoxicating food and drinks and of embracing women in these three worlds." (16:348-363).

Arjuna, the crazy persons of demoniacal endowment thus hope to smell the celestial flowers and babble away their thoughts like a person in delirium.  Whirlwinds of hope are raised in the dust of their ignorance and spin through the sky of their daydreams.  They desire endless sensual pleasures and then their daydreams get shattered.  As delusions grow in their minds their desire for sensual pleasures also grows.  That gives shelter to sins.  When sins become strong and numerous he has to suffer like hell even while he is alive.  Therefore the persons with demoniacal endowment reach a place where trees have leaves like sharpened swords, where there are mounds of embers and oceans of boiling oil rage.  They reach hell where agonies are lined up and Yama the Lord of death imposes fresh kind of suffering every day. Even those who reach some better parts of hell spend their time in performing yajnas. Now, the yajna rituals are beneficial but these people, like those in show business, make a show of their performance and make the rituals fruitless. (16:364-376).  Their yajna  need not have proper arrangements like kunda, vedi or a pandal, nor the usual materials. They are averse to the following of the prescribed rituals.  They cannot tolerate the names of deities and brahmins uttered before in their presence. (16:384-385).

Now who will attend their yajnas as they are?  But just as cunning people stuff a dead calf and show it the cow to get her milk,  These persons invite people for the yajna rituals and loot them by accepting presents from them.  Thus they perform yajna for their own benefit and desire that others should lose everything.  Then they make a fanfare and pretend that they have been initiated in the learning.  With this false status these crafty people become all the more conceited and their ego and excesses double.  Then they use their power to see that no name other than theirs is mentioned around.  Once their ego increases the ocean of arrogance overflows.  Once arrogance becomes unleashed then lust also rises and in the combination of the two the anger also flares up. (16:386-394).  When ego intensifies and arrogance gets entangled in lust and anger and the two come together, will they not kill any creature as they feel like killing? (16:396-397).  These so called initiated persons waste their own blood and flesh by getting obsessed with black magic.  When they do this, the exertion they cause to their body harasses me who is the soul occupying the body.  And when they harass other people by black magic, since I am in their bodies it is I who is really harassed.  And whoever escapes rarely their attack by black magic they bombard him by nasty talk.  Saintly women, saints, donors, performers of yajnas, great tapasis, sanyasis, or devotees and great souls which are favourite places of my presence which have been rendered pure by fire-sacrifices are the targets of their sharp poisonous talk.  And now listen to what I do to these sinners who try to hold me in enmity. (16:398-405).

HOW I PUNISH THEM

I punish the fools who bear human body but hate the world, by snatching their humanness and keeping them in species of Tama attribute, of type which have to suffer  worst kind of filth  and  tortures.  They are made to be born as tigers, scorpions etc. in places where not even a blade of grass grows for them to eat.  They bite their own flesh to feed their hunger and after death they are reborn in the same species.   Or, I make them be born as snakes which burn their own skin by their own poison and confine them to holes.  I do not permit these evil souls even a breathing time for taking rest.  And I do not take them out of this situation even after millennia pass.  But this is only the first stage of their journey towards the final destination.  Then imagine the extent of tortures they would suffer when they reach there.  Thus they reach this low state due to their demoniacal nature.  Then I snatch whatever little rest they get in species like tiger. Then I put them in pitch darkness.  Thus these vile people reach this lowest state after suffering through all the species of Tama attribute. Even the tongue weeps when describing this Tama attribute and its very memory causes the mind to shudder.  Alas! How these fools have earned hell! Why do they nurture the demoniacal endowment which leads to such a downfall!  Therefore Arjuna, do not go anywhere near the place where persons with demoniacal  endowment live and I advise you to give up the company of those who  possess all the six aspects of demoniacal  endowment. (16:406-424).

Wherever desire, anger and greed prevail is the place where inauspicious things grow.  It is as if these three have been appointed as guides by all the sorrows in order that people experience them.  Or it is as if all the sins have gathered together to push the sinners in hell.  As long as these three failings do not arise in the mind there is no occasion for the Rourava type of hell mentioned in the Puranas.  These three cause misfortunes with ease and pains become cheap.  What is known as detriment in the world is not really the detriment.  Real detriment is in these three.  These three lowest type of failings are the gateway to hell.  One who heartily embraces desire, anger and greed is fit to be honoured in the assembly in hell.  Therefore I am telling you repeatedly to totally give up this harmful trio of desire, anger and greed. (16:425-432).

One should bother about the four obligations (Dharma or righteous conduct, Artha or earning, Kama or conjugal life and Moksha or liberation) only after having got rid of the three failings.  If anybody tells me that a person can profit with these three emotions remaining in the mind, I am not going to listen to it.  He who is interested in personal welfare or fears self-destruction, should be alert and never give shelter these three. (16:433-435).

He who has abandoned these three failings becomes happy just as a body feels happy when it is rid of phlegm, wind and biles, or as a town becomes happy when it is free from thefts, betrayal and gossip or like oneís conscience when it is free from worldly, divine and spiritual sufferings. (16:439).  He gains the company of saints and gets set on the path of liberation.  Then he crosses the wasteland of births and deaths with the power of the company of saints and help of prescribed code of conduct.  Then he gains a beautiful place of Guruís benevolence where bliss of the Self forever exists. There he meets mother Soul, the ultimate form of love and in her embrace the sounds of the world are not heard. Only he who rids himself of desire, anger and greed is able to attain the Self. (16:441-444)

But he who is not inclined towards Self-realisation and keeps himself engrossed in passions commits self-destruction.  He does not heed Vedas which are like a father equally benevolent to all and which are like a guiding lamp showing what is good and what is bad.  He does not bother about the dos and doníts given in the Shastras and pampers the sense organs without considering the consequences.  He does not leave the company of desire, anger and greed and obeys their dictate and leaving the straight path to liberation he goes by the sidelanes of uncontrolled behaviour.  He is not able to free himself even for a moment from these failings and he does not think about it even in his dreams.  He misses the enjoyments of not only the world beyond but of this world as well. (16:445-450).  Having got in the clutches of death while obsessed with sensual pleasures he misses them in this world and having become ineligible for the world beyond, forfeits them there too.  How can then there be any scope for liberation? (16:452-453).  Therefore Arjuna, he who is keen about self-advancement should refrain from showing disrespect to the edicts in the Vedas. (16:455). The disciple who listens sincerely to the advice given by the true Guru gains Self-realisation. (16:457).  Similarly Arjuna, he who desires to achieve success in the four obligations should be reverent to the Shrutis (Vedas and upanishads) and Smritis (Codes of conduct).  Whatever Shastras advise to be avoided should be considered as insignificant as a grass blade even if it were a kingdom and whichever they advise should be accepted should not be opposed if it were a poison.  How can anybody having such unshaken faith in the Vedas encounter anything harmful?  There is no mother like Shrutis which can free one from harmful things and enhance the benefits therefore one should never forsake Shrutis which take you towards unification with the Brahman.  Arjuna, you too should be steadily devoted to them.  Because you behaved according to Dharma in past lives you have been reborn to bring the good Shastras to action and therefore you have consequently gained the name of "The Follower of Dharma".  Therefore do not behave contrary to the Vedas. Actions should be planned as prescribed in the Shastras.  Evil actions should be avoided.  And whichever is really your dutiful action should be sincerely performed successfully.  Today you are wearing the ring of seal which the whole world recognises therefore if you behave properly then people will also follow you, such is your worth.  Thus Shri Krishna explained to Arjuna the signs of demoniacal endowment and their effects. (16:459- 469).


ORIGINALLY UPLOADED  FEBRUARY 2000 - REVISED AUGUST  2004/NOV.2010

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