CHAPTER 16 Shodasho Adhyaya -The Celestial Characteristics

The chapter sixteenth  Srimad Bhagwad Geeta deals with the often asked questions by the humans , “ what characters, traits, behavioral aspects, devotional qualities and emotions   I need to possess that can take me closer to the Supreme Truth”. Inherent to the same question are the many other queries that arise in human emotions when they want to know, “what behavior needs to be avoided?  What kind of   habits, thoughts, desire and wishes need to be suppressed and eliminated from the emotions   , in order to become the celestial devotion towards the Lord and become his favorite devotee”? This chapter deals with all those thoughts, queries, and questions that explain the positive and godly qualities, and characteristics.   In the chapter lord advises to Arjuna the devout qualities that he should possess and the demonic characteristics that he actually should drop from his behavior which are known to be the hall mark and the features that only devil can acquire.  The lord sermonizes to Arjuna   the traits that can bring about the devotion towards the Supreme Truth .he also tells his disciple about those devilish features that one must sacrifice and eliminate from one’s emotional and behavioral persona.

The lord begins,

Abhayam satva sanshudhir gyaan yog vayavastithi

Daanam damashch yagyashch sawaadhayaay satap aarjavam (1)

“ the complete lack of fear, purity of inner consciousness,  steadfastness perseverance in the yoga of Self-enlightenment , selfless  charity,  restraint  of senses , the godliness, the obeisance to the gods and the teachers and the offerings to the fire god , good   moral character ,  the  study of the scriptures, the singing of the hymns praising the lord , the austerity, and the simplicity of the body and the soul”.

Ahimsaa satyam krodhas tyaag shaantir paishunum

Dayaa bhuteshava lolupatavam  maardavam hrirchapalam(2)

“  the practice of non violence, truthfulness and reality , non expression of anger on those who insult you , the sacrifice of the feeling of the doer, the freedom from abstinence  from the malicious gossip ,compassion towards one and all living beings, unattachment to the   desire of the senses,  sensitivity, modesty  and  absence of indecisiveness”.

Teja kshamaa dhrati shauchamdroho naatimaanita

Bhavanti sampadam daivam bhijaatasya bharat (3)

“Magnificence, mercy, courage, purity, absence of malevolence and absence of arrogance are some of the traits of those    who have been endowed with celestial qualities   and are blessed with divine nature, O Arjuna”.

Dambho darpo abhimaanashch krodha paarushymaiv ch

Agyaanam chaabhijaatasya parth sampadamaasureem (4)

“Hey Arjuna! Arrogance, vain pride, and anger, harshness, and the ignorance are some of the qualities that the demons are born with”.

Daivi sampadwi mokshaaya nibandhaayaasuri mataa

Maa shuch sampadam daivam bhijaatoasi pandava (5)

“The celestial characteristics are meant for the emancipation of the soul whereas the demonic traits of human nature are meant for the     bondage of the human soul to the mortal world. But you should not lament Arjuna! You are born with the celestial character”.

The lord while   educating his favorite disciple about the celestial   strength of character required to become eligible to attain the supreme Truth mentions about those positive emotions that can help mankind build up character worthy of being called transcendental.   Such kind of   godly emotional intelligence   can result into the much needed equanimity of mind, control of the senses, and unattachment to the   desires of the   physical sensuality   and eventually towards the emancipation from the   vicious cycle of the mortal world and getting integrated with the supreme truth.  The opposite of the celestial characteristics mentioned above are the   negative and the devilish   traits e.g., the anger, the vain pride, the arrogance, the laziness, the feeling of and the sense of ownership, the hypocrisy,   the spirit of violence towards others living beings both physically and emotionally, which lead to the bondage of the mind and the soul to the demonic desires and sadistic cycle of the life and death taking the soul away from the Supreme Truth. What is note worthy here is that the lord mentions that these qualities are not acquired but are such that one is born with. The protagonist has to practice to control the negative and the devilish quality of the character by recognizing and building up the positive and the celestial traits of the emotional intelligence , in order to come closer to and become the beloved  devotee of the God , the supreme truth.

The lord continues,

Dwo bhootsango loke asmindaiva aasur aiv ch

Daivo vistarash prokta aasuram parth mein shranu (6)

“ hey Arjuna! Two kinds of beings live on this earth. One kind possesses the celestial       and the divine nature and the other kind has the demonic and the ignorant character. I have already mentioned to you about the celestial characters.  You should listen to the detailed description of the   demonic   characters”.

Pravarti ch nivartim ch janaa na viduraasuraa

Na shaucham naapi chaachaaro na satyam teshu vidhayate (7)

“The men with devilish nature   do not know what to do or what not to do. Hence they are neither pure internally nor are the purified externally. They do not possess good character and nor do they speak truth”.

Asatayam pritashtham te jagdaahurni ishvaram

Aparaspar sambhootam kimantaya kaamhetukam (8)

“Such devilish natured persons often say that this world is an orphan, an unreal and without a god. The world has come into existence on account of the sexual cohabitation of the men and women hence sex is the cause of the world. Nothing else has created this world”.

Etaam drashtim vashtabhaya nashte aatmano alpa buddhaya

Prabhavantayugra kramaan kshayaay jagto ahitaa (9)

“They have become atheists and maintain this untrue information. They are unenlightened ones and these   cruel men who are the born enemies of the universe who support the destruction of the world”.

Kaammaa aashritya dushpooram dambh maanmdaanvitaa

Mohaadgrahativaa sadagraahaan pravartante ashuchivrataa (10)

“These men are arrogant, hypocrites. They have the vain pride and hold wrong views due to unfulfilled desires and delusions. They live in the world with wrong principles and follow the characterless way of living”.

Chintaamparimeyaam ch pralaya antaa mupasharitaa

Kaamopbhogparmaa etaavaditi nishchitataa (11)

“Such people are always obsessed with endless anxiety even after their death. They are lost into the fulfillment of the sensual desires. And they believe that this is the ultimate pleasure”.

Aashaa paashashtaibradhaa kaam krodh praayanaa

Iehante kaam bhogaarthmanyaa yenaarth sachchyaan (12)

“They have been bound by multiple desires and have been enslaved by the lust and anger. They struggle to   accumulate wealth by ill-gotten and unlawful means for the appeasement of their sensual   carnal pleasure”.

Idamadhya mayaa labhadamimam praapasye manoratham

Idamasteedamapi mei bhavishayanti punardhanam (13)

“They always think that “I have gained this sensual mortal object today. I shall appease this carnal desire. I have accumulated so much wealth today. And I will gather more wealth in future to fulfill my carnal desires”.

Asau mayaa hata shatruharnishye chaapraanapi

Ishwaro aham bhoga sidho aham balwaan sukhi (14)

“They always think, “That enemy has been killed by me. I shall kill other enemies too. I am the God. I am the savor of the pleasures. I am equipped with all the   strategies of success. I am powerful. I am happy”.

“Aadhyo abhijanvaan asmi ko anyo asti sadrsho mayaa

Yakshye daasyaami modishya itya gyaan vimohitaa (15)

Anek Chita vibhraantaa mohajaaal samaavarataa

Prasaktaa kaambhogeshu Patanti narke ashucho (16)

“They always think that, “I am born to a rich family. I belong to an influential family. No one else is like me. I shall   perform sacrifices. I shall do some charity. I shall enjoy myself. Such   ignorant deluded persons bemused by much visualization, addicted to many kinds of sensual pleasures they egt consigned to the dreadful hell”.

Aatam sambhaavitaa stabdhaa dhanmaanam daanvitaa

Yajante naam yagyaste dambhenaavidhi purvakam (17)

“Such persons are self conceited, stubborn, and are full of false pride about their wealth and status. They resort to nominal services to the God for mere formality and do not subscribe to the   traditions set up by the scriptures”.

Ahankaaaram balam darpam kaamam krodham ch sanshritaa

Maamaatampardeshu pradishanto abhayasuyakaa (18)

“Such worthless inglorious people remain lost in their egoism, self conceit, arrogance, lust, and resentment.  They abhor me and resent me for dwelling in their own bodies and those of others, as a supreme soul”.

Taanaham dwishata kruraan sansaareshu naraadhamaan

Kshipaamayajstraam shubhaanaa surishavev yonishu (19)

“I hurl back these cruel, wicked, and irreligious persons into the hellish and vicious cycles of rebirth by establishing them into the demonic wombs”.

Aasureem yonimaapannaa moodhaa janamni janamni

Maam praapaye kaunteya tatto yaantayadhamaam gatim (20)

Oh Arjuna! These ignorant fools, unable to attain the supreme truth, get reborn birth after birth into the demonic wombs. They then get relegated to still lower hells. And get consigned their perpetually”.

Trividham naraksayedam dwaaram naashan mahataman

Kaam krodhstatha lobhasta samaadet tatrayam (21)

“Lust, anger and greed, are the three doors to the hell that destroy the human soul and get the soul consigned to hell. One must give up all the three vices”.

Aitai virmukto kaunteya tamo dwaare streebhirnara

Aachartyaatamana shrey satato yaati paraam gatim (22)

“Such a person who has been emancipated form all the three vices and the gates of hell acts for his own   soul’s wellbeing and then he attains the supreme truth, in truth reaches me and gets integrated into me only”.

Ya shaastra vidhimut srajaya vartate kaam karat

Na sa sidhim vaapnoti na sukham na paraam gatim (23)

“Such a person as acts under the influence of his desires by going against the scriptures does neither attain the perfection of the devotion nor does he reach the supreme truth”.

Tasmaachchhastram pramaanam te karyaa Kaarya vayavastithi

Gyaatavaa shaastra vidhaanoktam karam karturmihaarhasi (24)

“Therefore   you should let the scriptures guide you for determining what should be done and what should not be done.  By getting enlightened from the scriptures,   you should do what is dictated by the rules set up by the sacred books”.


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