Bhagavad Gita Teachings -Chapter 16: Divine & Evil Qualities

Bhagavad Gita Teachings -Chapter 16: Divine & Evil Qualities

There are two kinds of beings in this world – the divine and the evil (Verse 6)

Divine qualities liberate from this world and demonic qualities bind (Verse 5)

Qualities of Divine Natured Beings


Possess goodness of mind,

Possess spiritual knowledge,



Restrain their senses,


Perform yagna,

Study their Self,

Do penance,



Without anger,



Restrain their criticism of others,

Kind to all,

Without envy,








Without hostility

Without conceit

– these are qualities of those who possess divine nature (Verse 1 & 2 & 3)

Yagna is doing your part, perhaps with hope but without expectation

Qualities of Demonic Natured Beings

Qualities of those who possess evil nature are:

False pride,




Sternness and

Lack of wisdom (Verse 4)

Those with demonic nature are unable to differentiate between right and wrong. They are not clean nor truthful, and do not know proper conduct (Verse 7)

They do not believe that there is God or Absolute Truth or reason for establishment of the world. For them, the world exists only for sense gratification (Verse 8)

Possessing these views, they do terrible acts that could harm this world (Verse 9)

Dis-satisfied with their current situation, possessing false pride and arrogance, they hold distorted beliefs. They are fascinated by temporary things, and live life with lowly purpose (Verse 10)

Despite being continually stressed their entire life, they firmly believe that their life’s purpose is sense gratification (Verse 11)

Driven by their anger and desire for hundreds of things, they use unjust means to accumulate wealth just to gratify their desires (Verse 12)

They think – “I have acquired this, and I shall acquire more. This wealth is mine and in future more of it will be mine. This I desire and this shall be mine. I have destroyed my enemies and I shall destroy other enemies. I enjoy wealth. I am mighty. I am self realized. I am God. I am happy. I have highly placed relatives. There is nobody else like me. I shall perform yagna and give alms and take pleasure.” Thus they are shrouded by ignorance (Verse 13 & 14 & 15

Misguided by their dreams, full of attachments, and addicted to sense gratification, they fall into dark hell (Verse 16)

Haughty, obstinate, arrogant and full of conceit about their wealth, they perform extravagant yagnas in name only, without regard to their correctness (Verse 17)

Blinded by their self-interest, strength, conceit, wrath and cravings, they ill-treat me who lives in their own bodies, and in the body of others (Verse 18)

Those who are brutal, offensive, despicable and ruthless, I send back into this world in similar ignominious and wicked wombs.  Unsuccessful at attaining me, they continue to be reborn in this world (Verse 19)

Free Yourself from Lust, Anger & Greedthe 3 Gates of Darkness

 Lust, anger and greed are three gates of darkness that cause destruction of self and lead to hell.  Abandon them (Verse 21)

Those who free themselves from these gates, bring well-being to their soul and reach me (Verse 22)

Those who disregard scriptures and act on impulse, they don’t attain wisdom or happiness or God (Verse 23)

Therefore, follow dictates of the scriptures to figure out your duty and forbidden actions. Perform your actions in accordance with scriptural teachings (Verse 24)

Total Verses in this Chapter: 24

Words of Import:

I, me, Absolute Truth, Supreme Being, Supreme Soul, God, Divine, Brahman,Universal ConsciousnessShri Krishna – are all used interchangeably.


has a symbolic as well as a literal meaning. Literally it means a ritual where offerings are made to fire, hymns are chanted and deities are invoked for fulfillment of personal or community desires; or to thank God or to seek God’s blessings. Symbolically, Yagna signifies that we have to do our part (offering/action) in other to obtain something (blessing or fulfillment), with the latter not being guaranteed.


The word “Yog” is derived from a Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means to join. In Hindu scriptures, yoga means joining or uniting the soul within the individual with that of the universal soul (God). The common usage of yoga as physical exercise is just a subset of the practice of Yoga, which includes disciplines of meditation and mode of conduct among others. It is believed that practice of all these disciplines make a person ready for unification with the Supreme Being.


refers to our duty as it does to the intent behind our actions. According to Hinduism, every living being has their own personal dharma which may or may not be the same as of others. This dharma is based on one’s situation or circumstance in life. 


is action as well as the result of the action. Its meaning depends on its context.


is liberation from the cycle of birth and death.


“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by Swami Prabhupada

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