THE BHAGAVAD GITA: Chapter 16

Reference: Course on The Bhagavad Gita

English Translation By Swami Purohit Swami

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Chapter 16

श्रीभगवानुवाच
अभयंसत्त्वसंशुद्धिःज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः।
दानंदमश्चयज्ञश्चस्वाध्यायस्तपआर्जवम्।।16.1।।

16.1 Lord Shri Krishna continued: Fearlessness, clean living, unceasing concentration on wisdom, readiness to give, self-control, a spirit of sacrifice, regular study of the scriptures, austerities, candour,

अहिंसासत्यमक्रोधस्त्यागःशान्तिरपैशुनम्।
दयाभूतेष्वलोलुप्त्वंमार्दवंह्रीरचापलम्।।16.2।।

16.2 harmlessness, truth, absence of wrath, renunciation, contentment, straightforwardness, compassion towards all, uncovetousness, courtesy, modesty, constancy,

तेजःक्षमाधृतिःशौचमद्रोहोनातिमानिता।
भवन्तिसम्पदंदैवीमभिजातस्यभारत।।16.3।।

16.3 Valour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, freedom from hate and vanity; these are his who possesses the Godly Qualities, O Arjuna!

These are the qualities that result from enlightenment; but, which we find sorely lacking in today’s human culture. We cannot force ourself to have these qualities. They arise automatically as one becomes increasingly enlightened.

Subject Clearing helps you not only consolidate your knowledge, but assimilate it too, so you can make progress towards enlightenment. Imagine having definitions of GOD from different religions side by side, and all anomalies among them resolved in your mind.

दम्भोदर्पोऽभिमानश्चक्रोधःपारुष्यमेवच।
अज्ञानंचाभिजातस्यपार्थसम्पदमासुरीम्।।16.4।।

16.4 Hypocrisy, pride, insolence, cruelty, ignorance belong to him who is born of the godless qualities.

दैवीसम्पद्विमोक्षायनिबन्धायासुरीमता।
माशुचःसम्पदंदैवीमभिजातोऽसिपाण्डव।।16.5।।

16.5 Godly qualities lead to liberation; godless to bondage. Do not be anxious, Prince! Thou hast the Godly qualities.

द्वौभूतसर्गौलोकेऽस्मिन्दैवआसुरएवच।
दैवोविस्तरशःप्रोक्तआसुरंपार्थमेश्रृणु।।16.6।।

16.6 All beings are of two classes: Godly and godless. The Godly I have described; I will now describe the other.

Life can take the direction of liberation, or it can go in the direction of increasing bondage. These two directions are opposite to each other. If no effort for liberation is made, life naturally sinks into bondage. The characteristics of bondage are described here.

प्रवृत्तिंचनिवृत्तिंचजनानविदुरासुराः।
नशौचंनापिचाचारोनसत्यंतेषुविद्यते।।16.7।।

16.7 The godless do not know how to act or how to renounce. They have neither purity nor truth. They do not understand the right principles of conduct.

असत्यमप्रतिष्ठंतेजगदाहुरनीश्वरम्।
अपरस्परसम्भूतंकिमन्यत्कामहैतुकम्।।16.8।।

16.8 They say the universe is an accident with no purpose and no God. Life is created by sexual union, a product of lust and nothing else.

एतांदृष्टिमवष्टभ्यनष्टात्मानोऽल्पबुद्धयः।
प्रभवन्त्युग्रकर्माणःक्षयायजगतोऽहिताः।।16.9।।

16.9 Thinking thus, these degraded souls, these enemies of mankind – whose intelligence is negligible and whose deeds are monstrous – come into the world only to destroy.

These are powerful words describing those who are living in bondage. They lack discrimination, and are very short-sighted. The result of their action is destruction because they lack intelligence and understanding. Looks like people were the same in the times of Bhagavad Gita.

काममाश्रित्यदुष्पूरंदम्भमानमदान्विताः।
मोहाद्गृहीत्वासद्ग्राहान्प्रवर्तन्तेऽशुचिव्रताः।।16.10।।

16.10 Giving themselves up to insatiable passions, hypocritical, self-sufficient and arrogant, cherishing false conception founded on delusion, they work only to carry out their own unholy purposes.

चिन्तामपरिमेयांचप्रलयान्तामुपाश्रिताः।
कामोपभोगपरमाएतावदितिनिश्िचताः।।16.11।।

16.11 Poring anxiously over evil resolutions, which only end in death; seeking only the gratification of desire as the highest goal; seeing nothing beyond;

आशापाशशतैर्बद्धाःकामक्रोधपरायणाः।
ईहन्तेकामभोगार्थमन्यायेनार्थसञ्चयान्।।16.12।।

16.12 Caught in the toils of a hundred vain hopes, the slaves of passion and wrath, they accumulate hoards of unjust wealth, only to pander to their sensual desire.

These verses further describe those living in bondage. Their main characteristic is that they are focused on themselves and on their narrow preferences. They cannot see from the viewpoint of others. They do not have empathy. In other words, their mental matrix is not assimilated with the universal matrix.

इदमद्यमयालब्धमिमंप्राप्स्येमनोरथम्।
इदमस्तीदमपिमेभविष्यतिपुनर्धनम्।।16.13।।

16.13 This I have gained today; tomorrow I will gratify another desire; this wealth is mine now, the rest shall be mine ere long;

असौमयाहतःशत्रुर्हनिष्येचापरानपि।
ईश्वरोऽहमहंभोगीसिद्धोऽहंबलवान्सुखी।।16.14।।

16.14 I have slain one enemy, I will slay the others also; I am worthy to enjoy, I am the Almighty, I am perfect, powerful and happy;

आढ्योऽभिजनवानस्मिकोऽन्योऽस्तिसदृशोमया।
यक्ष्येदास्यामिमोदिष्यइत्यज्ञानविमोहिताः।।16.15।।

16.15 I am rich, I am well-bred; who is there to compare with me? I will sacrifice, I will give, I will pay – and I will enjoy. Thus blinded by Ignorance,

अनेकचित्तविभ्रान्तामोहजालसमावृताः।
प्रसक्ताःकामभोगेषुपतन्तिनरकेऽशुचौ।।16.16।।

16.16 Perplexed by discordant thoughts, entangled in the snares of desire, infatuated by passion, they sink into the horrors of hell.

Again, these verses provide an insightful description of those in bondage. Such people think themselves to be powerful, but they are in bondage of their ego. In other words, their attention is fixated on themselves. They do not care for others over themselves. They are actually quite lonely and miserable.

आत्मसम्भाविताःस्तब्धाधनमानमदान्विताः।
यजन्तेनामयज्ञैस्तेदम्भेनाविधिपूर्वकम्।।16.17।।

16.17 Self-conceited, stubborn, rich, proud and insolent, they make a display of their patronage, disregarding the rules of decency.

अहङ्कारंबलंदर्पंकामंक्रोधंचसंश्रिताः।
मामात्मपरदेहेषुप्रद्विषन्तोऽभ्यसूयकाः।।16.18।।

16.18 Puffed up by power and inordinate conceit, swayed by lust and wrath, these wicked people hate Me Who am within them, as I am within all.

तानहंद्विषतःक्रूरान्संसारेषुनराधमान्।
क्षिपाम्यजस्रमशुभानासुरीष्वेवयोनिषु।।16.19।।

16.19 Those who thus hate Me, who are cruel, the dregs of mankind, I condemn them to a continuous, miserable and godless rebirth.

असुरींयोनिमापन्नामूढाजन्मनिजन्मनि।
मामप्राप्यैवकौन्तेयततोयान्त्यधमांगतिम्।।16.20।।

16.20 So reborn, they spend life after life, enveloped in delusion. And they never reach Me, O Prince, but degenerate into still lower forms of life.

People who are in bondage behave badly and hate their better self. They are condemned to a miserable existence life after life.

त्रिविधंनरकस्येदंद्वारंनाशनमात्मनः।
कामःक्रोधस्तथालोभस्तस्मादेतत्त्रयंत्यजेत्।।16.21।।

16.21 The gates of hell are three: lust, wrath and avarice. They destroy the Self. Avoid them.

एतैर्विमुक्तःकौन्तेयतमोद्वारैस्त्रिभिर्नरः।
आचरत्यात्मनःश्रेयस्ततोयातिपरांगतिम्।।16.22।।

16.22 These are the gates which lead to darkness; if a man avoid them he will ensure his own welfare, and in the end will attain his liberation.

यःशास्त्रविधिमुत्सृज्यवर्ततेकामकारतः।
नससिद्धिमवाप्नोतिनसुखंनपरांगतिम्।।16.23।।

16.23 But he who neglects the commands of the scriptures, and follows the promptings of passion, he does not attain perfection, happiness or the final goal.

तस्माच्छास्त्रंप्रमाणंतेकार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ।
ज्ञात्वाशास्त्रविधानोक्तंकर्मकर्तुमिहार्हसि।।16.24।।

16.24 Therefore whenever there is doubt whether thou shouldst do a thing or not, let the scriptures guide thy conduct. In the light of the scriptures shouldst thou labour the whole of thy life.

Lust, wrath and avarice are impulses that bring disorder to life and destroy it. Control these impulses and you will attain liberation. Scriptures guide you how to control such passions. Follow them.

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Final Comment

Life can take the direction of liberation, or it can go in the direction of increasing bondage. These two directions are opposite to each other. If no effort for liberation is made, life naturally sinks into bondage. The characteristics of bondage are described here.

Those who are living in bondage lack discrimination, and are very short-sighted. Their actions are destructive because they lack intelligence and understanding. They are focused on themselves and on their narrow preferences. They cannot see from the viewpoint of others. They do not have empathy. Such people think themselves to be powerful, but they are in bondage of their ego. In other words, their attention is fixated on themselves. They do not care for others over themselves. They are actually quite lonely and miserable. They hate their better selves. They are condemned to a miserable existence life after life.

Lust, wrath and avarice are impulses that bring disorder to life and destroy it. Control these impulses and you will attain liberation. Scriptures guide you how to control such passions. Follow them. Good qualities arise automatically as one works toward enlightenment.

.

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