Gita Series – 149: Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVI. Verse 4 – 6

Pride, arrogance, wrath, harshness and ignorance are demoniac qualities. Divine qualities lead to liberation and demoniac qualities lead to bondage. Do not grieve Arjuna, as you are endowed with divine qualities. There are only two types of men in this world, one possessing divine nature and the other having demoniac nature. Divine qualities have been already explained to you and now listen to the details of demoniac qualities.”

The nature of any man should be either good or bad. There is no intermediate position between good and bad, such as neutral. Kṛṣṇa had already discussed about twenty six types of divine qualities. Before elaborating the details, Kṛṣṇa brings out some of the worst demoniac qualities, such as pride, arrogance, anger, harshness and spiritual and moral ignorance. When one has all these evil qualities, all the human lineaments get assassinated, thereby qualifying that person to be a beast. The one with divine qualities is totally endowed with sattvic guṇa and the one with demoniac qualities has the combination of rajo and tamo guṇa-s, where there sattvic guṇa remains totally absent. Sattvic quality leads to gaining of knowledge, as a person with divine qualities commands love and persons endowed with knowledge come to him on their own and impart knowledge. A typical example towards this is Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. Because of Arjuna’s sattvic nature, Kṛṣṇa willingly imparts knowledge of liberation, without Arjuna asking for it. Arjuna resorted to Kṛṣṇa to share his mental condition in the battle field. But knowing the nature of Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa had on his own, imparted knowledge about the Self to Arjuna.

The quality of actions by those endowed with divine nature and the quality of actions by those afflicted with demoniac nature are opposite each other, though it is extremely rare to find a person with all the twenty six divine qualities. The activities of a person with sattvic qualities, always make him move forward in his spiritual pursuit, thereby making him as a true spiritual aspirant. The person afflicted with rajo and tamo qualities, is induced to indulge ininjuring others, marking him as an embodiment of hatred, evilness and cruelty. Such a wicked person is never prompted to think about the consequences of hurting other beings, as he totally remains submerged in the darkness of ignorance and illusion. The darkness of ignorance pushes him deeper into karmic afflictions and he continues to suffer from the pains of transmigrations for ever.

Possibly, Kṛṣṇa might have noticed the signs or fear in Arjuna’s face, when Kṛṣṇa said the demoniac qualities will continue to be deluded by bondage with no signs of liberation. That is why Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna that he is endowed only with divine qualities.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVI. 1 - 3

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVI. 7 - 12

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVI. 13 - 16