The Bhagavad Gita – Capsule 16

The Bhagavad Gita in Capsules – Chapter 16

The book “The Prasthānatraya – An Introduction” by Revered Swami Harshananda, President of Ramakrishna Math, Bengaluru was published in 2001. The Swami has bestowed on us a summary of the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna. I bow my head in reverence and in praise of Swamiji and pray for his blessings in my taking the liberty of retyping the summary from the book and posting it in my blog.

This is the Summary of the sixteenth chapter, Daivāsura Sampad Vibhāga Yoga


Srīkrishna now proceeds to delineate those traits of character that makes a person divine or demoniac, since the former leads to liberation whereas the latter leads to bondage.

The list of daivī-sampat (divine traits) comprises 26 qualities, the chief ones being: fearlessness, purity of mind, self-control, Vedic studies, austerity, non-violence, truth, spirit of renunciation, compassion, forgiveness and absence of pride.

The other list, of the āsurī-sampat (demoniac traits) consists of six vices: hypocrisy, vainglory, egoism, anger, harsh speech and ignorance of higher values.

Then proceeds along but interesting description of the demoniac or evil persons and their way of life:

  • They know neither the performance of good works nor the need to withdraw from the evil ones.
  • They have neither purity nor truth.
  • They consider kāma or lust as the sole cause of creation. Being addicted to it, they out of delusion, try to get unholy things.
  • They boast about their wealth or works and exult in destroying their enemies. They dislike the Lord who is the Self of all beings.

Such persons are thrown by me (i.e., Lord Srīkrishna) into abominable births.

The gateway to hell that ultimately causes self-destruction is three-fold: lust, anger and greed. One who is free from these attains the highest abode. For this one needs to act according to the Vedas and the sāstras (holy books) but with sraddhā or faith.


Courtesy: Swami Harshananda  (emphases, if any, are mine. – nytanaya)

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