Origin of ‘Evil' and Unrighteous Traits to Eliminate from Personality (169)


Lesson 169 introduces topic if adharmic-traits to get rid of from our psyche, and how unrighteousness originated. 

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


  • Verse 1-3 discussed daiva-sampat. Qualities that (1) traits that open the mind for wisdom to take place (2) traits inhering the wise persons conduct. Traits such as:
    • Tehaḥ: Aura/Presence. Pleasing and non-threatening personality. Not seeking to gain anything from interaction. Focus is on the other’s well being.
    • Adrohaḥ: Absence of ill-will at thought level. Truly possible when never lose sight of your relationship with the cause of the universe. The cause that’s perfectly manifesting, sustaining and dissolving circumstances at the perfect time according to each individuals karma.
      • Metaphor: 5 blind men were ascribed task of describing the whole elephant. Each (no matter what philosophy they carried) fell for the same error. They described the WHOLE according to the characteristics of the individual part. Thus giving incorrect perception/function to each part, leading to ill-thoughts towards it.
        • Whereas the wise person keeps knowledge of the whole elephant. Hence has a correct relationship with each part, and uses it as it was originally intended.
      • So Vedanta is all about educating us about the whole. So everything is put in the right place.
        • EG: You person, are another glory of Ishvara, governed by the Order, a product of causes that have sculpted your persona for millennia. If forget that, you become a victim or blame.
  • Now we’ll see how minds with Asura-sampat (distorted value systems governed by expectations). Such personas are unable to recognize nor appreciate people with daiva-sampat. Hence unable to see the divine person.


Verse 4-6: General Intro to āsura-sampat (Demonic / Unrighteous Dispositions)

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 4:

dambhaḥ darpaḥ abhimānaḥ ca krodhaḥ pāruṣyam eva ca ।
ajñānam ca abhijātasya pārtha sampadam āsurīm ॥ 16-4॥
Pretension, arrogance, vanity, harshness and lack of discrimination – (these belong) to a person who is born with asurisampat. Oh Arjuna !

  • Krishna introduces general traits of āsura-sampat (one whose thoughts are mostly coloured by samskaras of security/entertainment [artha/kāma]). Verse 7-21, will elaborate.
  • Āsura traits:
    • dambhaḥ: Pretension (show-off/display)
      • Doing noble actions, not for others, but for self-promotion agenda.
      • Desire to exhibit or voice-out one’s position/status/wealth.
    • darpaḥ: Arrogance.
      • Focus is on self-image over the well-being of what's infront of me.
      • Disregarding the fact that “I’m talking to another human being”. The other becomes a MEANS to feel good about my existence/achievements.
      • Discounting another’s rights/sovereignty (authority), thinking “mine” are superior. Drowns out others. Even if you are factually higher in status, entertaining that fact to feel good is arrogance.
      • In short: Putting him/her into a box. Then treating them according to what one has associated to that box.
        • EG: Box of “young”. Thus one treats them as “an inexperienced fool”. Or “old” box, thus treat them as unteachable. Or “wealthy” into “materialist” box.
      • abhimānaḥ: Vanity / In love with one’s existence or possessions / Narcissism
        • Seeing oneself as one who deserves reverence. “I’m entitled. I deserve special treatment. I’m so much better/smarter then him/her”.
        • COMPARISON: Abhimānaḥ = arrogance at thought level. Darpaḥ = arrogance in behaviour.
      • krodhaḥ: Anger.
      • pāruṣyam: Rudeness.
      • Ajñānam: Unable to discern dharma from adharma (not referring to brahma-vidyā).
  • NEXT VERSE: Destiny of daiva & āsura

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 5:

daivī sampat vimokṣāya nibandhāya āsurī matā ।
mā śucaḥ sampadam daivīm abhijātaḥ asi pāṇḍava ॥ 16-5॥
It is known that daivi-sampat leads to liberation and aāsūri-sampat leads to bondage, Oh Arjuna, do not grieve; you are born with Daivi-dampat.

  • Daivi-sampat leads to accomplishment of the one infinite goal; moksha. While Asuri-sampat leads to entanglement in samsara-tree, consisting of infinite finite goals.
  • Krishna says that Arjuna is born with dominant Daivi-traits due to past life impressions.
  • Other possibilities:
    • Born with dominant daivi-traits, but lose them due to negligence.
    • Born with dominant asuri-traits, and through self-effort, develops daivi-traits.
  • NEXT VERSE: 2 major paths…

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 6:

dvau bhūta-sargau loke asmin daivaḥ āsuraḥ eva ca ।
daivaḥ vistaraśaḥ proktaḥ āsuram pārtha me śṛṇu ॥ 16-6॥
In this world there are two types of created beings – the daiva and the āsura. The daiva has been described elaborately. Hear about āsura from Me, Oh Arjuna!

  • Krishna divides the path of entire human race into 2 major directions. They have co-existed since the beginning because as long as knowledge existed, it was misinterpreted by personal likes/dislikes, thus distorted into asura-sampat
    1. Āsura:
      • Artha/Kāma (Security/Pleasantness) are goals of life.
      • Rajasic / tamasic dominant tendencies.
      • Upanishads calls: Path of preyaḥ.
    2. Daiva:
      • Artha/kāma are used as means to:
        • Dharma or morals which invoke inner-refinement.
          • EG: In Hinduism, there are 41 samskaras (composed solely for inner-refinement).
        • Moksha: Spiritual wisdom.
      • Sattvic tendencies.
      • This path is less popular because results are not immediate. Takes long time until rewards are seen.
      • Upanishads calls: Path of śreyaḥ.


Verse 7-21: Detailed descriptions of āsura-sampad (Oriented towards adharma)

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 7:

pravṛttim ca nivṛttim ca janāḥ na viduḥ āsurāḥ ।
na śaucam na api ca ācāraḥ na satyam teṣu vidyate ॥ 16-7॥
The āsuraḥ people do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. They have neither purity, nor religious discipline. They have no truthfulness also.

  • INTRO:
    • Āsura-sampat means “demonic disposition”. There are 2 types of demonic dispositions:
      • Asuras: use wealth, power, knowledge to amplify oneself in eyes of world.
      • Rākṣasas: use wealth, power, knowledge to strategically harm others status/position.
        • Happens often on internet with fake reviews (to hurt competitors), defaming attempts against colleges at work, political parties plotting against each other.
        • Generally, any kind of action that’s easy to do in a distance, but hard to do in front of them.
      • Both asura/raksha dispositions have little value for kindness, empathy, considering others needs, gentleness. Such virtues are considered weakness-of-character. EG:
        1. Teenagers gladly upload videos of violence (thinking it’s cool).
        2. In 2020, D.Trump was disprespectfully talking over Joe Biden during a presidential debate; having to introduce a mic moderator. Or compromising sacredness of word “truth”, by naming his social network “Truth Social”; each post called “truth”.
        3. Mentality of eliminating competitors. FACT: Latin word “competere” means: to strive or contend for (something) TOGETHER [and not against].
        4. If ask about ticket price, will tell higher then actual price. IE: Taking advantage of another’s ignorance/innocence.
        5. Some are impossible to return to the light. EG:
          • In Ramayana, Ravana was implored by his wife, grandfather, brother and Rama’s messengers (Angada and Hanuman), to give up evil ways and return Sita, but he ignored and mocked them.
          • Duryodhana in his final moments requested Aśvatthāmā (Ashvatthama) to produce a child who would kill Pandavas. In contrast, Jesus last words (allegedly) were: “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”
    • Daivī-sampat means “dharmic disposition / divine wealth”.
      • Some are born with it, rest have to work HARD to cultivate them.
    • STEP 1: Dharma/moksha are unknow by birth, because imperceptible. EG: Noone can see punya-papa mechanism operational, nor can one see a liberated person. For this reason, since birth, human only comes to know about and value artha/kāma.
      • EG: Person sees that everyone is after security/certainty (even animals), but also feels the need for security him/herself. Same with sense of pleasantness.
      • Therefore, all values (since birth) are sculpted on grounds of security/entertainment.
    • STEP 2: Scriptures say artha/kāma is acceptable up to a certain period. Once buddhi can think/discern for itself, scriptures say it’s one’s duty to use that buddhi to seek dharma/moksha.
      • In other words, the scriptures serve as a users-manual when to take up the next stage of life. Just like mother tells child when to stop drinking from bottle, scriptures advise when to stop drinking less artha/kāma and what brand-of-juice to start drinking (IE: soma is often mentioned in Vedas as juice of immortality, but it's a analogy for dharma-moksha, as both are eternal).
        • Since adults don’t know any better (just as child), they need scriptures to instruct them.
      • Example of what scriptures suggest:
        • Wake up before sunrise. Start day with spiritual oriented material.
          • EG: Chant, prayers, meditation. Apply tilakam (or whatever reminds you of divinity). This protects your mind from day’s temptation of artha/kāma.
    • STEP 3: This transition from artha/kāma to dharma/mokṣa is the 2nd birth of a human being while alive. The manuṣya initiation.
      • Delaying this initiation makes one forget how to rightfully conduct oneself, and begins compromising (taking on asura/rakshasa).
  • And what’s the fate of one who discards the guidance of scriptures? pravṛttim ca nivṛttim ca janāḥ na viduḥ āsurāḥ: āsuraḥ people do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done.
    • Why not? Free will is stripped due to binding likes/dislikes. Thus their present-moment decisions are governed by past-interpretations (samskaras). Meaning capacity to exercise new deliberate choices/thinking is withdrawn.
  • And for this reason; na śaucam na api ca ācāraḥ na satyam teṣu vidyate: they have neither purity, nor religious discipline, nor truthfulness.
    • IE: They don’t follow religion, tradition, but their own subjective truth (interpretations).
  • NEXT VERSE: What ELSE do they think?…

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 8:

asatyam apratiṣṭham te jagat āhuḥ anīśvaram ।
aparaspara-sambhūtaṃ kim anyat kāma-haitukam ॥ 16-8॥
They say — The world is without truth, without dharma, without God, born out of the union of the male and female. The world is caused by desire; what else.

  • They say, asatyam apratiṣṭham te jagat āhuḥ anīśvaram; world is without truth, without morality, without God. Lying is seen as the only/best way to survive. 
    • As their minds is impure, they project impurity onto the world; calling others untruthful.
    • They don’t believe anything scriptures say. Utterly nāstika because rely on perception.
      • EG: We only see roots receiving the water (perception); don’t see the tree receiving it (beyond perception). Similarly, āsura’s only see perceptible; doesn’t account what happens after.
      • For this reason, they don’t believe in dharma (moral/ethical order of universe), because it’s beyond their 5 sense perception. It can’t be scientifically proven; hence they’re excused from concerns of punya-papam, previous & next birth.
        • Yet it’s the moral order that sustains the society. If morality were to go, we’d be scared to leave home. Nothing could get done.
  • Add to that, in reference to how world came about; aparaspara-sambhūtaṃ kim anyat kāma-haitukam; People are born of parents (genetics); no question of parental assignment based on punya-papa. As for the world, it evolved from matter and is driven by desire [for security / entertainment].
  • SUMMARY: View of life is limited to: Earn and enjoy.
  • NEXT VERSE: Their indiscriminate nature (of virtue / sin) causes harm to the world…

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 9:

etām dṛṣṭim avaṣṭabhya naṣṭa-ātmānaḥ alpa-buddhayaḥ ।
prabhavanti ugra-karmāṇaḥ kṣayāya jagataḥ ahitāḥ ॥ 16-9॥
Holding such views, these indiscriminate people are lost spiritually. Taking to cruel actions, they become the enemies of the world for (its) destruction.

  • Since they rely on perception, and don’t believe in concept of dharma/adharmanaṣṭa-ātmānaḥ; they are lost spiritually (missing the knowledge that brings lasting contentment).
    • Metaphor: It’s like a born blind. And you tell about colours and form. Person responds, “I don’t believe because I don’t experience colour. I want to prove/disprove colour with my 4 sense organs”. Impossible, need 5th sense organ.
    • Similarly, scriptures are the 6th sense organ given by Ishvara, and unavailable to science.
      • Just like if I reject the benefits that science brings (like medical), I lose out. Similarly, rejecting Veda, only I am the loser; not the Veda nor it’s author (Ishvara).
      • Furthermore scriptures assert; even if one doesn’t immediately relate to dharma/moksha, still find time to engage in their discourses. Because in time, will understand their implications.
        • Therefore even blind faith is better then Materialistic path.  Just as child blindly following advice of mother (wash hands, close mouth when eating, clean up after yourself), is better then not-following.
    • Accordingly, materialistic oriented minds will likely never appreciate scriptures in this life, as their mind is overly rational, only accepting what is perceptible. EG: Richard Dawkins (God Illusion).
      • They’ll also say dharma is non-existent/useless, since good people are also suffering.
        • This is invalid argument. EG: Even if follow proven health-advice, some get ill nevertheless.  It’s an error to use that fact to conclude that all health-advice is invalid.
      • Irony: When such individuals fail to prove Vedas via perception, instead realising one’s foolishness (since can’t be done), they conclude, “God/Dharma/Previous-lives/Rebirth is non-existent”.



Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 4 May, 2022


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