|Chapter 16||The Divine and the Demoniac Natures Defined||Verse 13, 14, 15|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
By describing the parameters by which the demoniac mentality functions, Lord Krishna illustrates the hellish and degraded path they traverse. Ignoring all morality the demoniac think that whatever they find pleasurable is for their enjoyment without restriction and they will scheme to obtain it by any means. The demoniac only respect power and might. Their conception is that might is right and hence they will destroy whatever is an obstacle to fulfilling their ambitions and desires, not hesitating to injure or even kill others. The demoniac think that their ideology is superior and they resort to deception, hypocrisy, intimidation and force to coerce others to believe and accept such a fallacy. The demoniac are captivated by lust, greed and false ego. They make concerted efforts to orchestrate events to try to influence others to acknowledge them as superior and in the process immerse themselves deeper and deeper in illusion. Hence although the demoniac exercise considerable power and various areas of control because they are so completely deluded as defined by their own degraded mentalities they keep themselves enslaved in bondage by incessantly pursuing materialistic desires and mundane goals due to following false ideologies and belief in erroneous concepts.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
There is no commentary to Chapter 16, verse 16 by Madhvacarya.
There is no commentary to Chapter 16, verse 17 by Madhvacarya.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna uses the word idam meaning this. The idam He is talking about refers to possessions such as wealth, property, family, etc. The demoniac mentality is that all my possessions have been acquired by me alone, by my own efforts and exertions. They believe there is no other power or subtle unseen cause involved. The word manoratham means desirable object and whatever is desirable the demoniac feel it is their right to enjoy regardless of morality. The wealth that they gain by any means lawful or unlawful, or by cheating and stealing they see as moral and rightful as it was gained by their own brain and brawn over others brain and brawn. The demoniac follow the idea that might is right and do not believe in any subjective force or higher power. They forcefully take whatever they desire and are totally unconcerned of any consequences, oblivious to even the possibility that a god or supreme force sanctioning their endeavours could exist. The demoniac feel that they are so powerful that they themselves are gods because they can destroy their enemies as a whim and consider everyone except themselves to be of unimportance.
The demoniac think like the following examples illustrate. I am the most powerful. I was born into a dynasty of aristocracy and wealth. Who else in this world is equal to me? Who else by dint of their exertions have acquired every pleasure there is to enjoy and secured so much happiness and stability? I will eat, drink and be merry, enjoying sense gratification to the maximum without restraint. There is no need for me to believe in any god or supreme power; but anyway I will perform some pseudo rituals and imitate some pious activities by ostentatious donations for charity to gain renown so others will think that I am also a great religious personality as well. This is how the demoniac think.
The demoniac see themselves as the enjoyers, the manipulators and the controllers, The demoniac believe that they are all powerful, independent, masters of their own destines and independent of any supreme and unseen power; but so deluded are they that they completely ignore the reality that death will come and indiscriminately abduct them from all their possessions. This is mysteriously completely imperceptible to them.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna explicitly emphasises that the demoniac are consumed by incessantly hankering for the fulfilment of their insatiable desires. The demoniac are always thinking about what they have gained and enjoyed today, what they will gain and enjoy tomorrow and what they will gain and enjoy in the future. The demoniac do not believe in destiny and fate but only in the capabilities of their own efforts, intelligence and power. Destroying anything that obstructs their desires and gets in the way of their ambitions, the demoniac think today I have destroyed a formidable enemy by my power and might, tomorrow I shall destroy more enemies because I am all powerful. I am master of my own destiny, invincible and independent. All is for my enjoyment. Everyone is inferior to me. I am wealthy, highborn and thus superior. I am the enjoyer. None is my equal.
Observing that those endowed with the divine nature sometimes achieve phenomenal fame and extraordinary acclaim by performing ritualistic activities of righteous nature for the benefit of all creation; the demoniac spitefully concoct their own ritualistic activities based upon evil and clandestinely engage in fiendish activities such as offering blood sacrifices and vampirism to disincarnate spirits, ghosts and demons channelling in ghastly and horrendous non-human energies to whom they sacrifice infants and humans in exchange for material power. This is how they covertly operate in secret.
The demoniac also diabolically and deceptively imitate those of the divine nature by pretending to be compassionate philanthropists and establish institutions bearing their name that give ostentatious donations for hospitals and charitable organisations for feeding the poor as well as contributing to religious societies where they can showcase themselves as appearing pious. This is how they openly operate in public.