Chapter 16The Divine and the Demoniac Natures DefinedVerse 24


Sanskrit Vocal





Commentaries of the Four Authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

as confirmed in the Garga Samhita Canto 10, Chapter 61, Verses 23, 24, 25, 26
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Sridhara Swami's Commentary

The irrevocable conclusion given by the Supreme Lord Krishna is that the Vedic scriptures are the sole, absolute authority in ascertaining the applicability of all activities. What is prescribed in the Vedic scriptures is the determining agent for what is righteous and what is unrighteous, what is to be done and what is not to be done, what is right and what is wrong. The whole pantheon of the Vedic scriptures including the Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva Vedas, the Puranas including Srimad Bhagavatam, the Upanisads, Vedanta Sutra, Mahabharata, Ramayana and all their auxiliaries such as Manu Samhita, Narada Pancaratna, Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Tattva Sandarbhas, Hari Bhakti Vilas etc. and such scriptures authorised by bonafide disciplic succession in one of the four authorised sampradayas which are Brahma, Sri, Rudra and Kumara are also to be considered as part of the Vedic scriptures. The Vedic line is living and eternal.

Thus having understood the eternal directives prescribed in the Vedic scriptures one should engage in them to the best of one's ability in full faith without duplicity for the achievement of one's best interests according to one's inherent nature and qualification. Purification of the mind, perfection in spiritual knowledge and moksa or liberation from material existence all manifest by securing that. By comparing and differentiating between the divine nature and the demoniac nature, sufficient evidence has proven conclusively that the demoniac nature is only qualified for damnation in lower and lower species in hellish existences and that only the divine nature is qualified and eligible for higher consciousness, the ultimate truth and eternal communion with the Supreme Lord.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Hari Om! The distinctive differences between the divine nature and the demoniac nature have been delineated in detail. Those deluded fools who imagine themselves as exercising the power of the Supreme Lord; who foolishly consider that creation manifested without a supreme consciousness, who deviously speculate and hypothecate that creation manifested on its own and so there is no Supreme Lord, who despite knowledge of the actual reality of the Supreme Lord's omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence; still spitefully oppose Him and vindictively seek to undermine and destroy His creation. All these degraded jivas or embodied beings, verily are born of the demoniac nature and will descend into hellish existences in worlds of darkness. These unrepentant demoniac jivas in wharever form they appear in, thinking of themselves as superior never surrender to the Supreme Lord or offer reverence to Him. Instead they blaspheme the Supreme Lord, ridicule His absolute instructions in the form of the Vedic scriptures and deride His devotees. Those who propagate that the Supreme Lord does not exist and is just an illusion are of the demoniac nature. Those who challenge the divine instructions of the Supreme Lord Krishna, those who contradict the eternal truths of the Vedic scriptures and those who dispute the eternal knowledge taught by the devotees of Lord Krishna are all also irrefutably possessed of the demoniac nature.

The birth of a jiva as a demigod, a demon or a human being is due to an inherent resonance towards beings such based upon previous activities in past lives. Because by possessing the attributes of any of them there is a natural affinity leading back towards them from from whence they came and hence there never can be any artificial change in disposition. Although it is possible for one to be born in the family of a demoniac line due to a curse like Prince Prahlad taking birth as the son of the demon king Hiranyakasipu; but this is not true demoniac nature manifesting and Prahlad heard the glories of the Supreme Lord from Narada Muni while in his mothers womb and right from early childhood exhibited his divine nature to the great chagrin and disappointment of his father. Like a crystal which appears dark when seen in the darkness those of the divine nature may appear to be demoniac because of circumstances. But it is only temporary and not even permanently present in a single life because such situations cannot alter the inherent divine attributes.

Therefore those of the divine nature quickly revive it within that selfsame life even if

born in inauspicious situations. Thus wherever and under whatever conditions those of the divine nature take birth there inherent divine attributes quickly fructify and activate them to quickly become eligible for association with a Vaisnava spiritual master who bestows devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna and become qualified for communion with Him. That eligibility comes quickly is evidenced that Prahlad's inherent divine attributes were so potent that He did not even have to wait until he was born but received instructions while in the womb. There are many blissful levels of communion with the Supreme Lord that those of the divine nature may partake of as there are various gradations within moksa or liberation from material existence. Thus devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna are incapable of not being grateful and joyous.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Sastra meaning the Vedic scriptures is the sole absolute supreme authority deciding all matters of existence guiding all creation as to what is to be done and what is not to be done. What the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures enjoin along with their auxiliaries such as the Puranas, Upanisads, Itihasas, etc reveals that the highest truth is the Supreme Lord Krishna, that all activities should be engaged in as devotion and propitiation to Him and that this in itself constitutes the means of attaining Him. Realising these ultimate truths to be absolute reality, nothing more is required and one should sagaciously act with full faith in accordance therewith.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

So now the Supreme Lord Krishna gives the final conclusion for this chapter. Because absolutely no benefit is ordained for those who do not adhere to and follow the injunctions and ordinances of the Vedic scriptures it has been unequivocally determined that only by the Vedic scriptures exclusively and their corroborative adjuncts such as Puranas, Upanisad etc. which are endowed with knowledge of the Supreme Ultimate truth, cognition of the Ultimate reality and realisation of the Supreme Ultimate Being are the only authority to be used in understanding what is proper to be performed and what is improper and not to be performed. Knowing this one should perform activities in material existence which correspond and are in harmony with the axioms and instructions of the Vedic scriptures according to time, circumstances and qualification.

Thus in the sixteenth chapter the Supreme Lord Krishna after first avidly describing the qualities and attributes of those endowed with the divine nature; He emphatically instructed complete avoidance of all aspects of the demoniac nature, explaining its root causes as lust, greed and anger. He also described numerous characteristics and examples that indicate one of a demoniac nature possess. His conclusion is that one should only perform actions authorised by the Vedic scriptures and never act contrary.

I take full refuge in the Supreme Lord Krishna, He who is the most worthy of knowing and the goal of the Vedas, who in Srimad Bhagavad-Gita became the spiritual master and taught the conclusions of the Vedic scriptures.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 16, verse 24 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 24

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