Bhagavad Gita with Commentaries of Ramanuja | Discourse 16

Chapter 16
Daivāsura Sampad Vibhāga Yogaḥ
The Division between the Divine and the Non-Divine.

Summary of the Teaching

In the previous three chapters the topics explained by the Supreme Lord Krishna were:

1) The essential nature of physical matter and spirit as the ātma or immortal soul.

2) The fact that when the ātma and physical matter are conjoined it is a result due to attachment to the guṇas or three modes of material nature, and when the ātma is independent of matter it is a result due to being unattached to the guṇas.

3) That both the ātma and physical matter in whatever condition constitute two distinct aspects of the Supreme Lord's potencies.

4) That the Supreme Lord as the source of all that exists yet is factually distinct and separate from all aspects of His creation - both acit or matter and cit or spirit - which are contained within Him.

This includes every jīva or embodied being in all creation; both baddha-jīvas who are bound and mukta-jīvas who are liberated.

The Supreme Lord possesses all transcendental and divine powers such as: immortality, sovereignty, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, etc.

Lord Krishna will substantiate the reality of what has previously been declared in accordance to the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures which are the absolute authority.

This is done by initiating a comparison between the divine nature and the demoniac nature as it is verified throughout creation:

The divine nature expresses complete allegiance to righteousness and adherence to the authority of the Vedic scriptures.

The demoniac nature does not follow righteousness, neither does it accept the absolute authority of the Vedic scriptures; contrarily - adopting inauspicious activities befitting impure concoctions and unrighteous conceptions.

śrībhagavān uvāca
abhayaṃsattva saṃśuddhiḥjñāna yoga vyavasthitaḥ|
dānaṃdamaśca yajñāśca svādhyāyas tapa ārjavam || 1 ||

The Blessed Lord said:

1. Fearlessness, purity of mind, consistent contemplation on wisdom, philanthropy, self-control, worship, study of Vedas, self-discipline, forthrightness,

ahiṃsāsatyam akrodhas tyāgaḥ śāntir apaiśunam |
dayābhūteṣv-aloluptaṃmārdavaṃhrīr acāpalam || 2 ||

2. Non-injury, truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, tranquillity, freedom from slandering, compassion to all beings, freedom from hankering, gentleness, modesty, freedom from whimsicality;

tejaḥkṣamādhṛtiḥ śaucam adroho nātimānitā|
bhavanti sampadaṃdaivīṃabhijātasya bhārata || 3 ||

3. Refulgence, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, freedom from spite and humility - these treasures, O Arjuna, belong to one who is born to a Divine Estate.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Lord Krishna begins by describing the 26 divine qualities:

1) abhayaṃ is fearlessness due to the absence of anxiety which arises from the dread of harm to the physical body or the prospect of losing what is precious.

2) sattva-saṃśuddhiḥ is purification of one's existence and denotes purity of heart consisting of pure goodness undefiled with the taint of passion and ignorance.

3) jñāna-yoga- vyavasthitaḥ means situated in the knowledge of devotion resulting from discriminating the ātma or immortal soul from physical matter as the individual consciousness attains communion with the ultimate consciousness.

4) dānaṃ is the charity given to worthy recipients from what one legitimately owns.

5) dama is self-restraint, controlling the mind to be uninfluenced by sense objects.

6) yajña is Vedic authorised ritualistic ceremonies in propitiation and devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna exclusively for His satisfaction without any self-interests. This also applies to His authorised incarnations and expansions.

7) svādhyāya is devoted study of Vedic scriptures, knowing that they alone teach the glories of the Supreme Lord and are the quintessence of all that is spiritual.

8) tapas is austerity and penance.

Performing expiatory activities is a duty for all human beings such as Ekādaśī which is mandatory fasting from all grains on the 11th day of the waxing and waning moons.

As well there are occasional expiatory activities such as Chāndrāyaṇa which are fasts synchronised with the cycles of the moon and also kricchra which is extreme ascetic penance performed under very hot or very cold conditions and Prājāpatya and Śāntapana.

Such activities purify an aspirant and prepare and qualify him for devotion to the Supreme Lord.

9) ārjavam is simplicity, straight forwardness to others in thought, word and deeds.

10) ahimsa is non-violence to all living entities by thought, word and deed.

11) satyam is truthfulness verily speaking what is true that is beneficial to all beings.

12) akrodha is freedom from anger due to absence of resentment for others.

13) tyāgaḥ is renunciation of whatever is opposed to ātma-tattva or soul realisation.

14) śānti is tranquillity, keeping the senses peaceful and impervious to agitation.

15) apaiśunam is aversion to fault finding and slandering others even if warranted.

16) dayā is mercy, sympathy for life, empathy for the distress and misery of others.

17) aloluptaṃ is absence of greed for sense gratification.

18) mārdavaṃ is gentleness and humility which is appropriate for saintly association.

19) hrīḥ is modesty, the feeling of shame at the thought of anything inappropriate.

20) acāpalam is determination to remain firm against temptations presented to one.

21) tejas is radiance, lustre. The illustrious proof of the efficacy of spiritual practice.

22) Kṣamā is forgiveness. The absence of vengeful feelings against those harmed by.

23) dhṛtiḥ is fortitude. The capacity for righteousness while enduring great duress.

24) śaucaṃ is cleanliness both internally and externally to be spiritually worthy.

25) adroha is absence of envy, non-interference in the interests of others.

26) nātimānitā absence of false ego, lack of desire for honour and prestige.

The divine qualities and nature are for those aspiring to activate their divinity following the time tested eternal, divine ordinances and injunctions as revealed in the Vedic scriptures by the Supreme Lord Krishna. Their virtues of these 26 qualities are revealed by following them and living them in this manner.

The word abhijātasya refers to those who were born with the divine nature destined to follow the divine path and who are naturally in harmony with divinity.

dambho darpo’bhimānaśca krodhaḥpāruṣyam eva ca |
ajñānaṃcābhijātasya pārtha sampadam āsurīm || 4 ||

4. Religious hypocrisy, hubris, self-conceit, anger, rudeness and ignorance these, O Arjuna, belong to one who is born to a non-Divine estate.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Now Lord Krishna discloses the six properties predominating the demoniac nature.

damba is ostentation or a charade of pretentious actions perverting religion.

darpa is pride or the unnatural proclivity for excess experiencing sense objects.

abhimāna is arrogance or egotism concerning one’s self-interest and importance

krodhaḥ is anger which arises when greed and lust is impeded and frustrated.

pāruṣyam is belligerence or spurious indignation towards what is righteous.

ajñānaṃ is ignorance and lack of discrimination of the eternal and the temporal.

Those born in the demoniac nature act contrary to all that is righteous and fiendishly oppose the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures beneficial for all creation.

daivīsampad vimokṣāya nibandhāyāsurīm matā|
mā śucaḥsampadaṃdaivīm abhijāto’si pāṇḍava || 5 ||

5. The Divine Estate is deemed to lead to Liberation, the Non-divine to bondage. Grieve not, O Arjuna, you are born to a Divine Estate.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Lord Krishna encourages His devotee to grieve not or be despondent at the thought that he may not be qualified enough, for without a doubt he is born of the divine nature.

dvau bhūta sargau loko’smin daiva āsura eva ca |
daivo vistaraśaḥproktaḥ āsuraṃpārtha me śṛṇu || 6 ||

6. There are the two types of beings that have been produced in this world —the Divine and the Non-divine. The Divine has been described at length. Hear from Me, O Arjuna, about the Non-divine.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The material world is the place where actions are performed and subsequent karma or reactions to actions are created.

Created beings who are of the divine nature engage in activities that are of a divine nature and created beings that are of the demoniac nature engage in activities of a demoniac nature.

From their very birth it has been predetermined from the merits and demerits accumulated in unlimited past life activities

whether or not a jīva or embodied being is of the divine nature, following the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures and devoted to the Supreme Lord Krishna

or is of the demoniac nature, belligerent and antagonistic to the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures which compassionately guide all of creation and opposed to Lord Krishna.

Those of the divine nature have been described at length and are the aspirants who strive and endeavour to follow the path of the Supreme Lord,

engaging in yoga by karma or selfless actions, jñāna or knowledge of self-realisation and bhakti or exclusive loving devotion unto the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures.

Next the demoniac will also be described in length, illustrating what they were born for and how they behave.

pravṛttiṃca nivṛttiṃca janāna vidurāsurāḥ|
na śaucaṃnāpi cācāro na satyaṃteṣu vidyate || 7 ||

7. The Non-divine knows neither the right action nor what to refrain from. Neither purity, nor right conduct nor truthfulness is found in them.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The word pravṛtti is the performance of proper actions, which means engaging in Vedically authorised activities as dharma or righteousness which leads to realms of spiritual beatitude and Mokṣa or liberation from material existence.

Nivṛtti is refraining from engaging in activities which lead to bondage.

The demons, known also as asuras, refer to those without spiritual illumination and lack of spiritual insight has no scope for fathoming spiritual principles.

Śaucaṃ means cleanliness both internally and externally. The demons are always polluted by their depraved thoughts and contaminated by their degraded actions and hence never clean.

Āchārya means exemplary behaviour and excellent conduct such as performing japa or repetitively chanting Lord's holy names or sankirtan, congregationally chanting.

Also, always observing Ekādaśī which is fasting from all grains and beans on the 11th day of the waxing and waning moons

and the daily performance of sandhya Vandanam, which is Gāyatrī mantras given by the spiritual master, that are chanted silently at the three junctures of the day: dawn, noon and dusk.

The Dakṣa-smṛiti beginning sandhya hinot suci nityam states:

“One who omits the performance of sandhya is always impure, unholy and unfit for any spiritual duties”.

The word satyam means truth and denotes that which is spoken or written in total conformity with factual reality.

Such qualities as these have never been heard of or seen to be present in those of demoniac nature.

asatyam apratiṣṭhaṃte jagad-āhur anīśvaram |
aparaspara sambhūtaṃkim anyat kāma haitukam || 8 ||

8. They say; "This universe is unreal, without any foundation and without a Controller (Iśvara), brought about by mutual union, with lust for its cause; what else?”

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The demoniac declare that creation is asatyam or unreal and that creation is not an effect of anything. The demoniac state that creation exists without any aparaspara or cause.

The demoniac propound that creation is without apratiṣṭhaṃ or any support, maintenance or foundation. The demoniac postulate that creation is anīśvaram without any controller and is godless.

But the fact is that after manifesting creation the Supreme Lord places it on the hood of Śeṣa Nāga as confirmed in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa II.V.XXVII beginning ten eyam naga varenya sirasa vidhirita mahi stating:

“Creation rests on the hood of Śeṣa Nāga, which in turn supports the chain of spheres in the material worlds which is the abode of devas, humans, beasts and demons.

The demoniac have also concocted theories which they strictly adhere and propagate:

They hypothecate that creation is not under the auspices of or created by the Supreme Lord Krishna, who is eternal, infallible, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and who is the Supreme controller of everything.

Their only evidence is that everywhere they look they see males and females of such and such species cohabitating to continue the preservation of that species

and hence they have concluded that sexual passion alone is the cause that propels mutual union between male and female and evolves creation.

etāṃdṛṣṭim avaṣṭabhya naṣṭātmāno’lpa buddhayaḥ|
prabhavanty-ugra karmāṇaḥkṣayāya jagato’hitāḥ|| 9 ||

9. Holding this view, these embittered ruined people of deficient intellects commit many atrocities that lead to the destruction of the world.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Continuing further Lord Krishna gives some precise insights to the demoniac mentality:

1) Avaṣṭabhya means indiscriminately adopting erroneously as in the verse before.

2) naṣṭa-ātmana means devoid of any contact with their immortal soul.

3) Alpa- buddhayaḥ means limited intellect due to being incognizant of the cognizant.

4) Ugra-karmāṇaḥ means vile, heinous, horrendous activities destructive to all.

Such creatures are demoniac and are a parasitic, virulent virus destabilising all creation.

kāmam āśritya duṣpūraṃdambha māna madānvitāḥ|
mohād gṛhītvāsadgrahān pravartante ‘śuci-vratāḥ|| 10 ||

10. Filled with insatiable desires, grabbing through delusion unjustly acquired resources, and committed to vicious resolutions, they act, full of ostentation, pride and arrogance.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Lord Krishna explains that the demoniac are propelled by lust and greed that is insatiable and constantly seeking to be fulfilled in the hope of being gratified.

The demoniac endeavour to procure such fulfilment is mohad or deluded illusion and through gross improprieties they forcefully misappropriate and enjoy things which are not lawfully theirs.

The compound word aśuci-vratāḥ means the demoniac fiendishly execute devilish rituals such as blood sacrifices and the killing of animals and even humans in following their diabolical rites,

Specifically engaging in forbidden acts, prohibited by the Vedic scriptures, which oppose all sense of righteousness, morality and decency, by resorting to duplicity, hypocrisy, sorcery, evil magic, and surreptitious deception the demoniac nature is able to prevail and flourish.

cintām aparimeyāṃca pralayāntām upāśritāḥ|
kāmopabhoga paramāetāvad iti niścitāḥ|| 11 ||

11. Subject to immeasurable anxieties, which extend to the very dissolution of the universe, regarding sense-gratification as their highest ideal, and convinced that this is all;

āśā-pāśa śatair baddhāḥkāma krodha parāyaṇāḥ|
īhante kāma bhogārtham anyāyenārtha sañcayān || 12 ||

12. Bound by hundreds of fetters of hopes, preoccupied with desire and anger, they strive by unjust means to amass resources for the gratification of their desires.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Although death is waiting patiently for their demise at any moment; to carry them off to hellish worlds of great suffering;

Lord Krishna explains that the demoniac are so involved in the deception of their material manipulations for planetary power and control of planetary wealth, which they amass to the maximum, that they become oblivious to the existence of a higher reality.

The demoniac are deceived in the vastness of their own schemes and undertakings which consumes all of their time as they are constantly endeavouring to keep their power intact.

Simultaneously the demoniac are pursuing their lusts for sense gratification with full power, imagining that it constitutes the apex of success as the highest ambition of all existence.

The demoniac are so completely deluded that they believe that enjoying the objects of the senses is the final goal of all hopes and dreams with no conception more advanced than this.

In this way they deceive and fully shackle themselves in bondage by the illusion of their own hopes and expectations, which keeps them bound inexorably in perdition.

idam-adya mayālabdham imaṃprāpsyase manoratham |
idam astīdam api me bhaviṣyati punar dhanam || 13 ||

13. "This I have gained today, and this aspiration I shall fulfil. This wealth is mine, and that also shall be mine in the future".

asau mayāhataḥ śatrur haniṣye cāparān api |
īśvaro’ham ahaṃbhogīsiddho’haṃbalavān sukhī|| 14 ||

14. 'This enemy is slain by me; and others also I shall slay. I am a Lord, I am an enjoyer, I am successful, I am powerful and happy.

āṣyo’bhijanavān asmi ko’nyosti sadṛśo mayā|
yakṣye dāsyāmi modiṣye ityajñāna vimohitāḥ|| 15 ||

15. 'I am wealthy and nobly-born; who else is equal to me? I shall sacrifice, I shall give charity, I shall rejoice’ —thus they think, deluded by ignorance.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

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 destinies 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.

anekacitta vibhrāntāḥmoha-jāla-samāvṛtāḥ|
prasaktāḥkāma bhogeṣu patanti narake’śucau || 16 ||

16. Bewildered by many fantasies, ensnared by the net of delusion, addicted to sensual enjoyments, they fall into a foul purgatory.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The demoniac completely controlled by māyā the imperceptible bewilderment of illusion delude themselves by thinking that they are capable of accomplishing anything merely by their own brains and might.

The demoniac think they are independent and not dependent upon any Supreme Being even if it does at all exist.

In this way they are full of anxiety which tempestuously buffets them about by foolish, greedy thoughts such as this is mine, that to will soon be mine, I want this, I want that, this I shall do and that I will also do, etc., etc.

In this way by their very own minds they are caught in the web of illusion and pursuing their lust for sense gratification they are totally bereft of sound judgement, discrimination and moral conduct.

Lord Krishna confirms that beyond material nature, unseen and unperceived, death is waiting very patiently for the allotted time

to snatch them away from all they covet and force them to suffer their karma or reactions to their unrighteous sinful actions in the darkest of hells.

yajante nāma yajñāis-te daṃbhenāvidhi pūrvakam || 17 ||

17. Self-conceited, complacent, intoxicated with pride and wealth, they perform sacrifices in name only with ostentation and contrary to the injunctions of the Śāstras.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Lord Krishna describes tell-tale signs and characteristics of the demoniac.

Saṃbhāvitāḥ means conceited, self-aggrandizing. The demoniac flatter themselves.

Stabdhā means impertinent, pompous. Thinking they are the better than all others.

dhana-māna-mada-anvitāḥ means inebriated and puffed up by wealth, bloodlines, etc.

Avidhi- pūrvakam means the demoniac do pseudo rituals condemned by the Vedas.

The pseudo-rituals enacted by the demoniac are nothing more than pretentious exhibitions of ostentatious decadence,

regardless of the opulence they are always void of devotion to the Supreme Lord and are performed contrary to the injunctions and ordinances of the Vedic scriptures.

ahaṅkāraṃbalaṃdarpaṃkāmaṃkrodhaṃca saṃśritāḥ|
mām-ātma para-deheṣu pradviṣanto’bhyasūyakāḥ|| 18 ||

18. Overcome with egoism, power, conceit, desire and anger, these malicious people hate Me in their own bodies and in those of others.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Here Lord Krishna describes more tell-tale signs and characteristics of the demoniac.

The word ahaṁkāra means egotistic, thinking they are independent of the Supreme Lord.

The word darpaṃ means insolence, thinking that they as demons are all important.

Pradviṣantaḥ means despise, the envious demoniac openly despise the Supreme Lord.

Even though the Supreme Lord is ātma-para- deheṣu or situated within them and all living entities as the immortal supreme soul, the demoniac endeavour in earnest most spitefully to cause great evil to all creatures.

The demoniac exhibit overt malice and aggressiveness against anything righteous and determinedly oppose the Supreme Lord at every opportunity in every way they can.

They take great pains to degrade moral values, encourage depraved activities and destroy the family unit.

They propagate that god does not exist, that creation came from a random mixture of chemicals and that there is nothing existing after this life so it is better to eat, drink and be merry without cessation.

They concoct many doctrines, conduct many seminars and establish many schools of thought to negate the idea of the existence of a singular consciousness, a Supreme Being or Supreme Lord that is the creator and supreme controller of all creation.

This is the demoniac’s gross folly and unredeemable sin is that they despise the Supreme Lord Krishna who is the origin of their very existence and the creator of the complete cosmic and material manifestations.

tān ahaṃdviṣataḥkrūrān saṃsāreṣu narādhamān |
kṣipāmy-ajasram aśubhān āsurīṣveva yoniṣu || 19 ||

19. These wicked people who are hostile, cruel, and the most contemptible of humankind, I hurl continually into the cycles of births and deaths, into the non-Divine species.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Wherever the demoniac may chance to take birth, these vile, evil, degraded living entities who blaspheme and spite the Supreme Lord are kept revolving in samsāra or the perpetual cycle of birth and death and flung into lower and more degraded forms of life.

Since the demoniac adamantly desire to be irreversibly opposed to the Supreme Lords Krishna's divine will, He permits them to pursue their wishes and they are hurled into demoniac wombs birth after birth in order that their aversion to Him will be increased.

Impelled by the Supreme Lord's sanction their desires are satisfied and they receive the opportunity in a suitable demoniac environment to exercise their free will and voraciously vent their vile, evil and degraded nature.

āsurīṃyonim āpannāmūḍhājanmani janmani |
mām aprāpyeva kaunteya tato yānty-adhamāṃgatim || 20 ||

20. Fallen into demoniac species and deluded birth after birth, and without attaining Me, O Arjuna, they sink down to the lowest state.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The words āsurīṃ yonim means demoniac wombs and refers to birth of those jīvas or embodied beings and even subtle existences that are diametrically opposed to the divine will of the Supreme Lord Krishna.

Those of a demoniac nature never have an affinity or even tolerance for the path of righteousness and so they spawn and are hurled into wombs of lower and lower degraded demoniac forms as their reward to increase their venomous delusion.

As such the words aprāpya eva means that the demoniac can never attain the Supreme Lord and denotes that they are never imbued with the intelligence to have the consciousness to seek the association of devotees of Lord Krishna and learn the ultimate truth submissively from them.

The root cause, by which those of a demoniac nature lose their paramount position as human beings imbued with free will and self-determination,

and instead sink into the instinctive consciousness of animal and reptiles, descending further into insects, worms and maggots is revealed next.

trividhaṃnarakasyedaṃdvāraṃnāśanam ātmanaḥ|
kāmaḥkrodhas tathālobhas tasmād etat trayaṃtyajet || 21 ||

21. Self-referent desire, anger and greed —this is the threefold gateway to Nāraka, ruinous to the Self. Therefore one should abandon these three.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Lord Krishna confirms that the demoniac nature is in itself a hellish condition of life perpetuating more and more degraded hellish existences.

The three portals to hellish existence are lust, greed and anger which completely destroy and ruin all opportunities for advancing in spiritual consciousness.

Lust, greed and anger are the foundations for all the other vices and sinfulness described previously which run rampant among the demoniac.

The word dvāraṃ means portal and gate, inferring the cause.

The words nāśanam ātmanaḥ means destructive or even suicidal, denoting how utterly negative lust, greed and anger are in evolving the consciousness to commune with the immortal soul.

Therefore Lord Krishna emphasizes that lust, greed and anger must be permanently abandoned, fully relinquished and completely neutralised,

since these three voracious vices comprise the cause that leads a jīva or embodied being directly to dreaded nāraka or the hellish planets.

etair vimuktaḥkaunteya tamo dvārais tribhir naraḥ|
ācaraty-ātmanaḥ śreyas tato yāti parāṃgatim || 22 ||

22. One who has been liberated from these three gates to darkness, O Arjuna, practices what is beneficial to the Self and hence reaches the Supreme State.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Lust, greed and anger are all situated deep in tama-guṇa the mode of ignorance and as such cause the demoniac to be deluded by immense illusion regarding the factual reality of the Supreme Lord Krishna.

Although difficult to rectify the jīva or embodied being who is able to avert them can escape their control and employ themselves in a manner that is conducive to the development of spiritual consciousness and ātma tattva or realisation of the soul.

Any jīva who achieves actual, factual knowledge of Lord Krishna as the creator of all and His absolute paramount position as the Supreme Lord of all existence, will naturally develop reverence for Him.

This results in a harmonious spirit attuned with the divine nature, cooperation with His devotees and the utmost respect for all life and creation.

From this point of consciousness one will attain association with Lord Krishna's devotees and by their mercy proceed to attaining the sublime, ultimate goal under their guidance.

That disregard and disrespect for the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures is the main reason why a jīva will be forced to go and suffer in hell is explained next.

yaḥ śāstra vidhim utsṛjya vartate kāma kārataḥ|
na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṃna parāṃgatim || 23 ||

23. Whoever, disregarding the ordinances of the Scriptures, acts under the influence of personal desire, attains neither perfection nor happiness, nor the Supreme State.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The word śāstra refers exclusively to the Vedic scriptures. Vidhi means the injunctions and ordinances within them.

The Vedic scriptures are the Supreme Lord Krishna's mandates.

Whosoever foolishly abandons these instructions and utsṛjya or transgresses the injunctions and ordinances to drift whimsically wherever their desires aimlessly take them,

will never achieve siddhi or perfection beyond mundane conceptions, never achieve sukham or happiness of any longevity or param gatim the supreme goal of human existence.

tasmāt śāstra pramāṇaṃte kāryākārya vyavasthitau |
jñātvā śāstra vidhān-oktaṃkarma kartum ihārhasi || 24 ||

24. Therefore, let the Śāstra be your authority for determining what should be done and what should not be done. Having learnt what is enjoined in the Śāstra, you should act.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Hence, the Śāstra is to be regarded as the only authority in deciding what ought to be accepted and what ought to be rejected. You should try to understand, neither more nor less than what constitutes the Truth and act according to the injunctions of the Śāstras.

The Highest Truth which is revealed in the Vedas is the Supreme Being; and the Vedic ordinances which are supplemented by the instructions of the Dharma-Śāstras, the Epics (Rāmāyana and Mahābhārata) and the Purāṇas, are the acts which are the means for reaching Him and for pleasing Him.

Having learnt them, you should accept them alone and act accordingly.

hariḥ oṃ tatsat
iti śrīmad bhagavad gītāsūpaniṣatsu
brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre
śrīkṛṣṇārjuna saṃvāde daivāsura -sampad-vibhāga-yogo nāma

Thus in the Upanishads of the Glorious Bhagavad Gita
The science of the Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga
The dialogue between Śrī Krishna and Arjuna
Ends the sixteenth discourse entitled
“The Division between the Divine and the Non-Divine”