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Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7
Aahaarastwapi sarvasya trividho bhavati priyah;
Yajnastapastathaa daanam teshaam bhedamimam shrinu.
The food also which is dear to each is threefold, as also sacrifice, austerity and alms-giving. Hear thou the distinction of these.
Interpretation

After talking about the person misinterpreting the scriptures and going in the wrong way, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the food that the person consumes when he belong to a particular faith. We have already discussed that there are three types of faith, sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic and Lord says that each person depending upon what guna he is dominated by, is attracted to or likes a particular type of food. The food that he consumes is getting reflected in the sacrifices that he commits, the austerities that he practices and the alms that he gives. Then Lord tells Arjuna to listen to them and starts speaking about them. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

A man’s taste for a particular food is determined according to the Guna prevalent in him. Many times it is said that what we eat decides our personality. It is quite logical because every item has a characteristic present in the nature and when it goes into your body, automatically you will see its impact of it on a person. You might have seen that a person who eats fruits and bland food is less aggressive than a person who consumes a lot of spicy food. So, Lord is going to talk about the food and its impact on the person. This if implemented in a person, can make a major impact on his life is what I feel. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 6

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 6
Karshayantah shareerastham bhootagraamamachetasah;
Maam chaivaantahshareerastham taanviddhyaasuranishchayaan.
Senseless, torturing all the elements in the body and Me also, 
who dwells in the body,—know thou these to be of demoniacal resolves.
Interpretation

This is the continuation of the previous shloka where Lord talks about how a person who for the sake of his own benefits turns the scriptures to his favour and does things so that they can work for him. Lord Krishna in this shloka is calling them senseless, as He feels that a person who has a sense of what God is and what God desires would never do such things. In the entire process he tortures all the elements of his body and also the God who is dwelling in that body as paramatma. Lord concludes the shloka by saying that these actions have a demonical resolves to them and can never bring the right kind of result to the person. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Here Lord is talking about a person who does things in the scriptures to suit to his own benefits and how it affects the body of the person as well as Him, who lives in that body. Let us take an example of a lady who for the sake of the benefit for the family or for bearing children decides to go on a fast 3 days in a week. Fasting is a ritual that was prescribed in Upanishads as a prayaschitta or penance for something wrong a person has committed. This lady who has no understanding of this and listening to a priest or a swamiji she decides to do this. Just for a second think about what she is doing and what is the purpose it is going to serve?

Prayaschitta is letting your body suffer for any mistake that you have done so that the senses and the body remembers them and will not allow the person to commit the same mistake again. Just see what happens if you take the same to fulfil your wishes. There are things that are not in our hands like success in a venture or bearing a male child only etc and when you do commit these things, thinking that they are prescribed in scriptures, will God be pleased? How can you force God to give you something by going on a fast or making your body suffer? It is equivalent to a type of black mailing, which is a sin that too when you are committing in the name of God.
Lord Krishna is calling those people senseless and He is very correct in doing so. These people cannot think anything beyond their own benefit. These rituals also include going to temples, giving offering to God, giving offering to poor etc. These are also prescribed in scriptures as things to be followed on routine basis and not expecting anything in return for God. But demonical people never think in those lines and that is what Lord Krishna is cautioning us against. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 4

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 4
Yajante saattwikaa devaan yaksharakshaamsi raajasaah;
Pretaan bhootaganaamshchaanye yajante taamasaa janaah.
The Sattwik or pure men worship the gods; the Rajasic or the passionate worship the Yakshas and the Rakshasas;
the others the Tamasic or the deluded worship the ghosts and the hosts of nature-spirits.
Interpretation

This shloka has Lord Krishna talking about the worship of the people of different faith. We have understood in the previous shloka that the identity of a person is known by the faith that he carries. Faith is deeply related to the things that a person worships. We are also know that there are three kinds of faith, the sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic. Lord says that the Sattwik people who are also called pure men worship Gods. The Rajasic people who are also called passionate people worship Yakshas or the Rakshasas. Then Lord talks about the third kind of people who are Tamasic people and they are also called deluded or wavering minds usually end up worshipping ghosts and spirits in the nature. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Why are Sattwik people are called as pure men? We have seen that before, sattwik people only think of others and their benefit. A sattwik person sees his happiness in the happiness of people around him. He sacrifices things for them and does things that pleases them. This is the natural faith of those who believe in God and thus it is quite natural that they worship God. Then if you look at the Rajasic men, they are called as passionate and we know that they are determined and attached to their goals and aims and spend their whole lives in fulfilling them. But why does Lord says that these Rajasic men worship Yakshas and Rakshasas?

Yakshas and Rakshasas are the beings who exist in the lokas below Gods and they are usually associated with power, wealth, enjoyment and revenge. Yakshas usually bestow power and wealth while Rakshasas are worshiped for revenge. When a Rajasic person has revenge in his mind, he never invokes God in him, but he becomes a demon and causes harm to his enemy. If you look at Tamasic people they are called as wavering or deluded minds, who resort to all kinds of black magic, invoking evil spirits and ghosts and believe in tantra. This is a dangerous thing and a person takes to it only because he wants to achieve success and money through short cut sand without putting any efforts which is a typical tamasic guna. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 3

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 3
Sattwaanuroopaa sarvasya shraddhaa bhavati bhaarata;
Shraddhaamayo’yam purusho yo yacchraddhah sa eva sah.
The faith of each is in accordance with his nature, O Arjuna! 
The man consists of his faith; as a man’s faith is, so is he.
Interpretation

This shloka has a description of faith which we have also seen in the previous shloka. Lord Krishna in this shloka explains us what faith actually is. He states that the faith of a person is the result of his nature. The faith develops in a person as per his nature. Lord Krishna also says that the identity of any man is completely in sync with his faith. He uses the phrase “The man consists of his faith”. Then He finally goes on to say that whatever is the type of the faith that a man possess, the nature of the man is according to that only. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Many great people in this world are known from the faith they had. “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life. Dream of it. Think of it. Live on that idea. Let the brain, body, muscles, nerves and every part of your body be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced”. This is the faith of Swami Vivekanada, who in the last century has influenced millions across the world and continue to inspire people of today also. “In a gentle way you can shake the World” said Mahatma Gandhi, who is considered to be the greatest man to have walked on this land in 20th Century.

When you read the faiths of these people you will be amused by their unequivocal dedication to them. We all know how Gandhiji remained stubborn and fought for the freedom of the country on his own terms and also on Hindu-Muslim unity on his own terms. He had a pay the price for it with his life. Swami Vivekananda with his faith on sticking to one idea and making it the mission of one’s life was able to inspire us. Today also we remember him as a brave man who stood by his beliefs. We all need to develop a faith for each of us which will become our identity and we will all be known by that identity alone, says Lord Krishna in this shloka. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 24

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 24
Tasmaat shaastram pramaanam te kaaryaakaaryavyavasthitau;
Jnaatwaa shaastravidhaanoktam karma kartumihaarhasi.
Therefore, let the scripture be the authority in determining what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. 
Having known what is said in the ordinance of the scriptures, thou shouldst act here in this world.
Interpretation

This is a final and concluding shloka of this Yoga where Lord Krishna is concluding with what a person has to do to get over the demonic nature. He says that the authority for deciding what is demonic and what is not are only the scriptures. Everyone should follow these scriptures to do what is required to be done and should avoid what should not be done. Only after getting the knowledge of what should be done or not done, a person should act according to the ordinances of those scriptures. The ordinances given in those scriptures are only the parameters of how to act in this world on what to do and what not to do. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The most important thing that is coming from this Yoga is coming in the last shloka. If you read the interpretation you would understand one thing very clearly that Lord is asking us to follow the rules and regulations for doing anything as prescribed in the scriptures. Vedas are the rituals are also called as rule book for doing various things. Upanishad actually means “come, sit near and hear”, where a guru will call his disciple near him and teach him certain things that only this disciple should know. Vedas are taught to everyone whereas Upanishads are only taught to select set of students on select set of topics. 

These Vedas and Upanishads have the directives or rules of things to be done. We need rules because we are fickle in our thought process and we quickly waver from what we do. A very basic rule which says, as soon as you get up you need to brush your teeth and take bath, before doing anything. Why was this basic thing created as rule? The reason is simple. When food goes inside us our body, the body should be clean and we should get rid of waste inside us as well as outside us. Inside waste is cleaned through brushing and through toilet while outside waste is cleaned when we clean our body with water which we call as bath. What happens when you dont follow this rule?
Food is the source of all energy and the energy is the source of all thoughts and actions. What happens when food is consumed in impure conditions? The food that goes inside also mixes with the waste present inside and this waste has lot of toxins, which also influences our thoughts and our actions negatively. Outside when we are dirty, it gives us problems related to hygiene. So, when your body is clean from inside and outside, the thoughts and the actions resulting from them are also clean. But our mind doesnt listen to us always. We feel like taking coffee without brushing teeth or eating food without going to toilet and taking bath.
These things are regulated and modulated through the rules wherein if you frame it as a rule and follow it judiciously, you will always tend to adhere to it. Many habits that we tend to lose on day to day basis also can be made as rules and can be followed. Thus God gives us the mantra for daivic way of living and that mantra is read the scriptures, understand the do’s and dont’s and follow them judiciously. If you do that automatically, you adopt yourself to daivic way of life which is a path to salvation. 

Bhagavdgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 23

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 23

Yah shaastravidhimutsrijya vartate kaamakaaratah;
Na sa siddhimavaapnoti na sukham na paraam gatim.

He who, casting aside the ordinances of the scriptures, acts under the impulse of desire, attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme goal.

Interpretation

This shloka talks about the results that the demonic souls who neglect the God get. Lord Krishna starts off by talking about these demonic people who set aside the ordinances of the scriptures. Ordinances of scriptures mean the Vedas and other holy scriptures which suggest a person what to do. They do so because they are drawn by the impulses of desire. They are filled with the bodily desires and when they overpower the reasoning and logic a person becomes impulsive. Lord Krishna in the later half of the shloka goes on to say that such a person will never attain perfection nor he will attain happiness and he will never ever accomplish the Supreme goal of moksha. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Vedas, Upanishads and Vedangas are considered to be the holy scriptures that give directions to an individual on the path to be followed. The scriptures usually gives two types of instructions. The first set of instructions are those rituals and other directives that an individual is supposed to perform to attain moksha. The other is the directives of what a person should not do. These directives are also called a prohibits or nishedh. A person has to always follow the instructions and do things for attaining moksha. A demonic person always disregards the instructions of the scriptures and take the opposite route. The question is why?

The answers to that are when a person reads in the scriptures what he should not do, he normally gets drawn to it. For example, scriptures say that womanizing is something which is prohibited for the one who is looking at Moksha. But the moment he reads that his senses get drawn to the pleasure of seeking multiple women and those ways he tends to follow most of the times what is prohibited. Scriptures say what should not be done, only to see how strong is the person’s will power to resist this. A person who is daivic will not fall for this, whereas a demonic person gets drawn to this and the result is he neither gets happiness or perfection or attains his goal of moksha.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 22

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 22

Etairvimuktah kaunteya tamodwaaraistribhirnarah;
Aacharatyaatmanah shreyas tato yaati paraam gatim.

A man who is liberated from these three gates to darkness, O Arjuna,  practises what is good for him and thus goes to the Supreme goal!

Interpretation

After talking about the three gates of hell that is lust, anger and greed, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about what can happen to a person if he liberates himself from the three gates of hell. Lord compares this three gates of hell to the three gates of darkness because as hell is nothing short of the darkness and the person who lives in the hell is always in the darkness. Lord says that if a person is liberated from this darkness then he will go on to do what is destined for him. This happens when he realises what he is missing out on by being in the darkness. Once that happens then automatically he will be on his way to achieving the Supreme goal. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Sometimes it so happens that we end up seeing what we don’t see. It happens to everyone. We do things the way we want to. We have our own objective for doing things, which can be money, name fame etc. Let’s take for an example a bank employee who is working in the bank. Every day he meets many people and helps them with their finances. But he will not get attached to anyone nor he is bothered to look at anyone’s financial situation because it is not his job and he is not paid for that. Then suddenly one day if he sees that a retired man taking a loan from the bank to get his son educated, he feels for that person. He empathises him and treats his differently by being more friendly.

What brought this change in the person? He would have met people who were more in need than him and he would not have taken note of them. But now why he is feeling empathy for that old man? It is because somewhere we are shut off from the other people by our own biases and needs. It is also one kind of darkness which prevents us from seeing the other’s problems. But if even for a moment that darkness lifts you will see people differently. Every profession has the same thing. Look at a teacher teaching his students. A teacher only thinks about what he is getting and how many subjects he has to teach and only concentrates on that, never thinking for a minute also about his students.

But once the thought comes to his mind that so many students sitting in front of him are his responsibility and he needs to give them the basic foundation and he in a way is responsible for shaping their interest in studies, he becomes very careful. The way he teaches changes. The same is the case with a doctor who treats patients for his living when he understands that the patient’s life is in his hands, his approach will change. When darkness lifts a new angle emerges and that new angle will make us to see things differently and that is the foundation for us to start doing things in a way that makes you to achieve the Supreme goal, which is nothing but unifying your soul with God.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 21

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 21

Trividham narakasyedam dwaaram naashanamaatmanah;
Kaamah krodhastathaa lobhas tasmaadetat trayam tyajet.

Triple is the gate of this hell, destructive of the self—
lust, anger, and greed,—therefore, one should abandon these three.

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna is advising on the things that are considered to be hell and the things that one should avoid in order to save himself from getting into demonic zone. Lord compares the demonic nature to the hell and says that this hell has three gates. These three gates are also called the gates of the destruction of the self. Lord then names the three gates as lust, anger and greed. Lust is the sexual desires which are uncontrolled, anger and greed are the other two emotions that a person has no control upon. Lord finally advises that one should abandon or leave these three things to understand God and attain divinity.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We need to understand here the concept of “destructive of the self”. What brings this destruction of the self? Lord Krishna says its the lust, anger and greed. When a person is sexually attracted to many people and involves himself in the sexual acts that are sinful, he will go down in spirituality. Similar are the effects of anger and greed. Anger is the result of non-fulfillment of the wants. Anger primarily arises because the person is attached to he results of the work that he doing. The same attachment results in greed of a person. So, in a way lust, anger and greed are linked to one another and are responsible for the destruction of the self, which is also called spiritual degradation.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 18

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 18

Ahankaaram balam darpam kaamam krodham cha samshritaah;
Maamaatmaparadeheshu pradwishanto’bhyasooyakaah.

Given over to egoism, power, haughtiness, lust and anger, 
these malicious people hate Me in their own bodies and those of others.

Interpretation

This shloka talks about the behaviour of the demonical people towards their own creator. In the last shloka talked about how they go against the scriptures to promote their own benefits. This shloka Lord talks about how these people who tend to submit themselves to the egoism coupled with the feeling of unlimited power. He talks about haughtiness which is a tendency of a person to be arrogantly superior and also about the lust and anger that takes over an individual. On acquiring all these qualities a person becomes so malicious and harmful in nature that they start talking bad things about God to themselves as well as to the others. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

When you see an atheist what is the first thought that would come to your mind? You would say, it’s his life, let him lead the way he wants to. What will he do? Will he allow you to lead the way you want to? He makes fun of you for believing in idols and going to temples and he says I just believe in my hard work and I don’t need any God to support me. At some corner, you might think that he is right. If you are a 12-year-old boy listening to these words, you will feel more attracted to him than towards words of God, soul, moksha and right path of life. Wrong things in this world can easily be attracted to and the wrong people will end up influencing more innocent people. This is where one needs to be careful of these demonical people.

How does a person reject the existence of God? It is because he has developed an ego which is much bigger than himself. He forgot the fact that there is a creator above who is responsible for giving every emotion to us, including the emotion of not believing in the Almighty. So, people around should be careful and should question themselves about their existence and about the existence of others. When you don’t know, you really don’t know. So, it is important for you to know the right things. The first thing is about the existence of God. Second is about He being the almighty and we are just the humble followers of him.

Demonic people preach about the non-existence of God. Just look around you and see, everything that you are getting, the source of it is coming from the God and the universe that He has created. Whatever food you eat, just see the source of it, whatever energy you are using, just see the source of it. Understand that we should never lose track of the roots from which we came. Our intelligence and our development is because of our hard work and innovation but who is responsible for giving those ideas of innovation? All around you, you will find the voice of God and that is something that demonic people can never see. Don’t fall prey to their words or their beliefs.