Ancient India
The Godlike and the Demonic in Humanity

Krishna

   Freedom from fear, purity of heart, perseverance in pursuit of knowledge and abstraction of mind, gifts, self-restraint, and sacrifice, study of theVedas, penance, straightforwardness, harmlessness, truth, freedom from anger, renunciation , tranquillity, freedom from the habit of backbiting, compassion for all beings, freedom from avarice, presence of gentleness, modesty, absence of vain activity, presence of noblemindedness, forgivreness, courage, purity. freedom from a desire to injure others, absence of vanity, these, O descendant of Bharata, are his who is born to godlike endowments.

   Ostentatiousness, pride, vanity, anger, and also harshness and ignorance are his, O son of Pritha, who is born to demonic endowments.

   Godlike endowments are deemed to be means for final emancipation, demonic for bondage . Grieve not, O descendant of Bharata, you are born to god like endowrnents.

   There are two classes of created beings in this world, the godlike and the demonic; the godlike class has been described at length; now hear from me, O son of Pritha, about the demonic.

   Demonic persons know neither action or inaction, neither purity nor correct conduct nor truthfulness are in them. They say the universe is devoid of truth, devoid of fixed principle, and devoid of a ruler, produced by union of male and female caused by lust, and nothing else. Holding this view, these enemies of the world, of ruined selves, of little knowledge, and of ferocious actions, are born for the destruction of the world.

   Entertaining insatiable desire, full of vanity, ostentariousness and frenzy, they adopt false notions through delusion and engage in unholy observances.

   Indulging in boundless thoughts ending with death, given up to the enjoyment of objects of desire, being resolved that that is all there is to existence, bound down by nets and traps of hopes in hundreds, given up to anger and desire, they wish to obtain heaps of wealth unfairly so that the might enjoy objects of desire.

   This have I obtained, today this wish I will obtain; this wealth is mine, and this also shall be mine; this foe I have killed, others too I will destroy; I am lord, I am the enjoyer, I am perfect, strong, happy; I have wealth; I am of noble birth; who else is like me? I will sacrifice; I will make gifts; I will rejoice.

   Thus deluded by ignorance, tossed about by numerous thoughts, surrounded by the net of delusion, and attached to the enjoyment of objects of desire, they fall down into impure hell.

   Honored only by themselves, lacking all humility, and full of the pride and frenzy of wealth, these rumor-mongers and scandalizers of the virtuous perform sacrifices which are sacrifices only in name, only so that other men may see and against prescribed rules; indulging their vanity, brute force, arrogance, lust, and anger, and hating me in their own bodies and in those of others.

   These enemies, ferocious, meanest of men, and unholy, I continually hurl down to these worlds, only into demonic wombs. Coming into demonic wombs, deluded in every birth, they rapidly devolve to the lowest and the vilest state, O son of Kunti, without ever coming to me.

   Threefold is this way to hell,—ruinous to the self—lust,anger, and likewise avarice. Therefore, one should abandon this triad. Released from these three ways to darkness, O son of Kunti, a man works out his own welfare and then proceeds to the highest goal.

   He who abandoning sacred writings and their ordinances, acts under the impulse of desire, does not attain perfection, nor happiness, nor the highest goal. Therefore in discriminating between what should be done and what should not be done, your authority must be sacred texts. And knowing what is declared by the ordinances of the sacred writings, you should perform action in this world.

Translated by Kashinath Trimbak Telano, 1882
Edited and annotated by Richard Hooker



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Updated 10-19-97