Gita Daily Readings

1st November
Chapter XVI: 8-9
They (the diabolical ones) say: “This universe is ‘without truth’ without (moral) basis, without a God, brought about by mutual union, with lust for its cause; what else?”

Holding this view, these ruined souls of small intellect and fierce deeds, come forth as the enemies of the world for its destruction.

Commentary

Even the devil’s disciples have their own philosophy, for no one can live without philosophy, without an understanding, however crude, of the pattern of existence. There is just this difference, however: the deva is one whose nature and hence whose philosophy is all light, in whom the light of self-knowledge shines brightly; while the asura, is one “whose light is darkness” - in the words of the Bible. That is what is meant by “asura” - he does not care to see. He blinds himself and revels in the darkness of ignorance. He is so thoroughly absorbed in the appearance, he does not care for the reality, for the truth.

Asatyam, translated as “without truth,” is the opposite of satyam and should mean “based on falsehood.” There are thousands in the world today who are convinced that “in this modern world, it is useless to be good,” and that “one should move with the times, and nowadays untruth is the law.” They are incorrigible because their conscience sanctions untruth.

They have existed at all times in the history of the world. In ancient times they were called the charvakas or materialists, with an extremely simple philosophy: “Man is born of the sexes coming together, he exists to immortalize this act and dies when it is no longer possible. All life centers around sensual pleasure.”

It is not so much the philosophy, but its application that is dreadful. Since pleasure, not loving service, is the goal, each man grabs as much of it as possible. From whom? From his own neighbor! The asura's love of darkness does not even recognize a friend. He is ruthless, relentless and remorseless, and it is dangerous to associate with him! Pursuit of pleasure ruins both society and the pursuer who is part of it.

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