Gita Daily Readings

29th October
Chapter XVI: 4-5
Hypocrisy, arrogance and self-conceit, anger and also harshness and ignorance, belong to one who is born for a demoniacal state, Oh Arjuna.

The divine nature is deemed for liberation, and the demoniacal for bondage. Grieve not, Oh Arjuna, thou art born with divine qualities.

Commentary

Krishna is very clever. As our Master often reminded us: "Positive always overcomes negative." Instead of people worrying themselves over prohibitions, if they concentrated on positive injunctions, the world would be a better place and they themselves would move rapidly towards God.

In the whole of the Bhagavad Gita there are so few verses dealing with the evil side of life that one would have wondered if Krishna had forgotten all about it, had he not made mention of it here. After a full enumeration (and repetition) of the divine qualities, he now gives the essence of diabolical nature in one verse.

“Hypocrisy” is their chief quality, hence it is extremely difficult to recognize evil beings. Even other qualities like arrogance, self-conceit and anger, when veiled by hypocrisy, can create the illusion of virtues! They masquerade as self-respect, righteous indignation and dignified bearing. The harsh man pretends that he is a strict disciplinarian, constantly striving for “your own betterment.” The ignorant fool lets the devil in him quote scripture. “Knowledge of scriptures is not necessary, only personal realization is” - a pious sentiment, but the illiterate fool who says so is not interested in personal realization either!

How wonderful of Krishna to re-assure Arjuna (and through him, you and me) that we are born with divine qualities. But for them, Arjuna would not have accepted him as his guru; but for them, we would not have turned our attention to his teachings contained in the Bhagavad Gita!

Web Editor's Notes