ERROR: Your browser does not support scripts.

ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 16th chapter, text number 4,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on the
30th of January, 1975 in
Honolulu, Hawaii.

NITĀI: “Arrogance, pride, anger,
conceit, harshness and
ignorance—these qualities
belong to those of demonic
nature, O son of Pṛthā.”


dambho darpo ’bhimānaś ca
krodhaḥ pāruṣyam eva ca
ajñānaṁ cābhijātasya pārtha
sampadam āsurīm

We have discussed last night
some of the divine characteristics,
and abhayaṁ sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ,
like that, sixteen divine
characteristics. And here the
demonic characteristics. We can
understand a thing by analysis of
characteristics. In the chemical
laboratory, things are tested by
characteristics. Just like this
chemical: “Color is like this.
Shape is like this. Then taste is
like this. Then chemical reaction
is like this.” They are stated for
each and every chemical, and we
can understand the purity by the
characteristic. The characteristic
is also called dharma. Just like a
snake. The snake characteristic is
that unnecessarily, without any
offense, it bites, and the animal
which is bitten, he dies. This is
the characteristic. Without any
fault… The snake is going, and
the other animal is going. Go, but
the characteristic of snake is
unnecessarily bites. This is the

Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, sarpaḥ
krūraḥ khalaḥ krūraḥ sarpāt
krūrataraḥ khalaḥ, that “Two
kinds of krūraḥ, envious animals,
are there. One is the snake, and
the other is envious man.” So
Cāṇakya Paṇḍita said that “Both
of them envious, but the envious
man is more dangerous than the
envious snake.” Why? “Now,
because the snake can be
brought into submission…”
(tapping noise) (Aside:) What is
that? “…by herbs and mantra.”
There are snake charmer. They
chant mantras, and they apply
some herb, and the snake come
under subjugation. But khalaḥ
kena nivāryate: “But the snake-
like man, he cannot be subdued
at any cost.”

So there are characteristics. By
the characteristics we can
understand who is a godly man
and who is a demonic man. So
they are stated. And the next
verse is that daivī sampad
vimokṣāya. If one has these
divine characteristics, then he is
eligible for going to the spiritual
world. Vimokṣāya. Daivī sampad
vimokṣāya nibandhāya āsurī
matā. But these demonic
characteristic, dambho darpaḥ
abhimānaś ca pāruṣyam ajñānaṁ
sampad āsurī, if we develop this
kind of characteristic, then it is
our material bondage. So we are
the cause of material bondage
and freedom from material
world. We are, ourself, the cause.
There is no other cause. Simply
we have to develop either this
demonic characteristic or the
divine characteristic. So human
life is meant for developing
divine characteristic, not this
demonic char… Demonic
characteristic is already there.
Just like dambhaḥ. A dog has
also pride: “I am this dog, grr.”
(laughter) “I am fox terrier. I am
this. I am that.” So dambhaḥ is
there even in the dog, even in the
lower animal, even in the cat. But
the divine characteristic, “Oh, I
am so low,” Tṛṇād api sunīcena, “I
am lower than the grass. I am
lower than the grass”… This is
Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teaching.
What is this dambhaḥ? Why I
should be pride? What is this
pride? So that is ignorance, due
to ignorance. When one man is
unnecessarily proud, that means
it is due to ignorance. And
Caitanya-caritāmṛta author, he
describes himself that “I am lower
than the worms in the stool.”

purīṣera kīṭa haite muñi se
laghiṣṭha jagāi mādhāi haite
muñi se pāpiṣṭha

Adambhitvam. In the Ninth
Chapter. Just the opposite. Why I
shall be proud? What I have got?
I am humble servant of Kṛṣṇa. Let
me discharge my duties. But if
one is proud after becoming a
pure servant of Kṛṣṇa, that is very
good. That dambhaḥ, that pride,
is very glorious. “I am a servant of
Kṛṣṇa.” That is very nice. So one
become… One has got the
tendency to become proud. So if
one is proud to become a cats
and dog or a tiger or a so-called
big man of this material world,
that is for his bondage. Āsurī.
Daivī sampad vimokṣāya. And
that is daivī… If you become
proud in daivī sampad, if you
become proud by becoming the
most confidential servant of
Kṛṣṇa, the same pride is for your
liberation. And if you become
proud that “I am minister,” or “I
am this big dog or big…,” that is
for nibandhāya, your bondage,
you will continue material life. By
your spiritual pride… Of course,
we must be proud after being
situated in the spiritual platform.
Otherwise that is also ignorance.
So two things are there, daivī
sampad and āsurī sampad. Āsurī
sampad means more and more
entanglement and bondage
within this material world. And
daivī sampad means your
freedom from material world.

So first of all we must decide
what we want. Whatever you
want, you will have. Kṛṣṇa is very
kind. If you want to remain
bound up by the laws of material
nature within this material
world… Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo
’sya. As we contaminate the
different material modes of
nature, we get different situation
of life, different forms of body,
different circumstances. Kṛṣṇa
has arranged everything very
accurately. His arrangement is
very perfect. Parāsya śaktir
vividhaiva śrūyate. When He does
something, He desires only. By
His desires, the energies are
there. Immediately the energy
works. Just like you have got
some energy. If you desire,
immediately it begins to work.
You have got experience.
Similarly, we have got limited
number of energies, and Kṛṣṇa
has got unlimited number of
energies. So if we desire to
become something unlimitedly,
Kṛṣṇa can supply you your
necessities unlimitedly. Ye yathā
māṁ prapadyante. That freedom
is there. If you want to remain as
a demon, then Kṛṣṇa will supply
you all the ingredients, how you
can flourish as a demon.

Just like there was Hiraṇyakaśipu
and there was Prahlāda. Prahlāda
was being supplied spiritual
advancement of life, necessities,
and Hiraṇyakaśipu was being
supplied for demonic status of
life. So it is Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure that
whatever you want, you can get
it. You get all advantage by
Kṛṣṇa. If you want to become a
demon, Kṛṣṇa will supply you, “All
right, you become a demon. You
take whatever you want from
Me.” He will give you. Similarly, if
you want to become a demigod
or devotee, Kṛṣṇa will supply you
all the necessities. Now it is my
choice whether I shall become a
demon and whether I shall
become a devotee. This is my
choice. Kṛṣṇa is equal to
everyone. Samo ’haṁ sarva-
bhūteṣu. Otherwise how He is
God? If He is partial to
somebody, then He is not God.
He must be equal. He is equal to
the devotee and non-devotee.
Whatever the nondevotees want,
Kṛṣṇa supplies. And whatever the
devotees want, Kṛṣṇa supplies.

But He is very much pleased with
the devotee. Therefore, his
supplies are very immediate, and
the demonic supply, that will
depend on his work, karma. It will
depend on the karma. And
devotee’s supply, because this is
bhakti, it is immediately there.
That is the difference. Kṛṣṇa says
that. Ye tu bhajanti māṁ prītyā
teṣu te mayi. There are millions of
living beings. Some of them are
devotees, and many of them are
non-devotees. So Kṛṣṇa is kind to
the nondevotees also. Whatever
he wants, He will give him. But
the necessities of the devotee is
the first consideration for Kṛṣṇa.
Ye tu bhajanti māṁ prītyā teṣu te
mayi. That is Kṛṣṇa’s… As the
devotee is only searching the
opportunity, how to serve Kṛṣṇa,
similarly, Kṛṣṇa is also very eager
to serve the devotee. That is a
reciprocation of devotional

Now it is our choice whether we
want to become a devotee or
whether we want to remain a
demon. That is my choice. Kṛṣṇa
says that “You give up this
demonic engagement and
surrender to Me.” That is Kṛṣṇa’s
desire. But if you do not agree
with Kṛṣṇa’s desire, if you want to
enjoy your own desire, then also,
Kṛṣṇa is also pleased, He will
supply you the necessities. But
that is not very good. We should
agree to Kṛṣṇa’s desires. We
should not allow our desires,
demonic desires, to grow. That is
called tapasya. Our desires we
should sacrifice. That is called
sacrifice. We should only accept
Kṛṣṇa’s desire. That is the
instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā.
Arjuna’s desire was not to fight,
but Kṛṣṇa’s desire was to fight,
just the opposite. Arjuna
ultimately agreed to Kṛṣṇa’s
desire: “Yes,” kariṣye vacanaṁ
tava [Bg. 18.73]: “Yes, I will act
according to Your desire.” That is

This is the difference bhakti and
karma. Karma means to fulfill my
desires, and bhakti means to
fulfill Kṛṣṇa’s desires. That is the
difference. Now you make your
choice, whether you want to
make your desires fulfilled or if
you want to make Kṛṣṇa’s desire
fulfilled. If you make your
decision to make Kṛṣṇa’s desire
fulfilled, then your life is
successful. That is our Kṛṣṇa
conscious life. “Kṛṣṇa wants it; I
must do it. I will not do anything
for me.” That is Vṛndāvana. All
the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana,
they are trying to fulfill Kṛṣṇa’s
desire. The cowherds boys, the
calves, the cows, the trees, the
flowers, the water, the gopīs, the
elderly inhabitants, mother
Yaśodā, Nanda, they are all
engaged in fulfilling Kṛṣṇa’s
desire. That is Vṛndāvana. So you
can turn this material world into
Vṛndāvana provided you agree to
fulfill the desires of Kṛṣṇa. That is
Vṛndāvana. And if you want to
fulfill your own desires, that is
material. This is the difference
between material and spiritual.

The same thing, this house. This
house is a house. The next door
is a karmī’s house, and this house
is a temple. What is the
difference? The difference is: in
this house everyone is engaged
to fulfill Kṛṣṇa’s desire, and the
other house, everyone is
engaged in fulfilling his own
desire. Therefore it is temple, and
that is house. Otherwise, from the
external feature, where is the
difference? The same stone, the
same wood, the same plants, the
same land, the same kitchen—
everything is same, and the
business is the same. But here
the business is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa,
and the other houses, the
business is to satisfy one’s own
senses. That is the difference
between kāma and prema. When
you try to fulfill the desires of
Kṛṣṇa, that is prema. And when
you want to fulfill your own
desires, that is called kāma. There
is no other.

Just like the gopīs. The gopīs are
going to Kṛṣṇa, being captivated
by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa, just like a
young girl becomes captivated
by seeing a very nice boy, or a
nice boy is captivated to see the
beauty of a girl. These are sense
gratification. There is no prema;
that is kāma. But the gopīs, they
are going to Kṛṣṇa, superficially
the same thing, like the young
girls are going to a young boy,
but they are going for Kṛṣṇa’s
satisfaction, not for their own
satisfaction. That is the sublime.
Therefore gopīs are so held in
estimation even by Caitanya
Mahāprabhu. Ramya kecid
upāsanā vraja-vadhu-vargabhir
ya kalpita: “There is no better
type of upāsanā, worship, than it
was conceived by the gopīs.”
Caitanya Mahāprabhu admitted
that the topmost method of
worshiping Kṛṣṇa is the type of
worship offered by the gopīs.
Topmost. Gopī-bhāva-
magnau muhur vande rūpa-
sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-
gopālakau. The Gosvāmīs were
always thinking of the gopīs’
service to Kṛṣṇa. Gopī-bhāva-

So now the two things are there.
The divine characteristic and the
demonic characteristic. Both of
them are there, now you have to
select which one you want. If you
actually want to love Kṛṣṇa, then
take this divine characteristic.
There is no cause of helplessness.
You can… Just like amānitvam.
Here it is said, dambhaḥ,
adambhitvam. Adambhitvam,
without any dambhaḥ. Here it is
said, abhayaṁ sattva-saṁśuddhir
jñāna-yoga-vyavasthitiḥ. So you
can practice this. That is
devotional life. You have to
practice this. If you want to be
divine, your characteristics have
to be changed. Here we are