The Bhagavad Gita classifies people into two groups – those with divine qualities and those with demonic qualities.
Divine qualities lead one towards liberation. Demonic qualities lead one to bondage.
Liberation is happiness. Bondage is suffering.
Chapter 16 of the Bhagavad Gita lists divine qualities and demonic qualities. I thought I share here some of qualities listed as divine or demonic that left an impression on me, along with a few questions to ponder.
- Equanimity, Composure, Level-headedness – Can you treat success and failure alike? Can you handle gifts and disappointments alike?
- Fearlessness – Are you convinced that as long as you do your duty, no harm can come your way? And does that belief empower you to discharge your duty fearlessly?
- Absence Of Anger – Even when provoked. Yes, even when provoked. No more, “I wouldn’t generally get angry, but this is too much” excuse.
- Abstaining From Frivolous Pursuits – Nothing further needs to be said on this!
- Fortitude, Grit, Determination – Do you stick to the path? Deviations always appear easy and fruitful, right?
- Charity – To be performed without an eye on any reward. Neither material, nor emotional or spiritual. Not even for ‘self-satisfaction’. And certainly not the “Tube Light Sponsored By Vijven” type of charity that we see in temples today. Instead, donating only because someone else needs it.
- Compassion – Towards all living things. That includes animals. That’s easy, you say. And that includes your enemies and those who harmed you – whether unknowingly, or even purposefully. Now, how about that?
- Truthfulness – Forget about truthfulness in relationship with others, are you being true to yourself?
- Nonviolence – We no longer indulge in physical violence. Good. What about emotional violence?
- Forgiveness – Let go. Please.
- Worship God – I do, you say. Ok.
- Worship Elders – What? I am sure I am not even respecting them properly most of the time!
Let’s now look at the other side, see a few demonic qualities:
- Desire, Anger, Greed – Bhagavad Gita describes these 3 as gates of hell, capable of destroying the soul, and advises us to forgo them.
- Ignorance – Inability to distinguish between right activity and right abstinence.
- Vanity, Pride, Arrogance – Lead your life. Let others lead their lives.
- Harshness – Insensitivity is inhuman, right?
- Hypocrisy – It is more common than we all think. And we are more hypocritical than we like to accept.
- Insatiable Desires – Duty is divine. Desires may not be so.
The above 2 lists are not exhaustive. If you are interested, please check Chapter 16 of the Bhagavad Gita. You will be fascinated!