Personality Traits – Proper understanding of the Bhagavad Gita Part – 122


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Updated on December 2, 2020

Their mind is superficial and basically negative. They easily become care-worn. Their preoccupation with frivolous superficial things, keeps them confined to worry, anxiety and tension, until their exit from the world finally, at death.

Asura or Evil personality traits

असत्यमप्रतिष्ठं ते जगदाहुरनीश्वरम् |
अपरस्परसम्भूतं किमन्यत्कामहैतुकम् || 8||

asatyam pratiṣhṭhaṁ te jagad āhur anīśhvaram
aparaspara-sambhūtaṁ kimanyat kāma-haitukam


(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 8)

General Meaning:

The people say that this universe is unreal. It has no moral foundation. It has no Master or God. It is created from the sexual union and it has no other use or cause except lust.

Explanatory Notes:

The people with Asura qualities have no higher or moralistic approach to the Creator. They are of the opinion that, this Universe is unreal and has no higher moral foundation. It has no Supreme Master, nor God. It is born from lustful Union and insatiable cravings and desires. Except this, it has no other justification. It is purely material. Its basis is the interaction of material elements. Only physics and chemistry are involved. It has no spiritual basis.

Asura – Negative Materialistic Interpretation

एतां दृष्टिमवष्टभ्य नष्टात्मानोऽल्पबुद्धय: |
प्रभवन्त्युग्रकर्माण: क्षयाय जगतोऽहिता: || 9||

etāṁ dṛushṭim avaṣhṭabhya naṣhṭātmāno alpa-buddhayaḥ
prabhavanti ugra-karmāṇaḥ kṣhayāya jagato ahitāḥ

(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 9)

General Meaning:

Accepting these views, these degenerated persons of low intellect and cruel actions are encouraged to do harm to the world for its destruction.

Explanatory Notes:

The verses are self-explanatory. People with sick Asura mind, have their own negative materialistic interpretation of the world. For them, the world and creation have no holistic or spiritual foundation. Such people, without idea or faith in higher spiritual values of the creation, have been considered as degenerated people with low I.Q. and small intellect. They take upon themselves to harm the world and people and have prosperity for cruelty and destruction.

Asura – Remain engrossed in impure resolves

काममाश्रित्य दुष्पूरं दम्भमानमदान्विता: |
मोहाद्गृहीत्वासद्ग्राहान्प्रवर्तन्तेऽशुचिव्रता: || 10||

kāmam āśhritya duṣhpūraṁ dambha-māna-madānvitāḥ
mohād gṛihītvā sadgrāhān pravartantey aśhuchi-vratāḥ

(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 10)

General Meaning:

Saturated with insatiable desires, hypocrisy, pride, and arrogance, accepting evil ideas through delusions, they remain engrossed with impure resolves.

Explanatory Notes:

Evil people or Asuras are filled with insatiable desires. They try to attain these through hypocrisy, pride, and arrogance. They firmly believe in negative and evil ideas, which are born of delusions. These evil people remain engrossed in impure resolves. Hence, all their actions become negative, harmful and destructive.

Asura Mind – Superficial and Negative

चिन्तामपरिमेयां च प्रलयान्तामुपाश्रिता: |
कामोपभोगपरमा एतावदिति निश्चिता: || 11||

chintām aparimeyāṁ cha pralayāntām upāśhritāḥ
kāmopa-bhoga-paramā etāvaditi niśhchitāḥ

(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 11)

General Meaning:

These people allow themselves to be occupied by too many worries till death, convince themselves that gratification of lust and endless desires are the highest goals. They assure themselves that, this is what all that matters.

Explanatory Notes:

People of Asura qualities, lack wisdom, common sense and intellectual analytical power. Their mind is superficial and basically negative. They easily become care-worn. Their preoccupation with frivolous superficial things, keeps them confined to worry, anxiety and tension, until their exit from the world finally, at death. They find temporary solace in lustful sense enjoyments and fulfilling the cravings and desires, which are insatiable. To them, the best and higher things in life are to give in to lustful sense gratifications.

Asura – Driven by Desires of the Senses

आशापाशशतैर्बद्धा: कामक्रोधपरायणा: |
ईहन्ते कामभोगार्थमन्यायेनार्थसञ्जयान् || 12||

āśhā-pāśha-śhatair baddhāḥ kāma-krodha-parāyaṇāḥ
eehantey kāma-bhogārtham anyāyenārtha-sañchayān

(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 12)

General Meaning:

Bound by hundreds of hopes and expectations, embracing lust and anger, they struggle to acquire wealth by unlawful means, for the purpose of sensual enjoyments.

Explanatory Notes:

These people of Asura propensities or evil-minded people, lack wisdom and discriminatory power of the mind. They entertain hundreds of unrealistic hopes and expectations regarding lust, anger, and, a luxurious life. To fulfil these unrealistic expectations and hopes, they keep on struggling to acquire and hoard wealth by unlawful means. They are driven by the desires for sensual enjoyments.

Asura – Live for Biological Satisfaction Only

इदमद्य मया लब्धमिमं प्राप्स्ये मनोरथम् |
इदमस्तीदमपि मे भविष्यति पुनर्धनम् || 13||

idam adya mayā labdhamimaṁ prāpsye manoratham
idamastīdamapi me bhaviṣhyati punardhanam

(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 13)

General Meaning:

This today, I have gained. This cherished desire, I will obtain. This belongs to me and also this wealth will be mine in the future.

Explanatory Notes:

People of Asura or evil propensity, live for their biological ego satisfaction only. This they try to attain by hook or crook. They do not care if there is harm or hurt to others. They are constantly thinking about what they have gained materially on a daily basis. They want to grab everything they desire. They plan and plot to obtain their cherished desires for the present and for the future too.

Asura Mind – Purely Materialistic

असौ मया हत: शत्रुर्हनिष्ये चापरानपि |
ईश्वरोऽहमहं भोगी सिद्धोऽहं बलवान्सुखी || 14||

asao mayā hataḥ śhatrur haniṣhye chāparān api
īśhwaro aham ahaṁ bhogī siddho ahaṁ balavān sukhī

(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 14)

General Meaning:

That enemy has been killed by me. Other enemies too, I will kill. I am the Lord. I am the Enjoyer. I am perfect, I am mighty and I am the happy.

Explanatory Notes:

The philosophy of life of Asura mentality is purely material and animal-like. There is no conscience or higher religious or spiritual values. Their actions and reactions are a wild animal like, evil and harmful. Their philosophy and thought process is to fulfill their own selfish material needs and cravings. If there is any obstruction, they will try to kill it or eliminate any obstruction in their path of selfish desires and cravings. They are megalomaniacs and always think of me, mine and I.

Asura – Deluded By Ignorance

आढ्योऽभिजनवानस्मि कोऽन्योऽस्ति सदृशो मया |
यक्ष्ये दास्यामि मोदिष्य इत्यज्ञानविमोहिता: || 15||

āḍhyo abhijanavānasmi koanyoasti sadṛuśho mayā
yakṣhye dāsyāmi modiṣhya ityagyjñāna-vimohitāḥ

(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 9)

General Meaning:

I am very wealthy and high born, who else can be equal to me? I will perform sacrificial ceremonies, I will donate to charities, I will enjoy to my fill. Such are the persons deluded by ignorance.

Explanatory Notes:

The person with Asura propensities, the evil persons are deluded by ignorance. They think and do not hesitate to declare that they are greatest in all aspects of life, personal, social and religious. They think of their personal self only. They are high born and the richest and greatest of all people, it is their right to enjoy and get the greatest publicity. This is their deluded thought process.

Asura – Addicted to Evil Habits

अनेकचित्तविभ्रान्ता मोहजालसमावृता: |
प्रसक्ता: कामभोगेषु पतन्ति नरकेऽशुचौ || 16||

aneka-chitta-vibhrāntā moha-jāla-samāvṛutāḥ
prasaktāḥ kāma-bhogeṣhu patanti narake aśhuchau

(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 16)

General Meaning:

Being confused by too many thoughts and imaginations and entangles in the snare of delusions, addicted to sense enjoyments, these people of Asura qualities, fall into the dirtiest hell.

Explanatory Notes:

These people of Asura or evil qualities are always under the delusion of grandeur and live in imaginary worlds of lustful sense enjoyments; they become addicted to these evil habits. Due to their addiction, they become helpless victims of the snare of more delusions, which, nature makes for them. This immense evil negativity and addictions pull them down to the worst hell.

Asura – Self Aggrandizement

आत्मसम्भाविता: स्तब्धा धनमानमदान्विता: |
यजन्ते नामयज्ञैस्ते दम्भेनाविधिपूर्वकम् || 17||

ātma-sambhāvitāḥ stabdhā dhana-māna-madānvitāḥ
yajante nāma-yajña ste dambhenā vidhi-pūrvakam

(Bhagavad Gita. Ch.16 Verse 17)

General Meaning:

Self-conceited, obstinate, filled with pride and intoxication of wealth, these people perform sacrifices in name only, out of ostentations and contrary to the rules prescribed by the scriptures.

Explanatory Notes:

Some people, living in the same community think entirely differently. Their vision of life is like looking at a mirror that reflects objects in a much-enlarged manner. Similarly, some people are very egoistic, conceited, stubborn, and a negative outlook. For them, others do not exist and do not matter. These Asura-type people think that they are the greatest, perfect, and most privileged and what they think and imagine and do is the law. There is no law or authority which can govern them. Even in spiritual and religious activities, they do things as per their whims and pleasure. They do everything only for one purpose, and that is Self Aggrandizement.

Word of Advice

Dear God-like friends, the creation is an unimaginably huge place with too many species of beings, both movable and immovable. Human beings come under movables. Though proportionately tiny in comparison to other species in the creation, yet, they are the most complex. Suras or the divine Asuras or the evil, are two types of human personalities or characters. In this chapter sixteen of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna describes in detail, both the Suras and the Asuras. The knowledge of this will help people to understand the creation better and try to understand oneself better, try to improve upon it, and reduce suffering and improve the quality and quantity of life.

As a result, the world will be a better place to live and let live. With the daily practice of Kriya Yoga, the Asura qualities will be reduced; the Sura qualities will be enhanced. Spirituality or Dharma will prevail. Sufferings will be reduced and peace, joy, harmony, and love will improve. The ultimate goal of life Self-Realization will be attainable. Knowledge is the strength, strength is Sadhana or practice. Sadhana gives Siddhi or success, which is liberation or Self Realization. For this, proper Guru or Master is necessary; in addition to one’s own practice. Follow the Guru sincerely and correctly and humbly. Practice the Kriya Yoga techniques without bothering about success or failure. You will reach the ultimate Goal before you realize it.

May God and Gurus Bless, Guide, Protect and Inspire you.

With Love and Best Wishes,
Paramahansa Atmananda Ji

Paramahansa Atmananda

A Doctor, A Yogi, A Teacher. He is a Yogi and highly qualified doctor. With his specialization in Internal Medicine and Neurology, he has been able to make many spiritual seekers understand about Kriya Yoga as a scientific technique for Self and God Realization.