EXCERPT from Back to Godhead magazine, Vol III, Part VI, published May 20, 1956.
“A vivid picture of the demoniac principled leaders is given in the text of the Bhagavad-gītā in the Sixteenth Chapter as follows:
“We can know the real heart of an asura in the statement of the Bhagavad-gītā. At the present moment practically every man is infected with a false sense of prestige, pride, anger, vanity, cruelty and similar other qualities born of poor fund of knowledge.
There are always two classes of men of which one is known as the devas or the gods and the other is known as the asuras or the demons. The asuras unable to realize what should be done and what should not be done in the human form of life.
Those who are generally endowed with godly qualities do perform charities, possess the power of controlling the sense organs, perform sacrifices, practice penance, nonviolence, love, truth, learn tolerance, remains peaceful, refrain from speaking ill of others, become kindly in behaviour with others, eradicate lust and hankerings, practice patience and purity of habits. These are some of the many godly qualities of men equal with God.
But unfortunately these godly qualities are rarely experienced in the character of the present generation and in most cases the qualities of the demons are vividly demonstrated because the demoniac men are unclean in habits. Such unclean men do not believe in the existence of God and they think without any reason that desire or necessity of life is the ultimate cause of all creations without knowing that disposal is more important cause than desire. The demoniac observation is always defective both in fact and practice.
People addicted to demoniac principles, devoid of transcendental knowledge, imperfectly educated and inventors of violent works leading to miseries and destruction of the world have greatly developed in this age. Although these people indirectly realize that their mode of activities had already diminished the duration of life of the people in general, yet they consider the advancement of material knowledge as progress of life, dictated by a strong sense of vanity under the cover of unclean habits.
The effects of this pernicious type of material civilization is that people have already forgotten the question of life after death. and thus they have taken to an irresponsible way of life leading to untold miseries and distress of material existence. The demoniac way of thinking has covered their unsatiated desire for work and sense enjoyment till the end of material existence.
These people are embarassed with thousands and one desires enlarging the circle of exploiting habits in greater and greater circumference. They have now become mad so to say for such enlarged activities of material civilization. Such people think unrestrictedly and at all times like this:
“I have accumulated so much wealth just now and in the next I am going to accumulate more wealth. I am God and nobody is equal to my position. I have killed this enemy, and I am arranging to kill the other one. I am God and I am the enjoyer of everything. I am happy and I am perfect. I do not think anybody else richer than me. I can perform all kinds of sacrifices, and by doing so, I can purchase all virtues.” (BG 16.13-15)
The asuras therefore exhibit a feat of their unalloyed foolishness by such contemplation as above mentioned.”
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