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THE SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Vol. III - The Basic Works > DISCOURSES ON THE GITA > Chapter XVI
The Lord said, T will now point out the distinction between the divine and the demoniacal natures. Among the signs of the divine are fearlessness, purity of heart, wisdom, evenness of temper, self-control, almsgiving, sacrifice, study of the scriptures, austerity, straightforwardness, non-violence, truth, freedom from anger, renunciation, peacefulness, not speaking evil of others, compassion to all living beings, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness, vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, internal as well as external, freedom from malice and pride.
'Among the signs of the demoniacal are hypocrisy, arrogance, conceit, anger, cruelty and ignorance.
'The divine nature leads to liberation while the demoniacal leads to bondage. O Arjuna, you are born with the endowments of the divine nature.
'I will say something more about the demoniacal nature, so that people may easily give it up. Men of such a nature do not know what to do and what to refrain from doing. There is no purity or truth in them, so that they do not observe the rules of good conduct.
'They hold that the world is unreal, without basis or ruler. For them sex is all the world so that they think of nothing except enjoyment of the objects of sense.
'They do horrible deeds. They are dull-witted. They hold fast to their wicked thoughts and all their activity is directed only to the destruction of the world. Their desires are insatiable. They are full of hypocrisy, pride and arrogance. They are thus plagued by innumerable cares. They want fresh sensual pleasures every day. They are "ensnared in nooses of a hundred idle hopes" (Arnold), and by unlawful means amass wealth in order to gratify their desires.
"I got this today; I will get that tomorrow. I killed this one enemy today; I will also kill others. I am a man of might. I have great possessions. Who is my equal ? With a view to fame I will sacrifice to the gods, give alms and make merry." They say this to themselves with a chuckle, and being caught in the net of delusion, go to hell at last.
'Men with such a nature, given over to pride, speak ill of others and thus hate God who dwells in all hearts. They are therefore frequently born in the wombs of degraded parents.
'There are three gates to hell, leading to the ruin of the soul : lust, anger and greed. Therefore we should renounce them all. Turning aside from them, men go by the strait and narrow path and reach the highest state.
'He who disregards the scriptures composed of eternal principles and gives himself up to pleasure cannot attain happiness or peace characteristic of the right way.
'Therefore in deciding what you must do and what you must not do, you should acquire the knowledge of fundamental and immutable principles from wise men and think and act accordingly.'