DIVINE AND DEMONIC
Jai: I meet different
types of students in the class. How
many types of people are there, Grandma?
Generally, there are only two types
(or castes) of people in this world,
the good and the bad. (Gita 16.06) Most
people have both good and bad qualities.
If you have more good qualities, you
are called a good person, and if you
have more bad qualities, you are called
a bad person.
Jai: If I want to
be a good person, what qualities must
You must be honest, nonviolent, truthful,
without anger, calm, without harmful
talk, kind, not greedy, gentle, forgiving,
and humble. These are also called divine
qualities because they lead us to God.
Jai: What bad habits
should I avoid?
Hypocrisy, telling lies, arrogance,
pride, jealousy, selfishness, anger,
greed, harshness, ungratefulness, and
violence --- these are bad qualities
because they lead us away from God.
Bad qualities also lead us to do bad
things and get us into trouble. Do not
be friends with people who have bad
qualities because they do not know what
to do and what not to do. Always be
grateful to those who have helped you.
Ingratitude is a great sin for which
there is no remedy.
Desire, anger, and greed are
very destructive. Lord Krishna calls
these the three gates to hell. (Gita
Here is a story about how greed
leads to sorrow.
21. The Dog and the
One day a dog found a bone. He picked
it up in his mouth and went to a lonely
corner to chew it. He sat there and
chewed the bone for some time. Then
the dog felt thirsty and picked up the
bone in his mouth and walked over a
small wooden bridge to drink water from
When he saw his own reflection in
the water, he thought there was another
dog with a bone in the river. Becoming
greedy, he wanted to have the other
bone also. He opened his mouth to bark
and take the bone from the other dog.
As soon as he opened his mouth to grab
the other bone, the bone dropped out
of his mouth and fell into the creek.
The dog realized his mistake, but it
was too late.
Greed can be overcome by being
satisfied with what one has. A satisfied
person is a very happy person. A greedy
person cannot find true peace and happiness
Jai: How can I know
what to do and what not to do?
Follow your holy books, Jai. Saints
and sages tell us what to do and what
not to do in our holy books. Have faith
in God, and listen to your parents and
We should develop as many good
habits as possible. But no one has only
good habits and no bad habits. Good
Lord usually puts good and bad habits
in the same package.
Here is a story about how Queen
Draupadi discovered this truth from
her own experience.
22. The Story of
Draupadi was the common wife of five
Pandavas. She was the daughter of a
Rishi in her past life. She was very
beautiful and virtuous, but in her past
life, due to her past Karma, she had
been unable to get married. This made
her unhappy. So she started austerity
to please Lord Shiva. After a long and
difficult austerity, she pleased Lord
Shiva, who asked her to choose a blessing
of her choice. She asked for a husband
who would be very religious, strong,
a very good soldier, good looking, and
gentle. Lord Shiva granted her wish.
In the next life, she was married to
five brothers, but she was not very
happy with this strange situation. Draupadi
was a great devotee of Lord Krishna,
who knows the past, present and future
of all beings. He knew of her sorrow
and explained what she had asked for
in her past life. Lord Krishna said
it was impossible for one man to have
all the qualities she wanted in her
husband, so she was married to five
husbands in this life, who shared all
these qualities among them.
After hearing this explanation
from the Lord Krishna Himself, she,
her parents, and her five husbands cheerfully
accepted what fate had given them and
The moral of the story is that
one cannot find a husband or wife with
all good or bad qualities, so one must
learn to live with whatever is given
by fate. There is no perfect spouse
because no one has only good habits
and no bad habits.
Chapter 16 summary:
Generally, there are only two types
of human beings: the good or divine
and the bad or demonic. Most people
have both good and bad qualities. Getting
rid of bad habits and cultivating good
habits are necessary for spiritual progress.