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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 16, Verse 21

Chapter 16: The Divine And Demoniac Natures
Verse: 21
tri-vidham narakasyedam
dvaram nasanam atmanah
kamah krodhas tatha lobhas
tasmad etat trayam tyajet

There are three gates leading to this hell — lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul.

Previously Krishna had described in details several asuric tendencies. He had also provided Arjuna with a grim picture of the destination of the demoniac. In order to protect Arjuna from inadvertently going in that direction, Krishna gives him the anecdote for this – how to avoid this horrible destination. He now mentions just three qualities which are the root of these propensities. As long as they are avoided, the person is protected.

Krishna orders every sane person to give up these three qualities, lust, anger and greed, which he describes as the three gates to hell. These qualities are so vicious that even a person like Arjuna, with a divine nature, should fear them. For a man, lust is personified as a woman, or a strong desire to posses something. When lust or kama is unsatisfied, krodha or anger is born. Even if it were satisfied, lobha or greed is born. Anger or greed gives birth to moha or illusion and loss of discrimination. A person who has lost the ability to discriminate is for all practical purposes mad or intoxicated with pride (mada). Finally, the mixture of these five: lust, anger, greed, illusion and pride gives rise to envy.

Thus, from these three gates to hell spring all the demoniac qualities. Srila Prabhupada comments, "A sane man who does not want to glide down to the species of demoniac life must try to give up these three enemies, which can kill the self to such an extent that there will be no possibility of liberation from this material entanglement."

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.


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