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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 16, Verse 23

Chapter 16: The Divine And Demoniac Natures
yah sastra-vidhim utsrijya 
vartate kama-karatah 
na sa siddhim avapnoti 
na sukham na param gatim 

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination. 

In the last two verse of this chapter, Krishna contrasts the results of demoniac and divine natures. The demoniac, do not follow the Vedic injunctions and attain repeated sufferring. The divine, who submit to the rules and regulations of the Vedas, attain liberation. 

In this verse, Krishna speaks of the demoniac. One cannot give up the three gates to hell (lust, anger, greed) without the practice of his own dharma attributed to his particular varna and ashrama. Such a person acts for his own preferences, in a whimsical manner. Performing that which is forbidden in the scriptures, he does not attain purification of the heart. For a person troubled by an impure heart there is no peace and happiness what to speak of liberation. 

Even if a person is academically aware of the scriptures, but does not apply them in his own life, he will still be morally degrading himself. A person who follows the rules and regulations of the scriptures, but does not come to the level of spiritual realization, may experience the happiness of the mode of goodness, but will still suffer from the misery of repeated birth and death. Even if a person reaches the stage of spiritual realization, but does not apply himself to the service of the Supreme Lord, he will not attain the perfection of one's existence. Thus, Srila Prabhupada recommends, "Therefore one should gradually raise himself to the platform of Krishna consciousness and devotional service; it is then and there that he can attain the highest perfectional stage, not otherwise." 

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

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