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Bhagavad Gita - Synopsis of Chapters 16  to 18

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chs_16-18

In the 16th chapter Krishna explains about demonic mentality in man.

The world is unreal and is produced only from sexual desire. Taking shelter in lust, man thinks of sense gratification as the goal of life and plots to illegally increase his wealth. The three gateways to hell are lust, anger and greed.  By freeing oneself from these three enemies and by performing one's duty under the direction of scriptural regulations, a man can be gradually elevated to perfection.

Godly qualities and proper conduct according to scriptural regulations are conducive to elevation.  However, whimsical action independent of scriptural direction and demoniac qualities lead to degradation.

In the beginning of 17th Chapter, Arjuna asks Lord Krishna about those who don't follow scriptures, but who worship according to their imaginations.

Krishna answers by describing how the combination of the modes of material nature that control a particular person (as seen in the previous chapters)will dictate a person's faith, worship, eating, sacrifices, charity and austerity.

When the purpose of sacrifice, charity and penance is to please the Lord as indicated by the syllables OM TAT SAT, the result is transcendental.  However, those same activities performed without faith in the Supreme are considered useless both in this life and in the next.

The Bhagavad-Gita is completed in seventeen chapters. Since Arjuna desires to hear a summary of all that has been discussed Krishna proceeds to reiterate the essence of all the previous chapters, emphasizing surrender to Himself above all else.

Since Arjuna's basic desire to renounce his duty of fighting was fear of sinful reaction, Krishna explains what true renunciation is and how to transcend sinful reactions. The Lord states that one should renounce from the fruits of ones activities; by abiding by the order of the Super-soul or the Lord Almighty and finally by worshiping the Lord through one's fruits of work by acting either as 'Brahmana', 'Kshatriya',' Vaisya', or 'Sudra' according to one's mode of nature. Thus, one can achieve the self-realized position, detached from all material things and can practice pure devotional service.

Krishna can only be known through surrendering to Him in devotional service, and by this direct process free oneself from karma. Arjuna need not fear any sinful reactions by fighting. After hearing the instructions of Sri Krishna, Arjuna is ready to fight.

Arjuna, the supreme archer, will be victorious as he has surrendered to Lord Krishna, the Master of all Mystics.

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