- dvau bhūta-sargau loke 'smin
- daiva āsura eva ca
- daivo vistaraśaḥ prokta
- āsuraṁ pārtha me śṛṇu
- (BG 16.6)
There are two classes of men throughout the whole universe. One class is called daiva and the other class is called āsura. Daiva āsura eva ca. Daivo vistaraśaḥ proktaḥ. So far the devas are concerned, Kṛṣṇa has explained in various ways in the last chapters, ahiṁsā, kṣānti, ārjavam, how to practice this things. So viṣṇu-bhakto bhaved devaḥ asuras tad-viparyayaḥ. These two classes, how they are ascertained? One who is a devotee of the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu, they are called deva, or demigods, and persons who know Viṣṇu or may not know—on the whole, they are not devotees of Viṣṇu—even they are devotee of other demigods, they are called asura. Just like Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa, he was a great devotee of Lord Śiva, but he is described as asura, rākṣasa. Similarly, Hiraṇyakaśipu was a great devotee of Lord Brahmā; still, he is accepted as rākṣasa. So unless one is Vaiṣṇava or devotee of the Lord Viṣṇu, he is asura or rākṣasa. This is the instruction of the śāstra.
In modern days also, practically nobody is devotee, so how they are described in the Bhagavad-gītā? They are described as duṣkṛtinaḥ, mūḍhāḥ, narādhamāḥ, māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ, āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ (BG 7.15). These asuras also divided into so many classes. The first-class asura is the duṣkṛtina, one who is engaged in sinful meritorious action. Sinful meritorious. Just like a big thief. There are many organization of smugglers, black market, thieves. They have got brain to organize. Without brain they cannot organize. Now, in the Western countries there are big, big organizations simply for smuggling, cheating, bluffing, and very good brain, educated, lawyers. I have seen practically in New York these cheating concerns. There are many lawyers to help them how to cheat. And they make arrangement, take money from one, cheating. Many organizations. So they are called duṣkṛtina. They are educated. They have got good brain, they can act very nicely, but their intelligence is being used for sinful activities. They are called duṣkṛtina. They do not know how they shall use their brain. That is going on.
That is jaḍa-vidyā, māyār vaibhava. They can expand the influence of māyā. We are already influenced by māyā. Prakṛtiṁ mohinīṁ śritaḥ. We have taken this material world as very fascinating, very attractive. We want to stay here and enjoy. This is material life. Everyone who is attracted to the material world, they are sinful or fallen. Kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare. The, our material life begins... We are spirit soul. When our material life...? When we try to deny, try to not serve Kṛṣṇa but independently we want to enjoy life, that is called material life. Independently we want to enjoy without Kṛṣṇa, without God. That is called material life. So such persons are called demons.
So the symptoms of demon... Kṛṣṇa says, daivo vistaraśaḥ proktaḥ: "I have already spoken elaborately about the persons who are daiva, who are on the platform of demigods. Now..." Prokta āsuraṁ pārtha me śṛṇu: "Now I am describing who are the asuras. Just try to understand." The first symptoms of asura is, it is said,
- pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca
- janā na vidur āsurāḥ
- na śaucaṁ nāpi cācāro
- na satyaṁ teṣu vidyate
- (BG 16.7)
Very nicely described. The first symptom is pravṛtti and nivṛtti. Why we are in this material world, when it has begun—that the asuras do not know. Sometimes they ask that "Why we have come to this material world? We are suffering, we can understand." Or sometimes they say, "God is unjust, unkind, that they have created this material world and we have been put into it," so on, so on. But actually this pravṛtti, this intention or this purpose of enjoying this material world, is not given to you by God. We have created. God's desire is that you become a devotee. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That is God's desire. But you don't want it.