Evil Qualities

The qualities that degrade us are, unfortunately, so familiar, near and dear to us. They are “the wealth of the evil” (āsura-sampada). Krishna lists them in Gita (16.4):

dambho darpo ’bhimānaś ca krodhaḥ pāruṣyam eva ca
ajñānaṁ cābhijātasya pārtha sampadam āsurīm

Hypocricy & Fraudulance

Dambha means being super loud about how wonderful we are, and extremely quiet about how lame we are.


Darpa is the root of the Sanskrit word for mirror (darpana). It means admiring oneself, fawning over oneself, and ignoring the beauty in others.

Thinking Big of Oneself

Abhimāna literally means “a big idea.” Here it means, thinking oneself a big shot.


Krodha is the type of anger that results from frustration of ambition. When we want to gain something, and obsticles get in the way – krodha is the feeing of indignation that results, the desire to destroy and ruin those people or things.

Manliness [Harshness, etc]

Pāruṣya, “manliness.” Manliness has good qualities too, like strength (and elsewhere in Gītā Krishna praises those qualities), but this “manliness” here refers to the bad qualities of men: harshness, violence, cruelty, lewdness, inflexibility, and lack of sophistication.

[Sanskrit note: the root of  paruṣa is pṛ. The root of puruṣa (a common word for “man”) is also, ultimately pṛ – though it has an intermediate root, like pur. The “men” and “harshness,” etc. are linguistically connected in Sanskrit.]


Ignorance is the crown-jewel in the treasure chest of evil. Or, more precicely, it is like the gold in which every other evil jewel is set. It is the foundation of evil, and it is a smokescreen to hide evil’s vile stench.

Vraja Kishor



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