dvau bhūta-sargau loke ’smin
daiva āsura eva ca
daivo vistaraśaḥ prokta
āsuraḿ pārtha me śṛṇu
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 16.6
O son of Pritha, in this world there are two kinds of created beings. One is called the divine and the other demoniac. I have already explained to you at length the divine qualities. Now hear from Me of the demoniac.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna, having assured Arjuna that he was born with the divine qualities, is now describing the demoniac way. The conditioned living entities are divided into two classes in this world. Those who are born with divine qualities follow a regulated life; that is to say they abide by the injunctions in scriptures and by the authorities. One should perform duties in the light of authoritative scripture. This mentality is called divine. One who does not follow the regulative principles as they are laid down in the scriptures and who acts according to his whims is called demoniac or asuric. There is no other criterion but obedience to the regulative principles of scriptures. It is mentioned in Vedic literature that both the demigods and the demons are born of the Prajapati; the only difference is that one class obeys the Vedic injunctions and the other does not.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Now Krishna begins to explain about the asuric qualities to the despondent Arjuna. I have spoken about the divine persons in detail already, in verse 1-3.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
16.6 In this world of works, there are ‘two tpyes’ of created beings who perform actions, viz., the divine and demoniac. Creation is production. By the force of old Karma of the nature of good and evil deeds, beings are born, divided into two kinds at their very birth for working out the commandments of the Lord or act contrary to them. Such is the meaning. Of these, the divine destiny has been told at length. For the purpose of working out their destiny in accordance with the mode of conduct, the creation of the godly, viz., of those devoted to My commandments, occurs; that mode of condut, composed of Karma-jnana-and-Bhakti-Yogas has been described at length. To follow what conducts leads to the creation of demons — listen about that conduct.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
In order to emphatically emphasise that the demoniac nature should always be avoided and rejected Lord Krishna reiterates that there are two only types of created beings: Those that are of the divine nature and those that are of the demoniac nature. The demoniac possess fiendishly, diabolical, perverted mentalities and inanely and futilely attempt to usurp the power of the Supreme Lord for their own degraded designations. Such demoniac nature will be described and delineated in detail in the next 12 verses.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
If one were to argue why devilish properties are included within the demoniac nature then the conclusion would have to be that it is so because devilish properties can never be considered as part of the divine nature. The Brihadaranyaka Upanisad V.I.I beginning trayah prajapatyah prajapatau pitari states: Brahma created the divine beings, demoniac beings and humans. Since humans are mentioned separately in which category are they situated in? To clarify this point clearly Lord Krishna explains that in the worlds of mortals there are only two types of beings. The divine and the demoniac. The qualities and attributes of the divine have been described in detail in chapters seven, nine and twelve. The thirteenth chapter examined the 24 virtues beginning with amanitvam or humility which are all part of the divine nature. The fourteenth chapter disclosed the characteristics of a person who has transcended the effects of the gunas or three modes of material nature. The fifteenth continued the instructions with freedom from pride and infatuation in verse 5 and in verse one of this chapter Lord Krishna concludes the theme with 26 virtues beginning with the word abhayam meaning fearlessness due to knowing the atma or immortal soul is eternal and can never be destroyed. Thus the divine nature has been extensively elaborated and elucidated.
Now Lord Krishna discloses the characteristics and behaivior of those who follow the demoniac nature. The particle eva meaning only is inserted to dissect the fact that devils are included among the demoniac. In each day of Brahma creation commences which exists for 4 billion 320 million years and accounts for the 43,200,000 births every human has based on a 100 year life cycle. At the beginning of every creation humans are born of two types: the divine and the demoniac. They are precisely sorted out and tabulated according to their previous righteous actions which gives merit and their previous unrighteous actions which gives demerit; that a jiva or embodied being performed accumulatively in the previous creation along with the merits and demerits tabulated according to what food they consumed because reactions are incurred in this as well. This is known as karma or reactions to the actions that one physically engaged themselves in their previous lifespan and this karma precisely determines the nature of their next birth. Humans born of the divine nature performed meritorious activities of righteousness in the previous creation attuning themselves to the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures and worship of the Supreme Lord. Such a human is inherently graced by the Supreme Lord with a tendency towards righteousness and godliness possessing such virtues as humility, compassion, self-restraint, etc. Contrarily humans born of the demoniac nature performed degraded and degenerated activities in the previous creation availing themselves to diabolically opposing the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures and fiendishly blaspheming righteousness and the factual reality of the Supreme Lord. Such a human is invariably drawn to the unbridled lust of passion and the deepest darkness of ignorance possessing such characteristics as violence, perversion, cruelty and evil. Hence such humans are known as demons.
As is stated in the Mukta Parva section of the Mahabharata. Only by the grace of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations as authorised in Vedic scriptures does a jiva or embodied become endowed with sattva guna the mode of goodness gain association with a spiritual preceptor and develop devotion to the Supreme Lord. If a jiva worshipping Brahma receives the grace of Brahma then they become endowed with raja guna the mode of passion. If a jiva worshipping Shiva is graced by Shiva then they become endowed with tama guna the mode of ignorance.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
16.6 Dvau, two, in number; are the (kinds of) bhuta-sargau, creation of beings, of men. Sarga is derived from srj in the sense of that which is created. The persons themselves, who are created with the natures of gods and demons, are being spoken of as ‘two creations of beings’, which accords with the Upanisadic text, ‘There were two classes of Prajapati’s sons, the gods and the demons’ (Br. 1.3.1). For, asmin, in this; loke, world, all (persons) can rationally be divided into two classes. Which are those two creations of beings? The answer is, the two are the daiva, divine; eva ca, and; the asura, the demoniacal which are being discussed. The Lord speaks of the need of restating the two that have been already referred to: Daivah, the divine creation of beings; proktah, has been spoken of; vistarasah, elaborately-in, ‘Fearlessness, purity of mind,’ etc. (1-3). But the demoniacal has not been spoken of in extenso. Hence, O son of Prtha, srnu, hear of, understand; the asuram, demoniacal; me, from Me, from My speech which is being uttered in detail, so that this may be avoided. Upto the end of the chapter the demoniacal nature is being presented as the qualities of creatures; for, when this is directly perceived, it becomes possible to eschew it:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
16.6 Dvau etc. This divine wealth has been described [by the passage] ‘Fearlessness’ etc. Now the demoniac [wealth], He describes :
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
dvau bhuta-sargau loke ’smin
daiva asura eva ca
daivo vistarasah prokta
asuram partha me srnu
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
dvau — two; bhūta-sargau — created living beings; loke — in the world; asmin — this; daivaḥ — godly; āsuraḥ — demoniac; eva — certainly; ca — and; daivaḥ — the divine; vistaraśaḥ — at great length; proktaḥ — said; āsuram — the demoniac; pārtha — O son of Pṛthā; me — from Me; śṛṇu — just hear.