ahańkāraḿ balaḿ darpaḿ
kāmaḿ krodhaḿ ca saḿśritāḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 16.18
Bewildered by false ego, strength, pride, lust and anger, the demons become envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in their own bodies and in the bodies of others, and blaspheme against the real religion.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
A demoniac person, being always against God’s supremacy, does not like to believe in the scriptures. He is envious of both the scriptures and the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is caused by his so-called prestige and his accumulation of wealth and strength. He does not know that the present life is a preparation for the next life. Not knowing this, he is actually envious of his own self, as well as of others. He commits violence on other bodies and on his own. He does not care for the supreme control of the Personality of Godhead, because he has no knowledge. Being envious of the scriptures and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he puts forward false arguments against the existence of God and denies the scriptural authority. He thinks himself independent and powerful in every action. He thinks that since no one can equal him in strength, power or wealth, he can act in any way and no one can stop him. If he has an enemy who might check the advancement of his sensual activities, he makes plans to cut him down by his own power.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
They disrespect me (pradvisantah), the paramatma, who am situated in their own and others bodies (atma para dehesu). Or they hate me who am situated in the bodies of the devotees who are surrendered to paramatma (atma para dehesu mam). They hate me, since they hate the devotees who have surrendered to me. And they find fault in the qualities of the devotees (abhyasuyakah).
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
16.18 They depend on their egoism in the form of ‘I can do everything without the help of anyone’; likewise, in performing everything they depend on their power, ‘My power is sufficient’; hence pride takes the following form, ‘There is nobody like myself. Desire takes the form of, ‘Because I am so, everything is fulfilled by my mere desire.’ ‘Wrath consits in conceiving, ‘I shall slay those who cause evil to me.’ Thus, depending on themselves, they evince malice towards Me, the Supreme Person abiding in their own bodies as well as in the bodies of others; and they hate Me. They endeavour to invent fallacious arguments against My existence, and being unable to tolerate Me, they perform all acts like sacrifices etc., depending only on their egoism.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Here Lord Krishna describes the gross disregard the demoniac have for prescribed Vedic procedures which have been established for the benefit of all creation. The demoniac full of self-conceit, intoxicated by power and addicted to lust and greed totally disregard, disrespect and even despise the Supreme Lord who is situated within their hearts as paramatma the omnipresent supreme soul and the hearts of all living entities everywhere in creation. These demoniac, scheming, cavilling, evil beings always try their utmost to degrade the fundamentals of family and religion and destroy the moral fabric of society as they seek to destroy and usurp the very foundations of humanity. The imitative rituals performed by the demoniac are pretentious and without sincerity. They are a degradation for everyone and give no benefit to anyone. Such empty ritualistic procedures which are devoid of adherence to the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures, contrarily causes contamination and deterioration to the collective consciousness of the planet wherein such activities are enacted. Because the demoniac ritualistic procedures results in injury to the innate consciousness of all beings and since paramatma is all pervading in all sentient beings Lord Krishna uses the word pradvisantah meaning they despise Him who exists within themselves due to their unmitigated assault on all living entities as well as their futile attempts to usurp creation.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna speaks the words mam atma-para-dehesu pradvisanto meaning the demoniac despise the Supreme Lord abiding within the eteric heart of their own bodies as well as the bodies of others as paramatma the Supreme Soul. The evil and abominable actions executed by the free will of those possessing a demoniac nature is never directed, motivated or influenced by the Supreme Lord. According to the absolute authority of the Vedic scriptures, the Sama Veda states it would be the height of ignorance and foolishness to consider all actions to be under the auspices of the Supreme Lord when He has expressly bequeathed freewill to humans and other higher developed beings to give then the choice to surrender to Him with devotion. The Supreme Lord would never decree it any other way to force a living entity to be devoted to Him. Every action that one commits certainly has a returning reaction of retribution; but the recipient of that reaction is only the one who physically or in special cases mentally causes a physical effect to manifest.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
The demoniac form of worship is completely contrary to the injunctions and ordinances of the Vedic scriptures. This is because as previously described the demoniac mentality and degraded activities are only based upon their bodily conception and false ego. The demoniac think that they are their physical body possessed of five senses and cannot imagine that there is a difference. The demoniac are vile, malicious, cruel, belligerent and insolent. They enjoy finding faults in everything righteous and in subverting the virtues and attributes of the pious. Although the demoniac possess no righteous qualities themselves they still consider themselves superior and cannot tolerate insults. The demoniac are full of anger and will not hesitate to use brutal force to maim and kill others. They are inextricably addicted to lust, greed and sense gratification and when opposed by obstacles the demoniac become enraged causing intense agony to others as well as to their own selves and by this disregard, disrespect and displease the Supreme Lord Krishna who abides within their etheric heart and the etheric heart of all sentient beings as the innermost witness of all their thoughts and actions. The demoniac spitefully transgress the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures and insidiously attempt to destroy the fundamental principles of creation established for the benefit of all living entities and do everything in their power to drag humanity down to their immoral, depraved and degraded level of existence directedly straight to hell.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
16.18 Ahankaram, egotism-that which considers the Self to which have been imputed actual and imaginary qualities as ‘I am this’, which is called ignorance and is most painful, and is the source of all ills as also of all evil deeds; so also balam, power, which seeds to defear others and is associated with passion and desire; darpam, arrogance, a particular defect abiding in the mind, on the upsurge of which one transgresses righteousness; kamam, passion with regard to women and others; krodham, anger at things tha are undesirable;-samsritah, resorting to these and other great evils; and further, pradvisantah, hating; mam, Me, God-transgression of My commands is hatred (towards Me); indulging in that, atma-para-dehesu, in their own and others’ bodies as the witness of their intellects and actions; (they become) abhyasuyakah, envious by nature, intolerant of the qualities of those who tread the right path.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
16.17-20 Atmasambhavitah etc. upto gatim. They pretend to perform sacrifices : The meaning is that their sacrifice is fruitless. Indeed all is ruined because of their anger. Or, namayjna [may mean] ‘the sacrifices which are in name only’. Or, it [may denote] those sacrifices that are performed for one’s name sake i.e., for one’s reputation, because of which one gets the appellation as ‘He is performer of [such and such] sacrifices’ These sacrifices, performed out of hypocricy alone, do not , however fetch any fruit. Becasue these persons are rugged with anger etc., they hate people and by that they hate Me only [in fact]. For, I, the Vasudeva (the Universal Soul), dwell every-where. Entertaining hatred towards their own Soul, they perform action, that is hostile to themselves, and responsible for their own fall into the hells. These persons I hurl into nothing but the demoniac wombs.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
ahankaram balam darpam
kamam krodham ca samsritah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
ahańkāram — false ego; balam — strength; darpam — pride; kāmam — lust; krodham — anger; ca — also; saḿśritāḥ — having taken shelter of; mām — Me; ātma — in their own; para — and in other; deheṣu — bodies; pradviṣantaḥ — blaspheming; abhyasūyakāḥ — envious.