Pearls of Wisdom : Gods and Demons – Series of discourse by H.H. Srimajjagadguru Shankaracharya SriSri Raghaveshwara Bharathi Mahaswamiji

Sri Samsthana

Gods are light, demons are darkness. Gods reside in Heaven; demons dwell in hell.


Once, the demons felt  it was unjust that they have been condemned to hell while the gods enjoy in heaven.
They complained to Brahma-
“Why should we live in hell?”


Brahma answered-
“Come tomorrow, I will call the gods also; I will arrange for a meal for both you and the gods and I will address your complaints.”


The demons readily agreed.

The next day, all the gods and demons gathered at Brahma’s place.

The demons demanded that they should be served the food first.


Brahma agreed on one condition; that they should sit in opposite rows and eat without bending their hands. The Demons agreed and sat in opposite rows.  Delicious food was served, but they could not eat without bending their hands and so suffered from hunger despite all the delicious food in front of them.


Next, it was the turn of the gods to eat. Brahma imposed the same condition on the gods as well. But they thought of a plan and ate the food without bending their hands. The gods sat in opposite rows .They did not feed themselves, instead they fed the god sitting opposite them and all were happy and satisfied.


‘Daata’ means god or devata,  ‘rakta’ means  demons or rakshasa . Those who give to others are equal to gods .Those who consume everything selfishly for themselves become demons.  We become divine by giving to others.


Translated by : Dr. Sharada Jayagovind

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