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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Godless Demons

The grossly materialistic demons are so completely bereft of spiritual knowledge that although at every moment they perceive the transience of the material body, all their activities center on the body. They are unable to understand that the soul within the body is the permanent and essential substance and that the body is mutable and temporary. Becoming first enamoured of then deluded by vivartavāda (the theory of evolution), they conclude that the entire cosmic body also lacks a Soul. Since the fallacious theory they apply to their own physical existence leads them to reject any research into the existence of a soul residing within the body, they fail to perceive the presence of the Supersoul within the gigantic body of the cosmic manifestation. They falsely conclude that the body is everything, that there is nothing beyond it; similarly, they think that the material creation, which is the universal body, is factually governed only by the laws of nature. Any discussion on this subject is invariably put to premature death by their insistence that nature is the be—all and end—all. The more intelligent among them carry this discussion a little further and postulate that impersonalism is the quintessence of everything. But far beyond this realm of manifest and unmanifest material nature is the transcendental and eternal state. The atheists, however, are characteristically unable to believe in its existence.

In this way, with their perverted minds bereft of far-sightedness, demoniac men perform activities that bring only misery to the people. And as a result of many such unwanted activities, the atom bomb was discovered. The endless plans these demoniac men chalk out can never bode well for humanity. In the past, Rāvaṇa attempted to build a stairway to heaven, claiming this was for humanity's benefit. Actually, he was trying to cheat the Supreme Lord, Rāmacandra. But he was unsuccessful. History repeats itself, for now we find that Rāvaṇa's descendants are attempting to cheat the Lord in the name of planning to benefit society. The thing to take note of is that no demon will compliment other demons' plans. Every demon will declare that since his plan is the most wonderful, all others must vote for him. Then an opponent will say that in actuality his plan is the best and hence he should rightfully be given all the votes. In this age of votes, the fighting over who is to actually get the votes has untimely broken all the stairways to heaven. If one calmly considers the facts, one will easily conclude that all these plans manufactured by the perverted brains of the demons, with their myopic vision, can never bring peace in the world. Of course, in one matter all the demons readily agree, and that is to surreptitiously enjoy Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune and eternal consort of the Supreme Lord, without the knowledge of the Lord Himself.

Every demon is vainly proud, thinking no one is more intelligent and esteemed than himself. Therefore the overpowering desires that urge him on to perform various activities are, according to him, ultimately beneficial for human society. In the end, of course, it is inevitably revealed that all his aspirations were illusory and unrealistic. Yet despite this revelation, the demons continue to influence the populace through manipulations and lies.

There are no limits to the imagination of these unclean and deluded demons. They pose as self-styled leaders and endlessly worry about the welfare of society. They worry, for example, about where to lodge the people who come to purchase in the marketplace. What they actually think about is how to make foolproof arrangements to secure their own long-lasting enjoyment, along with their children's, their grandchildren's, and their great-grandchildren's enjoyment, up to the final dissolution of the world. But when they experience suffering instead of pleasure, the demons revert to violence against their fellow men to accumulate wealth. Their material desires are insatiable, and so even billions of dollars cannot appease them. Whoever is expert in illegally amassing huge fortunes becomes the top dog. The demons are full of hate, greed, anger, lust, etc., and they are tireless in their efforts to illicitly amass great wealth merely to gratify their sensual urges. On the other hand, their competitors are no less expert in cheating them of their black wealth. How can such ruthless competition aimed at stealing one another's illegally-earned money bring about peace and prosperity? Hence the demons can never help the person who laments, "In the dispensation of providence, man cannot have any rest."

The demon is always ruminating on how to increase their bank balance: "Today the stocks have gone up, and so also have my profits. Tomorrow, if these other commodities become dearer, my bank balance will further increase. And so my future looks bright and prosperous." The demon continues to think, but now on a slightly different subject: "One of my enemies has already been destroyed, and another one is soon to meet his end. This puts me in a more secure position. So now that I have become adept at eliminating my enemies, I am God Almighty. Why must one look in search of God? Hundreds of 'Gods' are floating right before your eyes." Such thoughts and actions make the demons more and more atheistic, and thus they refuse to hear the transcendental message of God. They proudly declare, "Who is God? Why, I am God! When I can illegally manipulate funds and become so wealthy that I can enjoy everything in this world, then I am indeed Almighty God. I am strong and happy and accomplished. Those who are weaklings, without money and means, must respect me as God. What is the use of crying after any other God?"

The demons are under the impression that no one is more wealthy and popular than themselves. They think that their wealth will somehow be protected by some spirit, and in this way they are deluded. Their final destination is hell.

The few religious deeds that the demons perform are merely a show; they are meant only to flatter their false ego and bring them more recognition and respect. They perform them only for their own sense enjoyment and are invariably acts of violence. The demons engage in these rituals without following the scriptural injunctions, merely to appease their vainglory.

Strutting with false pride, strength, anger, lust, and so on, the demons become totally absorbed in bodily consciousness, thinking "This is my body. I am Indian, Bengali, and so on. He is a Muslim; he is a Hindu; he is a German." In this way they perpetrate acts of violence on others. The Supreme Lord repeatedly puts these most abominable, wretched sinners into the most distressful conditions, constantly punishing them with His stringent laws of nature, or daivī māyā. Thus taking repeated births as demons, these reprobates can never appreciate the transcendental pastimes, names, beauty, and so on, of the Supreme Lord. Gradually cultivating the impersonal knowledge of the Absolute, they are destined to suffer the worst possible life.