Duality Between the Devas and Asuras
Yet the duality between the Devas and Asuras is not absolute and
should not be confused with any simplistic good and evil. The Asuras
represent elemental energies and vital passions, the forces of rajas
(rajoguna), which have their place in the cosmic order. However
these powers of action must be subordinated to the higher laws of
the Devas (the forces of mind and spirit) and sattva guna (peace and
clarity) for them to function properly.
A Divine or sattvic type of action or rajas must become dominant,
absorbing the active force into a higher aspiration, making the
Asuras serve the Gods. The Asuras
therefore cannot be destroyed but only controlled. To them belongs
the underworld, the realm of elemental and vital forces, and the
Gods strive to hold them there to do their work. The Asuras,
however, in their pride strive to invade the Earth through the
underworld and to gain control of humanity.
Because of their restless energy the
Asuras can never rest content in their native domain but must ever
strive upward until the Gods cast them back down again.The Asuras
generally come to power when the Gods become weak. The Gods, being
dominated by sattva guna, or peace and happiness, are inclined to
become self-content or complacent. They can lose their energy or
passion and get caught in the image of their own virtue.