Give and take spirit

Published - May 31, 2019 09:51 pm IST

In the chapter on karma yoga, Krishna draws attention to Srishti or creation that is wonderful in many ways and of man’s role in this grand design. He states that Srishti is established in yagna and that man can gain whatever he needs from devas through performance of yagnas, pointed out Nannilam Sri V. Rajagopala Ganapadigal in a discourse. “In days of yore, the Lord of creatures created beings along with yagna and said that by this they would benefit and prosper. This yagna, like the Kamadenu or the divine cow would yield one’s desires.”

Yagnas have their source in the Vedas, which are believed to be the very breath of the Supreme Brahman. Mahavishnu is known as the Yagna Purusha who takes meticulous care of all the needs of all beings in creation and the yagnas protect all beings. For instance, it is shown that the gods depend on sacrificial offerings for their sustenance; and when they are thus propitiated through yagnas, they provide timely rains to ensure prosperity of human existence. The term ‘parasparam bhavayantha’ represents the ‘give and take’ spirit inbuilt in this cycle to guarantee reciprocal benefits. If the Lord’s dictum is transgressed and the bounties in creation are taken for granted and one does not pay his gratitude to the celestial beings and the Almighty, he is none but a thief.

The Lord also helps us to understand how to get release from samsara through one’s actions. Each one is involved in unlimited number of actions every day, known as Nithya and Naimittika karmas, and all actions lead to bondage. But if every act including yagna karma is done in a spirit of sacrifice, it can release one from samsara. This section of the Gita aims to cultivate a noble purpose to human life while creating awareness of the harmony and oneness in creation.

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