Bhagavadgita !

Chapter 4

Jnyana Yoga !

|| Om tat sat ||

Bhagavadgita
Fourth Chapter
Jnyanayoga

About Yagnya in Jnyanayoga!

( to see Saskrit slokas in Devanagari Script click here)

In Janyana Yoga there is one special thought elaborated by Krishna.
That thought is about enhancing our understanding of Yagnya then making that Yagnya as a process available to all.

It starts with Krishna saying:

ಶ್ರೀಭಗವಾನುವಾಚ:
ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಾರ್ಪಣಮ್ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಹವಿಃ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಗ್ನೌ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣಾ ಹುತಮ್ |
ಬ್ರಹ್ಮೈವ ತೇನ ಗನ್ತವ್ಯಂ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಕರ್ಮಸಮಾಧಿನಾ || 4.24 ||

ಸ|| (ಯಜ್ಞೇ) ಅರ್ಪಣಂ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ | ಹವಿಃ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ | ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಗ್ನೌ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣಾ ಹುತಂ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಏವ | ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಕರ್ಮ ಸಮಾಧಿನಾ ತೇನ ಗನ್ತವ್ಯಂ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಏವ |

Meaning that
In the Sacrifice "ಅರ್ಪಣಂ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ",
All the implements used in the sacrifice are Brahma !
"ಹವಿಃ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ", All the materials used in the Sacrifice too are Brahma !
"ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಗ್ನೌ " In the fire which is Brahman
"ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣಾಹುತಂ" The offerings by the doer who is a brahman is also "ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಏವ" Brahman only.!
"ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಕರ್ಮಸಮಾಧಿನಾ" The one who is in Samadhi doing Brahma karma .
"ತೇನ ಗಂತವ್ಯಂ" the palce he goes to is also "ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಏವ" Brahman only.

In a sacrifice everything is a form of Brahman. The implements used, the materials used and the offerings too. In such a sacrifice with a focussed mind if one performs Karma he also attains Brahman.

The point of saying that the implements used in sacrifice are form of Brahman, the materials used in the sacrifice are a form of Brahman is to say that everything in this world is a form of Brahman. Once we reach that stage of recognising that everything is a form of Brahman and perform Karma without any desire then the postion one attains in performing that Karma, Nishkama karma is also Brahman !

So when one performs Karma with the feeling that everything in the world is a form of Brahman , then as a stated by Krishna "ಇಹಾ ಅಭಿಕ್ರಮನಾಶೋ ನ ಅಸ್ತಿ " (2.40) any activity we under take has no failure. For many reading this sloka ( ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಾರ್ಪಣಮ್ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಹವಿಃ ... ) over and over again firms up their belief in everything being Brahman.

If we imbibe the spirit of the sloka and move forward with the thought of everything being Brahman , it would occur that there could be many ways of reaching Brahman.

So while eleborating on Yagnya , Krishna having first stated that if one performs Karma with focussed mind understanding that everything is a form of Brahman , the destination one reaches is Brahman, then moves on how Yogis perform sacrifice.

"ದೈವಮೇವಾಪರೇ ಯಜ್ಞಂ ಯೋಗಿನಃ ಪರ್ಯುಪಾಸತೇ " (4.25)

Krishna says that some Yogis take the worship itself as a form of sacrifice . If one with a focussed mind concentrates on the worhip of the God that worship itself is Yagnya. Thus Krishna says Worship itself is a yagnya.

Some others with mind purified in the fire of Brahman realise the unity of the Jivatman and Paramatman. If one embarks on the enquiry of Self, one realizes that self is different from the body we perceive , on further enquiry realizes the universality self and universality of Brahman and then realises the unity of Jivatman and Paramatman. Krishna says that the process of enquiry into self itself is a yagnya.

While saying that these two are yagnyas - Krishna has transformed the sacrifice in Vedas which is based on mantras and rituals into some thing devoid of rituals . Devoid of rituals the worship one performs with focus or heart and soul is itself a Yagnya. It means that the four priests ordained for conducting a Yagnya are no longer necessary. The worship you do or the enquiry you do on self is itself to be done as a yagnya. Through these Yagnyas also one can be liberated or attain Moksha.

This is a matter of serious or deep significance .

The Yagnya which is virtually not possible for anybody other than kings is now possible for all with this new understanding .

If we want to know a little more about Yagnyas as in Vedas one need only look at the very first Sanskrit book , the Adi Kavya namely Ramayana . In the Balakanda of Ramayana we have one full chapter ( Sarga fourteenth) dedicated to the sacrifice conducted by Dasaratha. The sacrifice has four priests Adhvaryu, Hota, Udgata, Brahma. There are many rites to be followed by them. At one point in Balakanda Dasaratha warns :

"ನಿಹತಸ್ಯ ಚ ಯಜ್ಞಸ್ಯ ಸದ್ಯಃ ಕರ್ತಾ ವಿನಶ್ಯತಿ"

That is "if there are any deficiencies in the conduct of the Yagnya" - "ಕರ್ತಾ ವಿನಶ್ಯತಿ" - the doer of the Yagnya perishes !

Hence he asks all his ministers to see that all proceduers are followed scrupulously.

Sinilarly in the Sagara's Yagnya , as well as Ambarisha yagnya too the same topic, following the rites scrupulously comes up . In the Ambarisha's Yagnya not knowing the where abouts of the sacrifial animal stolen by Indra, the priests warn Ambarisha that he should either " bring back the missing sacrifical animal or in its place offer some other who can be sacrficed ! If that is not done the calamity awaits the doer "! Ambarish brings Sunssepha son of sage Ruchika which is an interesting interlude ( Sunassephopakhyaanam !) . But the point remains that the ritual is deemed to be all too important as otherwise the Devas will be upset !

Krishna attitude to Yagnya can be traced back to his chiledhood exploit of lifting Govardhan mountain. He lifted Govardhan to protect his village from the wrath of Indra whom he provoked by telling villagers not to do Yagnya to please Indra !! In fact he asks his elders why they are doing Yagnya to please Indra !

Those Yagnyas are always fruit oriented.

That is the focus of the Yagnyas that time

Taking that Yagnya which is ritual oriented , Krishna elaborated processes which are devoid of rituals which any body can follow.

The Yagnyas Krishna is talking about are special.
These are Yagnyas with no meterial fruits.
They have only "liberation" as goal.
Doing this Yagnya they are free from fear
There is no need for elaborate requirements.
The Yagnys depend solely on the ability of the doer !
These are Yagnyas where Nishkama Karma is the process.
Krishna already stated the advantages ( 2.40 )

Krishna went farther by defining several forms of sacrifice in slokas 24 - 32. He elaborated on twelve types of Yagnyas. These are:

1 ದೈವ ಯಜ್ಞ Daiva Yagnya (4.25) ;
2 ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಯಜ್ಞ Brahma Yagnya(4.25) ;
3 ಇನ್ದ್ರಿಯಸಂಯಮ ಯಜ್ಞ Indriya Samyamana Yagnya(4.26) ;
4 ಶಬ್ದಾದಿ ವಿಷಯ ನಿರೋಧ ಯಜ್ಞ Sabdaadi Vishaya Nirodha Yagnya(4.26);
5 ಮನೋನಿಗ್ರಹ ಯಜ್ಞ Mano Nigraha Yagnya(4.27) ;
6 ದ್ರವ್ಯ ಯಜ್ಞ Drvya Yagnya( 4.28);
7 ತಪೋಯಜ್ಞ Tapo Yagnya(4.28);
8 ಯೋಗಯಜ್ಞ Yoga Yagnya (4.28);
9 ಸ್ವಾಧ್ಯಾಯ ಯಜ್ಞ Svadhya Yagnya (4.28) ;
10 ಜ್ಞಾನ ಯಜ್ಞ Jnyana Yagnya(4.28);
11 ಪ್ರಾಣಾಯಾಮ ಯಜ್ಞ Pranayama Yagnya(4.29) ;
12 ಆಹಾರನಿಯಮ ಯಜ್ಞ Ahara Niyama Yagnys(4.30)

Krishna goes on to say there are many types of Yagnyas. Krishna says:

ಏವಂ ಬಹುವಿಥಾ ಯಜ್ಞಾ ವಿತತಾ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣೋ ಮುಖೇ |
ಕರ್ಮಜಾನ್ ವಿದ್ಧಿ ತಾನ್ ಸರ್ವಾನ್ ಏವಮ್ ಜ್ಞಾತ್ವಾ ವಿಮೋಕ್ಷ್ಯಸೇ ||( 4:32)

"Thus various Sacrifices are prescribed by Vedas . Know all these to be born of action. Knowing thus you will be free"

Krishna scrupulosuly maintained that what he is teaching is nothing new . The Nishkama Karma was taught by him to Sun etc earlier ( Sloka 4.1) . He reinforces that again by saying that all the Yagnyas he is talking about are elaborated in Vedas. When one looks at Vedas rituals are the dominant text in the Samhita and Brahmanas the early parts of Veda. But as we move further in the Aranyakas and Upanishads this kind thinking is brought in !

When he says there are many Yagnyas while he elaborated only twelve there in lies a secret !

That is what ever you do , if you do that as "Nishkama " karma that itself is to be done as a Yagnya

That Yagnya of Nishkama karma leads to liberation!

Thus this concept of Yagnya elaborated by Krishna is a great fruit deleivered to all Bhaktas through Bhagavdgita.

||om tat sat||
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