Chapter 4 Gnana Yoga Verse 21

Sloka

Yajnashishtaamritabhujo yaanti brahma sanaatanam;
Naayam loko’styayajnasya kuto’nyah kurusattama.

Translation

Those who consume the remnants of the sacrifice, which are like nectar, go to the eternal Brahman.
This world is not for the man who does not perform sacrifice; how then can he have the other, O Arjuna?

Interpretation

After talking about the six types of sacrifices Lord Krishna talks about the results that each of these sacrifices give. He says that a person who consumes the remnants of this sacrifice will go to the heaven and compared them to the nectar. Here consuming does not mean eating. It means a habit that gets internalized or established in an individual.

So, Lord Krishna says that any person who follows any of the six sacrifices told in the previous slokas will attain salvation. Then Lord Krishna also goes on to explain that a person who doesn’t follow any of the six sacrifices will never be able to attain salvation nor be able to live happily in the World also. He belongs to nowhere.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The important point to note in this sloka is not about the salvation that a person could get after performing the sacrifices. I feel the more important point that Lord Krishna is making here is about a person who does not perform any sacrifices. That kind of the person cannot even belong to this World is what Lord Krishna says. Not performing sacrifices means not doing anything meaningful like serving God unconditionally or doing things he is passionate about or doing meditation or giving away his wealth or acquiring knowledge to become yogi or controlling his diet habits.

Look at a person who doesnt have any of these habits. Such kind of people lead a life which is only for themselves and for their self interests. Such people are selfish and will only satisfy their egos.

Example

Let’s take an example of a rich man who is a miser. Though he has lot of wealth he never give a single pie to anyone. He tries to become more and more richer by cheating people and trouble them for his wealth. He wont show mercy on anyone who comes in the way of his wealth and power. He goes to the extent of even killing those who question his authority or expose him.

Such a person even if he prays or goes to a temple will not have any mercy shown from God. That kind of a person even if he constructs a temple, its worse than a house of devil. The wealth that is created through these unscrupulous means will not go to his children also and will disappear. That is how the law of Karma works. Such kind of people will be strongly punished by the God and such people will not have a place in heaven or on earth. They will go to hell and suffer there.