Tag Archives: Sacrifice

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 14

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 14

Devadwijagurupraajna poojanam shauchamaarjavam;
Brahmacharyamahimsaa cha shaareeram tapa uchyate.

Worship of the gods, the twice-born, the teachers and the wise, purity, straightforwardness, celibacy and non-injury—these are called the austerities of the body.

Interpretation

In this shloka, Lord Krishna is talking about the austerities that a person who is on the spiritual path should follow. These austerities are the guidelines for every individual who wants to lead a happy, spiritual and fulfilling life without any unnecessary desires and cravings. Belief in God and His worship is the primary thing prescribed here. Apart from that, one should worship people who are sages, teachers and other wise men who have a purity of thought and straightforwardness in their actions. Then Lord tells a person to be celibate and believes in Ahimsa or non-injury. These are the austerities that one needs to follow for one’s body. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We have already learnt from the previous chapters that there are 3 kinds of austerities, austerities of body, speech and mind. Lord in this shloka was talking about the austerities of the body. When we worship or admire or do service to good people, the goodness of them spreads to you. God created this universe and there is His element in every being. But some people are able to enhance it and bring it out and those people are called wise people and teachers. The second word in the shloka is “Jaguru” who is a teacher. According to Krishna, teaching is one activity that a person undertakes only when he has the supreme sense of sacrifice in him.

Why is a teacher so important in life?

Imparting knowledge selflessly is the purest thing that anyone can do. When you acquire a skill you would want to use that for your benefit with an intention to earn wealth or name and fame. But would you prefer imparting that knowledge selflessly for others and don’t use that knowledge for your own benefits?

Here I would like to give an example of a person who learnt stock markets and had the intention of earning some money from it, but at the same time, he also became a teacher. When he was selflessly teaching he was not able to trade or the trades that he took were not giving him any satisfaction. That is when he decided to stay away from trading and concentrate only on teaching. It happens to many teachers who selflessly undertake the activity of spreading knowledge.

When you set out on this path your thoughts become pure and your actions become selfless. Purity according to the Lord comes only when one is celibate and follows the tradition of non-injury. Celibate here means staying away from desires of lust. Non-injury is when you do not cause any kind of physical and mental harm to anyone, which includes staying away from physically abusing and hitting anyone. It also includes non-usage of derogatory and abusive language against people as well as staying strictly vegetarian. This, if practised by an individual then he would have achieved austerities of the body.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 11

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 11

Aphalaakaangkshibhiryajno vidhidrishto ya ijyate;Yashtavyameveti manah samaadhaaya sa saattwikah.

That sacrifice which is offered by men without desire for reward as enjoined by the ordinance, with a firm faith that to do so is a duty, is Sattwik.

Interpretation

After talking about the food that a person in Sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic state of mind eat, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the sacrifices that a person who has the sattvik characteristics offers or performs. He says that a person when he is offering sacrifices should do it without any kind of a desire for any reward. He also has to do things that are prescribed in the scriptures with total and complete faith in God. The most important thing here is, he should believe that performing a particular sacrifice is his duty and that has been mandated by God, hence he has to perform it without a reward attached to it. Such kind of people are said to be of sattwik nature, tells Lord Krishna. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We usually hear these phrases like “I have sacrificed my whole life for the sake of family”, “I have done so many sacrifices for you, is this what you give me in return”, “Life is full of sacrifices” etc etc. What is the meaning of sacrifice? English dictionary gives two meanings. In the noun form, it is “An act of surrendering a possession as an offering to a deity”, in verb form it is “giving up something valued for the sake of other considerations”. What Lord Krishna said in this shloka is the combination of both. Thus the meaning of sacrifice is “Any work/activity done for the sake of only God and giving up things that come in the way of performing such activities is considered to be sacrificed”.

Sacrifice is not a religious ritual alone. It is done for the sake of God by which the entire humanity gets benefited. Anybody who sacrifices his wealth for the sake of the poor is actually serving God. Anybody who sacrifices his own urges and wishes to work for the larger benefit of the people around him sacrifices in the name of God. Order of importance of looking at things plays a very important role in deciding for whom we are sacrificing what.  For a Tamasic and Rajasic person, the order of importance is I, we, my family, my relatives, my community, my religion, my motherland and last comes the entire humanity. 

But for a sattwik person it’s exactly the opposite. For him the entire humanity comes first, country comes next, followed by that religion, community, relatives, family, we and last comes “I”. A sattwik person gives more importance to humanity than to himself or his family. All his activities and rituals are centered around this concept only. Thus when a person works for the humanity, he never expects any reward for himself, but if he works for himself or his family, he always expects rewards and when those rewards don’t come he gets disheartened and abandons the sattwik path. But the person who is sattwik rewards for his work is never a criterion. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7
Aahaarastwapi sarvasya trividho bhavati priyah;
Yajnastapastathaa daanam teshaam bhedamimam shrinu.
The food also which is dear to each is threefold, as also sacrifice, austerity and alms-giving. Hear thou the distinction of these.
Interpretation

After talking about the person misinterpreting the scriptures and going in the wrong way, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the food that the person consumes when he belong to a particular faith. We have already discussed that there are three types of faith, sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic and Lord says that each person depending upon what guna he is dominated by, is attracted to or likes a particular type of food. The food that he consumes is getting reflected in the sacrifices that he commits, the austerities that he practices and the alms that he gives. Then Lord tells Arjuna to listen to them and starts speaking about them. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

A man’s taste for a particular food is determined according to the Guna prevalent in him. Many times it is said that what we eat decides our personality. It is quite logical because every item has a characteristic present in the nature and when it goes into your body, automatically you will see its impact of it on a person. You might have seen that a person who eats fruits and bland food is less aggressive than a person who consumes a lot of spicy food. So, Lord is going to talk about the food and its impact on the person. This if implemented in a person, can make a major impact on his life is what I feel. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 14

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 14

Asau mayaa hatah shatrur hanishye chaaparaanapi; Eeshwaro’hamaham bhogee siddho’ham balavaan sukhee.

“That enemy has been slain by me and others also I shall slay. I am the Lord; I enjoy; I am perfect, powerful and happy”.

Interpretation

After talking about materialistic things and the wealth that a person has gained, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about a few more things that a person in demonic nature does. If a demonic person defeats or kills an enemy, he says I did it to him, now I will do it to everyone who opposes me. A sense of pride gets into him. With that proud feeling, he will start calling himself the Lord. He will say that my job is only to enjoy because I have defeated all my enemies. He also will start seeing himself to be perfect, powerful and both these qualities will make him happy, says Lord Krishna.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

99 out 100 people who were Kings in the previous time and rulers in the present time, all have these qualities described above. For the sake of power and wealth, Kings used to attack other kingdoms and the winner who wins the war loots the whole wealth of that kingdom and also kills the defeated King. Throughout the World we have seen numerous battles like this for power and position. In fact, Arjuna raised this fundamental question at the beginning of Gita itself to Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna then differentiates this fight which is fought in the name of Dharma to the other fights, where the aim is power. 

If you see the rulers of today, who we call as politicians, many of them are corrupt and we have the least faith in them. If you feel that today’s rulers don’t do criminal acts, then you should know that at the panchayat and Zilla Parishad level more than two thirds of the elected have criminal records and even if we look at the highest body like Lok Sabha, the present Lok Sabha has 36% of its MLAs facing criminal trials. Times change but people don’t. A person with demonic nature always have a feeling to finish his enemies and enjoy their power and wealth and that only gives him happiness. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 14

Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 14

Aham vaishwaanaro bhootwaa praaninaam dehamaashritah;
Praanaapaana samaayuktah pachaamyannam chaturvidham.

Having become the fire Vaisvanara, I abide in the body of living beings,  and, associated with the Prana and Apana, digest the fourfold food.

Interpretation

After talking about the masculine and feminine energy combining in the God Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about Him being the Vaisvanara. Vaisvanara means Universal man and He is associated with the fire energy inside our body. Lord says He will become the Vaisvanara who will live in all living beings and combine with the inhalation and the exhalation. Inhalation is taking the air inside our body and exhalation is releasing the carbon dioxide outside. This process is done to release the fire energy into the stomach which will digest the four types of food that we consume. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Vaisvanara refers to one of the eight forms of fire to be assigned to the body parts. In Agni Gayartri mantra also Lord Vaisvanara is invoked and inhaling and exhaling and it has the ability to burn fats, eliminate toxins and clear our digestive system. It helps in quickly digesting all the food and it also helps in weight loss. One needs to listen to this mantra with concentration looking at the burning lamp and slowly inhale and exhale.

Here is the link!

The next part of the shloka talks about the four fold food that we consume. First one is called Bhojya. This includes all the foods that are chewed with teeth and consumed. It includes Chapati, rice, bread etc. Second type of food is called Peya. Peya is the food that is swallowed into the stomach without using teeth. This includes milk, juice etc. The third type of food we eat is Koshya. Koshya is all the food that we suck like sugarcane, mango etc. The last type of food we consume is Lehya. Lehya is a type of food that we lick and eat like honey and other sweet syrups. 

All these types of food can be digested effectively only when one practices right meditation techniques. Most of the yogis remain fit just with meditation that includes inhalation and exhalation. The energy that goes inside is called Vaisvanara that has the energy to burn all kinds of food and effectively digest them.