Yagya literally means a sacrifice to some one for attaining harmony in life. Yagna Bhava is the attitude to work for the benefit of entire cosmos rather than for individuals. Instead of focusing on short term goals of self, Yagna Bhava is to focus on a long term goal of a sustainable and harmonious cosmos. Off course it does not mean to ignore the interest of self and family but it only implies to increase the circle of our activities to include others as well. When we do something for ourselves or even our family members it is called an action done for self and is bounded in nature. But when we do something for others without any personal gains as a selfless gesture, it is called an action not bounded in nature. This is called art of giving- giving everything that may help others and make this society, country and even the planet a better place. In fact it is called science of giving and to understand this we need to think with science perspective!! Yes you heard it right we need to think with science perspective rather than just believing whatever is told to us by scriptures even if it is related moral values.
I had a subject in my primary school related to moral values and that was also called Moral Science!! So to understand art of giving or science of giving –lets understand this whole cosmos as a system involving various processes with different inputs and outputs running it as scientifically as any of the systems even inside a CERN lab.
If we look at our cosmos and observe its various processes, we will find that it is actually a big system with various small and then very small & micro subsystems. All these subsystems work in harmony to support & run the bigger system. Ultimately we will realise the divine theory of interconnectedness which is also very much evident in the ecological system of the planet as well.
If we observe the life of an individual starting from his birth till death- we will find a trend of give and take where in the beginning of his life, a child need a lot of care and attention from his parents. He is looked after by his parents, elders and is the centre point of attention for every body. When he grows into adolescent – he starts contributing a little bit in the family works and at the same time is engaged in his studies gaining knowledge from teachers/ Gurus. By this time he is only at the receiving end, always taking something from others in society. When he is grown up to the age of marriage- he is given the responsibility of a family, which is gradually expanded with the arrival of children. At this time he is a responsible house holder taking care of his family and as well as others as a part of charity. It is the duty of every house holder who is blessed with material wealth and is capable to look after the society, to think beyond his family members and work for the society. The child who was looked after by others and taught by the society in his early life, is supposed to return the favour by helping people and contributing to the society in his full capacity. People may be different at his adolescent stage from that of his childhood stage, but he still have to return the favour. This is the beauty of this system also called Yagna where your actions should be initiated without any attachment towards selfish motives. The more you contribute, the greater is the harmony and more efficient is the cosmic system.
To make it more systematic, Hindu Scriptures have defined five Mahayagnas/Sacrifices also called Panch Mahayagnas (5 great sacrifices), which are mandatory for every body to perform. Although we shall talk about Panch Mahayaganas in more depth in any of the future posts, But to describe them in brief – These are Dev Yagna, Pitra Yagna, Bhuta Yagna, Manushya Yagna & Brahma Yagna. Deva Yagna is related to offerings to God, Pitra Yagna is related to forefathers, Bhuta Yagna is for Animal and Plant Kingdom, Brahma Yagna pertains to the vedic living and Manushya Yagna is related to the offerings made to Guests. In this way all five Yagnas directly or indirectly connects mankind to the cosmos, nature and made us to work for the harmony and over all betterment of the society. Thus any of these actions are considered to be selfless action for the benefit of society and hence do not bind us with its results.
“Yagyarthatkarmanoanyatra lokoyam karmbandhanah
Tadarth karm kounteya muktsangah samachar”
“The world is bound by actions other than those
performed for the sake of Yagna. Therefore ,
O Son of Kunti, you perform actions for yagna
alone, without any attachment.”
Rajneesh Chaturvedi is the author and owner of the "Indian Ethos" Blog which aims to explore The Sanatan Dharma and discover the deeper insights of Hinduism and its relevance today in modern world, not only at personal front but also at professional front at work place. Connect to Rajneesh on Google+