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  1. Dear Subham-ji, Many many apologies for not responding to you immediately. One reason is pre-occupation with another topic in another group - which is again a heavy topic on the rationale and scriptural pramana for pithru tarpanam. That series will keep me occupied for one more week. The other reason is, as usual, that your query / opinion is so impregnated with powerful views that it would require a very lengthy response.On the face of it my reaction to your notions in your mail is both yes and no. Upanishads do support strongly the creation of name, form and works as being real as also a physical universe. I suggest you read the complete translation of Chandogya upanishad (available in wikipedia, or any other website,) before i start a discussion on this. This upanishad is very simple to understand but elaborate on the question of creation, on who the creator is and on how the individual souls come to get such name, form and works - the Release from which is termed as moksha. I have drawn the rationale of pithru tarpanam and the machanism of how the offerings reach pithrus, from this upanishad only. Aithareya upansihad, that comes after Rig veda is completely about creation at micro and macro levels. It will set at rest your doubts about Consciousness and how creation began etc.This upanishad also is available on net.
  2. Since the notions contained in the basic pramana sruti are not adhered to, I am not replying to this mail. ------------------- Namaskar Bheda is not in Atma, which is uncuttable and which though ONE appears to be many. Bheda is between the GREAT LORD and the creation. ********************************** It is also incorrect approach to say that atman will reach some state as in ‘atman though it has reached Brahman’ phrase above. It never fell.....................
  3. Please find the replies along with your objections. ************ It is in this context that creation of worlds by Vishwamithra for the sake of Trishanku was immediately discouraged, because, creation is an exclusive prerogative of Brahman. The atman though it has reached Brahman hood is not entitled to do creation. (Brahma sutras), and in this way the bheda between Brahman and the released Atman is established. ******************** To start with, I have picked the above. Acqua Ji, though you provide correct information that ‘atman ----- is not entitled to do creation (Brahma sutras)’, but the next part: ‘and in this way the bheda between Brahman and the released Atman is established’, is extremely far fetched. Brahma Sutra does not say that Brahman exists to create. It does not say that creation is an exclusive prerogative of Brahman. Rather it says that acts of creation, maintenance, and destruction proceed from him. One who is and remains sankalpa free, does not create and does not come back. Atma has no role in creation. Gunas only create. It is ignorant mind which attributes creation to the Self. ----------------------------- Reply : You have probably taken the 2 nd Brahma sutra alone on its face value. Please read the entire Brahma sutras with the commetaries by any acharya you wish to follow. ------------------- Your objection:- This bheda could only be established if one assumed that the assertion ‘creation is an exclusive prerogative of Brahman’ was correct. ------- Reply from Aithareya upanishad:- Chapter 1- Section-1 1. The Self only verily all this was in the beginning. Nothing else whatsoever stirred. He (the Self) thought, "Let me now create the worlds." 2. He then created all these worlds. He created water, light rays, death and elements such as water. Above the heaven is water. The heaven supports it. The light rays are the space. Death is the earth. That which are below are also waters. From Brahma sutra 4-4-17:- " (The released selves attain all powers of the Lord)except in the matter of cosmic activities, on account of the (Lord being) the subject matter (of all texts, wherein the cosmic activity is described), and because also, of the non-proximity (of the Released selves)" For details read the commentary -they are avialable on net. ( you will find at number of places in many upanishads the similar notion that "it willed , may I become many and it became many." indicating that creation is the exclusive prerogative of the Brahman) The Will mentioned here has further been explained in Chandogya upanishad. Please read the entire Chandogya to understand everything about Creation and His Will. -------------- your objection:- It is also incorrect approach to say that atman will reach some state as in ‘atman though it has reached Brahman’ phrase above. ----------- Reply to this from Mundaka upanishad--- Mundaka-- Third Chapter (1)Two birds, united always and known by the same name, closely cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit; the other looks on without eating. (2)Seated on the same tree, the jiva moans, bewildered by his impotence. But when he beholds the other, the Lord worshipped by all, and His glory, he then becomes free from grief. ( for better understanding, please read the commetaries.) --------------- You said:- It never fell, where will it reach? It can only throw away the veener of verbosity and logic and then remain as it is always. - My reply:- I am mute and amused reading the above Which one fell? Which one will reach what? And why? I refrain to commet. But I want to remind everyone desiring this Knowledge to keep in mind Ramakrishna's story on the villager who goes to see the King. (This story has been given by me in one of my posts in this forum.) Thanks.
  4. Immortality is the nature of the Jiva. If we bring in "I" ness, it means we are getting embroiled into the created tattwas from Mahat onwards (or downwards). Liberation takes place when the Jiva realises its immortality status and ceases to be confined within mortal coils. Yes Liberation is at the individual level. It used to be said that Krishna leela of ecah gopika finding Him with herself only simultaneously is to depict that Liberation or moksha is an individual experience, between the jiva and the Lord. There are literature on how or what happens at the time of Liberation, just prior to Liberation and after Liberation. Brahma sutras are authentic texts in this regard. Though I am not getting into the details of this, due to the length of the subject, let me just post an edited portion from one of my posts in another series, on whether Draupadi was a mumukshu, to show what this Liberation is and how we can visualise it. Now the other question: ------------------------ now my question is-- for a Sadhaka to attain liberation is it required that Peace (and hence Dharma) should exist at the society where he lives? or the social conditions may just help accelerate a Sadhaka to his goal? or social conditions have no relation at all towards individual Liberation? ______ The reply for this is in BG 2-53. The mind in itself and in its place must remain unperturbed come whatever may be the surrounding. The internal environment(within the mind) is important irrespective of what the external environment be.
  5. Dear Shoba-Malaysia, Seeing your interest in the topic under discusion, I thought I can share some of my mails on different issues in Ramayana, including agni pravesh, sita's exile, vaali vadam and Sita's lamnet whether she has committed any offence to have come to be separated from RAma, with specific reference to her worry ' sthreeyam purusha vigraham' (is it because I told Rama when he refused to take me to van vaas, that not knowing that he is a woman in man's garb, my father has married me to him, that I am now suffering separation from him with no sign of Rama turning up to release me' - a worry expressed by Sita in Ashoka vana in Sundhara khanda). These mails have already been published in other groups and they are detailed and voluminous to be reproduced here. If you are interested, please give your mail ID, I will send them to you. For immediate reference, you may read my mail in this group itself under the thread Vaali vadam (or Vaali and Rama). regards, jayasree
  6. Yes, i have heard of many such techniques of meditation, though upanishads too speak of 32 such techniques called as vidyas. In commentaries to Brahma sutras, I have come across perception of different kind, namely Yogic perception, which can be attained by certain yogic power. Mostly this involves the yogin's efforts by withdrawing his senses and mind to achieve specific perceptions which can not be otherwise experienced. But this view has not been accepted by all. It is another means of knowledge and it is not that it is a totally different perception. But these yogic practices are in the decline in this yuga. Bhakti marga and renunciation (sharanagathi) are supposed to be the easy routes in Kali yuga. If all routes lead to Rome, that means all these practices do lead to Liberation only. Here Amruth, as you have said is knowledge and it is knowledge of the Self that leads to Liberation. Knowledge is immortal and knowledge of the imoortality of the Self makes one cross the mortal barriers. That is how one becomes immortal. Immortality of the body can not happen. One instance is that Vishwamithra was discouraged from sending Trishanku to heavens in his mortal frame. In BG too, we come across verses which claerly say that after death only, do the jivas reach Him. Bhagavan clearly rejects the idea of jeevan mukthi in Gita. Another rationale is that whatever has had a beginning must have an end someday, some time. Since physical existance is due to prakruthi which manifests by means of pancheekaraN (refer BG), an end to this physical existance will have to happen when things reverse. Therefore immortality can not be for physical body. Immortalitty is only for the kshethragjyan not the kshethram. One clarity that we must have is that jivas and Brahman are immortal always, though there is a difference in opinion as per the school of thought that ones professes. But the upanishadic verse, repeated in quite a few upanishads about two birds sitting in a tree, one eating the fruit of karma and the other not eating anything but shining, is too strong to ignore. This verse makes it clear that immortality is for only two sets, for Barhman and for the jivas. This means that whenever and wherever immortality is being spoken of, it must be with reference to some specific ccontext and within some specific time frame. Going by this verse, every soul, irrespective of whether it is that of a deva or asura or an ordinary man is immortal. Therefore immortality to devas on drinking amruth must be on some other context. What is this context? Brihadharanyaka upanishad speaks of 3,003 gods, 303 gods, 1 and a half god and 1 god. Except the 1 god which is Brahman, every other god explained in this upansihad is about the different manifestations once after creation has begun. They have varying span of life depending on their role in sustaining creation. They are immotal ones in this time frame of Brahma deva's age of 100 years, in order to carry out their designated functions. In puranas they are celetial ones. The only other entities who have cunningly managed to drink amruth were Rahu and ketu. They too are immortal in this time frame, in their being the nodes, or points of intersection of earth's orbit and moon's orbit. As long as earth and moon continue their journey, the RAhu and Ketu also would be there. This is how we must view the immortality given by amruth. Once their designated journey is over, all those who have drunk amruth would shed their prakruthi connection and attain Liberation or attain Brahman. This it is seen that immortality and Liberation are not the same. Immortality is the reality of the jiva and II chapter of BG says this in many ways. Those doing yogic meditation attain immortal state of release from rebirth. It is not immortality to their body. If it is said that such feat is noticed in siddhi purusha, it is replied thus: It is claerly stated in upanishads like Taittriyam that upon attaining liberation, the jiva is capable of taking any form, be it the form of Vishwam or annam or whatever. This is about the limitlessness that the jiva attains on Liberation.This should not be confused with immortality to the body. The same siddhi purusha who can be seen to have body can also leave the body with ease and be present as air or invisible or even walk on water or fire. Thus immortality is not to physical body. It is the realisation that the jiva undergoes.
  7. 4)This is about imagining our jail at cosmic level. This jail is infinite, no boundaries, no beginning and no end. There are infinite number of others like us peopling this jail. So when you do some action, particularly a yajna type capable of laying a communion between you and God, you have to state who you are and from where you are making this yajna. This is not to 'inform'god that you are there doing something pleasing for Him (yes, all things must be done in Narayana preerthyartham - for the pleasure of Narayana), but to make your effort precise and specific. I think the need to do like this is because of the way we are in this 'jail' Remember the first of your mails in this thread where you wrote about other universes etc..I will take it up here. It is possible to construct a model of the entire universe - the womb of Lord which Geethacharyan speaks about in BG. This model can be constructed by drawing inputs from Purusha suktham, the description of GAyathri as Brahman by barhma sutras and Garuda purana. This is almost spherical in shape (egg shaped as per GAruda purana)and only 1/4 of this is constantly under manifestation and the rest under non-manifestation (Purusha suktam & GAyathri tattwa). To understand this, draw a circle and chip out 90 degree segment of it. This is the manifest universe. Particles keep moving throughout the circle and when they enter this chipped out area, they manifest as born! Once they race to the other end of the segment they enter into non-manifestation. Now visualise this. The particles near the center, soon after entering the segment, lapse into non-maifestation. (scriptures say that some universes die soon after they are born.) Away from centre, the created or manifest universe have brief life before entering pralay. Scriptures say like this too. You can visualise still away, away.. etc. At some point our universe gets born and is now at the 51st year of Brahma deva's life span - that is midway in our journey. We are almnost in the perpendicular bisector of the angle of this segment of manifest creation. Beyond us other univesres are there with much larger life span. The uniqueness of this is that by breadth and width this segment is INFINITE. Every moment, infinite number of universes are born and an infinite number of universes slip into oblivion as per this model, which tallies with what our texts say at various places. Bhagavan is infinitely busy teaching infinite number of Brama devas always. Something He says in BG too. Our life is torn between these worlds depending on the karma we have done. we are all the time busy crisscrossing this maze of universes. It is due to this, i think, we have to identify ourselves as beloning to this Brahma deva's universe, this kalpa, this manvanthra, this yuga, this dEsa, this time of the year, this son of this father etc, as an obligatory authorisation that this karma is being done by so and so. PS: As per this model, big bang and worm-hole theory of birth of universe is nowhere near reality. The 15 billion year of our universe is only a small part of 50 years that brahma deva has completed. What happened 15 billion years ago was only a new alignment or new equilibrium in the progression of our universe. Perhaps string theory best suits this model. But this model is what our scriptures say. By coming out of this womb, one attains God / Liberation
  8. 3)The ritual is in the form of 5-W declaration. By whom, to whom, when, where and why. This is the customary sankalpa done at the beginning of any action (like JAmboo dweepE.. Bharatha kandE....) But when a person does everything in the nature of yajna, it is customary to say, 'idham krishnaarpanam asthu' - everything to krishna. So aying, one doesn't claim anything for oneself - a sure way of distancing oneself from results of the karma so that 'naivam paapam avaapsyasi' A customary way to give is by means of water too. It is said that water transports whatever one gifts or gives. According to Garuda purana, after the jiva gets out of the cosmic egg of rebirths, it enters a river and gets transported to paramapada or Sri VAikunta. It will be interesting to note that in all accounts of after- death or near death experiences where people have come back to life to narrate, have either felt gone along with fast flowing water (river or waterfall) or along with / towards light. Rama too left for His abode by entering Sarayu. Janaka gave Sita in marriage to Rama by pouring water on the hands of the two held together, by saying 'from now on she will be your saha dharma chaariNi.' In temples, the power of Murthys is consecrated in water only. In every type of yajna, a pot of water will be kept into which the power is entered by manthras. You will be in for more surprises if you visit this link http://www.sakthifoundation.org/Water_Healing.htm where you will find some researches showing some unique property of water in taking up crystalline shapes in accordance with what is being thought of. Water does something which science has not yet found out.The customary ritual of any act of giving or yajna is associated with water. Even in pithru tharpaN (the Mahalaya paksha which has just begun), offering of water coupled with deep thoughts about departed forefathers, reach them thereby writing off the debt we owe to them for having gained this body with vital and mental functions (remember the 3 levels we discussed earlier) from them at 3 generations of father, (vasu/physical) grand father (rudra/ vital) and great grand father (adhithya / mental) In customary ritual, water has an inevitable place. But in regular giving of menatl nature, the mental feeling itself will do.
  9. 2) The next one is gyaana yajna done internally. This is what is discussed in chapter 4 of BG after explaining other types of yajnas. This happens within oneself. Here the gyaana is the agni of the homa kund, (pl refer the last few verses in 4th chapter where it is stated that ) samshaya (doubt) is destroyed in this agni. This portion must be read along with chapter 2 -17 to 2-39, whereby it is stated that buddhi or gyaana is knowing the nature of Athman. It is this gyaana which is offered in the homa kund of gyaana (this is similar to another BG verse which we laready discussed whereby it is stated that the one who offers is Brahman, what is offered is Brahma, the agni is Brahman etc) so that what one gets back is destroyal of sins, which means Liberation from the cycle of births. This is how the 4 th chapter concludes. The details are as per Brahadharanyaka upanishad which I quoted in the last mail in the series. The culmination of human endeavour to get Release is this gyaana yajna done within oneself.
  10. Dear Subham ji, I find scope for talking about 4 different issues from your mail. I have this weakness of not being able to talk crisply:-) and hence request you to bear with me. 1) Knolwledge as sacrifice externally - This is what you have said in your mail. Elsewhere in MB (Mahabharatha)it has been said that of all the created ones, those that breath are superior. Of those that breath, those that think are superior.Of these, those who think about Brahman are superior. Of these, those who speak about Brahman are superior. Of these, those who also teach about Brahman to otehrs are superior. The hierarchy ends with this kind of people. The Vidya dhaanam is the most superior of all dhaanam and the one who does it as yajna, expecting no returns for him is the best. However the results do reach him as attainment of Brahman itself. One such person is sage Vasishta, who has been granted the status of Saptha rishi. He along with Athri are the only two sages who continue as saptha rishis throughout the age of 100 years of Brahma deva. Other saptha rishis change during every manvanthra. (Cosmically, these two rishis seen as stars continue to be seen from the earth, at the same place through all ages) The uniqueness about them is that though they have attained eligibility to attain Liberation, they have been retained in order to continue to live till the entire span of Brahma deva is over, by doing their karma yoga which is in the nature of Gyaana yoga, which they do as yajna. This inormation is contained in Brahma sutras.The world lives on the strength of such sages. Theirs is the yajna of knowledge - done externally, for the benefit of others.
  11. Dear Subham ji, As far as I know, I can give the following justification for the two parts of your query. The first is about how Sanjaya was able to see the viraat rupa. As per BG verse 11-47, bhagavan says that none before him (Arjuna) had seen like that. Note the word purvam in the verse. This is an open-ended statement which openly states that non one had seen Him like this in the past, yet some one in future might get to see. But since the Lord says ‘thwat anyEna’ (except you), there is room to interpret that none other than Arjuna had seen It since ancient times. But this gift to see this rupa was given to Arjuna by the Lord, by ‘dadaami divyam chakshu:” He gave the divine eye to Arjuna because without the divine eye, no one can see this rupam. The same divine eye has been given to Sanjaya too by Vyasa, just before the start of the war. Vyasa initially offered to give this eye to Dhritharashtraa. But he declined and instead preferred to hear the happenings in the battle field. Vyasa, who was capable of granting any type of boon (note this narration by me is as per MG by Veda vyasa) then looked at Sanjaya and granted him this divine eye saying that he would be able see everything, both hidden and open, that which happens in the dark and in the light, that which runs as thoughts in people’s interior and so on. The description is same as what the Lord gave Arjuna as Divyam chakshu: Vyasa further qualifies this boon by telling that Sanjaya alone would emerge out of this war unhurt, meaning that he would be there at every place in the Battle field, would follow every asthra shot, listen to every word spoken, but yet remain unaffected by it – or come out of all it unscathed. As a result we find Sanjaya giving a commentary just before the viraat rupa was to be shown and also just before His Divine form was shown, thereby indicating that he indeed had seen the two depictions of the Lord. The Lord’s utterance does not negate this another person seeing His rupa, as His comment is that no one has seen it before Arjuna. And by telling that scores of others (like those who have done yajna, daana etc) can not see Him like this, He indicates that unless one is blessed with the divine eye granted by Him, nobody can see Him. Elsewhere He says ‘athma-yOgaath’ – by My Yoga only you are able to see this form. This gift, already been given to Sanjaya had made him see Him in Vishwarupa. The second part of your query is about what made sanjaya special to receive this gift. Subham ji this is the most intriguing part which every saadhaka wishes to know. But to my present level of understanding it seems, that a person need not do great sacrifices, penance or meditation to become the recipient of this gift. As Upanishad says, “HE is seen by him whom He chooses.” The choice is His and as per BG it is about how you conduct yourself, as a doer or an instrument. Like the butcher from whom a sage learnt Athma gyaana (MB), Sanjaya too was a selfless karmayogi, with equanimity. There are two terms expressed in MB at different places. They are puppets and instruments. Elsewhere in MB it is said that the jivas are the puppets, controlled by Him. But in BG. Bahgavan gives another choice, ‘nimiththam’ or instrument. When one is a puppet, there is absolutely no control over one’s own actions by oneself. But when one allows oneself to be used as an instrument by the Lord, He takes charge and the jiva merely enjoys Lord’s actions as His Leela. There is a qualitative difference in status between these two conditions. Less awareness perpetuates one into being a puppet. But awareness makes one to be used by Him, instead of being controlled by Him. The latter one is what a karma yogi does. The Lord prescribes this state only as way to liberation. And it is in this way, Sanjaya qualifies for the divyam chakshu:
  12. Thank you. I have not written any books. I must say that I gain a lot when searching for answers to different questions. It was a rewarding experience to look for answers to your queries. Thank you once again. Please feel free to ask any question. If it is possible for me to find answers, I will certainly do.
  13. >>>>3) Also in chapter 4 He says, Pranayamam and different types of breath control are also a type of sacrifice i can't understand how they can<<<<<<<<<<<<<<, ---------------------------- Let me quote from Brihadharanyaka to say what this is about. "The organ of speech (vak) (of the sacrificer) is looked upon as Agni (‘fire’)" (Br.,III.1.3), "the eye (cakshus) of the sacrificer is Aditya (‘sun’)" (Br.,III.1.4) , "the vital force (prana) (of the sacrificer) is looked upon as Vayu (‘air’)" (Br.,III.1.5), "the mind (manas) of the sacrificer is Chandra (‘moon’)" (Br.,III.1.6). The Self which was seen as of nature of Hiranyagarbha (‘the golden egg’) is identified in Br.,II.1.17 as being in the heart. The four Vedic priests were also internalized as Br.,III.1.3-6 points out: “speech is the hotri”, “the eye is the adhvaryu”, “the breath is the udgatri”, “mind is the brahman”. Now, the new kind of sacrificer is none other than the spiritual aspirant himself who strives towards the knowledge (gyana) of Brahman as the highest reality. Not only the external world finds correspondence within the aspirant’s internal world, but also his internal world is reflected in the external world of magnifying proportions thus: "the organ of speech (vak) itself is the earth, the mind (manas) is the sky and the vital force (prana) is heaven" (Br.,I.5.4). Yet, the entire interconnectivity of macro and micro universes as seen in the Upanishads does persistently address the issue of spiritual liberation by the means of knowledge. To quote another source, Garbha Upanishad says: “All who are living (in this world) are the sacrificers. There is none living who does not perform yajna. This body is (created) for yajna, and arises out of yajna and changes according to yajna.” And finally as a conclusion, yajna is seen at the basis of the creation itself because “Brahma, the Creator, in the beginning of the world created human beings together with yajna and said: "By yajna you shall prosper and yajna shall fulfill all your desires.” (BG, 3-10). She is the Kaama dhenu, capable of giving this worldly, other worldly and above all a permanent Release from this world. That it is there right from creation and at all levels is what BG has made out. The spirit behind is what I attempted to do thes mails at my present level of understanding. Dear Subham ji, hope this helps..
  14. >>>>2) Also i am not exactly clear what is meant by "service to the Lord" suppose if i wish to do service to the Lord then what should i do<<<< ----------------------------- It might be perplexing to note that sanatana dharma which speaks so much about sacrifices, speaks less about service, which is the corner stone of other religions of the world. The fact is that our dharma does not recognize service, it recognizes only DUTIES. Duty is a far superior word than service. When you serve someone, your hand goes up and the receiver has to extend his hand below in humility. But when the same is done as a duty, the pride of the receiver is never put to stress. The doer gives because it does him good and the receiver takes because by so-doing he is enabling the doer (giver) receive some benefits (the rationale behind charity or dhaana in sanatana dharma is this). The self-respect of the receiver is not hurt in this scenario. So giving is done as a duty and Taittriyam lays rules for how to give. All karmas or actions are sacrifices and all sacrifices include the component of giving and taking. But the giver has to give with complete detachment to the thing given and without motives. (Though yajnas are done with motives, the spirit of na mama is maintained, the motiveless yajna is the supreme of all which gives Moksham while all the others give finite results). That manu smrithi says, “Service is a dog’s life” which is deciphered as service to one who is unworthy. Service to any one is service by finite to the finite. But service to the infinite alone is the best as the results of such service will be infinite, say, Bliss. That is why sanatana dharma recognizes service only in the context of the Almighty. Such service is done by extolling Him, talking about Him, giving to others knowledge about Him (note 4-34 wherein the Lord says about serving the gyanis, in order to know this knowledge – you serve him and the gyani in turn serves the Lord by giving you the knowledge about him and the yajna mode of worship)and by upholding this Dharma. Apart from this every act is to be done as duty in the spirit of yajna. In Brahma yajna, by your thought force, you attain Brahman (4-24) In pithru yajna, by the offer of shraddha and a spoonful of water, you make them more robust that they rise to higher realms from where they are able to bless your progeny to be free of diseases, particularly the genetic ones which ypu might have passed on to the next generation. In Deva yajna, the devas supporting this world, say, Vaayu in agni hotra, are nourished who in turn make this world better and livable. In Bhootha yajna, even the offer a mug-ful of water to the plant in your balcony and a handful of grass to a cow or food to a dog results in them giving something to the nature’s cycle which helps in sustaining that cycle. In manushya yajna (Let me not go in to the details of how Athiti is deva as per the vachan ‘athithi devO bhava’ as it is once again an exhaustive topic, but will sure write on that at an appropriate context), the sacrifice done is in the nature of not eating anything until a stranger (atithi is a traveler from an unknown place) is fed. Without feeding a fellow human being, one is not supposed to take his food. Thus we find that the concept of yajna in every action takes one to excellence besides maintaining the balance of nature. In contrast to this, the yajna in dharma or the sacrifice of the phala (fruits) of action leads one to Liberation. This is the gyana which bhagavan mentions in verses 4-33,& 34. When you understand that the things offered by you are not yours, you reach a state that you are not even the ‘doer’ or the one who offers. It is Him, by Him, in to Him and to attain Him (4-24). This is the process of gyana yajna.
  15. The ultimate yajna The clue for this is given in verse 3-13. Here there is a talk about offering something in yajna and consuming the remnant of it. When done like this, the doer is released of all sins. This is about the pancha yajnas to be conducted by every person irrespective of varna, desha and kaala differences. This has been happening right from the vedic times. They are known as 5 Great sacrifices (pancha maha yagya). They are Brahma yajna (sacrifice to Brahman), Pitru yajna (sacrifice to the departed ancestors), deva yajna (sacrifice to devas), bhootha yajna (sacrifice to plants and animals) and manushya yajna (sacrifice to man, popularly known as atithi bhojana). Every day a person is supposed to make some offerings , material or of mind to the Brahma, the almighty who is responsible for all this creation, to the pithrus or forefathers who have made possible our existence here, to the devas who help us sustain, as energies or natural forces around us, to plants and animals who do invisible service for our sustenance and to a fellow human being just for no motive at all. In other words, worshiping of Brahman, pithrus, devas and the world around us by offering something in the spirit of ‘na mama’ and offering with the same spirit food to a fellow human being who is in need of food constitute the five yajnas to be done every day. In the first four cases we do as thanks-giving and we receive something back. In the fifth yajna we go a step further where we don’t get anything tangible from the atithi (though he offers us his good will) and this makes it the best of the five. Puranas and epics have stories about how the offering done to the atithi under dire circumstances with the spirit of na mama has been considered as the greatest. The comparison, done by a porcupine with its back in golden hues, of Yudhishtra’s ashwamedha with the atithi bhojana done by a poor family which died with no food for itself by offering whatever little it had to the atithi is one of the finest examples of sacrifice of the best kind. By this sacrifice the family attained swarga. It is also said in the scriptures that these five sacrifices removes the sins incurred unknowingly and inevitably by a person when he (1) burns the firewood for cooking, (2) grinds flour in the grinding stone, (3) sweeps the floor, (4) breaks the grains and (5) boils water. In all these acts which are regularly done, many micro organisms and living things such as insects are killed. The 5 great sacrifices relieves one of these sins in addition to enabling him do the thanks giving by which the receivers help him in return. The one who does not offer like this is known as a sinner or a thief according to BG because you cannot take without giving back something. This is the idea behind any sacrifice.
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