In the Rig-Veda (10/7/6) it is said:

O one with a divine nature! On your own you must perform Yajna/worship of demigods present in your intellect and surrender to them. What can a rank ignorant person do to you who are mature and pious? Just as you worship demigods, based on various seasons, so too, you have taken birth from supreme purity. Worship your body.

O one with a divine character-perform Yajnas. Generally 5 Yajnas are daily performed by us all. Naimitika Yajnas too are performed during various seasons, festivals, Sanskaaras, programs, charities etc. Today the Lord of Vedas calls on you to perform a Yajna which is different from the Nitya and Naimitika Yajna spoken of above. This Yajna will be very special. And it is Abhyaas (practice) Yajna.

Where exactly will this Yajna be performed? Who will be its doer? For which demigod will this Yajna be performed? With which materials will this Yajna be performed? All these questions must be pondered over deeply. Since this Yajna is very special its methodology too must be extraordinary. In this very Mantra the Vedas have given its observations thoroughly. It says: You must perform this Yajna on your own i.e. you will be the Hotaa, Yajmaan and Purohita too. The region where this Yajna will be performed is Dvividha Loka or the head/scalp. This Yajna will be performed for demigods. Which demigods? The answer is those demigods who via divine sentiments reside in your soul. In place of Yajna materials you will have to offer your self and entire being. Lord of Vedas commands you to perform this Divine Yajna. O one imbued with divine nature! O soul who has emanated from the Supreme Almighty Lord! You can definitely perform such a Yajna. This is because you are spiritually mature. You are pure hearted.

The Bhagwad Geea (3/10/12) says:

Prajaapati/Almighty God after creating all living beings via Yajna said: I command that all of you progress and may this Yajna fulfill all your wholesome desires. Demigods pleased with your Yajna will give you desired comforts/materials unasked.

Demigods fulfill our desires because man himself alone cannot do so. The means to fulfill desires are generated but means are also culprits as far as augmenting desires are concerned. You may amass umpteen means yet even the biggest amongst them will pale significantly in comparison to the mob of desires. You get one object the desire for a second one is right round the corner. You may amass a great deal of wealth, honor, respect, property yet, the mind never gets satiated. Mind’s desires never get fulfilled totally and as a result it harbors discontent, agitation, stress and a great deal of lack. Hence at this juncture it is the demigods who can ward off such a dire situation. These demigods appear from Yajnas and being pleased they fulfill our desires.

Demigods are none other than divine sentiments/leanings. They live in Diu Loka i.e. Brahmarandhra in the scalp/head region. When man is immersed in sacred sentiments like compassion, love, friendship, service, cooperation, oneness of soul etc he/she gets such a high stature divine bliss which can never be compared to all the sense merriments of this world like material comforts, wealth, pride social status etc put together. One who has not tasted sugar finds great pleasure in jaggery. At the moment, man is immersed in worldly desires but if he/she gets to ‘taste’ tastier and juicier bliss, he/she will automatically give up lowly worldly desires. This transformation now leads to total satiation of all desires. The moment divine sentiments, divine wisdom and divine light pervade the psyche the latter’s veil of ignorance/darkness is destroyed to naught. Always be mentally alert and abstain from allowing it to go in wayward directions. A small child while visiting shopping malls gets enticed by various toys and cries out for them. But his parents accompanying him know that these items are not meant for adults and will not even glance in that direction. When we buy something we see its utility value and our matching requirements too. Unlike small children they will not get lured by superficial coloring and bright packaging. The same child when it grows into an adult is no longer lured and enticed by fancy colorful toys. When the truth dawns in his/her psyche on maturing all such childish desires vanish. Similarly those desires that agitate a person full of spiritual blindness calms down when divine wisdom and light manifest in his soul. Now he/she realizes the transient and fleeting nature of sense pleasures and worldly attractions. This is because now divine sentiments and wisdom rule the roost in his/her psyche. The taste of divine bliss in the soul calms down all agitations pertaining to sense pleasure based desires. Such a divine peace enfolds the soul wherein that individual no longer desires anything. In this manner demigods or divine sentiments satiate and calm down all our yearnings especially the worldly type.

When exactly do these demigods or divine sentiments augment a great deal? How are they awakened? How do they become latent in the first place? In one voice both the Bhagwad Geeta and Shrutis give an answer: Demigods are pleased via Yajnas. Sacred and wholesome actions are called Yajnas. Such actions strengthen our divine sentiments. If we merely think about all this, keep imagining, ride high on clouds of thoughts, keep planning etc nothing much will accrue out of it. Simply thinking about a cake and not actually eating it is not going to satiate your hunger pangs. In order that hunger is satiated a plate of food must be served before us and actually swallowed by us. No doubt great actions nourish our divine sentiments. Just as 2 wheels of a cart, helps the cart to move so too, knowledge and action make up ones material/spiritual endeavor. Yajnas augment demigods. The potency of demigods and divine sentiments strengthens when sacred selfless actions are executed. Hence if we aspire to experience the bliss of satiation of all our desires it is imperative that we perform Yajnas and selfless actions which manifest demigods and divine sentiments.

Those divine sentiments that manifest in our psyche must translate as sacred actions in the world. We must alertly search for negativities and shortcomings of our psyche. Perform such actions that ward off these mental taints from their very roots. For example if you have the habit of getting up very late in the morning make sure that you go all out to rise up early at the crack of dawn. Take help of a loud ringing alarm or some family member to wake you up punctually. In this manner slowly but surely your adverse habit of getting up late will be warded off. This counter action of getting up early with a strong resolve overcomes the negative action of getting up late. In the same way when great qualities are to be imbibed deeply use your power of strong resolve. The mind will try to obstruct you yet calmly strengthen your will power and sure enough the goal will be well within your reach. It is with a bit of difficulty that our minds take interest in self study, self introspection, selfless service, spirituality etc. And yet if we make a firm resolve using our Sankalpa Shakti daily we can form this habit and thus now it will be in our very nature to perform spiritual practices. Sankapla means a resolve to reinstate divinity in our psyche. How can this be achieved? It initially starts with Mantra chanting and is a Yajna too.

For this Yajna what are the required materials? Shrutis opine: O one created from the Supreme! O prince of Almighty God! Perform Yajna of your very body. With money we buy Yajna materials from shops and by giving preceptor-gifts/Dakshinaa we call Agnihotras and Mantra chanters. But this cannot be done in a Spiritual Yajna. In fact in this Yajna we have to offer our body and entire being. By merely offering wealth we cannot ‘buy’ knowledge so too love too cannot be ‘bought’. Neither can we ‘buy’ righteousness nor divine wisdom. In this great Yajna our very soul has to be sacrificed with a smile on the face. The mind has to be mastered and hard work has to be executed by the body.

Do not give undue importance to your physical body. Do not bother much about your 5 sense organs running after their respective objects. Forget about the mind’s material desires. Ignore your inner yearning and aspirations. Instead immerse all these in the Yajna of sacred activities. The Vedas proclaim: O pious one! O pure hearted one! Perform divine Yajnas for demigods. Immerse your body and mind in Yajnas of sacred activities. Complete this great Yajna by offering your soul nay very being.

O great soul! After listening to this proclamation and command of the Shrutis do not hesitate. Do not fear that your old habitual nature will obstruct you from walking on the path of selflessness and self sacrifice. The social network of past friends will create obstacles and ‘advise’ thus: ‘Give up sacred actions. Do not walk on the path of self sacrifice and selfless service to the world. This path is full of thorns and hence that age old path of hoarding and sense merriment is ‘supreme’”. Do not ever fear such obstructions. Do not hesitate and aver because of such foolish ‘advice’. Such people must be ignored because their so called advice is erroneous and laced with ignorance. Such lowly obstructions can never stop you from marching ahead on the supreme path of selflessness. How can such rank lowliness affect you? If you ignore it how can it ever harm you? It is in your supreme interest that such erroneous tainted ‘advice’ be ignored hook, line and sinker!

Vedas proclaim: O world humanity! You have descended from the supreme and certainly not lowliness. O man! You indeed are divine and not one to be looked down upon. O man! You are sacred and not impure. Hence act in accordance with your soul grandeur and glory. Perform those Yajnas that augment demigods. In this Yajna immerse your whole being. Thus your entire life will become Yajna manifest. In days of yore the deep import of Yajna was not simply restricted to scriptural discussions or self study. In fact endeavors were made to make every arena of life Yajna incarnate. Anyone whose aim was materialism too was taught to make even such pursuits Yajna manifest.

Lord Shri Krishna while elucidating the importance of Yajnas says in the Bhagwad Geeta:

Via Yajnas you must appease all demigods-powers of the entire cosmos that bestow well being. If you please demigods it follows suit that they too will please you. Thus by pleasing each other you all will attain supreme well being doubtlessly. This is because demigods pleased via Yajnas will bestow on you both material and spiritual joy. As a word of caution, if you enjoy these comforts without first offering to demigods you will be labeled a ‘thief’. This is because you must offer all that you have attained via pleasing demigods to them again and then enjoy them. Thus the wheel of enjoyment will move unhindered. Pleasures attained via Yajnas only can bestow on mankind both material and spiritual prosperity.

In our country-India right since time immemorial this tradition has been pursued with. Agnihotra is a means merely to draw the attention of the lay public to the precept of selfless service. It is an open truth that the more man harbors cooperation, love, compassion, generosity etc towards society the more he himself will gain these great qualities back from society. This is verily the true basis of attaining eternal joy.

Suppose someone is very wealthy, he/she is very good looking and healthy but if there is no one to love him/her, no one helping him/her then life becomes meaningless, insipid and virtually lifeless. Benefits accrue to human beings only when he behaves exactly with others as he expects others to behave with himself. Others will love us only to the extent we selflessly love others (Newton’s 3rd law of motion: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction).

Take the example of a joint family. Ones wife, small children and younger siblings are not that useful as far as earning wealth is concerned. Despite this the head of the household nurtures and rears them with love, affection and compassion even more than the love he has for his own self. The same head of the household who becomes aged as time goes by experiences the gratefulness from his children and younger siblings who themselves have entered adulthood. Even in this old age a person lives in an atmosphere of love and respect from his family members. The more mankind utilizes his material/spiritual powers for world well being the results too will be that much more beneficial for him.

Ordinarily the arena of sacred actions is believed to be the institution called ‘family’. But if we delve deep into the nature of mankind’s bodily and intellectual prowess this arena is very limited. Almighty God has given humanity many glories and powers so that they protect, propagate and help advances other weak intellectual creatures of this world. The periphery of good will based activities must not remain limited to our blood relations and in fact must flow towards entire world humanity and other living beings. All glories generated by mankind with God’s grace must be utilized for sacred divine endeavors. When anyone uses his/her existence, capabilities, power, means and skills like Almighty God to make the world heavenly and joyous he/she actually attains the true goal of human life by attaining self/soul fulfillment.

If all this is not done there is no one more ungrateful than world humanity amongst all the creatures of Almighty God. Whatever is attained by human beings in this world is a sacred gift Yajna with its blessings. It means that others have generously helped us attain whatever we own today along with our social status. The father via his sperm and mother via her egg, blood, flesh and loving nourishment helped us take birth in this world. Teachers and preceptors blessed us all with a sound education. The books we read and study have been published after hard labor put in by a big team of professionals. Had they not put in great effort and time of theirs in publishing books you and I would have been rendered illiterate fools. It is society that has helped us own clothes, food, house etc. If they have generously helped us it is but natural that we too generously help nurture society for its all round well being. Anything less than this would obviously mean that we will be labeled ‘thieves’ in the world. If both individual and cosmic gains are worked out in tandem life’s fulfillment can be ours for keeps. But if only selfishness rules the roost life will be insipid and full of lack. Not only this, but that from all corners selfish people face insults, censures, lack of help and so on and thus the ultimate result is nothing but strife. Those who are rank hoarders full of selfishness never see their desires fulfilled and because they do not even give a ear to others’ sage advice reap nothing but anguish/agony. Behind this innumerous obstacles and obstructions are conjoined.

There is only one solution to overcome such sorrow and that is living a life of Yajna. Agnihotra is only its symbol and although it is important the fact remains that man must cultivate qualities like renunciation, selfless sacrifice and generosity. Via good actions leaning towards piousness man must advance himself. Via his talents and capabilities he must in a cooperative manner help augment others’ joy, peace and comforts.

Scriptural literature gives many examples wherein as long as Yajna tradition persisted in the land of India there was joy and peace everywhere. In the Bhavishya Purana’s author describes the social conditions of ancient eras as follows:

O King! In this country definitely each village has a temple and in every region Yajnas are conducted. Every household is replete with various material comforts. No one is poverty stricken. Every individual over here is spiritually inclined.

It has been India’s past tradition not to imbibe anything devoid of Yajna attitude. The basis of that lifestyle was sacred sentimental give and take. Today because this tradition of Yajna living has been perilously ignored everywhere there are signs of downfall and stress. Society is agitated, tense and in order to overcome them the lone solution is imbibing true Yajna tradition.

Author's Bio: 

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