Tuesday, September 22, 2020


In Bhagavad Gīta, Lord Shri Krishna explains yajna chakras in the Karma yoga chapter

Dr. Devakinanda Pasupuleti


ॐ स्वकर्मानुष्ठानभूम्यै नमः


(Svakarmānushṭāna: “One’s own duty, also called yajnam, svadharma)

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The Vedas are filled with mentions of fire rituals and sacrificial rituals. In Bhagavad Gīta, Lord Shri Krishna explains yajna chakras in the Karma yoga chapter. From the beginning of creation, God advised people to offer oblations to the fire God during yajnās and to the devatās in order to please them so that rains will fall at the proper times and cattle will give milk abundantly. He also explained vividly how each one is interdependent on the other. Life is born from food, we get food from rains and rains depend on our svakarmānushṭāna. The mantras in the divinely heard Vedas help priests to perform these rituals even today. This wheel of yajnās is also the wheel of the universe (jagat).

These offerings to the deities are also called “havyam” or “havis” in Sanskrit. There are four kinds of priests who can perform the fire ritual: Hotra, Atharvu, Udgāta; and Brāhmaṇa. These four kinds of priests are also called “rutvikkās”. The rules and procedure manuals can be found in Munḑaka Upanishad and other Upanishads.

However, in Bhagavad Gīta, Shri Krishna emphasizes that mental worship with concentration and purity of the mind is superior to elaborate rituals and external worship. Wikimedia Commons

The daily five yajnās are 1) Brahma yajna which is study and teaching of the vedas 2) Deva Yajna which is worshipping Divine and Cosmic powers 3) Manushya yajna which is helping fellow human beings and guests 4) Pitru yajna which is honoring ancestors and manes, and finally, 5) Bhūta yajna which is serving all living beings, making offerings to animals and other creatures. Though rare to find, even today you see a very few Vedic persons performing these five yajnas on a daily basis as ordained by the Vedas.

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However, in Bhagavad Gīta, Bhagavān Shri Krishna emphasizes that mental worship with concentration and purity of the mind is superior to elaborate rituals and external worship. Egoless and dispassionate surrender to God and realizing that “everything is Parabrahman” and seeing God in everything is the ultimate goal.

As we continue to perform the Vedic fire rituals for the welfare of humanity at large, our land deserves to be called “Svakarmānushṭāna Bhūmi.”



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