Om Namo Bagavathe Vasudevaaya
3rd Chapter – karmayogaḥ
सहयज्ञाः प्रजाः सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजापतिः।
अनेन प्रसविष्यध्वमेष वोऽस्त्विष्टकामधुक्॥ १०॥
sahayajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā purovāca prajāpatiḥ |
anena prasaviṣyadhvameṣa vo’stviṣṭakāmadhuk || 10 ||
Meaning: Brahmaa, the creator, in the beginning created human beings together with Yajna and said: By Yajna you shall prosper and Yajna shall fulfill all your desires. (3.10)
सह = along with; यज्ञाः = sacrifices; प्रजाः = generations ; सृष्ट्वा = creating; पुरा = anciently; उवाच = said; प्रजापतिः = the Lord of creatures; अनेन = by this; प्रसविष्यध्वं = be more and more prosperous; एषः = this; वः = your; अस्तु = let it be; इष्ट = of all desirable things; कामधुक् = bestower.
Explanation: Lord is highlighting further the importance of YAJNA (rituals) in this shloka. As we have been discussing, the idea is to perform all actions in alignment with the sastras and lead a life invoking the blessings of the Lord. Here we will look at some more points on yajna.
As we saw in the previous shloka, sastras provide guidance for every pursuit of human beings in the form of rituals, irrespective of whether they are for one’s personal benefit or societal benefit. As long as the action is righteous, sastras (scriptures) provide their guidance. By uttering the words, that the creator, Lord Brahma (four faced one), said the following, the Lord is highlighting that humans different from the animals because of their discriminative intellect, are expected to use the sastras for guiding them in conducting their life. The reason being, the sastras (scriptures) keep the big picture always and accordingly, enjoins the seekers to perform actions. The sastras can be called as user manual for living.
When one approaches the sastras, they guide them for their personal wants, but highlights that they should also be performing some selfless actions along with the actions for personal benefits. By this way, they prepare a mind which can move away from being mechanical / impulsive towards being deliberating. In time the deliberation process will strengthen and being an individual endowed with the discriminative intellect, one will start to see the inherent defects in all those personal pursuits and will start increasing the share of selfless action. This is what is called as dispassion and is a prerequisite for realizing one’s true nature (that I am a complete person without any wants).
Another point conveyed here is, by using the word yajna, the Lord conveys a special meaning. As per sastras, to perform the rituals according to the sastras, one should have the wife along with him. Sastras don’t recognize any rituals done without the wife. The wife has equal part to play in these rituals along with the husband. First she has to give the permission for the rituals to be conducted, that is why, we might have noticed, and that the wife is always involved at the beginning when the permission is sought, when dakshina is given etc., the wife is called as “sakadharmini” because she is travelling the path of dharma (righteousness) along with the husband. All the merits accrued by such rituals are shared between the husband and wife, whereas the demerits belong only to the husband. The scriptures have identified the exalted status of the women in the society and it has not left any stone unturned to drive home the point, by representing the divinity through the various forms of Goddesses.
The marriage (vivaha) becomes important, as some vows are taken to lead a life of dharma and a vow to be a contributor to the society at large etc., Sastras have prescribed rituals for impregnation (garbaadhaanam), to beget a genetically sound baby (pumsavanam), to beget a dharmic child (seemantonayanam), recording the arrival of the child and representing them through the planetary positions (Jatesti or jaatakaranam), giving the name to the child (naamakaranam), giving the first solid food (annapraasanam), teaching the alphabets (aksharaabhyaasam), committing the child to the study of sastras (upanayanam) etc., Life’s journey is marked by rituals and when one goes away too, the son of the deceased is expected to perform the rituals what is called as anteshti. Apart from this they advise one on performing regular rituals such as sandhya vandhanam, samithaadaanam, agnihotram, and special rituals putrakaameshti (for begetting progeny), special prayers, for health, wealth, power etc., Thus the sastras provide guidance for all our actions.
Lord is highlighting here that one should perform these yajna’s as enjoined by the scriptures and prosper in life. And he further adds that these yajna’s can be compared to the celestial cow Kamadhenu, which can give one anything that is sought. In short, one will be devoid of any wants in the company of a Kamadhenu.
We will analyze the statement of the Lord little more. Yajna’s are the rituals enjoined by the sastras. Performing them one will accomplish what they want, be it material well being, be it progress in spiritual evolution. The individual is advised to perform selfless actions along with the actions for personal benefits. The role of such selfless action is to bring about a difference in one’s approach to living. In time the pursuit will change from being material to spiritual. Such change in approach will make one to become dispassionate, which in turn is the key for better understanding of oneself. Once the realization happens that one is not a limited person with wants which are temporary and one is a complete person. When this kind of an attitude is developed, then will there be any wants? There won’t be, because of the change in attitude. A wanting person has become a person with no wants. Therefore, the rituals which were instrumental in one becoming a dispassionate person, leads him to realize the truth and thus fulfills the primary seeking. Hence the comparison to Kamadhenu is made from this angle.
Lord will look at Karma from the angle of Dharma in the next few shlokas.