Om Namo Bagavathe Vasudevaaya
3rd Chapter – karmayogaḥ
देवान्भावयतानेन ते देवा भावयन्तु वः।
परस्परं भावयन्तः श्रेयः परमवाप्स्यथ॥११॥
devānbhāvayatānena te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ |
parasparaṁ bhāvayantaḥ śreyaḥ paramavāpsyatha ||11||
Meaning: Nourish the Devas with Yajna, and the Devas will nourish you. Thus nourishing one another you shall attain the Supreme goal. (3.11)
देवान् = Gods; भावयता = having pleased; अनेन = by this sacrifice; ते = those; देवाः = Gods; भावयन्तु = will; please; वः = you ; परस्परं = mutually; भावयन्तः = pleasing one another; श्रेयः = benediction; परं = the supreme; अवाप्स्यथ = you will achieve
Explanation: Here the Lord is highlighting the aspect of “Dharma” while performing the action. Emphasis is on performing the actions in conformity with the natural order present. There entire creation is governed by natural laws, which needs to be respected. There are laws of gravitation, laws of matter (governing all the elements and their atomic structure), energy laws be it anything (electromagnetism, light, etc.,), laws of relativity, concept of time, laws governing the movements of celestial bodies including Mother Earth.
Any observation will reveal to us that such natural laws are always active without any compromise minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day etc., Not only the laws, but everything in nature, performs its designated actions without any compromise. Animals including all that is created are following the natural laws and are in alignment with nature.
However, human beings having been endowed with the faculty of freewill are found to be acting not in sync with the nature. More often than not, we find the human race to be consuming from nature, without a care in its sustainability, and perpetuity for the future generations. Periodically, the need is being replaced by greed, which is a great bane for the entire human race.
Everything is provided for us, water, clean air, fire, earth to live on, space hosting all the bodies including our star Sun (our very life), all the plants for our well being. Availability of all of these in the nature is for the benefit of all the creation. In sanatana dharma tradition all of them are identified as devatas, worthy of propitiation and prayers.
All these are given for the benefit of all the beings on Earth, and needs to be shared and used appropriately. In the name of progress the humans, with their intellect are able to plan for the future and start putting aside for future and thereby hoarding the resources. Such behavior results in increased consumption, creating competition for the resources and that competition lead to loss of peaceful coexistence. Thus humans are capable of and are creating a big disturbance in the natural order.
The point highlighted in this shloka is, it is one’s dharma to live life in alignment with the natural order. One should remain a contributor to the society rather than a consumer.
Deforestation for industries should be checked, CFC emissions should be controlled, proper wealth management should be done to eradicate poverty, resources should be shared properly, water resources should be wisely used, energy should be drawn from renewable sources and energy from non-renewable sources should be eliminated, natural habitats should be respected and not encroached upon. This list can go for long.
The Lord here beautifully instructs that all humans should propitiate the devas (Gods) who are the givers of all that is there in creation. As said earlier, the natural order is equated to all the devas and that is what has to be propitiated. The Lord further says, such propitiation will ensure that the devas will do their duty properly, which is to continuously provide for the existence of the creation. What do we mean by propitiation? In Sanatana dharma, symbolic prayers are also given and an attitude of harmony with nature is also advised.
Agni is a devata of Fire, Vayu is the devata of air, Varuna is the devata of water, Surya is the sustainer of all life (Sun) and so on and so forth. Sanatana dharma elaborates rituals and prayers to invoke the blessings of all of them. Further it also emphasizes on harmonious attitude towards them.
The Lord is telling the same in this shloka, whereby he is advising all of us to lead a life of “Dharma”, which is a life in total alignment with the nature. By performing actions, without causing imbalance to the nature, one gets emotional maturity (Vairagya – dispassion) and after that interacts with the sastras and realizes his true nature which is the supreme goal.
Lord will dwell on this topic in the next couple of shlokas too.