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Real meaning of sacrifice(Yajna) is God...

[Question: A devotee  asked why the Lord is said to be Yajna Swarupa in the Shivapanchakshara Stotra (Yajnaswarupaaya jataadharaaya…)]

Answer by Shri Datta Swami: 

There are two forms of God. The absolute form is unimaginable. The relative form is imaginable with which the unimaginable form gets identified by homogeneous pervasion (Vaashyam). The relative form is also the same God since the first form identifies with it like the current getting identified with the wire in which it flows. The second form, called as mediated God, is always finite due to the boundaries of the medium. You should not call the first form as infinite (taking the contrary word of finite) since infinite is also imaginable like the cosmic space. The first form is unimaginable, which is beyond finite and infinite. 

Now, the present subject is that the sacrifice (Yajna) is God. If you take God, here, in the unimaginable form, the sacrifice is certainly God because every part of the sacrifice can be the same unimaginable God since this is possible for the unimaginable power of omnipotent God. In this line, there is no possibility of any analysis since unimaginable God is beyond analysis. But, the unimaginable God does not pervade any sacrifice to get Himself identified with it, even though such possibility is possible. Generally, the unimaginable God enters the energetic body or human body to become the incarnation to preach spiritual knowledge in the upper world and in this world respectively. The entry of God in inert statues is also denied by the Veda and not to speak of inert activity like sacrifice. Hence, this possibility is ruled out even though it is not impossible to the unimaginable God.

If you come to the second line of explanation, God should be taken in finite definable form. The same God can exist as definable form and indefinable form (Nilayanamchaanilayanam cha— Veda). The explanation for the co-existence of the same God is explained above with the example of electrified wire. Here, in the prayer on Lord Shiva, it is said that Lord Shiva is the sacrifice, who has channelled hair (Jataa). The adjective indicates that God is in the finite form. Lord Shiva is the energetic incarnation of the unimaginable God and thus is in finite form. One finite form cannot be the other finite form due to the spatial gap existing between the two finite forms. If this gap disappears since all these finite forms become one God, these finite forms lose their identity and then the sacrifice will be without its characteristic parts. Since we are discussing about the finite forms existing in the imaginable domain, the analysis is a must. The different parts of the sacrifice like doer, material sacrificed, the fire receiving the material, the receiver like human incarnation etc., are also finite forms only differing from each other due to the interim gap. In such case, neither the finite energetic incarnation like Lord Shiva nor the finite human incarnation like Lord Krishna, cannot be the sacrifice composed of finite parts. Hence, the finite energetic medium like Lord Shiva cannot be the sacrifice.

Now, the concluded concept is that neither unimaginable God nor the mediated God can be the sacrifice. The scripture also supports this point in straight way as we see in the Gita, which says that sacrifice is born from the practical activity (Yajnah karma samudbhavah), the practical activity is born from the Vedic scripture (Karma Bramodbhavam...) and Veda is born from God (Brahmaakshara samudbhavam). According to this, the sacrifice is the grand grand son of God and hence, itself cannot be grand grand father. Here, the Veda is said to be Brahma. The word Brahma is used for God. If the Veda is Brahma and if the Veda is born from God (Akshara), this means that God is born from God.

How to correlate the point mentioned in the prayer on Lord Shiva, which is similar to the above point that the Veda is God? In the Veda, several other items of the creation like food, mind, analysis, knowledge, respiration, space, light etc., are also said to be God (Ref. Brahmasutra—Adhikaranams). Hence, this is the basic issue of several such topics. The way of solution for all these contexts is to find out the sense for which the word God stands so that such sense can be applied to all these items of creation. The word ‘God’ (Brahman) means greatest (as per its root word) or highest or most sacred etc., God is greatest in the entire creation. The creation contains certain categories of items. One category is books or scriptures. In the category of scriptures, the Veda is highest because it is preserved by way of recitation from one generation to other generation avoiding the possibility of insertions in the absence of printing technology. 

The word ‘God’ gives the sense that the Veda is highest in the category of scriptures. When you say that God is highest in the entire creation, the same word ‘highest’ is used in this category also. The president of the country and the president of village use the same word ‘president’. Similarly, the sacrifice is the greatest practical activity in the spiritual path since there is practical sacrifice of material to the deserving receivers. The common word is ‘greatest’ (Brahman). In the olden days, the activity done to lit the fire was also very very hard. Cooking the food on the fire and sacrifice of it to the deserving devotees was considered to be the highest in those days. Debates in the spiritual knowledge were conducted in the hut of each sage on rotation. Serving the cooked food to all the devotees was the most important and most sacred practical step (Karma Yoga). The lit of fire and cooking food were standing for the sacrifice of work (Karmasamnyasa). Serving the food material earned by the sage was considered to be the sacrifice of fruit of work (karmaphalatyaaga). Lord Dattatreya also attended such debates to give the concluding remarks. He was offered food in the beginning and such worship of God was called as Yajna. The word Yajna comes from a root word ‘Yaja’, which means worshipping the Lord in human form along with His devotees.

The verse in the Gita (Brahmaarpanam...) stating that submission, ghee, fire, doer, goal and the activity are God also should be understood in the above light. Hence, in this verse all the items mentioned must be understood as greatest or most pious since the total Yajna is the highest step of practical philosophy. The word Agni should be taken in the physical sense while the process of cooking takes place and the same word should be taken in the sense of its root word (Agri) meaning the first person to be worshipped with food. The hunger-fire of the receiver of food should be also taken in the sense of divine Agni (Vaishvaanara). If you take the Agni everywhere in physical sense only and burn the food in the physical fire, such sacrifice is opposite to God and becomes the worst activity. Food is created by God to pacify the hunger of all the living beings and not to burn it and cause pollution leading to natural calamities. Hence, the most important aspect of the sacrifice is to give food to a hungry living being and if this aspect is absent, the sacrifice is not greatest and most pious, which becomes lowest and worst due to lack of knowledge. Hence, the sacrifice of knowledge is greater than such worst material sacrifice (Shreyaan dravyamayaat... Gita). If the sacrifice is performed in the real sense, the practical sacrifice is certainly higher step than knowledge since the implementation of knowledge in practice is the real Yajna that alone brings the divine fruit.

The creation of God is also referred as God. Here, again, the creator, the process of creation and the product of the process of creation (world) cannot be one item only, in which case, there cannot be process and product. Hence, in this context also, the process of creation done by God should be taken as the greatest and most precious work. In the Gita also, God says that every greatest item in a category is Himself only. Here also, you should take that every greatest item in a category is greatest as far as that category is concerned. Such interpretation applies straight to every context without any twist or difficulty in application. Such concept of interpretation exists in this world also. The teacher says that a specific book is the Bible for a student in a specific subject. It means that that specific book is as important as the Bible for a Christian. The word ‘Bible’ carries on the sense that it is the most important. It does not mean that the specific book itself is the Bible in its characteristic form (Svarupa) since the same alphabets exist in the Bible as well as the specific book!

The Lord is always kindest

The Lord is always kindest and is interested in the happiness of all the human beings that are His children only. Gita says that the Lord is the father of all the living beings (Aham Bija Pradah Pita). The father always tries to favour His children and likes to see His children to be always happy. Originally only good path was created and all the human beings were permanently happy forever.

There was no trace of sorrow in their minds. That was called ‘Kruta Yuga’ or ‘Satya Yuga’ in which the deity of justice was standing on four legs. But in due course of time the continuous happiness started boring the human beings. One cannot eat sweets continuously. This reminds the “Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility” in Economics. They were bored and started feeling unhappy. Their minds were disturbed due to continuous happiness.

Therefore there was a need of break in the continuous happiness. That break can be only sorrow, which can be the fruit of sin only. Therefore the chilies were needed as breaks in the continuous eating of sweets.

Only for the happiness of His children, the Lord created the sin. He gave freedom to the souls so that they commit the sins and earn the chilies. Then the Lord arranged the life cycles by keeping sweets and chilies alternatively. Such arrangement alone can bring the real permanent happiness without boring. If it is continuous winter, you will get bored.

Summer is necessary. If it is continuous daytime it will be boring. Night is necessary. Even in the food the Lord created both sweets and chilies so that His children will enjoy the meals without boring. While eating the food, people will eat sweet dishes and hot dishes alternatively. Similarly the life cycle was arranged. Therefore creation of sin originally by the Lord shows only the infinite kindness of the Lord for His children.

Even if you have done two sins continuously, He is not giving the results of those two sins subsequently. In between these two sins a sweet result of good deed is penetrated so that the whole life cycle is an alternative arrangement of sweet and hot dishes i.e., results of good deeds and bad deeds. Such arrangement also shows the infinite kindness of the Lord for His children.

But what are you doing? You are pestering the God by showing false love through words (prayers) and mind (devotion) for removing the chilies and for getting sweets continuously. Since your love is not true, the Lord will not interfere with the theory of Karma, which says that one must enjoy the results of good and bad deeds. Therefore when you are pestering the Lord He is bringing the sweets from your future cycles as pre-matured fixed deposits with reduced values.

He is postponing your present chilies to the future cycles with added interests. Therefore as you are passing through the life cycles you are slowly entering such life cycles in which you are finding many number of chilies and less number of sweets. Remember that your future cycles are going to be full of chilies only without a single sweet.

In such life cycles the Lord cannot help you even if you cry to any extent. Then you are loosing your faith in the Lord and you will do sins only in such life cycles. Such sins will create further life cycles full of chilies only. Like this a chain reaction is set up and there is no end for such cycles of chilies and finally you will be born as a worm in drainage, which continuously undergoes misery only.

By doing rituals and doing certain worships and donations as suggested by astrologers, your sin is not cancelled and you will not get the fruit of a good deed, which was not done by you. These rituals suggested by priests and astrologers are of two types. 1) Trying to please the Lord by prayers (words) and devotion or meditation (mind). This type resembles the path of a prostitute who tries to please a person by words and feelings only to get some fruit from that person practically.

2) Trying to please the Lord by sacrificing work (Karma Sanyasa) and by sacrificing fruit of work (Karma Phala Tyaga) for getting some fruit from the Lord in return. This is the type of business of a merchant in which you give something and take something in return. In both these ways your future sweets are only brought to this life cycle and your present chilies are pushed to your future life cycles, because your love in these two ways is completely false.

In true love you will do Karma Sanyasa and Karma Phala Tyaga without aspiring any fruit in return. Of course sacrifice of words and mind to the Lord without aspiring any fruit in return is good, but cannot bring any fruit from the Lord. When you sacrifice words and mind, you are getting peace and pleasure in your heart and that it self is the fruit for that. When you are working in a field you are singing a song.

The owner of the field will pay for your work only but not for your singing. The work alone can bring the fruit, which is called Karma Yoga that consists of Karma Sanyasa and Karma Phala Tyaga. While doing Karma Yoga you may chant or sing or express devotion for your peace and your happiness only. That cannot bring any fruit from the Lord. EX: Suppose you work in the field for one hour and sing the songs for another hour without doing the work, the owner will pay you for one hour only and not for two hours.

There is only one path to get rid of the fruits of your sins and to get the fruit of good deeds, which you have not done. When you serve the Lord in human form here in this world, the Lord in human form will transfer your sins upon Him and will suffer for your sake. As a servant of the Lord, you are entering the second cycle called ‘Deva Yaana’ or ‘Jyothir Marga’ as explained in Gita. You will go to Brahmaloka along with the Lord and derive continuous happiness here and there in the presence of the Lord.

But in this path you should serve the Lord without aspiring any fruit and even this path. Such selfless service consists of Karma Sanyasa as done by Hanuman to Rama and Karma Phala Tyaga as done by Gopikas by offering butter to Krishna. In this path recognition of human incarnation of the Lord is very very important. The Lord comes in every human generation. Otherwise the Lord becomes partial to a particular human generation.

Hanuman and Gopikas never worshipped statues or photos of previous incarnations or the Gods present in the upper worlds like Brahma, Vishnu, Siva etc. In human body only, the Lord can enjoy your sins really as any other human being. Then only He can do the justice to the Law of Justice. Otherwise in the form of a statue or a photo He cannot enjoy your sins and therefore the Lord is never entering the statue or photo as said in Veda ‘Natasya Pratima Asti’.

Therefore the original creation of sin by God cannot be blamed. In fact it shows His infinite kindness to see His children to be really happy with alternative enjoyment of sweet and hot dishes.

Attitude of various people to service of God

There are three persons.  One takes the entire salary for his day-to-day expenses without any saving for the old age.  The second person takes some salary for expenses and saves some for old age.  The third person saves the entire salary for the old age and leads a simple life by doing some side work because the old age needs lot of money for curing illness etc. All these three are not different in the view of the employer because the basic selfishness is one and the same.   

Similarly, one serves God only for the happiness in the world. The second person serves God for this world and also for the upper world.  The third person serves God only for the upper world and in this world he leads a simple life by doing some work for lively hood.   All these three are not the real devotees.  Shankara says that a real devotee should serve God without aspiring anything in return in this world as well as in the upper world (Ihamutraphalaviragah…..).  This is a very clear point for the real love as can be observed in the worldly life also.  The parents love their children and serve them without aspiring anything in return from them and hence the paternal love is said to be real and pure.  On this point, no scripture is needed as evidence because it is a very much-established point even in the worldly affair.  

Devotion with selfishness should be avoided

Therefore, when the human being loves God, naturally such selfish love only flows towards God. The human being thinks that its devotion to God is very pure and of very high level. No doubt, it is of very high level, but the entire love is impure only. The magnitude of anything with minus sign is to be condemned more and more only as its value becomes more and more. You should not appreciate the intensity of the devotion of a demon because such intensity of devotion is directly proportional to the intensity of his selfishness only. 

In this aspect, there is no difference between a human being and demon. This concept of the devotion is not known to the human being and hence, it thinks that it is the greatest devotee. In fact, it is not even one percent devotee because its devotion is with negative sign. This point should be clarified to the devotee. Therefore, God gives difficulties and miseries to the devotee. In such case, the devotion vanishes away. Then the devotee will realize that his devotion is only instrumental but not ultimate. The devotee should not try to increase his devotion because the devotion is in negative sign.

The purpose of God giving misery to the devotee

Therefore, the first step is to transform the devotion from negative sign to positive sign. The positive sign is to love God without aspiring any benefit or happiness in return. For this purpose, God gives misery to the devotee. By this, one should not misunderstand that God is not associated with bliss and is associated with misery only. The context here is to preach the devotee to purify his devotion. This should not be mixed up with the other context that God is always associated with bliss. The very fact that God is associated with bliss spoils the devotees to get attracted for getting bliss from God. The root meaning of the word Durga is that the God is to be gained through misery (Duhkhena gamyate iti Durga). The meaning of this word contains all the above analysis.

The design of the World

            The word ‘Sat’, meaning the existence, denotes the basic inert energy, which was created by God in the beginning. It is the power of the God, which is wonderful and hence is called as Maya, which did not contain any design of the world. Before the creation of this power, God alone existed (Ekameva… the Veda). This inert energy developed the design of the world, when it is associated with its special form called as awareness. The association of any property with any item is only due to God and should not be claimed as the characteristic of any entity. 

Any property becomes characteristic of any item as long as God wishes. This was proved by God to all angles in the Veda, where God appeared as Yaksha. Thus the energy (sat) acquired this property of awareness (chit) by the will of God only. Since I used the statement “will of God”, you should not say that God is awareness. God is unimaginable and is the source of all items and all associated or characteristic properties. God need not be awareness to wish. This logic applies to all the items of the creation. If some created item wished, you can say that, that item should be awareness. God is the source of awareness. Awareness is only a property or a special work form of energy. Both the energy and awareness are created by God. God is the root source.
 
            ‘Sat’, which is the inert energy existed in the beginning before the first creation (Sadeva – the Veda). It is also called as ‘Asat’ (Asadvaa Idam - the Veda) because the design was absent in it. When the ‘sat’ acquired ‘chit’ property, the design of the world was created in it (Tatovai sadajayata – the Veda). The first word ‘sat’ denotes the inert energy. It is also called as ‘asat’ due to absence of design. The second word ‘sat’ denotes the design, when the energy acquired the ‘chit’ property. All this is about the stage before the first creation.

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Okay so I stank on my goal last week. :-(
Week 3: Pray for nations on Prayercast.com (in addition to praying for lost people local to me). 
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Week 2: Pick one person, couple, or family who is not yet saved and spend 15 minutes everyday praying for their salvation. 

Week 1: Make sure to do something evangelistic (or study evangelism) every day, or at least every week. If you can't witness to someone, pray for them. 
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