Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, sloka 28, part 2

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Sloka 28


Others offer wealth, austerity and yoga as sacrifice. Some others, the ascetics of self-control and rigid vows, offer study of knowledge as sacrifice.


***   continued from last week   ***

Yoga yajna:

Control of the wandering mind is “Yoga Yajna” and in Sanskrit we say “Chitta Vritti Nirodha”. “Vritti” means “diversions” and “Chitta Vritti” is diversions of the wandering mind. “Nirodha” means “Control.”

Constant practice of Raja yoga or Ashtanga yoga constitutes “Yoga Yajna.” Breathe control, using the technique of Patanjali’s Ashtanga yoga is said to be the way of conducting “Yoga Yajna.” (Refer to the last Sloka).

Swadhyaya yajna:

“Swa” means “self.”
“Adhyaya” means “study.”

Learning the scriptures with self effort or with the help of the guru is “Swadhyaya.” “Swadhyaya” also means “self-analysis”. Analysing the events that happen in the lives and learning lessons from the same is true Swadhyaya. Study of the sacred texts requires a great deal of self-preparation and this also constitutes Swadhyaya.

When such sacred acts are conducted with a spirit of sacrifice, it is known as “Swadhyaya Yajna.”

Jnana yajna:

Pursuit of the spiritual knowledge with total purity of the mind, speech and body is true Jnana yajna. This needs the critical analysis of that which is “eternal” and which is “transitory.” Adiguru Shankaracharya calls it as “Nitya Anitya Viveka Vicharana.” (Analytical knowledge and understanding of Self which is Eternal and the physical world which is transient.)

The Jnana yajna is offered as sacrifice by ascetics of rigid vows. (samshrita vrataha) “Sadhana” is spiritual practice and “Sadhya” is the attainment of the end result.

To become an Olympic runner needs a great amount of discipline and not everybody who undertakes such discipline will win the gold medal. Similarly not all the seekers succeed in attaining the “Moksha” in this life. It needs constant practice of all the above forms of yajnas. Once all the vasanas are cleared, which might take several births into this world; the seeker will be blessed with “Moksha.”

With the ultimate aim of achieving salvation, several vows are taken by the different seekers. True Jnana is to make sure that the vows do not become acts of blind rituals.

The Lord used the word “Yatayaha” to describe such seekers. Yati’s are those who live the life of asceticism by constantly working to burn their existing vasanas and not acquiring any more new vasanas by their actions.

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