Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, sloka 30

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Sloka 30


Others with well regulated diet sacrifice life-breaths in the life-breaths. All these are knower’s of sacrifice whose sins are destroyed by sacrifice.


So far a total of 12 different types of yajnas have been enumerated and of these the last Sloka and the present Sloka deal with control of breath and diet. Breathing and eating are two of the most important actions we conduct and they are for our survival. It is therefore important we understand these clearly.

Well regulated diet:
In chapter 17, verses 8, 9 and 10 we get detailed description of the foods that are either good or harmful to our body.
Doctors and dieticians stress on the importance of a healthy diet.
Basically the food we eat should meet the following requirements:
Moderate in quantity
Earned by righteous means
Eating at the proper time and place
Offered to God with recitation of prayers and
Offered to the needy and other forms of life.

By this type of control over the food the mind remains pure and if the mind is pure the seeker will experience the spiritual illumination.

This is because the food we eat is converted into energy and energy is needed for our daily activities including discharge of our spiritual duties. Unhealthy food and food habits disturb the concentration of the mind needed to conduct all the activities.

The verse says:
Sacrifice life-breaths in life-breaths.

Let us analyse as to what it really means.
It is a fact of life that life lives on life. We should therefore learn to dedicate our life to the service of the cosmic life which is nothing but the various manifestations of life on earth.

Yajanvidaha is another word we come across this Sloka. It means “the knower’s of the 12 types of sacrifices” enumerated so far.

Whose sins are destroyed:
In spiritual practice, sin is applied to that action which hinders the path to Liberation. Sins are one type of actions we perform. As we have studied so far, thoughts are precursors of actions. The thoughts are the vasana imprints on our mind. Destruction of the entire vasanas accumulated over so many births by the acquisition of knowledge and conduction of actions according to the knowledge acquired is the pre requisite for Liberation. “Sins are destroyed” means simply the destruction of all the accumulated vasanas.

The disciplines practiced in the 12 types of yajnas will lead to Self-realisation.

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