Bhagavad-gītā 3.8–13

May 20
New York


Prabhupāda: So we were discussing that everybody should work. 

niyataṁ kuru karma tvaṁ
karma jyāyo hy akarmaṇaḥ
śarīra-yātrāpi ca te
na prasiddhyed akarmaṇaḥ
[Bg. 3.8]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.8

Perform your prescribed duty, for action is better than inaction. A man cannot even maintain his physical body without work.
yajñārthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra
loko ‘yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya
mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara
[Bg. 3.9]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.9

Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage.

Now, this is the formula of spiritual realization, that we should not stop our working capacity, the prescribed duties in which we are engaged. That is not to be stopped. If we stop work and spiritual realization, for spiritual realization, we leave this world and go to the jungle or Himalaya and sit down there for meditation for spiritual realization, oh, how many people will be ready to do this thing? No. This is not for mass people. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is prescribing something practical which can be adopted by every one and all, without any distinction. This point we have already discussed in the last day’s meeting, that whatever you may be, it doesn’t matter. You can realize the highest perfection of life, provided you work under the regulation of yajña. Yajñārthāt karma. There is no harm working, but the work should be done for the Supreme Lord, Yajña. Yajña means Viṣṇu. Because according to laws of nature, any work you do, it has got some reaction and we are bound up by those reactions. The Vedas also says, karmaṇā baddhyate jantuḥ, karmaṇā baddhyate jantuḥ, that “All living entities, they are bound up in the material encagement on account of their different kinds of karma, or work.” But here is the point, that you shall not be bound up by the reaction of your karma if you act it on behalf of Yajña, or Viṣṇu, or the Supreme Lord. That is the secret. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra. Anyatra. 

If you do not work for that supreme perfect, then you will be bound up and your, this encagement of body will continue. This encagement of body will continue if you work on your own responsibility and not for the supreme purpose of the Supreme Lord, Yajña, or Viṣṇu. That is the secret. Yajña means yajño vai viṣṇuḥ. It is śruti. Śruti means the Vedic literature, the Vedic hymns. They prove it, “Yajña means Viṣṇu.” Viṣṇuḥ tu sārthaṁ karma samācara.[?] Therefore we have to work for the satisfaction of Viṣṇu. That is called Yajña. 

saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā
purovāca prajāpatiḥ
anena prasaviṣyadhvam
eṣa vo ‘stv iṣṭa-kāma-dhuk
[Bg. 3.10]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.10

In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Viṣṇu, and blessed them by saying, "Be thou happy by this yajña [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you all desirable things."

The proof of the sacrifice, yajña, is mentioned in the Vedic scripture. After the creation, it was so announced that “If you want to be happy, you must perform sacrifices.” Sacrifices. 

The Vedic literature is created for guidance of the conditioned souls. Every living being who is in this material world is conditioned by the laws of material nature. And it is a chance, this creation, and especially this human body, is a chance to get rid of this material entanglement. And the chance is open by acting for the satisfaction of Viṣṇu. Saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā. Prajāḥ. Prajāḥ means the living entities, after being created, they were advised that “You perform yajña, or sacrifice, for the satisfaction of Viṣṇu. That will…” Anena, “By this,” prasaviṣyadhvam, “you increase your enlightenment.” Prasaviṣyadhvam. “And whatever you want, that will be satisfied by this yajña.” Devān yajña. That sacrifice. 

devān bhāvayatānena
te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ
parasparaṁ bhāvayantaḥ
śreyaḥ param avāpsyatha
[Bg. 3.11]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.11

The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you; thus nourishing one another, there will reign general prosperity for all.

Now, yajña is practically… According to the Vedic rituals, yajña, or sacrifice, is offered to different devas, demigods. There are hundreds and thousands of demigods mentioned in the Vedic literatures, and the whole portion is called upāsanā-kāṇḍa. Upāsanā-kāṇḍa means worshiping different demigods. But what are these demigods? The demigods are just like different parts of the whole body of the Supreme Lord. They are, so to say, just like the government of the king. There is one king, but there are many state officers. Just you can imagine that if for management of a city like New York you have got so many departments… As soon as we go to this chambers, we get so many departments: criminal department, civil department, and so many departments. So for management of these universal affairs, there are different departments also, so far we can get information from the Vedic literature. And each department there is a particular director. And Brahmā is considered to be supreme director of this universe. So this yajña, sacrifice, by Vedic rituals, they are indicated to pay different taxes to different demigods. But the Supreme Lord is above all. Therefore if one performs sacrifice for the Supreme Lord, he is immune from other obligations. That is also mentioned. 

devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇāṁ
na kiṅkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
[SB 11.5.41]

Now, as soon as a living being is born in this material world, he has got many obligations. He has got obligation to the different demigods. Why obligation? Now, because just like the sun is also one of the demigods. He is supplying you light, so you have got some obligation. Don’t you have any obligation? If you have got obligation to the electric powerhouse for supplying this light, which you are enjoying now, have you got no obligation to the sun who is supplying so much profusely light? Yes, you have got. The Vedic literature confirms it that you are indebted to the sun. Similarly, you are indebted to the moon. Similarly, you are indebted to air. And so many things we are taking advantage of the supernatural power. So we are actually indebted. Similarly, we are indebted to the ṛṣis, great sages, because they have left behind them all this Vedic knowledge. You are taking advantage. Just like this Bhagavad-gītā, or any scripture, any book of knowledge. 

So we are indebted. Deva, ṛṣi and bhūta. Bhūta means ordinary, general living beings in our dealings. Suppose if I go to consult some lawyer, I have to pay. If I want to consult some medical practitioner, I have to pay. So this is obligation. This is no mercy; this is obligation. Similarly, we are obliged in so many respects—to the supernatural power, to the sages, to the ordinary living beings, and to the animals also. Because we are drinking milk from the cows, so we are indebted. But instead of paying our indebtedness, we are killing. You see? These are all reactions. We are creating reactions. If you don’t pay bill for the electricity for a many long time, your electricity will be cut off. Your telephone will be cut off. But we must be conscious of our indebtedness to so many things. 

Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇām [SB 11.5.41]. Pitṝṇām means the family in which you have taken your birth. You are indebted to the forefathers. Therefore, according to Vedic rites, in certain time you have to offer respects to your forefathers. Śrāddha ceremony. During the month of October there is a general śrāddha ceremony in India. So we are indebted to the forefathers. Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇām. 

So we are in so many ways indebted. Our obligations are there. But sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ gato mukundam, na ṛṇī na kiṅkaraḥ. The Bhāgavata says, “If somebody fully surrenders unto the Supreme, Mukunda…” Mukunda means one who can offer you liberation from this material bondage. He is Mukunda. So if one surrenders fully unto Kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa is Mukunda—then he is no longer any more indebted to all these obligations. He is immune. At one stroke he becomes liquidated from all obligation. And in the Bhagavad-gītā you will find this statement confirmed in the last portion of Bhagavad-gītā. The Lord says that ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi: “If you surrender unto Me…” Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 18.66

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
. The Lord says that “You have not do. You have to do nothing. You simply surrender unto Me.” Sarva-dharmān parityajya. “You have got so many obligations; it is right. But it is impossible for you.” Of course, there are systems how to liquidate your obligation. But especially in this age, oh, who is going to satisfy the demigods? Who is going to satisfy the forefathers? Who is going to satisfy the so many obligation with ordinary living being? Nobody is going. But if you don’t satisfy your indebtedness, then there will be reaction. But if you surrender unto the Supreme Lord, you will be protected from all reaction. Therefore it is very easy. By one installment we become free from all obligation. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyaḥ [Bg. 18.66]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 18.66

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.

Pāpebhyaḥ. Pāpebhyaḥ means the reaction of sins. Now, if I don’t repay my indebtedness to the persons to whom I am obliged, then I have become sinner. I am sinner. Just like I owe to you $100 or $1,000. I don’t pay you. So then I become a culprit in the consideration of the state law. I have to pay you. Similarly, all indebtedness has to be liquidated. If you are unable to liquidate, then you will be a sinner. But you can save yourself from the reaction of all sins if you surrender unto the Supreme Lord. Sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam. You have got some duties, but if you give up all your duties and simply surrender unto the Supreme Lord, then you are liquidated at once. This is the version of Bhāgavata and this is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa, that “If you surrender unto Me, giving up all your other obligation, then I shall give you all protection.” Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi [Bg. 18.66]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 18.66

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
. Now, if I am protected from the reaction of my sinful acts, but it does not mean that I shall surrender unto the Supreme Lord at the same time continue to act sinfully, no, not that. Or if I am obliged to continue, the God, or the Supreme Lord will protect me. That is the version. Therefore everyone should act yajña. Yajña means work to satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is called yajña. If we do not do that, then we shall be obliged. Otherwise… “Otherwise” means the act which is done for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, that is immune from all reaction, but anything which is not done for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, that will oblige me in so many bondage of obligation, and I will have to repay that after many, many continuation of this repetition of births and deaths. That is the secret of life. So, 

devān bhāvayatānena
te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ
parasparaṁ bhāvayantaḥ
śreyaḥ param avāpsyatha
[Bg. 3.11]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.11

The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you; thus nourishing one another, there will reign general prosperity for all.

And if you live your life for sacrifice, sacrifice of yajña, then you will never be unhappy. You’ll never be in want. We become unhappy for want of things which we require. This is practical. This is practical. Anyone… You will be surprised. 

I have taken practical information. In 1942 there was a manufactured famine in Bengal by the manipulation of the then government. It is for the first time we experienced that India… In our childhood, when we were children, at that time the first-class rice was selling three dollars for 82 pounds. Can you imagine? Three dollars. Not three dollars, I mean to say, dollar is exchange. Say, for less than one dollar, three-fourth dollar. Three rupees. Three rupees. The exchange of dollar and rupees is: five rupees make one dollar. Now, it was selling at 3.8. So about, I mean to, 75 cent. 75 cent for 82 pounds of best rice. I have seen it in my experiencing of life. When I was a boy in India it was selling. Can you imagine that? But that rice all of a sudden rose in 1940, ten dollars. Now, just imagine if something, the price of something, is raised from 75 cent to ten dollars, how difficult it becomes for the public, for general mass of people. So so many people were in difficulty, and so many people died for want of food, diseases, famine, because when there is want of food… But you will be surprised… I inquired in 1942. Persons who were in our line, I mean to say, engaged in devotional service… I also purchased at the same time. I had… In my family life at that time, I had some responsibility: my self, my wife, my five children, servant, and so many, about ten people. And I was purchasing rice. So anyway, management was going on. But so many people died. But you will be surprised. Those who were in some way or other in touch with the devotional service, I inquired from them individually, and I was satisfied that they were not in difficulty even in that famine circumstances. Even from the villages I inquired that “Were you in difficulty?” They replied, “No, we have no difficulty. Some way or other, we are managing.” So this is practical. Anyone who is engaged in the devotional service, whose life is dedicated for service of the Supreme, you will see practically that there will be no want, there will be no unhappiness. This is a fact. This is a fact. So 

devān bhāvayatānena
te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ
parasparaṁ bhāvayantaḥ
śreyaḥ param avāpsyatha
[Bg. 3.11]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.11

The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you; thus nourishing one another, there will reign general prosperity for all.

This Vedic injunction is also like that, that “You do sacrifice for the Supreme. Then you will never be unhappy. You will never be in want.” Now, mind that, that the work is not stopped. The work in which you are engaged, that is not stopped. We have discussed in the previous verse that niyataṁ kuru karma tvam. The work which is entrusted to you, or the work in which you are now engaged, that is not to be undone. You work as you are doing. But you engage your, the result of your work or life for the matter of sacrificing for the Supreme Lord. 

There is a very good example in the life of the Gosvāmīs, whom we daily pray, vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau. These Six Gosvāmīs, they were very important men of their age five hundred years before. These Rūpa and Sanātana, they were great politicians, ministers, of the then Mohammedan government in Bengal. In Bengal at that time the Pathans were ruling. Before the Moguls came, there were Pathans ruling. For one thousand years the Mohammedans invaded India, from 1000 A.D. up to 1947, till the end of the British period. India was under subjugation by so many foreigners: Mohammedans, Greeks, and so many others. Lastly, the Mohammedans ruled for eight hundred years. And the Britishers ruled for two hundred years. So now they have got independence, India. So at that time the Bengal was being ruled by the Mohammedans, Pathans, and their entrusted ministers were these Rūpa and Sanātana. They were converted into practically Mohammedan. Hindu society was very strict at that time. Still they are very strict. Anyone serving a foreigner, he becomes at once ostracized. He is at once, I mean to say, rejected from the social intercourse. So these brothers, Rūpa and Sanātana, because they accepted Mohammedan rulers’ service as minister, they were outcasted from the… They were actually brāhmaṇas by caste. 

Some way or other, these Rūpa and Sanātana contacted Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and they retired from their service and joined. And after all, they became the most important leaders of this movement, Rūpa and Sanātana. Now, this Rūpa and Sanātana, when they retired from their service, they brought home gold coins. At that time there was no currency notes. Actual value gold coins were in… Now, that gold coins was about two and a half ounce weight. Just like imagine what is the value now, whatever it may be. That means the estimation is some millions of rupees they brought home after their retirement. And they divided the money in this way: 50% for God… Whatever they accumulated, they set aside 50% for God or God’s service. God means God’s service. God is not want of your money. [chuckles] He is quite competent to earn money. He doesn’t require anything. But if we give, it is our interest. It is our interest. So he set aside 50% of his accumulated money for God, 25% for the relatives, family members, and 25% he kept in some village banker or the original bankers, for emergency. 

So that was the system. We can see from great sages and ācāryas that whatever we earn… According to Bhagavad-gītā, it is said, yajñārthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra. Whatever you earn, yat karoṣi yaj juhoṣi. The result of your work should be offered to the Supreme. Now, if it is not possible to offer the whole thing to the Supreme, so at least one should offer 50% of his income for God’s purpose. That is the example we get from these ācāryas. So 50% for God, 25%… Of course, the relatives, they expect something from the father or the chief of the family, some, I mean to say, gift. They expect something. But according to these ācārya rulings, the gift was only 25%, not that whatever money I have got, I leave to my family and go singlehanded to God. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham [Bg. 4.11]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 4.11

All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.
. If God asks you, “What you have sacrificed for Me? You have come to Me.” “No Sir. I have sacrificed everything for my family. For my family.” That is not good. That is not yajña. Yajña means… Now, if you cannot spare your money separately for God’s service, then you can engage yourself in God’s service and expend the money for God’s service. Don’t offer your money in other’s hand, but you spend yourself for God’s cause. That will make you perfect. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra. That is explained in the next śloka. 

iṣṭān bhogān hi vo devā
dāsyante yajña-bhāvitāḥ
tair dattān apradāyaibhyo
yo bhuṅkte stena eva saḥ
[Bg. 3.12]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.12

In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajña [sacrifice], supply all necessities to man. But he who enjoys these gifts, without offering them to the demigods in return, is certainly a thief.

Now, iṣṭān bhogān, whatever you have got for your subsistence, you should know it is given by God. Now, say for example these grains. The grains, they are given to you by God for eating. You cannot manufacture grain in your factory. You have manufactured or set up so many factories for manufacturing tools, machinery, motor cars, and so many other things for your comfort. But there is not a single factory in the whole world which can manufacture wheats, rice, grains, or vegetables, or something like that. So we should consider it that these foodstuff which we eat daily, they are produced by God’s mercy, or they are given by God, iṣṭān bhogān hi vo devāḥ, God or God’s agent, whatever it may be. 

Tair dattān. And if you take from… Even you produce, even you produce from your land, that is also God’s mercy, because for agriculture, for example, if there is no rain, you cannot produce anything. Now, rain, you have no control over rain. We shall come to that point in the next śloka. But if you perform yajñas rightly, you’ll have got, you will have sufficient rains to produce everything. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira’s reign, his kingdom, his government was conducted in that way. Profusely, the nature was producing profusely. How profusely he was benefited by nature’s gift, that is stated in the Bhāgavata. I shall recite that, I mean to say, verse before you and explain to you next. So iṣṭān bhogān hi vo devā dāsyante yajña-bhāvitāḥ. If you perform this sacrifice, then your necessities will be supplied profusely by the agents of the Supreme Lord. So mind that always, that we are not going to be idle. We shall go on with our work, as we are doing. But at the same time, we must perform yajñas, or sacrifice for the Supreme. Then we’ll have sufficient for our necessities. And now, after having sufficient of our necessities, if we don’t acknowledge or don’t give the taxes of obligation, feel our obligation, then, He said, tair dattān apradāyaibhyaḥ. 

Now, God or God’s agent is supplying you so many things, and if you do not acknowledge or repay by sacrifice, then what is your position? Yo bhuṅkte. “One who enjoys,” stena eva saḥ, “he is a thief.” He is a thief, therefore, punishable. As a thief is punishable by the state law, similarly, one who takes advantage of these natural facilities and do not acknowledge it and do not offer sacrifice to the Supreme, then he is considered to be a thief. It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, stena eva saḥ [Bg. 3.12]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.12

In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajña [sacrifice], supply all necessities to man. But he who enjoys these gifts, without offering them to the demigods in return, is certainly a thief.
. So yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ. So, we are becoming debtors and debtors life after life in this way, and the only way to liquidate our so many debts is to perform yajña. 

Now, there are different rituals of yajña. If we want to perform such yajñas for sacrificing clarified butter, grains, there are different, so many kinds of yajñas. It is not possible in this age. For this age, the particular type of sacrifice which is recommended, we had some sample of it yesterday in our, this loft. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ [SB 11.5.32]. In this age it is very difficult to perform all those rituals. First thing, it is very difficult to obtain all the ingredients for sacrificing method. And people are not very well to do. They cannot secure also. 

The symptoms of the people of this age is also described, prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ. Prāyeṇa, in this age people are generally short living. They are not living for more than sixty or seventy years. Formerly they were living more than hundred years. Gradually their duration of life is decreasing. And it is stated also that it will decrease to such an extent that any man who is living from twenty to thirty years, he will be considered a very old man. That is also stated in the Bhāgavata. Of course, that has not yet come, but it will come in this age. So the symptoms of the people of this age are described, that people are of very short life. 

Prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ mandāḥ. And they are very lazy and slow. Slow and lazy means that they do not know that this life is meant for spiritual realization. So they are very lazy—“All right, spiritual realization we shall see later on. Let us enjoy life. That’s all.” So this is a great disqualification of the human being, that they are not wake up for spiritual realization, lazy, mandāḥ. And manda-bhāgyāḥ. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayaḥ. 

And if somebody is at all interested for some spiritual enlightenment, then, unfortunately, mandāḥ sumanda-matayaḥ, they adopt some spiritual method which is not recognized. Spiritual realization with relationship with God is no spiritual realization. The whole spiritual realization means one must understand his relationship with the Supreme Lord. But generally in this age they want to avoid the conception of God, and at the same time, they want to be spiritually advanced. Therefore they are called sumanda-matayaḥ, a, I mean to say, a very degraded form of spiritual realization, without conception of God. Sumanda-matayaḥ, mandāḥ, lazy, and if they are at all interested in some spiritual realization process, they try to avoid the conception of God. 

Sumanda-matayaḥ and manda-bhāgyāḥ. Manda-bhāgyāḥ means unfortunate. People of this age, mostly they are not very fortunate. In any part of the world, they are not very fortunate. They do not get things, desirable things, very easily. Our desirable things are four things for living purposes: āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. Eating, sleeping, and defense, and mating. These are our generally, so far our body is concerned. So these things are also not easily available. So mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā upadrutāḥ [SB 1.1.10]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.1.10

O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.

And at the same time, in spite of all these disqualifications, they are always disturbed in mind. Why disturbed? Now, they are… Roga-śokādibhiḥ, for some lamentation and for some disease. So this is the condition of the people of this age, and it is very difficult for them to follow the system of sacrifice which was being performed in the older days. 

Now, for them, in this age, Lord Caitanya recommended this sacrifice, this saṅkīrtana-yajña which we are trying to perform here. Saṅkīrtana. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ [SB 11.5.32]. Now, those who have got better brain, they will adopt this process of saṅkīrtana-yajña for satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. That will be helpful for the men of this age. That is recommended in Bhāgavatam. 

Now, either you adopt this yajña or that yajña, according to your capacity, but you must have to perform yajña. Without yajña, you cannot be happy. 

yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo
mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ
bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā
ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt
[Bg. 3.13]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.13

The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.

Now, pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt means cooking. The cooking is the most important business of our life. Cooking… Nobody… A human being… We are not cats and dogs, and every human being has to cook things for eating. Now, this eating process… The Lord says that one who takes the eatables after the sacrifice, then he becomes free from all kinds of sinful reactions. And one who cooks for himself, for enjoyment, then he eats all kinds of sins, all kinds of sins. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santaḥ. Santa. Santa means saints and sages. They do not take anything without offering yajña. At least, whenever you take something, if you offer the same thing to the Lord—“My Lord, it is by Your grace I have got this eatable. You kindly accept it and I shall take the remnants”—this is yajña. This is also yajña. 

Just yesterday we prepared some food cooperatively and offered to Lord and performed saṅkīrtana, and we took it. This is the simplest process of performing yajña. Because we require food, so this was done here in this loft as a matter of example. But you can do it in your home also because you are cooking for your children, for yourself, for your wife, for family members. Now, if you cook nicely things which are to be offered to the Lord… Of course, we must be careful to prepare foodstuff, because we are going to offer to the Lord, and we must offer things which is acceptable by the Lord, at least. Of course, Lord can accept anything and everything. He is quite competent because He’s all-powerful, almighty. But still, in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said—the Lord says—patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: [Bg. 9.26]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 9.26

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.
“Anyone who gives Me these four things: patraṁ, puṣpaṁ, phalaṁ, toyam… That means grains, vegetables, and flowers, fruits, all these things. Anyone who offers Me, I take that, offers with, tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam, with devotion.” Not that God is hungry, and therefore He is hankering after your offering of foodstuff. Not that. He is quite competent. He has got many things to eat. It is practically His things we are eating. So, but still, if we prepare foodstuff in that way and offer to the Supreme Lord, then, after offering, if we take, then we become free from all sinful reactions. 

That is stated here, yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante. Mucyante means he becomes liberated, freed from. What is that? Sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ: “All kinds of sinful reaction.” That’s all. [break] 

They must be eating only sins, only sins. So we have to suffer the sinful reaction also. Ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt. 

Now, the thing is… Now, it is very easy, work. You are going to the store. Just like yesterday, or day before yesterday, Mr. Carl and Mr. Paul went to some store: “Oh, tomorrow it will be yajña.” So the things were purchased with the purpose of performing. The same thing, we are purchasing from the store, but we are thinking, “I shall eat.” That… If you transfer that epithet only, that “This is… We are purchasing things for God’s eating,” so there is no loss on your part, but you perform yajña. You perform yajña. This practice has to be done. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ. If you practice this simple thing, then you become free from all sinful reaction. And if you don’t do this, then what happens? Now, bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpāḥ. One who does not do this, he eats only sinful reaction, and he has to pay for that. He has to suffer for that. Pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt. He has no relation with the Yajña or Viṣṇu, but he thinks that “I shall eat.” 

So the beginning of the process of yajña in this age can be very easily done by everyone, either he is family man or single man or anyone. Everyone has to cook for himself. Now, that cooking may be done for the Supreme Lord. And after cooking the foodstuff, offer it to the Supreme Lord and perform this yajña, saṅkīrtana, 

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare,
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

[My dear Lord, and the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service. I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.] 

Then you become free from all sinful… After all, whatever we are doing, we are committing some sort of, even unknowingly, even unknowingly. 

There are recommendation in these Vedas, pañca-yajña. Pañca-yajña means that unknowingly we are killing many living entities. Suppose we are… When we are walking on the street there are many ants who are being killed on the pressure of our shoes. So that is also counted as sin. In God’s kingdom, in God’s, I mean to say, state. Just like here you have to pay by your life if you kill one man. If you commit a murder, you have to repay this murdering sin by your own life. That is, of course, imperfect law, man-made law. Similarly, in God’s law also, if you kill any living entity, you have to suffer for that, because in the God’s eye there is no question of man or animal or ant or fly or something like that. Every living entity is the son of God. Now, suppose your father has got five sons. One of them is worthless, is doing nothing. And if the other son says, “My dear father, this son, your youngest son, or this son, is worthless. He is doing nothing. Let us kill him,” will your father agree? Because he is worthless, will your father agree? No, he will say, “No, no, no. You have nothing to do. He is not harming you. He is eating my, my subsistence. I am paying for his subsistence. Why you should kill him?” So similarly, in this material nature, all these living entities in different forms, they have come for material enjoyment and everything is being supplied by the Supreme Lord. We have no right to kill them. We have no right. According to God’s law, if one is conscious… The same thing: Just like the father will never agree to kill a worthless child by the competent boy… No. 

So consciously or unconsciously, we are committing. Suppose I am not willingly killing any animal, but unconsciously I am killing so many living entities by my walking, by my so many things. They are called pañca-yajñas in the Vedic… So, and even if we do not kill animals, simply by eating vegetables, they are also life. It does not mean that vegetarians are not killing. They are also killing. The law is that a living entity lives by killing other living entities. That is the law. Those who have got hands, they are killing those who have got legs. Just like man is killing animal. The animal is eating the grass, those who have no legs. So this is the law. But our thing is that we have to offer yajña. Killing of animal does not mean that if a man kills a cow or goat for eating, he is killing, and those who are vegetarian, they are not killing. They are also killing. A vegetable has also got life. So it is not the question of killing. It is the question of offering yajña. It is the question of offering yajña. 

Even animal eaters and flesh eaters, they have also some process for offering yajña. In the Vedic process, even the flesh eaters, they are also prescribed that “You can perform yajña like this.” That yajña must be there. Yajña must be there. But so far we are concerned who are going to have Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we have to take the instruction of Kṛṣṇa as He says in the Bhagavad-gītā. He says that patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam [Bg. 9.26]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 9.26

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.
. He is asking foodstuff prepared from vegetable kingdom. Therefore we have to prepare things from vegetable kingdom nicely and very palatably and offer Kṛṣṇa and then take it. This yajña will make us free from all kinds of sins and our life will be sublime. Thank you very much. Any question? [end]