BHAGAVAD GITA chapter 5 verse 29 reads:

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśhvaram suhṛidaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śhāntim ṛichchhati


Meaning provided by link: Knowing Me as the enjoyer of all sacrifices and austerities, the great lord of all worlds ,friend of all beings, he attains peace.

My confusion: what is the meaning of "sacrifice and austerities?" What type of sacrifices? What type of austerities?

My thinking: I think that the sacrifice means leaving your native-land and living in the Jungle. For example, Sadhus sacrifice their comfort and their home and live in the Himalayas.

Also, 'austerities' mean hard ships

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    The boundless manifestation (of the entire universe) is caused by an eternal yajna(sacrifice) conceptually. In the context of upanishads , BG, a sacrifice/austerity is one that is internalized (adhyatmik).Here, It is a mental process of sacrificing some lower attachments , or of perfecting the mind depending on ones tendencies / capacity, that yields the purification of mind(chitta shudhi).Many such sacrifices are detailed in chapter 4.( done using mind).like contribution of wealth, yoga , tapas, restraining senses and mind, scheduled food intake , pranayama, and much more
    – Athrey
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


The same verse is translated slightly differently by Prabupadha books:

The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.

Now, the following notes may help you interpret the passage:

  • 'Me,' in this case, is Krishna.
  • 'Sacrifices and austerities': You are right that 'austerities' mean hardships, but 'austerities' can also specifically refer to the penance that monks and other ascetics do.
  • 'Material miseries' are the miseries that people suffer as a result of chasing wealth, fame, etc.
  • peace= relief, respite
  • pangs= woes, difficulties

Thus, a slightly better-phrased translation would be:

The sages attain relief from the woes of material wealth, because they know that I, Krishna, [the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities] am the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities.

And what is meant is that

People have been taught that material wealth is what brings peace. But that is not true- People who have read and understood the Bhagavad Gita know that true peace comes from this knowledge: Lord Krishna is the beneficiary of all human activities. Everything that men do on earth is done for Lord Krishna. Men should dedicate themselves to his service, for he, Krishna, is the lord of all the planets and all the people on them. No one is greater than He.

Under the spell of illusion, humans try to rule the Earth, but in reality, both Earth and its people are dominated by Krishna's energy. Unless and until one understands these facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world.

Krishna is the supreme lord of the universe, and all living entities are his subordinates. One can attain true peace only once they have acknowledged this completely.

So, from what I've understood from this passage, the sacrifices and austerities are the actions of man and of sages. But those aren't quite exactly the subject of the verse.

You can read the full analysis here, my answer here is just a shorter, summarized version of that.

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