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While explaining Karma Yoga to Arjuna, Sri Krishna says:

देवान्भावयतानेन ते देवा भावयन्तु वः।
परस्परं भावयन्तः श्रेयः परमवाप्स्यथ।। 3.11

Meaning: You nourish the gods with this. Let those gods nourish you. Nourishing one another, you shall attain the supreme Good.

इष्टान्भोगान्हि वो देवा दास्यन्ते यज्ञभाविताः।
तैर्दत्तानप्रदायैभ्यो यो भुङ्क्ते स्तेन एव सः।। 3.12

Meaning: Being nourished by sacrifices, the gods will indeed give you the coveted enjoyments. He is certainly a theif who enjoys what have been given by them without offering (these) to them.'

अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः।
यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः।। 3.14

Meaning: From food are born the creatures; the origin of food is from rainfall; rainfall originates from sacrifice; sacrifice has action as its origin.

My doubt is whether Sri Krishna, by using the word "Yagna", was referring to Pancha Yagna - Deva, Pitr, Manushya, Bhuta and Brahma Yagnas (or) the Yagnas that we all see in movies?

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Typically when someone says "Yagnya" (or "Yajna"), we visualize following or something similar:
yajna

To avoid such impression, many translators use the word "sacrifice", which is also famous in various Sanskrit dictionaries.
But, then we imagine following:
sacrifice

In this case, Shri Krishna is not talking about such limited scoped aspects. Because, in today's time, it will be easily rejected by the most populace, as such activities don't render anything.

  • "Homa Havana" is only 1 type of "Yajna", but not all
  • "Bali/Ahuti" is only 1 type of "Sacrifice", but not all

Anyone resorting to such activities in today's time, might be considered TAmasik (ignorant), if done blindly.


He is talking about all the eras, past-present-future.
The correct interpretation for lord's words about "Yajna / sacrifice" should be "To put Efforts", viz. endeavour.
Keeping this in mind, let's see better translations of this verses by Gambhirananda:

BG 3.11 - You nourish the gods with this. Let those gods nourish you. Nourishing one another, you shall attain the supreme good.
BG 3.12 - Being nourished by sacrifices (i.e. efforting), the gods will indeed give you the coveted enjoyments. He is certainly a theif who enjoys what have been given by them without offering (these) to them.
BG 3.13 - By becoming partakers of the remembers of sacrifices, they become freed from all sins. But the unholy persons who cook for themselves, they incur sin.

Here it's also important to note that "Deva" means those natural elements, which have divine properties (Daivi sampadA). Certain combinations of 5 elements water, fire, earth, air, wind -- are considered divine. Ex: river, mountain, rain, wind, cows/animals, parents, ...
In brief, the lord is suggesting to appropriately contribute in running the "Nature cycle".

In old times, there were different sacrifices to preserve these divine cycles. In modern times, we are supposed to sacrifice our laziness & ignorance to achieve same objective.

One interpretation may look as following:

  • 3.11 -- If we put efforts in planting trees, save water, avoid various pollution, then the rain cycle (Varuna deva) and wind cycle (VAyu deva) will be preserved;
  • 3.12 -- These natural elements will in turn give us good crops & refreshing air for better livelihood; Those people who pollute these elements for short term gain are thieves, because they lack efforts in the preserving the system
  • 3.13 -- Those who eat after working their jobs (i.e. sacrificing leisure), would become free from related sins (e.g. cutting crops or killing animals for their food); But those who don't work in this social structure, would be incurring sin

Beyond the "Nature cycle", I think these verses can be interpreted for all the "Systems", which are supposed to be run well. Every contributor has to act their duty to be able to benefit fairly from the system.
These systems can be family, society, nature, office, or anything.

  • Yes, I think so. Being a part of the NATURE, we have to contribute to its nourishment. @iammilind – srimannarayana k v yesterday
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It is not talking about the Panchamahayajnas because not all of them involve offering oblation in fire. It's about the normal Agnihotra or the offering to the Gods that is made through fire. This is also known as the Vaishwadeva-offering.

See similar verses from the Manu Smriti:

3.75. Let (every man) in this (second order, at least) daily apply himself to the private recitation of the Veda, and also to the performance of the offering to the gods; for he who is diligent in the performance of sacrifices, supports both the movable and the immovable creation.

3.76. An oblation duly thrown into the fire, reaches the sun; from the sun comes rain, from rain food, therefrom the living creatures (derive their subsistence).

So, as you can see 3.75 is talking about oblations that are made to Gods or deities into the household fire of a twice-born. Such oblations are supposed to create rain and from rain, food/crops, that nourish creatures, are eventually grown as per 3.76.

So, it's talking about the Agnihotra or the Vaishwadeva offering.

  • Deva Yajna=Sacrifice done for gods.. But Agnihotra is something different.. it refers to sacrifices done in the household fire of the twice-born.. these fires are to be maintained permanently ..and there are more than one such household fires..@UdayKrishna – Rickross May 21 '18 at 6:36
  • Upvoted, but still not satisfied with the answer. Can you improvise it,please?@Rickross – srimannarayana k v yesterday
  • Thanks @srimannarayanakv but I don't know what can I do to improve. What do you suggest? – Rickross yesterday
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Among all Yajnas the greatest is 'Japa Yajna'. The chanting of name of God.

God says so in verse 25 of chapter 10 of Bhagvat Geeta. Read the link : https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/chapter/10/verse/25

Bhagvat Geeta is not a Tantrik book to describe yajnas n all performed to please different deities. It is a song straight from God's heart which guides us who are confused in life just like Arjuna.

Japa Yajna is so simple yet powerful that one can burn all of the bad karma in it. Thus by burning all bad karma one becomes eligible for the manifestation of God Conciousness and by practicing the different Yogas described in Bagvad Geeta one attains true Moksha or Mukti.

In Japa Yoga, there are certain levels based on the place of body through which the japa is performed.

Level 1. Sajivha Jaap (Japa done by speaking it) Level 2 . Ajivha Jaap(japa performed in mind without speaking it)

The level 2 japa is very important.

In Ajivha Japa when one goes deep and deep he realizes that after certain extent japa becomes so effortless that he starts hearing it even without performing japa actively.

The great Admirer of Japa Yajna was Saint Ramdaas from maharashtra, Guru of King Shivaji.

He says in his writtings 'राम करतो आमचा जप आम्ही करतो आराम' This means that Lord Rama does Japa for me n I relax all the time.

Thus Japa Yajna is a true and supreme Yajna of all Yajnas is what Lord appears to be saying in Bhagvad Geeta!

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  • Being nourished by sacrifices, the gods will indeed give you the coveted enjoyments. He is certainly a theif who enjoys what have been given by them without offering (these) to them.'
  • From food are born the creatures; the origin of food is from rainfall; rainfall originates from sacrifice; sacrifice has action as its origin.

Sri Krishna seems to be talking about "animal sacrifice" to Agni.

YajurVeda has lots of descriptions. See: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/wyv/index.htm

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