Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nature of Creation and Sacrifice

“In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Vishnu, and blessed them by saying, “Be thou happy by this yajna (sacrifice) because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation”.” ……….. Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 3:10

Swami Brahmavadini Saraswati says “In Vedic literature, the concept of yajna has been fully expounded. It affirms the following principles. The phenomenal world along with the heavenly bodies is the physical manifestation of yajna. A well-organized state reflecting harmony and order is the image of yajna. Yajna symbolizes the purpose of human life which is giving, benevolent actions and service to fellow beings.”
There are three elements which are emphasized here. First is the deeper mapping of a cosmic process in a scaled down act. Second is the image of the cosmos and third and the most important is the meaning at the human level.

The evolving process of the manifest universe is one where there is continuous transformation of matter. Gases solidify into liquid and then into solids under the action of gravity. Then the intense action of gravity results in the supernova and in its dissolution all higher elements are dispersed throughout the cosmos. The process cycles through creation and dissolution billions of times. The fire of yajna transforms all ingredients into a fine dispersion evoking the altered state of consciousness through the action of the senses and the mind similar to the cosmic process through a release of inherent potential.

The image that is imprinted on the mind through the action of the yajna and the vibration of the chanting is the eternal image of an ever changing consciousness as manifestations through different modes of vibration. For example the physical body or sthula sarira is the vibration at the lowest frequency and the hierarchy of astral body (linga sarira), prana, manas, buddhi and atman are manifestations at higher frequencies. Atman, which is pure consciousness, is at the highest level and manifests itself as all pervading just as the smoke that arises from the yajna.

At the individual level, yajna or sacrifice signifies the continuous acquisition of material as well as intellectual acumen so that these resources can be utilised in the empowerment of all co-creation to reach their higher potential. Just as the fire in the firewood or the ghee (clarified butter) in the milk or the sweet scent in the sandalwood which are the essential ingredients of the yajna are the hidden and acquired potential, oevery human being must be transformed through a process of individual yajna.

This is how we come to know the all pervading Brahman in the inner most being of our existence, the subtle force behind all manifestations.
This is why Lord Krishna says: “Those in full consciousness of Me, who know Me, the Supreme Lord, to be the governing principle of the material manifestation, of the demigods, and of all methods of sacrifice, can understand and know Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even at the time of death”……
Bhagavad-Gita Ch 7:30

In Katha Upanishad, while propounding the meaning of the fire sacrifice Yama tells Nachiketa; “Both the individual self and the Universal Self have entered the cave of the heart, the abode of the Most High, but the knowers of Brahman and the householders who perform the fire sacrifices see a difference between them as between sunshine and shadow.”……
Katha Upanishad 1:3:1
To move from the state of a ‘householders who perform the fire sacrifices’ to a state of ‘the knowers of Brahman’ one has to understand the nature of oneness of individual self and the Universal Self.
The Nachiketa Sacrifice, as the fire sacrifice is named by Yama, is the determined search for knowledge (jnana) which stops not until the Goal is reached, which is the correct understanding as demonstrated by the results desired by the sacrificer through his act of yajna: the knowledge of Brahman.

This is the reason creation, which is the integration of all hidden potential at sub atomic level into matter, and sacrifice, which is the dissolution of matter into their subtle form, are integral and inseparable parts of all manifestations and this knowledge will lead to happiness and liberation.

Love to you all


  1. Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Gita?

  2. sfauthor, thanks for your appreciation. I have not used the Yogavidya resource so far. Thanks for the link.