[Advaita-l] On Karma yoga - Part II - The Secret of Success

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 24 04:42:21 CST 2005

We discussed in part 1, the panca mahaa yagnas that one has to do for
his purification. Now we will discuss a broader meaning that Krishna
provides for Yagna.  

The Secret of Success:  Along with karma yoga, Krishna reveals the
Secret of Success in this chapter.  It is embedded in the spirit of
yagna.  If an individual, a society, organization, or even a nation has
to succeed, it has to follow this recipe. Krishna warns that if this is
not followed, it will be doomed.  You can see why Bhaarat was enslaved
by the foreigners. 

Krishna says in chapter 4 there are various types of yagnas that one can
do.  Thus, he provides a broader meaning for what yagna stands for. 
These include dravya yagna, tapo yagna, yoga yagna, svaadhyaaya yagna,
jnaana yagna, etc. Krishna says of all yagnas the best is jnaana yagna –
since the end goal of all yagna-s is jnaanam or knowledge only – sarvam
karma akhilam paartha jnaane parisamaapyate.  

Yagna involves ‘sacrifice’.  It is sacrificing ones own ego. 
Ultimately, it is sacrificing the ‘kartRitva bhaava’ or notion that I am
a ‘doer’.  Fulfillment of that sacrifice is the understanding, the
knowledge or jnaana, that ‘I am never a doer, while all the doings are
being done in my presence’. 

Yagna also involves a cooperative endeavor, where a collective action is
involved for the completion of the action to its fulfillment. Combining
all these aspects, we can define yagna as ‘a cooperative endeavor that
is done in complete self-sacrificing mode for the benefit of the
totality’.  At body level, the spirit of yagna involves a cooperative
endeavor of all the components – body, mind and intellect – in
self-sacrificing mode (each component sacrificing) for the benefit of
the totality i.e. the individual. This involves a complete integration
of the individual as one unit. This is what is called 'aarjavam' or
straight forwardness. Manasaa, vaachaa, karmanaa - what I feel, what I
say and what I do - there is an integration of personality as one - no
crookedness any where. Success is ensured only if there is such an
integrated effort or yagna. At a family level, it involves cooperative
endeavor involving all the components of the family – father, mother,
all children – in individual self-sacrificing mode for the benefit of
totality (family); then family will prosper. At an organizational level,
it involves cooperative endeavor involving all the members of the
organization, from president all the way to the servant, in complete
self-sacrificing mode for the benefit of the totality (organization);
then organization will prosper. This is true at the national level and
true at the international level.  In fact, Krishna declares all actions
have to be done in the spirit of yagna. Otherwise, the action itself can
become bondage – one cannot but act and action without the spirit of
yagna can lead to further bondage. This, in fact, is the secret of a
success or secret of correct action, whether it is at an individual
level or at a national level.  Krishna declares that the spirit of yagna
is created by Brahma along with human beings for their prosperity with
the blessing that it can be used to succeed in any endeavor. 

saha yagnaaH prajaaH sRishhTvaa purovaaca prajaapatiH|
anena prasavishhyadhvam eshhavo2stvishhTakaamadhuk||

Thus, the spirit of yagna is a God given gift for humanity for it to
prosper in any field of action. At Individual level, nation level or at
international level, failure is there contributing to the suffering of
the humanity, since there is no self-sacrificing mode of operation in
the yagna spirit, but instead where self-fishness dominates in every
action at every level. 
End of part II – Next we discuss the wheel of action. 

Hari OM!

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