[Advaita-l] (no subject)

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 20 02:00:58 CDT 2011

 With reference to your Email on the above topic,You are talking about the 
> "Yajna"as it is understood commonly,i.e pouring oblations to the fire to get 
> something in return from the Devatas.I am talking about the 'JnanYagna"which is 
> glorified by the Bhagavan in the Bhagavadgita.In the Upanishath which belongs 
> the uttarakanda(uttaramimamsa),only Jnanayagna is relevant.without obtaining 
> Jnana,.pouring all the wealth like tins of ghee,silk,barley,millets is a 
> collossal waste.Many could be fed with that money.

This is a peculiar mix up of economic and religious motivations, is it not? 
Feeding the
needy is good, but better would be to help the needy get to a point where they 
feed themselves. Money does not grow on trees; it is a product of human 

And within the vast sphere of human activity, yajna has religious significance. 
It can
be done for selfish reasons (kAmya) or because it is ordained so 
or it can be given up by the jnAnI.

In the same bhagavadgItA, there is a verse yAvAnartha udapAne ... which refers 

the jnAnI. Only the one without jnAna has any motivation to pour ghee and 
goods into the sacrificial fire. It could be for kAmya reasons or it could be 
done in a
nishkAma fashion. What is waste for one man is food for another. For instance, 
one were to think that performing SrAddha is a waste and that one should instead
feed the poor or do something else, then that falls under the avidhi-pUrvaka 
that the bhagavAn also criticizes in the gItA. 

Please also see the ending portions of the mahAnArAyaNopanishat, where satya,
tapas, dama, Sama, dAna, dharma, agni, agnihotra, yajna and mAnasam are all 
extolled before saMnyAsa leading to brahman. When it comes to satya, tapas, 
dharma, tapas, yajna etc., it is never a question of one or the other 
exclusively. Prior
to jnAna, one needs everything. Only the jnAnI needs nothing. You cannot say, "I
always speak the truth (satya), so I don't need tapas." or "I meticulously 
all the yajnas, so I don't need any self-control (dama)," or "I donate 

(dAna), so I can neglect truth (satya) and can afford to earn through corruption
and other dishonest means." There is absolutely no point achieved in neglecting 
ridiculing one aspect and elevating another exclusively. 


The answer to your questions is contained in your letter.All rituals are done 
with a selfish motive.If one were to glorify the ritual in your way,then one 
need not turn to Jnanamarga.One cannot also say I will continue to perform 
karmas till I attain Jnana,without heeding the words of the sruthi and Adi 
Shankara Bhagawath pada.It is said "Satyam vada"that is the highest tapas.all 
the ills in the society are due to not speaking the truth.It is also agreed that 
"Jnana"is the highest and the only reality.One cannot say I will remain 
whereever I am cozily,without Jnana.So,at one point one must know the futility 
of all actions.Otherwise,he is lost.


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