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Topic 2: Sacrifice leads to happiness

posted Dec 27, 2020, 3:22 PM by Sudhir Babu   [ updated Dec 27, 2020, 3:34 PM ]

Quiz Link:
To participate in the contest and win prizes, please visit the following link and answer a short quiz: Topic 2 Quiz

One day a boy saw his father going out somewhere hurriedly. Upon asking, his father replied that he is going to the water company to pay the water bill. The boy asked him, Dad, why do we need to pay money to them? The father told the boy that unless we pay them money, we won’t get the water to the house. Naively, the boy said, why do we need the water company Dad, we just go to the sink, turn the tap on and there we go, we get the water. Why do we have to pay to the water company?

You get the point!

Our existence in this world doesn’t come free. There are so many natural resources that keep us alive, healthy, sane and happy. A person can think childishly, that I don’t care who is providing these natural resources, I just have it available for me. I will just use them. How does it matter if someone is behind these resources or not?

Just like the water company eventually disconnects the water supply to those who don’t pay the bill, nature restricts its supplies to those who don’t perform ‘sacrifice’ or ‘pay the bill’.

In Bhagavad Gita chapter 3, Lord Krishna explains the science behind this ‘sacrifice’ or ‘yajna’.

devan bhavayatanena
te deva bhavayantu vah
parasparam bhavayantah
sreyah param avapsyatha

Srila Prabhupada explains how the demigods who provide these natural resources are dependant on the performance of yajñas by the human beings.

By sacrifice, one gets ‘esa vo stu ista kama dhuk’ - "its performance will bestow upon you all desirable things.” (3.10)
'śreyaḥ param avāpsyatha' - "there will reign general prosperity for all.” (3.11)

Krishna further says that one who leads a life devoid of sacrifice is leading a dangerous life.

istan bhogan hi vo deva
dasyante yajna bhavitah
tair dattan apradayaibhyo
yo bhunkte stena eva sah

Lord Krishna calls such a person a ‘thief’, because he steals God given resources and does not perform ‘sacrifice’ or ‘pay back'. A thief is always in anxiety when he will get caught. His punishment is sure. So, the principle behind happiness in this world is sacrifice.

Well, one might think God is like a businessman who expects some payment for providing us some facilities. Not quite. Sacrifice is actually a trick God uses to reform our corrupt mentality. In this material world, we all have exploitative mentality, or we always hanker for our own sense gratification. And one who obstructs or disturbs my sense gratification is considered my enemy. In this way, because of this principle of leading life of sense gratification, there is constant strife, conflicts and quarrels throughout the world. Between nations, between communities, between members of a family etc.

So in Bhagavad Gita, the Lord is trying to cure this mentality of ours by offering this method of gradually cleansing our disease of hankering always for our sense gratification. By gradually cultivating the habit of ’sacrifice’, one comes out of the habit of sense gratification. We develop the habit of ‘giving’ and not ‘exploiting’. The Lord created this material world for the conditioned souls to learn how to perform yajñas (sacrifice) for the satisfaction of Viṣṇu, so that while in the material world they can live very comfortably without anxiety. Then after finishing the present material body, they can enter into the kingdom of God. That is the whole program for the conditioned soul.

 By performance of yajña, the conditioned souls gradually become Kṛṣṇa conscious and become godly in all respects. Gradually, as we continue to perform sacrifices, at the highest stage of purity, one no longer works for one’s own sense gratification, but works to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When God is pleased, everyone is pleased. It is just like watering the root of a tree. When the root is watered, all its branches, leaves, twigs, fruits are considered watered as well. Then begs the next question, how do I know how to perform what sacrifice and when?

Traditionally sacrifice is performed through the medium of fire God (agni), who accepts our offerings and through him the offerings are accepted by the Supreme Lord Vishnu. But this kind of sacrifice is not recommended in this age of Kali yuga, nor is it practical, nor are there qualified vedic mantra chanters who can ignite fire just by the power of their mantra chanting. So the scriptures prescribe that the easiest and at the same time the most sublime form of sacrifice in this age of Kali is chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna, particularly the maha mantra: hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare.

Also in Srimad Bhagavatam it is said:
krsna varna tvisa krsnam
sangopangastra parsadam
yajnaih sankirtana prayair
yajanti hi sumedhasah

The most intelligent take to this sankirtana yajna in this age of Kali.

Lord Krishna also mentions the importance of the sacrifice of chanting His holy names in Bhagavad Gita.

yajnanam japa yajnosmi - “Of yajnas, I am japa yajna” (BG 10.25)
satatam kirtayanto mam - “Always chanting my glories…” (BG 9.14)
man mana bhava mad bhakto - “Always think of Me…” (BG 9.34)

For beginners, chanting the hare krishna maha mantra at least 108 times everyday is prescribed. This will be considered as your sacrifice and gradually the Lord will reveal in your heart how you can be elevated further. Thus by this sankirtana yajna one can remain happy in this life and in the next.

Quiz Link:
To participate in the contest and win prizes, please visit the following link and answer a short quiz: Topic 2 Quiz