Beans, Bullets, and Bhagavad-gitas
Please read text 14 of chapter three along with the purport, and then read the following commentary. Afterwards, each participant should offer a thought or comment on this passage. As you do so, please consider these study questions:
annad bhavanti bhutani
yajnad bhavati parjanyo
This passage furthers the importance of yajna. Everything requires sustenance which is produced by rainfall, and rainfall is produced through yajna, and yajna occurs because of prescribed duties. As we have seen previously, the various demigods are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and act like the appendages of the Lord.
Whereas the Supreme is not directly involved in material affairs, the demi-gods are responsible for managing the material affairs on His behalf. The Vedas direct specific sacrifices which can be made to the various demi-gods to supply all that the material world needs for survival. However, in the Bhagavad-Gita, Sri Krsna teaches that one may also offer yajna to Krsna directly and by offering yajna to the Absolute one is also offering yajna to the demi-gods. When one worships Krsna there is no longer a need to worship the demi-gods independently.
One may offer yajna in the manner of eating only prasadam—purified food prepared for and offered to Krsna. The technique for offering the yajna was explained in the last posting. When one consumes such food, one is purified spiritually. As Prabhupada explains, “a person in Krsna Consciousness, who eats only food offered to Krsna, can counteract all reactions of past material infections, which are impediments to the progress of self-realization. On the other hand, one who does not do so continues to increase the volume of sinful action, and this prepares the next body to resemble hogs and dogs, to suffer the resultant reactions of all sins” (p.152).
Since food is necessary for material existence and the vegetation eaten requires rain, it is necessary to offer yajna so that the rains continue to fall, the crops continue to grow and the things we need continue to be found in abundance. Now in the Kali-yuga, the offering of prasadam and the regular offering of sankirtana-yajna are prescribed. These sacrifices are a duty.
Fortunately, for those of us in the Kali-yuga, this duty is made simple to perform and for one in or on the path of Krsna Consciousness, it is hardly a sacrifice. One need only partake of wonderful prasadam and chant the Holy Names: HARE KRSNA, HARE KRSNA, KRSNA KRSNA, HARE HARE/ HARE RAMA, HARE RAMA, RAMA RAMA, HARE HARE. What could be more pleasant?
Krishna, so beautifully, gives us the secret of living peacefully and contentedly in this physical temporary world.
"All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rain. Rains are produced by performance of yajña [sacrifice], and yajña is born of prescribed duties."
It is beatific circle - All life lives on food which is produced by rains which is produced by performance of sacrifice by those who live on food, and this sacrifice is born of prescribed duties.
So, when every being performs their duties born of their nature, even though it maybe full of faults, acts with his mind surrendered that this is not for the self, not for selfish desire to enjoy, control or possess, then it is a sacrifice. With this sacrifice the presiding deities are satisfied by the sacrifice, in turn give rains with nourishes the earth which produced food in the form or grain and plant food.
However, Krishna mentions that all this sacrifice is meant for Him alone even though it is done to the demigods.
The demigods, He explains, are like the branches and the leaves and Krishna Himself is the root. And if we offer the same sacrifice to the root - Krishna, then it is a perfect sacrifice and the demigods in charge will shower the same Grace if not more, on the human beings.
Here the important of prescribed duties are to be performed as a sacrifice (not for the self). Prescribed duties should never be given up even though they maybe troublesome. In Ch 18.46, Krishna re-emphasis the importance of Prescribed duties, "By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, man can, in the performance of his own duty, attain perfection."
A person who is self realized performs all his duties as a sacrifice to Krishna, even the food he consumes, he offers it to Visnu (Krishna) before he partakes of it as Prasad, is never bound by karma. He is a Jeevan Mukta.
"Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage." BG Ch 3.9
Srila Prabhupada....“Regarding your question about offering Prasadam, whatever is offered to the Deity actually it goes through the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master offers to Lord Caitanya, and Lord Caitanya offers it to Krishna. Then Radha Krishna eats, or Jagannatha eats, then Caitanya Mahaprabhu eats, then the Spiritual Master eats, and it becomes Mahaprasadam. So when you offer something, you think like that and chant the Gayatri mantra, and then everything is complete. At last, ring the bell, take out the plate and wipe the place where the plate was kept.”
16 June, 1969 New Vrindaban Srlla Prabhupada'sLetter to Arundhati:
You only need to do yajna to Krishna because Krishna satisfies all the demigods. Kali-yuga Yajna is sankirtan.
I am very happy to see your comments, Mataji. Sending best wishes possible.