yajna -Worship in Sacrifice

Ahimsananda's picture

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"yajna: (Sanskrit) "Worship; sacrifice." One of the most central Hindu concepts--sacrifice and surrender through acts of worship, inner and outer. 1) A form of ritual worship especially prevalent in Vedic times, in which oblations--ghee, grains, spices and exotic woods--are offered into a fire according to scriptural injunctions while special mantras are chanted. The element fire, Agni, is revered as the divine messenger who carries offerings and prayers to the Gods. The ancient Veda Brahmanas and the Shrauta Shastras describe various types of yajna rites, some so elaborate as to require hundreds of priests, whose powerful chanting resounds for miles. These major yajnas are performed in large, open-air structures called yagashala. Domestic yajnas, prescribed in the Grihya Shastras, are performed in the family compound or courtyard. Yajna requires four components, none of which may be omitted: dravya, sacrificial substances; tyaga, the spirit of sacrificing all to God; devata, the celestial beings who receive the sacrifice; and mantra, the empowering word or chant."

I found it interesting that yajna means both worship AND sacrifice. This is similar to the seminal Christian Rite; The Eucharist, in that it involves ritual "sacrifice." While it is true, one involves only oblations of rich and expensive earthly "substances", when the other involves the reenactment of "human" sacrifice, but as rituals, they are "sacrificial".

One of the four components above is "the spirit of sacrificing all to God." This spirit is essential. Obviously the "thing" being sacrificed (oblations/Jesus Life, ie, sacrificial substances) is there in ritual worship. The empowering words, the mantras, or Eucharistic prayers. The "celestial beings" or the being of Christ, or God. All these "things" are held together in the grip of "the spirit of sacrificing all to God".

This spirit of sacrifice is none other than our True Nature, universal Love. But let's look at the nature of "sacrifice".

Burning some wood, no matter how precious, or ritual sacrifice of bread and wine will not give us the reality of sacrifice we need to understand. Our lives need to be informed by these rituals. The spirit of these rituals must inspire our hearts and hands (our sacrificial substance), the empowering words of "Thy will be done", and the thousands upon thousands of "celestial beings" in the faces of the poor and helpless who are with us always, all moving together in this ritual worship we call life. All held together in "the spirit of sacrificing all to God."

Sacrificing all means real sacrifice. A sacrifice of time. A sacrifice of convenience. A sacrifice of position or popularity. Perhaps even sacrifice of respect. Those who seek social justice, often lose respect from those in "power". The truth can isolate you from your friends, community, and station in life. Will you sacrifice ALL? To give. To give unselfishly to others, with out need or desire for even recognition, requires being the fulfiller of need, without attachment. In this state you can be overflowing with God's, Love, as you ARE God's Love personified; giving without a trace of want or desire.

Love, through sacrifice, flows through "being", IS Being. When there is flow there is the subject/object. Be the Love. Be the Sacrifice. Complete the circuit with out stretched hands.

jasdir singh jaura's picture

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No need to comment on the blog, because each and every line of the post sounds brillant, goodbye.

jasdir singh jaura | Mon, 08/09/2010 - 05:51