Wednesday, 28 March 2012

four types of yagnas- charity


Practical steps to spirituality-  section 3- part - 19

Life  is to give  and not to take-  part 6

                  The  Bhagavad  Gita  talks  about  four kinds  of  yagnas-  charity. - four  types  of  selfless actions. . They  are  dravya yagna,  tapo  yagna,  yoga  yagna  and swadyaya  gnana  yagna. . Dravya  yagna   denotes  gift  of  material  wealth  to  those  who are in  need  of  them. Satras  tell  that  at  least  ten percent  of  our  earnings  in the  form of  grains or  money  be  given away . When  you  give  away  to  others  , your  wealth  decreases  and  the  recipient's  wealth  increases. to that  extent. . So  you share  your wealth with others who are in need  of this  wealth  for  their basic  survival... In  the  present  times  you may donate to  organizations  that take  care of orphans, old people. or for  educating kids from poorer sections of the  society. 

                  The  next  yagna  is  tapo yagna  - the  yagna  of  austerity . . It  signifies  the  sacrifice  of   your  physical  comforts  for   giving  physical  service  to  others. . This  is  superior  to just  sharing your wealth with others. . So you  serve others at  the  physical  level. . The  third  yagna   is   yoga  yagna   which  is  much  greater than  the  first and  second. . It  refers  to  such  help  rendered  to  others  at  the  emotional  level  , like  giving  mental  and  moral  support  when  one  is  emotionally  shattered. . This  yagna  also  includes  all those  activities  of  yours   which  will help in  the  spiritual growth   of others. When  you  take  to teaching  the   vedic  truths , you  are  indeed  doing  yoga  yagna.

                   The  fourth  yagna  is  swadyaya  gnana  yagna  . Sastras  point  out  that  this  is  the  highest   form  of  service  and  sacrifice . It  is  the  sacrifice  of  your  ignorance   into  the  fire  of  wisdom. . This  yagna  involves  your  own  study  of  the  scriptures, contemplation  on the  highest  truths ,  meditation  on  and  realization  of  the  highest  reality. . When  a  person realizes his  Self  , he  radiates  peace  and  happiness   and   becomes  the  cause  of  elevating  others  spiritually. We  shall see  how  a   realized person elevates  others  in the spiritual path  in   tomorrow's page.

to be continued.....


  1. the four types of yagnas are dravya yagna, tapo yagna, yoga yagna and swadyaya gnana yagna . The first sharing your wealth , second is sacrificing your bodily comforts to help others, the third is taking to teaching the vedic truths and giving emotional support to others and the last is when you attain self realization through the study of the vedic truths , you elevate others spiritually.

  2. "when you attain self realization through the study of the vedic truths , you elevate others spiritually".

    That was the answer I was seeking .