Saturday, 30 August 2014



Practical  steps  to spirituality- section 7  part 2  

The  Gita  revisited 


                The  ritualistic  fire  worship  was  one  of the  spiritual  practices  during  the  time  the  Gita  was  given  to  Arjuna  . Hence  the  Lord  speaks  about  some  spiritual  practices  in the  language  of  yajnas  . The  most  important  act  in  an  yajna  is  the  offering  of  oblations  into  the  fire  . Various  yajnas  are  mentioned  by  the  Lord  as  a  means  to  purify  oneself  and  make  oneself  fit  for  walking the  path  of  knowledge. 

               Daiva  yajna   is  the    offering of all   worldly  desires  thus becoming free  from desires . Brahma  yajna  involves  the  offering  of  oneself  in the  fire  of  knowledge  to  realise  '  aham  brahma  asmi  '.  The   third  is  the  Indriya  yajna  wherein  one  controls  the  external  stimuli  that  enter  the  mind  through  the  senses. . Samyama  yajna  involves  the  withdrawal  of  the  senses  from  all  external  pursuits  for  the  purpose  of  focusing  the  mind  on the  Self. The  fifth  is  Dravya yajna  which  refers  to  the  offering  of  cash  and  materials to the  poor  and  needy  ,which  when  done  as  an  act  of  worship  would  become  a  spiritual  practice  of  the  highest  order. . Tapo  yajna  is  living  a  simple  life  or  taking  up  austerities  and  conserving  the  time  and  energy  for  a  higher  purpose. . Then  comes  , Yoga  yajna  which  refers  to  the  eight  fold  path  of  yama,  niyama  ,  asana  , pranayama  ,  pratyahara , dharana,  dhyana  and  samadhi  . Each  of  them  can  lead  one  to   the  highest  Realisation   .

The  eighth  in  the  list  of  yajnas  that  Lord  Krishna  speaks  of  is  Svadyaya  yajna  , which  is  reading  or  studying  the  scriptures.and  introspecting  on  them  . Jnana  yajna  involves  the  deeper  understanding  of  the  scriptures  through  listening  or  self- study  groups  . The  tenth  is  Vrata  yajna  wherein  one  takes   to  special  vows  to  sharpen  one's  mind  and  senses  . Pranayama  yajna  is  exercising  control  over  one's  inhalation  and  exhalation  and  holding of  the  breath   outside  and  inside  . And  lastly  , Aahara  yajna   is  to  offer  the  right  food  in the  right  quantity   at  the  right  time  for  the  digestive  fire   within us  wherein  eating  itself  becomes  a  spiritual  practice  . These  yajnas  when  practised  regularly,  correctly  and  with  an  alert  mind  , help  the  aspirant  to  feel  cheerful  and  fulfilled  in  every  walk  of  his  life   and  also    grow  spiritually. His  mind  then  becomes  filled  with  peace  , contentment  and  love  for  all. 

to  be  continued....

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