Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 08 Feb 2005


Can you explain the 'Pancha Yajnas' in the view of sadhana?

The five Yajnas are:

  1. Brahma Yajna: Serving the Lord in human form, who is called Brahma.
  2. Deva Yajna: Serving the devotees of the Lord.
  3. Pitri Yajna: Serving one’s parents and family members.
  4. Manushya Yajna: Serving incapable beggars.
  5. Bhuta Yajna: Serving harmless animals and birds.

Service is called Yajna or sacrifice and it consists of two parts:

  1. Cooking food and donating it
  2. Giving Dakshina i.e., donation of money.

The order of deservingness is given in the Veda in the above-mentioned way. The most deserving person for donation is Brahma or Sadguru, who is the Lord that comes in human form to preach the right knowledge of the scriptures. The Veda describes this sacrifice to a great extent. Sacrifice in practice alone pleases the Lord as said in the Veda (Tyagenaike Amritatvam). Sacrifice or donation is the very meaning of the word Datta. Therefore Yajna is most sacred and is the real form of the Lord. The exact opposite enemy to the sacrifice is Moha (blind love) which is of three kinds:-

  1. Dareshana, which is the Moha for the wife and this relates to the gross body (Sthula Sharira).
  2. Putreshana, which is the Moha for the children and this relates to the mind i.e., subtle body (Sukshma Sharira).
  3. Dhaneshana, which is the Moha for money and wealth, which is the root of all the bonds and is the causal body (Karana Sharira).

Vashishtha said that money is the root of this entire world (Dhanamula Midam Jagat). Unless these three bodies are destroyed, the eligibility to please the Lord is not attained. Sadhana is the constant spiritual effort, which is put up to destroy these three bodies. Unless you do not put up the related effort to achieve the goal, how can you achieve the goal through unrelated efforts? To eat meals, you should procure the materials and cook the food. You cannot eat the meals by singing songs or by collecting flowers. Similarly you cannot please the Lord by praising, meditation, worshipping idols and statues, by going to temples etc since they only represent Him as models. All these efforts are only trying to bribe the Lord. Your exercises and gymnastic feats or words and feelings can never please the Lord. All these efforts are a waste and will not touch the Lord. Even logical discussions cannot please the Lord. The Veda says the same (Yato Vacho Nivartante Aprapya Manasasaha, Namethaya). Some sacrifice money for the sake of the Lord by lighting the lamps and by pouring ghee in fire etc. Such sacrifice is not only a waste but also annoying the Lord due to two reasons.

  1. You are burning money in the inert fire due to your ignorance. The fire in which these materials are to be ‘burnt’ is the fire of hunger present in a living being as told in the above Pancha Yajnas.
  2. You are doing this sacrifice with selfish desires for yourself or for your family. You should not sacrifice anything to the undeserving since it is a sin. Instead of doing this sin it is better that you enjoy those materials that you are sacrificing.

Zero is better than minus. Of course donating to the deserving is the best which is plus. Dharma Raja wanted to give up his kingdom to the Kauravas who were undeserving. The Lord did not agree with this and encouraged the war. He asked Arjuna to conquer the kingdom and enjoy (Bhokshyase Maheem). Thus He brought them to zero from minus. But after conquering the kingdom He advised Dharma Raja to perform the Aswamedha Sacrifice in which all his wealth was donated to the most deserving sages. Thus from zero He brought them to plus. Aswamedha does not mean killing the horse. It means killing the senses, which are the horses as said in the Veda as well as in the Gita (Indriyani Hayanahuhu). By killing the senses, one gets detached from self-enjoyment. The Veda says that your desire must be burnt and not the ghee; your ignorance is to be cut and not the animal in a sacrifice (Kama Aajyam, Manyuh Pashuh).