The Need To Perform Sacrifice

Srimad Bhagavatam 07.14.15-17 Topic-The Need To Perform Sacrifice (download mp3)
by Mahananda Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 7.14.15
devan rsin nr-bhutani
pitrn atmanam anvaham
yajeta purusam prthak

Every day, one should worship the Supreme Being who is situated in everyone's heart, and on this basis one should separately worship the demigods, the saintly persons, ordinary human beings and living entities, one's forefathers and one's self. In this way one is able to worship the Supreme Being in the core of everyone's heart.

SB 7.14.16
yarhy atmano 'dhikaradyah
sarvah syur yajña-sampadah
vaitanikena vidhina
agni-hotradina yajet

When one is enriched with wealth and knowledge which are under his full control and by means of which he can perform yajña or please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one must perform sacrifices, offering oblations to the fire according to the directions of the sastras. In this way one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

If a grhastha, or householder, is sufficiently educated in Vedic knowledge and has become sufficiently rich to offer worship to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he must perform yajñas as directed by the authorized scriptures. Bhagavad-gita (3.9) clearly says, yajñarthat karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah: everyone may be engaged in his occupational duties, but the result of these duties should be offered for sacrifice to satisfy the Supreme Lord. If one is fortunate enough to possess transcendental knowledge as well as the money with which to perform sacrifices, one must do it according to the directions given in the sastras. It is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.3.52):

krte yad dhyayato visnum
tretayam yajato makhaih
dvapare paricaryayam
kalau tad dhari-kirtanat

The entire Vedic civilization aims at satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This was possible in Satya-yuga by meditation upon the Supreme Lord within the core of one's heart and in Treta-yuga by the performance of costly yajñas. The same goal could be achieved in Dvapara-yuga by worship of the Lord in the temple, and in this age of Kali one can achieve the same goal by performing sankirtana-yajña. Therefore one who has education and wealth must use them to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead by helping the sankirtana movement that has already begun—the Hare Krsna movement, or Krsna consciousness movement. All educated and wealthy persons must join this movement, since money and education are meant for service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If money and education are not engaged in the service of the Lord, these valuable assets must be engaged in the service of maya. The education of so-called scientists, philosophers and poets is now engaged in the service of maya, and the wealth of the rich is also engaged in maya's service. The service of maya, however, creates a chaotic condition in the world. Therefore the wealthy man and the educated man should sacrifice their knowledge and opulence by dedicating them for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord and joining this sankirtana movement (yajñaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah [SB 11.5.32]).

SB 7.14.17
na hy agni-mukhato 'yam vai
bhagavan sarva-yajña-bhuk
ijyeta havisa rajan
yatha vipra-mukhe hutaih

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, is the enjoyer of sacrificial offerings. Yet although His Lordship eats the oblations offered in the fire, my dear King, He is still more satisfied when nice food made of grains and ghee is offered to Him through the mouths of qualified brahmanas.

As stated in Bhagavad-gita (3.9), yajñarthat karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah: all fruitive activities should be performed for sacrifice, which should be directed toward pleasing Krsna. As stated elsewhere in Bhagavad-gita (5.29), bhoktaram yajña-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram: He is the Supreme Lord and enjoyer of everything. However, although sacrifice may be offered to please Krsna, He is more pleased when grains and ghee, instead of being offered in the fire, are prepared as prasada and distributed, first to the brahmanas and then to others. This system pleases Krsna more than anything else. Furthermore, at the present time there is very little chance to offer sacrifices by pouring oblations of food grains and ghee into the fire. Especially in India, there is practically no ghee; for everything that should be done with ghee, people use a certain type of oil preparation. Oil, however, is never recommended for offering in a sacrificial fire. In Kali-yuga, the available quantity of food grains and ghee is gradually diminishing, and people are embarrassed that they cannot produce sufficient ghee and food grains. Under the circumstances, the sastras enjoin, yajñaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah: [SB 11.5.32] in this age, those who are intellectual offer yajña, or perform sacrifices, through the sankirtana movement. Everyone should join the sankirtana movement, offering to the fire of this movement the oblations of his knowledge and riches. In our sankirtana movement, or Hare Krsna movement, we offer sumptuous prasada to the Deity and later distribute the same prasada to the brahmanas, the Vaisnavas and then to the people in general. Krsna's prasada is offered to the brahmanas and Vaisnavas, and the prasada of the brahmanas and Vaisnavas is offered to the general populace. This kind of sacrifice—chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra and distribution of prasada—is the most perfect and bona fide way of offering sacrifice for the pleasure of Yajña, or Visnu.