13. Rajasika and sattvika persons are detailed in this verse. The rajasika, who perform desire-driven actions, cook but eat sin. They put in a lot of effort, work ceaselessly, but are stressed out and cannot enjoy the fruits of their labour. With agitated minds their thinking is deviated and actions flawed. Hence the result is not commensurate with the effort they put in. And success eludes them. The result of selfish action is stress. And desires accumulate in them.
The rare sattvika one enjoys the remains of sacrifice. At the end of a puja or havan, prasad is distributed which is always sweet. The prasad signifies the result of sacrificial action which is success. The sattvika person is inspired to act for the welfare of the world so the mind is calm, thinking clear and actions perfect. Unselfish, dedicated action gives happiness. This is a law. And desires reduce. Thus only a sattvika person enjoys life. The rajasika, whose sole purpose in life is enjoyment, is worried and stressed!.
There are three types of action:
1. Selfish action – Restless, ceaseless activity driven by desire and ego. Causes maximum agitation, least energy, inefficiency and is self-defeating.
2. Unselfish action – dedicated to a noble cause, larger purpose, higher ideal that includes others. Less stressful, more energizing and powerful. Leads to success and enjoyment.
3. Selfless action – breaks away from desire. Obligatory action directed towards freedom from the world, dedicated to Self Realisation. Most potent, most energizing and blissful. Infused with the spirit of yajna. The result of such action is effortless excellence.
The whole of nature seems to function in a spirit of yajna. The sun shines, the peacock dances, the bird sings, the flower gives fragrance, the earth gives vegetation – because it ought to, in a spirit of sacrifice. None has a personal agenda, nobody expects appreciation or laurels. They just do what they have to do. No element has a selfish motive except the human being. Hence nobody suffers except the human being.
Follow the example of nature. You are born with certain abilities – great or small. Act in that field dedicating your action to a higher cause. Do what you ought to do, free from desire. Success will come to you. You will enjoy life irrespective of the outcome of your action. And you will evolve spiritually.
Yajnasista is a technical term which means prasad. It is considered holy because it elevates you, gives happiness and success. It is Profit After Tax that is so enjoyable! Yajna was integrated in normal life in ancient India. The practice of feeding Brahmins or highly sattvika people who are the backbone of every society was an essential aspect of life. Setting aside food for beggars, birds and other beings at every meal was symbolic of sacrifice. Food signifies sense objects or wealth.
14 & 15. Here is an agricultural metaphor. India was and still is an agricultural nation. Out of Brahman comes Lord Brahma or the creator of the universe. Brahma is symbolic of ignorance or vasanas. Vasanas manifest as action. Yajna is refined or purified action which gives rise to rain or a conducive mind-set. Rain yields food or products which sustains all living beings, creates prosperity.
How do you get back to Brahman? Through yajna, acting in a spirit of sacrifice for a higher ideal, the highest being Brahman. Thus yajna is the central pivot around which the entire universe revolves. Brahman rests in yajna.
Yajna is an essential aspect of life. It is the life line of any organization or nation. Degenerate into selfishness and disaster and destruction follow suit. This is true of an individual, society or nation. Yajna brings the remote Brahman within your reach. Brahman which is a vague notion becomes real for you, an achievable goal. Yajna leads to integration, unity, harmony, within you as well as with other humans, other species, and with the environment.