The Topmost Yajna

12th Nov 2007
Vaijayantimala devi dasia

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

The life of all the human beings involves performance of sacrifice in one way or the other. We see that the parents are sacrificing so much for their children, the social workers are sacrificing for the society's welfare and the national leaders are sacrificing for their nation. But we find that after all the sacrifices we do, we are not completely satisfied or peaceful. We find so many frustrated parents, social workers and national leaders who have not been satisfied after all their sacrifices. Srila Prabhupada gives the definition of the word 'sacrifice'. The word 'sacrifice' suggests dedication of one's own interests for satisfaction of a second person. The whole world is engaged in sacrificing time, money and energy for economic, social and scientific development but no one is interested in sacrificing for the sake of the Lord, who is the factual enjoyer of all the sacrifices, ultimate proprietor of all the planets and is the factual friend of all the living entities. In the office it is the duty of the worker to see that the boss is satisfied. At home it is the duty of the man to make sure that the family is satisfied. In the same way it is the duty of everyone to act such that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is satisfied by our activity. Activities to satisfy the Supreme Godhead are prescribed in the vedic literature and the execution of such activities is called yajna. In the Bhagavad Gita the Lord very clearly states that if we do not work for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, then the reaction of our work will bind us. Thus each and every activity right from getting up in the morning should be done for the satisfaction and pleasure of the Lord.

Yesterday we had a very wonderful celebration of Govardhan pooja in the residence of HG Svayam Sphuraty Krishna das prabhu and he was explaining the reasons why Lord Krishna advised the inhabitants of Vraja bhumi not to offer any sacrifices to the heavenly king Indra. In this kali yuga, performance of sacrifices is a very difficult task because we do not have the proper paraphernalia, qualified brahmanas or the abundant wealth required to perform the yajnas. Therefore in this age, it has been recommended that we perform the sankirtana yajna, or the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Srimad Bhagavatam 4.7.45 gives us the confirmation that the performance of sankirtana yajna is as good as all other yajnas in all other ages.

brāhmaṇā ūcuḥ
tvaṁ kratus tvaṁ havis tvaṁ hutāśaḥ svayaṁ
tvaṁ hi mantraḥ samid-darbha-pātrāṇi ca
tvaṁ sadasyartvijo dampatī devatā
agnihotraṁ svadhā soma ājyaṁ paśuḥ

The brahmanas said: "Dear Lord, You are sacrifice personified. You are the offering of clarified butter, You are the fire, You are the chanting of vedic hymns by which the sacrifice is conducted, You are the fuel, You are the flame, You are the kusa grass, and You are the sacrificial pots. You are the priests who perform the yajna, You are the demigods headed by Indra, and You are the sacrificial animal. Everything that is sacrificed is You or Your energy."

Srila Prabhupada in his wonderful purport explains how the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra includes all the various elaborate yajnas prescribed in the scriptures thus: "If one performs sankirtana yajna by chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, there is no need to arrange elaborate paraphernalia for the prescribed sacrificial ceremonies recommended in the Vedas. In the chant of the holy names, Hare and Krishna, Hare means the energy of Krishna and Krishna is the Vishnu tattva. Combined together they are everything. In this age, persons are harassed by the influence of kali yuga and cannot arrange for all the requisite paraphernalia for performing sacrifice as recommended in the Vedas. But if one simply chants Hare Krishna, it is to be understood that he is performing all kinds of yajna because there is nothing within our vision except Hare (the energy of Krishna) and Krishna. There is no difference between Krishna and His energies. Thus since everything is a manifestation of His energy, it is to be understood that everything is Krishna. One simply has to accept everything in Krishna consciousness, and he is a liberated person."

The chanting of Hare Krishna mahamantra is the best sacrifice we can perform in this Kali yuga. While chanting the Mahamantra we are sacrificing our time which we could have used for sense enjoyment and by hearing the mahamantra the ears are engaged in the service of the Lord and thus we sacrifice our propensity to hear mundane vibrations. In this way all our senses and each every element can be utilized in performance of this sacrifice done for the pleasure of Krishna. The vrajavasis were engaging all their senses in the service of the Lord (Gopi Jana Vallabha) and the Lord reciprocated by becoming Girivardhari, the upholder of Govardhana hill to save them from the wrath of Indra. In the same way if we make a sincere endeavour to make each and every one of our activities as a sacrifice for the pleasure of Krishna, He will definitely become Girivaradhari for us also, relieving us from all bondage and sufferings.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.