Gita Daily Readings

28th December
Chapter
XVIII: 70-71
And he who will study this sacred dialogue of ours, by him I shall have been worshipped by the sacrifice of wisdom (worship) - such is my conviction.

The man also who hears this, full of faith and free from malice, he, too, liberated, shall attain to the happy worlds of those of righteous deeds.

Commentary

Jnana yajna (sacrifice through wisdom) is a form of worship. It is worshipping God as the light of knowledge. The Gita is God's word uttered by his lips. In days of yore, fire was produced by rubbing two pieces of wood together. The divine fire of the Gita has been produced by the rubbing together of the two lips of the Lord. It is of the Lord, it is he himself. A lamp lit from another is a lamp, too.

Jnana yajna is dissemination of spiritual knowledge, which was dear to our Master, too. You study the Gita with others. You are benefited and so are they. Krishna uses the symbolism that was familiar to Arjuna - yajna, in which a priest, surrounded by devotees, offered clarified butter into the sacred fire. In Jnana yajna, the article offered is wisdom (jnana). The priest does not create clarified butter; the lecturer does not create wisdom. If the fire is dull, the clarified butter will augment it, but if it is dead it is wasted. The audience is the fire here. If it is eager, though not wise, the discourse will augment the wisdom in the members. But if the audience is totally disinterested, then the wisdom falls on deaf ears - it is wasted (hence the warning in verse 67).

Hearing is the first part of Jnana yoga (the yoga of wisdom). If the heart of the hearer is pure, the wisdom blossoms in it quickly and the seeker is liberated from this world of pain and death. The hearer is not asked to accept everything blindly, but to "listen," to reflect over it and to meditate on it, so that the knowledge becomes one with him.

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