Gita Daily Readings

6th July
Chapter IX: 15-16
Others also sacrificing with the wisdom-sacrifice worship me, the all-faced, as one, as distinct, and as manifold.

I am the kratu (vaidika ritual); I am the yajna; I am the offering to the ancestors (manes); I am the medicinal herb and all the plants; I am the mantra; I am also the ghee or the clarified butter; I am the fire; I am the oblation.

Commentary

There is not and need not be a uniform approach to the infinite hidden in all finite objects. One can approach the infinite through any or all of the finite objects; but the object of our quest must be the infinite; the finite objects should not bedim or dazzle our vision, sidetrack our quest or thwart our endeavor.

There are various yajnas or ritualistic acts described and prescribed for seekers in the vedas. Krishna introduces a new yajna here in the Bhagavad Gita. It is the jnana-yajna - the wisdom-worship or sacrifice where the symbolism of the ritual is pierced and the truth realized and revealed.

Based on this right understanding, all our actions can be and should be directed towards God who is "faced in all directions" (i.e., omnipresent), who is one and who is manifold, neither limited by the one nor by the other. He can be worshipped as one, as many, as distinct or as identical; for he is ultimately beyond all these. The path to the transcendental is everywhere and through all. After all, is not God the seeker, the quest, the goal, the path and all? That is what Krishna points out to us in the second verse above, using the symbolism with which the people of his time were familiar, the havan (fire worship).

When the spirit of sacrifice is thus fostered, our interdependence is seen. One sacrifices to the other - the seed sacrificing itself gives rise to the tree, the tree sacrifices itself to produce the fruit (food). Hence, there is an interconnectedness where we are all interwoven into the fabric of the world. Once this comprehensive understanding is attained, the worldliness of the world vanishes, and the seeker of wisdom rests in God. He experiences God in himself and in all.

Web Editor's Notes

Copyright 1997
Commercial use of all content without permission is prohibited.