Ch. 3, Verses18–43
The 3rd and 4th chapters, both of them are centred on the concept of yajñā: sacrifice. And to understand properly the whole concept of yajñā, we shall make a slight excursion into the Veda, because it is in the Veda for the first time that the concept of yajñā has been brought out very powerfully.
You might say that Vedic Rishis were explorers, discoverers, and they have fathomed into the depths of existence. And one most important question, which they dealt with, was: is it possible to create events, to control events, to avoid certain events, to strengthen events? You might say that they have developed a science of “Eventology”: science of ‘event making’.
In fact every human being is basically in search of events, and events that are desired. Normally events occur, they happen, and we have to take them and make best of them as they occur. But can we really create events, as we want them to be? So they went in search of this secret knowledge. The basic reason is that events as they occur, they are not entirely satisfactory, they do not fulfil us, and we always find some deficiency in the event which occurs in our life. We want events to occur, and then to see that these events satisfy everything that we want. This can be done only if we can go to the root where events are brought out, where they come out of the “womb”, as it were. And they discovered that the events occur, not from what we normally see as occurring, but that there is a process, and that process is described in very symbolic terms, and that is what is given in one of the verses of the Bhagavad Gita.
In Ch. 3, verse10, we have read this already, but I am now trying to see it, in a larger context of “Eventology”. How do events occur, and whether events can be created? And if they can be created, what kinds of events can be created? What is the limit of the highest height which you can reach in making events? Third chapter, tenth verse, first of all, there is one proposition which is given here and this is the theory of the Veda, but described in symbolic terms:
saha–yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā purovāca prajāpatiḥ |
anena prasaviṣyadhvam eṣa vo ’stv iṣṭa–kāma–dhuk ||10|| (III)
Which means: “In ancient times, Prajapati created all beings along with sacrifice and said, ‘May you prosper with the help of sacrifice! May the sacrifice yield all your desired joys!’” That is to say that events began to occur from Prajapati. This is the first concept that events do not occur “pell–mell”, as if by chance. They occur from Prajapati: there is somebody, at the root who is very conscious, and who is the Father. It is from Him that all the things are created and they are caused: all events occur from Him. It is He, Himself said, and gave the secret. What was the secret? “May you prosper with the help of sacrifice.” This concept of sacrifice was the very first concept given by Prajapati Himself. Prajapati Himself created the world by a sacrifice.
Last time we saw that there is a Reality, which becomes other than itself by a complete holocaust of Himself. This holocaust is a sacrifice: there is no creation, no events that can occur without a holocaust, without an offering, without sacrifice. So, this is the secret, which was discovered by the Vedic Rishis: that the whole world depends upon sacrifice: all events occur by sacrifice.
“May the sacrifice yield all your desired joys”. This is another point: the events occur, but if you want these occurrences to give you joy, then you put the saṅkalpa into the yajñā; and then that saṅkalpa will give you the fruit at the end of the sacrifice. In other words, there are two things involved: there is an offering, and there is a saṅkalpa to derive out of sacrifice what you want. This is a very simple proposition, which shall see become more and more complicated.