Question: But, uncle the fasting, does it come in the category of sacrifice?
Answer: It depends. Supposing somebody is very obese and eats a lot, then fasting may be very necessary for him. But not for you and for me, it may not be necessary at all, because already the threads are loosened, we are not eating so much, so the threads are not thick at all and there is no cobweb, so we don't need to do it. All so called sacrifice is nothing but a process of loosening our hard networks of threads, which prevent the entry of the corresponding reality. So you need not do a lot of things, in fact there are certain states which are so intense that within a second your cobwebs can be loosened. It depends upon intensity. That is why the secret of Yoga is: develop intensity, because intensity is the power of loosening very quickly. If the child really needs the mother's help and the child really weeps bitterly, intensely, the mother is bound to come. Even the lost mother can come and that is possible because the intensity is so great, the threads immediately open out and call down the power. In fact that is the whole secret of the Veda. The whole world is nothing but a network of threads and relationships and if you know the right way, even if you don't know the name, mere intensity is sufficient. And let the intensity of cry go forth. Even if you don't know the word "Indra", Indra will come out. You yourself will discover Indra; you don't need to read the Veda that is why it is said that Veda is not a book, Veda itself is an ocean of knowledge, which is already in the heart of everyone. You may not know it, but every one of us has an internal Veda.
As Sri Aurobindo says, "The Shastra of integral Yoga is the eternal Veda...(SABCE The Synthesis of Yoga, vo1.20, P.46, Part I, first page of the Ch. 1), eternal Veda which is already in the heart of every human being. It is because we do not know how to open that 'internal' book that we may need to open this `outer' book and you may find out the secrets. But even without it, you don't need to refer to 'that' book of Veda in which all the mantras are given; you can even develop 'new' mantras accordingly, and they will also be called Vedas, that is why it is called: anantah vedah. Veda is not these four volumes: anantah vedah, the Vedas are infinite because according to the need of your being, you can just cry out, and the real cry will take you to the right mantra by itself. You will be yourself drshta, you will yourself write a new mantra. That is also possible. But the Vedic Rishis had done so much that they had discovered all this, they wrote down, and then told us that for connecting yourself with a particular power, you need to do such and such a sacrifice.
If you want, for example, the aspiration to reach the highest point where the response of God can come to you very clearly, one of the things that is required is ghritam tivram, this is another secret of the Veda, ghritam tivram ghrita means the clarified butter, tivra means absolutely refined. Now ghritam tivram is actually a symbolic word which means clarified intelligence. If your aspiration is connected or is fuelled by pouring into it clarified intelligence – in fact all that we are now doing –, is a yajya of that kind, we are clarifying our intelligence. This is a process of ghritam tivram. So, if you put this ghritam tivram in our process of our aspiration then the response will be much more clear, much more readily available. So it is this kind of secret, this kind of sacrifice that we find in the Veda. It also tells you the period of sacrifice, intensity, the length, the duration, because you know that every intensity increases with duration. A pinch which is only for a second does not give you that much of pain, but the same pinch if it lasts for one hour, it really intensifies itself and it becomes very painful or somewhat painful. So duration and intensity, both are necessary. But both these can be overcome actually you don't even need either intensity or this, if He himself is in need of you. It may be that in the work of gods themselves, they need you! That is also possible.
Question: When will that be?
That also would be possible. Like for example, Parvati wanted Shiva very much and she was doing all kinds of austerities but Shiva was inaccessible. But the gods, they found it necessary to have one great warrior who can defeat all the demons. And as they looked around, made a survey, they found there is not a single one here. Then they came to the conclusion that only if Shiva and Parvati meet, then a child can be produced, Kumarasambhava, who will have that power by which the demons can be vanquished. Now here gods were in need! So they came in search of Parvati, they went to Kamadeva, they themselves arranged for Shiva's awakening from his meditation, and he was disturbed. They had to sacrifice even Kamadeva's body in the meantime! And so Shiva opened his third eye and the outer body of Kamadeva was burnt to ashes. But Parvati herself was the beneficiary. Because of the needs of gods she who was doing Tapasya for such a long time was not able to fulfil herself, she got directly. So there can be also moments of that kind. The point is that we need to prepare ourselves that we might be needed, so keep yourselves ready all the time. That is why one of the lessons of the Yoga is: "kindle your light every day", dive, dive, every day, daily, and again, and again, and every moment in fact, that which is not lost at all. So if you keep yourself in that condition, you'll be needed and He will lift you up.
It is because Arjuna was so dear to Sri Krishna that he lived with Sri Krishna all the time, that was his intensity, he prepared himself to be worthy of the company of Sri Krishna. Then he very wisely chose that Sri Krishna should be his sarathi, his charioteer. Therefore, automatically when he was in difficulty Sri Krishna Himself came forward and began to give him the knowledge, poured it on him, because he was needed by Sri Krishna Himself. If he did not fight what about the consequences, he was so powerful an instrument that Sri Krishna came immediately and gave him the knowledge.