Let us go to that real meaning of sacrifice, and He says that, “All actions bind you when it is not done as a sacrifice”. This is a new element coming into the picture. We have first told: you give up the fruits of action. Now, we are told that even action when you do, that action you do as a sacrifice. What is then the sacrifice?
In the ritualistic sense as I told you earlier, it is an offering into the fire, saṅkalpa, for achieving a certain result by invoking cosmic powers and receiving from them the gifts as a result of what you offer. Sri Krishna says that actually it is true that even this kind of sacrifice becomes effective: it is not denied. But it is something that ‘binds you to action’ that does not liberate you from action. But if you want to be acting, and yet you want to be free from action, then, try to understand the inner meaning of sacrifice and do your action as a sacrifice, so that while doing action you will be free. What is the ‘inner meaning’ of sacrifice?
The word sacrifice basically means: “self-giving”. Self-giving has its origin. The origin is with the original Reality. The Supreme Lord, Himself, is the original Reality: there is none other than the supreme Lord in the world or anywhere; He is the only one existent, one without the second. That supreme Lord possesses everything; He has no need to do anything; He can remain quiet forever. But that also be a limitation if He remains only quiet, because that He cannot do action. Therefore He can remain active, also if He so wills.
When He does action, it means He looses forth, from His silence He is loosing… He is in the process of deploying Himself. This loosing forth, deploying Himself is called the “first self-giving”. The Lord gives Himself, all that is within Himself, He looses forth, He puts forth. This is the “original” sacrifice, you might say. The Purusha putting Himself into activity, deploying Himself is the basic sacrifice, as a result of which the whole world moves. When it is loosed forth, (this is one kind of movement), then what happens is that, that movement that is loosed forth returns itself, back again to the supreme Lord. The whole world is nothing but this basic movement: the supreme Lord loosing forth, and that which is loose forth returning itself with the supreme Lord.
As you see the wave of the ocean, there is a movement of the waves and then there is a backward movement of the waves: the whole world is nothing but this wavy movement. This may be called the basic exchange. The Lord looses forth, and that which is put forth returns back to the supreme Lord. It is a mutual sacrifice. If you want to use the poetic language, not a metaphysical one, but a poetical language, it is a supreme Lord offering Himself to the supreme consort ‘Para Prakriti’, ‘Shakti’, and then Shakti returning all that is received from the supreme Lord, back to the supreme Lord. Supreme Lord sacrificing Himself to ‘Mahashakti’; Mahashakti sacrificing Herself to the supreme Lord. This is called Sacrifice.