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Puja yagya and Brahma PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

daivam ev| 'pare yaj@a= yogina+ paryup|sate
brahm|gn|v apare yaj@a= yaj@enai’vo’pajuhvati

Some yogis perform the service of worship to celestial controllers (Devas), while others offer sacrifice itself as offering in the fire of the Eternal Being (Brahma) by performing the sacrifice of Self-knowledge. (4.25)


Some yogis apply this yagya methodology
Systematically to different Devas
While others offer the Atma (self) as havan (offering)
To be purified by Brahma himself. ||4:25||

Krishna mentioned about existence of Brahma in the previous shloka (verse). Every existing particle or cell is Brahma. That is so true. Yet, every particle and cell also exists as a unit. That is true as well. In fact that truth is what is visible to us. Krishna is now talking about that existence. We are all different. One type of yagya is not applicable to all of us. Krishna is this shloka and subsequent several shloka is talking about variety of yagyas. There is however, something to be offered to some type of fire (agni). This agni or fire needs to be identified and then it becomes easier to know what to offer. Otherwise, the process just becomes a ritual.

The process is yagya and it involves throwing a offering in to fire or agni that can burn the offering. The flame of fire always moves upwards. What remains un-burnt or is eternally unburnable also always moves upwards. This is where Krishna wants us to get to. Krishna is talking about two such processes here. Some of us like to worship (perform puja). We can only focus on one identity. Brahma is too vague for us. I like to worship Ma Kali. There is a vast empire of Kali puja. You can go to Kamakhya or you can go to Vidhyachal. You can go to Vaishnav Devi or you can travel to Manasa Devi in Haridwar. You can sit and perform mantra sadhana at home or go and spend time in a cave in Himalaya. There are various techniques of each puja. I recently traveled to Kamakhya for my puja. The punda performed kanya pujan at his house. After the puja we all had lunch at his house. The food was cooked by his wife. We then went for darshan (visiting the temple). There was a long line. It was navami of navaratri (ninth day of navaratri). After darshan, I sat there in the corridor and performed mala jap (chanting of mantra). Then we all went to Baglamukhi temple and performed puja as well.

There are several devtas. You can choose whoever and go on to perform puja for that particular devta. The methodologies are all separate. What you offer also is different for most situations. Their abodes are also different. You might want to go to Rameshwaram or Kedarnath if you want to perform puja yagya for Shiva instead of going to Kamakhya in Assam.

This is what most of us do and feel comfortable doing. Many of us do question the whole process in the name of science. Little do we understand that there may be a science in puja as well? This is worth thinking about. We question the pujas because it has become just rituals. The science behind these pujas is only hearsay. What we have is just the methodology. The reason why we do it is not known to us. Some pujaris or Swamis are there as examples of what can be achieved or what powers can be had by performing the puja yagya. But many of them have become commercialized. They have obtained some powers from the puja yagya and are selling a product. Is it necessarily bad? I am not sure about that. But the fact remains that most of us remain ignorant about the whole process.

The encouraging point is that somehow the technology has been saved to large extent by us ignorant people. I would rather choose to be ignorant and save these technologies than be so called wise and throw away technologies that might have taken thousands of years to develop. Puja methods in my view were developed over several years and divine help must have been involved as well. These are methods to communicate with different forms of divine. One God is a nice principle. Brahma is a neat concept. I am not comparing God to Brahma. Brahma to me transcends all forms of God, even the one God.

Krishna also talks about Brahma here in the second part of the shloka. He talks about yagya for Brahma as well. Only few of us will even be able to understand that part. But, if we do, then that door opens up for us as well. Krishna is the door to all doors. Muhammad, Jesus, Buddha or Mahavira talk about one door. Krishna opens up all the doors. Krishna stops at nothing. The credit actually should go to Arjun who does not stop asking questions. Arjun is our representative. Arjun is in face of a war but he stays unperturbed. He has this lifetime opportunity in front of him. Arjun is not going to throw away this opportunity. He wants to know. He is a true seeker and he recognizes the opportunity. Wars may come and go. Krishna will not come all the time.

Puja to a devta is one form of yagya and is a suitable yagya for most of us who like to work and perform. Vedas are full of different methods of puja yagya. The other technique is to have direct relationship with Brahma and is suitable for people on path of Gyan yoga. Knowing for them is enough. There is no need for them to go through the puja yagya. They can sit and meditate. Looking inside is enough. They can get there by this path. There are two main types of us and there are two main corresponding paths. Krishna talks of both. We shall continue.

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