In Gita, God has expounded on Yagya. He has said that practicing the apāna and prān vāyu to equilibrium is Yagya and one must do this. Please explain this further. Also, please tell us if it bears the same fruit as that described in Vedas for a Yagya.

This Yagya that you have described in your question is a Yogi’s Yagya. There is a Yagya for householders as well as the jyāni (the learned/ scholars). The form of Yagya changes depending on the spiritual aspirant. For a devotee, the definition of Yagya is different to a normal worldly person. However, overall the well-being of all relies on Yagya as God has said in Gita:

Sahayajñāh prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā purovāca prajāpati

Anena prasaviyadhvamea vo’stviṣṭakāmadhuk                Gita 3.10.

Meaning: at the beginning, when the creator Prajāpati created living beings with sacrifice (Yagya)and said, “By this, shall you propagate; let this fulfil all your requirements for the sacrifice (Yagya)”.

This Yagya, mentioned in this verse, is to fulfil your desires. Will it fulfil all your desires?

Iṣṭakāmadhuk, meaning, it will fulfil those desires which lead to your well-being. A mother does not give her child everything it asks for. Not giving something that is not for the welfare of the child is a mother’s grace.

Prajapati Brahma created the world through this concept of Yagya. Thus Yagya should be interpreted in the correct context. This Yagya means, when you perform a sacrifice for the demi-gods, they will give you what you desire for whilst they gain energy through the Yagya. This way there is a symbiotic relationship of causing one another’s progress and thus well-being.

Devānbhāvayatānena te devā bhāvayantu va

Paraspara bhāvayanta śreya paramavāpsyatha        Gita 3.11

Meaning: by this gratify the gods and let the gods foster you, these caring for each other selflessly through your duties, you shall attain to the supreme good.

This Yagya is for people like us who believe in actions. This means, each and every action of ours should reach the heights of Yagya. This is because any action that is not a Yagya will bind you, God says in Gita.

To sum up, what you are referring to is a Yogi’s Yagya. Yagya has many forms depending on whether you are a devotee, scholar, Yogi etc. A Yogi prefers this type of Yagya. A Yogi is not interested in performing fire sacrifice.

Vedas say Yagya is Vishnu. Vishnu has many forms. E.g. Varāḥ, Vāman, Ram etc. We know of His 24 incarnations. In the current times, the world cannot exist without Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is omnipresent. This universe is the form of Vishnu. He is all the time and everywhere. Similarly, because Yagya is Vishnu, Yagya also has many forms.

A spiritual aspirant must decide, depending on the level one is at, which form of Yagya should be worshipped. A devotee will perform pooja, seva of God, offer food to God, not hurt anyone even unintentionally, compassion and chant God’s name with every breath. This is a devotee’s Yagya.

The important thing is, whether you are a devotee, scholar, Yogi or worldly person, do not refrain from Yagya else it will lead to bondage.

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