The word ‘Yajna’ is a very significant one throughout the Bhagavad Gita. It is often superficially interpreted as a rite and defined as offering oblations in the name of the Gods with specific chants. But a true Yagna is one in which one sacrifices the ego and selfishness…in the direction of a higher fulfillment.
We often applaud a person who has performed a sacrifice, thinking that this is a voluntarily accepted pain, a sort of loss which one has knowingly chosen for the welfare and love of other people. “Oh, what a sacrifice he has done,” This is our perspective – whenever we sacrifice, we feel we lose something.
A Yagna actually says- Give without any motive, Give to serve and it shall be given back hundredfold. A sacrifice is therefore a gain and not a loss.
Sharing with you a superb thought provoking piece from Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Sacrifice,’ The Captain said. ‘You made one. I made one. We all make them. But you were angry over yours. You kept thinking about what you lost. You didn’t get it.
“Sacrifice is a part of life. it is supposed to be. it’s not something to regret. it’s something to aspire to. little sacrifices. big sacrifices. a mother works so her son can go to school. a daughter moves home to take care of her sick father.
‘I didn’t die for nothing either. That night, we might have all driven over that land mine. Then the four of us would have been gone. Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. you’re just passing it on to someone else.”