Relation between yajna and food production

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    Agrahya Das

    Hello Sir

    I was trying to understand BG 3.14 and on searching for yajna on your blog, I found this article which helped a lot to start understanding what is yajna. You talked about how yajna can be of different types. What is the yajna being referred to in BG 3.14 which can help us get sufficient rains and consequently sufficient food grains?

    Is the availability of food in modern society also because of performance of yajna? Or can food be obtained without the performance of yajna too? One example in this regard is when Hiranyakasipu seizes control of the universe, earth was producing food without even any tilling.

    Can you kindly shed light on relation between yajna and food production?

    Ashish Dalela

    To understand how the seed produces a plant, you can consider the example of speech. Sometimes, when you are very happy, you talk voluntarily. If you are excited, you go on talking. But when you are sad, you become quiet. Then if someone comes and abuses you, then you are forced to speak. Happy speech is not angry speech.

    In the same way, there is a type of happy seed that produces a plant automatically. Then there is a type of unhappy seed which doesn’t produce the plant automatically. Then, there is the process of abusing the seed with fertilizer to make it produce a plant. The plant is already hidden inside the seed in an unmanifest form. It can be produced automatically if the seed is happy. But if the seed is unhappy, it has to be abused to produce the plant. The resulting plant is like the speech that comes out in response to abuses. It is not healthy but that is what we get everywhere nowadays.

    The Vedic process is to make the seed produce a plant happily. That happens when the seed gets natural sunlight, fresh air, rain from the sky, and fresh soil. Then the seed is happy, and it produces the plant automatically. Of course, someone can also produce the plant in tube light, groundwater, contaminated soil, and polluted air. But that is not what is being discussed here. By eating such food our mind becomes naturally unhappy or agitated. So, either we will be quiet or abuse others.

    To understand rain, we can apply the same principle. If the demigods are happy, they give the right type of rain which will produce happy seeds, and then happy plants. Then there is rain given by the demigods as a matter of duty. They are not happy to do it, but they do it as a matter of duty. It is not the ideal type of rain, but it is provided because otherwise, the people will die. Then there is rain produced by artificial processes called “seeding the clouds”. It is like abusive speech.

    You can go to a shop with a smile and ask the shopkeeper for something politely. He will show you many things, guide you on which one is best, and even give you a discount. But if you go to the shopkeeper with a scowl on your face, he will still show you because he has to sell out of duty, but he is not going to guide you properly, he will try to misdirect you, and he will not give you a discount. Then you can go to a shopkeeper and start abusing him. Then he will hide everything and ask you to get out of the shop. The demigods are also working in the same way. They have a duty to do certain things. But they can go beyond the call of duty and do it happily, or they can do the bare minimum. If they do it happily, then the water is pure, and it produces plants automatically. If they do it unhappily out of duty, then it is not very productive. And if they feel abused, then they will create drought and flood. Just like Indra felt insulted when Krishna stopped his worship, so he poured rain for seven days. Hence, the ideal process is to have the demigods do their duties happily.

    That happy duty is enabled by Yajna. It is like going to a shopkeeper and smiling at them, asking them how they are doing, how their family is doing, if their business is doing well, etc. This is a selfish motive. Even the shopkeeper knows that you are talking nicely because you want something in return. For example, after talking nicely, you will ask for a discount in the end, and the shopkeeper will not be able to say no to you because you have talked to him nicely. So, this Yajna is not considered bhakti. But it is better than going to a shop with a scowl on your face.

    Regarding the role of demigods, you have to understand the process of “seeding”. The same process is involved in the formation of crystals, which is sometimes called “seeding” and sometimes “nucleation”. For example, when sugar is produced from sugarcane juice, to form a sugar crystal, there has to be a “nucleus” or “seed” around which the crystal will be formed. There is no deterministic process for this nucleation. In theory, the nucleus can be formed anywhere in the liquid, but since it can be formed anywhere, therefore, there is no necessity for it to be formed anywhere. How the crystal nucleus is formed is a mystery, especially if the liquid is very pure. If there are impurities, then the crystal is formed easily. However, with the impurities, the crystal structure is not uniform. It has many internal flaws and its properties are different. This is why pure crystals are expensive. The same process of nucleation is involved in cloud formation. There are many kinds of clouds, which are just like good or bad crystals, where water is accumulated around a seed. The quality of the water in the cloud depends on how nicely this cloud has been formed.

    So, if the demigods are pleased, then they produce nice clouds, which are like nicely formed crystals with wonderful structural properties. And when the cloud produces rain, that cloud slowly dissolves in a way that the structural properties of the cloud are reproduced on earth. It is like dissembling a crystal and then assembling it again. If the cloud is not well-formed, then even if it rains, the water doesn’t have structural properties. So, it is just dumped and it cannot be reassembled.

    All these things involve the structural properties of water, different kinds of clouds, which type of cloud and water has what kinds of effects on soil and seed, and ultimately how that rain produces food automatically which is also highly nutritious and creates a peaceful and happy population. When food quality is high, then you need little quantity of food, because the body is also based on qualities. But if the food quality is poor, then you need a huge quantity of food. So, the body tries to produce some quality from a lot of quantity because the food is low quality.

    Dull-headed people cannot understand these things. They look into a microscope and say, water is H20, and that’s it. They don’t know that there are millions of types of water. They try to produce rain by cloud seeding, which is throwing some impurity into the atmosphere to force nucleation. But the water you get like that is not good quality. So, in Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna is talking about how a healthy and happy society is created when the demigods are worshipped. Of course, if we just worship Krishna, then all the demigods are pleased. This is just like when a relative of a shopkeeper comes to buy something, then the shopkeeper shows them the best things and gives them the best discount. So, if we become devotees of Krishna, then we will also become friends and relatives of the demigods. Then we don’t have to worship them separately and we still get all the benefits of that worship.

    Agrahya Das

    Wonderful explanation Sir. Intuitively, your explanations resonate at some deep level but they cut against the grain of almost everything that I hear from every other source. And I find it a challenge to tune out of all that noise and focus on the signal that you are presenting but I thank you for being a source of this signal.

    Ashish Dalela

    Yes, each receiver has to be tuned to listen to the signal and ignore the noise. When the receiver is fully tuned, then the noise disappears. The attachment for signal grows while the attachment for noise decreases. It is a gradual process. If we persist, then very quickly we develop a distaste for the noise and taste for the signal. Then it becomes easier to ignore the noise and focus on the signal.

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