Nowadays, most company-manufactured products are accompanied by an instruction book or manual. When the manufacturer of a mere machine considers it necessary to give instructions on the use of a product, how can we imagine that Bhagavan would not have given guidelines regarding the use of this complex and sophisticated instrument — the human body? In the Bhagavad Gita it is said that in the beginning, when this creation came into existence, the Lord instructed all beings on how to live and work together in the yagna spirit. When we work for a common cause with a worshipful and selfless attitude, for
the greater good, it is working in the yagna spirit.
Worshiping the Lord with our right actions and sacrificing one’s own selfishness, possessiveness and attachments are two aspects of the yagna spirit. By acting cooperatively with this attitude, all our wishes can be fulfilled. Indian mythology refers to Kamadhenu, a cow that fulfils all desires. So, what does this actually refer to? When the wishes and thoughts of all become one, and a group of people come together to work selflessly for a particular cause then that endeavour is a success. Working together in such a cooperative and selfless manner to achieve a desirable goal is the proverbial cow that fulfils our wishes. When India was under British rule, the country joined together and resolved to fight for freedom. Working together, we achieved our goal. This spirit at work is
visible at different levels in the world around us.
Working in the yagna spirit is a means to purify the mind, achieve all-round prosperity and fulfil our wishes. By working in the spirit of collective endeavour, we achieve what is good (shreyas). Shreyas includes three main things: peace, not just at the individual level, but at the level of the nation and of society as well. History has demonstrated that prosperity is possible only when there is peace. But even amidst peace, prosperity and plenty, happiness eludes us because the spiritual dimension is missing from our lives. We measure prosperity in material terms. So, a person or country may be rich, but not happy. Peace, prosperity and happiness together is shreyas and this comes only by working in the yagna spirit.
But for our efforts to bear fruit, it is also necessary that we live in harmony with and obey the laws of nature. Whatever progress has been made in science and technology has been made only by understanding the forces of nature and following nature’s laws. Everything in nature gives of itself. But we should know how to receive and also give in return. When we cherish and propitiate the forces of nature, they will, in turn, bless us. Exploitation without replenishment, can only lead to destruction.