• 22 Apr, 2024

The Gita, Chapter 4, Sloka 24

The Gita, Chapter 4, Sloka 24

A reflection on one of the most beautiful slokas of the Gita that gives us the essence of the Veda

 

One of the most beautiful shlokas of the Gita is the one that gives us the essence of the Veda, its symbols and significances, and how one must approach the Yajna. To me, it is doubly significant since it not only gives me the deepest insight into the Vedic realizations, but it also tells me about the Gita itself and how it continues the Vedic tradition and dharma in the most lucid and radiant way.

This shloka gives us a Vedantic interpretation of the entire Veda and the Yajna, seeing the act of offering, the offering itself, the Agni and the one who is making the offering all as Brahman. And brings us in line with Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual or adhyatmik interpretation of the Veda. Interestingly, Sri Aurobindo stated that Sri Krishna had revealed to him ‘The Secret of the Veda’ and expounded it in the book by the same name, which contains a selection of his essays published in his lifetime. This brings the entire relationship between as the Guru and Shishya full circle since Sri Aurobindo wrote the best commentary on the Gita and, according to the Mother, Pondicherry, made the action of the Gita ‘decisive.’

Once one meditates on the shloka, one realizes that everything is Brahman. The action we are doing, the objects we handle, the Divine to whom we offer and the one who is making the offering are all One Reality, Tad Ekam. If one can see the truth of this, suddenly the whole Universe and one’s own action in it changes. Sri Krishna has given us a dynamic insight into the symbol of the Yajna and suddenly we see what the ancient Vedic Rishis saw, felt and lived.

Every action then is being done by the Brahman, for Brahman, in Brahman, towards Brahman. There is no longer the duality between the doer and the done, or separation between the deed, doing and doer. And this is a Vedantic insight, sarvam khalvidam Brahma, all is verily the Brahman.

Such action transforms our karma and gives us the true understanding of karma yoga as Brahma-Karma, work done by Brahman as Brahman. And the second line tells us that such action done in the samadhi of Brahma-Karma for sure leads us to Brahman.

Sri Krishna closes the loop on the profound symbolism of Yajna and shows us the continuity between the ancient Vedic dharma and the path prescribed by him in the Gita. If we understand just this and nothing else about the Veda, we have the central insight needed to perform action in a manner that is its own liberation, instantaneously. 

Pariksith Singh MD

Author, poet, philosopher and medical practitioner based in Florida, USA. Pariksith Singh is on the advisory board of Satyameva.

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