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innate satisfaction it provides. Such social service done as a dedication to society without the least self-interest, and in a totally detached attitude of self-effacement, such action goes by the fascinating name of yajna, in Hinduism.
The word yajna, is one of those words from Hindu religion and spirituality which has no English equivalent. Roughly, it means sacrifice, either ritualistic in the conventional sense of Hindu orthodoxy, or a devotional act without an egocentric attachment. In a broader sense, any action done for the good of others, done with dedication and without desire or expectation or attachment or selfishness may be called a yajna. Here 'dedication' means 'voluntary acceptance of suffering for the benefit of others'. The concept is elaborately dealt with in the third chapter of the gItA. The central purport is as follows.
When one acts, one has to take responsibility for the good or bad effects of the action. Dexterity in action (karmasu kauSalaM) according to the gItA, is that manner of involvement in action in which the effects do not bind one in terms of AgAmi karma. Only when one has desire for the fruits thereof, is one bound by the implications of one's action. When one performs an action because it is one's duty to do it, as for example, when a judge sentences a criminal to death, the results of the action do not bind the judge. The judge does not incur any sin meting out a death sentence as part of his duty. This is yajna. The gItA urges that every action must be done in a spirit of yajna. That is the way to be involved in action and at the same time be free from the bondage of action.
The ultimate aim being the eradication of all vAsanAs,
vAsanAs are quality-imprints of thoughts and actions of the past including all previous lives, left in the subconscious. The concept has been explained in
The Path and The Paradox
in various contexts.
Both good and bad, from the mind-complex, one has to discover the right way to act in the living world, a way which does not result in the accumulation of further vAsanAs. The initial attempt in one's journey should be to avoid accumulating bad vAsanAs, that is, to stay away from sinful acts. To live in subservience to the calls and appetites of othe outer world is the origin of all sins. Such subservience contributes to 'inhuman' and 'undivine' vAsanAs piling up in the mind. From vAsanAs to thoughts and from thoughts to actions is a very familiar chain. To break it, one has to substitute the evil vAsanAs by divine vAsanAs which arise out of puNya-karma, the karma which
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