It is worthwhile to contrast this market-coordinated worldview with our Hindu worldview in which life is considered as yajna (यज्ञ: sacrifice ). In my assessment, nowhere in the world, humanity expressed its worldview with greater profundity and sublimity than what was done in the Bhagavad-Gita (III. 9-11): its shloka 9 that is rendered into English thus:
‘Save work done as and for a sacrifice, this world is in bondage to work. Therefore, O son of Kunti (Arjuna), do thy work as a sacrifice, becoming free from all attachment.’
Here Yajna means “any self-sacrificing work undertaken in a spirit of Self-dedication, for the blessings of all.” To conceive ‘human life’ as yajna is the greatest monument of human intelligence. We must develop the excellence of skill, and must work hard to earn wealth and protect it, but always for the weal of all. We are amazed observing the moral degradation of the West-dominated society of our day: all running after wealth alone. How it operates is best described in the Bhagavad-Gita itself: see Chapter II shlokas 62 and 63 the import of which can be thus stated in English:
Propensities of the flesh lead to consumerism (the objects of senses); and further the strong desires to acquire and possess such commodities more and more. Such desires beget ‘anger’; when it is evoked but obstructed, it begets sammoha (bewilderment, loss of focus of what is right). Bewilderment is sure to cause loss of memory that makes one indifferent to the lessons that history teaches; and if happens, one’s intelligence stands destroyed. And once there is the loss of ‘intelligence’, one’s sense of propriety is gone; and then one perishes.
Our tradition never rejected wealth, or condemned it. I brought this fact to my reader’s notice in Chapter 20 of the Memoir (at p. 270) by stressing on the following two principles:
- “Krishna held in the Bhagavad-Gita that ‘property’ acquired merely for acquisitiveness and greed is clearly a sinister ‘THEFT’.”
- Krishna insists that the acquisition of ‘property’ must not be greed-driven, and society must not be acquisitive, unmindful to the harm it inflicts on the earth and its environment. (by Shiva Kant Jha)