For Happiness, Learn To Sacrifice
    Published in: The Pioneer
    Category: Hacked BY
    Dated: 9/11/2006
We were married for seven years and very much desired to have a child but my wife was not conceiving. We consulted many genealogists but to no avail. Finally, we met the head of AIIMS’s genealogy department. Extensive tests were done and it was concluded that my wife wouldn’t be able to conceive.

Naturally, we felt terribly disappointed but still hoped. We were in Rishikesh for vacations, where a thought came to my mind, “Why not leave eating meat ?” I spoke to my wife and she agreed to the idea. Amazingly, she conceived and we had our daughter in ten months.

It strikes me as if some sacrifice was needed to get what we desired desperately. May be, a soul in goodness was destined to come to us but our meat-eating was coming in the way. There have been many other instances in my life where some sacrifice brought me what I desired.

This word sacrifice is defined in English as the action of giving up something that one values for something more important. Also defined as the offering of something valuable to god. In sanskrit, the corresponding word is “yajna” and it has a much deeper meaning. It is variously defined as fire-sacrifice (the most widely known meaning), any type of devotional activity, offering of any kind, honouring someone, etc.

In the Bhagavad-Geeta, this word is given a still wider meaning that is of mutual exchange of the fruits of one’s action. And, Lord Krishna states that we can get everytinhg desirable in this world by this yajna principle. He also says that ultimately everything should be offered to ‘Him’ only ; that means everything should be done for the common good, since God doesn’t need anything from us, being self-sufficient. He is only keen to see that the entire world is happy.

Let us examine how practical this premise is. Who eats first in a family, the one who cooks or others ? Who has the first right over salary, the family or the one who has earned it ? Why is tree’s example given in the matter of sacrifice ? Why do good children sacrifice some of their comforts for their parents ? Why is a mother a revered symbol ? Why are saintly persons venerated ? And why are the social workers given so much respect ? Because all of them follow the “yajna” principle of offering what they have to others.

And it is a very practical principle. All our needs from birth to death are met by other people only. Can we look after ourselves when we are born ? Or, can we dispose off our own bodies when we are dead ? From birth to death, there is no exception to the rule that we depend upon others. Lord Krishna even goes to the extent of stating that anyone who does not complete this cycle lives in vain. What do we call such a person ? Narrowly selfish ! Selfish we can be but not narrowly. What is appreciated or remembered, sacrifice or lusting ?

Actually, most of our problems in our lives are related to lusting which can be effectively countered by the sacrifice principle. Everything in the world is cyclic, we should remember that. And, people remember someone from whom they got something, even after that person is long gone.

In a world which is so much inter-connected and influenced by one other, sacrifice or yajna must be the guiding principle. Then the world shall be a better place to live. Let us start with ourselves in our families and be more helpful.

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