sahayajnah prajaah srishtvaa purovaacha prajaapatih |
anena prasavishyadhvamesha vostvishtakaamadhuk || 10 ||

In ancient times, Prajaapati created humanity along with yajna. He said “through this (yajna) let everyone prosper,  and may it become your fulfiller of wishes”.

sahayajnah : with yajna
prajaah : humanity
srishtvaa : created
puraa : in ancient times
uvaacha : said
prajaapatih: prajaapati
anena : through this
prasavishyadhvam : may you prosper
eshah : this
vah : for you
astu : become
ishtakaamadhuk : fulfiller of wishes

A common question for many of us is: “I understand the concept of selfless dedication. However, how do I know that I will be able to fulfill my material needs if I give up caring for the fruits of action altogether?” Shri Krishna has the answer : perform actions with selfless dedication or yajna, and your material needs will be provided for automatically.

If we work for a corporation, we do several different things everyday to fulfill our job responsibilities: respond to emails, attend meetings, draft project plans, make excel documents and so on. Do we ever think : “how much money will I get paid for opening this email? how much money do I get for attending this meeting?” If we have done our job right, the results will automatically come to us in the form of a monthly salary.

Shri Krishna explains that yajna is embedded within the fabric of humanity since time immemorial. It is a universal law. Once invoked, that law provides us with all that we need in this world. It becomes the “fulfiller of wishes”. And the key to invoke that universal law is to perform selfless action dedicated to a higher ideal.

This is the essence of karmayoga.

1. Some commentators interpret the word “isthakaamadhuk” to mean “kaamadhenu”, the mythological cow that grants any wish asked of her. But even with this interpretation, the essence of this shloka remains unchanged.