yatkaroshi yadashnaasi yajjuhoshi dadaasi yata |
yattapasyasi kaunteya tatkurushva madarpanam || 27 ||

 
Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in a sacrifice, whatever you donate, whatever you practice as penance, O Kaunteya, offer it to me.
 
yat : whatever
karoshi : you do
ashnaasi : you eat
juhoshi : you offer in a sacrifice
dadaasi : you donate
tapasyasi : you practice as penance
kaunteya : O Kaunteya
tat : that
kurushva : do
madarpanam : offer it to me
 
Shri Krishna explains the technique of bringing worship into daily life. Previously we learnt the technique of worshipping Ishvara using simple offerings like water. Once we get used to the worship of Ishvara in the home and in the temple, we need to bring that spirit of worship into all of our actions. In other words, we need to learn how to bring divinity into our actions. To that end, this shloka urges us to perform all actions as an act of worship towards Ishvara.
 
The simplest and most common action we perform is that of eating. Shri Krishna says that even the act of eating should be considered an act of worship. Traditionally, before every meal, the first five morsels are offered to the deity within with the words “praanaaya svaaha”. The rest of the meal should be consumed with the attitude that the act of eating is occurring in the service of Ishvara, and not for the appeasement of our senses.
 
Now, take another action like exercising, for instance. How do we transform that into an act of worship? Anything that causes discomfort in the short term, but gets us gains in the long term, is an act of “tapas” or penance. Shri Krishna says that we can convert any action into a penance if we imbibe it with the attitude of worship. So if we have to take a long walk for exercising, for example, we can imagine that we are doing a “pradakshina”, that we walking around a temple. In this manner, even a discomforting act becomes divine.
 
Similarly, any action that requires strenuous effort and long hours can be made into an act of sacrifice. If we have to put in extra hours of work, we have to sacrifice our leisure time in the process. We can think of those extra hours of work as an offering in a “yagnya” or sacrifice.
 
In other words, we need go through elaborate rituals with fire and butter and priests and so on. Any action can be converted into an act of worship. When we donate, we can think that we are returning to Ishvara what was Ishvara’s to begin with. When we go on a diet, we can imagine that we are conserving Ishvara’s energy, and so on.
 
What is the rationale for “divinizing” all of our actions? The notion of doership and enjoyership, the two main obstacles to liberation, get progressively diluted. Instead of thinking “I did this” and “I enjoyed this”, we begin to think that “Ishvara did it, and Ishvara gets the results”. Consequently, our stress levels and worries begin to reduce as well.
 
This takes us back full circle to karma yoga, but with the added dimension of devotion. Karma yoga without bhakti yoga is incomplete. Without the attitude of devotion, we can potentially commit wrong or harmful actions that we will hesitate to perform in front of Ishvara. With devotion, karma yoga is complete.
 
Shri Krishna reveals the result of worshipful actions in the next shloka.
 
Footnotes:
1. Devotion comprises three aspects: seva (service), shraddha (faith) and Ishvara mahaanata (greatness of Ishvara)

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