aatmasambhaavitaahaa stabdhaa dhanamaanamadaanvitaahaa |
yajante naamayajnaiste dambhenaavidhipoorvakam || 17 ||

 
Self praising, stubborn, filled with intoxication of wealth and fame, they, arrogantly and unsystematically, conduct sacrifices for name only.
 
aatmasambhaavitaahaa : self praising
stabdhaa : stubborn
dhanamaanamadaanvitaahaa : filled with intoxication of wealth and fame
yajante : conduct
naamayajnaihi : sacrifices for name only
te : they
dambhena : arrogantly
avidhipoorvakam : unsystematically
 
When one is overly materialistic, one is always engaged in a constant game of one-upmanship with one’s rivals. Such people put in a lot of effort to create the impression that they are always one step ahead with regards to wealth, power and achievements as compared to their rivals. Shri Krishna paints a picture of this game of one upmanship in this shloka. He examines how such people perform sacrificial rituals. Let us look at the broader meaning of the term sacrifice, which means any activity undertaken for the greater good of society, commonly termed social service.
 
For instance, imagine that an extremely materialistic individual, one who has devilish qualities, announces that he will build a school in an impoverished village. First of all, whether the individual is qualified to build a school or not does not matter. He will praise himself and claim that he is qualified. He will probably not take advice from others, given his stubborn nature. He will make a big announcement in the media, but the emphasis will be on the charitable qualities of the founder than of the school he is building.
 
When in year or so, the hype of the media has died down, and students start attending the school, all kinds of irregularities are discovered. The building construction is faulty. There is no proper budget for hiring good teachers. The money raised for this effort has been funnelled into questionable channels. In a nutshell, the entire effort has been conducted unsystematically, only for the temporary image enhancement of the founder in the media. As with the other scenarios we have seen in this chapter, the root of all this is the intoxication of wealth and fame.

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