aahaararastvapi sarvasya trividho bhavati priyaha |
yajnyastapastathaa daanam teshaam bhedamimam shrunu || 7 ||

 
Food, also, which is dear to all, is of three types, and similarly, sacrifice, penance and charity. Hear this, their distinction.
 
aahaaraha : food
tu : and
api : also
sarvasya : all
trividhaha : three types
bhavati : is
priyaha : dear
yajnyaha : sacrifice
tapaha : penance
tathaa : similarly
daanam : charity
teshaam : these
bhedam : distinction
imam : this
shrunu : hear
 
Shri Krishna now begins to explain the method by which we can analyze the texture or the nature of our faith. The principle here is to assess the attitude with which we perform actions. The type of attitude maintained while performing an action will reveal whether our faith is saatvic, raajasic or taamasic. Shri Krishna covers the entire spectrum of actions performed by us with just four categories: our intake of food, sacrifice, penance and charity. To better understand these categories, we need to understand the underlying symbolic meaning.
 
We have come across broader meaning of the term yajnya or sacrifice in karma yoga. It refers to any action or transaction with another person or object while adhering to our duty. If we are an accountant by profession, then earning a livelihood as an accountant becomes a yajyna or sacrifice. Next, tapas or penance is the means by which we conserve energy needed to perform our duties. A scientist will give up innumerable opportunities to party because he is performing an experiment in his lab in the night. This is penance. Daanam or charity refers to the donation of excess wealth accumulated while performing our duties. The act of charity helps reduce our level of lobha or greed.
 
The intake of food or aahaara is given its own category. It different than sacrifice, penance or austerity for a couple of reasons. Any action performed towards feeding the body gives its phala, its result, immediately. But any other type of action gives its result much later. Furthermore, the result of feeding our body is restricted to the body, not to anything or anyone else. That is why people who are very diligent in their duties can become lax in their dietary habits. Food is analyzed in great detail in the next three shlokas.

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