सहयज्ञाः प्रजाः सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजापतिः।
अनेन प्रसविष्यध्वमेष वोऽस्त्विष्टकामधुक्।।3.10।।
The Creator, having in the beginning (of creation) created mankind together with sacrifice, said, “By this shall ye propagate; let this be the milch cow of your desires (the cow which yields all the desired objects).
I interpret this verse as: Mankind was created along with sacrifices or mankind was created by sacrifice. यज्ञ word has depth but for the simple understanding, in chapter 3 context, it means selfless work for others (fellow travelers on earth) wellbeing. Only way to fulfill all desires/wishes is to perform यज्ञ and let यज्ञ be our ista-kama-dhuk i.e. The way of living.
In next verse, Krishna prescribes:
देवान्भावयतानेन ते देवा भावयन्तु वः।
परस्परं भावयन्तः श्रेयः परमवाप्स्यथ।।3.11।।
With this (यज्ञ) you must gratify the devas and let the devas gratify you; thus gratifying one another, you shall attain the highest good.
I understand: यज्ञ or selfless living is the way to nourish Devas in our body. Who are Devas in our body? For me, they are primary elements (8 वसु), energy forces (11 रूद्र), and catalysts (12 आदित्य) as mentioned in Vedas and Brahman granths who made and maintained different organs and senses for me so far. Since all devas in our body perform selfless work for our existence, it is our duty to nourish them, take care of them without fail, of course for better living.
Why nourish Devas in the body?
इष्टान्भोगान्हि वो देवा दास्यन्ते यज्ञभाविताः।
तैर्दत्तानप्रदायैभ्यो यो भुङक्ते स्तेन एव सः।।3.12।।
The devas, gratified with necessary action will grant you the things sacrificed. Hence whosoever enjoys their gifts without offering them to these devas-he is surely a thief.
If you don’t take care of your body, you are THIEF.
So how many types of यज्ञ one must perform to nourish Devas?
If one is living life (or trying to live) as per वैदिक धर्म, following verse is well know about यज्ञ.
‘अध्यापनं ब्रह्म यज्ञः पित्र यज्ञस्तु तर्पणं |
होमोदैवो बलिर्भौतो न्रयज्ञो अतिथि पूजनं || – मनु स्मृति 3.70
There are many types of यज्ञ but one must perform at least पंच महायज्ञ as prescribed by मनु स्मृति and शतपथ ब्राह्मण Of यजुर्वेद.
What consists of पंच महायज्ञ?
1) ब्रह्मयज्ञ – Intellectual nourishment of self by reading and deciphering Nature/God with the help of Vedas
2) देवयज्ञ – To nourish devas by the devas work for us
3) पितृयज्ञ – Selfless work to protect कुल/परंपरा since परंपरा are blueprints for living in certain environmental conditions based on geography of the land.
4) भूतयज्ञ – Selfless love and nourishment towards rest of the living world(animals, trees, plants, birds). Unlike those who consider COW as mother just because she is economically helpful.
5) मनुष्ययज्ञ – Selfless love and nourishment of fellow human beings. Nurture their humanity. Ignite their humanity by your selfless यज्ञ in which you give आहुति of their ignorance. Help others to realize their divine potential!
Here, our focus is sports so let us understand देवयज्ञ in details.
देवयज्ञ means selfless nourishment of देव within so that they can work with their full efficiency and देवत्व can reflect as culmination effect. If you don’t take care of देव(s) within, they will not work effectively and hence you remain in shoddy human state, full of despair, anger and pain, wasting precious life time.
To understand meaning of any Sanskrit word, it is necessary to understand context in which word is used and different synonyms to strengthen the meaning of the word.Let us see some references to understand meaning of word देव.
देव is derived form of दिवु धातु. So देव’s characteristics are tapped in meanings of दिवु dhatu.
As per Panini’s grammar, दिवु is क्रीडाविजिगीषाव्यवहारद्युतिस्तुतिमोदमदस्वप्नकान्तिगतिषु
1) क्रीडा – The one who consider life as a play is DEVA
2) विजिगीषा – The one who has winning attitude is DEVA
3) व्यवहार – The one who is excelled in communication, conducts, commerce, customs, civility is DEVA
4) द्युति – The one whose life is bright is DEVA
5) स्तुति – The one who can praise others(humans, animals, nature) genuinely is DEVA (Genuine praise is very vital part of positive psychology! Those who have studied HR subjects, must be knowing this)
6) मोद – The one who is constantly working for establishing delight in society/ecosystem
7) मद – The one who is able to take pride of self and at the same time can sacrifice it.
8) स्वप्न – The one who has dream/a lofty selfless goal to be meditated on for betterment of mankind
9) कान्ति – The one from whose life, spiritual splendor is constantly radiating.
10) गति – The one who is constantly changing, गमनशील.
So, क्रीडा is important aspect of vedic life. Life must feel like play and play must be played like यज्ञ, selflessly. To prepare our intellect for selfless living, rigorous physical क्रीडा under active team sport is very essential. Krishna was not fool who inspired Gokul youth to play Hockey on the banks of Yamuna. He created army to fight against mighty कंस, out of simple cowherds’ youth of Gokul, on playground, by playing Hockey – a simulation of sacrifice and war.
क्रीडा is code of life. Inevitable necessity.
What sport can fit best as क्रीडा?
– The one which instill विजिगीषाव्यवहारद्युतिस्तुतिमोदमदस्वप्नकान्तिगति in player
– The one which nourishes Devas inside in totality (Elements, Energy and Catalysts who created our body and maintaining it since birth)
– The one which inspire selfless living
– The one which is efficient in terms of Time spent vs nourishment gained.
– The one which won’t promote one directional growth
– Most important, क्रीडा should best simulate DEVAs working in our body
i.e. as electrifying as signals propagates between two neurons, as energetic as digestive fire, as vigilant as retina
क्रीडा = Hockey, Football, Kho-Kho, Swimming, Kabbadi, Basketball
आनंद-प्रमाद = Cricket
Daily क्रीडा/sports is must if you are thriving to live like Devas inside you. Cricket comes nowhere near to electrifying neurons, energetic liver and brightest retina. Hockey, Football, Kho-Kho, Swimming, Kabbadi, Basketball do.
क्रीडा is emulation of universe within. To realize it, one must perform क्रीडा daily. क्रीडा is one mandatory way of self-realization. Without it, one cannot attain self-realization.
And I fully subscribe to Swami Vivekananda’s below thought:
‘Be Strong, my young friends, that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to heaven though football than though the study of GITA. These are my bold words, but i have to say them, for i love you. In know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a little experience. You will understand the GITA better with your biceps, your muscles, a lieele strong.’
Swami Vivekananda was realized soul and he very well knew importance of क्रीडा in life thriving to live like देव with brightest possible देवत्व RADIATING CONSTANTLY.
अत्र ते वणयिष्यामि वर्षं भारत ! भारतम् ।
प्रियमिन्द्रस्य देवस्य मनोर्वैवस्वतस्य च ॥५॥
– Mahabharat, Bhishm Parva, 9.5
Bharat is Devbhumi, loved by Devas;so does your body, in shape of Bharat, is loved by Devas.
Bharat shaped Human body or Human shaped Bharat – Both are land of Devas. If we claim our bharatiya identity, क्रीडा (=Football,Hockey,Kho-kho) should be integral part of our life. If not, we are not entitled for Bharatiya identity.
The human body is a rare gift of God. Good health is the source of happiness and success in life. Since the body and mind are closely related to each other, ill health causes mental worries and depression, not enabling to pursue a definite goal in life. Swami Vivekananda has rightly said that most of our miseries are cause by our physical weaknesses.
Daily time spent in क्रीडा is the only solution. Watching and gossiping stupid cricketers(any sort of vicarious gratification, epiphenomenon or illusion) and their records is utter waste of life.