“All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rain. Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice], and yajna is born of prescribed duties.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.14)
अन्नाद् भवन्ति भूतानि
यज्ञाद् भवति पर्जन्यो
annād bhavanti bhūtāni
yajñād bhavati parjanyo
1. Power company
“In one of the popular television sitcoms that I like, there is an episode where the husband takes charge of the household finances. This is after he mocks his wife for complaining about the burden of having to manage everything at home, including the kids.
“Sure enough, after the transition the husband runs into trouble. He has such a difficult time paying everything properly and on time, that soon the power is about to get shut off. There is a scene where he reaches for the lamp just prior to falling asleep. Before he touches the switch on the lamp, the lights turn off.
“It is a harsh reality, but sadly there is no other choice. If you don’t pay the bill on time, the only real way they get you back is by shutting off the power to the home. In the heat of summer that might cause problems. The same for during the cold of winter.”
2. Cable company
“I was mad from the last time. On the day of the big game, the service was out. They blamed it on the weather, or something. In revenge, I stopped paying the bill. I thought that would make things even.
“Well, as they warn you to never fight city hall, the same applies to the cable company. They have shut off my service. Now I don’t have any channels coming in. These people are really spiteful, if you ask me.”
3. Lender for the car
“I previously heard jokes about the ‘repo man.’ I never took the time to understand what that meant. Well, I got to see such a person. Firsthand evidence. Eyewitness accounts.
“The neighbor’s car got repossessed. I guess they were behind on their payments. The bank was not in a forgiving mood. Some people are really attached to their cars. It’s like someone coming in and stealing their baby.”
4. Lender for the house
“When you see houses for sale on the foreclosure market, they likely will not be in good condition. These are houses where the last owner failed to pay the loan back in a timely manner, as previously agreed upon.
“That is the meaning to a mortgage. You don’t really own the house. You are renting it from the bank. If you pay the loan back fully, only then you will truly be considered the owner.”
“We had health insurance for all of these years. We paid the monthly premiums. We never went to the doctor. We were pretty fit and healthy.
“Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as we lose coverage, someone gets sick. Apparently, we are out of luck. This gap in coverage was due to a job change. There is no loyalty period. There is no appreciation for having been a good customer. Unless your policy is active, you don’t get coverage.”
You can produce a lot in the factory. The most popular items sold in stores likely were produced in a factory. This is to facilitate mass production. There is an employment factor, as well. An entire community might be tied to the presence of a production plant for a large and successful company.
There is one small defect to consider, however. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that food cannot be produced in the factory. More specifically, grains like wheat and rice. These are gifts from nature, which ultimately has a controller.
That person in charge is known by various names, such as God, the Almighty, the Supreme Being, and so forth. The preferred name is not as important as the awareness of the link. We should know that someone else is responsible for our way of living.
It is not the factory, but the food. The food is from nature. There is no way to replicate the same. The individual food sources might be used in a factory to mass produce certain packaged items, but nature is always the source.
In the Vedic tradition, there is this concept of yajna. This is sacrifice, and its purpose is to show appreciation for the gifts of nature. You could say it is a form of payment, that without yajna the controllers of nature would not be so generous in their distribution.
In the above examples, nonpayment usually triggers an abrupt end to service. You can show appreciation. You can give thanks. You can leave nice reviews for the provider. Still, at the end of the day, they want payment.
In modern times, conducting proper yajna is nearly impossible. With so much of a burden through basic maintenance, who has time to gather everything necessary for showing appreciation? In this dark age of Kali, man is generally unfortunate, short-lived, and with lesser intelligence, as compared to previous ages.
Fortunately, there is the process known as sankirtana-yajna. This is the sacrifice of chanting the holy names, such as: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
This yajna goes directly to the person who is also known as Yajneshvara. This sacrifice is for pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the name and face behind nature. Grains are His gift to us. Grains are from yajna. Without such gifts, the entire ecosystem of the world would be out of balance.
In Bhagavad-gita, the Supreme Lord recommends sacrifice. Yajna can be directly for Him. This does more than satisfy the debt to the utility provider, so to speak. This is also more than a way of showing appreciation. With sankirtana-yajna, there is upasana. This is worship. This is coming closer to the object in question.
A person comes closer to God through a basic process that is recommended. We start with the intention of showing appreciation, of paying the provider, and we end up closer to someone who is our greatest well-wishing friend, who never leaves us, and who can take us back to His eternal abode.
Discounted cars at depot,
Acquired through repo.
Unwanted sight that man,
But lender doing all that they can.
Yajna way for payment the same,
That originally from nature came.
Sankirtana the recommendation to live,
For honor and more to give.
Categories: the five