Yajna means a sacrifice. Sacrifice is not just an act of giving up ownership, but dedicating that giving up of ownership to a larger purpose.
There are five great yajnas or sacrifices that are talked about in our scriptures. For eg. Brhadharanyaka Upanishad says there are five Yajna, five Purushas, five pazus. The five yajnas are often called pancha mahA yajnas.
1. Brahma Yajna
2. Deva Yajna
3. Pitr Yajna
4. Bhuta Yajna
5. Manushya Yajna.
These Yajnas are interpreted in different ways. This is my understanding of the Yajnas.
This Universe is a Yajna/Sacrifice performed by Atma. Atma performs a series of five sacrifices to evolve this Universe.
In each Yajna, there is a Purusha that is sacrificed. Purusha for large part, is dark, invisible. A small part of Purusha is visible. The visible part is called ‘Pazu’ (paz means visible). The dark/invisible part of Purusha is functionally external, witnessing/observing and catalysing the Pazu part. This Pazu, the visible part of the Purusha evolves in the sacrifice. This sacrifice results in the ‘havis’ (burnt oblation) being given to a new entity or results in new entity.
Then another Purusha comes up. This Purusha is also characterized by large dark/invisible part and small visible part (pazu). This purusha is sacrificed and the pazu part evolves.
The five Yajnas run one after another in this way and the manuSya evolves. Thus there are five Yajnas, five Purushas and five pazus.
This blog also summarizes my (very) top level understanding of how vedas map to science.
The entire Universe including the planets came from a Purusha constrained to 10 angulas according to Purusha Suktam. . The Purusha was the entire four dimensional Spacetime filled with huge energy, called the Brahma, but constrained in just 10 angulas space.
Then Atman sacrificed this Purusha, the Brahma.
Purusha, the spacetime filled with huge energy was like a ‘ripe’ about to be burst ‘pea’. And it burst like a pea says Brhadharanyaka Upanishad. The spacetime fabric expanded greatly, like a bursting pea, as it was warped too deep by a huge energy. This created AkAza, the vacuum of expanded spacetime.
Not all the energy manifested on the expanded spacetime. 1/4th of the energy only manifested as background quantum fluctuations in the expanded spacetime. It is called Stri. 3/4th of the original energy remained dark and unmanifest.
Stri, the background quantum fluctuations in the vacuum of expanded spacetime is also called ‘pazu’. ‘Paz’ means visible. Since stri is the perceptible part of energy, Stri is called pazu.
This kick-starts the process of ati sRsti, super creation or evolution which is called Brahman. Hence this yajna is called Brahma Yajna.
Brahma as Purusha, Havis to Brahman
In this yajna, brahma, the spacetime filled with huge energy is sacrificed. The ‘havis’ of the Yajna is given to ‘brahman’, the ati sRsti or evolution..
After Brahma Yajna, the Deva Yajna commences.
After Brahma Yajna, the Universe has an expanded spacetime, 3/4th of energy which is dark/unmanifest (Shiva) and 1/4th perceptible energy (Stri or Pazu) that manifest in the vacuum of expanded spacetime.
In Deva Yajna, Energy is the Purusha that is sacrificed. 3/4th of energy is dark and imperceptible. 1/4th of energy is visible and manifesting. Energy is Shiva. Shiva is called Pazupati.
Shiva, the Purusha sacrifices some of its dark (imperceptible) energy to Stri the background quantum fluctuations that occupies the spacetime vacuum. This causes the stri to manifest as various types force-fields (rudras) explicitly on the spacetime,
Evolution of rudras
A rudra that manifests on spacetime explicitly is Strong force which is depicted as ‘gA’. Like gA the ‘domesticated cow’ that moves little but nourishes the manuSya, strong force is the one that nourishes the Universe with energy, but has very low range of interaction (moves little). Most of the mass in Universe is due to strong interaction.
Another rudra that manifest on spacetime explicitly are Electromagnetic force which is depicted as ‘Asva’, the horse. Like horse this force-field is characterized by movement or radiation. It also nourishes the Universe.
Another rudra that manifests on spacetime explicitly is Quark (Dirac-Fermi) field which is depicted as ‘ukSan’ the bull. Like the bull that impregnates the cow and multiplies the flock, the quarks of this field interact with Strong force and create bigger and bigger nucleus of atoms.
Another rudra that manifests on spacetime explicitly is Higgs force-field which is depicted as ‘Gaja’ the elephant. Like the Elephant that is characterized by its ‘mass’, moving slow, but can crush anything, Higgs force-field interacts with other particles, give them ‘mass’, restrains their movement, but can warp spacetime more due to the energy density it creates and causes gravity.
Thus Stri (background quantum oscillations) manifests (splits into) as various forms of ‘domesticated cattle’ or ‘pazu’ or rudras due to the sacrifice of Purusha. Actually there are totally eleven rudras or force-fields.
Evolution of Adityas
These rudras or force-fields are filled with energy that can create or destroy particles with and without mass. The energy in these force-fields that create newer forms of matter are called Adityas. There are twelve Adityas.
The prominent of the Adityas is Vishnu, the property of mass. The Higgs field impedes movement of particles that are zipping at speed of light. The Higgs field ‘condenses’ the energy in a region of space creating energy density. This energy density creates the perception of ‘mass’ in particles.
Dominance of Dark Matter
There are two types of matter or massive particles. Those that interact with other force-fields and hence evolve are the regular matter. They are the Lakshmi. Of the Lakshmi, some of them radiate energy in electromagnetic field (give out photons or light). They are Shree.
Those that do not interact with any other force-field and hence do not evolve are the dark matter. They are the nArAyaNa.
The visible/perceivable matter (Lakshmi/Shree) resides in the dark matter (nArAyana). All mortal matter forms (nara) reside (ayana) in this dark matter. Hence it is nArAyana.
Dark Matter (nArAyana) is 80% and ordinary matter (Lakshmi) is just 20% of overall matter.
Evolution of Vasus
These massive particles assume eight different physical forms of matter. These physical forms are called vasus.
Thus out of the sacrifice of Purusha the energy in this Yajna, rudras, Adityas and vasus, which are the Devas, appear.
Shiva as Purusha, Havis to Devas
In this Yajna, Shiva, the Energy is the Purusha that is sacrificed. ‘havis’ is given to the ‘devas’ or ‘devas’ are the result of this Yajna. Hence it is called Deva Yajna.
The Universe is full of different matter forms and energies after the Deva Yajna. Now the Pitr Yajna starts.
Pitr Yajna produces Pitrs.
mAtr and pitr
The Strong Interaction is called ‘gA’. It interacts with ‘ukSan’, the Quarks of Dirac-fermi fields and evolves the ‘nucleus’ of atoms. The nucleus of atoms is called ‘Prthvi’. Prthvi is the ‘ground’. It is the ‘Mother’. Like a mother who gives energy, life and identity, nucleus of atoms has the most energy and gives identity to an atomic element.
Creation of newer elements with larger nucleus due to nucleo-synthesis is called mAtr.
The nucleus is surrounded by Sky of electron shells. They are called ‘dyu-loka’. The energy that manifest in these shells as electron is called ‘dyaus’. Dyaus is called ‘Pita’. Like a father who develops the external interaction abilities, electron cloud around the nucleus gives the interaction ability to an atom.
Creation of larger and more complex structures of matter due to electron-electron, electron-nuclei interactions is called ‘Pitr’.
Why Pitr and not mAtr..?
When such large structures of matter evolve, often they along with larger hidden dark matter, create huge energy density in a region of space, causing the spacetime to warp, bringing the matter closer, causing gravitational collapse and heat, which then leads to nuclear fusion processes that evolve more complex nuclei and newer type of elements.
The overall evolution is considered to be primarily guided by the Pitrs such as large molecular clouds and complex matter forms, as they are the basis of even nucleo-synthesis. While both mother (nucleus) and father (electron shells) are important, even with a limited set of elements, complex matter forms can form and evolve further. Hence evolution of Universe is given a ‘patriarchal’ touch or angle.
Evolution of Skanda, the heat in Pitr
The particles (atoms, nuclei and electrons) of complex matter structure that evolve as ‘Pitr’ (complex matter structures) exhibit constant and random motion. This is the kinetic energy that these particles acquire. This is what manifests as ‘heat’ measured by temperature.
This constant random motion is called ‘Skanda’. Skanda is the heat, born from Agni. Skanda means hopping up and down. The internal energy manifests as Skanda (hopping up and down of particles).
The heat (skanda/hopping up and down) manifests as internal energy, enthalpy and free energy.
Various forms of Skanda in Pitr
Internal energy is the constant random motion of all particles in a body.
Some of the energy absorbed by a body goes into changing the volume and/or pressure of the body, which is a change in the constant random motion (skanda) of the particles in the body. This energy is equal to Pressure *Volume and called Work Done energy. The Internal energy + Work Done energy is called enthalpy.
When the temperature of a body is at variance with environment, energy is given/absorbed with respect to environment. This is physical transfer of free energy which results in more or less of constant random motion of particles (skanda) in the body.
When chemical reactions take place between different matter forms, bonds between particles change, absorbing/releasing energy, resulting in different constant random motion of particles (skanda). This is chemical transfer of free energy.
Thus any change in ‘heat’ or ‘skanda’ is carried by ‘troops’ of atoms, electrons and nuclei as a change in their constant random motion. These troops that transact the energy are called ‘deva-sena’, the energy of the troops. Skanda, the heat is called devasena-pati’.
nArAyaNa as Purusha, Havis to Pitrs
nArAyaNa, the dark matter is the Purusha here. Science says dark matter (nArAyaNa)is nearly 80% and perceivable matter (Shree/ Lakshmi) is only 20%.
In the Pitr Yajna, the Purusha that is sacrificed is dark matter (nArAyana) with little of matter (Shree/Lakshmi). The ‘Havis’ is given to Pitrs, the more complex matter forms that evolve primarily by electron-nuclei-electron interactions.
Pitr Yajna evolves matter structures with ‘heat’ or skanda. In conducive environments like our Bhumi, the bhuta Yajna commences. Bhuta yajna sacrifices the skanda in Pitrs and evolve the bhutas.
bhuta – macromolecules of life
Bhuta are ‘bodies’ that can sustain life, but do not have life. Bhuta are macromolecular structures (RNA, DNA) involving various compounds that can sustain ‘life’, but do not have life. They serve as the ‘vehicle’ for life. Bhuta yajna evolves such macromolecular structures that serve as the vehicle of life.
prajApati – The DNA
‘jA’ are those that are born. prajA are those that are ‘first of the born’. The first of the born, the prajA, are ‘genetic information’ contained in the nucleic acids that are ‘copied’ (transcribed) (and hence take birth). Hence the macromolecular structures that have the ability to synthesize newer copies of genetic information in them are called prajApati.
Hence prajApati is said to be the ‘creator’ of all living beings. The current prajApati for most life forms is the DNA. They are the ‘bhuta’ that evolve out of the bhuta Yajna.
bhumi – where bhutas evolve
‘Bhumi’ are those Spatial objects say planets that can evolve these ‘bhutas’ that serve as vehicle of life.
Our planet earth is a ‘bhu-mi’ as it can evolve macromolecular structures that sustain life. Planet Mars in Vedic literature is a son of Bhumi called ‘Bhauma’. He could have sustained macromolecular structures that sustain life. But he got burnt up and hence is called ‘angAraka’.
Skanda as the Purusha, Havis to bhuta
Matter bodies contain large amount of ‘heat’ or ‘Skanda’. Most of them are ‘dark’ or ‘invisible’ as they cannot be used in transfer or exchange of energy. Some of them are available for exchange of energy. This Skanda is the Purusha. Skanda manifests as Internal energy and free energy. This skanda is sacrificed or given to evolve the bhutas.
Some part of the Skanda, the Purusha, are available for exchange/transfer of energy. The part of energy that is available for transfer rides on electrons and atoms as a whole. These are said to be the ‘Troops of energy’, the ‘deva-sena’. Skanda is thus called ‘devasena pati’.
The bhuta Yajna in which the Pitrs wiht heat are sacrificed results in the ‘Bhutas’, the macromolecular structures that can synthesize/copy genetic information. Nucleic acids such as RNA and DNA are such structures. In the current world, DNA are the prajApati that create living beings.
Hence ‘havis’ of this Yajna is given to bhuta.
Bhuta Yajna evolved the ‘bhutas’, the prajApati, that can synthesize/copy information in conducive environments.
The prajApati, the DNA (or RNA in the RNA world) that can synthesize/copy information are sacrificed in the manuSya Yajna.
prajApati is the Purusha in the manuSya Yajna. Most part of the DNA do not ‘code’ or translate proteins that are useful, though they contain genetic information and are copied/transcribed. They are ‘dark’. A very small part (8 to 10%) of the prajApati, the DNA/RNA that transcribe also ‘code’ or translate protein sequences (amino acids).
These coding nucleic acids are the actual one’s that are sacrificed/evolve further, propagating different forms of life as they translate different types of proteins and evolve the manuSya like us. The remaining are the Purusha, the ‘dark’ non-coding nucleic acids that support the coding ones.
Self-replicating and Coding RNAs might have used phospolids to evolve the first cell. Ordered interactions between RNA and amino acids synthesized by coding RNA evolved the DNA. DNA eventually replaced RNA as genetic material. Then metabolism using ATP evolved to derive energy from the environment. All present day cells use ATP. Evolution of primitive organisms lead to change in the earth’s climatic conditions, enriched it with oxygen, leading to evolution of more intelligent beings, leading up to present day manuSya.
Hence the havis of this Yajna is said to be given to manuSya, as manuSya evolves out of this Yajna.
Evolution of manuSya – Yajna-upavIta
How do manuSya evolve further..? By structured learning.
People who go to formal school are said to be ‘twice born’. They do ‘Yajnopavita’ and wear a sacred thread. Being in a formal education is a ‘Yajna’ a sacrifice, a sacrifice to evolve to a better person. A upaVita, wearing of a sacred thread is done to mark this Yajna. Hence it is called Yajna upavIta.
The mantra for Yajnopavita dhArana is this
Yajnyopaviitam Paramam Pavitram
Prajaapater Yat Sahajam Purastaat
Yajnyopaviitam Balam-Astu Tejah
The meaning is this
Sacred of all is Yajnopavita. It is the prajApati which born together from the beginning, the foremost of living/life, worn bright/white in each. Let yajnopavita strengthen the effulgence.
prajApati are DNA (nucleic acids). They are the beginning of life. Every cell wears it, gets life. The sacred thread that is worn is similar to this DNA. When cells wore DNA, life began. When manuSya wears the sacred thread like a DNA again, is born again and reaches the next level of knowledge through structured learning.
The sacred thread indicates the person has acquired a new DNA with formal learning. Some of those traits that the person inherited from his DNA has to be lost with this learning and new traits incorporated in the DNA that the person transfers to the progeny. That’s the significance of being born again and Yajnopavita.
Summary of the pancha mahA Yajna
Spacetime filled with energy constrained to just 10 angulas (Purusha) is sacrificed in the Brahma Yajna. Brahman, the evolution takes the havis.
Energy and Dark energy (Shiva) are sacrificed in the Deva Yajna. Rudras (force-fields), Adityas including Vishnu (Binding energies including mass) and Vasus (states of matter) take the havis.
Matter and Dark Matter (nArAyana/Vishnu) are sacrificed in the Pitr Yajna. Pitr (complex matter structures having heat/skanda) take the havis.
Heat of matter that is unusable and usable (skanda) are sacrificed in the Bhuta Yajna. Bhutas (molecular structures that can carry life, the like RNA, DNA) take the havis.
Nucleic acids (prajApati the DNA) are sacrificed in the manuSya Yajna. manuSya take the havis.
If manuSya needs to evolve further, the way defined is dvija, being born again with structured learning, initiated with the Yajna of upavIta, which is wearing the sacred thread as another DNA on us to indicate the new traits that we learn and traits that we need to lose.
Practising pancha mahA yajna
In social life, brahma yajna is said to be learning and education. Deva Yajna is sacrificing to fire (Agni). Pitr Yajna is said to be sacrifices (rites) for ancestors. Bhuta Yajna is said to be sacrificing to animals (feeding animals). manuSya yajna is said to be taking care of manuSya including guests.
Where is the consciousness..?
In each Yajna or sacrifice or stage of evolution, there is consciousness.
I use the word consciousness here as ‘one that appears functionally external (not physically), appears as witnessing/observing, appears as catalysing”. What we describe as our consciousness plays that role of being functionally external (to our body), though physically in it, witnessing our actions, catalysing our actions, but not impacted by it.
This consciousness as described above manifests all through the Yajnas.
Atma is the supreme consciousness that drove the expansion/evolution of universe by splitting purusha and stri in the Brahma Yajna. Atma is described to be functionally external, witness/observing and catalysing.
That consciousness manifests in Dark energy (Shiva) when it supports energy to evolve devas. Dark energy is functionally external, witness/observing and catalysing.
That consciousness manifests in Dark matter (nArAyana) when it supports matter to evolve complex matter forms. Dark matter is functionally external, witness/observing and catalysing.
That consciousness manifests in ‘Heat’ of matter (skanda) when it supports complex matter forms to evolve nucleic acids that can support life. This ‘heat’ (internal unusable energy) is functionally external, witness/observing and catalysing.
That consciousness manifests in nucleic acids (prajA-pati) when the non-coding DNA supports coding DNA to evolve complex living beings. The non-coding part of nucleic acid is functionally external, witnessing/observing and catalysing.
In essence the consciousness (as defined here) is spread all through the Universe.
More posts by this author:
- Brhadharanyaka Upanishad -Sloka 1.4.16 and 17
- Daksha Yajna – Cosmic Inflation and Re-heating
- Brhadharanyaka Upanishad – Sloka 1.4.15 and 16
- zrAddha – A new perspective..
- Learning Physics from Vedas and Puranas -2