Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 4, Verse 25

दैवमेवापरे यज्ञं योगिन: पर्युपासते |
ब्रह्माग्नावपरे यज्ञं यज्ञेनैवोपजुह्वति || 25||

daivam evāpare yajñaṁ yoginaḥ paryupāsate
brahmāgnāvapare yajñaṁ yajñenaivopajuhvati

daivamthe celestial gods; evaindeed; apareothers; yajñamsacrifice; yoginaḥspiritual practioners; paryupāsateworship; brahmaof the Supreme Truth; agnauin the fire; apareothers; yajñamsacrifice; yajñenaby sacrifice; evaindeed; upajuhvatioffer


BG 4.25: Some yogis worship the celestial gods with material offerings unto them. Others worship perfectly who offer the self as sacrifice in the fire of the Supreme Truth.


Sacrifice, or yajña, should be performed in divine consciousness as an offering to the Supreme Lord. However, people vary in their understanding, and hence perform sacrifice in different manners with dissimilar consciousness. Persons with lesser understanding, and wanting material rewards, make offerings to the celestial gods.

Others with deeper understanding of the meaning of yajña offer their own selves as sacrifice to the Supreme. This is called ātma samarpaṇ, or ātmāhutī, or offering one’s soul to God. Yogi Shri Krishna Prem explained this very well: “In this world of dust and din, whenever one makes ātmāhutī in the flame of divine love, there is an explosion, which is grace, for no true ātmāhutī can ever go in vain.” But what is the process of offering one’s own self as sacrifice? This is performed by surrendering oneself completely to God. Such surrender has six aspects to it, which have been explained in verse 18.66. Here, Shree Krishna continues to explain the different kinds of sacrifice that people perform.