Viswanath R Swamy

A Commentary on Rigveda

Cosmic creation is a great and sublime sacrifice. "The all - pervading Brahman is established in the sacrifice" says the Gita. Each and every object offers itself in to this sacrificial fire.
Why? Sacrifice indicates movement, that is to say, an ever-proceeding course towards the greater and still greater fulfillment of evolution.  Sacrifice is being performed; creation has become dynamic and presses forward with the self-sacrifice of the objects inherent in it. By self-sacrifice one creates another form and gets in it one's larger self. The plant has evolved from Matter; the animal after that plant; man from the animal, and God wants now to manifest Himself through man by virtue of this process of self sacrifice. Sacrificing itself, the cloud comes down as rain.Parents sacrifice flesh and blood to give birth to their offspring. All these are but different forms of this sublime sacrifice. We may quote the Gita again  "With sacrifice the Lord of creatures of old created creatures and said: By this shall you bring forth (fruits or offspring), let this be your milker of desires."
It is the Gods who are the primal powers holding and controlling this sacrifice and cosmic creation. By his self-offering man fulfills the nature of the gods.
what is externally the sacrifice of physical elements represents a Yoga of union in the inner consciousness. The discipline  of human life is also a sacrifice. What is the aim of such a sacrifice? Evolution, ascension, from the little to the vast, from suffering, weakness and ignorance to delight, strength and knowledge. How is it possible ?? by the same self-sacrifice,  self offering, dedication and prostration. The lower levels and baser propensities of our life must be surrendered to the higher levels and sublimer propensities. The Katha Upanishad declares :  " Let the wise man restrain speech in his mind and mind in Self, and knowledge in the Great-Self, and that again let him restrain in the Self that is at peace." (translated by Sri Aurobindo)
The Gita too says:
"And others offer all the actions of the sense and all the actions of the vital force in to the fire of Yoga of self-control kindled by knowledge."
The innermost and the uppermost " commune" of the divine energies is known as the gods. The aspirant will offer heart and soul and carry their prostration to the " commune" of the gods.Then alone will the gods descent in him with all their divine plenitude. The truth-seeker gives birth to the Gods in his being. Likewise the gods draw him towards them. With regard to  the mystery of this sacrifice Lord Krishna proclaims:
"Foster by this the gods and let the gods foster you; fostering each other,  you shall attain to the supreme good "
 This mutual exchange of sacrifice between man and the divine forces leading to progression, to evolution of life, is guarded by Fire, the light and heat that signify the power born of spiritual discipline. It is this energy that enables the practicant to go forward on his way of sacrifice. The aspirant offers as an oblation every limb of his being in to this energy of spiritual practice which in its turn carries the self-offering of the aspirant to his divinity, and continues to work for its establishment; that is why Fire is the offer. Fire is also called the carrier, for he brings down the divine powers into the aspirant and carries him up in to their region. This work Fire has undertaken to perform without the least violation of the rhythm of truth day after day through the evolutionary process. Hence he is called the priest. The priest is he who knows the proper time for the performance of the seasonal sacrifices. The energy born of spiritual practice too has the spontaneous tendency to determine the spiritual course of the practicant.(abhyasi).  The fire of spiritual discipline burns up all the dross contained in the receptacle of the aspirant making him more capable and bringing down in to him the divine power, knowledge and bliss -- complete sucess. The power of fire is no other than the dynamis of the Divine vision, the activity born of direct realisation; there fore fire is called the protecting power of truth. The status that forms the habitat of the vast, the unmanifested and the manifested truth, the fourth order beyond the ordinery known three states, viz; the walking state, the dream state and the dreamless sound sleep: this indeed is sarvaloka, the real home of the   Fire-god and all the other gods. It is here that the gods reign supreme in their own real form, in their true nature.