saha-yajnah prajah srstva
esa vo ’stv ista-kama-dhuk
In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Vishnu, and blessed them by saying, “Be thou happy by this yajna [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation.”
Commentary by Srila Prabhupada
The material creation by the Lord of creatures (Vishnu) is a chance offered to the conditioned souls to come back home—back to Godhead. All living entities within the material creation are conditioned by material nature because of their forgetfulness of their relationship to Vishnu, or Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Vedic principles are to help us understand this eternal relation, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah. The Lord says that the purpose of the Vedas is to understand Him. In the Vedic hymns it is said: patim vishvasyatmesvaram. Therefore, the Lord of the living entities is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam also (2.4.20) Srila Shukadeva Gosvami describes the Lord as pati in so many ways:
sriyah patir yajna-patih praja-patir
dhiyam patir loka-patir dhara-patih
patir gatis candhaka-vrsni-satvatam
prasidatam me bhagavan satam patih
The praja-pati is Lord Vishnu, and He is the Lord of all living creatures, all worlds, and all beauties, and the protector of everyone. The Lord created this material world to enable the conditioned souls to learn how to perform yajnas (sacrifices) for the satisfaction of Vishnu, so that while in the material world they can live very comfortably without anxiety and after finishing the present material body they can enter into the kingdom of God. That is the whole program for the conditioned soul. By performance of yajna, the conditioned souls gradually become Krishna conscious and become godly in all respects. In the Age of Kali, the sankirtana-yajna (the chanting of the names of God) is recommended by the Vedic scriptures, and this transcendental system was introduced by Lord Caitanya for the deliverance of all men in this age. Sankirtana-yajna and Krishna consciousness go well together. Lord Krishna in His devotional form (as Lord Caitanya) is mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32) as follows, with special reference to the sankirtana-yajna:
yajanti hi su-medhasah
“In this Age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of sankirtana-yajna.” Other yajnas prescribed in the Vedic literatures are not easy to perform in this Age of Kali, but the sankirtana-yajna is easy and sublime for all purposes, as recommended in Bhagavad-gita also (9.14).
Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur
Therefore, one with impure heart should perform actions without desire, rather than give up action. Now, if you cannot be desireless in the actions, then you should still perform actions offered to Visnu with desire, rather than give up actions completely. This is explained in seven verses.
Long ago, along with yajna, Brahma created the creature qualified for offering to Visnu and said, “Increase more and more the population by this dharma or yajna. May this yajna bestow all desired enjoyment (ista kama dhuk).” By this he indicated that they had material desires.
The compound saha-yajna is formed by the rule vopasarjanasya (Panini 6.3.82). The compound saha-yajna is used instead of sa-yajna.