te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ
śreyaḥ param avāpsyatha
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 3.11
The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you, and thus, by cooperation between men and demigods, prosperity will reign for all.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The demigods are empowered administrators of material affairs. The supply of air, light, water and all other benedictions for maintaining the body and soul of every living entity is entrusted to the demigods, who are innumerable assistants in different parts of the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Their pleasures and displeasures are dependent on the performance of yajnas by the human being. Some of the yajnas are meant to satisfy particular demigods; but even in so doing, Lord Vishnu is worshiped in all yajnas as the chief beneficiary. It is stated also in the Bhagavad-gita that Krishna Himself is the beneficiary of all kinds of yajnas: bhoktaram yajna-tapasam. Therefore, ultimate satisfaction of the yajna-pati is the chief purpose of all yajnas. When these yajnas are perfectly performed, naturally the demigods in charge of the different departments of supply are pleased, and there is no scarcity in the supply of natural products.
Performance of yajnas has many side benefits, ultimately leading to liberation from material bondage. By performance of yajnas, all activities become purified, as it is stated in the Vedas: ahara-shuddhau sattva-suddhih sattva-shuddhau dhruva smritih smriti-lambhe sarvagranthinam vipramokshah. By performance of yajna one’s eatables become sanctified, and by eating sanctified foodstuffs one’s very existence becomes purified; by the purification of existence finer tissues in the memory become sanctified, and when memory is sanctified one can think of the path of liberation, and all these combined together lead to Krishna consciousness, the great necessity of present-day society.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
This verse explains how the yajna yields all desires. “By this yajna (anena), please the devatas. You make them pleased by the sacrifice. The devatas also will please all of you.” Bhava indicates affection in this verse.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
3.11 ‘By this,’ i.e., by this sacrifice, you propitiate the gods who form My body and have Me as their Self. For Sri Krsna will say later on: ‘For I am the only enjoyer and the only Lord of Sacrifices’ (9.24). Worshipped by sacrifices, may these gods, who have Me as their Self, nourish you with food, drink etc., which are required also for their worship. Thus, supporting each other, may you attain the highest good called Moksa (release).
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
How does the sacrifice yield desired enjoyments? Lord Krishna answers this here. By yagna or worship and appeasement one pleases the devas or demi- gods, who in turn please the offerer with prosperity and abundance. Thus mutually gratifying each other both humans and the devas will be happy and attained the highest good.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
To answer the question how will yagna or worship fulfill one’s prayers Lord Krishna reponds that the devas or demi-gods nourished by the oblations offered will in turn mutually reciprocate fulfilling all one’s prayers with properity and abundance. Gratifying each other as such human and deva will all attain the fulfillment of their desires.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
3.11 ‘Bhavayata, you nourish; devan, the gods, Indra and others; anena, with this sarifice. Let te devah, those gods; bhavayantu, nourish; vah, you-make you contented with rainfall etc. Thus bhavayantah, nourishing; parasparam, one another; avapsyatha, you shall attain; the param, supreme; sreyah, Good, called Liberation, through the attainment of Knowledge;’ or, ‘you shall attain heaven-which is meant by param ‘sreyah.’ [The param sreyah (supreme Good) will either mean liberation or heaven in accordance with aspirant’s hankering for Liberation or enjoyment.] Moreover,
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
3.11 Devan etc. Devas : Those that have a tendency of playing i.e., the deities who preside over the organs and who dwell in the senses (or who are nothing but the sensitive faculty of the senses) and who are well-known in the Rahasyasastra. ‘You must gratify these deities by this action i.e., feed them compability with sense-objects. Then, being satisfied, let these deities gratify (cause) you to have emancipation suitable exclusively to the intrinsic nature of the Self. For, [then alone you attain] a capacity to remain in your own Self. Thus when the mutual gratification – you gratifying the [deities of the] senses, and they letting [you] be absorbed in the Self – in the uninterruped series of periods of being extrovert and of meditation, you shall soon undoubtedly attain the highest good i.e., the Supreme that is marked with the total disappearance of [all] mutual differences.’ This path of the said nature is to be followed not merely for emancipation, but also for gaining all super – human powers (or success siddhi). This [the Lord] says –
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
te deva bhavayantu vah
sreyah param avapsyatha
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
devān — demigods; bhāvayatā — having pleased; anena — by this sacrifice; te — those; devāḥ — demigods; bhāvayantu — will please; vaḥ — you; parasparam — mutually; bhāvayantaḥ — pleasing one another; śreyaḥ — benediction; param — the supreme; avāpsyatha — you will achieve.