bhuñjate te tv aghaḿ pāpā
ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 3.13
The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The devotees of the Supreme Lord, or the persons who are in Krishna consciousness, are called santas, and they are always in love with the Lord as it is described in the Brahma-samhita(5.38): premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hridayesu vilokayanti. The santas, being always in a compact of love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda (the giver of all pleasures), or Mukunda (the giver of liberation), or Krishna (the all-attractive person), cannot accept anything without first offering it to the Supreme Person. Therefore, such devotees always perform yajnas in different modes of devotional service, such as shravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, arcanam, etc., and these performances of yajnas keep them always aloof from all kinds of contamination of sinful association in the material world. Others, who prepare food for self or sense gratification, are not only thieves but also the eaters of all kinds of sins. How can a person be happy if he is both a thief and sinful? It is not possible. Therefore, in order for people to become happy in all respects, they must be taught to perform the easy process of sankirtana-yajna, in full Krishna consciousness. Otherwise, there can be no peace or happiness in the world.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Those who eat the food remnants of yajnas such as the vaisvadeva yajna become freed from all sins caused by the five types of violence to living entities. The five violent actions (panca suna) are described in the smrti:
kandani pesani culli udakumbhi ca marjani panca-suna grhasthasya tabhih svargam na vindati
The grhastha does not enjoy svarga by commission of the five violent actions towards other living entities caused by using the mortar, grinding stone, the stove, the broom and water pot. Visnu Smrti 59. 19-20
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
3.13 Those persons who acquire food materials solely for propitiating the Supreme Person abiding as the Self of Indra and other deities, and who, after cooking them, propitiate, through them, the Supreme Person as He is, and then sustain themselves on the remnants of oblations (made for such propitiation), they alone will be free of impurities which have resulted from beginningless evil and which are inimical to the vision of the self. But they are evil-minded, who acquire for selfish use the things which the Supreme Being, abiding as the Self of Indra and other deities, has granted them for worshipping Him with, and use it all on the other hand for feeding themselves — they eat only sin. Turning away from the vision of the self, they cook only for being led to Naraka (for the expiation of the sin incurred thereby). Sri Krsna says that, from the standpoint of the world as well as that of the scriptures, everything has its origin in sacrifice; and He speaks of the need for the performance of the sacrifices and of the blemish in not performing the same:
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Therefore it can be understood that those humans who perform yagna or worship to the Supreme Lord Krishna are pre-eminent among the human species and not others. This is shown by the word santah meaning they are saintly and virtuous. Those who accept food after first offering it to the Supreme Lord are freed from the sins acquired from the five areas in the home causing harm to any living entity. They are: the mortar and pestle where sometimes extremely small bugs are accidentally killed, the grindstone where microscopic amoebas inside of the seeds are ground to death, the fireplace where sometimes crawling things come into when the fire is out only to be burned to death when the fire is lt, the waterpot where sometimes insects fly into and drown and the broom which while sweeping dirt and dust from the house might also sweep ants and such in such a way as to cause their demise. These are the five areas of harm in the home causing accidental death to harmless creatures as confirmed in the Manu Samhita III. 68. Those sinful wretches who do not first offer what they eat to the Supreme Lord are not freed from any of these sins but they are punished for them and verily day by day they eat only sin. On account of these sins multiplying daily they have no opportunity to attain heaven.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
In a very rational way Lord Krishna is praising the saintly performers of yagna by means of worship and offerings and censoring those who fail to perform such yagna. In the previous three verses and this one Lord Krishna has elucidated the science of yagna. The Purusha Sukta in the Rig Veda we see that Brahma the first born is the Purusha offering himself as worship and oblations for the benefit and welfare of creation. By Brahma inaugurating the act of yagna, the perennial principles of existence or dharma were established for all the worlds. Thus by ordaining dharma the Supreme Lord Krishna through his representative Brahma has given mankind the purpose, the objective and the methodology of yagna. One in wisdom should follow in the footsteps of Brahma and offer to the Supreme Lord there very self and essence as an act of worship in yagna.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Therfore those that only eat food that has been offered in yagna or worship are faultless and no other. This Lord Krishna is confirming with the word santah meaning saintly and virtuous. Those who perform yagna become absolved of all sins produced from the daily use of the five utensils in the home used by householders in the cooking and preparing of foods. Such sins are produced from the non-performance of the injunction of yagna and from the performance of the prohibited action. These are serious hindrances in attaining heaven. The five acts if piety performed by the twice born brahmins are mandatory, beginning with Brahma Yagna or Vedic study, offering worship to God, homage to the anscestors, feeding of animals and welcoming and feeding chance guests. These five acts of piety neutralise all sins contracted by the five areas of destuction in the home being the pestle, the grindstone, the fireplace, the waterpot and the broom. Manu Samhita III. 69-71 confirms all sins from these five actions are duly nullified by the five previous acts of piety.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
3.13 Those again, who are yajna-sista-asinah, partakers of the remnants of sacrifices, who, after making offering to the gods and others, [The panca-maha-yajnas, five great offerings, which have to be made by every householder are offerings to gods, manes, humans, creatures and rsis (sages).] are habituated to eat the remnants (of those offerings), called nectar; they, santah, by being (so); mucyante, become freed; sarva-kilbisaih, from all sins-from those sins incurred through the five things [the five things are; oven, water-pot, cutting instruments, grinding machines and broom. A householder incurs sin by killing insects etc. with these things, knowingly or unknowingly. It is atoned by making the aforesaid five offerings.], viz oven etc., and also from those others incurred owing to injury etc. caused inadvertently. Tu, but; the papah, unholy persons, who are selfish; ye, who; pacanti, cook; atma-karanat, for themselves; te, they, being themselves sinful; bhunjate, incur; agham, sin. For the following reasons also actions should be undertaken by an eligible person. Action is definitely the cause of the movement of the wheel of the world. How? This is being answered:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
3.13 Yajnasista-etc. Those who enjoy the pleasures of obects that have come to them on the authority of laws enjoining what is to be necessarily performed; and who enjoy them viewing [the enjoyment] only as a secondary (or intermediate) action and consequently as a subsidiary having no separate purpose; and again those who enjoy the remnant of the necessary action in the form of gratifying the group of the devas of the snese-organs-that residue of food marked with bliss in being firmly established in their own Self – that is to say, those who have mounted upon the Self and are desirous of enjoying objects only as a means to achieve this end – they are freed from all faults of good and bad. Those, who for their own selves etc. : On the other hand, those who believe, under the influence of ignorance, the sheer superficial enjoyment of objects as their final goal, and act with the notion ‘We perform this [act] for the sake of ourselves’ – those persons alone gain the sin in the form of good and bad.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
bhunjate te tv agham papa
ye pacanty atma-karanat
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yajña-śiṣṭa — of food taken after performance of yajña; aśinaḥ — eaters; santaḥ — the devotees; mucyante — get relief; sarva — all kinds of; kilbiṣaiḥ — from sins; bhuñjate — enjoy; te — they; tu — but; agham — grievous sins; pāpāḥ — sinners; ye — who; pacanti — prepare food; ātma-kāraṇāt — for sense enjoyment.