sarve ’py ete yajña-vido
yānti brahma sanātanam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 4.30
All these performers who know the meaning of sacrifice become cleansed of sinful reactions, and, having tasted the nectar of the results of sacrifices, they advance toward the supreme eternal atmosphere.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
From the foregoing explanation of different types of sacrifice (namely sacrifice of one’s possessions, study of the Vedas or philosophical doctrines, and performance of the yoga system), it is found that the common aim of all is to control the senses. Sense gratification is the root cause of material existence; therefore, unless and until one is situated on a platform apart from sense gratification, there is no chance of being elevated to the eternal platform of full knowledge, full bliss and full life. This platform is in the eternal atmosphere, or Brahman atmosphere. All the above-mentioned sacrifices help one to become cleansed of the sinful reactions of material existence. By this advancement in life, not only does one become happy and opulent in this life, but also, at the end, he enters into the eternal kingdom of God, either merging into the impersonal Brahman or associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
All of those knowing the characteristics of yajna as describes previously (yajna vidah) attain brahman by jnana. The secondary, unsought fruits are also described. They enjoy the sweet remnants of the yajna such as sense enjoyment and power (bhoga aisvarya). The sought result is then described: they attain brahman.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
4.29 – 4.30 Other Karma Yogins are devoted to the practice of breath control. They are of three types because of the differences in inhalation, exhalation and stoppage of breath. Puraka (inhalation) is that in which the inward breath is sacrificed in the outward breath. Recaka (exhalation) is that when the outward breath is sacrificed in the inward breath. Kumbhaka (stoppage of breath) is that when the flow of both inward and outward breaths is stopped. The clause, restricting of diet, applies to all the three types of persons devoted to the control of breath. All these, according to their liking and capacity are engaged in performing the various kinds of Karma Yoga beginning from the sacrifice of material objects to the control of breath. They know and are devoted to sacrifices comprising obligatory and occasional rituals preceded by the performance of ‘the great sacrifices’ (Panca-Maha-Yajna), as alluded to in ‘Creating men along with the sacrifices’ (3.10). Because of this only, their sins are done away with. Those who are engaged in Karma Yoga by sustaining their bodies only by the ambrosia of sacrificial remains will go to the eternal Brahman. ‘Go to Brahman’ here means realise the self which has Brahman for Its soul.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna is confirming the result accruing to the 12 previously mentioned yagnas or offering of worship to propitiate the Supreme Lord who have accomplished this and that they have purified themselves having absolved all their sins by yagna.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Yogis or those following the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness enjoy the ambrosial nectar of the remnants left over in the time period after the yagna or offerings of worship are completed. The compound word sista-amrta refers to the remains of nectar after yagna. Through purity of mind followed by acquisition of knowledge one realises the eternal Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. This is the explanation given by those that do not follow Vaisnavism or the knowledge that the Supreme Lord Krishna and His authorised incarnations are the ultimate goal of the Vedic scriptures. According to the Vedic doctrine of Vaisnavism when the yogis perform the previously mentioned yagnas without desire all their sins are absolved first and then they enjoy the remnants of offerings to the Supreme Lord because yagna itself is verily the Supreme Lord as well. They eat the transcendental food which is known as amrta or nectar because it has been spiritualised by the performance of yagna to the Supreme Lord and realise the Brahman. The Supreme Lord Krishna’s expansion Narayana revealed in the Skanda Purana that those devoted to Him should only partake of food that was already offered to Him. Such food has the power to purify one of all sins and leads to moksa or liberation form the material existence. One who partakes every meal, each day of the food offered to the Supreme Lord as duly offered by the Vaisnavas and Brahmins according to the Vedic scriptures receives inexhaustible merit. Each morsel of such sanctified food is worth 100 such vows as that practised from the new moon to the full moon given previous in verse 28. The Skanda Purana also gives the harsh demerits of one who does not eat sanctified food that was first offered to the Supreme Lord. The Skanda Purana reveals that there are two types of food suitable for eating. One is food that was duly offered to the Supreme Lord and the second is the remnants of the food partaken after the devotees of the Supreme Lord have eaten from His offerings. The third type of food is the food that was not offered to the Supreme Lord before partaking and that should never be eaten by one desiring there own best welfare. One who eats and drinks food and beverages that were not first offered to the Supreme Lord verily the food is equal to excreta and the drink is equal to urine. Therefore the conclusion is for one to ponder and that is: How can there ever be nectar and the realisation of the Brahman and the attainment of moksa for those who eat food not first offered to the Supreme Lord Krishna.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
4.30 Besides, apare, others; niyata-aharah, having their food regulated; juhvati, offer; pranan, the vital forces, the different kinds of vital forces; pranesu, in the vital forces themselves. Whichever function of the vital forces is brought under control, in it they offer the other functions. These latter become, as it were, merged in the former. Sarve api, all; of ete, them; yajna-vidah, are knowers of the sacrifice; and yajna-ksapita-kamasah, have their sins destroyed by the sacrifices as mentioned above. After accomplishing the above-mentioned sacrifices,
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
4.29-30 Apane etc. Apare etc. Prana (1st) : the arising one i.e., the nada which has, as its end, that one where the first syllabic instance of Pranava dissolves. Into the apana : into what sets down, and is of the nature of entering inot the Svananda. They offer : Thus is the svadhyaya of the nature of the firmness of the body is described. What sets down, some [sages] established on what rises up, so that the pupil’s self (mind) may learn the processes of sending out and drawing in [the vital airs]. By [thus] uniting these two, they bestow emanciaption on their own Self and on the Self of the pupils; and they, on that account, remain with their mind firmly established on the svadhyaya-sacrifice full of Svananda (i.e., Nijananda) and Parananda – a svadhyaya of the nature of examining, enlightening, entering and uniting [the prana nad apana] in their own Self and in the Self of the pupils. That is why the process of filling [the vital air] in has been first mentioned; and the process of emptying the same out at the last. Further, the process of the inward turning of the act of enjoying objects, is suggested by the first quarter of the verse (29), and by the second quarter the act of coming out for enjoying the objects through the process of having the supreme state-of-bodylessness. Therefore, the performers of the sacrifice of wisdom are not different from the performers of the svadhyaya-sacrifice. The same sages have the desries of their own and of their pupils fulfilled on account of their thorough practice of the said activity; control both the said paths, restrict their food viz., enjoyment of objects; and offer pranas into the pranas, i.e, they offer, by means of the quietude at the stage of stopping [the vital air], the rising of all the mental modifications into the splendour of rising waves of Parananda and Nirananda. All these persons know the truth (or nature) of hte sacrifices, starting from the material-sacrifice upto the wisdom-sacrifice; only by that means they have eradicated their sins; that is to say, they have uprooted the mighty delusion with its roots, made of mental impressions of duality.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
sarve ’py ete yajña-vido
yanti brahma sanatanam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
sarve — all; api — although apparently different; ete — these; yajña-vidaḥ — conversant with the purpose of performing sacriﬁces; yajña-kṣapita — being cleansed as the result of such performances; kalmaṣāḥ — of sinful reactions; yajña-śiṣṭa — of the result of such performances of yajña; amṛta-bhujaḥ — those who have tasted such nectar; yānti — do approach; brahma — the supreme; sanātanam — eternal atmosphere.