sreyan dravya-mayad yajnaj
sarvam karmakhilam partha
"O chastiser of the enemy, the knowledge is better than the mere sacrifice of material possessions. After all, O son of Pritha, all sacrifices of work culminate in transcendental knowledge."
The meaning of this sloka has to be very carefully understood. Dravya mayad yajnaj = materials used or the materialistic part of the yagna[ like preparing garlands, sandal paste, lighting lamps or drawing rangoli, etc., are all the part with which we do some work using various materials]. These are all in any pooja and is the karma portion of the pooja. This part is inferior. In the same pooja, jnana yajna = the intellect or gyana part is, sreyan = superior. Why this is so? We decorated the Lord with a long beautiful garland of fresh flowers. We prepared fragrant sandal paste and smeared it all over His image. We also prepared tasty dishes in large quantities and offered to Him. All these are the action part of the pooja. While doing these we should have been thinking that the Lord is our Master and we are bound to serve Him. These offerings are going to be distributed as prasad to many and all are going to be benefited. Good will is being created and this would benefit us also. Without this thinking the pooja is of no use. Large amount of prasad after offering to the Lord if distributed to needy children, would gladden the Lord. All the time we should be thinking that we are His servants and we are doing what He has ordered and accordingly we are trying to help others. This way we would get atman sakshatkaram and we will reach Moksham. Therefore the Karma part of the Karma yoga is inferior to the Gyana part. Sarvam = in all respects, akhilam = with all the attendant actions, parisamapyate = reach finally, jnane = in the true knowledge of atman. The garland or sandal paste or the food offered, will all disappear or decay in a few days. So all the karma or actions of the pooja disappear. But the thought that we are serving our Lord remains for ever and there is no end to this. That is why the gyana portion is superior to the dravya portion of the Karma yoga. Here Arjuna is to fight with materials like bow and arrows. After the war they are all exhausted. But during the fight, his thinking that he is engaged in the noble task of protecting his followers will remain for ever. Only this Kshatriya dharma will make this as a Karma yoga. There are however some clarifications to be explained and this will be done in the next lecture.