Karma as yagna

That this world is bound or shackled by action other than
those performed for the sake of yagna is the basic truth
stressed in the Gita, said Srimati Sunanda in a discourse. A
yagna is a ritual enjoined in the scriptures and, in a broad
sense, signifies sacrifice, ofering and worship. The
performance of a traditional yagna helped to foster the
collective participation of a group of individuals from
various walks of life. Each one contributed according to the
individual’s means both in terms of sacrificial material as
well as physical involvement in the conduct of the yagna.
All the materials were placed together and at the time of
ofering each one would ofer a handful from the collected
lot. This practice dissolved any sense of pride in any one’s
exclusive and discouraged notions of superiority or
inferiority. It also helped to rid people of selfish desires and
free them from bondage.

So, even if a yagna is performed invoking the celestial
beings for specific goals such as rains, material possessions
and prosperity, etc, there is a dual advantage to both
individual aspirations and social co-existence or for
common good. When Krishna asks Arjuna to perform the
war as a yagna, He implies the spirit that should guide the act of war. By extension, when this spirit becomes the
underlying force for all actions of human beings, it becomes
Karma Yoga. In any field of activity, when one works with
sincere efort, there is bound to be success not in a personal
or selfish way but for the general good. This attitude strikes a harmonious balance between the individual and collective
efforts. The organisation prospers while the individual also
benefits. It helps to cross the influence of the gunas and
gradually leads one to a higher level of spiritual growth.