अश्रद्धया हुतं दत्तं तपस्तप्तं कृतं च यत् |
असदित्युच्यते पार्थ न च तत्प्रेत्य नो इह || 28||
aśhraddhayā hutaṁ dattaṁ tapas taptaṁ kṛitaṁ cha yat
asad ity uchyate pārtha na cha tat pretya no iha
aśhraddhayā—without faith; hutam—sacrifice; dattam—charity; tapaḥ—penance; taptam—practiced; kṛitam—done; cha—and; yat—which; asat—perishable; iti—thus; uchyate—are termed as; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; na—not; cha—and; tat—that; pretya—in the next world; no—not; iha—in this world
Whatever sacrifice or gift is made, whatever austerity is practised, whatever ceremony is observed— it is all called “asat,” “non-existent,” if it is done without faith. It is of no account here or hereafter.
Faith (sraddha) is the Key-note of success either in worldly life or in spiritual life. Without it, nothing is achieved even in small matters concerning everyday life. In spiritual life where man tries to ascend to the highest state the need for unswerving faith is greatly emphasised. That is why the Lord insists on faith in many places and He has devoted a whole Discourse to elaborate on the theme of faith (sraddha). Whatever may be the act performed by either Yajna or Dana or Tapas, or other good works, If there is no faith in the heart of the doer, it becomes utterly useless. It does not acquire the status of ‘Sat’. It is just ‘Asat’ (i.e.) something equal to zero, something not performed at all. Such acts bring no good either here or hereafter. A person may gather all materials for preparing food, and yet, if the cook has no ‘sraddha‘ in what he is doing, the whole thing goes to waste. So also, in the spiritual field, whatever other qualities the aspirants may possess, if he is void of faith, his austerities, sacrifices and charities bear no fruit at all. It remains only in the realm of the ‘Asat’ and cannot be transformed into ‘Sat’. Therefore it is the duty of all seekers to do their ‘sadhana’ with faith and realise the goal. Even a little of such ‘sadhana’ with faith will help to realise the Self. And such ‘sadhana’ does not at all go in vain. Thus, holding on to faith as the support, propelling force, and guiding light, man has to march forward towards the ultimate reality, the supreme Brahman.
Question: What will be the effect of Yajna, Dana, and Tapas, if they are performed without faith?
Answer: They yield no fruit. They are ‘Asat’, as acts not performed at all.
Question: Do they bear fruit in the next world?
Answer: No, Neither here nor hereafter do they bring any good.
Question: What then is man’s duty?
Answer: Everyone should carry on his Sadhana with redoubled confidence and faith, and reach the goal quickly.