ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविर्ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम् |
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना || 24||
brahmārpaṇaṁ brahma havir brahmāgnau brahmaṇā hutam
brahmaiva tena gantavyaṁ brahma-karma-samādhinā
brahma—Brahman; arpaṇam—the ladle and other offerings; brahma—Brahman; haviḥ—the oblation; brahma—Brahman; agnau—in the sacrificial fire; brahmaṇā—by that person; hutam—offered; brahma—Brahman; eva—certainly; tena—by that; gantavyam—to be attained; brahma—Brahman; karma—offering; samādhinā—those completely absorbed in God-consciousness
The oblation is Brahman, the offerings are Brahman, the sacrifice is Brahman, and by absorption in action which is Brahman, Brahman alone shall be reached by him (by the sacrifice).
Everything in the yajna is Brahman. The verse enunciates the Upanishadic truth.
All this is Brahman – Sarvam khalvidam brahma (Chandogya iii-14-1).
Keeping this truth in mind one should work; yajna is Brahman in every part and in all its details.
If all this – the whole universe with all the beings in it and all the actions taking place in it – is Brahman, the One Reality without a second, why and wherefore the manifoldness? Name and form (nama and rupa) have super-imposed the diversity on the supreme Brahman. What is superimposed cannot change the nature of the original substance. The snake that is superimposed on the rope out of the delusion of the eye cannot change the nature of the rope. The rope remains the rope even when the snake is superimposed on it by the illusion of the eye. When the illusion passes away by focussing the light on the object, the rope is seen and known as the rope. So, all the time what existed was the rope only and nothing else. Even so, the world of name and form has been superimposed by the delusion of the mind and the senses on the supreme Brahman. When the delusion is cleared and the mind is purified, all this shall be seen and known as Brahman. The sage knows the truth. Everything that we see, feel, and think, and every action of ours is Brahman and nothing exists other than Brahman. It is this fundamental truth that is affirmed in this verse by the illustration of yajna. The oblation is Brahman. The material used is Brahman. The fire is Brahman. The sacrifice is Brahman. The act of sacrifice is Brahman. Thus contemplating, man realises Brahman everywhere and in all things.
Yajna is taken as an illustration because at the end of Dvaparayuga, sacrifices were performed elaborately by all people and they were familiar with the rites and rituals. The principle is applicable to everything and every action that man does. He is blessed who acts in the understanding and experience of the truth that all is Brahman.
By absorption: Here the technique of transforming all work into Brahman is indicated. By concentration and meditation, by constant absorption in Brahman, every kind of work that is done melts into Brahman. Work then loses its separate limited quality, its binding power. It acquires a divine and spiritual quality. The distinction between karma and jnana is thus eliminated, and Brahman alone is realised in all that one thinks and does. The seeker should understand the importance of this verse which shows the direct path to Brahmajnana. Any man in any work of life doing any kind of work can practice this method and reach the goal. There is a tradition among people to repeat this verse while taking food. The food is Brahman, the feeder is Brahman, and the act of eating is Brahman. It is again an affirmation that everything and every act is That, appearing to be manifold by the super-imposition of name and form.