Rajasic Sacrifice

There is also a sacrifice of the nature of Rajas. Rajas is characterised in general by ambition, possession, egoistic benefit and self-aggrandisement, so it is natural to see that the Rajasic form of sacrifice has a similar underlying motive. The rajasic sacrifice is also made to those powers or eminences who control access to wealth or power.

Sri Aurobindo describes the Rajasic sacrifice: “The rajasic man offers his sacrifice to lower godheads or to perverse powers, the Yakshas, the keepers of wealth, or to the Asuric and the Rakshasic forces. His sacrifice may be performed outwardly according to the Shastra, but its motive is ostentation, pride or a strong lust after the fruit of his action, a vehement demand for the rewards of his works. All work therefore that proceeds from violent or egoistic personal desire or from an arrogant will intent to impose itself on the world for personal objects is of the rajasic nature, even if it masks itself with the insignia of the light, even if it be done outwardly as a sacrifice. Although it is ostensibly given to God or to the gods, it remains essentially an Asuric action. It is the inner state, motive and direction which give their value to our works, and not merely the apparent outer direction, the divine names we may call to sanction them or even the sincere intellectual belief which seems to justify us in the performance. Wherever there is a dominating egoism in our acts, there our work becomes a rajasic sacrifice.”

As with the Tamasic sacrifice, the Rajasic sacrifice does not bring about the result intended by the Gita; rather, it is focused on worldly success and achievement and the enhancement of the ego and its satisfactions.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 18, The Gunas, Faith and Works, pg. 470