इष्टान्भोगान्हि वो देवा दास्यन्ते यज्ञभाविताः |
तैर्दत्तानप्रदायैभ्यो यो भुङ्क्ते स्तेन एव सः ||३-१२||


iṣṭānbhogānhi vo devā dāsyante yajñabhāvitāḥ .
tairdattānapradāyaibhyo yo bhuṅkte stena eva saḥ ||3-12||



3.12. The devas, gratified with necessary action will grant you the things sacrificed. [Hence] whosoever enjoys their gifts without offering them to these devas-he is surely a thief.

Shri Purohit Swami

3.12 For, fed, on sacrifice, nature will give you all the enjoyment you can desire. But he who enjoys what she gives without returning is, indeed, a robber.'

Sri Abhinav Gupta

3.12 Istan etc. [The deities of] the senses, gratified by the necessry actions, bind [the aspirant’s mind] to the state of remaining firm on some object of meditation. Therefore when they are at work, the things, i.e., the objects are granted [to him] by none but the [deities of the] senses, through recollection, resolution, meditation etc., of their objects. If these objects are not offered for the enjoyment of the deities, then it would amount to the status of a theif i.e., to an act of thief, because he is acting deceitfully. Indeed it has already been declared by the Bhagavat that ‘He is called a man of deluded action’. Therefore the idea in the passage [under study] is this : Whosoever is desirous of attaining by easy means, the supernatural power [like anima etc.], or of attaining emancipation, he should enjoy the objects as and when they are brought, [and enjoy] just with the aim of simply alliviating the impatience of the [deities of the] senses.

Sri Ramanuja

3.12 ‘Pleased by the sacrifice,’ i.e., propitiated by the sacrifice, the gods, who have Me as their Self, will bestow on you the enjoyments you desire. Whatever objects are desired by persons keen on attaining release, the supreme end of human endeavour, all those will be granted by gods previously worshipped through many sacrifices. That is, whatever is solicited with more and more propitiation, all those enjoyments they will bestow on you. Whoever enjoys the objects of enjoyment granted by them for the purpose of worshipping them, without giving them their due share in return - he is verily a thief. What is called ’theft’ is indeed taking what belongs to another as one’s own and using it for oneself, when it is really designed for the purpose of another. The purport is that such a person becomes unfit not only for the supreme end of human endeavour, but also will go down towards purgatory (Naraka).

Sri Krsna expands the same:

Sri Shankaracharya

3.12 ‘Yajna-bhavitah, being nourished, i.e. being satisfied, by sacrifices; devah, the gods; dasyante hi, will indeed give, will distribute; among vah, you; the istan, coveted; bhogan, enjoyments, such as wife, childeren and cattle. Sah, he; is eva, certainly; a stenah, thief, a stealer of the wealth of gods and others; yah, who; bhunkte, enjoys, gratifies only his own body and organs; with dattan, what enjoyable things have been given; taih, by them, by the gods; apradaya, without offering (these); hyah, to them, i.e. without repaying the d  [The three kinds of d -to the gods, to the rsis (sage), and to the manes-are repaid by satisfying them through sacrifices, celibacy (including study of the Vedas, etc.), and procreation, respectively. Unless one repays these d s, he incurs sin.] to them.’

Swami Adidevananda

3.12 The gods, pleased by the sacrifice, will bestow on you the enjoyments you desire. He who enjoys the bounty of the gods without giving them anything in return, is but a thief.

Swami Gambirananda

3.12 ‘Being nourished by sacrifices, the gods will indeed give you the coveted enjoyments. He is certainly a theif who enjoys what have been given by them without offering (these) to them.’

Swami Sivananda

3.12 The gods, nourished by the sacrifice, will give you the desired objects. So, he who enjoys the objects given by the gods without offering (in return) to them, is verily a thief.


Swami Sivananda

3.12 इष्टान् desired? भोगान् objects? हि so? वः to you? देवाः the gods? दास्यन्ते will give? यज्ञभाविताः nourished by sacrifice? तैः by them? दत्तान् give? अप्रदाय without offering? एभ्यः to them? यः who? भुङ्क्ते enjoys? स्तेनः thief? एव verily? सः he.Commentary When the gods are pleased with you sacrifices? they will bestow on you all the desired objects such as children? cattle? property? etc. He who enjoys what has been given to him by the gods? i.e.? he who gratifies the cravings of his own body and the senses without offering anything to the gods in return is a veritable thief. He is really a dacoit of the property of the gods.