अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिर्यज्ञो विधिदृष्टो य इज्यते।यष्टव्यमेवेति मनः समाधाय स सात्त्विकः।।17.11।।
aphalākāṅkṣhibhir yajño vidhi-driṣhṭo ya ijyate yaṣhṭavyam eveti manaḥ samādhāya sa sāttvikaḥ
aphala-ākāṅkṣhibhiḥ—without expectation of any reward; yajñaḥ—sacrifice; vidhi-driṣhṭaḥ—that is in accordance with the scriptural injunctions; yaḥ—which; ijyate—is performed; yaṣhṭavyam-eva-iti—ought to be offered; manaḥ—mind; samādhāya—with conviction; saḥ—that; sāttvikaḥ—of the nature of goodness
That sacrifice which is offered by men without desire for reward, as enjoined by the ordinance (scripture), with a firm faith that doing so is their duty, is Sattvic or pure.
17.11 अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिः by men desiring no fruit? यज्ञः sacrifice? विधिदृष्टः as enjoined by the ordinance? यः which? इज्यते is offered? यष्टव्यम् ought to be offered? एव only? इति thus? मनः the mind? समाधाय having fixed? सः that? सात्त्विकः Sattvic or pure.Commentary When a sacrifice is done with all due Sattvic rites? faith and devotion? without the least taint of desire for reward? with the mind
fixed on the sacrifice only? for its own sake (for the,sake of discharging the duty only)? then it is said to be pure in its nature. Here the sacrifice is done in a disinterested spirit or with an attitude of desirelessness (Nishkamya Bhava) as an auxiliary to the attainment of the knowledge of the Self. Such selfless and desireless actions purify the mind and prepare the aspirant for the reception
of divine light or knowledge of the Self. The Sattvic nature of a man forces him to do such selfless and desireless sacrifices. He does not care even for his own emancipation. He performs them with the firm belief that they ought to be done. He does them with the firm resolve that sacrifice is a duty.Yajna here is not limited to the ceremonial sacrifice. It is used in a broad sense. Any unselfish action done without attachment? without agency or egoism and without expectation of reward? as an offering unto the Lord? is a Yajna or sacrifice.