Chapter 3 Verse 14

न्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः ।
यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः

annadbhavanti bhutani parjanyad annasambhavah
yajnadbhavati parjanyo yajnah karmasamudbhavah

bhutani – living beings
annat – from food
bhavanti – are born
parjanyat – from rain
anna-sambhavah – food is born
parjanyah – rain
yajnat – from yagna
bhavati – is born
yajnah punya; karma-samudbhavah – born of action.

Living beings are born of food; food is born of rain; rain is born of yagna (punya) and yagna (punya) is born of action.

The meaning of this should not be taken literally that everything is born of food only, but should be taken as the person who eats the food. The word bhuktat is added to the word annat, meaning from the food eaten and assimilated.

From the food eaten all living beings with various bodies are born. E.g. the food eaten by parents is converted into causes for conception of the being, the blood, and seed when a child is being born. Therefore, food is the material cause of this. Food itself is born from rain. If there were no rains, nothing would have grown on the land and it would have been a desert. The rain in turn is born of yagna i.e. rituals that are performed, the daily prayers acknowledging the blessings of the devatas.

Food grains or vegetables are factually eatables. The human being eats different kinds of food grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., and the animals eat the refuse of the food grains and vegetables, grass, plants, etc. Human beings who are accustomed to eating meat and flesh must also depend on the production of vegetation in order to eat the animals. Therefore, ultimately, we have to depend on the production of the field and not on the production of big factories. The field production is due to sufficient rain from the sky, and such rains are controlled by devatas like Indra, sun, moon, etc.

It is true that while you don’t pray or offer anything, still the rains do come as there are others who are praying and doing good deeds. But it is possible that rains might get delayed or less rains etc. E.g. the sun always produces the rain since it evaporates the water from the ocean and then forms into clouds. Then from the clouds the rain comes. So if we thank the devatas for doing their job, they also take care of us, though it is adrsta i.e. not seen. A prayer does not produce a tangible result immediately but it produces an unseen result which we encounter later. Some of you might have seen or experienced that any difficulty or pain that experience sometimes automatically disappears or weakens as you approach it. We might think that it is purely due to our own effort and our intelligence, but there is an unseen benefit of a prayer or a good karma which you have been doing. This is what protects us and even if we go a little bit wayward and we slip, our good karma and sticking to dharma shastram helps us navigate smoothly.

Yagna is born out of karma as we know that any ritual performed is karma. There is a famous kural for this which is also a tongue twister.

அதிகாரம்: 2. வான் சிறப்பு. திருக்குறள்: 12

துப்பார்க்குத் துப்பு ஆய துப்பு ஆகி, துப்பார்க்குத் துப்பாய தூஉம் மழை.

பொழிப்புரை (Meaning):

உண்பார்க்கு உண்ண வேண்டிய உணவினை உண்டாக்கி, உண்பார்க்கு உணவாகுவதும் மழை.

விரிவுரை (Explanation):

உண்பவர்களுக்கு உண்ணத் தகுந்த உணவினை விளைவிக்கவும், உணவாக்கவும் பயன் படும் மழையானது, அதே சமயத்தில் தானும் ஓர் உணவாகவும் திகழ்கின்றது மழை.

மண்ணானது உணவை விளைவிக்கப் பயன் பட்டாலும் அதுவே மனிதற்கு உணவாக முடியாது. ஆனால் மழை நீரானது விளைச்சலுக்கும், சமைத்தலுக்கும் பயன்படும் போழ்தே தாக வேட்கைக்கும் தேவைப்படுகிறதே.

ஆக மழையானது உணவை உற்பத்தி செய்வதற்கும், உணவாக்குவதற்கும் மற்றும் அருந்துவதற்கு உணவாகவும் அத்தியாவசியமானது என்பது உட்பொருள்.

English translation of this Kural:

For us to eat, the type, quality of food that is grown is dependent upon the rain. At the same time, the rain also becomes the food as rain produces water which is also consumed when we drink, or do any yagna.

In thirumandiram, the same context is also explained.

அயலும் புடையும்எம் ஆதியை நோக்கில்
இயலும் பெருந்தெய்வம் யாதுமொன் றில்லை
முயலும் முயலில் முடிவும் மற் றாங்கே
பெயலும் மழைமுகிற் பேர்நந்தி தானே.

பதம் பிரித்தல்:
அயலும் புடையும் எம் ஆதியை நோக்கில்
இயலும் பெருந்தெய்வம் யாதும் ஒன்றுமில்லை
முயலும் முயலில் முடிவும் மற்று அங்கே
பெயலும் மழை முகில் பேர் நந்தி தானே

This mantra says that Lord Shiva is the cause and effect as well for the rains, clouds and the mountains that sustain the balance. He is the greatest lord and without him there is nothing else. This is saiva siddhantham but the text brings out the same concept of rains and through tapas and sadhana clouds and rains are formed.