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Chapter 7: A Song of Life

When the understanding is within you, you may run away anywhere, but it will remain within you. So you should not give any importance to theory; you should give importance to understanding. Theory can be borrowed, but the understanding has to be created by yourself. Theories can be stolen also from scriptures, from masters, but you cannot get understanding free. You have to pay for it, and you have to struggle inch by inch to gain it. Theories have no value, you get them free. Theories are garbage, and garbage cannot be valuable.

Who has read even a little of the Gita.- a little Gita, that is sufficient. Even if one word is understood, it is enough. Then there is no need to wait to hear the whole of the Gita. But the question is of understanding.

There is a story in the Mahabharata, that Dronacharya thought that the boy Yudhishthira was the most intelligent of all the Pandavas and Kauravas, but after a few days’ experience it seemed that he was quite dull. The other children were learning new lessons every day and were making rapid progress, but Yudhishthira was stuck on the first lesson. In the end Drona’s patience also became exhausted so he asked him, “How long are you going to take to learn the first lesson? Aren’t you going forwards?”

Yudhishthira replied, “What is the sense in learning the second lesson while the first lesson is not understood?”

The first lesson was regarding truth. The other children had read it, memorized it and had proceeded to the second lesson. But Yudhishthira said, “Until I start speaking the truth, how can I go to the second lesson? Please don’t hurry me.”

Then Drona understood! Looking at Yudhishthira’s mental condition, Drona understood for the first time that there can be no other lesson after truth. Then he told Yudhishthira, “There is no need for you to hurry up. By learning, by understanding this first lesson, you will understand, you will know all the lessons. Just reading the lessons is one thing and living the lesson is an entirely different thing.”

At the end of the story, when all the Pandava brothers were climbing up to heaven, then one by one they began falling down. Only Yudhishthira and his dog - who was truth - arrived at the gate of heaven. The truth reached heaven and the one who accompanied the truth reached heaven. It was his dog who had always lived with him and was of great integrity. Even his brothers didn’t have that much integrity, they fell on the way.

But the dog had never doubted, his faith was unlimited. All his life he had obeyed Yudhishthira. Even Yudhishthira was surprised to see that all his brothers had fallen and only this dog could reach the gate of heaven with him. The door opened and Yudhishthira was welcomed, but the gatekeeper said, “Only you can come in, the dog cannot come in. No dog has ever entered heaven before this. Even human beings come here with great difficulty.”

On hearing this Yudhishthira said, “Then I too cannot come in. This dog who was with me all my life, who has come all the way to the gates of heaven where even my brothers couldn’t come, who has so much faith in me - I cannot forsake him at any cost, otherwise I would consider myself worse than a dog! I am not going to leave him. Please close the door.”

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