Chapter 7: A Song of Life
You have read the Gita many times. This country has been reading the Gita for thousands of years; people have memorized it. Every person is full of the Gita and yet there is no liberation for him. He can see only death. And Shankara is saying that death disappears for the one who has read even a little of the Gita, who has tasted the divine even a little, drunk even a drop of Ganges water! And you have taken a bath in the Ganges!
.who has drunk even one drop of Ganges water and has worshipped God even a little.
You have worshipped a lot, you have recited many times, you have performed many yajnas, you have bowed down at the doors of many temples. Even the stones of the gates of the temples are worn out by the rubbing of your head, but no revolution has happened in your life. Certainly there must be some basic illusion, some mistake somewhere - you have missed something.
“Even a little” can give you liberation provided you can understand it, otherwise all scriptures can become your imprisonment. Even one single word can give you freedom if you understand, otherwise the words will become a useless weight on your chest. It is not the scriptures which make you free, it is the understanding. And the understanding has to be created by you; scriptures don’t give it. You must understand this. You have to create the understanding, only then can the scriptures be meaningful. If you don’t have the understanding, then scriptures cannot give you the understanding. They can give you only theories, and theories have no value because you don’t bother about theories - you behave quite differently in life.
One day I said to Mulla Nasruddin that I had not seen his children for a long time. He said, “I believe in family planning.”
I was surprised to hear this because he had seventeen children, and he was saying “I believe in family planning.” I said, “What do you mean? I don’t understand.”
He said, “I believe in the slogan of family planning: Two or three children are the ideal number for the home. So I send the rest of the children to play in the neighborhood. Now most of them have even started sleeping in the neighbor’s houses. In my own house I don’t keep more than two or three children.”
By sending his children to the neighbors he is able to fulfill the theory of having two or three children at home!
Your understanding of the scriptures is also like this. You go on giving birth to children and then sending them to the neighbors. Man is able to fool himself. It is easy to avoid theory, but you cannot avoid understanding. You can avoid theory, because it is dead and you are alive. You can always save yourself from theory, but you cannot avoid your own understanding.