One day it was reading a book on the science of aviation. It was written in that book of aerodynamics that the body of a wasp is heavier than its wings, so theoretically a wasp cannot fly because its wings are small and weak and the body is big and heavy. On reading this, it became confused and puzzled. Up to now it didn’t know that its body was big and its wings were small. It was the first time it had learned this and, of course, whatever is written in the scriptures cannot be denied. It is not possible to go against what is said by the scientists.
It became very sad. That day it didn’t fly back to its hive, it crawled there. How was it possible for it to fly – to do something which was quite against science? It became very sad and stopped moving about altogether. It still saw the other wasps flying around, going to the flowers, but it thought that they were doing so out of ignorance – how can a wasp fly? – its wings are small and its body is big. It was full of pity for those who were flying because they didn’t know the facts of science. If they knew, they would have stopped flying.
But one day a bird attacked the wasp intending to eat it for breakfast. In its nervousness and confusion the wasp forgot all about the scriptures and flew away. It sat on a bush, rested a little and became calm and realized that it had flown! “I was thinking that a wasp cannot fly, but I have flown, so there must have been a block in my mind stopping my natural capacity for flying which melted in the moment of danger” – it had read about mental blocks in the mind in a book on psychology. So it started flying again from that day. It gave up the knowledge of scriptures from that day, and from that moment it again became the wasp – the natural wasp! From that day it became free of knowledge and stopped looking down on other wasps. That day it experienced its true nature.
Religion is freedom from knowledge, and in that freedom is the ultimate knowledge. The scriptures are not meant to make you lame but to give you the capacity to fly. If the scriptures have made you lame, then it is certain that you have misunderstood them or interpreted them wrongly. If the scriptures have made you sad, then you must have missed something in them or must not have understood them properly. The scriptures which have snatched away your natural capacity to fly or flow are not your friends – you have turned them into your enemies.
A scripture is a scripture only if it gives you freedom: a scripture is a scripture if it makes you natural. And a scripture is a scripture if it doesn’t fill you with condemnation for others and is able to make you realize that the divine is hidden within them also. These sentences of Shankara are very important.
One who has read even a little of the Gita…
take note of “a little” –
…one who has read even a little of the Gita, has drunk even one drop of Ganges water and has worshipped God a little, Yama, the god of death, cannot destroy him.