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Chapter 10: Beyond Cause and Effect

You have brought it to the market. You have made it an item for sale. Customers will buy it. Those who have virtue will buy, those without virtue will be denied it. One needs the coin of virtue. If you show the coins of virtue you will attain it.

Ashtavakra is saying, what you are suggesting is madness! The divine will be attained by virtue? - then it has become a business transaction. You will attain the divine through prayer? - then you have bought it. What happened to its grace? And if something is received through a cause, when the cause disappears it will also disappear. That which is attained through a cause will be lost when the cause is destroyed.

You have accumulated wealth; you worked hard, you competed well in the market and you earned money. But do you think this money you earned will last? Thieves can steal it. A thief means one who is more ready to stake his life than you. A businessman makes effort, but the thief stakes his very life. He thinks, “I am ready to die and kill, but I will take it.” So he steals it.

What is attained through a cause can be lost. Enlightenment is attained without cause, but our ego does not believe it. Our ego says, “Does receiving it without cause mean that those that didn’t do anything will also attain?” It is very difficult to swallow that those that didn’t do anything will also receive.

Arup is sitting here in front laughing. Yesterday he told me he has no feeling to do anything. I said okay, dissolve into non-doing. Is there any need to do anything for enlightenment? Although I say it, it is hard to believe, because our mind says, “Without doing?” One cannot get ordinary things without doing - you won’t get a house, a car, a business, wealth, power, you won’t get fame - enlightenment happens without doing anything? You don’t believe it. “One has to do something. There must be some trick to it. This non-doing will also have to be done.” This is why we make up such expressions as “non-action in action,” “action in non-action” - but we insist on doing. “Doing in non-doing” - do things in this way, but keep on doing. “Has anyone attained without doing anything?”

Ashtavakra is saying the same thing that I am telling you: it is already attained. The very language of “attainment” is wrong. Distance is part of the very language of attaining - as if existence is separate from you. If it is separate, could you live for a single moment? How could you live separate from existence? Separate from existence your condition would be like a fish out of water..Yet a fish can be separated from the ocean because there are places other than the ocean, but how can you be separated from existence? It is and only it is; everywhere it is this, every place is in this. Where can you be separated? - where will you go? Does existence have any shore? It is an unending ocean. There is no way to move outside it.

Ashtavakra is saying you have never gone away from enlightenment, hence it can happen uncaused. If it is not lost then it can be attained uncaused.

Enlightenment is not an event - it is your nature. But does it ever happen that grace showers without doing anything?

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