Chapter 11: The Law of Grace
To inherit? Exactly there, the man went wrong. In that word inherit he lost contact with Jesus. Eternal life cannot be inherited. It is not like a fortune or a worldly kingdom. You have to earn it; everybody has to earn it and seek it. You cannot inherit it. The father cannot give it to the son, the master cannot give it to the disciple, the lover cannot give it to the beloved. No, there is no way of inheriting it.
Worldly things can be inherited because when a man dies, he has to leave all his worldly possessions here. He cannot take them with him. But when a man of spirituality dies, he leaves nothing here. His treasure goes with him; it cannot be inherited.
A certain ruler asked - he was a ruler, a very rich man - saying, “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The first thing to remember is that you cannot get it from somebody else. You have to earn it.
There is a story in Mahavira’s life. A great king came to visit him. The king was a great conqueror, he had almost become the ruler of the whole country. He knew only one language: the language of war, the language of conquering. He had conquered everything that was worth conquering; he had become the richest man in the country. Now somebody said that all these worldly possessions are of no use unless you conquer the inner kingdom. “Unless you attain dhyana, samadhi, unless you attain inner ecstasy, these are useless.”
So he said, “From where can I get it? Just show me the place. I will conquer it.”
He knew only one language - of conquering, and ecstasy cannot be conquered. On the contrary, you have to allow it to conquer you. You cannot conquer it, you have to surrender to it. It conquers you. You cannot possess it, you have to allow it to possess you. That is the only way, and that was the language he had never known.
Somebody said, “Mahavira is right nearby, staying in the forest. Go to him. He has attained.” So the king went there with a great army - the man knew only one language.
He surrounded the forest. He approached Mahavira. First he thought, “If he surrenders without a fight, it is okay.” So he went to Mahavira and he said, “I have come to conquer the kingdom that you have attained, the kingdom of inner ecstasy.”
Mahavira laughed. He said, “Good, your desire is good. But you seem to be absolutely unaware of what you are asking. That cannot be conquered by you. I have got it here, but cannot give it to you and you cannot conquer it.”
The king said, “Don’t be worried about that. Just show me where it is. What do you mean, you cannot give it? Don’t you want to give it to me? I can force you to give it, and I have not come across anything that cannot be conquered. Simply show it to me where it is.”