Then what is the result of our struggle and efforts? If you can understand Ashtavakra, then any effort will be useless; then you are practicing rites and rituals uselessly. There is no need to practice, understanding is enough. Just understand that only existence is, and let go of the search.
Understand this: what we are is joined with the source, hence running around doing things and making efforts to reunite must be dropped – and the union will happen. The union will happen not from making an effort but from dropping the effort.
Efforts to reunite increase the gap – the more you long for union, the more the distance grows. The more you seek, the more you are lost because what you go on seeking is not to be sought. It happens by waking up and looking. It is present, it is standing at the door. It is manifest within the temple, manifest within you. It has never abandoned you for a moment, it has never been separate for a moment. You remain lost by searching for what is not separate, what you have never been parted from, from which you cannot be separated.
Only one result is possible from your practices: you will become tired, your whole effort will reach a place one day where you are fed up with effort. In that moment of weariness you let go, and immediately you see how mad you have been.
Yesterday I was reading someone’s autobiography. He has written that he had traveled to a foreign city and became lost. He did not understand the language and he became very nervous. In his nervousness he forgot the name of his hotel, and forgot the phone number too. Then his panic increased: now how would he make inquiries? He was looking with great anxiety as he walked along the road, looking for someone who could understand his language. It was an Eastern country, in the Far East, and this American…! He kept looking to see if any white-skinned person was appearing who would understand his speech, or if he could find a store with an English signboard so he could go and ask there.
He was walking along looking with such intensity, sweating, that he did not hear a police car that was coming behind him sounding the horn again and again. The police had begun to suspect that the man was lost. But he only heard the horn after two minutes; then he stopped in shock. The police got out and said, “Are you in your senses or not? We have been sounding the horn for two minutes! We suspected you might be lost – come, ride in the car.”
He said, “This is strange! I was searching ahead for someone who could guide me, and the guide was behind me. But I was so absorbed in my search that I didn’t hear the horn sounding behind me. I didn’t even look back.”
What you are seeking is following you. Of course existence does not blow a horn nor call out to you, because calling out will be a violation of your freedom. It whispers, it secretly says something in your ear. But you are so occupied, when do you listen to this whispering? You are so full of noise, the mind is reflecting so much, for and against; you are so involved in seeking.