The master says, “Make this your medicine. Add meditation to this. Let tears flow – flow filled with meditation. Let the thrill be there, but filled with meditation. The essence is meditation.”
These differences between bhakti, karma and gyan are not differences in medicine. The medicine is one. You can see this in Ashtavakra. Ashtavakra says take a direct leap. Swallow the medicine straight. He says what use are these practices?
That is why Ashtavakra is not a gyan yogi or a bhakti yogi or a karma yogi. He says to drop straight into witnessing. These crutches are no use – this medicine can be swallowed directly. Drop these crutches, drop these vehicles – you can run directly. You can be the witness directly.
As far as Ashtavakra is concerned, the witness and meditation are not different. But as far as other methods are concerned, the witness and meditation are different. For these other paths, meditation is the process and witnessing is the destination.
For Ashtavakra the path and destination are one. So he can say to be blissful right now. One whose path and goal are different cannot say, “Right now.” He will say, “Move! The journey is long; climb, then you will reach the mountain.” Ashtavakra says, “Open your eyes: you are sitting on the mountain! Where are you going? How to go anywhere?”
Ashtavakra’s sutra is extremely revolutionary.
Neither gyan, nor bhakti, nor karma yoga – none of these have reached to his height. It is pure witnessing. Look at it like this: the medicine doesn’t even need to be swallowed, just understanding is enough, awareness is enough. There is no need for help – you are already there. But people are incapable of understanding it.
A Sufi story:
A man went in search of truth. The first religious man he met was sitting under a tree, just outside his own village. He asked, “I am searching for a true master. Please tell me the characteristics of a true master.”
The fakir told him the characteristics. His description was very simple. He said, “You’ll find him sitting under such and such a tree, sitting in such and such posture, his hands making such and such gestures – that is enough to know he is the true master.”