He was a sannyasi, a monk, but not of any particular order, and he spoke of himself as of a third person. While still young he had renounced the world and had wandered all over the country, staying with religious teachers, talking with them and following their peculiar disciplines and rituals. He had fasted for many a day, lived in solitude among the mountains, and done most of the things that sannyasis are supposed to do. He had damaged himself physically through excessive ascetic practices. Then one day he had decided to abandon all these practices, rituals and disciplines as being vain and without much significance, and had gone off into some faraway mountain village, where he had spent many years in deep contemplation. The usual thing had happened, he said with a smile, and he in his turn had become well known and had had a large following of disciples to whom he taught simple things.
‘Above all virtue, sacrifice, and the action of dispassionate help, is meditation,’ he stated.
‘Without meditation, knowledge and action become a wearisome burden with very little meaning; but few know what meditation is. If you are willing, we must talk this over. In meditation it has been the experience of the speaker to reach different states of consciousness; he has had the experiences that all aspiring human beings sooner or later go through, the visions embodying Krishna, Christ, Buddha.’
In meditation, the effort and the maker of effort must be understood. Both good and bad efforts are binding. It is this bondage that must be broken. Meditation is the breaking of all bondage; it is a state of freedom, but not from anything. Freedom from something is cultivation of resistance. To be conscious of being free is not freedom. Meditation is the breaking down of the experiencer which cannot be done consciously.