Which is the best meditation path?

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Q. Different people emphasize different paths of meditation like yoga, tantra, bhakti (devotion) etc. Which path is best? Understand, all the methods that lead man to realization are, essentially techniques to raise your consciousness! Their non-essential components may be different - but each method is essentially emphasizing the same thing. In essence, it is only awareness that leads you to the ultimate goal. So whatever you are doing, whatever method you are practising, it makes no difference. The different paths are just different names given by different people in different ages for the same technique. There are not many paths. There are many names for one path, and that one path is awareness! None of the authentic paths contradict each other, they only complement each other. So you can practice different methods, if you wish. Only one thing: don’t mix-and-match techniques and make your own technique! Practice them independently. Retain the purity of the technique. If you start thinking, ‘I understand all these techniques, I have caught the common thread running through all of them, so now I can make my own technique!’ - that is where you will miss the whole thing! One more thing: there is nothing wrong in learning from many sources. Sometimes, people feel guilty if they have been initiated by one master, or into a particular technique, and they move to another. I tell them, the ego is such that it cannot be broken by one method. You need blows from every direction! So do not think that just because you learnt from one source, you should not learn from another. No! Learn from all possible sources and raise yourself. Of course, when you approach an enlightened master, he will straightaway pick the technique that is right for you. He knows which is the right key to your being! If you can trust and follow, it is good. Even otherwise, nothing wrong. Have the courage to experiment. If you work intensely, you will surely find the technique which ‘clicks’, which is right for you. Moving from ‘meditation in life’ to ‘life in meditation’. In the beginning, you may have to consciously introduce meditation into your lifestyle. But as you keep practicing, you will see that you naturally move from ‘meditation in life’ to ‘life in meditation’. Just one glimpse of the joy of meditation is enough to make you fall in love with meditation. Then you will no longer ask how many hours you must practice! When you wake up, your very first thought will be of meditation. When you take a shower, when you dress, when you eat, you will do everything with such complete awareness that every act, every moment will become alive with meditation. You will then begin to live life in meditation.