This means that no known modes of enquiry, no instruments of perception that we have–neither the five senses–nor even the mind with its imagination can reach that abode of supreme reality. This supreme reality is none other than our own intimate, inner self–which is the witness to all the activity that goes on.
So how do we reach the supreme reality that is none other than our own intimate, inner self–which is the witness to all the activity that goes on. No known modes of enquiry, no instruments of perception and not even the mind with its imagination can reach it.
So, if that is the case, can we not reach it at all?
If the rishi says, “I don’t know how to say this to you’, what do we do? Have we come to a dead end? Do we stop the enquiry?”
Now, this is exactly where the enquiry begins. This is the apt point because we begin to realise that this cannot be found, the true self cannot be found by any mode of thought. If it can’t be found by any mode of thought, then how do you find it?
Here Vedanta steps in and explains when the mind has completely emptied itself. It says when the mind has almost ceased to move, when the mind remains in its original state of no action and no movement, absolutely still, then something takes place which we may call the understanding of the ‘reality’.
Now, to get there, one has to look at one’s mind as it is and see it operate in all its multifarious, complicated dimensions and understand, through experience, that this cannot take one to the root of all this.
Having understood this, when fancy no longer unfurls her wings, when one is absolutely quiet–I would call it surrender.
This is surrendering to the quietness; surrendering to the understanding that here is something that cannot be sought and found by the limited mind–which is built up of limited inputs coming through the limited senses.
When this is fully understood and the mind has stopped all its acrobatics–mental acrobatics–then, it has indeed become still and quiet. That stillness–a placid lake with no ripples on it–reflects the light of the Supreme Truth. Then, one looks and says, ‘Here I Am.’
The real ‘I’, not the imagined one, realises the Truth and that is called ‘self-realisation’. What do you think? Couldn’t that be called ‘self-realisation’?
Now the next stotra of the Upanishad is quite interesting. It gives us a glimpse into the understanding of how to free the mind from its desire to imagine, and how to break free from the chains of associated thought.