I wondered how come without conducting such a huge and complex experiment they formularized the theory? In a beautiful way the Indian sages cracked the mystery of matter and they found the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality known as Bhraman (True Self). Here I want to share my readings on this topic and how they able to locate the Self.
(Disclaimer: The below mentioned information is based on my understanding.)
For the sake of explanation, I have drawn the figure shown below:
Everything we sense are vibrations. Sense organs are the grossest instruments through which we sense the vibrations (of particles) and those vibrations are changed into sensations by the sense organs. These sensations are addressed by the mind which uses the brain as the instrument. Just visualize, mind is a subtle particle. However mind can attend to only one sensation at a time. Mind performs multi-tasking similar to a processor in a computer. Hence mind (manas in Sanskrit) can be defined as ‘power of attention’. Then, how do we discriminate the sensations because the mind can only receive sensations. We require another faculty, a perceiving instrument, known as Intellect (buddhi in Sanskrit). Intellect is the ‘power of determination’. Thus a sensation is abstracted by intellect which is called as percept and then it is still further abstracted as ‘Concept’ based on our memory.
This entire transformation is perceived by the Self (within us), which is also known as ‘power of pure perceptivity’ (purusa or Atman in Sanskrit). But Self is not affected or changed by these inputs. It is the finest element in the universe and it is like a mirror just witnessing everything and not affected by it. So who gets affect? It is the ego. Both Self and intellect merges into an identity which is called ‘Egoism’ (ahaGkaara in Sanskrit). This egoism forms the basis of life in earth.
Now the most important part, how Indian sages able to locate the Self? Indeed they used the very powerful and complex instrument ‘mind’ along with intellect, to locate the Self. It is complex process, first the wavering mind should be brought under the control. It is a very difficult task, like the task of catching the air. But it can be controlled by constant and steady practice. The definition of practice (abhyaasa in Sanskrit) is the effort to bring the mind to present. Thoughts are the waves of mind, by streamlining the thoughts; the mind can be brought under control.
The thoughts streamlining are in four phases (or) four types of thoughts transformations are:
1. Suppositional thought: By questioning with logic we understand the things and achieve the power to control those. (That’s what scientists do.)
2. Deliberative thought: Perceive the things with intellect. Understand the true nature of the objects.
3. Reflective thought: Now mind does not listen to sensations, focus on the subtle things which are usually not bounded by space and time. (Eg: Self Inquiry)
4. Non-Reflective thought: Mind perceives the self and merges as the single entity with Self. (That’s how our Indian sages identified the unchanging and undivided particle Self.)
The major hurdle to reach from reflective thought to non-reflective thought is the ego. By dropping the ego (which is very difficult), mind finds the self by bridging with intellect. The entire thought transformations process constitutes ‘meditation’ and in the final non-reflective thought transformation the ‘Self’ is revealed.
Now our Indian sages answer the famous question, who is God?
So God is the special particle or special purusa (purusa-visesa in Sanskrit) who crossed all the barriers. Thus God (Bhraman) present within us and prevails everywhere. Science and Technology can only states the problem more clearly but not the solution. Never mind everyone knows the solution – ‘Know Thyself’.
Once a blind person said, “God made me blind and now I can see him”.