'AHAM SPHURANA' (the light of 'I-I')
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi.

'I' is not known in sleep. On waking 'I' is perceived associated with the body, the world and non-self in general. Such associated 'I' is 'Aham vritti'. When 'Aham' represents the Self only it is 'Aham Sphurana'. This is natural to the 'jnani' and is itself called 'jnana' by 'jnanis', or 'bhakti' by 'bhaktas'. Though ever present, including in sleep, it is not perceived. It cannot be known in sleep all at once. It must first be realised in the waking state, for it is our true nature underlying all the three states. Efforts must be made only in the 'jagrat' state and the Self realised here and now. It will afterwards be understood and realised to be continuous Self, uninterrupted by 'jagrat, svapna, and sushupti. Thus it is 'Akhandakara vritti' (unbroken experience). 'Vritti' is used for lack of a better expression. It should not be understood to be literally a 'vritti'. In that case, 'vritti' will resemble an 'ocean-like river', which is absurd. 'Vritti' is of short duration, it is qualified, directed consciousness; or absolute consciousness broken up by cognition of thoughts, senses, etc. 'Vritti' is the function of the mind, whereas the continuous consciousness transcends the mind. This is the natural, primal state of the 'jnani' or the liberated being. That is unbroken experience. It asserts itself when relative consciousness subsides. 'Aham vritti' ('I-thought') is broken, 'Aham sphurana' (the light of 'I-I') is unbroken, continuous. After the thoughts subside, the light shines forth.

- 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi' (Talk-307)