Question: You say one can realize the Self by a search for it. What is the character of this search?
Bhagavan Ramanar: You are the mind or think that you are the mind. The mind is nothing but thoughts. Now behind every particular thought there is a general thought, which is the `I', that is yourself. Let us call this `I' the first thought. Stick to this `I'-thought and question it to find out what it is. When this question takes strong hold on you, you cannot think of other thoughts.
Question: When I do this and cling to my self, that is, the 'I'-thought, other thoughts come and go, but I say to myself `Who am I ?' and there is no answer forthcoming. To be in this condition is the practice. Is it so?
Bhagavan Ramanar: This is a mistake that people often make. What happens when you make a serious quest for the Self is that the `I'-thought disappears and something else from the depths takes hold of you and that is not the `I' which commenced the quest.
Question: What is this something else?
Bhagavan Ramanar: That is the real Self, the import of `I'. It is not the ego. It is the Supreme Being itself.