vichara – the search for the Self or Atma is one of the key practices of Jnana yoga, knowledge of the Self.
Jnana yoga is often regarded as a dry and dusty academic study of the ancient texts of yoga. In
fact Jnana yoga gets right to the nitty gritty of what it is all about – Self Realisation.
One of the great modern masters of Jnana yoga was Ramana Maharishi of Tamil Nadu. He lived
for most of his life on or near mount Arunachala. For many years he remained silent but eventually began
to answer the questions of those who came to see him.
answer to many of those questions, and the nub of his teaching, was to ask of oneself the question,`Who am I` .
The realisation of the Atma is described by a little used Sanskrit word, Sphurana, but one used by Ramana,
in describing the flashing brilliance or vibration in the heart (not the physical organ). It is this radiance
and emanation of life that yogis try to attain.