The mind consists of thoughts. The "I"-thought is the first to arise in the mind. When the enquiry "Who am I?" is persistently pursued. all other thoughts get destroyed, and finally the "I"-thought itself vanishes leaving the supreme non-dual Self alone. The false identification of the Self with the phenomena of non-self such as the body and mind, thus ends, and there is illumination sakshatkara. The process of enquiry, of course, is not an easy one. As one enquires "Who am 1?", other thoughts will arise; but as these arise, one should not yield to them by following them; on the contrary, one should ask, "To whom do they arise?" In order to do this, one has to be extremely vigilant. Through constant enquiry one should make the mind stay in its source, without allowing it to wander away and get lost in the mazes of thought created by itself. All other disciplines such as breath-control and meditation on the forms of God should be regarded as auxiliary practices. They are useful so far as they help the mind to become quiescent and one-pointed. For the mind that has gained skill in concentration Self-enquiry becomes comparatively easy. It is by ceaseless enquiry that the thoughts are destroyed and the Self realised— the plenary Reality in which there is not even the I - thought, the experience which is referred to as "Silence".
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
30th December 1879 - 14th April 1950