Vicara begins with a course of uncompromising arguments within yourself to prove and affirm that you are not the body, senses or the mind, and that even when all these are changing in the course of the three states, you alone stand changeless as the background, knowing the apparent changes.
When the argument hits home, the objects drop away, one by one, until at last you stand alone in your own glory as the background. Then you cannot even say ‘I know’, because there is nothing else to be known and you stand as that knowledge, pure. This is, in short, the course of Atmavicara.
madhuryyattal anya vastu madhuri krtam akayam,
vastvantarattal maduryyam madhuri krtamayita .
[It is from sweetness that some other thing can get to be made sweet.
But sweetness in itself is not made sweet, by any other thing.]
Bhasha Pancadashi, Pancakosha-viveka, 15 (Malayalam translation)
This is a significant verse to show the self-luminosity of Atma.
By association with sweetness, any other thing becomes sweet. But sweetness by itself does not need the association of anything else in order to be sweet.
Similarly, all objects become known when they come into contact with the ‘I’. But the ‘I’ does not need the help of anything else in order to be known. It shines, by itself, even in deep sleep where no object exists. Therefore the ‘I’ is self-luminous.
Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda, taken by Nitya Tripta, note 1081