Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Everything in the world changes. Our experiences change, our understanding changes, our intellect changes, we think differently at different times, thoughts are changing, and also our emotions keep changing. How do you know that everything is changing? There must be something that is not changing. Without the existence of something that is not changing you cannot even know things are changing. So you infer. E.g. when there is a smoke you say, ‘there must be fire’. You just see the smoke and you infer that there must be fire somewhere. Similarly, you cannot directly experience that which is not changing, then how do you do it? Through inference.
The ancient people said there are three ways of knowing - Pratyaksha, Anumana, Agama. There are three proofs, one is Pratyaksha - you see direct. Second is anumana - you infer, e.g. you see the smoke and you know there must be fire, right! So when you see that everything is changing, and you know that you can experience change only through something that is not changing, through some reference point, then you infer -‘There is something that is not changing in us and that is called ‘SELF’, your soul, your spirit, whatever you call it’!
So we went from body to finer - Body, Breath, Mind, Intellect, Memory and then ego. Finer than all this, is the ‘SELF’. What the ‘SELF’ is? Finding that out is called spirituality… is meditation! And what this ‘SELF’ is made up of? It is…!