The Supreme Brahman is defined as Om Tat Sat and this indicates His omnipresence — the all-pervasive quality, not merely of space but also time, and hence it is synonymous with Eternal Truth. The quest for Truth is thus the pursuit of salvation. This Truth is always unchanging and also elusive. Hence to comprehend it sincere seeking is indispensible, and along with this, Jnana and Vairagya are also essential.
But these are not easily attained and in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna states that perhaps after many Janmas, a Jivatma, who remains steadfast in his pursuit of salvation, may attain this, pointed out Sri K. Srinivasan in a lecture. Like a small insect caught in a swirl of water and unable to get out of it, the Jivatma gropes in the cycle of birth. Human beings have a past and future and human birth provides an opportunity to make use of the present to fashion one's future — the chance to avoid further birth.
When in this world, the compulsion to live in it imposes an involvement with it. Even repeated instruction from preceptors, discussions and debates on this subject, etc., are not very helpful to assimilate the truth because the mind carries with it the strong vasanas and imprints. These act as hurdles, adding to the confusion and ignorance inherent in us. Man is endowed with the power to think, reflect and judge.
This capacity is directed to worldly matters. The logic of reasoning is not helpful when the enquiry is directed to the metaphysical and esoteric truths of the Self. The transition from the known to the unknown is possible only with faith and intuitive realisation. Though the sense organs chase the sense objects of the world, the possibility of directing the senses inwards to recognise the effulgent Self that is immortal is available to human beings.
The Self is the essence of consciousness. It propels the body-mind-complex and is self-effulgent. It can reveal the objects but it cannot reveal itself. Consciousness is the power that causes the eye to see, the mind to think, the ears to hear, etc. Once the hurdles are removed, truth automatically shines.