So neither by intelligence nor by Vedic scholarship can the Atman be obtained. If that is the conclusion of those two Upanishads then by what shall one obtain the Atman? You have to ‘choose’ it. This process is called ‘varaNaM’.
What does one mean by ‘varaNaM’? What is ‘varaNaM’?. ‘vara’ means ‘best’. When a bridegroom is chosen for an eligible daughter; the bridegroom is called ‘varaH’ in Sanskrit and ‘varan’ in Tamil. Also another meaning is one who has been chosen from among several.
This choice is inbuilt into the word ‘svayamvara’ where a bride (usually a princess) chooses her match from an assembly of several princes who consider themselves eligible bachelors for the princess. She chooses whomsoever she likes best.
The act of choosing is ‘varaNaM’.
We look for a proper guru, finally choose one and seek him as our guru – this is ‘guru-varaNaM’. Accordingly there is ‘sishhya-varaNaM’ also. In a similar manner we have to choose ‘Atman’, by discarding everything else.
We have to keep praying “Please reveal yourself, O Atman. You are nothing but my self; but I am not able to recognize it. All this mind, speech, and intelligence (medhA) which think of myself as ‘I’, cannot recognize you. Therefore please reveal yourself by yourself”.