Sri Ramakrishna would explain beautifully as to how to get a glimpse of the Ultimate Truth or Brahman. He would also explain the role of Maya in such a realization. To explain the idea, he would use a beautiful example.
“There are ten pots filled with water, and the sun is reflected in them. How many suns are there? Ten reflected suns and one real sun. Now break nine pots. How many suns are there? One reflected sun and one real sun. Break the last pot and how many suns are there? Is it only the real sun? Actually what remains cannot be described. What Is, remains. How do you know that the sun you are looking at is the real sun unless there is a reflected sun?”
With its deluding power or Maya, Brahman remains unknowable. But, through the well-known process of Neti i.e. by eliminating the unreal constantly one realizes finally, the Ultimate Reality. In the process, we get wonderful insights about the Ultimate Reality. The beautiful analogy used about the 10 suns can be compared to the 24 cosmic principles according to the Sankhya Philosophy. Our experiences of the existential world relate to these 24 principles.
Just as we get a glimpse of the quality of the real sun in each of the reflected suns, in the same way, in each of these 24 principles and in turn in each aspect of creation, we get a glimpse of the Ultimate Reality i.e. Brahman.
Just as the real sun gives light, as it were, to each of the reflected suns giving them an apparent sense of reality, Brahman manifests in these principles momentarily, as it were, to give them a sense of reality. Breaking the water pots is similar to eliminating the elements of the manifested world or in other words one or the other of the cosmic principles.
The process is called discrimination and through this one gets hold of the Ultimate Reality.
-by Swami Shantatmananda, Sunday Guardian,12th Jul 2014