I have been pondering the nature of vritti and it seems that self awareness is a natural condition pervasive throughout the universe. A matter particle is aware of gravitational field. We know this is true because it "responds" to that. A proton is aware of EM fields, it responds to EM fields. Similarly, the vrittis that we experience, qualia is the closest thing I can refer to as the western analogue of, predicates the existence of an experiencer. Sadness doesn't exist independently, neither does sight. Now you might argue what about infrared light? It exists but has close to no place in our awareness; First I'd say that is not true. IR does have an effect and can be felt on your skin as heat in a congested room. Similarly UV rays damage your DNA and even though you aren't immediately aware of it, you do become aware of it once disease strikes. We are mostly aware of that which has been selected by natural selection for the maximum number of times. So it's not surprising that with time, the awareness of elusive phenomenon will seep deeper in the general public awareness. This is how civilization evolved to the point of being able to identify microbes as the cause of microbial disease. Dark matter is another phenomenon which don't even have measurable effects on our telescopes, yet it is responsible for shaping galaxies, which in turn led to formation of stars, which made elements necessary for life available on rocky planets, necessitating our physical existence.
Sorry for that detour, but I'm trying to show that everything that can be known is known by a knower, even though he is ignorant of it. Similarly, our identities are tied down to the biological processes we identify with. In essence, consciousness is the same shared condition of reality, expressed in various beings, but being the same phenomenon. How can there be a vritti without a knower? Well, why not make the vritti the knower itself! We use occam's razor and apply an attribute of self-awareness to some vrittis and now we have reduced the ontology of separate qualia plus awareness -> self referential qualia.