The young Rama asks about the wise one and his body. What is the nature of such a person, what is the composition of the body and its purpose?
The Young Rama asks the sage about impure vision – how can this come about when the Atma is purity itself? Recognition of objects as real or unreal depends on the determination and discrimination – and the attitude – of the seer. The famous saying, “the seen reflects the seer” tells that story … just as there is the fact that the mind takes the form of whatever it is pointed at. We need to recognise the world is out there, yes, it is unreal, and yes, we can be established in our true self within.
What is the relevance of the four states of consciousness? It is said that this world is a waking dream. What is the meaning of “waking dream”? What is does it mean when someone says Prajnanam Brahman, consciousness is the Self? These and other questions arise as the young Rama questions Sage Vasishtha.
The young Rama asks about the worlds of different people. Do they mix with one another or not? Sage Vasishtha tells that everything arises from Atma, and those with different worlds (think, world-views is all a function of chitta which arises from Atma. Another issue is considered: how do we recognise or come to know our true nature? Do we cognise when we are awake? Or asleep? What about the fourth state of consciousness, the turiya state? When do we know and how do we know we are the Atma? That we are one with Brahman?
The young Rama asks – in the light of the Sukra story – what is the difference between the wise one, and the ignorant? Sage Vasishtha reminds the young Rama of vasana, will and how the ignorant is bound within and without. The principle of the Shukra story is given.
The young Rama perseveres with questions about ideation and creation of the Universe. What exists, and how does that come into being? What is its nature? Here, Sage Vasishtha tells the story of Rishi Bhirgu, his son Sukra, and the God of Death.
The cycles of yugas roll by; after many yugas, evolution transits to involution, creation moves to pralaya and the known universes come to an end and are born again in the mind of Brahma. What then is this process, and does Brahma create the Universe and human life from memory?
When the James Webb Space Telescope is launched into space later this year, it will carry 18 gold-plated hexagonal mirrors that will help astronomers see back more than 13 billion years—a time when the first stars and galaxies were forming from the darkness of the early universe. Those mirrors are made of beryllium, a relatively rare metal that is one-third the weight of aluminium but six times stronger than steel.
Looking back more than 13 million years is like attempting to see the origin of the Universe and what was there before the Universe. These questions are as old as those living in duality. Read on as the young Lord Rama asks the sage questions about creation and pralaya.
T.S. Eliot said,
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
Life is a journey from womb to tomb; how do we avoid coming through another womb in the present life? The sage offers young Rama a lecture about the seven states of ignorance, and the seven states of bliss. Awareness of Atma is fruit of long effort, determination, discrimination and detachment. Read the advice of the sage to young Rama.