Rama asks about the nature and cause of reality that is experienced. The Sage replies, explaining the nature of the three types of akasha.
Each day we pass through all four states: the waking state, the dream state, the deep sleep state, and the turiya, when the Atma is itself and no object nor ideation. Young Rama asks if this mind – a bundle of thoughts brought across to the new body with the Atman, the Soul – young Rama asks if the mind is sentient or insentient. Is this a question about self awareness? Consider Vasishtha’s response.
The young Rama what is the cause of the illusion and how is it sustained in the akash, the formless?
The young Rama asks “What form the mind takes?”. This leads to a terse reply from the Sage. There is more, when we unpack the terse reply and examine what is involved when the mind perceives illusion, maya.
The young Rama queries the sage who has told that there is no distinction between Brahman and the mind, no distinction between the agent and action. So what is going on, who is the doer, and how does this relate to the Soul and to the All?
It behooves the young Rama to seek the distinction between that which is seen outwardly, and that which is known inwardly. Steadiness in meditation and action is ever a virtue to be acquired. Preferably when one is young. It is hard, hard, hard, to still the mind in the later years.
The experience of the universe arises due to the modifications in the individual consciousness based in Pure Consciousness, and this universe is cognised as real due to the illusion that arises therefrom.
What is the individual consciousness and how does it arise?
What is the difference between destiny and the goals of life? It matters much to what purpose the mind is put. The key is in the heart; turn it towards the world, the world and maya will cause loss. Turn the key in the heart towards the Divine, and everything is gained; that which is known, by which all things in this world are known. That is the goal, the difference between daiva and purushartha.
The Young Rama sits, asking questions to Sage Vasistha. He is asking how the jnani – the one who has achieved the quiscient state – experience the body, the self, the Universe. Sage Vasishtha says for the ignorant, it is all about name and form, nama-rupa. For the realised, everything is Brahmam.