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.
The Young Rama sits, asking questions to Sage Vashishtha. He is asking how the world is manifest without any cause; how do you, I or the young Rama – and the Sage – experience this manifestation, encompassed, surrounded by the phenomenal world? There is a base, as the Sage explains.
The mind is the screen upon which it plays out its own dramas – for the dramas, the ideations, the vasanas or sankalpas (ideas, tendencies and willpower) are brought across with the soul into the new body. Rama asks what is real, unreal and why. Vashishtha explains that bad actions can be countenanced by good action, and that firm will, strong will always triumphs. We include a dialogue about name and form, mind and screen.
Consciousnes continues after death. It is a form of consciousness that does not receive input from the body. This is what Ramana Maharshi experienced as a young man when he lay down and entered into his death. Death had no power overhim, nor fear. Everyone’s mind is different. So the experience of death is different for everyone, as Sage Vasishtha explains herein.
Nearly every human has curiosity and questions about what happens after death. As far as we know, and what Sage Vaishtha illustrates in this Question-and-Answer, is that the experience is different for everyone, for the mind is different for everyone – for each and every mind is unique in its tendencies, desires and thoughts generated by same.