The young Rama asks Sage Vasishtha about true knowledge or non-dual cognition. This gives the sage the opportunity to narrate the story of Muni Vitahavya and is interior dialogue with his mind. It is a tour-de-force instruction of the mind (chitta, consciousness) that it has no basis, no reality and the only reality that is, is that of the Atma. Thereafter, one has non-dual cognition, samyak-jnana, samyak-drishti.
The world, the Earth, the Universe – are all creations of the modifications of consciousness – which we bring with us when we are born. No one is born with a blank slate, tabula rasa as the philosophers claim. The world is experienced because of forgetfulness of Atma.
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.