When Rama was fifteen years old, He became restless and was plagued by doubts about life and its purpose. He undertook a pilgrimage to seek answers for the uncertainties and worries in this world. This is symbolic of every Jivatma’s predicament in trying to find a way out of this cycle of birth, said Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha in a discourse.
Rama returns to Ayodhya but his journey has not cleared his disillusion. Sage Vasishta understood that Rama’s restiveness springs from a deeper quest for enlightenment and he decides to impart to Him the profound truths of existence.
He turns Rama’s focus inward to locate the source of all action, thought, sentience, consciousness, mind, etc. The presence of the Self in each one is this source. Vasishta taught Him the interaction between the mind and the intelligence and how to use the intelligence to discover and realise the inner Self. We have to apply it for this purpose. The mind can be deceptive and can assume that the world is real. If this becomes the basis of one’s perception, then one is destined to be in the path of repeated births. But if one perceives this as a transient reality, similar to the experience of the reality arising in dreams, one gains discrimination in regard to truth.
The world’s sensory objects attract the sense organs and the unique body/mind blend of the individual enables one to experience the joy or sorrow that is engendered as a consequence. What is the real gain for the seeker? If it is wealth, can it give happiness? Could one hope to hold on to the material gains for long? Wealth causes misery and tempts people to indulge in evil ways.
Sleep and waking states are a function of the mind even as the mind engages in intellectual activities and also is the cause for recognition of the ego sense and assertiveness.
This is similar to the way legs perform a variety of functions — walking, jumping or squatting. This is what Rama realised after the teaching, the inward journey of the mind towards self-realisation.
No doubt, the mystery and wonder of creation is awe-inspiring. It is equally so when perceived within oneself.