Instinct is the basic knowledge in all created beings and comprises their individual natural tendencies and character. Intuition is a higher level of knowledge which enables human beings to experience the presence of the Supreme Brahman within. This knowledge cannot be handed down or taught; it is an insight that each one has to experience on one’s own. The Upanishads at best convey the means to the knowledge of the Supreme Brahman and accept their inability to reveal the end of this quest, which is experiential and intuitive.

In the Ramayana, a grief-stricken Tara gives vent to her sorrow at Vali’s death. Her anger towards Rama (who had killed her husband though not in a straight fight) makes her ready to launch an accusation. But she undergoes an inner calm in Rama’s presence and anger gives way to Satva Guna. Like the seers in the Upanishads, who felt the reverberations of the truth in their consciousness in the midst of deep meditation, Tara realises that Rama is the very Supreme Brahman, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a lecture. It is a moment of enlightenment for her when she is graced with an insight into eternal truth. This, along with the proximity of the Lord, confers an overwhelming experience, inspiring her to address Rama with epithets that refer to His limitless greatness. Her thought and expression echo the essence of the Upanishads which describe the Supreme Being as “That which is beyond names, description, or human thought and imagination. That which seems distant is yet near, and is present in the inner recesses of every being.”

The subtle nature of the Supreme Truth remains hidden just as fire resides in wood, or milk in cow. Much effort is needed to bring them out. When the individual consciousness is mature through penance, renunciation and effort, there is a chance that the Supreme Brahman reveals Himself.

Those who succumb to anger and desire cannot have access to Him; but those who are keen to know the truth and willing to make the effort through meditation and inner reflection may be graced by the Lord to have a glimpse of His truth.