bhogas tyakttum na sakyante tat tyagena vina vayam
prabhavamo na vipadam aho sankatam agatam (2/21)
The people (including the gods, demi-gods, and sages, and the members of the royal court) listened to sage Vasistha 's words of wisdom with total attention.
The emperor Dasaratha and his ministers had for the time being abandoned their royal preoccupations and pleasures, intent on absorbing the teachings of the sage.
At noon, the conches gave the timesignal, and the assembly rose for the midday interval.
In the evening, the congregation was given leave to retire for the day.
And, as the kings and the princes rose to leave the court, their dazzling ornaments illumined it.
The court itself appeared to be a miniature universe.
When the assembly had thus dispersed, the king Dasaratha duly worshipped the sages and received their blessings.
After this, Vasistha gave leave to the princes, Rama and his brothers, to retire for the day.
They too, fell at the sage's feet, and received his blessings.
When night fell, all except Rama retired to bed.
But, Rama could not sleep.
Rama contemplated the illuminating words of the sage Vasistha thus:
What is this world-appearance?
Who are all these different kinds of people and other beings?
How do they appear here, from where do they come, and where do they go?
What is the nature of the mind and how does it attain quiescence?
How did this Maya (cosmic illusion) arise in the first place, and how does it come to an end?
Again, is such an end to this illusion desirable or undesirable?
How has limitation entered into the infinite self ?
What exactly are the means that the sage Vasistha has prescribed for the conquest of the senses and the mind?
They are surely the sources of sorrow.
It is impossible to abandon enjoyment of pleasure, and it is not possible to end sorrow without abandoning such enjoyment.
This indeed is a problem.
But, since the mind is the crucial factor in all this, surely if the mind once tastes the supreme peace, freed of all world-illusion, it will not abandon that and run after sense-pleasure.
Oh, when will my mind be pure, and when will it rest in the supreme being?
When will my mind rest in the infinite, even as a wave is reabsorbed in the ocean?
When will I be free of all craving?
When will I be blessed with equal vision?
When will I be rid of this terrible fever of worldliness?
O mind, will you really remain firmly established in the wisdom revealed by the great sages?
O my intellect, you are my friend.
Contemplate the teachings of sage Vasistha in such a way that we shall both be saved from the miseries of this worldly existence.