Sri Vidyaranya, the great exponent of the Advaita School of philosophy who lived in the fourteenth century A.D was the Guru as well as the Diwan to Harihara and Bukka, the founders of the Vijayanagara Empire. He is reputed to the greatest among post-Sankara Advaitins. He was the head of the Sringeri Sarada Peetam (Dakshinamnaya) established by Sri Sri Sankara from the period 1377 to 1386 A.D. He has scripted Panchadashi slokas which are grouped into three sections of five chapters each and named them as Viveka (Discrimination), Deepa (Light) and Ananda (Bliss). The text clears many Vedanta concepts like the relation between Jagannatha (Absolute), Jagat (Universe) and Jeevi (Individual), the inseparable Karana (Cause) and Karya (Effect) etc. In one chapter life is compared to a dance performance. Just by understanding those verses one can know what is really happening in our life.
There is a dancer performing a dace movement on the stage. She is been assisted by a group of musicians and there is a huge audience watching. There is the dance master who is also watching from behind the screen. A bright light is illuminating the whole auditorium along with the stage. Now let us see the comparison; The auditorium is the (Jagat) universe, audiences are the (Vishaya Vastu) objects of the world, stage is the (Sthula Deha) physical body, dancer is the (Manas) mind, dance movements are the (Vrittis) thoughts, musicians are the (Indriyas) sense organs, dance teacher is the (Antaratma) conscience, and light illuminating the auditorium is the (Chaitanya) consciousness.
A bright flood light is fixed at the centre of the auditorium. It is from this light the dance master, dancer, musicians, and the audiences are able to see. Even though the dance movements or the dancer’s costumes or the role of the dancer or the tune from musical instrument may changes, the only unchanged object is the light which illumines the entire show. Without the light the whole auditorium is lifeless. Light is here likened to Atma (Consciousness).
Once the curtains are drawn up and the performance is started, the dance teacher has to just watch the performance he has no chance to correct the movements of the dancer on the stage. Likewise our conscience is just a witness to what we do it cannot correct us or reprimand our actions. The dancer cannot do the same movements over again and again as the audience will get bored, even so the mind cannot have same pattern of thoughts it will change according to the outer world.
The dancer has to feel satisfied with the performance first and automatically such a performance will always be accepted by the audience. As there is a saying “Loko Binna Ruchi” which means peoples' tastes differ, hence it is difficult to please everybody. If the dancer wants to please all and yearns for the applause of the audience the performance gets hampered. Mind also has to be satisfied with the Self if it wants to get the certificate from the world it will be chaotic.
The musicians also need to cooperate to the dancers movements with full concentration, if the musicians are carried away by applaud of the audience and try to impress them the dancer will lose the rhythm and whole performance will lose its appeal. Likewise so if the sense organs are more attracted to the whims and fancies of the outside world the rhythm of the mind gets affected.