Relative and Absolute

Relative   and   Absolute 

 Philosophy and science both accept that without Time, Space and Relativity there does not exist the creation so called, world. Without these, we cannot imagine, perceive and conceive the existence of world. They work together simultaneously to project the whole creation. As I tried to explain in my last two articles; SPACE is ‘that which gives room for everything to exist (Avakaash Dhaatru Aakash) and TIME is continues, on-going moving  abstract phenomena. All events happen from one point of time to another point of time and we measure and  ascertain those within principle of Relativity.   

 Relativity is one of the important aspects that assist in judging or evaluating the existence of the world. There are inumerable separate entities such as planets, stars, clouds, earth, trees, animals, persons. Due to their individual existence, they can only be recognized by relating  them to oneself (observer)  and within each entity.  

Suppose we imagine ourselves without  relativity, can we perceive or conceive this objective world ? No. According to Vedanta, space-time-relativity is power of Maya.  (meaning:”the power by which the universe becomes manifest; the  appearance or illusion of the magnificient  world”). The world is experienced during both the waking and dream states within all its variations in the cause-effect relation; like master and servant, teacher and disciple, father and son. In a relative world, a same person may be recognized as child, son, brother, husband, father, uncle and grandfather. A planet would be big, small, from and to,  far and near, to different observers.  

This is relative (satya) or transactional truth.  

But what is the Eternal or Absolute Truth?  Here Swamiji explains the following ponderable Truth:   

Things (objects) and Knowledge (Gyanam)

 When we open our eyes we see the colorful world of multifarious forms. With deep examination we realize that, what we directly perceive are not objects, but their qualities, such as color, size, form, hardness or softness and so forth. None of these qualities are objects; they only qualify the objects. What we conceive as colorful world is the totality of qualities we perceive. What we directly perceive is not the world, but its qualities and attributes. 

Where then does the world exist? It is in our knowledge?  The substantiality of the world is in our knowledge; the experience also takes place in our knowledge. In short, both (1) the existence of the world and (2) our experience of it happen in our knowledge. In our search for Reality we conclude that Knowledge (gyan) is Reality.  

Thus Brahman /world is to be contemplated as Reality as well as Knowledge.               

(Note: The Veda Vakya Pragyanam Brahman”– is glorified here)              

*Narayana Guru brings all this out in the stanzas of the Atmopadesa Satakam. 

  “It is not qualified but qualities. That we know: since the said qualified remains unseen, 

    Do remember the earth and all else is naught, (no-things or as if nothings) 

   While the supporting bright form of awareness is all there is.    

                   *(by Swamy Muni Narayan Prasad) 

 It is explained that whenever we observe every visible object as gross and inactive, we simply imagine it’s causal substance (fundamental reality) as an inert entity. Here we can be mistaken by conceiving it at its face value. However, if we contemplate the actual causal substance as ‘reality as well as knowledge’ as explained above * (Things and Knowledge), we can avoid this mistake or error. 

 The knowledge about something familiar, is called objective knowledge (vishaya gyan). A stream of such knowledge occurs in our consciousness. However, during deep sleep the consciousness remains dormant. Sometimes consciousness may create its own world and enjoys itself within it (like dream). 

 Where do these altering states take place? (Altering States is; (1) while we are awake/Jagrata (2) dream/Svapna state and (3) deep sleep/Sushupti). The only answer is, it is within consciousness or knowledge. It is consciousness that witnesses all these altering states while becoming subject to these alterations. This witnessing consciousness is what is intended here by the word Knowledge (gyan).   (Note:- object=out there, separate from “I”;  Subject = “I” who observe the objects within self).

Another explanation by Yogavashistha is:-Even though this objective world (in origin) is formless,  (we) see it in the actual form, like we see and experience it in dream state. Note:-As per Yogavashistha this world that we actually experience is nothing but prolong big dream.  Yet another thinker explained that:- “What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning” 

Furthermore, Heisenberg (a great nuclear scientist) said; “If the new physics has led us anywhere, it is back to ourselves, which, of course, is the only place that we could go.  I find it fascinating and worth pondering that; finding something, expecting, researching, addressing and  questioning directs finally back to ourselves. Which of course, is the only place that we could go.   

It’s also worth acknowledging:  Shree Dakshinamurty Stotram     (by Adi Shankaracharya) 

                          Vishvam Darpan Drashyamaan Nagari TulyamNijantargatam 

                         Pashyannaatmani Maayaya BahirivodBhootam Yadaa Nidrayaa, 

                        Yaha Saaxaattkurute Prabhodhasamaye Swaatmaanamevadvayam 

                        Tasmai Sri Gurumurtaye nama idam  Sri Dakshinamurtaye. ( Sloka 1) 

It explains that the universe is like a city reflected in a mirror, seen as real envision-things inside the mirror but in reality it is out side the mirror !. Again, it is like its in a dream, an inside phenomenon appearing outside but really is inside (in us).  

 The Supreme Brahman is True or Original, the one without second.   That is *Atman and Its reflection seen through the media of senses, mind, and intellect. The identity of the Supreme Brahman as one’s Atman is understood on self-illumination. “He by whose grace that illumination comes to me –to that (Lord) Dakshinamurti, the supreme Being, who is embodied in the auspicious and benign Guru, I offer my profound salutation.” 


Vishvam=projection of names and forms, (as if) outwardly during waking stage. 

Tejas-Nidra=Dream stage, projection (as if out of me) but, 

Nijantargatam=(all projection ) is really within ME) 

Prabodhasamaye=Upon Self-illumination all those imagined out there, repose or back to the Self non-dually  

 It follows, that in the: Simile:- Example of a bright (chaitanyamaya) Mirror (is compared here)  as Atma. Objective world in waking state, called Vishva in Sanskrit. Dream state called ‘Tejas’ from where all phenomenon projects as events happen in dream. These both states and deep sleep are only momentary. But, *eternal Atman(Self) only that one without second is reflected, projected as all these, yes, nothing but Atma. 

 Another way to look at this is :-  The world has existence only as a reflection in the mind, at all times, it could only be experienced as an inner emotion. The world of plurality, though it exists only within one’s own mind, it is experienced as solid and substantial objects outside the experiencer who is only witnessing / Sackshy (isn’t it surprise?). The pluralistic world of objects recognized is only the play of the mind-the Maya.  

We should analyze and distinquish to realise the Truth. All  Relative aspects are not totally separate from Absolute and they are all within absolute. Relative is changeable, while Absolute is eternal and unchangable. 

Truth is one and nothing but one -that is Absolute, our final goal.  


                                                                                                         Venilal Khatri 




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