Delivered as a lecture by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura in Calcutta in 1932.
With profound respect I come to offer a few words on Relativity and Absolute, which may prove to be conflicting with each other at first sight. But the harmony wanted by both of them should be secured to reach the unique position of the Truth Who has no deviation. The negative idea of our present day experience, through inadequate senses on the temporal plane, does not include the full description of the Absolute Truth, in Whom some other phases cannot have lien to co-share. The synthetic method need not be confused with the analytic process; neither the darkness should be accepted as light to explain our observing stand.
The activities of our present senses over phenomenal representations have impressed us with a particular designation which should in no case be abscribed to the manifested region of Absolute, where our deformed senses and their objects should not be thrust with equal vehemence as we are apt to apply in our present sphere.The transcendental specification does not submit to any limited sense of an enjoyer, but the cogent energy of the transcendence always exhibits a supernatural predominating and justifying aspect, to regulate the shortsighted views entertained in the temporal region. A close attention will, I am sure, convince every recipient if he is amenable to see things from different positions; so I take the liberty of asking everybody not to submit to the current views of many bearing an enjoying mood. A real enquiry, with submission for utilising the same, will ensure the safety of Truth. In cases of non-absolute subjects, an opposing party can have full claim to contradict or challenge, whereas in the Absolute no such second part is possible.
Among the considerate who were watching the career of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya, on His return to Nadia from Gaya, the people of Shri Mayapur noticed His marked deviation from the former character of the Lord. They observed Him to discourage the impersonalism of the ascetic Prakashananda, who was alleged to have been inculcating an unassorted epistemology which went to show the dragging of the conception of the Absolute to a region devoid of manifestive sentiency. So the Supreme Lord compared the ascetic's ways and methods to those of a villain wanting to sever asunder the all-charming eternal limbs of the Personality of Godhead.
The discouraging tone and positive nullification of the theory of the ascetic from the lips of the Fountainhead of the theistic thesaurus, brought a revolutionary effect on the pedantic mentality of the members of the then centre of learning. These discouraging remarks of the Supreme Lord caused them to hold a poorer conception of the Lord, Whom they found to have been belittling the mental acme of pedantic insinuation. The pedagogic function of Lord Vishvambhar was changed into that of a platform speaker, as the World Teacher closely demonstrating His instructions in practice. This simple and illustrated version gave a clear understanding to those who had a scope of honest reading of the Absolute Eternal Blissful Knowledge. They understood that it was a part and parcel of blasphemy to do away with the different parts of the Transcendental Structural Entity of the Fountainhead, Who is instrumental, ablative and locative of all Immanence, Transcendence and phenomena.
The disclaiming of the Spiritual Aspect of the Absolute had done a great mischief in the cosmological enterprise of tracing the genesis of phenomenal existence. The sensuous speculation of the phenomena made them confident of their advancement in the search of knowledge in their alleged thesaurus. The impersonalists have found facilities to explain by a suicidal commission the amalgamating of the three manifestive positions. The relativity observed among sentient and insentient phenomenal things shows qualitative difference among them; whereas among the sentients the distinctions are traced by the rhetoricians in five different connections. The esoteric interpretations of sentiency are more or less associated with the insentient, as their conceptions are drawn from the mundane concrete. So they cannot be strictly relied upon as being free from the contamination of a foreign opposite element. The quantitative as well as qualitative features have participated a good deal in the discourse on relativity of knowle dge.
The Supreme Lord, during His association with the members of theistic society, planned an idea of proceeding to the den of impersonalists at Benares, where He could meet all who had proselytised themselves as subscribing to the erroneous views insisted by Prakashananda, at that time the head of the so-called monistic community. In order to do so, He also thought that He should pose as an ascetic of their order, who could influence the members of that pedantic society, despite their hollow arrogance.
The fourth order of life was considered as the civic guardian of society. The Lord wanted to show Himself as an ascetic to attract the attention of all, instead of being received as one of them or less, in their comparative vision. Though the Supreme Lord underwent the different stages of life, He exhibited the highest position of the fourth order, by not adhering to the rigorous regulations and privations, and by not abstaining from dancing, singing and playing with musical instruments, which are essential relativities of the transcendence.
In all the manifestive stages, distinction and difference have the upper hand in distinguishing from the rest and differentiating from the unique conception of the Integer. In other words, the quantitative and qualitative relations are established where there is a converging reference of all the diverse courses. In the theme of relation we find the necessity of numerical difference, as well as the distinctive features, when the conception of the Integer Whole is held prominent. In both cases relation is the essential factor which can never be avoided by a knower in his activities on other two planes.
The word 'difference' is taken up in our synthetical view of qualities, and the word 'distinction' in the analytical view of tabula rasa. If we require to get rid of examining the distinctive and differentiative view of a particular subject we can get rid of the relativity of knowledge. The three distinctive locations are ignored to dismiss the idea of space; and differentiative mood, when neglected, would drive out the factor of time in the Entity, as differentiation presupposes the relativity of time. The synthetic method, adopted to eliminate the relativity or to remain indolent to view the perspective Absolute, may, to some angle of vision, appear to he successful, and it will hover afterwards to fix its position in indistinctive or undifferentiated monism. These perplexing questions were asked of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya at Benares by one of the retired principal ministers of the King of Bengal.
When there was a quest to know the true position of relativity, the renunciating attitude of the monist was exposed by the instructive reply of the Unlimited Thesaurus. The delineation by Full Knowledge of the scope of non co-operation with mundane relativity, gave us the occasion to survey the true manifestive plane of transcendence, apart from the impression of degraded mundane sty, though the indolent mentality posed its stuporous standpoint of getting rid of relative Blissful Knowledge.
There is a qualitative relational difference between the transcendence and phenomena, so relativity cannot be ignored. If such temper is maintained of establishing the undifferenced and non-distinctive Unit, the rationalist school would not set much value to their posit. The undesirable imperfection observed in the temporal relativity of Nature should not be carried to an unknown region where there is no such anthropomorphic, ephemeral, defective welcoming. The weight of such measuring temperament, and to ascribe the same shortcomings in the transcendence, would prove too heavy to be carried by the feeble porter with mundane relative reasons. Moreover, there is no warranty of exact dovetailing in the Transcendental Vacuum.
Our imperfect knowledge is now captivated within the mundane horizon, and we earnestly crave a release trom the prison-walls of unwholesome relativity. That experience will necessarily lead us to conclude the desirability of non-cooperation with finitudinal relativity. But when infinite relativity is talked of, we should not ascribe any defects of finitudinal reference as per our experience here. To curtail the extension of mundane relativity we may proceed to Immanence by minimising our sensuous activities, which are the measuring instruments to dispel our ignorance, by removing the opaque barrier. If we trace out the cause of renouncing mundane relativity, we will prefer non-relative hallucination to give us the facility of vanishing such function. The measuring instruments or, in other words, senses, require to be stopped artificially to remove our inspection of temporal or phenomenal existence. But this would not preclude us to remove the Transcendental irremovable Elernal Existence from our inspection.
The Supreme Lord did not confirm the impersonal phase of the Fountainhead of Nature and Eternal Supernature, but targetted a long track which we should adopt in our sojourn in this temporal world, as well as in proceeding to the Transcendence. He did not prescribe the short-sighted policy of non-cooperation with perishable limited things of this world, but instructed to utilise them in the proper direction to get our desired end.
Our reliance on petty reasonings of mundane relativity would show a stuporous temperament to receive the Transcendental Truth unexplored hitherto by our defective aural reception but a lucky moment would give us an accidental opportunity for paying a little more attention to the remedy volunteered to serve as the greatest relishing sauce for a thirsty soul.
Too much attachment for any limited thing will deny us the facility of extensional gains, though the policy of concentration is talked of very highly for our amelioration. Too much affinity for a thing has produced marvellous results in a research scholar, whose object is to bring out hidden knowledge inherent in the outward object. The question of time has set up the function of acquired durability, thereby resembling the existence of an ephemera. As the research scholar, or the lover of a transitory object, is observed to be shifted elsewhere from the object of his quest, and as the object has a temporary existence with the susceptibility of transformation, such exertions are meant to be analagous to time-serving exploits.
The question of inadequacy, and the quantity of exuberance, will also prove the nondesirability of such temporary fruitive acts. In the emporium of phenomena, our senses are found to engage themselves with all earnestness. When the senses are gratified from the ample service of their need, the satiative sequel does not later on suit their purpose.
The problem comes to be solved, "Where to keep those objects of the senses if we require any relief from their exploiting invasions? Are we to stop the actuating of our senses, or destroy the objects of our senses by devising some means?"