Anekanta: The Third Eye: [03.09] Relativity - Relativity Is Everything

Published: 25.03.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

If our consciousness is able to tear away from the limits of time and space, then there would be no past, no future, it would all be the present and the present alone. Only the consciousness which becomes infinite, remains. Let us not get stuck with definitions of infinite. So much is clear that, to the enlightened, there is no past or future. They can see each event, whether it belonged to the past or is yet to happen, with tremendous clarity in the future. They can see it happening. To them there is only today, only the present. But of course it is worth reminding oneself that when there is no past or future, there is no present either. These three words lose all meaning. All that remains is the event, that which is. It does not disappear even in infinite time. Is this possible without relativity? Anything bound by time and space cannot be independent. Time and space are connected to our events. This is so because no event can be explained without time and space. We take the help of these two measures and explain events. Without them the explanation is not possible.

Sometimes we have to refer to the place and sometimes to the time. Where to go? Right or left? Which is right and which is left? Without place such explanations cannot be given. Using any point as the reference we can identify left or right. Otherwise there can be no left or right. Now it is 3.30 in the afternoon in Ladnun. Is it the same time in Moscow too now? Is it daylight there? Day and night cannot be identified without the concept of relativity. Without the idea of relativity, up and down cannot be identified. When the earth was thought of as flat then there emerged the idea of up and down. But now that we know that the earth is round, where does the idea of up or down make sense without the idea of relativity? Up, down, small, big, all these are relative terms. Small and big. Who is small and who is big? Nobody is. The measure is relative.

The teacher told the student, "Shorten the line drawn on the blackboard without erasing any part of it." Now, how is it possible to make it short and yet not rub a part of it? The student was intelligent. He drew a longer line, thus making the original line appear shorter.

Small or big is relative. Light or heavy is relative. Even gravity is sometimes high and sometimes low. Where there is no effect of gravity there is weightlessness, nothing is light or heavy. Blemishless, soft and hard, these three terms are also relative. Who is blemishless? Who is soft? Who is hard? All are relative terms depending on individual experience. Everything about us is relative. If we forget the word syaad and look at everything as independent, then we have problems. It has been said that Gods live for millions and billions of years. This is surprising and yet not so. Let us not forget relativity. Those who are beyond the effects of gravity are beyond time. A thousand years here would not even be like a second there.
In the Jain agamas there is a passage that reads:

A man died. He went to heaven. He thought of going back to earth to meet his family. As soon as the idea struck him he began making the necessary preparations. All the Gods asked him where he was going. He replied, "I am going back to the world of mortals to meet my family." They replied, “Oh! You have just come, wait a while. See the fantasies of this place." He tarries. He thinks for but one second. And then he comes straight to earth. He searches for his father, mother, brother, sister and friends. He enquires about them from people. Nobody is able to tell him anything. Many thousands of years seemed to have passed. Many generations had gone past. He thinks everything was but a minute ago! But on earth, a lot of time had passed.

  • Anekanta: The Third Eye by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 2002
  • Translated by Sudhamahi Regunathan
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University), Ladnun, Rajasthan, India

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Agamas
  2. Consciousness
  3. Ladnun
  4. Space
  5. Syaad
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