So, having examined the various features of the cube, which quality or characteristic of the cube survives now?
One by one, you find that what you thought was a quality of the cube is no longer so and that what you thought is definite has become indefinite, relative. So, does this mean that the cube does not exist?
Well Vedanta says, “Yes the object exists, of course, but it may not be a cube or a globe or a cone or a rectangle or what you think it is because whatever you think, it is always the result of your relative perception.”
What is, nobody knows or nobody can know because the senses–the sensory organs or the sensory instruments–that are used to know an object are themselves imperfect and relative and, therefore, nothing can be known in its absolute content. You can only know or you can only say, “This is what I think it is, based on my perception.” And somebody else would say, “This is what I think it is, based on my perception.”
So, both of you are right and both of you are wrong because nobody can make an absolute statement that, ‘This alone is right.’ You can only say, ‘This is right, according to my perception.’ That’s the end of it.
So, Vedanta says, “All this is relative.” Your opinions, your perceptions, your ideas, your images, they are all relative; they are not absolute. But, certainly something exists and the sensory organs cannot find that which actually exists.
“Well, all that the mind can do is conceive of it or try to conceive it. It can have an idea, a faint idea of it. Beyond that, even the mind fails to understand the real substance of the universe.”
Well then, can it be found through the mind? Vedanta says, “Well, all that the mind can do is conceive of it or try to conceive it. It can have an idea, a faint idea of it. Beyond that, even the mind fails to understand the real substance of the universe.”
Vedanta also says that the real substance of the universe is the same everywhere, within you and outside you. That substance cannot even be found by the mind. If it cannot be found by the mind, what is the use of seeking or exploring? Vedanta says, “When the mind understands its inability to reach out and find, it finally rests or let’s go. It surrenders, becomes still and quiet naturally, not forcibly.”
When the mind and the senses have ceased their function peacefully, in that tranquillity and absolute stillness, you find what is actually there, the substance, the true padhartha. This is, according to the Upanishads, the ever-existing, endless, ever-flowing, ever-growing Brahman–derived from the root ‘brh’ which means ‘to expand’, the Supreme Being.
This Brahman is the same Supreme Reality, which is consciousness. The pulsating consciousness, which cannot be defined by the mind or perceived by the senses, because the senses always end up forming a relative picture. This is the aim of Vedanta, to find that Being, the true substance behind all deceptive appearances. This truth is the truth of Vedanta.