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  • Writer's pictureAshok Kumar Burra

Satya Tatvam (Truthfulness) is greater than Religious rituals and Sacrifices

Satya Tatvam in Sanskrit, means Truthfulness or Honesty. ‘Telling what is heard and what is seen as it is, is called ‘truthfulness’. One who tells the facts without any hypocrisy or cunningness in mind is called a man of truthfulness. Leading this kind of life is not an easy thing. The Mahabharata, the Indian epic tells about this truthfulness as follows:

“Even if you compare with thousand performances of religious sacrifices, Truth proves its greatness over  them. The pious dipping and worshiping in all sacred rivers and making pilgrimages are also not equal to truth. Truth is the highest virtue”.

Only speaking the truth is not a limit to a truthful person. Not crossing or acting against what he himself said is real truthfulness. In Indian epics, we find the king ‘Harischandra’ having such a truthful personality. He stood very firm to fulfil his words given to Viswamithra Maharishi. He sold away his wife, his child and he himself became a watch man to a burial ground to safeguard his word given to Viswamithra. Mahatma Gandhi may  also got inspired by Harischandra and has adopted the same truthful nature throughout his life.

There was a ruler of three worlds called Maha Bali. He also proved himself as a truthful person. He has also stood by his word and gifted everything including his kingdom consisting all the three worlds and was thrown to the Underworld (Suthala). He knows it well in advance about his downfall. But he has not stepped back in fulfilling his promise given to Sage Vamana. Even after everything is lost, he says that he cares not for wealth, kingdom, even death and Hell, but he cares for truthfulness. Such a truthful king he was and hence his name and glory are being remembered even today.

We are generally accustomed to tell lies even for simple things. While going out of home, if anybody in our home asks, “Where are you going?” we simply reply that “No where” I will be back soon”. When you return home and knock the door, someone in your home may ask you, “Where have you been?”, also to this question we may simply say, “No where! I was just here around”. These two answers are no doubt lies, but of no serious nature.

You might have uttered those lies in the sense that they are unimportant. Such lies may be taken as silly things and can be ignored. But better if we take care of them also. In some exceptional cases telling truth may harm others. In such cases telling lies is in  no way wrong. Once a robber chases a traveler to loot and kill him for money. The traveler hides in a hut of a sage. When the robber asks the sage about the traveler, he says that nobody came in that way. This is no doubt a lie, but by that a life has been saved. So this kind of telling lies (untruth) is no sin.

There is a tale in a book meant for Children, which speaks about the danger of telling untruth. Once a boy shepherd cried loudly, “Tiger! Tiger is attacking! Save me, save me”. The farmers in the nearby fields ran up to help this boy  and found no tiger. The shepherd laughed at them and said that he called the farmers for fun. The same episode ran twice or thrice. A few days after, a tiger really attacked the boy and his sheep. The boy cried for help, but no one turned up, thinking that the mischievous boy is a liar. There the chapter of that boy ended with his doom. This is a well known old story, but its essence is ever new.

So we should know the real value of truthfulness and act accordingly.

Entering  the real world of Spirituality, like joining and becoming an Abhyasi (Trainee) of genuine spiritual organizations like ‘Sahaj Marg’ one can find one’s way to live a truthful life and to reach the destination (the Ultimate). For more information and confidence about Sahaj Marg, please go through the other spiritual articles posted on this website labelled as ‘Sahaj Marg’.

Courtesy: Sri P. Subbarayudu (Preceptor) and Sri. B.E. Sampath Kumar (Abhyasi) of Sri RamaChandraji Maharaj Seva Trust, Kadapa.

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