Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Ten Universal Virtues

Munishri 108 Kam Kumar Nandi
Message, Foreword, Preface
Hymn To Five Divinties
  Paryushan Parva
  Supreme Forgiveness
  Supreme Tenderness or Humility
  Supreme Uprightness or Honesty
  Supreme Contentment or Purity
  Supreme Truthfulness
  Supreme Self-Restraint
  Supreme Austerities or Penance
  Supreme Renunciation
  Supreme Non-Attachment
  Supreme Chastity
  Kshamavani Parva




     Truth grants happiness in this world. All living beings survive on the power of truth. The day when truth is fully annihilated or goes into oblivion, fire will leave its inherent burning property, which is impossible. Truth is eternal. Truth is God and God is truth. By sticking to truth a man becomes God; a human being becomes super human; by the force of truth an animal sheds its present state and becomes the almighty God; the soul changes into superb soul. All the great men born on this day became great by the force of truth. 'The wind blows for ever' is a universal truth. One, who adheres to truth, crosses the ocean of universe easily. He who kicks truth is also kicked in life and meets his doom. We can uplift ourselves by the help of truth. Truth alone is beautiful and good in this universe. The great poet Keats has sung:

     Beauty is truth, Truth beauty

     That is all ye know on earth,

     And all ye need to know.

     That's why truth has been exalted in the axiom 'satyam shivam sundram' - The true, the Good and the Beautiful. The person who despite being himself incapable of following the moral code of conduct laid down by the Holy Lord Jinendra, advocates the holy message of the Lord, does not contradict it and does not tell a lie in daily dealings as well, is truthful indeed.

     "Truthfulness is the basis of all the virtues that form good character. One who is true to himself is true to world."

     To call a spade a spade is the first requisite of truthfulness. But in the spiritual sphere due to supremacy given to nonviolence over self and non-self, beneficial and sweet words are called truth, even if there is a bit of falsehood in them. Indeed, a statement, which does well to living beings is truth. On the contrary, a statement howsoever true it may be, but if it causes harm to somebody is untruth. In short, spreading false doctrines, revealing the secrets and deformities of others is falsehood. Likewise back biting, making false documents and breach of trust are all forms of falsehood. A man should abstain from such false truths.

     Jain Acharyas have divided truth into two categories on the basis of 'Anuvartas' (partial vows or small vows), 'Mahavaratas' (Absolute vows or great vows). One who does not speak hurtful, harsh and pinching words; who does not reveal the secrets of others but speaks benevolent and affectionate words; who uses pleasing and compassionate words for all living creatures; who speaks celestial words for spiritual uplift, observes 'Satyanuvarta' (partial vow of truth).

     Not to speak false words being instigated by attachment, malice, greed and discord; and to avoid the use of truthful words causing anguish to others is 'Satya Mahavarta' i.e., great vow of truth. Not to utter at any time treacherous or agonizing words inspired with humor, fear, anger or greed; to avoid the use of words that cause mental injury to others in thought, speech, and action is also the great vow of truth - 'Satya Mahavarta'.

     Satyavachi prtishtata sarva gunsampda. Anritbhashinram bandhvopi avmanyate,      mitrani ch prityjanti, jihvachhedansarvsahrnraadivysnbhagpi bhavti

     The treasure of all virtues lies inherent in a truth speaking person. A liar is condemned even by his own kith and kin. No body likes to befriend him. He has to undergo severe punishments like cutting of the tongue and deprivation of all his wealth and property.

     A Brahman named Shivabhuti was reputed by the title Satyaghosh. He used to say that he would never tell a lie. If he ever told a lie, he would cut his tongue with a dagger. Being pleased and fully convinced with his honesty one day a Seth left his four precious diamonds in his custody and set out on his business errand. He had earned a huge amount of money abroad. After twelve years he was on his way back home. Unfortunately his ship sank in the sea and all his wealth was lost. The Seth came to Satyaghosh and demanded of him to return his four diamonds. At this the Brahman, known as Satyaghosh, turned the Seth out of his house declaring him to be a mad person. Now the Seth knocked the door of the king for justice. But the king paid no heed to his petition. However, the queen traced out the theft of Satyaghosh through her own spies. She recovered the diamonds from his house and placed them in front of Seth. The Seth picked up only his own diamonds out of them. Thus the king was convinced beyond doubt about the deceit of Satyaghosh.

     The king sentenced Satyaghosh to undergo any one of the three punishments i.e., either he should eat three plates full of cow dung; or suffer thirty two blows of his wrestlers; or forfeit all his possessions. The sinful Satyaghosh was almost dead with humiliation. At first he preferred to eat cow dung but could not eat the whole of it. Then the king ordered a wrestler to give him hand blows. But just one stroke of the wrestler left him almost half-dead. Ultimately the helpless Satyaghosh had to surrender all his wealth to the king. In this way the wretched fellow had to suffer all the three punishments one after the other. This deep shock resulted in his death and thereafter he was reborn as a snake in the king's treasure house.

     The persons who are not beset with crookedness, falsehood and deceit, alone are entitled to attain an unblemished soul.

     Taisha maso birjo Brahamloko na yaishu jihmnritam na maya chaiti

     Followers of all religions have applauded the virtue of truthfulness whole heartily. In 'Manu Smriti' the significance of truth has been stated as below:

     Ekmaivadvitiam tu prbruvnachbudhatai

     Satyam savargasya sopanam paravarsya nauriv

     I.e., A truth speaking person is regarded as unique. Like a boat that peddles in the ocean and takes us ashore, truth is the ladder that leads to heaven.

     The following couplet 207/67 of the Maha Vana Parva states truth thus:

     Vedasyoupanishat satyam satasyopnisad dama

     Damasyopnishat tyaga shishtacharaishu nityasha

     The essence of the Vedas is truth; the essence of truth is self-restraint is abstinence is always present in the conduct of cultured persons. Even if we weigh thousands of horse sacrifices (Ashwamedha Yaga) on one scale, and truth on the other scale of a physical balance, we shall discover that truth is heavier i.e., superior to thousands of horse sacrifice ceremonies. This fact has been stated in the 'Adi Parva' of the 'Mahabharat'

     Ashwmedhsahastram ch satyam ch tulya dhritam

     Ashwmedhasahastadhi satyamev vishishtai

               - Maha. Adiparv 75/10