The worldly people follow suit to
the utterances of the great men who attain excellence by the acquisition
of perfect speech and perfect spirituality. When the Tirthankaras
attain absolute truth and all supreme virtues, human beings follow to the
letter the nectar-like sweet sermon that has a spontaneous overflow from
their lotus mouth. In daily routine of our practical life too we observe
that people pay attention to the words of men with a lofty character, and
listen with reverence to the words of ideal persons who always speak the
truth as well as practice it in life. The sages and gods have acknowledged
truth alone as superb. Only a truthful person attains supreme immortality
in this world. 'Shukraniti' 3/257-58 states:
Ya sahayam sada kuryat prtipam
na vadait vachchit
Satyam hitam vakti yati datai
I.e., He who is always helpful,
never utters bitter and unpleasant words, talks only about truthful and
beneficial things, believes in the policy of 'give and take' becomes a
true friend. It has been said, "A friend in need, is a friend indeed."
Sometimes some situations come when
even truth turns into untruth e.g., to call blind a 'blind'. Though it may
be a fact that a man is blind by birth, it is a bitter truth to call him a
blind, because such a remark hurts his feelings and causes agony to his
heart. Such words as inflict pain to somebody's heart are regarded untrue
despite their being true. In the 'Vana Parva' of the 'Mahabharat'
this fact has been expressed thus:
Yad bhuthitmatyatam, tat
Vipryakrito Dharma, pashya
That indeed is the real truth,
which contributes to the welfare of all living beings. On the contrary
that which causes harm to somebody is untruth. Therefore, always speak the
truth, speak affectionate and pleasant words; but never speak unpleasant
words despite their being true and do not speak a bitter truth.
Once a sage sat in a forest. Just
then some people came running after a cow to kill it. The sage at once
understood that these people were none else but butchers and hunters. They
were on their hunting mission. Seeing these hunters the sage stood up. All
these people came to the saint and spoke, "O holy saint! Has any cow
passed this way?" The saint was in a fix. If he said 'yes', all these
butchers would chase and kill the cow; if he said, 'No', he would be
branded a liar. To escape these two adverse situations the saint at once
sat down and said, "No cow has passed this side since I have sat down." If
he had said so in a standing position, it would have been falsehood.
Therefore, to speak whatever is true as well as non-violent i.e., to
safeguard and defend a life, is truth in the real sense. Thus even a lie
takes on the garb of truth, if it brings good to others.
The ascetics (Sharamans)
regard truth as all-powerful. They are of the view that anyone who takes
recourse to truth obtains infinite power, ineffable bliss and kindles in
himself the flame of unrestricted knowledge latent in the human soul. In
the absence of truth a person cannot march even a step forward. The
worldly beings cannot realize the absolute truth with physical existence.
Right it is: 'We can know only the partial truth, but not the absolute
The great scientist Einstein has
questioned, "What is the absolute truth?" Einstein himself answers, "We
can know only the relative truth i.e., partial truth. The real truth is
known only to a universal observer." A universal observer in the opinion
of Einstein is none else but the Almighty with infinite power of knowledge
We worldly people are
non-omniscient; hence we cannot know matter in its infinite state or
nature, but we can know its partial nature. The reason is that our knowing
capacity is limited. But those who are omniscient and omnipotent souls,
can know simultaneously at the same moment all objects of the whole
universe that exist forever in all the three ages - past, present and
future - in their complete form and vivid states.
Up to the twelfth stage of
spiritual advancement all creatures have imperfect knowledge. At this
stage it is quite natural for a living being to commit a mistake due to
his knowledge of only partial truth. Hence even by chance untrue words
come out of his mouth now and then, he should get rid of this mistake by
acknowledging the untruth; he should not conceal it. Just as if we wrap
fire in a piece of cloth in our attempt to conceal it, burning the cloth
it comes out taking a more fierce shape; likewise a lie cannot be
concealed however much we may try to do so.
Astyam uktva na guhait guhmanai
I.e., Truth is a concern not only of the
mind, as the common men believe; but truth is related to the combination
of all the three - mind, body and speech. Truth signifies:
'Right is might, but not might is
To see things in their right
perspective i.e., to understand a person whatever he is; to speak a thing
as it is; and to practice what we preach is truth. It is universally
acknowledged that truth is the personal possession and real nature of
soul. It is peace giving and blissful. When a worldly person thinks of
acting contrary to truth, at first his conscience forbids him to do so.
Still a person overrules the dictates of his conscience and practices
untruth getting under the control of worldly allurements, deceit, greed
and indulgence in sexual pleasures. He is worried all the time lest his
falsehood should come to light. His mind remains in tension forever.
Hence, if you want to attain peace of mind and body, stick to truth.
Infinite is the glory of truth. Therefore, always speak the truth. Do not
tell a lie. A lie has no legs. A great moralist has advised saying:
"Man should never tell a lie, which
is always injurious to living beings, whether for his own sake or for the
sake of others, or out of anger or fear. He should also not force others
to speak a lie." The scriptures instruct.
The consequences of falsehood are
very disastrous. A liar is deprived of his peace of mind.
Satyam vadait masatyam, satyam
Harishchandra charit vai divi
I.e., Speak the truth forever under
Truth is the eternal virtue. The
immortal glory of the well renowned truthful King Harish Chandra pervades
the vast sky like that of the moon, simply due to truth.