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




     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 grihnrati mitrtam

     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 satyamitidharanra

     Vipryakrito Dharma, pashya Dharmasya sukhsamtam

     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 truth.'

     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 and bliss.

     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 vivardhate

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 right.'

     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 Dharma sanatnam

     Harishchandra charit vai divi satayn chandravat

     I.e., Speak the truth forever under all odds.

     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.