What is Satyam?
by Swami Sivananda
God is truth. He can be realised only by speaking truth and observing truth in thought, word and deed.Truthfulness, equal vision, self-control, absence of envious emulation, forgiveness, modesty, endurance, absence of jealousy, charity, thoughtfulness, disinterested philanthropy, self-possession and unceasing and compassionate harmlessness are the thirteen forms of truth. Your thoughts should agree with your words and your words should agree with your actions. To think of one thing, say another and do a third is horrible - it is nothing but crookedness. By telling lies you pollute your conscience and infect your sub-conscious mind. The habit of telling lies will be carried on to your next birth and you will suffer in birth after birth. Have you ever thought of this?If you are established in truth, all other virtues will cling to you. Penetrate more deeply into the kingdom of truth. Sacrifice your all for the truth. Die for the truth. Speak the truth. Truth is life and power. Truth is existence. Truth is knowledge. Truth is bliss. Truth is silence. Truth is peace. Truth is light. Truth is love. Live to realise the truth.Truth is the law of life. Truth means the strength of will to abide by positive principles - a sense of justice, an unbiased mind and recognition of its subtle essence in all life. Truth is like a ladder leading to heaven, or a boat enabling one to cross the ocean of misery. Speak the truth, but let it not be unpleasant and speak not of any pleasing falsehood - this is eternal religion.Fire burns everything; it is true to its nature. Water flows from a higher level; the seed sprouts and becomes a tree; the scorpion stings; these are all true to their nature. This is satyam. But man violates truth; he is ungrateful. He is not true to his essential nature. Wife poisons the husband; sons are not filial towards their fathers; sons murder their parents; this is not truth. To manifest one's essential divine nature, to manifest divine virtues is satyam or truth. To be true to one's own self is satyam.A truthful man is free from worry and anxiety, he has a calm mind. He is respected by society. If you speak the truth for twelve years you will get vak-siddhi - then whatever you speak will come to pass. There will be great power in your speech - you will be able to influence thousands. AHIMSA IS SUPREME VIRTUEThat work which gives elevation, joy and peace to the mind, is right. That which brings depression, pain and restlessness to the mind is wrong. This is an easy way to find out what is right and what is wrong.Selfishness clouds understanding. Therefore if a man has got even a tinge of selfishness, he cannot detect what is right and what is wrong. A very pure, subtle, sharp intellect is needed for this purpose.The Gita describes the nature of satva (purity), rajas (dynamism) and tamas (inertia in relation to reason) in chapter eighteen. It says: "That which knoweth energy and abstinence, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation - that reason is pure, O Partha. That by which one understandeth right from wrong and also what ought to be done, and what ought not to be done - that reason, O Partha, is passionate. That which, enwrapped in darkness, thinketh wrong to be right, and which seeth all things subverted - that reason, O Partha, is of darkness."Various other definitions are given by wise men to help the students in the path of righteousness. In the Bible it is said "Do unto others as you would be done by."This is a very good maxim. The whole gist of right conduct is here. If one practises this very carefully, he will not commit any wrong action."Ahimsa paramo dharmah". Ahimsa is non-injuring in thought and word and deed. "This is the highest of all virtues." If one is well established in ahimsa of thought and word and deed, one can never do any wrong action.Ahimsa comes first in the practice of yama or self-restraint. To give pleasure to others is right. To spread misery and pain, is wrong. One can follow this in one's daily conduct towards others and can evolve in one's spiritual path.