Speak the Truth
Speak the truth at all cost. Speak a little. Speak sweetly.
Speak the truth at all cost. Mita bhashana (little speech), madhura bhashana (sweet speech), mrudu bhashana (soft speech) and satya vachana (truthful speech). Speak a little. Speak sweetly. In other instructions Gurudev also said speak softly.
The second of the Universal Vows which Maharshi Patanjali lays down for the seeker to practise is the strict observance of TRUTHFULNESS. You have got to be absolutely truthful if you would progress towards God who is TRUTH. To realise the Truth one must live in truth. One must grow into the very form of truth. Not a partial but a perfect and comprehensive adherence to truth is therefore the second element in forming the foundation of the sadhaka life.
God or atman is the Supreme sat. Everything other than That, all phenomenon, is asat. To follow Truth thus implies the turning away from this samsara, which is asat and expressing our firm allegiance to Divinity the real SAT or Supreme Truth. Remember—GOD IS TRUTH—and through Truth, God can be realised. The practice of Truth, is the conscious and actual living of the prayer asato maa sat gamaya.
Truth is the Law of the entire Universe. All things follow this Divine Law. Each element is true to its nature. Each force in this universe is true to its nature. Each planet is true to its alloted course. Without this, the universe would lapse into chaos. If fire were to give up its heat or burning property, water were to discard its fluidity and coolness, and wind stopped moving, then think of what the fate of creation would be! Truth therefore is the sustaining factor behind all. It is the very core and essence of dharma which is the foundation of spiritual sadhana and Divine life. Hence it is that Truth is regarded as superior to a thousand Asvamedha yajnas. Truth outweighs even the study and knowledge of the Vedas. Being perfectly truthful is, therefore, the most important qualification of a yogi and sadhaka.
Do you realise fully now the extreme importance of this item of yama? Never swerve from Truth. Have no compromise with half-truth. Many forms of falsification and so-called harmless untruths have become part and parcel of present-day social life. Long usage and convention cannot make untruth a virtue. An earnest seeker, who aspires to attain Eternal Bliss and Immortal Life should have nothing to do with untruth in any form whatsoever. Flattery is a form of untruth. You don’t mean what you utter but shamelessly utter it just to obtain the favour of the other person. Exaggeration is another form of falsehood you indulge in just to create sensation and gain importance. Duplicity and diplomacy is another despicable sin against satyam. Be sincere and straightforward. Be open-hearted. If a truth be unpleasant or likely to pain or hurt another, then gently change the topic or just lovingly keep silent. Ahimsa must form part of truth. Doing dishonest actions must be strictly avoided. Hypocritical conduct, receiving bribes, rumour-mongering, are all gross breaches of yama. The way to overcome and eradicate these is by earnest searching of your conscience. Have daily self-introspection and self-analysis. Find out the falsehood in your nature and behaviour. Endeavour to eliminate it. Pray to the Lord for strength in this important sadhana. Make a firm resolution. You will succeed. You will soon be established in truth.
Truth is like unto a blazing fire. Through truth alone will you be perfectly purified of all taints of the lower nature. Truth is to the aspirant what strength is to a strong-man or sandow. It is a great armour to protect you against the temptations of the world. You can conquer the whole world by truth alone. If one is perfectly established in truth, whatever he utters will unfailingly turn out to be true. What he thinks will at once take place also. Truth will gradually transform your life into divinity. It is the bestower of Immortality and Bliss.
Live in truth. Be a personification of satyam. Be true in thought, in speech and in action. Being truthful means stating a thing as it is, expressing a thing as it is. The real implication of truth is, therefore, being what you really are; it is manifesting your real essential inner nature, namely, Divinity or sat-chit-ananda or santam, shivam, subham, sundaram, kantam. It does not consist in merely refraining from falsehood but in expressing your TRUE nature as described above, in thought, word and deed. To be false to your real svabhava or svaroopa is breach of truth.
O sadhaka! You are pure Divine Spirit. To be pure, to be spiritual is to be true. To be undivine, to be impure or unspiritual is to be false. Your whole being, your entire conduct and every aspect of your life must manifest only the true atmic nature. Truth denotes the practising of all the daivi-sampat as described in the Bhagavad Gita.
O aspirants! If you are really earnest about sadhana, if you want quick progress in the spiritual life, if you are eager to attain the Goal of life, then stick to truth at any cost.
(Taken from Forest Academy Lectures on Yoga by Swami Chidananda)
[TWENTY IMPORTANT SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTIONS, A Series of talks on Swami Sivananda’s Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions.]