Be ready to accept the truth & leave the untruth (May 2022)

If I ask you what distinguishes us, the humans, from the rest of the species on the earth, you will likely say it is our ability to learn, act and grow in a single lifetime. We learn, act, analyze, and then adjust and start the process again. We keep whatever is right and drop what is wrong. Following this cycle makes us achieve unimaginable goals. This exactly is the gist of the fourth principle of Arya Samaj. It asks us to become better humans by always picking the righteous path; and dropping whatever isn’t, even if we have walked on the wrong path for a long time. It expects us to become intelligent to differentiate between right and wrong, and then go with the right.

The Fourth Principle:
सत्य के ग्रहण करने और असत्य के छोडने में सर्वदा उद्यत रहना चाहिये।
All persons should always be ready to accept the truth and renounce the untruth.

While being a straightforward principle, there are two key points we must focus and go deep into: one, always be ready to “accept the truth”; two, always be ready to “renounce the untruth”. Before we talk about these two points, let’s first focus on what it means by the word “truth”. Understanding the word truth will automatically make us understand the word untruth.

The word Truth (सत्य) is often used to talk about or describe God. Indian scriptures have paid a great respect to the word “truth”. Our scriptures are replete with the verses and sayings that include this word. In the Ramayana, Truthfulness is captured and regarded as Godly. It says that being truthful is the paramount human duty. Anyone aspiring to become a better, pure, and pious being must be a truthful person first. In the Mahabharata, when Bhishm Pitamah was on his deathbed, he shared the gist of his whole life knowledge with Yudhishthar. The last point Bhishm made was “Truthfulness is the only means to acquire the ultimate goal of life.” In Sikhism, the word Truth also comes in the God’s name: Satnam Waheguru. It means He whose name is Truth is our ultimate teacher.

You might have also heard the mantra “Satyameva Jayate”, which means “Truth Only Triumphs”. This mantra, taken from the Mundaka Upanishad, is also the national motto of India. It is inscribed at the base of the four lions, forming the Indian national emblem. (Kids, please look up this symbol/emblem).

So, it will not be a surprise if you wonder what is with the word Truth that it is touted so much! As such, truth is speaking of things as they are. So, how can just uttering the words that state facts be so sanctified and virtuous? To remove this confusion let’s understand what the word Truth really is.

First, truth or untruth is not just a quality of the spoken words. Instead, it must be seen at the levels of thoughts (mind), speech (vocal) and actions (body). We may speak a fact or a point that is true but if our intention or thoughts are to hide something, then that speech is untruthful. Similarly, we may be saying and thinking something right (a truth) but doing something entirely different, then that thinking and speech is untruthful too. We become truthful when there is a complete unity and integrity in our thoughts, speech, and actions.

But, hold on! It is now clear that the word Truth is widely respected in our scripture. It is also clear that being truthful means purity and integrity of thoughts, words, and actions. But, it is not clear why one should be truthful. How does it help us? The answer is it transforms – that is, a complete transformation of the personality!

The transformation starts with the purity of thoughts. Once we leave lies and start to harbor pure and righteous thoughts, our personality starts to shift. First, it impacts our demeanor. We become calmer and poised. It gives inner peace. Then, it impacts our speech. Thoughts have a direct relationship with the quality of words that come out of our mouth. Purity of thoughts results in a pleasant yet impactful voice, a voice that influences others. A person who always speaks truth irrespective of the circumstances earns others honor and trust. This person’s words reach the hearts of the audience. Finally, when this person also follows through on his speech with actions, he virtually becomes an invincible person. Almost everyone starts to recognize and respect this person as a leader. Everyone wants to be on this person’s side. Even his enemies start to feel weak in his presence.

This complete change starts the moment we become ready to acquire the truth and renounce the untruthfulness. That is, we decide that we will be in the company of righteous people, harbor righteous thoughts, speak truth, and act on what is right. We resolve not hesitate in dropping vicious thoughts, lies, and improper actions. It is true that it is an easy task to always correctly discrimate between the right and wrong. When in doubt or unsure of the righteous vs. incorrectness of the choices, we can and we must consult the authoritative personalities and subject matter experts. For instance, kids can consult their parents, trusted elders, enlightened persons for resolving any misgiving; whereas grownups must rely upon the study of the scriptures to seek their paths. There are no better companions and teachers than our scriptures like the Vedas, Upnishads etc., whose study helps us grow intellectually and spiritually.

I hope the above article has given the readers a better understanding of the fourth principle of the Arya Samaj. In this month’s article, kids will…

– Read the fourth principle in Hindi and English.
– Share the meaning of this principle in simple words
– Describe the meaning of truthfulness and its levels
– Outline the benefits of adopting truthfulness
– Depict how they see the impact of the truthfulness in their lives

As always I am looking forward to hearing insightful descriptions and interpretations by our kids, our future.

Harsh Mendiratta🙏