How to unravel secrets of truth or satya

Post By: Published on: December 11, 2016 Reading time: 5 minutes

What is the definition of Truth?

Satya means truth. However, there is only one truth, the imperishable Brahman or absolute truth (paramartha-satya). Everything else is materiality (māyā) or (saṃvṛtti-satya), which is driven by the senses (indriyas) and shrouds the intellect (buddhi) as well as cognition (manas), constantly impacting sense of self-worth (asmitā) and conditioning (dharma).

But, as absolute truth (paramartha-satya), is hard to understand, cognize, and experience. However, a more easily implementable derivative of absolute truth, called conditional truth (saṃvṛtti-satya) is better more easxy to implement. Saṃvṛtti-satya comprises transactional truth (vyāvahārika-satya) or truth that is supported by evidence, and perceptual truth (prātibhāsika-satya), one that is not backed by evidence.

Obviously, for truth to be valid or applicable, it must be supported by evidence or data. So, this manifests as integrity (vyāvahārika-satya). Also, integrity removes perception (prātibhāsika-satya) and enables the ability to work according to requirements of the situation honestly and without fear, favor, or disproportionate gain.

What is the definition of Truth or satya – the second yama.

Mundaka-upaniṣad says,

सत्यमेव जयते नानृतं सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयानः ।
येनाक्रमन्त्यृषयो ह्याप्तकामा यत्र तत् सत्यस्य परमं निधानम् ॥ ६ ॥

satyameva jayate nānṛtaṃ satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ |
yenākramantyṛṣayo hyāptakāmā yatra tat satyasya paramaṃ nidhānam || 6 ||

Truth alone wins, not falsehood; by truth, the devayanah (the path of the devas) is widened, that by which the seers travel on, having nothing to wish for to where there is that—the highest treasure attained by truth [6].

Importantly, the phrase, satyameva-jayate is inscibed in the preamble of the constitution of Indian (Bhārat), the rest of the verse promising delivery of truth.

  • Truth or satya is one of the most difficult but vital elements of behaviour control or yama.
  • In fact, truth is also the most difficult concept to understand, interpret, experience and perform.
  • The reason truth is so difficult to master is due the shroud of perceptions always surrounding it. This shroud comes from our sense of being or Identity, asmitā.
  • From our sense of being or Identity emerges our value system of dharma.
  • Finally, from our value system, we interact with our environment.

Therefore, to comprehend the truth, we must pierce the veil of our conditioning. This calls for awareness or prajñā. 

This aspect can only be acquired through rigorous practice. Also, truth in the world of illusion is difficult to define and easy to deflect. Therefore, an interim and more easily implementable aspect called integrity is considered. Also, integrity is more appropriate in today’s context.

What is the relationship between Truth and integrity

Integrity is not about honesty alone. Integrity includes aligning our behavior with our personal natural state or conditioning, willingness to sacrifice one immediate goals for the needs of a greater value, working with complete commitment, devotion and single-mindedness to achieve the objective and not be distracted by anything. When this happens, this quality of steadfastness to an objective of higher value inspires others to follow suit. Additionally, proper communication instills trust within the team. As a result, stress levels are low and awareness levels high.

What are the various forms of integrity?

  • Intellectual integrity: The intellect controls intelligence. When we have the ability to process information, we feel confident that we can impact the process and control the outcome. However, success can often result in arrogance or manipulating behaviour. This results in a drop in integrity.
  • Business integrity: When we put this interest of the business without considering the ramification of our actions on the environment, adherence to laws etc., there is lack of integrity.
  • Decision integrity: Integrity in decision making requires us to ensure that the decision is aligned with the goal by taking into consideration all variables and that all stakeholders are taken into confidence…
  • Communication integrity: One of the biggest tools in today’s environment is information. Often, this critical resource is not fully disclosed due to inability or fear of loss of importance / position. Here, integrity occurs by ensuring dissemination of appropriate information to all stake holders, not hiding critical information, ensuring transparency, etc…
  • Process integrity: Often, businesses accept substandard material which has not been made to parameters of quality. Our integrity lies in ensuring that process parameters are met and kept within acceptable limits…

Anecdotes, experiences and situations to help understand about truth.

Exercise: You are a manager and have to appraise three subordinates; as a result, one may be asked to leave the company. All are of the same level with minor differences. What will you do?

  • How will you approach the decision?
  • When managing your team, how will you handle the people?
  • What is the fear that such an encounter generates?

Points to Ponder on satya (truth).

Internal Tags: Karma, Dharma (conditioning)Stress and Situational AwarenessStress and pranaAwareness measures, Bhakti Yoga fundamentals, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga.

External Tags: Consciousness, Integrity

Share your opinion and experiences on truth

  • Is it always possible to maintain a level of integrity?
  • How do we maintain integrity in our personal life, like paying taxes regularly?
  • Can we teach integrity within our family, especially our children?
  • How do we maintain integrity when we move in society, on the road, at the bus stop, at a restaurant?
  • Is maintaining integrity at work, as a superior, subordinate and peer difficult? How?
  • Business integrity; Is it possible to work with integrity with our suppliers & customers?
  • Integrity & public life people like politicians, civil servants, police etc; How does it impact the conditioning or dharma of a nation?

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