Abstract Thinking: [20.03] - Anupreksha Of Truth - What is Truth?

Published: 05.04.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

Vision and exposition are of two kinds - realistic and non-realistic. To see a fact for what it is and to expound it accordingly, is realistic, whereas to see it other than what it is and to expound it accordingly is unrealistic. Truth means - viewing and propounding what is real.

A vision of the real, the actual, may be said to consist in the truth of a point-of-view or the view-point of truth. The enunciation of the real constitutes the truth of speech. The vow to speak the truth is an aspect of character, of behaviour. He who takes the vow of speaking the truth utters only that which is real, the “what is” and “what is alone” conforms to the religion of non-violence.

Truth is intimately connected with straightforwardness. The man, who is crooked, cannot act in accordance with truth. In this context, truth is not related to speech alone; it is connected with every attempt to establish one's meaning. On this basis, truth and untruth may be defined as follows:

Truth is Untruth is

the straightness of the body

the crookedness of the body

the simplicity of speech

the crookedness of speech

the sincerity of feeling

the crookedness of feeling

concordant action; conformity between speech and action

discordant action, contradiction between speech and action

Constant study and practice of the above four elements in their totality constitute the great vow of truth. Untruth is closely related to illusion and attachment. He, who is not good at deceiving others, cannot be a proficient liar. A truthful person has nothing to hide; a liar is all concealment - he is caught in the web of worldly illusion. That is why Lord Mahavira has used the word 'illusion' for untruth.

An illusory action, an action which is inspired by the intention to cheat another and which is based on falsehood - and which seeks to distort truth, is inevitably fraught with violence. It is wholly an action of violence. Therefore, to utter an untruth is not different from violence.

  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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  1. Body
  2. Mahavira
  3. Non-violence
  4. Violence
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