Jain View Of Life: 3.07 Truth

Published: 17.12.2011


Lord Mahavira said "Sachcham bhayavam," "Truth is God". It alone is the essence in the world. Truth means reality based upon direct experience or realisation. It existed in the past, exists in the present, and will exist in the future. It is unrestricted by the limits of time and place. The Gita says, "The unreal has no existence, the real never ceases to be." The truth about both has been realised by Tirthankaras, omniscients, the great souls etc. For example, Soul exists, it is real, which means pure consciousness are awareness. Atma (soul) is not exposed to any kind of destruction; It is indestructible, eternal and unborn. Modifi­cations which are characteristic of things are phenomenal. Science deals elaborately with phenomenon in nature. Science brings light to many other features and possibilities of nature. It has made tremendous strides in the modern day, and is continuing to make further progress. But all are pertaining to the phenomenon.

Truth and God are identical. Whatever comes from omniscient is truth. Truth, Dharma (Religion) and God are the different expressions of the reality. Lord Mahavira was an ardent votary of truth. He faced unbearable troubles during the twelve and a half year period of his spiritual practices. He never resorted to untruth. Goshalaka tried very hard to make him say a lie, and get him into trouble, but the Lord never forsook truth to protect himself, because every part of his body was dedicated to truth. His entire spiritual practice was only for truth. He had abiding faith that truth is never defeated. It's lustre grows in the face of every adverse situation.

The story of King Harishchandra is very well known. For the sake of truth, he suffered tremendous sorrow and suffering. He had to be in service of a chandala. His son Rohit died. Even he asked his wife for money to burn his child. It was great test of truth. Even though these tragic circumstances, he stayed loyal and succeeded in his goals. In the long run, truth triumphed.

It was only to protect truth that Rama agreed to leave Ayodhya and go to the forest in exile. Ravana endlessly harassed Rama, and he tried to push Lakhshmana into the jaws of death. Even in these circumstances, Rama never resorted to untruth. It seemed that the path of truth was strewn with thorns, but the ultimate victory was Rama's. Spirituality is impossible to him who does not cherish truthfulness in thought, word and deed; without this, all attempt is in vain. So, first of all, try to be unflinchingly truthful with all heart and spirit. Truth is ever victorious, in all times past, present and future.

A person who is engaged in the pursuit of religion is devoted to truth. The person who pursues truth is able to reach the highest point of self-development. Often, a person devoted to truth is being defeated. But that defeat is temporary, as in the long term, truth triumphs.

"Satyameva Jayate" means "Truth conquers". The slogan is very attractive, inspiring and effective. Truthful­ness in word, thought and action is an easy road to success. The slogan seems controversial as it appears that the path led by truth is straight, but in reality, it is beset with opposition, persecution and suffering. It demands courage, fortitude and strict endurance. Untruthfulness indeed is an aspect of the process that revolves around force. Force is by itself frequently incapable of achieving the objective that it entails too severe a strain and that it usually calls for the assistance of fraud or deception. Ultimately, it is elimi­nated.

Words have their own power. Because of the power of the words, mantras have a large influence. All good deeds, blossom from truth. That is why a person should avoid misusing the power of speech. One should speak words that do not hurt others mentally, verbally and physically. If one is unrestrained in his speech, his words may hurt a person mentally more than any physical pain could. Physical pain can heal sooner than the scar left behind from harsh words. So one should speak the truth only when it is palatable to others, even though it may seem unpalatable at the time. In other words, true speech, whether favourable for him or not would be better for him, as a patient is given bitter medicine or a sweetened one for gaining health. Truth is the royal road to further self-development.


Jain View Of Life

Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh Edition: 1st Edition 2000

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Atma
  2. Ayodhya
  3. Body
  4. Consciousness
  5. Dharma
  6. Gita
  7. Mahavira
  8. Omniscient
  9. Omniscients
  10. Rama
  11. Rohit
  12. Science
  13. Soul
  14. Tirthankaras
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