THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTHS
Satyameva Jayate- Truth Alone Shall Prevail. So declares Mundakopanishad. These words are on our national emblem. They affirm that truth alone will prevail. Is it a mere declaration or a spiritual truth ? Let us analyze here.
What is truth ?
We should define Satyam before proceeding further.
Truth is a statement regarding existence. We cannot make a statement on non existent objects. Then it becomes an untruth.
Gita on Truth
In Bhagavad Gita , Sri Krishna says, (2nd chapter ,16th sloka)
nAsato vidyate bhAvo , nAbhAvo vidyate sata: |
ubhayorapi drushtontas tvanayos tattvadarshibhi: ||
"That which is untrue has no existence. The truth has no non existence. The conclusion about these two has been visualized by the knowers of truth."
Now, view the statement about truth vis a vis the above sloka. It says That the untruth has no existence! The material objects belong to the prakruti or nature. The nature is an ever changing entity. The human body and it five sheaths is also a part of nature and it is subject to birth and death.
In fact the changes in the body is so fast and persistent that it changes by the second, nay even millisecond so much so that the body you saw before closing your eyes is not the same when you opened your eyes. If you observe closely, you will realize that the body was not there when one was not born nor it will remain when one dies. The body travels from non existence to non existence. And ,the untruth has no existence. What else can one call the body and its extension , the nature except as an untruth ? All the theisms calling the body real are untrue!
Then , what is the true one ? That which exists always. What is that ? It is that which does not die when the body withers and that which is not born when a body is born. It is what we call as Atman (soul or spirit in English) . The atman, is never born , never dies, and it is changeless and eternal. It occupies all matter both living and non living.It is equally true for a human , an animal, a plant and the inanimate. In short , it is for all those which are subject to change. Atman is the absolute, and the material universe exists in relation to it.
Now, let us come to statements about truth. The statement on the law of change, for example , is always true since it reflects an eternal law. Same for the laws of motion, Gravity, Relativity etc.
The discoverers of Truth
Sanatana Dharma ( Hinduism) is a collection of theisms that focus on truths, the eternal truths. The only ancient society that discovered what remained changeless when everything was changing. The processes were subjective and objective enquiries. The Rishis , who founded Sanatana Dharma were rare beings who choose seclusion and introspection instead of wealth and pleasure.
As the pleasure objects were born and dying, so were the pleasures that were associated with them also were changing from birth to death. In short, they also travelled from non existence to non existence! So our Rishis wanted to hold on to the truth- the unchanging one. And they ended up finding the changeless, the birthless, deathless , ever blissful , omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient – The Atman.
And they thundered to the whole world
“ I have known that God, who shines like like the sun transcending the darkness; it is by knowing Him alone that you can conquer death, there is no other way” – svetasvara Upanishad- 3/8
And they roared
“ hear, ye children of the deathless” (svetasvara Upanishad- 2/5)
The messengers of Untruth
So we know what are TRUTHS. We have been subject to an endless barrage of evangelists pouring untruths about creation and the creator. Apply their statements to the touchstones of Vedic wisdom and the hollowness of their statements stands out. Their concepts are the Untruth since they do not accept the Atman, the changeless. Instead, they glorify the human body, and even promise heaven with this body!
Such is their fear of death that their philosophy is afraid to talk even about it. They forget that they are preaching in a land that produced illustrious sons who found ways to conquer death and transcend birth and death. These missionaries fear death and glorify the body.
Vedas declare that death is only a transition and this knowledge is the Truth. The body is an instrument for realizing the truth.
Vedas- the fountains of Truth
Swamy Vivekananda- above
Our rishis explored the ‘Untruths’ also. They found that the untruth has no existence without the truth. Truth is the other side of Untruth. They have such a complimentary existence. Between the untruth and Truth, there exist various shades of truth. Swamy Vivekananda, the acetic extraordinaire of the last century declared “Man travels not from falsehood to Truth; But from Truth to Truth; from a lower truth to a Higher Truth”
The thought that ‘the body is a man’ is the absence of truth. The thought that ‘ the man is eternal and the body is not’ is the Highest Truth. Vedas, The scriptures of Sanatana Dharma, speak only the truth. Those that negate it have chosen the path of untruth.
Is it any wonder that the “Truth Alone Shall Prevail” ? It is a profoundly scientific, and spiritually satisfying statement.