01 Dec

Essence of Satya, in Indian and Jain culture & one of the main principles in Jainism

SATYA | yogalyssa

Satya is the second level of sadhna.
It is the foundation of spirituality.

One requires confidence, courage and character to walk alone on the path of spirituality. The path maybe filled with doubts, fears and obstacles. But what will sail you through is the constant flow of inspiration from your conscience.
Many Granths and ancient scriptures showcase the importance of "SATYA".
A few of them are quoted as below:

(A) Yajurved Granth

'I give up following the path of Asatya or falsehood form and accept the path of “Satya” in every situation or any problem which comes in my way.

(B) Taitiryaranyak Granth

"Satya is the best and the best is Satya only.”

(C) Manusmriti Granth

"A religion truly looks beautiful when it fully replicates and is stated under the shadow of satya."

(D) Vishnupuran Granth

"A scholarly person is that who speaks only that truth through which others feel happy. The truth which is bitter in nature, better not be spoken."

(E) Chanakyasutra Granth

"There is no bigger sin than Asatya (non-truthfullness)”

(F) Christianity

"Never deviate from compassion and truth, always wear them in your heart and speech."

(G) Buddhism
"One who speaks truth always, Never gets angry, and generously gives others even if he has less, these 3 virtues takes one to Heaven."

(H) Islam

"You always speak the truth. Then even if it goes against you."


(I) Sikhism

"One achieves Moksha from the earnings of Satya."


(J) Zoroastrianism

"Falsehood, deceit, greed, are the faces of ignorance. Act with kindness and truthfulness in thought, word and deed."

The word “SATYA” has its origin in Sanskrit language & it comes from the word “SATT”. It means something which does not undergo any change & which is always the same. Satya word refers to Supreme & Spiritual reality. Satya demands cultivating honesty.

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Satya is about the essence of Spirituality
It is seeing everything as one. It is about entering the spiritual reality. It is the idea that everything is supreme
consciousness & the blissful entity resides in everything and the Supreme reality is everything.

But when we open our eyes, we don't see oneness and unity but we see chaos and variety like tress, sky etc.

So the question is how do I see oneness?? My mind recognizes many & doesn’t recognize one.
Why is it so??
Why does it happen??
Because, since the time we are born, we perceive the world through the lens of our society, and not all societies see the bigger picture. Some societies value materialism, some societies value religious fundamentalism and absolutism while some societies don't have a view on life at all. There is a way of ignorance, there is a way of illusion upon in our mind set by the society, or our surroundings. It requires a paradigm shift to see things differently and realize them as they truely are.

The mind follows certain tendencies. Like it doesn't like to break routine or go out of comfort zone until there is a higher motivation for it to do so. As Newton stated - 'a body in state of rest will stay at in the state of rest until external pressure/force is applied on it.'

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Same way there is a tendency of mind to be biased to its version of truth. The mind likes to hear only what suits its ego and this is how the mind stops one from exploring different or opposing points of views. For example, an egoistic team leader under the influence of his ego will never be willing to explore different points of views of his team. He won’t be able to take or accept genuine criticism on his leadership skills. Because doing so expands his view and brings uncertainty to his preconceived notions of leadership skills. Uncertainty is not a pleasant state to be in, due to which his mind automatically sets him in defensive mode and doesn't allow him to open-mindedly, unbiasedly and courageously face and accept the truth, or at least consider a different view point. The mind controls and compels him to spend his leadership period in denial and regressive mode, without even letting him realize that he is going downhill and is at loss.

On the means to achieving Satya, one has to have an open minded approach at life and cannot let their mind deceive and control their life. As it is said, mind is a beautiful servant but a terrible master!
In searching the truth, one is teaching their mind to be a forever learner. “SATYA” means, searching for the bigger picture if there is one or being open to it.

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What is the ultimate truth of this universe? A person always should be humble and unattached while searching answers. Attachment to a worldview brings stagnancy of thought and brings along with it ignorance, and worse - pride in that ignorance. Hence one must always keep a check on their mind and ego while subscribing to a notion of reality. Listening to mind and ego in search of truth is a wrong path but we can control our mind to follow the right path. We know what is good & what is bad. If we really meditate deeper & listen to our heart, all the complications will wipe out & only truth will remain, how much so ever inconvenient it might be.

Being honest and Truthful is only the way of “SATYA”. It is not the goal of life to be dishonest to our self.
Satya is described in Sanskrit as follows.
Yatar-tatvam, Sattyam !!

Para-hitartam- PARA means others & HITAR means welfare( all round welfare).
Waun-manarsa- MANARSA is mind & WAUN means speech ( not only speech, by words but from entire being).
So, “SATYA” means all your action intellect, all your action of expressions is guided by the spirit of welfare & that is “SATYA”.


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How to follow “SATYA”?
You should start from inner being.

The world is a deception. They justify things externally or materially.
We permit ourselves to follow the path of deception. Truth is from first admitting your mistakes, admitting your defects, and being nakedly honest and more accepting your own self
because when we confess, our inner being, consciousness starts to awaken. Rectifying self 100% guarantees growth. And rectification starts with truthfulness.

First we would start from being honest to ourselves.

After this, we need to be honest to others.

When we  speak to someone just think, why I am saying this? Do I want to humiliate the front person?? Do I want to get something from that person?? Do I want the person to do something that he doesn’t really need to do?? Do I want to manipulate him?? Or truly does my mind guide me to do his welfare?? If yes, I would say & if not, I would not say. It’s a difficult one, I know. But if we do this even in 20% of our cases, things will work beautifully, our entire environment will improve. If we create an environment of positive vibes & say something inspiring the person will get inspired, you will get inspired & definitely the world will get inspired.

Now comes a tricky part in meaning of satya.
There are two words in Sanskrit. One is called “Arita” & and the other one is called “Satya”. And in almost all cases, they are the same. But hardly at times, they are different. “ARITA” means stating the fact (say as it is) & “SATYA” means realizing truthfulness. Most of the times, there is no conflict between “ARITA” (saying as it is) and SATYA, but in case there is a conflict, lets say the truth/fact will harm the world than we would still choose the path of satya.

Example- Someone is very bad at singing, at that time if we discourage that person by saying that he doesn't have any musical talent, it's the truth & we have just expressed our feelings. But yes, it would hurt that person. There can be a possibility that that person may become a good singer in future provided right mentoring, and hard work. At such times, our job is to rather motivate him and give him constructive criticism in such a way that he takes it in a positive way and excels in life. His spirit will pump up which is also good for him. In such cases, we need to find a way to convey the truth but at same time encourage the person too. Like ''you can be a good singer, just some part you need to correct''.

Practical Sanskrit: Speak Truth, Speak Sweet, No harsh truths, No sweet lies,

In Indian philosophy it is said that, 'speak a truth only if it’s sweet, or else don’t speak'. But truth isn't always sweet and not all convey truth to us sweetly. In such case , building strength to accept the truth despite it being bitter, is what should be cultivated.

“Strengthening the heart, by the Sadhna of SATYA”
After learning, the values of “SATYA” let us pledge to be polite to ourselves & society
and understand the true values of “SATYA”.

Let’s try to follow the path of “Satya”

1) I will always speak the truth (Satya) & will speak politely.
2) I will never speak lies
3) I will never speak such, that will hurt any person.
4) I will never speak such, that will discourage or demotivate a person.
5) I will truly maintain the true Satya.
6) I will never break anyone’s trust.

Written by - Aneesh Kothari


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