By Periyava
Translation from Tamil: V. Krishnaraj


சத்தியம் : தெய்வத்தின் குரல் (முதல் பகுதி)
Veracity, truth: Deivathin Kural (Part One)

Among the Sāmāṉya Dharmas, the first for observation is love (Ahimsa); the next is Truth (Satyam).
Satyam is convergence of mind and speech. The divergence of mind and speech is Asatyam (Untruth), said the elders as its characteristic.
Bhagavan gave man the faculty of speech to express what he has on his mind. If mind and speech are different, God takes away the faculty of speech in the next birth. That is, he offers animal birth to us.
There are exceptions to perfect Ahimsa as mentioned in our sastras. If we prosecute a just war and offer animal sacrifice during Yagna, Ahimsa is abrogated. You may think there should not be exceptions to Satyam. But there are exceptions. Let me explain it.
The town had a plethora of assorted crooks. A citizen was boiling with anger. He keeps on narrating the misdeeds: He did this; he did that. He has his mind and speech in unison. But, what he says was meaningless for himself, the townspeople, and the crooks. His meaningless speech in unison with his mind does not amount to Satyam.
Evil thoughts arise in the mind, and he expresses them in his speech. Could that become Satyam? No.
Satyam is more than concordance between or convergence of mind and speech. To express in speech the good thoughts from the good mind is Satyam. Satyam yields good results.
Satyam is what causes good and is dear to people. These are the qualities of Satyam.
What causes goodness to animals by speech, deed, and thought is Satyam. Asatyam is misdeeds.
It is not enough to tell a person what is good for him. You must say it with love so he accepts it. If you give good advice in a harsh manner, no one accepts it. The good words going to waste is not Satyam. Your words must be good. The advice given to a person must give joy and comfort to him. That is Satyam.
If you cannot tell Satyam with love, do not tell Satyam. The elders say, “Though Asatyam is pleasing to the ears, do not say it.”
Virtuous words do not emanate from the mind with passion and anger. Therefore, the characteristic of Satyam is concordance between mind and speech. Mind is pure and speech is pleasing and calm. It gives purity of mind and wellness to others.
If one is established in Satyam, it can offer Avānthara-p-Pirayōjaṉam (incidental benefits). A benefit will occur without a thought in a truthteller. A truthteller without willful thought brings benefits. When a person is habitually a truthteller, all that he says become Satyam. He does not tell lies knowingly. Though he may say it wrong without awareness or by mistake, that wrong in real life will become Satyam. I will tell a story to illustrate it.
Abhirāmi Bhattar in Tirukkadavūr was the devotee of Ambal (Siva’s Consort). When he was in deep meditative ecstasy thinking of Ambal, he babbled like a lunatic. Somebody contacted Sarabhōji Rājā and spread false rumors, ‘Abhirāmi Bhattar is a drunkard and impersonates as a Bakthar (devotee). The king wanted to test the veracity of the statement. Sarabhōji one day came to the temple to worship Ambal. He saw Bhattar in ecstasy. The king asked him, ‘What thithi (digit of the moon) is today?’ Bhattar was in ecstasy looking at and meditating on the full-moon face of Ambal. Bhattar told him, it was Pourṇami (Full-moon day). The king believed as truth what the naysayers said about him. The king in a derisive tone said to Bhattar, ‘Is that so? Let us look at the sky.’ So saying he looked at the sky.
The full moon graced the sky. Bhattar was soaked in satyam and by mistake when he told a falsehood, Ambal removed her earrings and threw them into the sky and made them shine like the full moon.
Mahāṉ’s well wishes and curses come true because of the power of their Satyam. Whatever they say comes to fruition. This is the incidental benefit of Satyam. No one should embrace Satyam with a desire to be an oracle. This Sakthi comes to a person on its own accord without one’s will and intention. If one wills to acquire it, it is impossible.
There are 40 Samskaras (purificatory ceremonies) in the sacred texts to purify us from the time of conception to incineration. Among the 40, Ahimsa, Satyam, Asthēyam (not stealing), Sausam (purity), Indriya Nigraham (Avoiding contact with sense organs) …When we observe them, our impurities will leave us. We become mature to know all: Who are we in truth? Who is Swamy? What is Supreme Satyam? Not coveting for another’s property is Asthēyam. Sausam came from Susi (Purity). External purity helps attain internal purity. Indriya Nigraham is very important. Indulgence in sense organs means doing anything for the pleasure of the body, seeing anything, hearing anything, eating anything, saying anything, all for the unrestrained pleasure the body and the individual organs. Bringing everything under control, desires should be moderated and curtailed. Without removing desire, knowing God is impossible.
These are the Sāmāṉya Dharmas intended for all people.