It is said that if a man
speaks truth uninterruptedly for 12 years, whatever he speaks
thereafter will come true. The saying, at once, reveals the
power of truth as also the difficulty of remaining conscious of
truth consistently for any length of time.
Theoretically speaking, truth should be a simple task as the
most natural thing to do. Truth about oneself is always
self-evident. Our thoughts and feelings, fears and aspirations,
likes and dislikes are known to us and yet, we hardly express
ourselves fully and truthfully. Instead, we battle with our
conscience, concoct stories and manipulate our expressions to
camouflage our thoughts and true feelings. We choose the hard
option driven by all sorts of fears: fear of being found out, of
rejection, of losing honour, status and image. As long as the
veneer lasts it is fine but the foundation underneath remains
ever brittle and shaky.
Seers who reached the summit of existence have done so as they
have boldly ventured onto the path of truth with conscience as
their sole guide. Gandhiji’s uncompromising attitude towards
truth is what made him a mahatma. In his autobiographical work,
‘My Experiments with Truth’, he unabashedly confesses his
innermost thoughts and feelings, weaknesses and failings,
adducing that ‘if something is shameful to reveal, it is more
shameful to hide’. Those who did not know him called him a
half-naked fakir. But this frail man, partially-clad in a skimpy
dhoti but fully clothed in the attire of truth, was more
powerful than battalions of armed men dressed in uniform.
In more recent times, a distraught middleaged woman came sobbing
and fell at the feet of a sage. The compassionate saint blessed
her and said – “May you enjoy a long and happy married
life”. The startled woman informed him that she had just
received the news of her husband’s death on the war front.
Upon hearing this, the swami said the words came from him
spontaneously and, hence, should be presumed to be God’s
decree. News arrives that the woman’s husband was taken
prisoner and that his return was imminent.
Truth is immortal. A shadow
of lie can temporarily dim its illumination but only in passing.
Lies, however, have a limited life and need to continuously
breed and proliferate to keep up the pretence of constancy.
Truth is like fresh water, cleansing the mind of sensory debris
like desire, hatred, greed, jealousy, envy and animosity.
Pursuing truth in thought and action, the mind attains a state
of tranquillity and starts mirroring the truth of people,
objects, events and situations well beyond constraints of time
It also helps you keep in good health.