About Satya (Truthfulness, Honesty) Yoga



Continued clarification of the Patanjali aspects Yama and Niyama


"Satya is said to be speaking and thinking in accordance with what has been seen or inferred or heard on authority. The speech spoken to convey one's own experience to others should not be deceitful, inaccurate, or informative. It is that spoken to help all beings. But that spoken to harm beings, even if it is what is called truth, when the ultimate goal is merely to harm beings.



Shankara says that truthfulness means telling us that what we have really come to learn is the truth, either through our own experience or through communication with sources whose credibility we have for ourselves. Anyone but the most intelligent will be sure they 're not saying something inaccurate? But the yogi demands this, and he must aim for that.

"Untruthfulness in some way takes us out of sync with the fundamental law of Truth and produces a kind of mental and emotional burden that prevents us from harmonizing and relaxing our minds. Truthfulness must be practiced by the sadhaka, since it is completely necessary for the unfolding of intuition. There is nothing that clouds the insight and basically prevents the working of it in all its forms as much as untruthfulness, "says Taimni about the most intimate and practical aspect of satya.

The yogi can not indulge in bending the facts, either by ignoring a part of the truth or by "stacking the deck" to create a false impression. The Bible talks about turning reality into a lie. (Romans 1:25) It is achieved either by not saying the whole truth, or by expressing it in such a way as to lead the hearer to a false conclusion-or to a wrong conclusion-about what we say. Regarding numbers "figures do not lie-but liars figure" is said to be the same here. The deliberate combination of lies and reality is equally bad. Some liars say the truth a lot-but not the whole truth. This is particularly true in advertisement, politics and faith deceptive endeavours.

There are also other non verbal ways of deceit, and the whole life of certain people is a lie. Therefore we have to ensure our acts represent the facts. How many people claim to believe in the spiritual values and God, but don't live accordingly? How many men are actively cursing and showing allegiance and still are traitors? ["This men draw close unto me with their mouths, and honor me with their lips: but their heart is far from me" (Matthew 15:8) "And why name ye me, O Lord God, and do not the things that I say?" (Luke 6:46)] Saint John therefore wrote: "My little ones, let us not love in expression, nor in tongue; but in deed, and in reality. "(I John 3:18) Not only must we speak the truth, but we must live it.

Honesty in the way we talk and communicate with others is an important aspect of truthfulness. That includes paying our debts, taxes included. It is inexpressibly important that the yogi just use fair and truthful means to make his living. It is a serious breach of truthfulness to sell useless or dumb items, to persuade people that they need them (or even to sell them without convincing them).

It is not acceptable to try to compromise the facts, even a little, to make the argument that "everybody does it." Since "everyone" is tied to the wheel of life and death because they're doing it-and that 's not what we want. We may lie to ourselves, to others, and even to God; but the universe can not be lied to. The law of cause and effect, or karma, will react to our own pain upon us.

Interestingly, Vyasa feels honest speech is insightful. Through that he means true speech is worthwhile, important and realistic. Babbling mindlessly and scratching out verbal facts is likewise a form of untruth, albeit true in the sense of not being objectively false. Neither is stupid speech to anybody's benefit. Often people even lie by "snowing" us with a flood of words aimed at deflecting us from our enquiries. And almost all of us who went to college recall the old game of padding out whatever we read, offering plenty of form but little substance in the hope of fooling our teachers into believing we understood the subject and saying something worthwhile about. This is one of the most lucrative businesses of today, especially in the advertising field.

Read Also: About-ahimsa-harmlessness-yoga

Speaking truth to others' hurt isn't really true, because satya is an extension of ahimsa. A person may be ugly, for example, but saying: "You are ugly" is not a virtue. "What is based on injuring others, although free from the three speech flaws (i.e., not deceitful, nor inaccurate, nor informative), is not true" (Shankara). Our purpose must never be to harm in any way, but we must be mindful that there are some people who hate the truth in some form whatsoever, and will accuse us of hurting them through our honesty. In particular, these people like to mark any truth (or person) that they dislike as "harsh," "rigid," "divisive," "negative," "hateful," and so on and so forth. To placate them, we will have to become deceptive, or liars. So to "hurt" or insult them is a consequence of the truthfulness of which we will have to live. The bottom line is that truth "is that spoken to benefit all beings." For non-injury is not a passive attribute, but a positive restore and healing character.

Silence can also be a form of untruth, especially when dealing with the aforementioned hate-truths. The reality is harmful even when "the ultimate purpose is merely to hurt beings." So if any people put themselves in the way of reality, then they have to take responsibility the their reactions to it.

Will Cuppy has described diplomacy as "the fine art of lying." Sadly, this is always so. So we have to be sure we are not deceiving in the umbrella of diplomacy or tact.

Self-deception, a favorite with almost all of us to some extent, has to be ruthlessly eliminated if we were to be truly true.

"Let one therefore be careful that his expression is for the good of all" (Shankara)

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