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The power of truth

columns Updated: Jan 16, 2013 23:34 IST
Arati Bhargava
Arati Bhargava
Hindustan Times
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In all religions, truth holds a paramount place. Not everyone is truthful and yet everyone wants the person he is dealing with to be truthful.

Our scriptures tell us the importance of satya (truth) can never be overstated. Truth is considered a supreme virtue. In the Vedas and the Upnishads, there are references stressing on its significance. The Rig Veda states that one should always speak the truth and tread on the path of righteousness.

One of the most detailed explanation of truth is stated in the Mahabharata (Shanti Parva). Here Bhishma says truth is eternal duty. He says there are various forms of truth and links it to impartiality, self-control, forgiveness, goodness, renunciation, dignity, fortitude, compassion and abstention from injury. There is no duty higher than truth.

A tale is narrated: One thousand horse sacrifices and truth were weighed against each other. In the balance scale, truth weighed heavier than the 1,000- horse sacrifice.

Truth is more than a moral commandment. It is considered next to God. Truth can bring rich benefits to those who choose to be truthful.

Swami Vivekananda considered truth to be one of the three virtues most important to achieve success. He said, “Truth, purity and unselfishness — wherever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof”.