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Understanding Scriptures

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 Blooming Stars

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             A discourse on layers, levels, and nuances of truth is truly inexhaustible and really unnecessary here. In connection with the culture of lie, we are mainly concerned with moral truth (vyavaharika satyam) that is concerned with the expression of what is in one’s mind and the verbal or written expression of it. What is in one’s mind needs to agree with one’s verbal or written speech. There is no intentional deception in what one says or does. Saying something different from what is truly in one’s mind with the intention of deceiving is a clear lie. Intentionally keeping truth away from someone who has a right to it is tantamount to a lie. Cover-up of truths and facts, vague or misleading statements, or statements that can be interpreted in more than one way – all these intentional acts with the purpose of deceiving denote lies. There are myriads of clever and sophisticated ways of intentional deception. They all need to be carefully examined in their contexts. The language in equivocation, for instance, can lend to two or more interpretations.

            Subterfuge can be another deceptive stratagem in order to conceal one’s true intent or to evade or escape from obligations or responsibility. The essential element in a lie is one’s intentionality. There are some persons who have their hidden agenda that may only come to the surface much later or never at all. In all these, one’s purity of intention, the hall-mark of truth and spiritual maturity, and self-transparence will determine the extent of lie and falsehood. The intentional absence of accuracy, exaggerations, minimizations, and other such ploys can also lead to many problems. The deceptive persons can be so creative and ingenious in either hiding truths or misrepresenting facts or putting important things camouflaged under colorful and distracting details. I am reminded of a story in which the thief stated that he stole a rope at the end of which was a cow. We are all aware of people who deceived us in various ways. The number of betrayals of trust, small and big, is increasing as each day passes.

            A couple of weeks ago when I experienced a painful betrayal of trust from someone thought to be a very close friend, my manager as well as my wife told me I am very trusting, and this would not have happened if I had everything in an official document. They were right. But on the other hand I showed them a news item on that very day, March 16, 2012, in a local news paper, Malayala Manorama, that reported that a husband riding on the back of a motor scooter that his wife was driving cut her neck and killed her at a stop in the middle of a big city (Kochi), and drove away the scooter. What legal document could have stopped that tragic event? What happened to one’s word of yesterdays when one’s word was as good as gold? Again another tragedy was reported on the front page of the same paper that very day.

            An Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was investigating the death in the police custody of a man who murdered his wife when this ASP committed suicide under tremendous, unbearable emotional pressure. He had sought psychiatric/psychological help for his stress. A police officer investigating this very case before him had quit after his house was attacked by goondas (anti-social elements). In his suicide note he was highly critical of two senior CBI officers, one senior judicial officer, and a high-ranking lawyer who put pressure on him to change his investigative findings. He also received death threats for which he had sought protection from the court. What is our own condition when the very officers who are supposed to protect us commit the very same crimes that they are supposed to protect us from?


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