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 Blooming Stars

Search for Truth 2

             After having familiarized ourselves with a culture of lie that we are living in, we need to plan to get out of it. We need to realize that we are not helpless victims who are trapped in it. We can freely choose to create a culture of truth. It is important to devise a remedy or treatment plan for the culture of lie. We need to understand what truth is in order to consciously practice and live it. In every moment of our day we need to live, move, and have our being in truth.

            A search for truth necessitates a desire for the constant awareness of truth. A search for truth is the only worthwhile pursuit in life. As Gandhi in his final years defined truth as God, everyone’s pursuit in life needs to be rigorous and continuous search for truth. Gandhi’s own autobiography is appropriately titled Experiments with Truth. In the Western Philosophy, truth is defined as 1. Ontological Truth: conformity between outside reality as it exists and the idea of that reality in the mind of the creator or exemplar of that reality, 2. Logical Truth: conformity or correspondence between outside reality and the idea of it in the mind of the actual knower, and 3. Moral Truth or veracity: conformity or agreement between the known reality and the expression of that knowledge. The very essence of truth involves the various relationships of correspondence between original idea and thing, thought and reality, or knower and known. Here I do not want to get into very complex, pedantic, and philosophical discussions about reality, sensation, perception, cognition, and epistemology. I also do not want to get into the criteria of truth. The Eastern (Indian) Philosophy giving truth the highest place, equates truth with God Bhahma sathyam, jagan mithya: God alone is truth, the world is only appearance (illusion: what is not true).

            The best description of God is Sachidanandam (Sat-Chit-Anandam: Truth-Consciousness-Bliss); Hindu philosophy and scriptures equate truth with righteous living: Sathyannasthi parodharmah: there is no religion higher than truth; Sathyameva jayathe, na anrutham: truth alone wins, not unrighteousness. Ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti: that which exists is One, sages call it by various names. They summarize the very essence of one’s entire living as Sathyam vada, Dharmam chara: speak truth, move (live) righteously. They prescribe the way truth is to be spoken: Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat na bruyat satyam apriyam, priyam cha nanrutam bruyat esha dhrmah sanatanah: speak truth in such a way that it is pleasing to others, do not speak truth which is unpleasant to others, (here there is problem!) never speak untruth that might be pleasing; this is the way of eternal morality. Indian Philosophy talks about

1. Paramarthika Satyam: the real truth or the truth as it is; it corresponds to Ontological Truth,

2. Pratibhasika Satyam: truth as it appears; it can also include illusions and delusions,

3. Vyavaharika Sathyam: truth that is involved in everyday transactions; it corresponds to Moral Truth.


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