An ancient unheard bedtime story: Truth is not Absolute

brahminsFor a change, let me post a very ancient bed time story. Five thousand years ago in Bharat (India), a Brahmin was crossing the border of a country with his son. They slept in a shelter near the border. Next day morning, to their surprise, the soldiers of the country arrested and produced them in front of the King. “Why, what happened?” asked the Brahmin.

The Minister in the court said: “You have stolen the queen’s necklace…” The Brahmin was shocked, he said: “How come, we have reached this country yesterday night only”. The Minister and soldiers convinced the King that the Brahmin is lying.

The King said: “You are a thief and you are lying – we have very strict rules in this country. We are not beheading you only because you are a Brahmin and we don’t want a Brahmahatya (Sin of Killing Brahmin). So get out of my country”.

The Brahmin was tearful: he said, “Maharaj, it is painful that you call me liar and thief… I have been very honest and truthful in all my life…” Then he put his palm in the head of his son and said:”Upon my son, I am promising you, I have not stolen the necklace”.

To his biggest shock, the son fell down and died instantly.

The entire court started laughing and ridiculing the Brahmin. The dejected Brahmin took the dead body of his son in his shoulders and went back to the border of the country.

He had decided for “Dehathyaga”(Killing self) as he felt truth has no value in this world…He was about to light fire to the pyre, cursing the world….

Suddenly, an old man appeared from nowhere and said: “Don’t do that…”

“Why, what’s the point in living this world? My son is dead. There is no value for truth and justice in this world…”

The old man replied: “That’s not true, O’ Brahmin…Did you know, the time when you crossed this border coincides with the beginning of Kali Yuga (rough translation for West= Dark Age)… So such bad things can happen…”

Yes – the day was: 18 February 3102 BC! That was the day Dwapara Yuga ended. Lord Krishna left the body. It marked beginning of Kali Yuga. Kali Yuga is considered as the Dark Age when human civilization degenerates. People are as far away as possible from God – they would believe only in superstitions.

The old man was none other than the god of death (Yama). He became very scared that the innocent Brahmin’s curse would fall upon him. (Those days, Brahmins had some extra-power that they develop by living according to cosmic laws. Those Brahmins have nothing to do with today’s callous Brahmins)

Then the old man advised the Brahmin something. Accordingly, the Brahmin went back to the court with son’s dead body. Now, people in the court were angry. They shouted and scolded at him. He said: “Maharaj, I had made a mistake. I knew who the thief was. I should have told you that.”

“Who is it?”

“It is none other than your own Minister. I am promising this upon my son’s dead body…” The Brahmin said.

Suddenly a miracle happened. The Brahmin’s son got up!!! The King ordered to behead the Minister and gave lot of gold coins to the Brahmin. But he refused everything and left the Kingdom to his village.

The non-virtuous people and those who do not follow truth will be (instantly) successful in this Kali Yuga. But that would be temporary. Just being truthful does not help you sometimes. Your responsibility is not over by just being truthful in this Age. You will need to use intelligence and intuition to survive. The toughest task is to be truthful and survive. So you have double edged task, that was not so in other Yugas. God sees the truth, but waits.

Sometimes you may have to lie to fight lie, though we should follow the path of truth. Hindu gods were proponents of non-violence and dharma. But all of them carry weapons. Our puranic stories say gods fought violence with violence to sustain non-violence and dharma. So, the question is: how can we lead a truthful life and how can we fight lies?

First, we have to understand that there is nothing that can be termed as absolute truth.
TRUTH is not ABSOLUTE. There is no such thing as absolute truth. And even if it exists, our limited and conditioned brain cannot even think about it.

Every truth is based on our perception, understanding, conditioning and wisdom. Truth is relative and depends upon the dimension that we are in.

For instance – Sun rises in the East and sets in the West. It is a truth for everybody. But, is it so? Sun never rises or sets. Sun appears to be rising or setting because the Earth revolves around the Sun. When we are walking at the rate of 3 kilometers per hour, we experience Earth stands still! Is it true? NO. Earth revolves around the Sun in an unimaginably high speed – 30 km/second. Earth also spins around its axis at 0.5 km per second! The Earth is moving around Sun. Now you would say, Sun is stationary and doesn’t move. Is that true? No. The Sun along with the entire solar system around the Milky Way Galaxy is moving at a mind boggling speed of 250km/second. So the truth is relative here. And there is no absolute truth.

Or when you say, sky is blue, your kids in the school would correct you – the colour of the sky is not blue, it just appears to be blue.

So, when I say, I am truthful, either I am ignorant or I am being egotist. It is just a belief. So, ask yourself first, am I really truthful? Have I seen all dimensions of this truth?

Reflect on this – being good is better than feeling good, doing good, acting good and living good. Similarly, being truthful to self and cosmic is better than truthful to ideals, religion or concepts.

Our ancestors rightly said: “Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat na bruyat satyam apriyam; Priyam ca nanrutam bruyat esha dharmah sanatanah”

Speak truth in such a way that it should be pleasing to others. Never speak truth, which is unpleasant to others. Never speak untruth, which might be pleasant. This is the path of eternal morality, Sanatan Dharma. (Excerpts from: “Do you believe in GOD” )

Udaylal Pai
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