View Full Version : Yama and Niyama: Truth or satya

07 May 2008, 01:33 PM
Hari Om


The last post offered some ideas on aparigraha╣. Perhaps it will be uplifting to also talk of the second yama offered by Pata˝jali, that of satya.
Satya सत्य is true , real , actual , genuine , sincere , honest , truthful , faithful , pure , virtuous , Reality. We know there are two levels or experiences of this. One is the spoken word, the truthful word, some call this honesty. The other is the experience of truth as Reality.

For those that are established in Reality and speak the truth they are referred to as ativādin. This ativādin at its root is ati that which transcends + vadin or one who speaks. It is one whose speech is pregnant with Truth (sat). So, one who speaks of THAT, which is beyond, or turiya ( some write turya, the 4th) is the ativādin.

Also, there is a state of being that is pregnant with Truth and it is called ṛtambharā. This ṛta is enlightened , luminous ; ṛtam is right , duly, properly + bhara is bearing , carrying , bringing also shout or song of praise. So this is associated with praj˝ā or wisdom.

This ṛtambharā praj˝ā is luminous wisdom that is carried out , brought out, some may say sung out. This is called out in Pata˝jali's sutras:
Chapter 1 sutra 48: Rtambhara tatra prajna
Supreme Truth (ṛtambharā) inner wisdom (praj˝ā) self-rises, and prevails.
That is, a level of consciousness that only sees the truth. The wise also call this full of unalloyed Truth. One's awareness holds truth, sees truth, with no trace of misconception.

This ṛtambharā happens when one gains proficiency; This proficiency can be called pure consciousness, yet the technical term used by Pata˝jali-muni is nirvichāra. If the reader has interest, this is the subject matter found in Chapter 1 (Samadhi Pada and is part of 4 samāpati's╣ or engrossments of the mind).
Now as we look at this satya we can view it two waysů speaking the truth ( honesty) and speaking from the level of Truth ṛtambharā, for which we call that person the ativādin.

For those that are not ativādins as yet [that would be me] it seems to me that when we speak, as part of yama vrata ( vow or conduct ), the notion is to tell the truth and avoid a lie. It also suggested that the truth need not be harsh or filled with animosity. That is, truth should benefit the sender and receiver. The sender benefits by being honest and forthright, the receiver benefits from information that is valuable. I have never read-or-listened to any words from the wise that suggested the truth should sting.

What is the benefit of speaking the truth? Pata˝jali outlines this in the following sutra:
Chapter 2, sutra 36: satya-pratisthayam kriya-phalasrayatvam
When truthfulness is achieved, the words ( of the yogin) acquire power of making them fruitful.
That is, by establishing a firm footing upon truthfulness and non-deceit our words become more powerful and produces the expected result, that is the yogins words bear fruit.

My teacher has said, when a desire is made from the level of ṛtambharā, it must be fulfilled. He also said that one operating from this level of consciousness, all desires are life supporting, all nourished by Being, by the support of Nature.
Svami Laksmanjoo said╣ that that person that knows this Truth and says the following to a person, 'May God Bless You' , that person is blessed; the speaker of Truthfulness always has his words fulfilled.


1. Words Used

this aparigraha is to back-away from and release (from the behavior of, since it is a yama) of grasping, binding and seizing. Therefore apaigraha is a most descriptive term for the absence of hoarding. Some people in the West call this avarice or being greedy and covetous.
Samāpati समापत्ति - falling into any state or condition , getting, becoming; coming together , meeting , encountering. Some call this samāpati the habitiual (steady) state of engrossment on the subject that is being contemplated. We may call it concentration, yet a more specific word would be conventrated. That the mind becomes concentrated via this method. This nirvichāra samāpati is the ablity of the mind to have one pointedness (contemplation without waivering) on subtle objects without the help of words or mantra.
Svami Laksmanjoo's words can be found in the book Self Realization in Kasmir Shaivism, Chapt 4, page 86.
More on ativādin at this HDF post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=1493&highlight=ativadin

Eastern Mind
12 June 2010, 06:46 PM
Vannakkam: This is on Number two.

YAMA 2 — Satya, Truthfulness

Adhere to truthfulness, not intending to deceive others in our thoughts, as well as our words and actions. Refraining from lying and betraying promises. Speak only that which is true, kind, helpful and necessary. Knowing that deception creates distance, don't keep secrets from family or loved ones. Be fair, accurate and frank in discussions, a stranger to deceit. Admit your failings. Do not engage in slander, gossip or backbiting. Do not bear false witness against another.

My father, an agnostic, taught me truthfulness. He rightly was a critic of the dishonest deceitful man. There were no mind games. When I am able to adhere to this one, it is a purifying process. The bottom line is I feel better about myself. In class discussions we used to discuss this a lot. The situation is not black and white. One can lie if it is for the greater good. An example might be if murderer entered your house, you might not want to tell him where the kids are hiding.

I think we all know Patanjali's intention. Karmic debt would be taken on if one were to not comply with this. In the Salt Lake City Ganesha temple I went to, there was a notice, "For archana, just write your own ticket, and place the 5 dollars in the hundi." The archana ticket book was left under the notice. The implicit message was "You are a Hindu. therefore, we trust you."

Aum Namasivaya

12 June 2010, 08:22 PM
hariḥ oṁ


satyamantra ajanayan uṣasam - by the Truth in their thoughts (satyamantra) they brought the birth (ajanayan) of the Dawn (uṣasam) - ṛg ( some write ṛk) ved - 7.76.4


uṣa उष - the dawn; in the veda we see Her as the devā of spiritual awakening. ṛg veda 1.20.20 ' Lover of praises O Uṣa, deathless one,
which mortal is fit to enjoy thee? O Luminious One, whom does thou attain?'

27 August 2015, 02:57 PM
Is true that fiction(for example reading books) is against satya?

28 August 2015, 03:54 AM
Is true that fiction(for example reading books) is against satya?