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Satya and Truth-Telling

When one’s thoughts, words and actions are truthful one will have a harmonious feeling and be free from uneasiness and the feeling that something is going to go wrong. Untruths affect the subconscious mind, and besides creating disharmony in this life, this habit will be carried to the next life where one will undergo suffering as a result. One lie can lead to another lie until a habit is formed which can affect many lifetimes.


I’ve been reading about satya in my yoga books, which is roughly the concept of truthfulness.  Truthfulness in actions, speech, words, and even more generally making sure that the life you live is that which expresses your personality authentically.

Even though I didn’t have a specific name for it, I’ve felt pulled to the idea of truth my whole life.  When I hear people lie, it offends me on a basic level, regardless of the circumstances.

Let’s say someone calls your office and asks you to speak to a colleague.  You put them on hold and the colleague says “I don’t feel like talking to them, get rid of them for me.”  What do you do?

A.  Send them direct to her voice mail

B. Pick up and say “Sorry, she’s at lunch can I take a message”

C.  Pick up and say “She’s in a meeting, can I take a message?”

D.  Pick up and say “She’s unavailable, can I take a message?”


The people I used to work with always would pick B or C, and it drove me crazy.  Why?  Because they are LIES!  They are little, inconsequential, minor, white lies, but they’re still lies.

The right answer to the question above is UNQUESTIONABLY A or D.  A is easiest, since you just ring them through to the VM box, so it’s as though she didn’t choose to pick up.  D is fine as well, since if you look up unavailable in the dictionary it describes your co-worker’s status just fine.

Besides violating a nebulous spiritual principal, lying is Just Plain Bad. When I catch people telling these little white lies, all the time, it makes me question every single fact that comes out of their mouths.  Telling bigger lies complicates things much more.

Why lie and have to wonder what you’ve told people?  Just tell the truth.

But what about when you have to lie?  I’m sure there are exceptions, like if you’re a POW or something, but the average person’s life is free of these kinds of complications.  Do you think you have to lie in a certain situation?  Remember this simple rule:  no you don’t.  Is this a special situation?  You still don’t have to lie.  If you’re 100% sure this is the most special situation ever, then sure, go ahead and lie, but I bet it’s not really one of those situations.

So Satya is one of those simple concepts that has broad, broad implications.  I had another colleague who would say “that guy would rather climb up a tree to tell a lie than stand on the ground and tell the truth.”

Don’t be that guy.


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