4878If Truth Be Told...!
- May 19, 2014--
If Truth Be Told…!
Newspapers often give me a new look at human life. Recently I read a story about a possé of police who stopped, on a routine check, a luxury car carrying five men. It was an ordinary story reporting a common event. But one line succeeded in making my “Chitta vritti” go “Nirodha”. The journalist had written quite nonchalantly. “The men told the police they they were car thieves.”
What? Just like that? They admitted to the staunch keepers of the nation’s law that they stole cars for a livelihood! Amazing! I cannot get my eight year old grandson to admit taking a chocolate bar without my permission and these protectors of the polity could get grown men to admit they stole cars! I wondered: What power do these police possess, and more important , how can I get it! Is it the uniform? Or is it the fierce mustache which most of our Indian police sport? How do they strike the fear of God into the reptilian hearts of hardened criminals? It is a sore point in my own life, this inability to get people to not only tell the truth, but actually, to literally see the truth for, truth be told, most people do not have a clue about the difference between the truth and the lie!
Yet! These skillful policemen, at least according to daily newspaper reports, get most of the criminals they catch to confess to thefts, murders, rapes, dacoities, arson… the most heinous of deeds! How in the world do they do it? (Perhaps on second thought, it is best I am unaware of their methods!)
The real issue here boils down to this: If you don’t know the truth, how can you tell the truth(so help you God, as they swear upon the Bible in the open court in Christian countries).
The average soul is so blissfully unaware of almost everything which goes on around him or even within him, that he simply “doesn’t know anything!” If I ask a staff member, has so – and – so come to work they may respond “No” quite authoritatively. (“No” of course is the easiest answer as it puts a full stop to any further effort!) Yet, two minutes later I may see the self- same person ambling through the Satsangha hall perfectly and obviously present! This “haze of unawareness” hovers over almost everyone. They just haven’t got a clue in heaven or hell as to what is happening. If you ask, the more arrogant and egotistical will concoct any answer which furthers their own self interest. Those more dull in nature will merely give a blank stare.
During my nearly 50 years of administrating a small institution in south India , it has been my unfortunate experience to witness many thefts, some major, many more minor. Though I have tried every trick in the book to get the culprit to confess the deed, I have never succeeded. All fingers may point in one direction, but because the hand was literally not caught in the pot, the culprit escaped. I have pondered this deeply, and finally come to the conclusion that the thief is so unaware of the truth that they are actually able to convince themselves they have not done it, and thus, are capable of adorning their face with the most innocent, injured expression ever seen since the first original sin of Adam and Eve! They don’t have it(they have sold it or disposed of it) So obviously they did not take it! In common parlance, they have swallowed it! Once swallowed, there is a no possibility of retrieval!
Something else I have learned from the lower levels of evolution, those whose existence is still mainly dictated by the impulses of the mammalian – reptilian segment of their brains is, there is only one truth. That truth is : Survival! Anything that ensures your survival is true! Everything else is false! At the village level here in India, this makes perfect practical sense. If you confess to any wrong doing you will be killed, tortured , thrown out of the village, your house will be burned down. Punishment is swift and sure! Denial is safer! Denial has a chance of survival. Denial therefore is truth! Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
Thus, there are various levels of truth. The idea that one can speak “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” is a democratic dream. In fact, as the Canadian psychiatrist William Penfield noted in amazement, after decades of experiments: “Memories are dreams.” Do dreams have truth? The Rishis called the human life – existence, a long , long dream. Swamiji termed Maya “the true lie”. Can truth be found any where in maya? Can an illusion possess truth? Is it a lie when a villager proclaims he did not steal the watch, when immediately after stealing it, he sold it and bought his family a big of rice which they have already eaten?
When a car thief confesses to a police man he is a car thief is he telling the truth, even if he is driving a car he has stolen. When a student of Yoga, on the other hand, who proclaims himself/ herself to be awakened in consciousness hides from the truth, the truth of his/her own deep inner nature, is he/she a teller of truth, a Satyakaran? Without Swadhyaya, deep, profound, complete awareness, can one be a knower of truth? If one does not know the truth, can one tell the truth?
I think not! And that is the truth as I see it!
AmmajiYogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
Chairman: ICYER and Yoganjali Natyalayam
25, II Cross, Iyyanar Nagar, Pondicherry, India
www.icyer.com and www.rishiculture.org
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