February 2016

Even when threatened with death, don’t give in to dishonesty, deception, lust and passion.  –  Chinmaya

Why should we always stick to the truth, and never compromise with the higher values of life? The reasons can be many.

The Mundakopanishad says:

सत्यमेव जयते नानृतं सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयान: |
(Truth alone triumphs, not falsehood. The path to the ultimate truth is laid down by truth alone.)

Whether one is seeking material prosperity or spiritual evolution, the path is only one: the path of truth.

At the subjective plane also the truthful ones have lots to gain. They are blessed with mastery over the mind, clarity in thinking, peace, contentment, cheerfulness, confidence and courage. For them, meditation is just a cakewalk as they have a mind which is well obedient, disciplined and tamed. For them, the Kingdom of God is thrown wide open for easy access.

Hence the Bhagavad Geeta says:

आत्मैव आत्मनो बन्धु: आत्मैव रिपुरात्मन:|
(Your own mind is your greatest friend as well as your greatest enemy.)

Abraham Lincoln worked in a tea shop during his childhood. One day a lady came to buy 250 grams of tea leaves. Being busy handling many customers, Lincoln by mistake weighed only 150 grams and gave it to her. In the night, while making the accounts of the sales-proceeds of the day, he realized his mistake. Immediately with a lantern in hand, he set out on foot to the lady’s house covering around 3 kilometres.

Hearing the knock, the lady opened the door. Handing over the bag of tea leaves, Lincoln said, “I am extremely sorry! I had taken money for 250 grams of tea leaves from you, but I gave you only half the quantity. Please forgive me for the inconvenience caused.”

Seeing his honesty, the eyes of the lady welled up with tears. She blessed him and said, “My son! You are truthful! God will definitely give the fruits of honesty to you. You will earn a good name in the future.”

The same boy went on to become the President of the United States.

The truthful ones not only gain inner peace but also gain blessings from all. They have a knack of creating heaven even in hell. Moreover, the good they do come back to them in so many different ways.

There was a famous advocate named Munshiram who lived in Jalandhar. Inspired by saints and sages of India, he decided never to take up false cases. Once while submitting a case to the court of law, he came to know that the case which he had taken up was false. Immediately he stopped fighting the case. He was tempted by a handsome fee by the client but he didn’t budge. He received life-threatening calls but he remained adamant in his stand.

His decision to remain truthful caused a lasting effect on his profession and hampered his practice severely. As a result, his income dropped down to one-fourth of what he earned earlier. But Munshi stuck to his principles.

Soon the times started to change. He earned the name of a ‘clean-advocate’ among the circles of lawyers. He started getting a large number of cases which were based on facts. Within a few years he won the hearts of all judges to such an extent that the judges were cent-per cent confident that if Munshiram was handling a case, it must be genuine.

During the later period of his life, Munshiram took sannyasa and came to be known as Swami Shraddhanand and founded the Gurukul Kangari. 

True strength comes not from the outer possessions and positions, but from within. This inner strength can be tapped only when we are upright and pure in all our worldly transactions.

Chandragupta was extremely nervous and worried. He doubted whether his small army could ever face the large army of the Nanda Empire. He approached his Guru Kautilya (Chanakya) for guidance.

Chanakya assured him of his victory and said, “No matter how large an army one might possess, no matter how formidable weapons he may have, but shall certainly meet his doom if he lacks in moral conduct.”

To remain straight forward and truthful in life, one needs tremendous courage and will power. One resigned to God gains these qualifications easily.

Gandhiji used to have prayer assembly every day in his ashram. One day, after the prayer session, an advocate came to Gandhiji and said, “Sir, had you dedicated to the nation the time that you pass in offering prayers to God, you would have done a greater service to the nation.”

Gandhiji smiled and replied, “Mr Advocate! Had you devoted to your cases the time that you waste away in eating food, you would have been able to take up many more additional cases.”

The advocate was very much confused. He asked, “Sir! You must be joking! Food gives energy and strength which is essential for the body to work!”

Gandhiji replied, “So too prayer is the food for my soul. I gain energy and strength from it which I use in serving the nation.”

Whenever we are in any doubt or confusion regarding what/what-not to do, a simple question can make the situation clear: “With this action of mine, will God be pleased with me?”

A man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column. The newspapers had reported the death of the wrong person by mistake. He continued reading the obituary column to find out what people had said about him. The obituary read, “The Dynamite King Dies…” And also “He was the merchant of death…”

This man was the inventor of dynamite. After reading the newspaper, he asked himself, “Is this how I want myself to be remembered?”

From that day on, he started working towards peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and today he is remembered by the great Nobel Peace Prize.

The quote advises us to be honest even in the wake of death.

This is because death is nothing but an illusion. Our existence doesn’t end with the death of the physical body. We continue to exist in our subtle and causal bodies. These bodies are nothing but our vasanas (impressions) gathered in our mind due to our actions.

So the good we do remain with us as good samskaras (impressions) and bless us with peace and bliss even after the end of the physical existence. Hence the insistence never to compromise with the higher values even in life-threatening situations.

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