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Wednesday, October 17, 2001

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Truth is the noblest of all virtues

CHENNAI, OCT. 17. Man today faces hardships as he has given a go- by to Truth, though the latter remains unchanged in the three periods of time - past, present and future. Since ancient days, this country had been enjoying peace and prosperity because its people adhered to this moral value. The message of spirituality was propagated by the countrymen to the entire world and the ideal, ``May everyone be happy'' was based on Truth. That it is the noblest of all virtues is revealed by the story of Emperor Harischandra who, to uphold this great value, sacrificed his kingdom, wife and son. The story of Emperor Bali has been narrated only to show how he was prepared to give up everything but not his plighted word despite being warned about the consequences of sticking to Truth. Though born in a family of demons, he was virtuous. Thus our scriptures din into us that the foundation of the world itself is Truth and the cultivation of pure thoughts and driving away all evil propensities.

What happiness did a demon attain by stealing the Vedas and hiding them and then opposing God; what was Ravana's fate when he abducted Sita; what did Duryodhana take with him in the end by refusing to part with even a small piece of land; what was the result of Kamsa's gruesome act of slaying infants? The same will be the fate of the wicked today. If not immediately, they are bound to meet their doom, as their thoughts were vicious and they acted contrary to virtue. The pathway to reach God is to adhere to Truth at all times and eschew evil. The Vedas say ``speak the Truth, speak pleasantly and do not utter unpalatable words''. The ethical, moral and spiritual life has its roots in Truth.

Explaining the fruits enjoyed by tenaciously clinging to this moral value, Sri Sathya Saibaba, in a lecture, urged devotees to fix their mind on God. When turned to the right by inserting the key, a lock opens but when operated to the left, it closes. Likewise, by turning the mind towards God, a devotee can be free from anxieties but when he immerses in worldly activities, he will be tied to desires. To curb them addressing God by His innumerable glorious names will be the best method. Adi Sankara advised a devotee not to devote his entire attention on learning merely the rules of grammar but to concentrate on uttering the holy name, ``Govinda'', for when the end approaches, these textbook stories will not help in rescuing him. The innumerable obstacles in the path of spirituality are temporary and surmountable.

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