Faith

Adherence to Truth

The Sastras speak of adherence to Truth or Satya, as the highest dharma. The Ramayana shows how Truth is Supreme in all the worlds. In the Mahabharata, Draupadi talks highly of Satya as the dharma that is not tainted by selfish ends.

It is this commitment to truth that is exemplified by the devotee Nam Paduvan, whose story is related in the Varaha Purana with reference to the observance of the Kaisika Ekadasi vrata, pointed out Sri B. Damodhara Dikshitar in a discourse. The main purpose of the vrata which is to abstain from eating during Ekadasi is to discipline the mind and body so that the jivatma contemplates on God. The Bhagavata Purana extols the benefits of the Ekadasi vrata when narrating the Ambarisha episode. The king observes this vrata for a year and when it is completed the Durvasa incident takes place. In the Nam Paduvan story, this staunch devotee observes this vrata regularly. Once, in the month of Karthigai during the vrata period, he stays awake in the night and goes to the temple in Tirukkurungudi to sing the Lord’s praises. On the way, a ‘brahma rakshasa,’ catches him and wants to eat him. Nam Paduvan agrees to be its prey but requests the rakshasa to allow him to complete the vrata he was observing. After getting the promise from him, the rakshasa allows him to go to the temple. On his way back, it is said that the Lord in the guise of a Brahmana warned him of the rakshasa in that path and asked him to avoid it. But Nam Paduvan keeps his promise and shows that there is no greater dharma than truth. When the brahma rakshasa seeks to be relieved from its cursed state, he does not hesitate to give up the fruits of his worship, thereby proving to be a true model of the ideal of karma phala tyaga as well.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 9:41:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/adherence-to-truth/article38282234.ece