Faith

Highest attainment

The jivatma's highest attainment is jnana or enlightenment, say the sastras. They also show that this depends on many factors such as one's past karma, single minded desire for this goal, proficiency in the sastras, adherence to truth and dharma, grace of the preceptors, and above all the grace of the Supreme Being. Just as Valmiki and Kalidasa were blessed by Devi's grace with the gift of poetic vision, the Devi Bhagavata Purana relates how one Satyavrata is conferred with jnana by Her grace at the appropriate time, pointed out Sri K. Srinivasan in a discourse.

Owing to the curse of a rishi, Satyavrata is a fool by birth though born in a reputed brahmana family. Distraught, he speaks rarely and eventually leaves his home to live in solitude on the banks of the Ganga. In due course, people are impressed by his commitment to truth, his austere way of life and his vairagya. Once, a wounded boar rushes into his hermitage and hides in the bushes. The hunter follows the boar and asks Satyavrata if he has seen it. Now, Satyavrata debates the dilemma in his mind — speak the truth and endanger the life of the boar or speak an untruth to save it. For, if speaking the truth results in loss of life, it cannot be called truth. Likewise, even untruth, when tempered by mercy for the welfare of others, becomes truth.

At this moment, Devi grants him the jnana and he utters the following words filled with philosophical wisdom to the hunter, “Why are you asking me this question? That force which sees, never speaks; that force which speaks, never sees.” The hunter is disappointed and leaves knowing that he would not get any information on the boar from him. Since then, Satyavrata became a celebrated realised soul who only spoke the truth.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 3:46:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/highest-attainment/article34086018.ece

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