Satya or truth is among the basic principles of Ashtanga Yoga. Patanjali’s Yogsutras clearly prohibit lying. The Yogsutras are extremely scientific and technical. Every sutra is linked with the next one, the gyan of one flows into the next…if you miss one then you miss the rest that follow it. A practitioner of truth gets the siddhi of vaakshakti and is able to manifest thoughts through dhwani.
Creation rests on truth. Where there is no truth, there is chaos, pollution increases manifold. Whether it is a house or office or an organization, in the absence of truth, there can be no harmony. There will be constant fight and leg-pulling. Truth is very important.
What is truth?
Something, which directly benefits you and harms somebody else, is a lie. Something, which benefits somebody else or aids Creation, even that lie is considered truth. That is what also distinguishes commercial Gurus from a Yoga Guru. The former will praise you and massage your ego and while you might think it is true, it is a lie, because it is said to make money from you, to keep their business growing. A Yoga Guru will show you the mirror, the reflection might appear to be ugly and untrue, but it is the truth, for it is shown to you for your evolution only, that too free of cost.
Long back I had a student. Her parents would not let her come for dhyan. Once she lied on something to someone in the Foundation. When I asked her and explained to her that lying is not good and that it will hamper her evolution, she understood. But then she said, ‘I have to lie to my parents to come for dhyan, you never stop me from that. Then why are you stopping me from this? Both are lies.’
I explained to her that ‘you come here, not for personal gain, but to aid different aspects of Creation such as saving cows, feeding dogs, educating kids, feeding poor, etc., for evolution. The purpose is not personal gain, it is spiritual evolution. That cannot be considered a lie. Also, let me remind you that recently you had gone on a holiday with your boyfriend and lied to your parents saying you were travelling with a big group.
While comparing, you did not use this example but gave that example. That indicates that the impurity levels in you are comparatively high and as per convenience you are ignoring your actual lie and trying to find faults in the system of yoga to justify your actions. The laws of nature cannot be changed for you. They remain as they are and will continue to remain so. You first need to remove your impurity, then you’ll get the gyan of what truth actually is.”
A lie which helps Creation or saves someone’s life is better than a thousand truths which harm Creation. Truth should be never selective it should be a way of life, it’s practitioner can never be harmed. Without speaking the truth, you can never realise the ultimate truth…
Physical manifested world is asatya/falsehood. Anybody lying or taking the help of falsehood would forever get stuck in this physical world. To realise the truth and to go beyond the physical world and to access the energies which control it, one has to resort to truth. It is difficult, but it is the only way.
That is why the shloka — Asato ma sadgamaya, tamso ma jyotirgamaya, mrityor ma amritam gamaya. That is, how it will happen. First, go from asatya to satya, then from darkness to light and only then you can go from death to immortality, or the ultimate truth. And to get the darshan of satya in asatya, one has to speak the truth. No matter how many books you read, how many discussions and debates you have, till the time there is lie inside you, till the time you are taking physical that is nashvar to be satya, till that time you cannot attain truth.