The Sanskrit word for truth is Satya. In our current climate, individually, politically, socially and spiritually, it feels more than ever that satya is to be studied. But how do we do this without asserting that our views, our perception, is better than the other guy? How can we be sure that we are on the side of truth?
Something to take note of is that truth can be fact, but it is not always fact. If truth were fact, it would take care of all the court cases in the world. In other words, this is the fact; therefore this is the result. But, as you know, in a court of law, fact is a part of the truth, but not the whole of it. So, what does satya mean in Sanskrit? And how do we approach satya from a yogic perspective?
The word satya derives from the Sanskrit root AS, which means to be. When you are forming the word, according to grammatical rules, you have to flip the root around and add a dental ‘t.’ Thus, yielding ‘Sat.’ Sat is being or beingness. Sat is often translated as ‘the highest’ for example in the phrase, Sat Guru, which then due to sound laws called sandhi becomes Sad Guru, highest teacher. In the Sanskrit and Yoga Tradition, it is beingness that is truth. But what does that even mean? And how do we get at beingness?
Meditation as a Tool for Truth
This may sound repetitive to what is piped out daily on social media and in yoga circles, but my suggestion to arrive at truth is to meditate. My guru, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, said, “All wars are the result of the disturbed mind.” When we disconnect internally, we see and often cultivate separation. When we feel what we are beyond form and mind, we see connection and oneness. Meditation is a tool to help you get beyond your thinking mind, as well as, to enable you to feel what you truly are: Beingness itself. Once this skill of being with what you are is firmly established, you will be able to guide the energy that is under your mind properly. Daily, in your meditation practice say: Although I have a body and mind, I am not just the body and mind. Then be with the watching. As this understanding rises in you, more and more, the concept of separation won’t even be on your field because through your meditation practice, you’ll live in the understanding that we are all beyond form, and ultimately one.
As I write this, I can hear the possible prickly responses, the puckered, the tightening. I’m not suggesting that you don’t stand up for what you believe in. Or that you should only meditate and not rally the battle cry against injustice, racism and cruelty of any kind. I agree wholeheartedly and will join you in that shout. But is it possible also to pursue a Yogic conversation? One which nourishes and supports you on an inner level, not so that your voice is louder, but so your conviction is integrated instead of righteous. So that your voice rises through your inner connection with your Self, making it much more powerful.
In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali says, Heyam Duhkham Anāgatam PYS 2.16 which translates as, future suffering is to be avoided. How do we avoid suffering? There are several answers to this depending on how the sutra is applied. One is that through yogic inquiry, you learn to extend inward and outward with kindness. This reveals itself as awareness and kindness expressed to your fellow humans, animals and nature around you.
Furthermore, Patanjali echoes the notion of the value of satya when he says,
Satya-Pratishthāyām Kriyā-Phalāśrayatvam PYS 2.36,
When the yogini-in-training is established in Satya, there is great strength and fruition in all of her actions.
Practicing being with satya means to practice living in the Satya-Loka. Satya-Loka translates in Sanskrit as the realm of the highest truth. It is not a land or a station that you go to where everyone is speaking fact. It is a place of deep inner connectivity and grounding that comes from consistent yogic practice.
©2019 Luminous Shabda, Sanskrit Studies & Manorama
This Oct 12th, 2019 Manorama will share with you the beauty and mystery of the Sanskrit language.
In the Sanskrit Studies Method, Sanskrit Level 1 Year-Long Teleclass Training, you will study the Sanskrit language, immerse yourself in the path of yogic unity, learn about the intricacies and beauty of Sanskrit through the study of mantras, grammar and sutras.
Be inspired, Learn tools to support your growth. Develop real confidence.
Sanskrit Studies Method, Sanskrit Level 1 Year-Long Teleclass
Sat/Sun, Oct 12th & 13th, 2019
9 am – 12 noon
For more info click here