Stating facts

In stating the truth, one may come across obstacles. However the ancients recognized the absolute power of truth.

satyameva jayate nānṛtaṃ satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ
yenākramantyṛṣayo hyāptakāmā yatra tat satyasya paramaṃ nidhānam

This can be roughly translated to:

Truth alone wins; not falsehood
Through truth, the path of the gods widens
That by which the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled
That highest treasure is attained by truth

– Mundaka Upanishad, 3.1.6


In scientific research, skepticism and rigorous thinking are prerequisites when dealing with collecting and interpreting data as part of research. One needs to keep questioning results and then keep reformulating hypotheses. This is the iterative process that leads to a better understanding of nature.

In daily life however, people are conditioned to not offend others. Many times, one needs to package the truth in ways that are palatable to society. Different individuals respond to such social conditioning in different ways.

There are many individuals who occasionally go against accepted beliefs and tell the truth as it is. Such individuals can often bring about very good changes to society.

Of course, not everyone who criticized should not be under the impression that they have done society a favor. It is the spirit of criticism and the overall results that matter.

On an individual level, one may find that constructive criticism coming from sources of good character is very beneficial.

The truth

Over the course of mankind’s evolutionary history, the idea of the truth has been one of vital importance. The Taittiriya Upanishad, composed around 2500 years ago, exhorts students who have completed their studies to follow the precept of:

Satyam vada dharmam chara

This can be roughly translated to:

Tell the truth. Follow the dharma

– Taittiriya Upanishad 1.11

Among the collective myths of various cultures of the world, the act of speaking and living truthfully has been highly valued.

One of the oldest stone inscriptions, that of King Ashoka contains the maxim: Satyameva jayate, meaning “truth alone triumphs”. This was made the national motto of the Republic of India.

It appears relevant to note this as the republic celebrates it’s 68th anniversary today.