Satya: Action of mind and the use of speech in the spirit of welfare.
How can we follow Satya in our everyday actions? How can we tell the truth and act in a straightforward and honest way to promote the welfare of all?
In cases where telling the exact truth will harm others, Satya means to say what is best for the welfare of others.
This isn’t always easy. I will give some examples of how Satya could be handled in our day to day interactions with others. Following Satya brings about tremendous strength of mind and is very important for spiritual success.
Example 1: Husband and Wife Interaction
The husband tells his wife something that hurts her feelings. The wife’s typical knee jerk reaction would be to posture herself and let her husband know just how angry and hurt she is. There could be a couple of outcomes to this reaction. Either the husband will see that the wife is hurt and immediately apologize. Or the husband could misunderstand the wife’s hurt feelings as her not listening to him and erupt into an argument.
Now let’s replay this scenario practicing Satya.
Scenario 2: The husband has a thought about his wife and realizes saying his thought would hurt his wife’s feelings. He practices Satya for the welfare of him and his wife and lets his thoughts go.
Scenario 3: The husband tells his wife something that hurts her feelings. The wife remains silent and listens to her husband’s thoughts. Instead of reacting she remains silent and lets the thoughts go. The husband might not like the wife’s lack of response. But he will later come to understand that silence is better than an argument. He may also come to understand that her silence came from a place of hurt and apologize.
Also keep in mind the obvious that it’s not always the husband who says hurtful things. Wives are equally guilty of this.
In a time when people are prone to feel hidden behind their computers as the argue with people online, Satya could be a powerful tool for bringing peace.
You encounter someone on Facebook who has posted something political that you strongly disagree with. You might be prone to immediately respond harshly and let that person know how wrong they are for that post. This often erupts into an endless back and forth where neither party agrees in the end.
Instead of responding and getting into that back and forth, just see the post for what it is and let it go. If you really feel the need to respond, write out your response but don’t post it. Walk away from that response for at least an hour. Once you walk away for awhile you may realize that you don’t actually want to engage in the conversation after all.
Satya isn’t always easy to practice. The more you practice satya, your intellect will become strong and many difficult task will become easier.