"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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[Morning Talk 14 Sep 2003]

Harih Om Tat Sat. Today I thought I would speak about the implication of truthfulness, a very important virtue, a discipline, a watchword for every seeker, be he a brahmacharin, a sannyasin or a householder. At the same time,  I wonder: Will my message be properly understood and correctly absorbed? 

Living in the ashram, interacting with people here, especially brahmacharins and seekers, I am often amused! Is truthfulness such a rare commodity? In our discussions with the brahmacharins, I ask, “See, did you do this because of a certain dislike or a certain ambition? Or, you did it because it was natural for you?  Was there any other need or motivation? What was in your mind?”

When I ask this question, it is a hunt, a probe for finding the truth – truth about the inner workings of your mind. I am making you reflect upon your actions so as to know very clearly whether there was a personal dislike, ambition or fear,  which motivated the action or reaction. 

By doing the action, did you subject yourself to raaga or dvesha? Or, is it that the raaga-dvesha had no part in it? Was the way you reacted the other day, occasioned by any particular note in you or was the cause something else? What was the particular need that led you to act the way you did?  Was there a personal satisfaction  working behind? This is a question one must always take up. Such an analysis is actually a fillip for discovering the true colour of your mind.

Generally, a seeker is not able to do introspection in right lines on his own. When he is not able to make the enquiry and we try to prompt it, there should be a harmonious response. Instead, when a particular point is discussed, immediately he comes up with a reaction, “Why are you discussing that subject and pinpointing me?” Arrey, whether we discuss this subject or that, ultimately it is your purity and fulfillment that matter. And that will have to come only through truthfulness, austerity, refinement, etc. 

In interactional evaluations, it is your traits, tendencies that we examine. We have to see that the wrong notes are eliminated, good ones strengthened and the missing notes inculcated. But just see how the mind often does a somersault!

So, I believe the word ‘truthfulness’ does mean a great deal! It is not merely a question of not speaking a lie or not covering up a fact. It is much more. 

Often I ask this question: Why are you living? Are you living because of any desire? Are you living merely to get married or to become a parent? Are you living for the sake of moksha? And then, why have you come to the Ashram? Do you have a proper evaluation of your life here? That is also a hunt for truthfulness.

You must ask yourself and get at the answer: What is the purpose of coming to the Ashram? Is it not for self-improvement, self-refinement? When you have so decided and are geared for self-improvement, how is it that you get focussed on other things? Where is the need to hide, to cover up or suppress? Why not open up? Is this not a question of being true and truthful? So I think the word Satya, actually means quite a deal. And you have not thought enough about it! 

It is not the literal meaning of uttering the truth. It is about going into the very question of creation. Say, these pancabhootas around us – what are they in reality? Tell me very clearly: In your perception, are they a Godly outcome or they are merely  worldly products? That the world itself is Godly is the truth I understand and perceive. It is divinity that has become materiality. It is not that the materiality around is  different from reality or divinity.

I think, my dear children, all of you will have to take the meaning of Truth and Truthfulness very deeply.  Whenever we are having a discussion, you should help the effort by being truthful. Don’t get distracted, deluded. 

When questions are asked – straight questions – straight answers must come forth. If you don’t know, you can say, “Swamiji, I am not able to answer now. I need time.” That is OK. When no such time is required, when I ask about you, and evidently you know about the matter very well, you have to answer straightaway.

So, all of you should spend enough time to understand the implication of the words ‘truthful’ and ‘truthfulness’. 

Harih Om Tat Sat 

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