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What is Truth

By Karmayogi

We all swear by Truth. Truth is sacred to all of us. Do we know what Truth is? A boy goes to a film without the knowledge of his family. When he returns home, he says he was in his friend's house. It is a lie. For him to own it, is Truth in our understanding. His owning what he did would be a FACT. It won't be Truth in a higher sense of the word. Not speaking lies, being loyal, sincere, and honest are understood by us as being truthful. But they are only aspects of TRUTH. Loyalty by itself or honesty by itself will not be the Truth the Rishi seeks or any ordinary man ardently seeks. If so, the question is, what is Truth. A reader who is a Doctor of Philosophy recently wrote to me that Truth has not been defined from the time of the Greeks. I have no idea of Greek philosophical thought, nor do I know whether the Vedic, Vedantic Rishis had given Truth a clear definition. I know that their language was cryptic, not descriptive. I know they knew the ultimate TRUTH. They spoke of it and lived that Truth in their inner lives.

Sri Aurobindo has defined Truth. He says Truth is the objective projection of the Spirit that is subjective. In simpler terms, the inner spirit appears externally as TRUTH. He goes further. That which splits into inner Spirit and outer truth is Sat Purusha, the Existent. We can add a philosophical clarification to it. Brahman first created Sat - Existence. Sat is the Supreme. The next step in creation is for Sat to split itself into inner and outer parts. The inner part is called Spirit. The outer part is known as Truth. Truth is closest to Spirit. That is why Truth is the door to Spirit. Truth unfailingly takes one to Spirit. For the same reason, a trace of falsehood effectively prevents one from the Spirit. It is a spiritual truth that one with substantial spiritual attainments will lose all of them by uttering one lie.

Truth is the objective state of Spirit which is subjective. Truth is the very first manifestation of the Supreme, the Pure Existent, the Self-Conscious Being, Sat Purusha. Truth is the closest door to the Spirit. Fact is truth for our senses, far, far removed from Truth. Sri Aurobindo has given this definition to Truth, known to all seers and sages. He has defined Time, Mind, and Life for which no definitions are available in any school of philosophy. For us, sincerity to the Divine is the closest to Truth. Honesty, goodness, integrity, loyalty, and selflessness are aspects of Truth, not the original Truth.
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