Satya: about Truthfulness
Updated: Mar 31
“ Truth is like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold.
You push it, stretch it, it’ll never be enough. You kick at it, beat it, it’ll never cover any of us. From the moment we enter crying to the moment we leave dying, it’ll just cover your face as you wail and cry and scream…”
From The Dead Poetry Society
The second, of the 5 Yamas of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, is telling us how to act with integrity in this plane, in the world we live in. Satya means, as I intend it, to be truthful with ourselves first and with others.
But what is the truth?
A story can be told by hundred of people and every time be different, depending on the subject who is telling it. History is a clear example of it. You can tell the fact and interpret them depending on your believe system, influenced by the place we were born, social conditioning, the upbringing, the friends we have and so many other components of our life such our own emotional state in that moment we talk.
For some time, I have been thinking that truth didn’t exist at all, but now life has made me think in a different way. Currently, I am learning to discern facts from fictions and the Truth, the one that never change, does exist. It is the naked fact, what remains the same once any subjective comment and addition has been scrapped off. Because all of the above are in a constant fluctuation and can be manipulated and manipulative in the same and many ways.
To speak the truth is such an important ethical principle and be truthful is one of the most relevant value of life. It helps to take the veil off our eyes and see life in a different perspective. It help us to grow and be better people.
Being truthful means to honour and respect ourselves, the people we love and the people who loves us.
It is easier to tell white lies, pretend to be sick if we don’t feel like to do something, or that something has never happened. But if open the heart and look inside we will find out that, yes, a simple lie could take us out of a difficult situation but at the end, it will create a web of lies from where we will be caught in, soon or later. Perpetuating a state of dissatisfaction, frustration and a feel of being imprisoned by that same tread has been created.
Being truthful means acts from the heart centre rather than from the brain. The brain serves to elaborate information that comes from the senses in order to sustain our life and been safe. On the other hand, the senses and the mind are all over the body: the skin is a perfect example of that, and the brain response to the stimulus is logical. If we touch the fire, we take the hands off instantly. Any activities or changes are elaborated by the brain as a life-threatening situation, because the uncertainties of the outcome could be lethal to our life.
Therefore, the old battle between the brain and the heart. The heart want to change, want to be happy, the mind want to stay safe.
Yet, without changes we cannot grow and evolve, without adjustment we cannot be happy. If we look at happiness as a life goal, we need to treat the brain and its precepts of safety and carefulness with a pinch of salt.
The mind in fact resides in the whole body, and not in the brain as we are one in our body, mind and brain. The heart has is own pulsation and inside the heart resides our true self, what never changes, our spirit, our energy. What it was before life and what will be after life. The essence of our being.
From the heart, the truth of our own being will come out. The more we will come through as the real us, the more the truth will pervade the whole being and the external world as well.
To complicate the matter, when truth is spoken there is a necessity to be humble, to make it clear that it is our point of view and of course to avoid harm to ourselves and others, according to the first Yama of the Yoga Sutra.
What does it mean? In my point of view, from my experience as human being and as a yogini, means we have to decide if that truth would have been beneficial or detrimental to the others.
I close my eyes and I put my hand on the heart. I take few deep breaths and I listen to my heart switching the mind off. Why do I feel what I feel? Why does my heart is pumping so fast, where do I hear it? Why is bleeding? Slowly I will introduce the brain, the one which elaborate inputs, and the truth will appear.
Will I speak out my truth? If what I find out will be useful to say aloud, I will speak it out. If it will hurt someone but it will be good for my wellbeing, my self-esteem, my growth and ultimately my happiness I will say it, although trying to find the right word to make the pill go down smoothly.
There is no growth and development and evolution without a crisis, I can’t be responsible for the other people emotions. With that truth we can choose to ignore it, to think about it or to act accordingly. But first of all, I need to be truthful with myself and that require courage which is on the heart realm.
However, it is through the truth that we can attain liberation, the truth set us free. To be the person we want to be and therefore to expand outside its consciousness. We will become our true selves, the ego will slowly vanish. Our life will be meaningful and real, as we will be unfolding out essence.