Immortal Values : 4.

4. Relationship to Society :-

Satyam vada, “Speak the truth”: Truthfulness consists mainly in uttering a thought as it is actually perceived, without hypocrisy or any vulgar motive to do injury to others. Truthfulness in its essential meaning is the atunement of one’s thoughts with one’s own intellectual convictions.

Having developed this quality of truthfulness, where should one apply it? As if anticipating such a doubt in the student, the teacher says, dharmam chara. Dharma is a Sanskrit word that has no corresponding word in English. We may, for our convenience, but not to our full satisfaction, translate dharma as “duty”.

"Hinduism is built upon duties and responsibilities, not on rights. A culture built upon duties recognizes the right to do one’s duty as the fundamental privilege in life. A generation that understands such a culture gets trained to demand of life ample chances to fulfil its duties. Duty, therefore, develops the spirit of giving, not the lust to hoard or the anxiety to keep."

The sequence of thoughts — “After giving the preceptor his fees, do not cut off the thread of progeny” — implies a healthy suggestion as how best to plan one’s life. After finishing your education, first of all become economically independent; learn a trade, create a market, assure a comfortable income. Then, as the next duty in life, marry and maintain the line of descendents in the family. This is followed by a series of warnings not to swerve from truthfulness, duty, personal welfare and prosperity. The Rishi advised the students to be prosperous so that they would be able to serve others in selfless charity. It is reasserted that we must pursue the study of the scriptures and make it a life’s mission to spread those truths among ourselves with a burning, irresistible missionary zeal.

"Continuing the advice, the teacher says: Never swerve from your duties towards gods and towards the departed “souls” (manes). May the mother, father, preceptor and the guest be to thee a god."

To be continued ...


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