Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Satyameva jayate

Satyameva jayate: India’s national motto, emblazoned on our national standard, the Asokan lions over the Dharma chakra. Truth alone triumphs. Truth shall prevail. Truth is ever victorious.

After almost 60 years years of Independence, that motto seems like a bizarre joke. But it wasn’t like that for those who suffered and sacrificed for India’s freedom. For they had only the power of Right in their arsenal, and for them this was something unvanquishable. India was for them a slumbering civilisation, that was now awakening to its destiny. The attainment of political independence was part of this awakening, a corroboration of the credo, Truth shall prevail.

There is so much hypocrisy, deceit, pretension, arrogance and smugness, that any truthful person would rather seek silence and solitude than join the cacophony of untruth. When someone knows what is really happening, and why, and really wants positive change, there is very little to be said. Because something has to be done, rather than said. He would rather shun company and recognition, and do his utmost, alone if necessary.

There needs to be a calm, level-headed introspection on the situation. Most importantly, such an assessment cannot be divorced from an assessment of oneself. If we are honest enough to recognise within ourselves the things that offend us when we encounter them in others – then we must admit that this is both the effect and the cause of the larger problem. What one can do is decide to take control of oneself, to make oneself in an image that is sound.

In short, the solution to all our immense problems is straightforward: there has to be such an inner transformation, in all people. This is no more or less difficult than the transformation in a single person. This one event has to be experienced by all, individually.

We need such an inner transformation. We all carry a deep-rooted sense of right and wrong, regardless of our social background or circumstances. Everyone has a fundamental urge for integrity, cleanliness, goodness, no matter how compromised they might be. Everyone has a conscience. Who does not want to be happy, successful, fulfilled, recognised and respected by others? Who does not want to be justifiably proud of himself? But this seems to elude us. All our attainments – for those who are still able to attain something – seem incomplete, flawed, insignificant, distorted, in the face of the larger problems. So there is an inherent tendency to cut oneself off from the society around us. Thus the problems only get worse.

See also: Source of Satyameva Jayate


Bonita said...

Beautiful, like clear water.

Sometimes in our pain we run like children, into the forest, to hide. Yet, the workshop of life must be addressed, the tools sharpened, and lessons learned. A good teacher helps the child learn to love, and from that comes the courage to persevere.

Anonymous said...

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