We all seek truth and debate fiercely over it. Sometimes truth is for the truth’s sake, sometimes it is for justice, and so on.
Every time we begin the debate, we get lost in the conception if truth. Some say truth is subjective, some say it is objective. So begins the metadebate – the secondary debate, the debate over the debate.
Okay, so can we find a guideline, a spark that helps us move on? Can we have a hint that is acceptable for the objectivists and the subjectivists alike?
Well, consider the following Shloka-15 from the Ishavasya Upanishada (ईशावास्य उपनिषद) that says:
“The mouth of the truth is covered with gold. Pushan! Please uncover it for the benefit of the people who want to follow the path of Truth.”
Pushan is the ancient Sun God from the vedic times. He causes and safeguards meetings and journeys. So, credit is given to Pushan for marriages, journey of the souls to the other world and protection of travelers from troubles including those by other men. So, he lights up the paths, protects the roads and protects those who follow it.
Now, consider the meaning of the words “Truth” and “Gold”. Obviously, if you upturn a bar of gold at the jeweller’s or in your locker, you are not going to read a sign that reads “Here lies the truth”. These are loaded words – with other meaning.
In an objectivist view of truth, truth is context independent and universal. There is nothing like your truth and my truth. Whether you have a different experience or justification, so be it. Truth kind of exists outside of how you feel about it and it will decide if you are on its right side of it or wrong. In this view, those on the wrong side also know that they are on the wrong side – just like interpreting a law book.
So, what would you do if you were not within the circle of truth? In the real world, everyone has some means or the other, and when the matter is important and the circle of truth has evaded you, you will try to block it by using whatever means you can. That ‘whatever means’, anything of value, is gold. If this were not true, how would we see examples every day where someone waves the flag of humanity, but denies killing of six people – however unintentionally? Not only them, but thousands of their fans also join the parade??
Not surprising that several people have thought like this, is it? Okay – now coming to the other conception of Truth, where it changes color according to your scheme of things. The truth would be that whatever be *your* truth, *my* truth is different. So, if you think that salvation is your truth, then you do something and then if wealth is your truth, then you do different things.
The Ishopanishad says that however we conceive our truth, we get lost either in defenses, or in instrumentalities, or in the means of achieving the ends.
That is a lost way.
We need the light of realization, that there is something like, “No *path to* truth, truth *is* the path.”
It seems to me that one needs some kind of grace or blessing to come upon realizations such as this. One needs to pass through experience, fall in harm’s way and live to tell – that is why the request is made to Pushan.
And that is why, perhaps, in the same Upanishad, the seer defines what happens when the light of realization is not shining:
“The realms covered by the darkness of inaction, procrastination and indifference (तमस्/Tamas) are Asurya (असूर्य). Those non-dead who annihilate themselves by refusing to see the light (of realization), are destined for those realms.” (Ishavasya Upanishad: 3)
असूर्या नाम ते लोका अन्धेन तमसावृत्ता: ।
तांस्ते प्रेत्याभिगच्छन्ति ये के आत्महनो जना:॥ (ईशा. ३)
Therefore, it is important to first relinquish – be ready to part with, and therefore be as if it never existed, or you never possessed it. That ‘it’ is everything that you may care for, whether truth as an objective reality or subjective. And all the instrumentalities that come bundled with it.
तेन त्यक्तेन भुङ्जीथा: मा गृध: कस्यस्विद्धनम्। (ईशा: १)
And that should not be difficult if you have understood that just like the mathematical conception of infinity, your belief system, your perceptual world, is complete in itself. All the derivatives of that complete system are also complete, and they complete your reality. Since ‘complete’ is the only denomination you have, then if you removed ‘complete’ from the ‘complete’, only the ‘complete’ will remain. (Ishavasya Upanishad: Shantipaatha)
ॐ पूर्णमद: पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते।
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पुर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥ (ईशा. शांतिपाठ:)
So, what is the risk in complete relinquishing? Complete seeking?
Take a leap of faith!!