[Advaita-l] Re: BGBh and yoga - yama-niyama - II

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Mon May 9 15:59:31 CDT 2005


Vidyashankar-ji wrote:

Here, I would like to point to another common verse quoted
with respect to speech. I think it is from the mahAbhArata,
although not in the gItA proper.

satya.m brUyAt priya.m brUyAn na brUyAt satyamapriyam.h |
priya.m ca nAnR^ita.m brUyAd esha dharmas sanAtanaH ||

One should speak what is the truth and what is pleasing,
but not the truth that is unpleasant, nor an untruth that
is pleasant - this is the eternal law.

Since the truth is usually unpleasant, and it is not easy
to find ways to sugar-coat bitter truths, the upshot of
this verse is to recommend silence,for the most part!


In connection with the above shloka, I have heard from
Pauranikas (Expositors of puranas) the following story,
which is of significance:

There was a Rishi doing meditation in his own ashram in the
midst of a thick forest. A deer passed by, running in great
freight, and he noted it.  After the deer had left, some
hunters came by and asked him, Did you see a deer pass by;
which way did the deer go?  (Actually there was a fork in
the adjacent thick foliage of the forest and that is why
the question). The Rishi knew the right answer, but he
dared not say it, lest it might obviously harm the deer.
But if you showed them the wrong path on the fork, that 
would be an untruth. He could give out neither the satyam
nor the priyam (of the above shloka).  Nor could he be
silent, because the hunters repeatedly prodded him to reply
and they were becoming aggressive. 

So the Rishi finally said: "What sees, cannot speak; What
speaks cannot hear".

He repeated the same sentence every time they insisted on a
reply from him. Finally they got frustrated and went their

With praNAms to all seekers of Truth,

Prof. V. Krishnamurthy

New on my  website, particularly for beginners in Hindu philosophy:
Empire of the Mind:

Free will and Divine will - a dialogue:

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