सांच बराबर तप नही, झूठ बराबर पाप ।
जाके हिरदय म साच है, ताके हिरदय हिर आप
[There is no meditation is effective as truth and no sin as grave as falsity. Lord is present in the heart of one, whose heart is filled with truth.]
Once again, Kabir left me speechless. I have a collection hundreds of dohas of Saint Kabir. I make it a point to go through them once a few months and then elaborate one of them. Today, in the process of finding a doha, I stumbled upon this piece, a Doha of Kabir on truth . What makes these two lines so special?
Being truthful brings a joy along with itself and that is enough reason to be truthful. Hence, there is no point in describing the benefits of speaking truth. We are many times told to speak truth for some particular reason. The one, who speaks truth for some reason is not a truthful being. Saint Kabir deliberately says ‘the one whose heart filled with truth’. He did not say the one who always speaks truth. Speaking truth is not important but it is important to have a heart full of truth.
When we decide to speak truth, it is a decision of our mind. It is a calculated decision- as we speak truth only if it benefits us in some form or the other. This doha of Kabir on truth is not talking about such superficial truthfulness. Kabir here is talking about a heart which is full of truth and hence, has no space left for falsity.
At the same time, Kabir says that there is no sin as grave as falsity. This sounds quite contradictory with the everyday experience- where telling lies is the easiest way to cope up. Infinite are the occasions where one is tempted to tell lies. Kabir says, Hari (Lord Krishna) stays in the hearts which are full of truth. But, as we all know, Lord Krishna’s life was itself full of diplomacy and lies. When we give it a bit of thought, we realize that Kabir is not talking about the truth and lies in ordinary sense. He is talking about being true to yourself. You can tell lies to people and still be truthful to yourself. This does not justify frequently telling lies, but just emphasises that being truthful to yourself is the most important thing.
I remember beloved Osho saying that it can be tolerated if you cheat others but never cheat yourself, the Buddha inside.
This may suddenly trigger the question- “Is it okay if we tell lies?”
My take is, why bother about lies? As Kabir says, try to have a heart full of truth. In your sincere and honest journey, there might come an inevitable occasion where you need to lie. Just ensure that you are truthful to yourself!
As Saint Kabir says, having falsity in your heart is the sin. These two lines of Kabir make me think- we have so many people who are always right and always speak true. How many of them have authenticity in their hearts? Speaking truth is very easy, but attaining is a heart full of truth is meditation, an outcome of awareness. Such truthfulness is not an outcome of fear, pretention or anything else but it is born out of a clarity- a clarity about yourself. When one clearly understand who he is and what his way is, truth becomes his basic nature.

See the Complete Collection of Kabir ke Dohe

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