The yogic path is not an easy one – not if you go beyond the physical practice. It involves attaining knowledge, developing discipline and embarking on a never-ending journey of self growth and discovery.
This journey was best summed up in Patnjali’s Yoga Sutras, where he lists all things every yoga students should work on to attain Samadhi, or enlightenment.
The first of these are Yamas, or moral codes one should live by. One of the most important of these is Satya, which represents truthfulness.
Although this may seem obvious and easy to achieve, we have all gone through experiences which made staying honest challenging. When we move the idea from being truthful to others to being truthful to oneself, developing this virtue becomes even more difficult.
Truthfulness To Others
The first thing that comes to mind when we think about truthfulness – is being honest in our speech. One should avoid lying to others directly, in words, but staying honest with others may be much more subtle than that.
Withholding the truth is seen as the same thing as non-truthfulness in yoga. Falsehood is also a part of this principle – we need to strive to acting according to our true values and character, not pretending to be someone else to gain approval or for no other reason. Furthermore, Satya means we will express our truth, always – even if we are afraid or reluctant to do so.
This is where practicing this virtue may become difficult, as it requires from us to be vulnerable. Still, with practice, it helps us build integrity and transparency, which in turn attracts us to the people and situations which are actually good for us.
Truthfulness To Oneself
Not lying to others is one thing, but becoming truly honest with ourselves will take time and patience.
Practicing Satya towards one self means overcoming deeply-rooted false identifications and beliefs. It means accepting the truth even if it doesn’t suit us, and being open to see our selves -with all our virtues and flaws.
Being honest to oneself also means living to one’s true, authentic purpose, and not conforming to any rules or expectations of the world which are not in line with the Self. Furthermore, it encourages us to express our true emotions, instead of pushing them to the side like many of us are, unfortunately, raised or used to doing.
Truthfulness On A Deeper Level
In yoga, truthfulness doesn’t only relate to our relationship with ourselves and others. It also pertains to knowing the truth of the world we live in. The “sat” from Satya translates to true nature, and refers to the true essence of our lives, the world, others and God.
Developing Satya on this level means constantly reminding ourselves of the truth of reality. For that, we need to find that truth first – which is where other limbs of yoga come to light, especially meditation.
Once we are able to differentiate real from unreal, and permanent from temporary, we can work every day to live according to this realization.
Our guide towards truth, according to yoga, should be God and developing pure consciousness. Developing our spiritual lives will naturally also transfer into cultivating honesty to others and ourselves.