A lot of people struggle to understand what the truth is, what is right and what is wrong. There is perpetual dilemma to distinguish between right and wrong.
According to Dada Bhagwan, the Gnani Purush (the enlightened one), in the worldly life there are three types of truth. One - absolute truth (self) second - relative truth and third - untruth. In this book, Dadashri has discussed the meaning of absolute and relative truth.
Absolute truth 'I' can never be destroyed, it is eternal. It belongs to the soul (atma). The realization that you are pure soul (shuddha-atma) is eternal, and ultimate truth. Relative truth is what is determined by the people at large. The relative truth may vary from person to person. The relative truth may help us in our development in the relative world, but for real development absolute truth is necessary.
The book presents Pujya Dadashri’s spiritual discourses on absolute and relative truth and the nature of truth.
Truth, Permanent and Temporary
Questioner: What is the difference between truth (satya) and untruth(asatya)?
Dadashri: Untruth is indeed untruth, but this truth as you know it, it is a worldly truth; it is not the Real truth. A son-in-law is not a son-in-law forever, a father-in-law is not forever. Real truth (Nishchay satya) is referred to as Sat; it is eternal. And that which is temporary is referred to as satya. This satya once again turns into asatya; it is proved to be untruth. Nevertheless, if you want worldly happiness, then you have to move away from untruthand go towards the truth and if you want to go to moksha (final liberation from the cycle of birth and death), then it is when this [worldly] truth is realized as untruththat there will be liberation! Therefore, this [worldly] truth and untruthare both indeed merely imagined. However, for a person who wants worldly happiness, he will have to abide by this [worldly] truth, such that no one is hurt. This truth is required only up to the time one attains the Self (param satya).
There Is Never Any Change in ‘Sat’
Therefore, as far as this truth and untruthare concerned, what the world considers as the truth is complete untruthin the eyes of God; it is not the truth at all. This is all the result of demerit karma and merit karma (paap-punya). The world refers to you as Chandubhai [reader should insert his or her name here], doesn’t it?
Dadashri: Whereas God will say, “No, You are pure Soul (Shuddhatma).” Sat is the same wherever you go. Sat is the same in every living being. Sat is eternal, whereas this [worldly] truth is different for everyone, therefore it is temporary. This [worldly] truth exists on the basis of a lie.
Questioner: Then do you believe in such a thing as sanatan (eternal) satya?
Dadashri: It [the term] is not sanatan satya, it is sanatan Sat. It is considered eternal. The original eternal element (muda tattva) is permanent and its phases are temporary.
Questioner: Then what does satya mean?
Dadashri: One is worldly truth (vyavahaar satya), which is known as relative truth by the entire world, and the other is the Real truth, that is referred to as Sat, it is not referred to as satya. [That which has] Eternal existence is referred to as Sat, and that which has a temporary existence is referred to as satya.
Sat Cannot Be Confined Within Boundaries…
Questioner: Then what is Sat?
Dadashri: There is no other meaning for Sat. Anything that is permanent is referred to as Sat. There is surely no other meaning for it in this world. Sat is the only thing in this world that is permanent, and it cannot be confined within any boundaries. It can penetrate right through the Himalayas. No walls obstruct it, nor do any restraints hinder it!
What Is the Origin of Relative Truth?
Questioner: There is one truth which pertains to the Self (Atma). But how did this other, relative truth, come into existence?
Dadashri: It did not come into existence, it has always existed. Relative and Real have always existed! The relative has always been there from the beginning. I just happen to use English words, but the word for it in Gujarati is sapeksh. Have you heard of the word sapeksh? So is this world sapeksh or not? The world is sapeksh and the Self is nirpeksh (Real). Sapeksh means relative, it is called relative in English. People today do not understand the meaning of the Gujarati word sapeksh,that is why I use the word relative in English. Did that surprise you?!
There are two kinds of truth, one is relative truth and one is Real truth. Relative truth is dependent on society; it is dependent on the court [of law]. It is of no use on the path to liberation (moksha). It is a tool that aids in your development, it helps during development. What is your name?
Dadashri: Chandubhai is a relative truth. But it is not completely wrong. It helps you here in your development. However, when you want to realize your own Self, this truth will be of no use. On that day, all of this truth will prove to be wrong.
Moreover, for how long can a person say, “This is my father-in-law”? As long as his wife has not divorced him. Thereafter, if he were to say, “This person is my father-in-law”; what about then?
Questioner: He cannot say so.
Dadashri: Therefore, it is not the truth at all. This is actually a relative truth.
Questioner: If he were to say, “He was my father-in-law,” what about then?
Dadashri: Even if he were to say that, he [the ex father-in-law] would curse at him because he is angry with the man. Rather than saying that, it is better for him to keep mum and for the other side to keep mum too!
Now, the rule is that the relative truth originates only from the relative. And relative truth means truth that is temporary. If you like this truth, if you like the truth that is temporary, then dwell in the temporary. And if you do not like it, then come to the Real truth.
The Truth Is Different for Everyone
Questioner: Is the truth different for everyone?
Dadashri: The truth is different for everyone, but the truth is of just one type. It is all relative truth; it is temporary truth.
There is a need for truth in worldly interactions, but that truth varies. A thief will say, “To steal is correct.” A cunning person will say, “To be cunning is correct.” Everyone’s truth is different. Isn’t that so?
Questioner: It is.
Dadashri: God does not consider this truth as truth at all. The truth that exists over here, He does not take it into account over there at all. This is because this is temporary truth, it is a relative truth. And this relative truth will not do over there; over there, the Real truth will be needed.
Truth and untruth both exist in duality, both are temporary.
Questioner: So have we believed it to be truth and untruth?
Dadashri: We see things as truth or untruth through deluded perception (maya); [we see] that ‘this is right and this is wrong’. And moreover, truth and untruth is not the same for everyone. What you may see as truth, someone else may see as untruth; what this person sees as truth, this other person may see as untruth. So it is not the same for everyone. Oh, what do thieves say? “Stealing is our profession! Why are you criticizing us? And we even go to jail! So why do you have an objection to it? We are only doing our job!” Thieves too, are a community. They too have a stance, don’t they! Even the butchers will tell you, “We are doing our jobs, what issue do you have with it?” Each person refers to his own truth as correct, so what can be considered as the truth in all this?
Questioner: That worldly truth is multifaceted, isn’t it?
Dadashri: It is indeed multifaceted, but it is temporary. This worldly truth, relative truth, is only temporary.
Questioner: You are saying that it is relative truth, aren’t you?
Dadashri: Yes, this is relative truth. So the truth of this world is relative truth. Just as the currency of this country will not work in another country, what may be considered as the truth in a certain region may not be the truth in another country. Therefore, there is no reliability at all.
The truth actually means a deduction (taravani)! Your truth is different, his truth is different, that person’s truth is different, and moreover the common truth is different.