When my son was little, I would play a game with him. We called it the Dharma-Adharma game. In that, I would give him a scenario. Then, he would have to figure out what was his Dharma or Adharma in that particular situation.

In this post, let me play a complex and open-ended version of the Dharma-Adharma game with you all. Without much ado, here’s the situation:

There was once a sage who had taken up a vow of truth. Everyone in the village knew about the sage’s truthfulness and revered him for it.

One day, a young girl came running to that sage. She appeared frightened and was panting heavily.

“A few men are chasing me. I’m in danger. Please save me,” she pleaded with the sage.

“Hide near the haystack behind my hut,” the sage said.

A while later, four or five men approached the sage. One of them asked, “Did you see the girl?”

The sage remained silent. Looking at that, another man said, “This sage doesn’t speak if he has to lie. I’m sure he must’ve seen the girl. Let’s search his home.”

Their conversation put the sage in a dilemma. If he remained silent, that girl would be caught. If he spoke the truth, that girl would be caught. If he lied, he would be compassionate and the girl would be saved, but his vow of truth would be broken. The sage was stuck!

Weirdly, at many times, that’s the kind of situation Nature puts us in.

Truth is the same as our inner Divine. The more truthful we are, the closer we get to our Divine and the more peaceful we feel.

Compassion is our acknowledgment of the Divine in the world around us. The more compassionate we are, the more we experience the Divine in mundane activities.

On the other hand, lies are synonymous with materialism. The more lies we speak, the more benefits we may have in the material world.

That’s the Maya or illusion of this world. How we balance truth, compassion, and the material world is where “our truth” lies!

So, what would you do if you were that sage? Would you choose silence, truth, or compassion? Or, maybe you have a solution that I can’t see?


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Sri Devi Om

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