Asato ma sadgamaya

My humble pranam and prayers to Guruji Om Swami.


For me personally, this is the most simple and easy Mantra of life. I am going to talk only on this line today, so please forgive me.

Somehow, scholars have made it so difficult to understand to the simple mind. I visited the wiki page and this what I read:

Swami Madhavananda offers the following translation: From evil lead me to good

Patrick Olivelle offers a slightly different translation: From the unreal lead me to the real!

The more common modern translation differs slightly in the translation of the first line: From falsehood lead me to truth

I think all these three translations are correct at their own place and to the point but for a simple mind like mine, it still didn’t make any sense for the longest time. I am going to try to explain it the easy way, I could be wrong, but this is my truth. It gave me a clarity of the words better.

Imagine I child who is craving for a sweet delicious cookie at bedtime. That child is crying and begging his mother for a cookie. Mother knows that this is not a right time for sweets as the consequences after eating so much sweet at bedtime, he won’t go to sleep in calm state. But his sounds are buzzing constantly louder and louder “Mom, I know there is one cookie left in the box and I want to eat it now! I want that cookie.” Here, mother has two choices now, either give him a cookie. See him getting sugar high, watch his struggle getting in bed with all that hyper state and suffer. Or, she could tell him there is no cookie. But she knows very well that he saw there is one cookie in a jar. So as a good mother she chooses to tell him a lie (asatya).

She tells him, “Son, I ate the last cookie, now we don’t have a cookie at home. You sleep now, tomorrow morning we will get a cookie for you.”

A simple lie, but it is a lie. Asatya!!

Child is oblivious to the concept of a lie (asatya), but believes his mother so with a huge disappointment he goes to sleep.

Next day morning, mother gives him a cookie. Happy ending of the story!! All is well!!!

Now, lets talk about that lie (asatya), how we find Asato ma sadgamaya in this story?

 “Sad” = The truth, “Gamaya” = Find

How do we find the truth in this lie (asatya)?

Look at the line where mother says to her child: “Son, I ate the last cookie, now we don’t have cookie at home.

Take that “don’t” and put it before “ate the last cookie”. (of course, make it grammatically correct.) What do see?

“Son, I didn’t eat the last cookie, now we have a cookie at home”.

Wow! What just happened here? In a lie we found the truth!!!!


In this false statement or in a lie (asatya statement), there is a truth, looking directly at us. Because, in a lie lives the truth (Asato ma sadgamaya).

Basically, it is just a perception of the way we look at the situation. As our mind is so conditioned by society, media and education we have received so far. Once, you know how to clear your thoughts and open your mind, anything is possible.

If you can take this concept and apply it to any incidence or situation in your life, you will learn to look at the things differently. You will have an understanding that situation is like a coin, which has both sides. You just need to flip the coin.

But ultimately, we have to reach to the state of mind that there is no coin. That will be in another post 😊

Please do let me know if this makes any sense to you, any feedback is appreciated. Always, better to learn more so I am eager to learn from all of you.

With all my love,