As I have finally managed to make my way across the quicksand pits of academic competitions, I have found myself comparing myself to my peers. Comparison is the killer of joy according to me. Well that’s the past, and now I am happy to say that I have spent close to 6 months in my first job! The pay is fine, the people are lovely. I strongly feel it is a by-product of all the toiling, all the good karmas, prayers, meditation that I have done. It is true that God knows what is best for us, and like it or not, nature will find a way to bring it in our lives. 

As I am now finding a balance between my career, supplementing my resume further, focusing on my health and finally finding time to attend nearly every family event ( couldn’t before due to exams etc. ). I am shocked to find that almost all my cousins, who are younger than me, have things to hide from people. This extends to my friends as well. Everyone is hiding something from their home, be it relationships, habits, bunking lectures in college. And this isn’t a one-off thing. It starts off as a singular incident. Then slowly, as the mind gets accustomed to handling the guilt, the urge to lie percolates into your psyche. A good analogy to this is barren earth. If you water it once, it will hardly affect it. But as we keep watering the same place, slowly the water seeps into the cracks and life springs forth. One of the most profound things I have read in “The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching” is the fact that the mind is compared to many things, one of them being the barren earth I quoted above. According the book, the Buddha said that we have the seeds of all emotions, all virtues and vices both inside us. As we move forward on the spiritual path, we start by watering the right seeds. It begins as a conscious choice. Later as the seed blossoms, it becomes a habit. 

In the same way, people begin by lying about small things, until it becomes a habit. Beyond that, it becomes an unconscious trait. Such people are called pathological liars. When they lie without any apparent reason. And lies weighs down heavily on one’s soul. They (my cousins and friends) have to constantly be on the guard at their own homes! The place where we are accepted most freely. I get where they come from, the fact that the previous generation sometimes fails to understand where we come from. Since this was alien to them. The more I write/ think about this, I feel this is a deeper rooted point in psyche of the society. People assume that a person who consumes alcohol, smokes cigarettes is automatically a bad person. They are quick to label. Same goes for relationships. Those 3 things are nearly 90% of the things that are hidden away from everyone, except a select few in the circle of closest trust. I for one, have unconsciously taken up a pledge of not lying. Unless the outcome is going to benefit people.

Now I know what you are thinking- This person is such a hypocrite! He is criticising lying, but claims that he will break his pledge if he judges the situation in a particularly? For this, I must present you the example of the more morally murky areas of The Mahabharata(Won’t go too much into the details). Shri Krishna makes Yudishthira break his vow of not lying, to incapacitate Dronacharya. Dronacharya who, had donned the armour of Yama himself, making him unassailable. Dronacharya who, was hell-bent on ending the war on that day itself. Dronacharya who, at the moment, was not the teacher the Kauravas and Pandavas adored once, he was simply the perfect killing machine who could not be defeated even the supreme archer Arjuna. At that time, for the interest of Dharma, Yudishthira had to break his vow. If such situations were to arise where my vow is on one side, Dharma on another, I’d choose the latter. I take full responsibility of the bad karma I will incur. 

The whole point my dear friends is that truth will make you fearless. You don’t have to remember various versions of the same story that you have told to 10 different people. There is only one truth. While I also sympathize with those who lie for the above mentioned reasons, the tradeoff is one I cannot live with. It will come back at you in double force. Since the bad karmas of the lies, compounded with the reactions of those who feel betrayed by you is too great a toll to bear. 

So if you can, absolutely do tell the truth. Use your own acumen to judge the situation. If truth be told, the more truthful one is, the less such situations arise in your life. Things become very simple.

Thank you, and happy Makar Sankranti to everyone!