Satya: Lies and Self-destruction

The second yama is Satya. Satya corresponds directly to the biblical commandment, “You shall not lie.” Lies chip away bits and pieces of the self and leave us hollow and disconnected. If we lie often we begin to live life in fantasy and can forget what the truth is. We are diverted away from authentic living. Authenticity is fundamental to our ability to be happy.

There are a variety of reasons people lie. Back when I told lies, they arose from a fear that who I really was did not measure up to some standard that I thought existed “out there” somewhere. I feared what others would think of me if they knew what I really felt. When I lied, I could feel my self disintegrating around the edges. And yes, I felt hollow and disconnected. Since I have stopped telling lies, I’ve discovered strength and integrity in my being that I was unaware of before. Since I’ve been being truthful, I’ve been finding my world filled with people who appreciate my true self. The practice of satya has everything to do with the healthy self and can transform a person’s life.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Truth is God and God is Truth.”

And Ben Franklin said, “these actions might be forbidden because they were bad for us.”

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