Truthful Living is the Highest Form of Living

Pursuit of Knowledge must lead to truthful living. Therefore, unless Knowledge changes one’s life in the direction of Truth — man’s essential state — it’s useless. One can spend all his life hearing about Truth; reading loads of books about Truth; contemplating day and night on Truth; teaching or preaching Truth; writing volumes about Truth; giving sermons on Truth; following all religions, paths or cults of the world; but none of these will help Realize the Divine Presence within unless one lives a truthful life in the “now” and “here”. Baabaa Nanak says:

  • ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰ ॥੫॥: Everything is underneath (lower than, ਉਰ੍ਹੇ, …) Truth; above the truth there is only to remain truthful. ||5|| (sggs 30).
  • ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਮਹਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਾਚੁ ਨ ਚੀਤਿ ॥: As long as the Truth does not enter into the consciousness, the Divine Presence is not realized (sggs 58).

The realm of Truth is pathless. Inward Divine Realization is complete only when we come to assert and actually live the Truth. Without such positive assertion, the seeker may reach only the dull void which in itself is not the fulfillment of man’s inward Realization of the Reality. For instance, removing thirst is not the fulfillment of drinking water, but it must provide to the drinker the positive joy of fullness and comfort. Therefore, as indicated in the Gurbani, the stress should be laid on practice (ਅਮਲ – implementation, living the Truth …). Above all religions is this One Religion of Truth.

Living truthfully means living righteously. This is Dharma or True Religion — nondogmatic and nonsectarian. The practice of this Religion of truthfulness is Light: Love, Naam-consciousness or Shabad-Surti, God-consciousness, Spirituality, Divine Life, Harmony, Peace, Spiritual Beauty and Power, Knowledge, Forgiveness, Objectivity, Timelessness, Pure Being, Oneness, Detachment, Viveka, Selflessness, Fearlessness, Freedom, Stillness, and so on.

To the contrary, performing untruthfully or unrighteously is irreligiousness or Adharma: egoism, ignorance, materiality, divided consciousness (Doojaa Bhaav or duality), fanaticism, fear, hatred, revenge, sense-slavery, reaction, “I, me, mine, you”, time and space, names and forms, prejudices, differences, conflicts, divisiveness, bondage, perverted understanding, possessiveness, hurt, clouded judgment, falsehood, corruption, crookedness, misery, pain and suffering, inner restlessness, acquisition and rejection, and so on.

At present, all organized religions are dogmatic and sectarian. Why? Because they are mixture of Divine “truth” and human “error”. It is the human “error” that makes the religion dogmatic and sectarian. Once the human “error” — all nonessentials — from a religion is completely removed, only Divine “truth” remains over. And then the religion becomes what it is meant to be: it becomes Dharma or True Religion.

  • ਕੂੜਹੁ ਕਰੇ ਵਿਣਾਸੁ ਧਰਮੇ ਤਗੀਐ ॥: Koorhahu karae vinaas dharamae tageeai: Spiritually, one is destroyed through falsehood; through Dharma, one prospers (sggs 518).
  • ਨਹ ਬਿਲੰਬ ਧਰਮੰ ਬਿਲੰਬ ਪਾਪੰ ॥: Nah bilanb dharamam bilamb paapam: Do not delay in practicing Dharma; delay in committing sins (sggs 1354).
  • But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Bible, Mat 6:33).
  • Of the falsehood there is no endurance; and of the Truth there is no change (Gita 2:16).
  • But the raiment of righteousness- that is the best (Quran 7:26). Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour (Quran 5:2).
  • Lead others, not by violence, but by righteousness and equity ….Righteousness can be practised only when we have freed our mind from passions of egotism (The Gospel Of Buddha, compiled by Carus) ….But one in whom truth and righteousness exist –such a one is pure and is a holy person (Buddha, Dhammapada:393).
Babba Nanak tells us in the outset of the SGGS:

  • ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥: How can you become Truthful (“Sachiaaraa”)? How can the wall of falsehood (Koorh) be torn away? (The process, ਵਿਧੀ, ਤਰੀਕਾ…) is that (one should) walk (in the Way) of the Hukam (the System or Law of Nature…). O Nanak! (this process…) has been pre-ordained.  ||1|| (sggs 1).


  1. Dear H.S. Matharu ji, thanks for taking time to comment on this post.

    “Hanji…..we must not forget that we are ‘ghar ghristy kalyug jeev’… do as much as is possible in your daily routine…..”

    Kabeer Sahib says:
    •ਕਬੀਰ ਜਉ ਗ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਤ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਤ ਕਰੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੁ ॥: Kabeer jaou grihu karahi ta dharamu karu naahee ta karu bairaagu. (sggs 1377).

  2. Hanji…..we must not forget that we are ‘ghar ghristy kalyug jeev’… do as much as is possible in your daily routine…..also a link from my science teacher from 20 years ago comes to mind here…..if you look at the ideal gas equation PV = nRT it says that there is no such thing as an ideal gas….however some gases tend towards ideality …ie where Pressure times Volume does indeed equal a constant (n) multipled by R times Temperature (I forget what R stands for at the moment)… we have a situation where I can relate this to real life ie some of us are leaning towards a spiritual life and striving to get closer and closer but it is only god and god alone who is perfect….the ideal gas…..I hope this helps.

  3. I think we should consider some practical scenarios to decide what is truth and what is not…because often we say that we should be living truthfully but fail in practical sense ( at-least I do fail)……
    Some of the examples…
    1. I try to keep a very spiritual atmosphere at home but when my father comes or some of my very close relatives..they like to take alcohol (in reasonable quantity…they are not heavy drinkers or something)……what can I do …he is my father and friends and relatives…….also some of my friends ( who are very nice people otherwise)…expect to be served with alcohol when they visit you for dinner party…what will be the truth in this case…be blunt and ask them not to take drinks when at my place….

    2)…my wife is religious but just does not want to keep hair of our children…I want my children to keep hair but on the other hand I can’t force my wife to look after my children’s hair…( i did it one time and it failed)…after all I go to work and she is the one who has to maintain the hair of the children…

    I have many more examples in which it becomes very confusing ( at-least for me)….I can share if the sangat of this forum can help me in distinguishing between what is the absolute right thing to do…



  4. The Gurbani tells us that the Truth (ਸਚ-Sach…) never gets old – ageless.

    ਸਚੁ ਪੁਰਾਣਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਸੀਤਾ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਪਾਟੈ ॥: Sach puraanaa hovai naahee seetaa kade n paatai (sggs 956).
    ਸਚੁ ਪੁਰਾਣਾ ਨਾ ਥੀਐ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਮੈਲਾ ਹੋਇ ॥: Sachu puraanaa naa theeai naamu n mailaa hoi (sggs 1248).

    That is, the Truth (ਸਚ-Sach…) ever remains ageless – remains changeless in the past, present, future…

    Hence, according to the Gurbani, if the Truth (ਸਚ-Sach…) changes “as a matter of convenience”, then it’s not the Truth (ਸਚ-Sach…) – it’s the Mayaic consciousness (lie, false, untruth, ਝੂਠ-Jhooth…)!

  5. Rather than hearing discourses on spiritual readings I like to hear some real life examples from whosoever will dare to tell the truth.

    How often do you lie on little things as a matter of convenience and don’t even think it’s a lie – when you tell your kids – that you are not home – avoiding to see or meet with an unpleasant visitor. When you tell the ticket agent that your child is not yet 2 or 12, to get a free ride? or when a teenager says that he is 18 or 21, when he is not. How often has someone travelled or gotten admitted to a place without buying a ticket? Or you have refused to give free ride to someone, saying that you were in big rush ; whereas you were not and had all the time in the whole world. How often did you pass by a poor person who needed help to say to yourself that – someone else could look after that filthy looking guy, I do not want to soil my clothes or catch an unthinkable disease by getting too close to him?

    Oh I am just a plain clothesman thinker and do not have the time to venture into the real world.

  6. Sri Prabjoth T Singh Ji,

    You are a Jnani yourself. May You attain Brahmajnaan in this very life, if you already have not.


  7. Babaji says that Truth is higher than everything but Truthful life is higher than Truth meaning bring the flow of truth in your life. Don’t just study and build understanding of the concept of Truth. And once you get there than you will be the Truth and other will bring the Truth in their life and they will become the Truth and cycle goes on as only Truth can merge in the Truth. If you try to get Lie to merge into th Truth than Lie will not stay full lie and Truth will not stay the full Truth. As supreme is the Truth than you must become the Truth to acheive the Oneness.

  8. Divine Truth is not found through rational knowledge; it is not subject to reason, logic or images. Spiritual knowledge – “Gnosis” (Greek), “da`at” (Hebrew), “jnana” (Sanskrit), “ma`rifa” (Arabic), or “panna” (Pali) – is suprarational. Truthful Living, i.e. living in awareness of divine Truth, is the greatest achievement in life.

  9. Dear T Singh Ji, like the blog, and also quotes from other sources to complement Gurbani.

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