Last year we discussed the UpaNiSadic Doctrine of Satyam. This doctrine is featured consistently across many important UpaNiSad. It is remembered via immortal quotes including “Tat Tvam Asi” (तत् त्वं असि ) from Chandogya-UpaNiSad and “Satyam Ev Jayate” (सत्यं एव जयते) from Mundak-UpaNiSad.
It is important to remember that the UpaNiSad are the end or “अन्त” of the Ved (वेद), the sections of the Ved that are focused on the supra-material Eternal Cosmic Order. Therefore these texts are focused on the post-material stages of life, the stages where people get introspective about the meaning of after-life.
The Maha-Bhaarat, on the other hand, is focused almost entirely on material society, the society focused on well being on earth. The Maha-Bharat focuses almost entirely on the Gruhasth-Ashram, the ashram that governs societal institutions that are intended to deliver ethical well-being to people. The Maha-Bharat is the greatest composition about Iti-Haas (इति हास – “this happened” or history) of the people of Eternal Dharma.
It is therefore natural and consistent for the Maha-Bharat to deliver a doctrine of Satyam that is focused on delivering ethical well being to society. That doctrine is:
यत् भूत हितम् अत्यन्तम्
Yat Bhut-Hitam Atyantam
What is [in] greatest good for society
एतत् सत्यं मतं मम
Etat Satyam Matam Mam
That alone is Truth in my opinion
This doctrine was enunciated in the Maha-Bharat by the great Rushi Naarad. This doctrine of Material, Earthly, or Societal Good was not created in the Maha-Bharat. It goes back, according to the explanation by Naarad, to the wisdom of Sanat Kumar, a Maanas-Putra of BrahmaDev.
However, the text that made it into a doctrine of practice, a doctrine of successful implementation, is the Maha-Bharat. And the One who lived it, the One who performed it, the One who taught it to the world was the greatest Yogi of them all – Bhagvaan Shri Krishna.
Shri Krishna’s Implementation of Bhut-Hitam Satyam
Think of the various occasions in Maha-Bharat when, the Good of Society was at stake, when dogmatic practice of the conventionally defined concept of Truth would have led to Good being vanquished by Evil, this Maha-Bharatiya doctrine of Satyam saved Dharma & Society.
Think of the Vadh or execution of JaraSandh, think of the Vadh or execution of JayaDrath, think of the death of Dron-Acharya, think of the defeat of DuryoDhan – each one of these was an implementation of the above Material Doctrine of Satyam.
And think of that most crucial moment of the Maha-Bharat War – the instruction by Shri Krishna to Arjun execute Karna. The judgement of Karna by Shri Krishna emphasized via repetitive derision with the question – “where had your Dharma gone then” (क्व ते धर्मः तदा गतः)? – that is pure doctrine of Material Satyam – It led to the end of that destructive War and allowed Society to heal – the perfect illustration of Bhut-Hitam.
This is one reason people of Eternal Dharma say of Shri Krishna – स योगी योगिनाम् वरः – He is Yogi, the Greatest/Master of all Yogis.
When Bhut-Hitam Satyam is ignored?
A blind and mindless devotion to conventionally defined truth has gripped Indian society for the past 1,000 years. The philosophy that it is OK to lose or suffer in this life because we will fare better in the after-life was adopted by Indian society. The concept of Bhut-Hitam, or Truth being that is Good/Beneficial for Society was ignored.
Look at a couple of examples of what the abandonment of Bhut-Hitam Satyam has done to India:
- PruthveeRaj Chauhan & Mohammed Ghauri – Ghauri was thoroughly defeated in their first battle and was captured by PruthveeRaj’s army. His generals demanded execution of Ghauri but when Ghauri begged for forgiveness, PruthveeRaj melted and set him free thinking giving mercy to one who surrenders was his Dharma. Ghauri returned the next year and caught PruthveeRaj unaware & without his main general. Ghauri won this battle and captured PruthveeRaj. Ghauri took his wife, blinded Pruthveeraj and kept him in chains for life in a Kabul dungeon. The bigger misfortune fell on Indian Society because Ghauri stayed on in India as a occupying ruler. North India became a slave of a successive occupying invaders from the North West. Delhi, India’s capital, remained under foreign control from PruthveeRaj’s defeat till 1947. Is there any one who doesn’t wish PruthveeRaj had followed Bhut-Hitam Satyam doctrine and executed Ghauri after the first battle?
- Alla-Ud-Din Khilji & Rana of Mewar – Alla-ud-Din had ordered the Rana of Mewar to send him the legendary Padmini, the wife of the Rana. When the Rana refused, Khilji invaded Chittod and laid a siege to the fort. When the siege proved expensive, Khilji proposed a compromise – he would come alone into Chittod to see a mere reflection of Padmini in water. The Rana accepted. Khilji left his bodyguards outside Chittod’s gate and entered alone. The Rana welcomed him and escorted him inside. The Rana could have easily executed the defenseless Khilji. Blinded by the concept of keeping his word and his personal sense of ethics, the Rana forgot the Bhut-Hitam Satyam doctrine. Khilji saw the reflected beauty of Padmini and pronounced his satisfaction. The Rana accompanied Khilji as he left based due to blind adherence to his obligation as a good host. As soon as they stepped outside the gate, Khilji’s bodyguards captured the unsuspecting defenseless Rana. The story ended with Padmini immolating herself in a pyre with others Rajput wives and Rajput men dying valiantly in a foolish charge against the much larger army of Khilji. Once again, Indian Society suffered greater misfortune. Khilji went on to conquer South Indian kingdoms and plunder them of centuries of wealth. Just as Ghauri was the first to conquer much of North India, Khilji was the first to conquer much of South India. Is there any one who doesn’t wish the Rana had followed Bhut-Hitam Satyam doctrine and executed Alla-ud-Din when he could have?
- Nehru & POK – Remember
1948? The NPak supplied insurgents had invaded Kashmir in a bid to seize the state for NonPakistan. The Indian Army airlifted troops into Srinagar airport and saved the eastern part of Kashmir. Indian generals wanted permission to take back the western part of Kashmir NPak had occupied. Nehru refused because that was against his personal values and decided to go to the UN. The eastern part of Kashmir remains under NPak occupation. Nehru kept his personal values but Indian society has suffered greatly. India lost its land access to Afghanistan. If India had recaptured that part of Kashmir in 1948, the Indian Army would have retained its ability to help Afghanistan. The Taleban would not have become powerful and terrorism could have been nipped in the bud. Nehru was another leader who decided his own personal values were more important than what was good for Indian society – a clear violation of Bhut-Hitam Satyam doctrine
- Indira Gandhi & Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – Indira Gandhi won a great victory for India when, under her leadership, the Indian Army defeated NPak army and delivered freedom to the people of BanglaDesh. The Indian Army had taken 92,00 NPak soldiers as prisoners. This could have been a great advantage in negotiations with Bhutto of NPak. But Indira Gandhi was persuaded by her advisers that a magnanimous gesture of peace would let her go down in history as a peacemaking statesman. Like so many others in the past 1,000 years, Indira Gandhi succumbed to her personal goals and surrendered all of India’s gains in a gesture of magnanimity. We all know how NPak leaders have reciprocated this gesture of peace.
Satyam is not an easy decision especially for a leader who is responsible for the well being of society. It is unethical for a leader to act merely on personally held views or goals. The truly ethical path for a leader is to always focus on the well being of society. Society becomes and remains well when its leaders practice the Maha-Bharatiya doctrine of Satyam – the Bhut-Hitam Satyam doctrine – what is in Greatest Good of Society is the only Satyam or Truth.
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