By M.K. Gandhi

What is truth?

What is truth? A difficult question, but I have solved it for myself, by saying that it is what the voice within tells you.

All that I can, in true humility, present to you is that Truth is not to be found by anybody, who has not got an abundant sense of humility. If you would swim on the bosom of the ocean of Truth, you must reduce yourself to a zero.

Truth is within ourselves. There is an inmost centre in us all, where Truth abides in fullness. Every wrong-doer knows within himself that he is doing wrong for untruth cannot be mistaken for Truth. The law of Truth is merely understood to mean that we must speak the truth. But we understand the word in much wider sense. There should be Truth in thought, Truth in speech, and Truth in action.

Truth Appears Different to Different Individuals

What may appear as Truth to one person, will often appear as untruth to another person.  But that need not worry the seeker. When there is an honest effort it will be realised that what appears to be different truths are like apparently different countless leaves of the same tree. Does not God Himself appear to different individuals in different aspects? Still we know that He is one.... If there is a mistake on the part of any one so following Truth, it will be automatically set right. For the quest involves Tapas- self-suffering...In such selfless search for Truth nobody can lose his bearing for long. Directly one takes to the wrong path, one stumbles and is thus redirected to the right path.

Character Based on Truth will lead to God

We cannot realise Rama by reading the Ramayana, or Krishna by reading the Gita, or Allah by reading the Koran, or Christ by reading the Bible; the only means of realising them is by developing a pure and noble character. Character is based on virtuous action and virtuous action is grounded on Truth. Truth, then, is the source and foundation of all things that are good and great. Hence, fearless and unflinching pursuit of the ideal of Truth and Righteousness is the key of true health as of all else.

How to Realise Truth

But how is one realise this Truth? By single-minded devotion (Abhyas) and indifference to every other interest in life ( Vairagya).

Silence is a great help to a seeker after Truth like myself. In the attitude of silence, the soul finds the path in clear light, and what is elusive and deceptive, resolves itself into crystal clearness. Out life is along arduous quest after Truth, and the Soul requires inward restfulness to attain its full height. A man of few words will rarely be thoughtless in his speech. He will measure every word.

God is the very image of determination or vow. God would cease to be God if He swerved from His own laws even by a hair's breadth.

Fearless Vigilance will remove Hypocrisy

There is so much superstition and hypocrisy around, that one is afraid even to do the right thing. But if one gives away to fear, even Truth will have too be suppressed. The golden rule is to act fearlessly upon what one believes to be right. Hypocrisy and untruth will go on in the world. Our doing the right thing will result in their decrease, if any , never in their increase. The danger is that when we are surrounded by falsehood on all sides, we might be caught in it and begin to deceive ourselves. We should be careful not to make a mistake, out of our laziness and ignorance, Constant vigilance under all circumstances is essential. A votary of Truth cannot act otherwise.

How beautiful it would be if all of us young and old, men and women, devoted ourselves wholly to Truth in all that we might do, in our waking hours, whether working, eating, drinking, or playing till pure dreamless sleep claimed us for her own. God as Truth has been for me a treasure beyond price. May he be so to everyone of us!

Source: From the book, 'Light of India or Message of Mahatmaji' by M. S. Deshpande