Truth, lies and half truths...

@GADHISUNU (2164)
India
September 18, 2009 7:37am CST
I happened to read a post by one of the myLotters, where s/he wanted to know how we took people lying to us. I do not know if I responded to that post but an interesting idea for a post stuck me and here you are: In Sanskrit literature we have a category of writing a very interesting ands useful one at that, called "Good Words"{subhAShitAni = [B]lit[/B] Well-said(s)(n, neuter gender,pl)which gives a piece of advice or two, to the person lost in the ways of the world. Or may I say, thrown between the two horns of a dilemma - between the religious dictum "Thou shalt speak the Truth"(T.U.)and a harsh real world that doesn't take kindly to truth-speakers!?! Anyway, I will first quote the shloka; explain the meaning and draw some important conclusions/observations about the Indian mind and then there could be some very interesting discussion. So, here goes: [B]satyaM brUyAt priyaM brUyAt, nahi brUyAt satyam apriyam | priya~nchAnR^itaM naiva brUyAt, eSha dharmaH sanAtanaH || [/B] Should you speak the truth, speak that which is pleasant to the (listener's) ears. Do not speak such truth that is not dear (to the listener). (At the same time) Never speak untruth(In simpler terms DO NOT LIE) even if it were very dear (to the listener). This is the advice of the Old Dharma. This has gotten so deep into the psyche of the Indian mind that even Corporate India isn't immune to it.To the Big Boss the lower rung managers do not tell the truth, for the simple reason that it may be very bitter. Do you call it the Middle Management's concern for the Big Boss or their strategy to ensure their promotions or career growth by attractively packaged lies? That is, only such truth will be told emphatically, as will be liked by the powers that be. They certainly are not guilty of lying. No body wants to have a painful "after-life". So, they do search for the stamp of Dharmic authority by the way. Any truth that displeases is carefully suppressed. A few conscientious people follow the third principle as if to wash off the sins of commission in the above two,yeah, they add a dash of "honesty" by never telling a lie even though it be dear to the listener(read: Big Boss). You understand the various permutations and combinations that this could do... there you have the count of all the successful Indians!!!
1 person likes this
5 responses
@Frederick42 (2019)
• Canada
25 Oct 09
It totally depends on the situation. Sometimes, the absolute, naked truth has to be spoken. Sometimes, the half-truth or quarter-truth or 75% truth has to be spoken and sometimes, the absolute lie has to be spoken. Depending on the situation, one will have to decide. Sensitivity plays a great role here. We need to be sensitive to the other's feelings.
1 person likes this
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
18 Sep 09
I guess this is what one calls 'strategic reporting" Gadhisunu.The great sage THiruvalluvar has also said that if telling a lie would benefit the other it is better than telling the truth[this is of course from the altruistic notion of doing good to another and not further oneself]--.Another example is R.K.Narayanan's "the doctor's word" where "word is power"[it has the miraculous effect of bringing back a sinking man to life].In the two cases I have mentioned , the truth is concealed or distorted for some noble purpose.In the case you have mentioned this "Strategic reporting" is done as a survival method. Why have you mentioned successful Indians? Do you mean to say that other countrymen would not mind listening to words that may not be too palatable?
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
21 Sep 09
Kala, I am not referring to a lie told to save someone. The moral rightness of that even the Vedas admit. And who could question the wisdom of the sage ThiruvaLLuvar! I am referring to reporting truth in such a manner as to make it acceptable to people in authority. I am party to decision making management meetings wherein I have to curb the the desire to state the truth in no uncertain terms. But by doing so I know only too well that I will be at a disadvantage. people who would want the truth to come out will secretly celebrate my discomfiture. Say what you may on an average the love to speak the truth is a trifle higher in the West, whatever may be their other failings, I feel they are making progress in the materialist sense which should not be ignored. By materialist progress I mean Scientific and Technological progress. For good progress to occur there must be some truth-speaking and truth-loving individuals. I am of the opinion that after the R^iShis times we have had less of such courageous people. In fact there have been too few Mahatma Gandhis or G.K.Gokhales with us.
1 person likes this
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
21 Sep 09
Gadhisunu! I disagree that the habit of less outspokenness is the cause for the lack of progress in India.Basically I agree to the fact that in Indians there is indiscipline and a refusal to conform to rules[even in following the traffic signal]This is our biggest failing.THe west has made more progress because they are collectively a "process'driven people.Our individual intelligence has not been supported by collective cooperation and this is an important cause. India is the second fastest growing econoomy in the world and it is not because we have become more truthful in the last five years. Be it in the west or here, people would still resort to "strategic' reporting for fear of losing their jobs and putting their family in jeopardy.Ultimately "discretion may become the better part of valour".
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
22 Sep 09
Well, quite a lot is debatable. I do agree with your statement that we do not want to follow rules, in that we are indisciplined. We do need some reform self-initiated, and followed in this department. The probity of our public servants is also in question.Though we are a democracy constitutionally and in principle, most of our government departments operate on an autocratic style.Even in the highest echelons of power we are not really able to do away with dynastic succession. How then will there be infusion of new blood? The only way one could bring about change in this country is somehow become the favorite of someone in power by "strategic reporting" grow to that level where your word becomes law, and implement your ideas if you still continue to retain some of your own old verve and vigor.
@amyson (3509)
• Philippines
5 Oct 09
well i am into telling what is truth.i just cant lie or adds story that i am not familiar of.in things like this sharing your correct views will not only help your friend lotters but also it gives me inspiration to make my discussion base on my real life experiences.but i also do not blame other lie just because they like to make the story real and add some story on it.
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
6 Oct 09
No, No, Amyson I am talking of lying to not just save one's skin or life. I am not even talking about being truthful here on mylot. Here we are not on a professional or business set up. Here ours is an informal, coming together for sharing of views. Further all said and done, we are talking to almost strangers. So, one could choose to reveal everything or not do so. That is somewhat understandable. I am talking of speaking or presenting facts in such a manner as to make that sound as if it were true. This is keeping the view to have an advantage in mind, and saying somethings that may sound sweet to the powers that be. I find that this habit is more pronounced in Indians, but kala above seems to disagree.
@amyson (3509)
• Philippines
10 Oct 09
were additional facts is fine but i also base my answer on my real experiences and what is right for me.sharing ideas is good as long as you depend it very well and stick why you answer on the other way round.basis is fine as long you know how to execute the facts.
@KrauseHome (35507)
• United States
31 Oct 09
Some interesting thoughts here, and from my standpoint on things I feel the Best thing to do here in any case is why would you want to post something on here that is a Lie on how you really feel about something or someone or your beliefs and thoughts on something just to please someone else, if it is really something that you are against or not feeling right about as well? Personally in my opinion if you lie on here about something to someone it will be hard later to remember that lie that you told and will often post something else and be found out in the end anyways. And what if later on down the road that person could have been one of your Good friends in here, what would you think then? No, you never will agree with what everyone says in here, and that is why this is an open discussion forum, but we can learn from each other, and encourage each other so that is the reason to be here.
@tarachand (3895)
• India
21 Oct 09
More aspects that must be factored in - circumstance, time and relativity- an example - between uttering the truth and visual or sensory confirmation of the truth, something else may have taken place. To elucidate further - I say, "Just now there is only one bird sitting outside." By the time I have finished this sentence, one more or many more birds could have joined the first one in sitting outside, or the one and only bird could have flown away. Also, My line of sight permitted me to see only one bird sitting outside my house, but someone with a better line of sight could probably see more than one bird if more than one sat outside my house. SO I am telling a lie or a half truth. But even s/he (the other observe) would not be telling the complete truth, for, I am sure among that among all the birds in the world outside my house many more than one will be sitting down at any given period of time. Don't really know if this observation of mine is of any help......