Satyagraha: The Insistence on Truth

No Compromise on Truth

The word ‘Satyagraha’, coined by Mahatma Ghandi in the year 1906, was used to describe the philosophy of his movement of passive resistance, meaning ‘insistence on truth’. ‘Sat’ means ‘truth’ and ‘agraha’ means ‘insistence’ or ‘no compromise’. As an example, if he understood that to be a vegetarian was ‘true’, then he would not compromise that truth for any reason. So, whichever aspect of life he understood as true, it had to be taken forward with determination or ‘insistence on truth’. Thus, the movement of Satyagraha came into being.

The Yogi Life

The same philosophy is relevant to the practising yogi. What is truth for us? The invisible dimension is true for us; the world of the invisible prince – the region of love, truth and of wisdom. This is a world of immortality and perfection; a region with the ultimate treasures of bliss, contentment and security, together with the family of angelic royals.  This eternal world is one of wonder and amazement. Though it all exists at the invisible level, for one who is awake, this is the truth.

Overcome the Ego

For one who has a paras intellect, the whole physical world appears like a three minute cartoon story. The expression ‘three minute’ is used because it is so short, gross and lifeless, hence a cartoon film which may finish at any moment.  The yogi cannot even think of creating attachments in the three-minute cartoon film. He stays in his truth. For such a yogi to make that cartoon film big, important, or relevant, or, to become a beggar in some form, even for a second, is like ‘not being in the truth’. He needs the energy of Satyagraha to take this truth forward and make it his natural nature. Ordinarily, the ego is stubborn and will take the prince across the line into the life of a beggar or a slave. Hence the energy of Satyagraha is needed to overcome the ego and succeed.

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