s1va

That which sees, never speaks. That which speaks, never sees

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I was put in a situation recently, where I was not sure whether speaking the truth was the best course.  To tell a lie for an assumed greater good, or simply to keep silence.  All options seemed to cause some harm to other(s) -- in my perception.  

I always have trouble with the 'silence' as a choice.  When someone asks me a question directly (speak, email, etc), or ask for help, I always try to respond, even in situations where silence and not responding, may  be the best course of action.  In rare cases, I have kept silence or not responded.

 

When I had this dilemma, I recalled the story of Satyavrata from Devi Bhagavat Purana.  This story has been described in different ways. I have described the story as I remember with few sentences from a book.

 

Quote

There was this Muni who had taken the vow to speak Satya, hence his name was Satyavrata. He was celebrated by people as Satyavrata; never did he say any untruth.  

 

One day a hunter pierced a boar with his sharp arrows. The boar terrified, fled with enormous rapidity.  It ended up near Muni Satyavrata's hermitage.  On seeing the distressed condition of the boar trembling with fear and his body besmeared with blood, the Muni was moved with mercy.  The boar entered into the Muni's hermitage and hid himself in the dense bushes.

The hunter soon arrives to the hermitage  in pursuit of that boar.  On seeing the Muni Satyavrata, the hunter bowed down to him and asked “O BrahmiWhither has that boar gone?"  It is apparent that the hunter has not eaten for a while, desperate to get his food.

 

Thus asked by the hunter, the  Satyavrata was merged in an ocean of doubt; he began to argue “The boar struck with arrows has gone this way, it is true. This man is hungry and suffering, therefore asking.   If I tell the truth, he will  kill the boar.  If I say I have not seen the boar then my vow to speak the truth will be broken.  The hunter will suffer. "

 

Satyavrata placed in such dilemma, utters the mantra of Goddess.  The door of all his knowledge opened out at once, and he became at once instantly the seer..

 

He addressed the hunter thus:

 

That force which sees (as witness) never speaks; and that force which speaks, never sees.

 

The hunter disappointed returns.

 

In some versions of the story, they say Satyavrata kept silence.  

 

That which sees is the organ eye  and it has no capability to speak.  That which speaks is the mouth, and it has no capacity to see.  What Satyavrata did in his condition is described as the right course of action for him.  

 

I just wonder, if this justification is valid, even in his case?

 

 

"Purāṇa are called Purāṇa because they make the Veda “Pūrṇa” (complete). " 

 

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Your example of the Muni and the hunter seems to be a case of a lie by omission.

There is the old saying "The truth will set you free"

Or possibly earn one a shiner in the case of "Does this dress make look fat?"

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Often in class, our teacher will speak a few words, here and there.

 

Having attended class for some years, from time to time we learn that he has things he wishes to say, but is prevented from saying. It is as though he is blocked from speaking, unless that which is spoken allows leading to the right place. When it is not, my sense is that speaking anyway would break apart that individual's whole-ness / integrity.

 

Thus, I think of it as comprehension, more than justification. When he thought to speak, it opened an ocean of doubt. This ocean occurred naturally, energetically, to create the pause, the barrier of going beyond. In examining this barrier, he discovered he could not go past it, and the reason why.

 

In our class, sometimes speaking truth to those who are not ready, will create greater polarities in those minds, causing greater ripples. Yet the intention is to lead to emptiness. Thus, when the truth conflicts with the intention, with the integrity, a barrier is naturally created. Without seeing the future or needing to comprehend what exactly is taking place, one is prevented from acting in a way that would violate the truth. This goes beyond mere words of truth.

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17 minutes ago, kāvēri said:

I was put in a situation recently, where I was not sure whether speaking the truth was the best course.  To tell a lie for an assumed greater good, or simply to keep silence.  All options seemed to cause some harm to other(s) -- in my perception.  

I always have trouble with the 'silence' as a choice.  When someone asks me a question directly (speak, email, etc), or ask for help, I always try to respond, even in situations where silence and not responding, may  be the best course of action.  In rare cases, I have kept silence or not responded.

 

When I had this dilemma, I recalled the story of Satyavrata from Devi Bhagavat Purana.  This story has been described in different ways. I have described the story as I remember with few sentences from a book.

 

 

In some versions of the story, they say Satyavrata kept silence.  

 

That which sees is the organ eye  and it has no capability to speak.  That which speaks is the mouth, and it has no capacity to see.  What Satyavrata did in his condition is described as the right course of action for him.  

 

I just wonder, if this justification is valid, even in his case?

 

 

"Purāṇa are called Purāṇa because they make the Veda “Pūrṇa” (complete). " 

 

Beautiful story and thank you. Yes, I'm often in such situations. I find the Buddha's perspective on this very valuable --

 

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-vaca/

 

But that is indeed very true. The "Real" Seer does not speak. That which speaks is not the "Real" Seer. 

 

Hari Om!

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I don't know about that, for instance Krishna spoke on the battlefield to Arjuna...and stakes were far higher !

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and of course we have a great many high sounding platitudes to explain or rationalize many things away,  for instance what some so called "holy men" say or get away with because they are supposedly holy - and we all know how that can work out.  

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Posted (edited)

-

Edited by kāvēri

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When one sees from all perspectives, what spoken truth is not simultaneously a lie?

 

From zhuangzi, tl Brook Ziporyn:

Quote

 

Almost all of my words are presented as coming from the mouths of other people, and of those the better part are further presented as citations from weighty ancient authorities. But all such words are actually spillover-goblet words, giving forth [new meanings] constantly, harmonizing them all through their Heavenly Transitions.

 

The nine-tenths or so attributed to others discuss a topic by borrowing an outside viewpoint. A father does not serve as matchmaker for his own son, for the praises of the father are no equal to those from the mouth of another - and the blame too then goes not to me, but to someone else! [in any case], those who agree will be responsive, while those who do not will object. For people call right whatever agrees with them and call wrong whatever differs from them.

 

The seven-tenths or so that are presented as citations from weighty ancient authorities are meant to defuse garrulous faultfinding, eliciting agreement with the words of these "venerable elders" instead. [but in fact], some of those who come before us in years, if they have not gone through the warp and the woof of things, from the root to the tip, in a way befitting their age, do not have any real priority over us. A man [of advanced years] with nothing to give him priority over others has not fulfilled the course of a human being, and a human being devoid of the course of a human being should really just be called a stale, obsolete oldster.

 

These spillover-goblet words give forth [new meanings] constantly, so that all are harmonized through their Heavenly Transitions. They extend on and on without break and thus can remain in force to the end of one's years. When nothing is said, everything is equal. But words and this original equality are then not equal to each other. Thus it is that I speak only nonspeech. When you speak nonspeech, you can talk all your life without ever having said a word, or never utter a sound without ever failing to say something. There is some place from which each saying is acceptable, and some place from which it is unacceptable. There is some place from which it is so, and some place from which it is not so. Whence so? From being affirmed so. Whence not so? From being denied to be so. Whence acceptable? From someone accepting it. Whence unacceptable? From someone not accepting it. There is necessarily some perspective from which each thing is right and acceptable. Thus, all things are right; all things are acceptable. So what words other than spillover-goblet words, harmonizing through their Heavenly Transitions, could remain in force for very long? All beings are seeds of one another, yielding back and forth their different forms, beginning and ending like a circle, so that no fixed groupings apply. This is called Heaven the Potter's Wheel. It is Heaven the Potters Wheel that we see in their Heavenly Transitions.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Daeluin said:

When one sees from all perspectives, what spoken truth is not simultaneously a lie?

 

 

Yeah, I don't do truths, I do opinions and understandings.

 

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I do truths which are comprehensive.

 

Which means they are part of the Truth and are understood with a mindfulness of how they were formed.

 

To that end, it is accessed mostly through various parsed and reconciled opinions/understandings.

 

---I appear to be an army of one on this issue, though.

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