śrī mahā gaṇapataye namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyāya namaḥ
satyena rakṣyate dharmaḥ vidyābhyāsena rakṣyate
mṛjyayā rakṣyate rūpaṃ kulam vṛtte na rakṣyate
When we talked about Mahabharata and Bhagavatam, we spoke about a lot about Truth. Truth is the real vow. Truth is Paramatman. Truth is what protects this world and the Dharma in this world. Time depends on Dharma. As long as there are good, dharmic people, this world will run, it is said.
Due to continuous abhyāsa (practice), knowledge is protected. abhyāsa is reminding oneself of the knowledge atleast once in ten days. Knowledge that is devoid of abhyāsa will be forgotten in some time. Therefore, all knowledge, arts etc. are protected by such practice. If you read, study or remind yourself again of whatever Appaji is talking about now, that is abhyāsa.
By cleaning the body, its beauty is protected. An unclean body becomes weak in due course. Man’s character, good conduct, compassion and pleasant speech protect his lineage. Therefore, good conduct combined with Truth is the basis for everything. We are also reminded of Harishchandra’s story in this instance.
satsu bhavam satyam.
Since Truth is found in Satpurushas (pious people), it is called Satya. The God called Truth is always in the pious people. God’s form is Truth.
One with a long name is often addressed with a shortened name. For example, a person by name Satya Surya Veera Venkata Lakshmi Naryana Sarma Datta is lovingly addressed as Satyam. In Sanskrit this is called nāma grahaṇe nāmaina deśa grahaṇaṃ. Similarly, Sat Chit Ananda too is often lovingly called Satyam. The form of ‘Sa’ is Satyam.
dhāryata iti dharmam.
What is held or borne is Dharma. Dharma does not stand on its own. It uses something as basis to stand. Dharma stands on Truth.
This sookti teaches us that Dharma depends on Truth.
Note this story as an example -
In a famous town lived a scholar who always spoke the truth. It was well known that he would not lie even if you cut off his tongue. One day, the scholar went to a big shop and bought everything he needed. It cost him Rs. 220. The scholar gave Rs. 300 from his bag. The shopkeeper gave him back Rs. 80. The scholar put that in his bag and went home. As soon as he saw the change, he realized the shopkeeper gave him a Rs. 100 note in place of a Rs. 10 note. So, he took the Rs. 100 note he was given and returned to the shopkeeper and said - you gave me a Rs. 100 note instead of a Rs. 10 note. You may take your Rs. 100 and give me my Rs. 10.
The shopkeeper immediately came down, fell at the scholar’s feet and wept profusely. The scholar was taken aback and said - I only did my job, why are you weeping? This is not a great deed. The aggrieved shopkeeper said - Sir, forgive me. You are a pious man. I am a sinner. The scholar did not understand why the shopkeeper was crying. The shopkeeper said - Please forgive the sin committed by this sinner. You accidentally gave me Rs. 500 in place of a Rs. 100 note. I did not feel like giving it back to you. But I had the fear in some corner of my heart of cheating someone of your stature. So, I gave you Rs. 100 extra on purpose. If you accepted that, I thought we would both be sinners. The moment you gave me back the Rs. 100, I understood your vow of truth. Your money is like fire. Your money that I kept unfairly will consume me. As expiation for my sin, please accept all this money and forgive me, he pleaded.
Thus, truth protects us always. The vow of truth is very important. We saw many instances in the Mahabharata.