Always speak the truth- Story
Once in the gurukul of Dronacharya, there was a lesson being taught on speaking truth.
Guru Drona said to all Kauravas and Pandavas, “Always speak the truth. Never tell a lie.”
Then he started asking each student to explain what they learned.
Everybody said more or less the same thing on their turn except prince Yudhisthira.
But Yudhisthira said, “I am sorry respected guru! I have not yet learned the lesson.”
Everybody became surprised to hear the answer of Yudhisthira, as he was a very intelligent student and how is it that he could not memorize this simple statement!
Guru Drona replied, “No problems dear, you take your time learning the lesson and tell me tomorrow.”
Everybody started discussing, “What happened to Yudhisthira!! He is such a
bright and intelligent student. He learns lessons very easily, but could not
just memorize and speak out one simple sentence today.”
Prince Duryodhana made a mockery of him and said, “Today, the truth of Yudhisthira is exposed that he could not learn even simplest of the lessons!!”
The next day, Guru Drona again asked Yudhisthira, “Dear Yudhisthira! Did you learn the lesson that I taught you regarding the truth?”
Yudhisthira replied, “I am sorry, but I have not learned it today too.”
This continued for one whole week.
Everybody was puzzled seeing the prince unable to learn a simple lesson.
After one week, when Guru Drona asked the same question, Yudhisthira
replied, “Respected Guru! I have now learned the lesson. The lesson is always speak the truth. Never tell a lie.”
Hearing the answer, Duryodhana started making fun of Yudhisthira and said, “Brilliant answer prince Yudhisthira. Finally you learned this simple sentence after one week.”
Yudhisthira replied, “Yes my dear younger brother. It took me one
week to completely get out of the clutches of lies. For always speaking the
truth, even a single thought of telling a lie should not come in my mind.
First day, my mind was surrounded with many lies. Next day, the number of lies reduced. I kept on trying for one week and from yesterday, not a single lie has come in my mind. Now I have learned the lesson and will follow it in my life — ‘Always speak the truth. Never tell a lie.'”
There is so much for us to learn from this story. When we hear the Bhagavad
Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam classes, particularly when we hear something we are familiar with, we always think, “I already know that,” and kind of turn off our mind from the class.
Saying, “I already know that,” is ultimately only true if we practice it, if our life and activities exemplify that knowledge.
Otherwise, what we mean is that we are familiar with those concepts or that we have some intellectual understanding or realization of it, but it has not
matured into practical realized knowledge.
This is what Srila Prabhupada often refers to as arm-chair philosophy which means that we hear and discuss spiritual topics without a great concern for implementing them.
After leaving his government post, Sanatana Goswami traveled to Varanasi to meet Lord Caitanya and question Him on the science of Krishna consciousness.
He was well aware of the above mentioned problem, so after receiving instructions from the Lord he prayed as follows:
“The conclusions that You have told me are the ocean of the ambrosia of
truth. My mind is unable to approach even a drop of that ocean. If You
want to make a lame man like me dance, kindly bestow Your transcendental
blessings by placing Your lotus feet on my head. Now, will You please tell me, ‘Let whatever I have instructed all be fully manifested unto you.’ By blessing me in this way, You will give me strength to describe all this.” ( CC Madhya lila 23.121- 123)
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then placed His hand on Sanatana
Goswami’s head and blessed him, saying, “Let all these instructions be
manifested to you.”