Gods are Truth, Men are Untruth: Satapata Brahmana! (Post No.4307)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date:16 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 15-12



Post No. 4307

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.



India is, probably, the only country in the world which has Truth as its motto. Our national emblem contains the Upanishad Mantra ‘Truth alone triumphs’, i.e. Satyameva Jayate. Tamil Nadu government translated it into Tamil and keeps it as its emblem. India stands for Truth. And the natural law is Truth wins; So India can never be defeated. And that is the first sentence taught to all the Vedic students:-


As soon as a little boy is enrolled in the Vedic school, the first lesson he learns is Satyam Vada, i.e. Speak the Truth.



Vedic gods Varuna and Agni are frequently represented as lovers of truth:

“Verily there is one law which the god so keep, namely, the truth. It is through this that their conquest, their glory is unassailable; and so forsooth is his conquest, his glory unassailable whosoever, knowing this speaks the truth”- Satapata Brahmana 3-4-2-8


“He ties the piece of gold to the (nameless or ring) finger. Twofold indeed is this universe,– there is no third—the truth and the untruth; the gods are the truth and men are the untruth. And gold having sprung from Agni’s seed, he ties the gold to this finger in order that he may touch the twigs of the Soma with the truth, that he may handle this Soma by means of the truth –Sat. Brah. 3-3-2-2


Invocatory and oblative mantras to Truth (satya) are found in the Taittiriya Brahmana 3-12-3-5, when the rice and butter are offered. This word Satya is full of meaning. The following anecdote concerning Aruna Upavesi, is quoted in proof of the truthful character of the Vedic Hindus. It undoubtedly proves the high value they gave for truth:-

“Attendance on that consecrated fire means speaking the truth, as if he sprinkled that lighted fire with ghee; for even so does he kindle it; and ever the more increases his own vital energy, and day by day does he become better.

and whosoever speaks the untruth acts as if he sprinkled that lighted fire with water; for even so does he enfeeble it; and even the less becomes his own vital energy, and day by day does he become more wicked. Let him therefore speak nothing but the truth. Now the kinsmen spake unto Aruna Upavesi, “Thou art advanced in years; establish thou the two fires!”

He replied, “Speak ye not thus!

Be thou a restrainer of speech; for he who has established the fires must not speak an untruth; let him rather speak not at all, but let him not speak an untruth. Worship above all is Truthfulness”- Sat. Brah 2-2-2-19/20


Satyakama Jabala

Satyakama Jabala is another famous Upanishad story. A little boy went to the teacher to learn Vedas. When he was not able to provide his family/clan details, he told the teacher what his mother told him. Immediately the teacher takes him in saying that he spoke truth and he must belong to a higher caste.

Satya has two aspects: Integrity and Sat, the ultimate reality.

The following, according to the Yajur Veda, is the preparation for Satya (Truth in the ultimate sense):-

By self dedication (vrata) one obtains consecration (Diikshaa)

by consecration one obtains grace (dakshinaa)

By grace one obtains reverence (sraddhaa)

by reverence is Truth (satya) obtained – YV.  Vs19-30


All Vedic gods and goddesses are ‘furtherers of Rita and represent satya/truth.

In the very first hymn of the Rig Veda Agni is spoken of as Guradian of Rita (eternal order) and as satya(truth). Indra too is described as Satya and equated with Rita.


Even the sun and the moon and the earth are in the orbit due to truth and eternal order:-


How come earth does not fall?

By Truth is earth sustained

and by the sun are the heavens

By Rita the Adityas stand

and Soma is set in the sky  –RV 10-85


Atharva veda also has a mantra on truth and order:

Truth, Eternal Order that is great and stern

Consecration, Austerity, Prayer and Ritual,

these uphold the earth.

May she, Queen of what has been and will be

make a wide world for us—AV12-1


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