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Home >> Spiritual Leaders  >> Know Thyself: Untruth withers to its roots

Know Thyself: Untruth withers to its roots


Now, we move to question number six, the sixth prasna in the Prasnopanishad. Who asks this? 

Atha Hainam Sukesa Bharadvajah Papraccha

The inquirer here is Sukesa, son of Bharadvajah. What does he ask Sage Pippalada?

“Honourable Sir, Hiranyanabhah–the one with the golden navela prince of the Kosala kingdom approached me and asked this question: “Bharadvajah, do you know the person with sixteen parts?”

I replied to the prince thus: “I know him not! If I had known him, why should I not tell you about it? Verily to his roots he withers, who speaks untruth! Therefore, it is not proper for me to speak untruth.

In silence, Hiranyanabhah mounted his chariot and departed.”

I ask you about him. Who is that person, the Purusha with sixteen parts?

Watch this! The son of the great Rishi Bharadvaja, Sukesa says that when he was asked by Hiranyanabhah, a prince of the Kosala kingdom, to describe who the person with sixteen parts was, Sukesa answered truthfully that he didn’t know about it, and that he wasn’t lying to him because it was a secret.

He who speaks an untruth withers to his roots. Remember this!

Watch many of the teachers of today, who say: “Well, I know about this person, but I cannot tell you. Why? This is so because they think they are too advanced for you to catch up with, and therefore, they say they cannot discuss the matter with you implying it is so secret or it is so sacred, that it cannot be conveyed to a lay individual like you. Or, it is that they think you are too stupid to understand, that it is too high a truth, that you are not ready for it yet, so they can’t tell you.”

Sukesa didn’t say all that! Why? It is so because he believed in the Vedic dictum that he who speaks an untruth withers to his roots. Therefore, he said to Hiranyanabhah: “My dear friend, I know him not.” He said so because that was the fact, he didn’t know the Purusha with sixteen parts. He was not trying to hide behind his ignorance. And he also said: “If I had known him, why should I not tell you about Him?”

Therefore, I cannot speak the untruth by saying, I know but I cannot tell you! I don’t know, so I can’t tell you! So, Hiranyanabhah mounted his chariot and departed.

Now, see this great dedication to the truth.

Samulo Va Esha Parisusyati Yo Anartam Abhivadati.

He who speaks an untruth withers to his roots. Remember this!

So, you cannot find the Supreme, Absolute Truth when you cannot stick to the truth in day-to-day matters. So, that’s it! So, I am asking you, says Sukesa, son of Bharadvajah to Sage Pippalada: “Please explain to me, what is this person, who is this person, where does the Purusha with sixteen parts reside?”

So, Sage Pippalada answers, because he knows. We will come to the response in the next part.

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