Q28. What is the concept of Truth in Sikhism?
The concept of Truth – Sach, Sat is basic and fundamental in Sikhism. In the Japji Guru Nanak deals with the subject of Truth. The word “Truth” has different meanings in different contexts. The most important connotation of Truth is God. The Almighty is Truth(Sat Kartar, Sat Nam, Ad Sach Jugad Sach, Hai Bhi Sach, Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach, Ap Sach Keenay Sabh Sach). Another meaning of Truth is Virtue (Apay Gun, Apay Gunkari) which includes qualities like honesty, righteousness, justice, compassion, detachment, humility etc. The third meaning of Truth is pure, holy, sacred (Sacha Chauka Surat Ki Kar). The fourth meaning of Truth is that which is correct and proper (Jo Kuchh Karay Sat Kar Man). The fifth meaning of Truth is eternal happiness of bliss (Tatah Tut Milay Sach Paya).
But who can give the Truth? God being the source of Truth gives truth (revelation) direct to the holy and the enlightened (Jis Tu Deh Tis Milay Sach, Ta Tini Sach Kamaiya). Secondly the Satguru (or Guru) can give Truth to the devotee through his teachings and example (Satguru Milay Sach Paya, Jini Wicheu Ap Gavaiya). Thirdly the Sadh Sangat or Holy Congregation can impart an understanding of Truth to the disciple (Sach Sangat Pavah Sach Dhana). So God, Guru, or Holy Gongregation can grant the gift of Truth to a devotee.
The gift of Truth comes to the deserving. The Sikh must satisfy some requirements to be a candidate for the gift of Truth. He must follow the Guru’s teaching: he must do charitable and altruistic deeds; he must submit to the will of God; he must do spiritual cleansing through remembrance of the Holy Name (Mun Davah Shabad Lagau har siu Rahau Chit Laai); finally, he must pray for God’s grace (Jah Prasad tu Pavah Sach, Ray Mun Meray Tu Ta Siu Raach).
In Sikhism greater than Truth is Truthful living. One must lead a life of Truth. He must speak the Truth, act the Truth and think the Truth (Sach karni Sach Taki Rahat). A noble character implies the practice of humility, compassion, meditation and a desire to serve and guide others on the spiritual path. Such a devotee earns the gift of Truth and ulitmately merges with the Eternal (God) like the rain drop losing itself in the ocean.