Satya is often translated as non-lying, or truthfulness, with the implication that as long as we are honest and impeccable with our word, we are practicing this virtue. Satya entails so much more than this limited interpretation. Satya means non-falsehood, non-distortion, non-ignorance. We must allow for multiple truths; we cannot ignore or deny the truth of others.
In Sanskrit, Sat indicates the ultimate eternal truth, with the suffix ya indicating doing or accomplishing. Satya requires active investigation in seeking the whole and complete truth. We must be willing to question the dominant cultural narrative; we must be willing to hear and digest multiple perspectives and to exercise our own discernment. We must analyze the validity of our usual information sources and evaluate entrained biases, inaccurate assumptions, hidden interests, and covert agendas. We must identify which voices have been silenced, unduly discredited, or eclipsed. We must consider alternate views and sort facts from opinion. We must amplify the voices that long have been oppressed, and bolster the stories of those vulnerable to violence in speaking their truth. We must encourage courageous free-thought and nourish fresh perspectives; we cannot feed the fear of dissent. We must piece together a more complete picture. Satya means to dedicate practice to cultivating our understanding. Satya means to propagate a more consummate, collaborative, and comprehensive truth.
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