Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 19 Apr 2020


Does the Shri Satyanaaraayana vratam mean being truthful in word and deed?

Tinku K. asked: One scholar said that Gandhiji followed satyavrata or the vow of truthfulness like king Satya Harishchandra. You have explained in one discourse that Shri Sathya Sai Baba performed a drama in His childhood days called "Cheppindi Chestara", which means being truthful, not only in what you say, but also in what you do. Is this principle of being truthful in both word and deed, the real meaning of the Śrī Satyanārāyaṇa Swami vratam?

Swami replied: Vratam is the worship of God. The word Satyanārāyaṇa actually means the source or embodiment of true knowledge (Satyasya nārasya jñānasya ayanaṃ ya). It actually means the divine preacher who is preaching the true spiritual knowledge to you. Nārāyaṇa or Viṣṇu stands for the quality of sattvam, which represents knowledge (Sattvāt sañjāyate jñānam). Sattvam is white in color. Hence, God Nārāyaṇa worshipped in this vratam is described to be white in color (Śuklavarṇaṃ caturbhujam). But that Nārāyaṇa is found to be blue in color. The blue or black color represents the tamas quality. It means that white-colored Nārāyaṇa described in that verse, is the original true form of Nārāyaṇa. God Śiva is the source of tamas and hence, God Śiva must be blue or black in color, originally. But God Śiva is always found to be white in color. This means that God Viṣṇu and God Śiva have exchanged their colors. Tamas represents ignorance and cruelty, which are needed by God Śiva at the time of destroying the world, without any discrimination. But God Śiva has no work to do, until the end of this world. So, God Śiva remains in meditation, for which He requires sattvam. Hence, He attracted the original white color of God Viṣṇu on to Himself. God Viṣṇu being the ruler of creation requires a certain amount of cruelty in His administration while dealing with sinners (Kālo’smi lokakṣayakṛt…—Gita). So, He attracted the color of God Śiva on to Himself. Therefore, the blue Śiva became white and the white Nārāyaṇa became black.

Even in worldly knowledge (pravṛtti), truth is not always the highest. Non-violence is the highest. Hurting good people, parents, elders etc., is the highest sin. Similarly, while preaching spiritual knowledge, the immediate progress of the disciple to the next higher step is the highest and not merely the preaching of the ultimate truth.


| Shri Dattaswami | Does the Shri Satyanaaraayana vratam mean being truthful in word and deed?| Satyasya Naarasya Jnanasya ayanam yah Sattvaat sanjaayate Jnanam Shuklavarnam chaturbhujam Satya Narayana Naaraayana Shiva Kaalosmi lokakshayakrut Pravrutti Vishnu