Ashtottaram 51: OṀ PRIYAMVAƊABHŨMYAI NAMAH

Satya or truth has been accorded the pride of place among the virtues recommended to be cultivated by man

Satyam
A person who always tries to speak the truth gets honored where ever he goes and his word is considered more than a promissory note and everyone trusts his words. Pixabay

BY-Devakinanda Pasupuleti

 OṀ PRIYAMVAƊABHŨMYAI NAMAH:

 OṀ (AUM)-PRI-YAM-VA-DA-BHOO-MYAI—NA-MA-HA

  प्रियम्वदभूम्यै नमः                                 

 (Priyam: Desired, pleasant, truthful, satyam, kindly; Vada: speaking)

In Sanskrit, there are many meanings for the word priyam including pleasing, sweet, satyam, and desirable. Name Priyamvada belongs to rāsi Kanya (Virgo) with dominant planet Mercury (Budha). Priyamvada generally also means Sweet spoken, or soft-spoken, or speaking kindly, is of Indian origin. This mantra, it is used in the context of satyam. The word satyam means not to lie. It is pleasing to the other person when you are sincere and speaking the truth. When you speak the truth, it does not have to be rude and harsh rather soft, kind, and non-hurtful. Upanishads proclaim ‘Satyam vada, dharmam chara’ meaning ‘speak the truth and follow dharma’. 

Satya or truth has been accorded the pride of place among the virtues recommended to be cultivated by man. Hindu, as well as Jain and Buddhist, works wax eloquently over it. Its fundamental definition is ‘that which is unaffected by time, place and causation‘. This means that Satya stands for God- the Absolute. In fact, several sahasranāmas (thousand names of God) use this word to denote God. As an extension of this meaning, anything that helps a man’s progress towards God is Satya.  

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In a more practical sense, Satya is speaking the truth, consonance of thought and word. One should avoid speaking falsehoods, partial truths, and unpleasant truths. Truth should be spoken in a sweet and pleasant way. Unpleasant truths must be spoken but should be presented in a palatable and pleasing manner. Asatya stands for all that is opposed to Satyam. It is untrue, unreal, evil, and crooked. 

Satyam
As an extension of this meaning, anything that helps a man’s progress towards God is Satya. Pixabay

Every Hindu knows about Lord Shri Rāma who went to the forests to uphold the truth. There is no village in India that does not have a temple of Shri Rāma or any house without a picture or statue of Shri Rāma who is the embodiment of Satya and dharma. In His lineage, His ancestor Harischandra lost his kingdom, wife, and his son in order to keep the word he gave and to keep Satyam. Since then, he has been revered as Satya Harischandra and his name lives eternally.

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Upanishads declare that ‘Satyam, Jnānam, Anantam, Iti Brahma’ meaning ‘Satyam is Brahman’. A person who always tries to speak the truth gets honored where ever he goes and his word is considered more than a promissory note and everyone trusts his words. He is respected among any group or society.

The land which conveys and teaches us to speak the truth in a pleasant and pleasing way without hurting the other is ‘Priyam (Satyam) Vaḋa Bhūmi’.