The Virtue of Truth


Once during the exile period of the Pandavas, Arjuna and Draupadi saw a tree bearing a huge gooseberry. As she wished to taste it, Arjuna plucked it for her. Just then a sage who came there mentioned that every year another sage, Amitra, would come there to partake this unique fruit that the tree yielded just once a year.

On hearing this, the Pandavas were remorse-stricken. They were worried about the consequences of their act. To save themselves from the curse of the sage, Bheema thought of looking for the sage and handing over the fruit to him. But wise Nakula reminded them to pray to Lord Krishna. After all, the misfortune befell them because they played the game of dice without getting the consent of Lord Krishna. Appreciating Nakula’s suggestion, the Pandavas prayed to Lord Krishna. Heeding the prayer of his ardent devotees, Lord Krishna appeared before them and asked the Pandavas the reason for their prayer. The Pandavas and Draupadi explained their dilemma and prayed to relieve them from the crisis.

Filled with love for his guileless devotees, Lord Krishna said, “I will see to it that the wrath of sage Amitra does not befall you. In order for that to happen, each one of you must speak only the truth.” Saying thus, he took them to the gooseberry tree. He placed the large fruit under the tree and said, “Each one of you should now speak whatever is in your mind without any deceit. The fruit will go and cling to the tree on its own accord.”

Yudhistira said, “Truthfulness, honesty, tolerance and righteousness should flourish in this world. This is my wish. I hold Panchali responsible for the whole event.” At this, surprisingly, the fruit moved two feet above the ground and remained in the air.

Next Bheema said, “I wish I could kill Duryodhana this very moment – the meanest of all the petty-minded people. I also feel that our trials and tribulations have increased because of our staying in the forest.” The fruit moved two feet further up.

Arjuna said, “Prestige and fame mean more to me than even my life. Unless I kill Karna in the war, the ambition of my life will not be fulfilled.” The fruit moved up two feet further.

Then Nakula said, “I believe that a man can attain fame just by leading a life in this world that is based on his discrimination alone.” Again, the fruit moved up two feet.

Sahadeva said, “Truth is my mother, intelligence my father, good deeds my siblings, love that I shower on others is my friend. My calm mind is my wife. The attitude of eradicating the thoughts of hatred and enmity is my son. I believe these to be my real family.” The fruit moved up by two feet again.

Lord Krishna looked at the grief stricken Panchali with benevolence and she said, “I have five husbands like the five senses. Though And I am being the cause of agony for all. I feel penitent for having acted thoughtlessly.” Just as she completed her statement, the gooseberry moved up and stuck to the tree.

Lord Krishna bid farewell to the Pandavas happily.

So children, being truthful pleases God immensely. We also see from this episode that if we surrender unto God when faced with difficulties, he will free us from all sorrows.



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