Random Musings-Part 23- Satya and Nithya

Nithin Sridhar

Are Satya and Nithya- Real and Eternal unconnected? It is alleged that Vedanta mixes up real and permanent. Hence, it important to understand the very definition of Satyam.

What is Satya/Real? That which is always true, that which is true all the time or that which exist the way it does all the time. For something to be existing all the time it must be Self-Existing- Svayambhu. Otherwise, all that has birth will have death too. Hence, Brahman is Satyam and Nithyam. Because, without being Nithya/Eternal, it cannot be described as Satyam.

Coming to the Universe/Jagat, we see that it undergoes through birth, growth, transformation, decay and death. Hence, its existence is temporary. It has no existence before its birth and it has no existence after death. Hence, it is described as “Anithya” or temporary. The Question now is, can this Anithya be described as Satyam? It cannot be because only that is Satyam, which is true all the time. But,worldly objects which has no existence before birth and after death cannot be described as “Satyam”. But, at the same time they do have temporary and objective existence. They are not Non-Existent like son of a barren woman. Hence, Jagat is called as Mithyam. Mithyam means that which is not Satyam i.e. that which is not True always at all the times. Hence, Satyam is that which is Birth-less and eternal and Mithyam is that which has birth and hence is temporary.

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