Questioner: Sadhguru, in Tamil, there is a saying that goes something like, “There is no one who ruined himself by speaking truth. There is no one who lived well by speaking lies.” Is this true?
Sadhguru: First, we must define truth and lie. Are we only talking about verbal truth in the sense of rendering facts, or are we talking about truth as a life nourisher? Definitely truth nourishes life. Lies pull down life. In that context, the saying is 100% true. But if you look at it as verbal truth and verbal lies – rendering facts is not everything. Truth means seeing the real context and meaning of what is there now. By expressing truth, definitely no one will get lost. By continuously telling lies, no one will prosper.
Some extreme life-or-death situation may compel someone to tell a lie, and they may get away with it. But if you make lying your philosophy or habit, you will pay for it. Even for a single lie, you will pay. One cannot build a life on untruth – it will definitely not work.
When you are constantly telling lies, after some time, it will leave your mind completely disoriented. If I do not misinterpret what happened yesterday, I will simply recollect the facts. If I forgot what happened, I can ask someone who was around at that time. But if I am intentionally telling lies, if I tell you one thing today, and I tell someone else another thing tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow, I may not know anymore what exactly I told you or the other person. Telling lies leaves you in a state of disarray within yourself.
Saying things as you see them does not take any effort; it does not take a lot of thought process. But telling even a simple lie takes an unnecessary amount of thought process, which is wasteful and disorienting. If you keep lying, over a period of time, you will lose your basic faculties of handling any aspect of life. Sometimes by lying, you may have an unfair advantage over someone else, but if you make that your way of life, definitely you will pay for it.