The Spiritual Serum
Satya means Truth. In yogic terms, as a Yama, it is commonly known as Truthfulness, and it implies that the practitioner must take a vow to do one’s
best not to lie in terms of actions, speech, and thought. One could apply this principle by following these three methods:
- Being tremendously lucid and aware of one’s words before speaking. Whenever you are about to speak, pause for a few seconds, and internally ask
yourself before speaking: “Is what I’m going to say coming from authenticity, genuineness?” If so, speak ahead. If not, do not speak.
- Being extremely attentive to one’s actions before performing them. In other words, rather than acting on auto-pilot, be aware of what you are doing and its implications.
- Remaining within the “field of truthfulness,” which will make your thoughts attune to a more truthful frequency, thereby self-purifying. Basically, it’s about not being inauthentic, not even in the small things. In the end, it’s not just about not telling lies, but about not being a lie. This, in itself, is a powerful teaching to attempt to adopt, even if only for a day, but preferably, as a lasting principle.
In fact, there is no need to lie about anything because you are not trying to defend an illusion or anything at all. Furthermore, there’s an inherent beauty to being truthful, to which people and even the universe respond to favorably. Embracing truthfulness serves as a stepping-stone toward realizing the ultimate Truth.
With that being said, there’s even more depth to this Yama of Truthfulness. It’s about the desire for Freedom and keeping yourself truthful to the choice you made to attain it. Whenever I hear or read about someone saying that all they want is to find their real nature, find what or who God is, or to be enlightened and bathed in eternal bliss, the vast majority of the time, such is not true. Those words do not come from a place of realness and truthfulness, but rather from the ego.
Their desire to find out the Truth is not real enough; they still haven’t truly made the choice. And this burning desire is one of the most critical aspects of success on the spiritual path. If it’s not burning and real, then you are not following the principle of Satya. You are merely lying to yourself.
It is written that Jesus said, “The Truth will set you free.” When we’re talking about the supreme Truth, this is completely true. However, I’ve found that there is a caveat on this axiom: the Truth will set you free, but only if you genuinely want it!
The Blazing Desire
All human beings have desires. Desire is a craving for something that appears to be missing in our current experience. There arises the urge to ‘move’ toward that which will fill up this negative feeling of being ’empty’ or ‘lacking.’ It is thus a lack of recognition of the completeness of the present moment, and an anxiety for the future. It is a rejection of “now” with the hope of embracing “then.”
Every time we perform an action, that action produces a memory. Memories have the potential to generate desire, which in turn generates a repeated action (we tend to repeat pleasurable actions as well as actions that enable us to avoid pain and suffering). As long as we keep running in the rat
race of desires, we will live a predictable life of mediocrity, always jumping from one desire to another. When we desire something, we are not fully aware, fully present, fully now. If there were no desires, then nothing would be missing, and maximum joy and peace would be the current state. Desirelessness equals completeness.
Since desiring is an impulse to take action to achieve something, then the desire to be free from all suffering, to enjoy immeasurable ecstasy, to be
eternally in peace, or to have access to unfathomable realms of profound wisdom, is also an impulse to take action to move from what is currently
lacking toward what we desire.
However, there is a difference between the desire to be Self-Realized or enlightened in comparison to all others: we are desiring to achieve That
which ends all desires once and for all. That super intense desire [for Self-Realization] is unlike all other desires because it will burn them all, like a burning log that will consume all the other logs when placed together. That burning desire is the main factor that will determine whether or not you will become liberated. Yes, the intensity of your desire is that important—without it, you will not go far. It is what distinguishes real aspirants from wannabe seekers.
To distinguish this desire from all other desires, we’ll refer to it as the “urge for enlightenment.” This urge is fundamental. It is the number one requisite for enlightenment, yet is one of the most neglected dictums. If this desire to be free does not saturate and encompass your whole being every single day, then you are not employing the principle of Satya. You are being untruthful to yourself.
Many seekers start out with lots of motivation and with a genuine intention to attain Freedom. With time, however, this intensity and desire begin to fade into oblivion. Don’t allow this to happen. As the desire for Freedom dissipates into the background, superficial desires involving more immediate gratification begin to arise in the foreground. If you say that you want to be enlightened and realize your true nature, but then your actions, speech, and thoughts do not reflect that, then you are merely deceiving yourself—you are being untruthful to your heart’s deepest desire. The best way to overcome this is to cultivate the urge for enlightenment.
One of the ways to do it is through discernment or discrimination. The reason that almost all human beings lack both the understanding and the urge for enlightenment is due to a lack of discernment. People think that the value of anything is ingrained or intrinsic to the thing itself. But this is not the case, for if it were, everyone would equally value the same objects, events, persons, circumstances, etc. And it is not hard to see that we don’t. Uncontacted Amazonian tribes couldn’t care less about a $20,000 18kt gold ring, yet they may find a mirror quite interesting and valuable. A mother of five in Mozambique doesn’t attribute any value to Super Bowl VIP tickets, but she would definitely value food and medicine.
It is then easy to see that value is not inherent in anything, except to the person attributing it. We are the value-providers, not the value-finders. We
live in a society that collectively values the same things, so we tend to desire those very same things: professional success, social status, physical health and fitness, material wealth, and pleasure-indulging activities.
Due to our lack of recognition that we are the ones who give value to anything, we continuously seek to fill our feeling of lack with the value that achieving all those things will supposedly provide. We overlook enlightenment because we cannot see value in it. But enlightenment is the most valuable achievement in the whole Universe! It is a discovery of our own infinite value. Furthermore, it is also important to realize that spirituality doesn’t mean lack of abundance in all facets of life. It doesn’t mean material poverty, having an unfit body, being a professional failure, or that you can’t eat pizza, crack a joke, or watch a movie in the cinema.
On the contrary, it allows us to actually feel freer to appreciate things in life without inhibition and to fully express ourselves to the best of our ability in whatever it is that we’re supposed to do in this world. Even though enlightenment dramatically changes your worldview, it doesn’t diminish enjoyment in the world—it is definitely much more enjoyable, blissful, and totally free of misery. As you begin to seek enlightenment, a jungle of spiritual concepts, New Age doctrines, and mumbo-jumbo practices will appear. Instead of losing yourself in all of that, always remember to stick to the essentials:
- Read dogma-free spiritual books that inspire and motivate you to increase your urge for enlightenment;
- Engage in genuine spiritual practice to discover the light within that illuminates the darkness of illusion;
- Connect and be physically, mentally, or spiritually in the presence of an awakened one;
The more you do this, the more your life will be attuned to the Yama of Satya. And the more attuned your life is to the Yama of Satya, the more God
leads you to the realization of your own true Self. Above all, the urge for enlightenment is incredibly critical. Should you express a desire to excel as the finest piano player globally, but your engagement with the piano is infrequent, does that ambition genuinely hold? Expressing a wish to complete a marathon while seldom engaging in training—does that signify genuine desire? Professing a longstanding dream to visit Stonehenge, yet consistently spending money on frivolities rather than purchasing travel tickets—does that dream or aspiration truly resonate?
The same principle applies here. Just because someone says they want to achieve Freedom, that doesn’t mean it’s true. What they want is to achieve
what they believe Freedom is. And when it doesn’t happen in the timeframe they think it should, they become unmotivated and give up. But spirituality is not a magic-pill game—it’s the most profound endeavor of the human kingdom.
Though I’m comparing the desire for enlightenment to other desires, they are nothing alike. Other desires will always leave you wanting more because
they will never bring the eternal fulfillment that you ultimately seek. This urge to be free of lies and ignorance and to constantly bathe in the sun of Consciousness, on the other hand, will transform your burning log of intense desire for enlightenment into a gigantic flame that will consume all of the other logs (desires).
It is time to discover the root of all your desires—the desire to be complete, happy, and at peace. May all of your desires merge into this one desire, and then with single-pointed determination, the most auspicious conquest of the human kingdom will, at last, be achieved.
If you are genuine about your spiritual path, your whole life must be an expression of this. That is abiding by Satya, one of the foundations of Yoga. It’s staying true to your highest potential; true to your heart’s deepest call; true to yourself. That’s your mission.