Truth or Untruth

"Laws as such do not make people better," said Mulla Nasruddin to the King; "they must practice certain things, in order to become attuned to inner truth. This form of truth resembles apparent truth only slightly."

The King decided that he could, and would, make people observe the truth. He could make them practice truthfulness. His city was entered by a bridge. On this he built a gallows. The following day, when the gates were opened at dawn, the Captain of the Guard was stationed with a squad of troops to examine all who entered. An announcement was made: "Everyone will be questioned. If he tells the truth, he will be allowed to enter. If he lies, he will be hanged."

Nasruddin stepped forward. "Where are you going?" "I am on my way," said Nasruddin slowly, "to be hanged." "We don't believe you!" "Very well, if I have told a lie, hang me!" "But if we hang you for lying, we will have made what you said come true!"

"That's right: now you know what truth is - YOUR truth!"


Truth is that which is always true.  Which can never ever be negated.  The worldly truth can be untruth many a times.  This story is the example of that.

To follow the law is good.  But just by following the law one cannot be considered truthful. So what is more important is to abide in the ultimate Truth.

Saints follow the ultimate Truth.  Their actions are coming from that Truth and hence are truthful in the worldly terms also.  If our religious laws are in contradiction to the actions of such masters then also such saints should be considered as ideal. 

Many a times laws are made so that people do not harm anyone else.  Saints have transcended such mindset where they can harm anyone.  They are working with the vision of oneness so there cannot be any case of harming anyone.

In fact it is the life of some master becomes the template for forming the legal system.

But still it needs to be remembered that laws that are for the world, changes as per the changes in the world.  At different times, different saints come and they set the example for those times to be followed by others.

When such laws are framed based on the lives of masters then people will be encouraged to follow them. If the laws are merely formed out of authority like that of the king then people will always find ways to circumvent such laws.

** Read full explanation of this story from the Most In-depth Book on Mulla Nasruddin Ever!