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On 28 July, 2001, a debate on whether 'Truth is victorious' or 'Untruth is
victorious' was presented by students of the Akshar Purushottam Chhatralay in Vidyanagar in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Thereafter, Swamishri eloquently elaborated on the aspect of good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness and truth and untruth. We present a translation of Swamishri's blessings from the original Gujarati version.

There was a lot of clapping for the presentation on untruth. This indeed reflects the mood and color of today's society. Its influence is such that people are keen to listen and rejoice on wrong things. But there is no need to express joy; and there is no need to appreciate it by clapping. Your reactions mirror what you see on TV and read in books. Whatever you see, hear and speak always make impressions on you.
The incarnations of God and great spiritual personalities have never lived for untruth or unrighteousness. Unrighteousness is unrighteousness! One can never get peace and happiness through untruthful deeds. Therein lies conflict for the family, society and nation. The consequences of unrighteousness are nothing but conflict. The influence of Kaliyug is evident. We see there is moral darkness and mental turmoil. One sees this restlessness and agitation in the ruling authorities and the laymen. If unrighteousness is legitimate then there should be no mental turmoil and conflict, no bad desires within. But one experiences conflict and bad desires due to unrighteous deeds. Hence it is because of the existence of unrighteousness that one finds its consequences in the form of bad deeds, and finds oneself doing immoral things. Whatever one gains through wrong means produces distress and unhappiness. Any person who does wrong things is always unhappy within. Even if he outwardly struts with pride and smartness, his conscience is pricked by the thought that he has done wrong. And the truth of the matter is that intrinsically he feels he has wronged.

Whereas, one who is righteous will always be happy. His mind, despite all the troubles and persecutions, remains peaceful because of the conviction that he has done good. He lives with joy because he has done no wrong. Such people are sung as heroes. Whereas those who are wrong doers, thieves and killers do not become a part of history where people admire them and feel sympathetic for them. Why do people heartily admire Shri Ram, Krishna, Swaminarayan Bhagwan, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and such great people? Because they were good and truthful. And out of our love for truth, are we not drawn to love them! Whereas no feelings of love arise for the unrighteous. So we must understand and consolidate truth or righteousness within us.

We have a legacy of righteousness through our Vedas. It prescribes us to promote satsang and not bad things. Why are we told to keep away from evil people? So that their corrupting attributes do not affect our lives. But if you associate with them and promote them then people will also become like them. Then no one will be happy! There will be nothing but conflict and pillaging. Look at the gangs of violent men. How much peace do they have? They are always on the run, hiding like fugitives from someone. Do they eat peacefully? No matter what they have, but because of their unrighteous actions do they have peace? Despite all their spirited mannerisms and styles, they are not only mentally miserable because of unrighteousness in their hearts, but also make society miserable through their misdeeds. They are always worried about when the police will come and what will happen next. And so they have no peace in their lives.

Would one ever contemplate on sitting in dirt and faeces? No. One would not even think of it. Similarly, whatever position, glory, land or wealth one attains unethically is nothing but dirt; and it always stinks. Whereas one who does a small righteous deed will always have tranquillity. His experience of peace will endure because of purity and because of his adherence to righteousness.

Today, we find people in colleges and other places looking at vulgar things, reading pornographic books, listening to bawdy talks and living immorally because they feel they will achieve something. But there is nothing they can gain and ultimately it all amounts to unhappiness. One finds gangs of villains fighting each other. Righteousness never fights with righteousness. Whereas untruth spawns conflict. Righteous people are not miserable with each other; they take whatever happens to be God's wish. However, the unrighteous, fume with revenge. It is the evil elements of anger, lust, greed, infatuation, deceit and 'I'ness and 'Mine'ness that wield their influence. There is both good and evil inside and outside everyone. If anyone associates with evil then the evil elements within are aroused and its influence overwhelm the person. Then the individual starts to kill, extort money and practice all other vices. The act of seeing, hearing and reading evil things results in that and nothing else. He has no peace and neither do those whom he persecutes. Whereas the righteous experience peace. In fact, he nourishes the resolution of doing no wrong to anyone.

It has been popularly said that one should do satsang, that is to associate with bona fide people. Through this one is inspired with wholesome thoughts. Even when you see and hear something unrighteous, you will not be influenced because you have the company of good people, refuge of God and the association of a sadhu like Yogiji Maharaj. Hence you will think that if you do wrong then it will not be acceptable to Yogiji Maharaj, your family, society and country. But if you do not have good company, then you will be careless and reckless - and that is not life! One who lives by making thousands miserable is not a person; but one who makes thousands happy is a person. He is a person of character and becomes a devotee of God. Why do we remember God and sing His glory? Because through Him countless attain peace and are reclaimed from the path of unrighteousness. We remember Him and worship Him because He leads us from darkness to the light of truth.

Bhagwan Swaminarayan has prescribed in the Shikshapatri that no matter how much wealth, position or status one may be offered through unrighteous means, one should not accept it. One should not give up dharma even if it causes one pain and misery. Maharaj also preaches in the Shikshapatri that despite observing dharma and truth one may, as a consequence, suffer pain and problems, but one should never resort to unrighteousness. So the words of such great people are truth for us; but not of those who create their own dharma out of free will and talk about adharma. One should believe in the authority and authenticity of scriptural words and great spiritual people. Supposing you are studying medicine. Then will accepting a layman's word help you? Obviously not. You should trust the word of world renowned or genuine doctors. But how can you believe in those who have killed people? Therefore, you should not trust those who are wrong and unrighteous.

There are good people in society who have genuinely helped others and one can vouch for their integrity. Whereas spiritual matters that have not been sanctioned by our scriptures will not be accepted by your soul. Even if you say otherwise, within, you will feel that it is wrong. You will not find the scriptures or society endorsing it. We all believe that liquor, meat, stealing, adultery and addiction are harmful and wrong. We also say that they are bad for the world and for dharma. A little drop of righteousness immortalises, whereas a little drop of unrighteousness, like poison, is fatal. This is the principle and mainstay of India and the world. And when a person sanctions his own unrighteous actions, then his actions should not be spread, his books should not be read or listened to; so that one can progress, be compassionate to others, enrich society with virtues and please God.
We should do that which pleases Yogiji Maharaj, and abstain from wilful actions. There is also no need to take inspiration from unrighteous or untruthful people. When Yogiji Maharaj has said that we should not do this, then we should not do it. There was nothing unrighteous in his life. Yogiji Maharaj was a pure person, one who had realised God and wished only for the good of all. He even wished for the good of those who were wrong and unrighteous. Many were even transformed by his blessings. And it is through the words and blessings of such holy people that one should consolidate morality, obedience and a spiritual creed in one's life and walk the path of righteousness.

Yogiji Maharaj never copied in his school years. He told another student who wished to copy from him that if his answer was wrong then he would get it wrong too. Whereas today we find students copying from one another in exams. Do your studies or business properly and righteously. Money is not important but earning it righteously is. Whatever you do righteously will give you and everyone peace. Therefore, spread righteousness and not unrighteousness.

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