108 Names of the Moon: Chandra Ashtottara Shatanamavali #8

Moon - a royal planet

Om satpataye namah – Salutations to the One who is the Lord of truth. The Moon is the presiding deity of the mind; the Moon as Lord of Truth sees and fosters truth everywhere. Truth exists within the human as a guide to action. However, what is seen reflects the seer; much effort must be put in place – with integrity and purity – for the seer to be both the actor on the stage and the messenger of Truth.


glossary
sat: Hin., San. adj. (from as – to be) existing, being, real; true; right; divine; good, virtuous.
sat:, sad-, sach– Hin., San. m. that which really is – reality, being; the changeless self-existent ultimate Reality, which is eternal and unaffected by time, space or causation (V. 478); that which is good, real and true, the Truth. ‘Truth is one; sages call it by many names.’ (Rv. I.164.45–46)
sat-pateh: of the highest truth SB 2.8.27 c
sat-patham: the path of the Absolute Truth. SB 3.28.1
sat-pathe: on the path of truth SB 4.12.51
pati Hin. a husband San. pati m. lord, master, possessor, king, ruler, chief, controller.
pataye San. m. to/for the Lord, master


 

Lord of Truth is an extraordinary epithet to give to the Moon, the presiding deity of the mind. It suggests that the mind can lead one to the Truth, to the basis of all that is. In Sanskrit, sathyam moolam jagat: the Universe is based on Truth. For the mind to based on truth, there has to be purity: suddhi.

We have been told many times that the mind is like a monkey, it is outwards going in nature and seeks to acquire all that it sees. Mind is influenced by our past, for it has come with the soul to the new body, as Lord Krishna reveals in Bhagavad Gita. Thus, there is the search for our true nature, for we are not the mind, we are not the senses, we are not the body. What directs the mind along the paths to Truth? How does the Moon (Lord of the Mind) effectively signify it is Lord of Truth?

The seen reflects the seer: iti dristi iti. What is within the seer is seen outside. In order for the mind to reflect the Moon as satpataye, the contents of the mind within must contain both discrimination and detachment. With discrimination and detachment is is possible for the energy of the mind to be in perfect balance, of positive and negative, masculine and feminine, light and dark. Perfece balance reflects no disturbance, and hence, the nature of the Universe, all that is: sathyam moolam jagat: the Universe is based on truth.

To arrive at this, inner discipline is needed. For the world to be pure and based on truth, consistency of thought, word and action are needed. One must see the world aright, one must have a mind appropriately disciplined, there must be right understanding, right intention in all our actions, and there must be right concentration: concentration in activity always brings success.

In summary:

  • Right Understanding
  • Right Intent
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action
  • Right Livelihood
  • Right Effort
  • Right Mindfulness
  • Right Concentration.

This is the noble eight-fold path of the Buddhist; nonetheless, it is also the proper foundation for the mind to be based on purity and truth, in thought, word, action, intention, mindfulness and concentration. These things add up to the proper influence on the Moon as presiding deity of the mind, satpataye namaha the one who is the Lord of Truth. When the Moon is Lord of Truth within / without, then we have true humanness.

In this context, the Vedas teach three mantras. That is sathyam bhruyath – speak the truth. This is a moral value. priyam bhruyath – speak what is pleasant. This refers to righteousness. na bhruyath sathyam apriyam – don’t speak the unpleasant truth. This is for putting into spiritual practice. So for the moral, ethical and spiritual, truth is the central principle.

From the standpoint of morals, we should speak the truth. The truth should be pleasant. You will never utter falsehood when you speak the pleasant truth. Therefore, at a time when you do not speak any falsehood and the time when you speak in a pleasant way, that is truth. The teaching of Bhagavad Gita is that truth has to be spoken in a pleasant way. Though it is truth, you should not hurt anyone. You should never utter a lie to make others happy. You should never tell the truth in a harsh way. You should tell the truth softly and sweetly. You should speak in a pleasing manner.

So we should take to truth in order to foster moral values. The moral values are safeguarded by truth. All this truth should have love encompassing it. The human value will blossom when the truth is full of love. The individuality shall manifest. We hold on to our own truth by speaking softly and in a pleasant way. We have the combination of moral values, righteousness and spirituality in this truth.

20/11/1995

Om satpataye namah – Salutations to the One who is the Lord of truth.

 

 

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