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A Truth A Lie, And A Child – Spiritual Story By Osho

One day I was playing — I must have been five or six years old… A man used to come to see my father, an utterly boring man. And my father was growing tired of him. So he called me and told me, “I see that man is coming; he will waste my time unnecessarily and it is very difficult to get rid of him. I always have to go out, and say to him, `Now I have some appointment’ — unnecessarily I have to go out, just to get rid of him. And sometimes it happens that he says, `I am coming with you. So on the way we can have a good talk.’ And there is no talk, it is a monologue. He talks, and tortures people.”

So my father said, “I am going inside. You just remain playing outside. And when he comes, you simply say to him that your father is out.”

And my father used to teach me continuously, “Never speak an untruth.” So I was shocked. This was contradictory.

So when the man came and asked me, “Where is your father?” I said, “He is in, but he says that he is out.”

My father heard this from inside, and the man entered with me, so he could not say anything in front of him. When the man had gone, after two or three hours my father was really angry with me, not with the man.

He said, “I told you to tell him, `My father is out.'”

I said, “Exactly, I repeated the same thing. I told him the same thing: `My father says to tell you that he is out. But he is in, the truth is he is in.’ You have been teaching me to be true whatever the consequence. So I am ready for the consequence. Any punishment, if you want to give me, give. But remember, if truth is punished, truth is destroyed. Truth has to be rewarded. Give me some reward, so I can go on speaking the truth whatever happens.”

He looked at me and he said, “You are clever.”

I said, “That you know already. Just give me some reward. I have spoken the truth.”

And he had to give me some reward.

Osho – “From False to the Truth”

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What is the Spiritual Moral / Meaning of Osho's “A Truth A Lie, And A Child ” Story?

The spiritual significance of this story lies in the profound moral lesson it imparts about the importance of truthfulness, even in the face of potential consequences. From a spiritual perspective, truth is not merely a matter of factual accuracy but encompasses a deeper alignment with one's inner integrity and authenticity. The young child in the story exemplifies this principle by choosing to uphold the value of truthfulness instilled by his father, despite the conflicting instruction to deceive the visitor. In doing so, he demonstrates a commitment to moral clarity and inner conviction, transcending societal expectations and external pressures.

Another spiritual moral inherent in this story is the notion of courage in the pursuit of truth. The child's unwavering commitment to honesty, even in the face of potential punishment, reflects a courageous defiance of societal norms and expectations. In spiritual practice, courage is often regarded as an essential virtue, enabling individuals to confront adversity, challenge injustice, and uphold their principles with unwavering resolve. By fearlessly speaking the truth, the child exemplifies the transformative power of courage in fostering inner strength and moral fortitude.

Furthermore, the story highlights integrity as a cornerstone of ethical conduct. Integrity encompasses the alignment of one's actions with one's values and principles, regardless of external circumstances or pressures. The child's refusal to compromise his commitment to truthfulness underscores the importance of maintaining integrity in all aspects of life. From a spiritual perspective, integrity serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path of righteousness and virtue amidst the complexities of human existence.

Additionally, the story underscores the spiritual principle of authenticity and self-expression. The child's insistence on speaking the truth, despite the potential repercussions, reflects a deep-seated authenticity and inner alignment with his convictions. In spiritual practice, authenticity is revered as a sacred virtue, allowing individuals to embrace their true selves and express their deepest truths without inhibition or fear. By embodying authenticity, the child exemplifies the transformative power of living in alignment with one's inner truth and essence.

Moreover, the story underscores the spiritual significance of ethical conduct and moral responsibility. The child's adherence to truthfulness not only reflects a personal commitment to integrity but also carries broader implications for ethical behavior and social responsibility. In spiritual teachings, ethical conduct is regarded as a fundamental aspect of spiritual evolution, guiding individuals towards greater compassion, empathy, and altruism. By upholding ethical principles, the child demonstrates a profound sense of moral responsibility and ethical awareness, inspiring others to emulate his example.

In essence, this story serves as a powerful allegory for the spiritual journey of self-discovery, moral growth, and ethical awakening. Through the lens of spirituality, the child's courageous commitment to truthfulness illuminates the transformative power of integrity, authenticity, and moral responsibility. By embracing these timeless virtues, individuals can cultivate a deeper connection with their inner truth, foster greater harmony with others, and contribute to the collective evolution of consciousness. Ultimately, the spiritual significance of this story lies in its timeless wisdom and profound insights into the nature of truth, integrity, and ethical conduct in the human experience.

Personal Reflection Questions

Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:

  1. Reflect on a time when you faced a situation where truth seemed to clash with practicality or convenience. How did you navigate that dilemma, and what were the consequences of your choice?
  2. Consider the role of integrity in your life. How do you define integrity, and what values guide your commitment to honesty and authenticity?
  3. Explore the idea of truth as a moral principle. In what ways do you prioritize truthfulness in your interactions with others, and how do you handle situations where truthfulness may pose challenges?
  4. Reflect on the relationship between truth and consequence. How do you reconcile the potential repercussions of speaking truth with your commitment to honesty and integrity?
  5. Contemplate the notion of standing by your convictions. How do you stay true to your principles even in the face of pressure or opposition?
  6. Consider the lessons you have learned from moments of moral clarity or ethical decision-making. How have these experiences shaped your understanding of truth and integrity?
  7. Explore the concept of inner wisdom. How do you discern the voice of truth within yourself, and how do you honor that inner guidance in your actions and choices?
  8. Reflect on the idea of truth as a catalyst for growth and transformation. How have moments of truth-telling or truth-seeking propelled you toward personal evolution and self-discovery?
  9. Contemplate the significance of authenticity in relationships. How do you cultivate authentic connections with others through honest communication and genuine expression?
  10. Consider the ripple effects of truthfulness in your life and the lives of those around you. How does embodying truth contribute to a sense of harmony, trust, and integrity in your personal and professional interactions?