The Sikh Guru tells us very clearly that speaking lies is wrong and will lead the person away from God; he or she will not find peace or solace and the result will only be continuous misery and sadness. The motivation of telling lies is greed; the person speaking lies has some gain at the back of their mind; it may just be done for a laugh but whatever the motivation, the Guru says that greed is the spark that leads one to lie. The Guru says, "What can anyone do, with greed within? O Siblings of Destiny, by telling lies, they eat poison.(4)" (SGGS p 635) The greed within results in the person succumbing to the temptation to lie and satisfy this inner need.
The Guru compares the telling of lies to the "...eating of poison". This is repeated many times. On page 948 of the holy Granth, the Guru tells us "Speaking lies, one eats poison; the self-willed manmukh departs, crying out in pain" (SGGS p 948). Again "speaking lies one eats poison" is repeated. According to Gurbani, telling lies is just like taking poison - it leads to a slow killing of the inner spirit - the person moves away from purity and from the God within; also when you do final depart, you will go away crying - not a very pretty prospect for the future.
What are lies?
The dictionary says that to tell a lie is to purposely say something that is not true because you want to make the other people believe it; it is an attempt to deceive or mislead someone normally for a personal gain of some sort, however small.
A lie (also called prevarication, falsehood) is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others, often with the further intention to maintain a secret or reputation, protect someone's feelings or to avoid a punishment or repercussion for one's actions. To lie is to state something that one knows to be false or that one does not honestly believe to be true with the intention that a person will take it for the truth. A liar is a person who is lying, who has previously lied, or who tends by nature to lie repeatedly - even when not necessary.
Lying is typically used to refer to deceptions in oral or written communication. Other forms of deception, such as disguises or forgeries, are generally not considered lies, but their influence, according to Gurbani, is the same as the underlying intent and is in general the same as a lie. However, even a true statement can be used to deceive. In this situation, it is the intent of being overall untruthful rather than the truthfulness of any individual statement that is considered the lie.
What Gurbani tells us
|ਕਫਰ ਗੋਅ ਕਫਰਾਣੈ ਪਇਆ ਦਝਸੀ ॥ ਸਭ ਦਨੀਆ ਸਬਹਾਨ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਈਝ ॥ ਸਿਝੈ ਦਰਿ ਦੀਵਾਨਿ ਆਪ ਗਵਾਈਝ ॥੯॥|
|Kufar go▫a kufrĝṇai pa▫i▫ĝ ḝajẖsī. Sabẖ ḝunī▫ĝ sub▫hĝn sacẖ samĝ▫ī▫ai. Sijẖai ḝar ḝīvĝn ĝp gavĝ▫ī▫ai.(9)|
|One who speaks lies shall fall into hell and burn.
In all the world, the most blessed and sanctified are those who remain absorbed in Truth. One who eliminates selfishness and conceit is redeemed in the Court of the Lord.(9)
|ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮ ਗਵਾਝ ॥ ਆਪਿ ਡਬੇ ਸਗਲੇ ਕਲ ਡੋਬੇ ਕੂੜ ਬੋਲਿ ਬਿਖ ਖਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੬॥|
|Ḏūjai bẖĝ▫e birthĝ janam gavĝ▫e. Āp dube sagle kul dobe kūṛ bol bikẖ kẖĝvaṇi▫ĝ.(6)|
|In love with duality, they waste away their lives in vain.
They drown themselves, and drown their entire family; speaking lies, they eat poison.(6)
|ਓਇ ਧਰਮਿ ਰਲਾਝ ਨਾ ਰਲਨਹਹਿ ਓਨਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕੂੜ ਸਆਉ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਰਤੈ ਬਣਤ ਬਣਾਈ ਮਨਮਖ ਕੂੜ ਬੋਲਿ ਬੋਲਿ ਡਬੇ ਗਰਮਖਿ ਤਰੇ ਜਪਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਉ ॥੨॥|
|O▫e ḝẖaram ralĝ▫e nĝ ralniĥ onĝ anḝar kūṛ su▫ĝ▫o. Nĝnak karṯai baṇaṯ baṇĝ▫ī manmukẖ kūṛ bol bol dube gurmukẖ ṯare jap har nĝ▫o.(2)|
|He does not mingle with the righteous; within him are falsehood and selfishness.
O Nanak, the Creator Lord has arranged things, so that the self-willed manmukhs are drowned by telling lies, while the Gurmukhs are saved by chanting the Lord's Name.(2)
|ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭ ਮਨਿ ਮੈਲੈ ਮਲ ਲਾਝ ॥ ਮੈਲੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇ ਦਖ ਪਾਝ ॥ ਕੂੜੋ ਕੂੜ ਕਰੇ ਵਾਪਾਰਾ ਕੂੜ ਬੋਲਿ ਦਖ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੧੨॥|
|Anṯar lobẖ man mailai mal lĝ▫e. Maile karam kare ḝukẖ pĝ▫e. Kūṛo kūṛ kare vĝpĝrĝ kūṛ bol ḝukẖ pĝ▫iḝĝ. (12)|
|With greed within them, their minds are filthy, and they spread filth around.
They do filthy deeds, and suffer in pain. They deal in falsehood, and nothing but falsehood; telling lies, they suffer in pain.(12)
|ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਚਿਤ ਨ ਲਾਇਨੀ ਵਾਦੀ ਧਰਨਿ ਪਿਆਰ ॥ ਵਾਦਾ ਕੀਆ ਕਰਨਿ ਕਹਾਣੀਆ ਕੂੜ ਬੋਲਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਆਹਾਰ ॥|
|Har si▫o cẖiṯ na lĝ▫inī vĝḝī ḝẖaran pi▫ĝr. vĝḝĝ kī▫ĝ karan kahĝṇī▫ĝ kūṛ bol karahi ĝhĝr.|
|They do not focus their consciousness on the Lord; they love to engage in arguments.
They speak to cause arguments, and earn their living by telling lies.
- "Some eat and survive by practicing fraud and deceit; from their mouths they drop falsehood and lies." (SGGS p 85)
- "Do not tell lies, O Pandit; O religious scholar, speak the Truth." (SGGS p 904)
- "You slander, and then praise others; you indulge in lies and gossip." (SGGS p 155)
- "She has neither modesty or self-discipline; the self-willed manmukh constantly tells lies, and is ruined by the bad karma of evil deeds." (SGGS p 786)
- "The faithless cynic barks out his lies, and his face is blackened. (4)" (SGGS p 239)
- "They walk according to their own wills, and continually speak falsehood and lies. They practice falsehood and deception, and endlessly slander others. Slandering others, they drown themselves, and drown all their generations as well." (SGGS p 951)
- "He reads the scriptures, but tells lies; such is the intellect of one who has no Guru. " (SGGS p 1013)
- "Not understanding that the Lord is near, he tells lies. " (SGGS p 1139)
- "They bark and speak, telling only lies; all thought of righteousness has left them. Those who have no honor while alive, will have an evil reputation after they die. " (SGGS p 1242)
When is a lie not a lie?
A lie is not a lie when one:
- 1. Does not disclose everything - that is only gives the briefest of answer which is still true and
- 2. There is No personal gain as a consequence of the statement made.
With ID (identity) theft being the fastest growing crime in the West, telling the truth and giving away your personal information to random people may not be the most sensible way to run your life. So where does one stand here. Should we lie to these random people and tell the truth to others; or should we just plain lie here. In which case where do we draw the line? Who is random and who is not; who is there to steal your ID and who is not?
So there is a little more to the definition of a lie? Is there such a thing as a white lie?
During the time of the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh there were only small number of Sikhs left surviving due to the constant persecution by the Mughals. To bolster the image of the Sikhs and to provide a boost to the Sikh moral, the Guru put forward the concept of one Sikh being able to fight 125,000 others. Accordingly, when the Sikhs communicated numbers of their soldiers going from one place to another, they would, for example use a figure of 625,000 when only 5 Sikh soldiers were travelling; if this message was intercepted, it would give an inflated size of the Sikh army to the Mughals. Was this a white lie? The short answer is NO, but it is up to the reader to come to their own conclusion.
Comments about telling lies
Pray for a chance to make it right
I lied to the people that meant the most to me in this world. My mother and the person that I am in love with. I told one person one thing and the other person something totally different. Everyday I had to think about every word that came out of my mouth because I told a lie to cover up for a lie to cover up for another lie.
My mother still holds me at arms length. My love I don’t know. I will never be looked at the same way again. It’s hard knowing that something so small could destroy everything.
I lied because I didn’t have enough faith in the people around me loving me for who I am and not what I am and what I have. Now I don’t have anything. I have material things but I’ve lost my loved ones trust. That can make you feel hollow at times.
Pain is progress. I can now look at what I’ve done and never do it again.
PRAY FOR A CHANCE TO MAKE IT RIGHT!!!!
Be honest and be strong
I admit i’m a liar, I honestly think I’ve been this way for a long time too, but it’s going to stop.
I lie about stupid, petty things and for no reason, it’s beyond ridiculous.
I have plenty of things that I want to change about myself this year but this is the first one, I think that if I continue to lie to myself and others, my friends and family are not going to trust me and eventually I won’t even trust myself.
I need to remind myself: If you want to implement change in your life the first thing you need to be is HONEST, to yourself first. To be honest about the fact you have a problem and to be HONEST about what it will take to change.
I promise myself to make this a year that counts in shaping who I am; to be honest and to be strong.