Satyavadi-gram: The Truthful Village
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Once, Narad Goswami came to visit this visva brahmanda in a human body. He was walking down a street when he came across one house. It was a very good and big three-storey house, with the A/C, a big car, and everything else. Narad Goswami came to a man from this house and asked,
"Are you the proprietor of this house?"
"Yes, yes, I am the proprietor."
"How much money do you have in the bank?"
"I only have 10,000 rupees in the bank."
"How come? You are a very big man—even a rickshaw-wala probably has 10,000 rupees in the bank..."
"In this village no one can tell a lie—everyone tells the truth, that is why its name is Satyavadi, 'truthful'. Do you understand? I am telling the truth!"
Narad went away thinking, "What is that man saying? The name of the village is Satyavadi, everyone tells the truth, but that man is saying he has only 10,000 rupees in the bank—how is it possible?" He went to another house.
In the next house, a family—a man, his wife, sons and daughters—were having lunch together. Narad Goswami asked,
"Who is the head of this house?"
The man said, "I am."
"How many sons and daughters do you have?"
"I have only one son."
"What? But I see there are so many sons and many daughter sitting here, taking food—"
"Enough. I have told you I have only one son. The name of this village is Satyavadi ('truthful')—here no one can be telling a lie! I am also telling the truth, and you have to believe it: I have only one son."
Narad Goswami was puzzled, "What is going on here? There are so many children, but he said he had only one son..." He continued walking and came to the bank of the Ganges. There was an old man sitting there and chanting on the beads. He was wearing kanthi mala (Tulasi neck beads), had a tilak and a sikha. He looked very old, he was maybe ninety years old. Narad Goswami asked him,
"O dadu! [Dadu means 'grandfather'.] How old are you?"
The man began counting and after a while said, "Oh, I am twenty years old!"
"Huh? But you look so old, you have white hair and beard, and you are saying you are only twenty?!"
The man got angry, "Hey, do not laugh at me! I am twenty years old. The name of this village is Satyavadi, 'truthful', no one can tell a lie here, and I am also telling you the truth. I am twenty years old!"
Narad Goswami was surprised, "Everybody says they tell the truth, but I think they are all lying. What is going on? I must see Yudhisthir Maharaj, he will never tell a lie..." So, Narad Goswami came to Yudhisthir Maharaj,
"Maharaj, what is going on in that village? I have spoken to three people, they say that the name of their village is Satyavadi, 'truthful', and everybody there tells the truth, but I think they are lying..."
"No, no, they told you the truth."
"How is it so? The first man had a big three-storey house, I asked him how much he had in his bank account and he said he had only 10,000 rupees."
"That is true. Last night he spent 10,000 rupees on Vaishnav seva, sadhu-seva, and Guru-seva, that is why his real bank balance is 10,000 rupees. The donation he gave for Guru and Vaishnavs is his main balance, he told you the truth. It is correct."
"Well, the second man I spoke to had many children—three-four sons and two-three daughters—but he said he had only one son."
"One of his sons drinks whiskey, another son mixes with a bad woman, and another son is a big drunkard and takes ganja. They all have bad association, but one of his sons chose good association. He went to the temple and took diksa from a Guru. He is a brahmachari (took the saffron colour) and does sadhu-sanga, that is why his father says, 'He is my only son, only he can rescue me from my bad karma. He is my putra (পুত্র, son), all others are my mutra (মূত্র, urine).'"*
"OK, the third man was so old, he looked like he was ninety, but he said he was twenty years old!"
"Because seventy years ago he went to the Ganges. For seventy years he had been doing nothing, and twenty years ago he took initiation! He took shelter of a bona fide Guru, and for twenty years he has been chanting the Holy Name. That is why twenty is his real age, and the other seventy years were wasted. He told the truth."
"Oh, now I understand..."
* In the purport to Srimad Bhagavatam (9.18.44), Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj Prabhupad writes, "Putra means 'son,' and mutra means 'urine.' Both a son and urine come from the same genitals. If a son is an obedient devotee of the Lord he is called putra, or a real son; otherwise, if he is not learned and is not a devotee, a son is nothing better than urine."
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