Bhakti means performing devotional service unto Lord Krishna or utilizing one’s energy for Lord Krishna. The purpose of bhakti is to attain love of God or please Him. Bhakti is also known as Krishna prem or prem marg (love of Krishna path). 

The very first bhakti item is truthfulness. We must be truthful in every aspect of our life. If we are not truthful, we cannot attain love of Krishna or please Him, because He is the absolute truth.

“satyam param dhimahi… –  I meditate on Him for He is the Absolute Truth.” (first verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam).

Based on the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, the first leg of religion is truthfulness and there is nothing more sinful than untruthfulness.

How to be Truthful

  • Never break vows
  • Never deceive anyone
  • Never mislead anyone
  • Never cheat anyone
  • Never withhold information if asked
  • Never ask anyone to withhold information

“Satyamev Jayate” means “Truth Alone Triumphs”. This is the moto of Bharat (India), the land where God Himself has appeared many times. Thus, truthfulness is most important.

“Sat Sang” means associating with truthful person(s) and learning from them. One should not associate with liars, and never listen to any religious discourse from liars.

Based on the below verses and others, if one is not truthful, there will be zero result from going to temples, chanting, doing pujas, fasting, being vegetarian, and visiting holy places. God is the absolute truth and thus He cannot be pleased by those who are untruthful.

Being truthful is bhakti, because truthfulness pleases the absolute truth, Lord Krishna.

Scriptural References

“There is nothing more sinful than untruthfulness. Because of this, mother earth once said, ‘I can bear any heavy thing except a person who is a liar.’ ” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.20.4)

“…These four legs of powerful religion are truthfulness, mercy, austerity and charity.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.18)

 “Education, charity, penance and truth are said to be the four legs of religion…” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.12.41)

“In the age of Satya [truthfulness] your four legs were established by the four principles of austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness…” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.17.24)