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Satya Nasti Paro Dharma

Sep 28, 1996 08:08 PM
by Maxim Osinovsky

On Sat, 28 Sep 1996, Einar Adalsteinsson & A.S.B. wrote:

> >>"There is no wisdom higher then truth." (I love that!)
> >
> The original text to the emblem of Theosophical Society I believe is:
> "Satya Nasti Paro Dharma" (Sanskrit or Pali?).
> My sources tell me that it should have translated as:
> "There is no DOCTRINE (Dharma) higher than truth (Satya)"

The emblem of the T.S. carries this motto (English version):

"There is no religion higher than Truth."


The same source says in part, "Around the emblem appears the motto of the
Theosophical Society, "There is no religion higher than Truth." Truth is
the quest of every Theosophist, whatever her [sic!] faith, and every
great religion reflects in some measure the light of the eternal and
spiritual wisdom."

3rd Webster's gives the following meanings of the word "dharma" in
Hinduism: a. (1) social custom regarded as one's duty; (2) caste custom;
b. civil and criminal law; c. the body of cosmic principles by which all
things exist: NATURE: (1) essential function; (2) NATURAL LAW;  (3) MORAL
LAW, JUSTICE; d. conduct appropriate to onbe's essential nature,
establishing the morally sound life that is one of the man's four ends:
RIGHTEOUSNESS, RELIGION--orrosed to adharma.

My Sanskrit dictionary adds to it: 1. religious injunction or command; 2.
conscience; 3. virtue; 4. Dharma, religion, belief system.

So it seems that translating "dharma" as "wisdom" is not justified, but
"religion" is OK.

Another interpretation of the motto may be based on the idea that the
Truth is an aspect of the Planetary Logos, so that an enlightened person
whose consciousness is one with that of the P.L. should be literally a
living expression of the Truth. This in particular means s/he behaves
himself/herself in the only possible way compatible with the Truth, which
brings the idea of dharma as both the truth of being and *the* law of
physical and moral nature. In other words, the number of degrees of
freedom reduces to just one.

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