सत्यं विधातुं निजभृत्यभाषितं व्याप्तिं च भूतेष्वखिलेषु चात्मनः।
अदृश्यतात्यद्भुतरूपमुद्वहन्स्तम्भे सभायां न मृगं न मानुषम्॥७-८-१७॥
satyaṁ vidhātuṁ nijabhṛtyabhāṣitaṁ vyāptiṁ ca bhūteṣvakhileṣu cātmanaḥ|
adṛśyatātyadbhutarūpamudvahanstambhe sabhāyāṁ na mṛgaṁ na mānuṣam||7-8-17||
To make true the words uttered by Prahlada, under His care, [Bhagavan Narasimha] who his omnipresent in the entire Universe and
Assuming an unseen extremely wondrous form, [emerged] in the pillar in the royal court, neither an animal, nor human!
Another wonderful shloka, that demonstrates the vatsalyam of Bhagavan, He performed his Avatara, not just to protect Prahlada, but to make true Prahlada’s statement (satyam vidhatum!). When Hiranyakashipu brags to Prahlada about his might, Prahlada merely states that Lord Vishnu is the might underlying anyone and everyone’s might! When Hiranyakashipu gets enraged and asking why the Lord does not show himself in the pillar, and smashes it with his fist, Lord Narasimha appears, to protect his dear Prahlada’s words (and of course Prahlada himself)!
सत्यव्रतं सत्यपरं त्रिसत्यं सत्यस्य योनिं निहितं च सत्ये।
सत्यस्य सत्यम् ऋतसत्यनेत्रं सत्यात्मकं त्वां शरणं प्रपन्नाः॥१०-२-२६॥
—श्रीमद्भागवते दशमस्कन्धे द्वितीयोऽध्यायः
This prayer was made by the Devas to Lord Maha Vishnu, as He was going to embark upon Shri Krishnavataram:
One Who always observes the vow of Truth (He never deviates from satyam, and protects the Truth); One Who is The Absolute Truth, One Who is the three Truths of Creation, Maintenance and Dissolution; One who is the cause of all Truths; entering the material world.
One who is the Truth among all Truths, One who has for His Eyes Satyam and Rtam, the Embodiment of all Truths, We surrender unto your protection.
In a lighter vein, it is said (in a discourse of Shri Hariji) that the Devas were still in the [previous] Ramavataram mode, hence so many appellations of Satyam, which was a fundamental aspect of Lord Rama!
सद्भिस्तु लीलया प्रोक्तं शिलालिखितमक्षरम्।
असद्भिः शपथेनोक्तं जले लिखितम् अक्षरम्॥
sadbhistu līlayā proktaṁ śilālikhitamakṣaram |
asadbhiḥ śapathenoktaṁ jale likhitam akṣaram ||
Even the casual words of good people are like words set in stone,
[while] even the vows of the bad people are like words written on water!
सत्यस्य वचनं श्रेयः सत्यादपि हितं भवेत्।
यद्भूतहितमत्यन्तम् एतत्सत्यं मतं मम॥१२-३१६-१३॥
—महाभारते शान्तिपर्वणि ३१६-१३
satyasya vacanaṁ śreyaḥ satyādapi hitaṁ bhavet|
yadbhūtahitamatyantam etatsatyaṁ mataṁ mama||12-316-13||
—mahābhārate śāntiparvaṇi 316-13
It is always proper to speak the truth. It is better again to speak what is beneficial than to speak what is true. I hold that that is truth which is fraught with the greatest benefit in all creatures (This is said by Devarṣi Nārada).
The saying “satyādapi hitaṁ bhavet” is frequently misunderstood. The scriptures do not say that truth should be sacrificed in view of what is beneficial, for such view will militate with the saying that there is nothing higher than truth. The saying has reference to those exceptional instances where truth becomes a source of positive harm. The story of the Rishi who spoke the truth respecting the place where certain travellers lay concealed, when questioned by certain robbers who were for killing the travellers, is an instance to the point. The goldsmith’s son who died with a falsehood on his lips for allowing his lawful prince to escape from the hands of his pursuers did a meritorious act of loyalty. Then, again, the germ of the utilitarian theory may be detected in the second line of this verse (from Reference 2).
सदयं हृदयं यस्य भाषितं सत्यभूषितम्।
कायः परहिते यस्य कलिस्तस्य करोति किम्॥
sadayaṁ hṛdayaṁ yasya bhāṣitaṁ satyabhūṣitam|
kāyaḥ parahite yasya kalistasya karoti kim||
[For those] whose heart is full of compassion, whose speech is adorned with the Truth, whose body is for the service of others, what can Kali (yuga) do to them?
(Kindly contributed by Ms. Uma Purang)
सत्येन सूर्यस्तपति सत्येनाग्निः प्रदीप्यते।
सत्येन मारुतो वाति सर्वं सत्ये प्रतिष्ठितम्॥
अश्वमेध सहस्रं च सत्यं च तुलया धृतम्।
अश्वमेधसहस्राद्धि सत्यमेव विशिष्यते॥
—महाभारते अनुशासन पर्वः
satyena sūryastapati satyenāgniḥ pradīpyate|
satyena māruto vāti sarvaṁ satye pratiṣṭhitam||
aśvamedha sahasraṁ ca satyaṁ ca tulayā dhṛtam |
aśvamedhasahasrāddhi satyameva viśiṣyate||
—mahābhārate anuśāsana parvaḥ
"The Sun burns by Truth, by truth does the Fire give Light.
By Truth does the Wind blow, Everything is rooted in Truth".
"When a thousand Ashvamedhas are compared with Truth with a balance,
More than the thousand Ashvamedhas, Truth weighs greater.
नास्ति सत्यात् परो धर्मः।
nāsti satyāt paro dharmaḥ|
There is no greater dharma than truth.
सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयात् न ब्रूयात् सत्यमप्रियम्।
प्रियं च न अनृतम् ब्रूयात् एष धर्मस्सनातनः॥
satyaṁ brūyāt priyaṁ brūyāt na brūyāt satyamapriyam|
priyaṁ ca na anṛtam brūyāt eṣa dharmassanātanaḥ||
"Speak the truth, speak pleasant truths; do not say the unpleasant truth.
Also, do not fabricate pleasant untruths, this is the eternal practice."