Satyam Shivam Sundaram

The concept of Satyam (Truth), Shivam (Goodness) and Sundaram (Beauty) is one of the most wonderful ones in Indian Philosophy. In three words, this gives a wonderful philosophy of life for people of diverse pursuits.

Life is expressing and experiencing. When we express and experience, and enable everyone else also to express and experience these three, it becomes a fulfilling life.

Seeking Beauty is not wrong. But we should remember the priority. Beauty should not take precedence over Goodness. And Goodness should not take precedence over Truth. This is the concept of the popular Samskrit saying “Speak the truth. Speak the pleasant. Never tell untruth to be pleasant. Avoid speaking an unpleasant truth.”

Then comes the domain where we can express and experience these – physical, intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual. Intellectual beauty is to be prefered more than physical beauty; Emotional beauty is to be prefered more than intellectual beauty; and so on. Similarly about Goodness and Truth.

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  1. I disagree, I feel that the philosophy you are expressing is one that was designed for social control. People are easier to control if they are honest and good, and conversely it is easier to take power over honest and good people if you have no qualms about lying and being evil. Likewise, the pure natural desire in all humanity is for beauty, speaking from a sexual/reproductive perspective.

    Evil and deceitful people took control of humanity using the mechanisms of religion/philosophy/churches/governemnts and then put down the philosophy you are speaking to the masses to keep them controlled. But the primal truth is beauty is more sought by most people and philosophers who seek truth and goodness are merely tools of the system engineered by those who sought to control all society.

  2. I dont deny that physical beauty is sought by most of the people. It is the remnant of the animal instincts in man. Whether a person wants to succumb to it and continue to live the life of a brute, or evolve to more subtle forms of beauty is left to the choice of the individual. It does not matter if millions of people want to revel in the physical pleasures and continue to be animals. I want to be a man and move beyond that too. That is my personal choice. I would like every thinking person to reason for himself and choose.

  3. I am non-hindu but i have a keen interest in Hindu religion and its philosophies. I am quite surprised as to many hindus, with whom i have experienced working, either don’t understand many of the hindu philosophies or totally negate them. I have read so much about the concept of Sattyam, Shivam and Sundaram and i have gained a lot from its understanding and still i believe that there is still an ocean out there to understand more about this concept.
    I have a question about this concept. I want to know as how and from where this concept has originated. I had read somewhere the thoughts of Ramakrishna on this concept but not sure if he is the originator of this ideology. I would really appreciate if anyone can help me in this regard.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for your interest in Hinduism. It is true and unfortunate that most Hindus do not know the philosophy and significance of Hinduism.

      The concept of Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram come from the Vedas itself. There are three properties of Brahman – asti (It exists), bhaati (It is knowable) and priyam (It gives joy). The manifestation of these three are Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram.

      With regards,

  4. We are living in a selfish world so we are unable to grasp the generous and eternal values.truth ,goodness and beauty are the super values and if it is not possible to feel , it does not proof the inexistence of those values. Pious life may attain by the pure soul and now a days where the purity is? The entire cosmos is full of knowledge and nobody should deny the folded knowledge.