Vishnu incarnated as Sri Krishna while his parents Vasudeva and Devaki were jailed by Kamsa, out of fear that their eight child would be the cause of his death. He had planned to kill all their children immediately after their birth and had done so for 6 children. Seventh was a miscarriage (in fact, it was a case of transplant with the embryo transferred to Vasudeva’s another wife Rohini) and Krishna has been the eight child. When Krishna thus appeared on earth, all the deities with Brahma in the lead descended at the venue and offered their prayers. The very first expression of Brahma in his prayer was as under:
Satya-vratam satya-param tri-satyam satyasya yonim nihitam cha satye |
satyasya satyam-uta satya-netram satya-atmakam tvaam sharanam prapannaah ||
This two line verse is full of the word satya. Let us see what the verse means to understand the scope and meaning of satya.
Satyavrata – The word satya has three components viz. sat + ti + ya. Sat means “Superior” (sacchabdo uttamam brooyaat) as in the case of sat-guna, sajjana, sat-buddhi etc. “Ti” refers to aananda (pleasure). “Ya” refers to jnaana (knowledge). Since Krishna is eternally full with these qualities of superior pleasure and knowledge, he is called “satyavrata” – One who has adopted a form that is full of supreme knowledge and pleasure eternally.
Satyapara – Sat means the three bhootas (basic building materials of the universe) viz., prithivi, jala and tejas. “Tya” means “others” – vaayu and aakaasha. Thus the word satya refers to the five bhootas. Krishna is satyapara – superior to satya, the 5 elements.
Trisatya – The word “tri” refers to Vedas – Rig, Yajus, Saama. The word “Satya” means the “primary meaning” (mukhya-artha). Krishna is the primary meaning of the entire of vedic texts.
Satyasya yoni – The cause of – creator of this real world.
Satye nihitam – One who is staying in this real world.
Satyasya satyam – The first satya refers to those who are eligible for moksha. Krishna provides them satya – pure knowledge and pleasure in moksha. Thus, he is the provider of satya to satya.
Satyanetra – Netr means the leader. Krishna leads the entire of this satya, the real world.
Satyaatmaka – It consists of three components – satya + at + ma. “At” (अत्) means “eating”. “Ma” means knowledge. Krishna eats this satya the real universe (at the time of deluge and also is the cause of every death and destruction) and preaches the real nature of the universe.
Brahma says “We surrender to you Krishna, who is as described above”.
Thus, the primary meaning of “satya” is Krishna and Sri Raghavendra Swamiji is always engaged mentally in his worship and in following his dicta (dharma) and hence is called satya-dharma-rataaya – One who is always engaged in the dharma of satya.