Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Satyam Mean?

Satyam is a Sanskrit adverb that means “truly,” “certainly,” “very well” and “necessarily.” From Sanskrit, sat, means “that which is true”; and yam, means “to hold,” “to tame” or “to examine.” When translated into English, it is often used as a synonym for the adjective satya (“true,” “truthful” or “authentic”) or for satya as a noun (“truth” in the spiritual sense or “truthfulness”). From a grammatical viewpoint, there is a clear distinction between satyam and satya, but it does not always come through in translation.


Yogapedia Explains Satyam

In Hinduism and yoga philosophy, satyam involves examining an absolute or higher truth — the Ultimate Truth. This truth is typically associated with the divine or higher Self. Satyam is sometimes understood to mean “that which is for the benefit of sat,” or “that which is for the benefit of that which is true.”

As a synonym for satya in yoga philosophy, satyam is the second of the five yamas, or rules for ethical living, as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. It is truthfulness, or always speaking the truth, thinking the truth and acting with the truth in mind.

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