Discussing Udyoga Parva 35.53 - The Consequences of Dishonesty and the Vedas' Stand on Truth

In this discussion, we delve into a verse from the Mahabharata's Udyoga Parva, specifically Verse 35.53. These verses highlight the severe consequences of dishonesty and falsehood. The verse vividly illustrates that even the revered Vedas cannot offer redemption to a deceitful person and that falsehood is abandoned by the very scriptures that form the foundation of knowledge.
“The Vedas never rescue from sin a deceitful person living by falsehood. On the other hand, they forsake him while he is on his death-bed, like newly fledged birds forsaking their nests.” (Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva 35.53).


Mahabharata Udyoga Parva 35.53 delivers a powerful message about the consequences of dishonesty and the rejection of falsehood by the Vedas. The verse suggests that even the profound wisdom contained in the Vedas cannot provide salvation to an individual who lives a life of deceit and falsehood.

The metaphor of newly fledged birds forsaking their nests serves as a poignant illustration. Just as fledgling birds leave their nests, the Vedas, symbolic of knowledge and guidance, forsake the deceitful person in their final moments. This imagery underscores the notion that dishonesty is incompatible with the teachings of the Vedas and is shunned when it matters most.

Key Points

  1. Consequences of Dishonesty: The verse outlines the severe consequences of living a deceitful life, emphasizing that even the Vedas cannot rescue one from the sins of falsehood.
  2. Rejection by Knowledge: The Vedas, representing the pinnacle of knowledge and guidance, abandon the deceitful person, highlighting the incompatibility of dishonesty with true wisdom.
  3. Metaphorical Illustration: The metaphor of fledgling birds forsaking their nests paints a vivid picture of the abandonment of falsehood during crucial moments.


This verse carries a potent message about the importance of truth and ethical conduct. It underscores that dishonesty not only distances individuals from the teachings of revered scriptures but also bears significant consequences.

The principles echoed in these verses resonate with teachings from various religious traditions that uphold the value of honesty and integrity. By prioritizing truthfulness, we align ourselves with the core values that lead to ethical behavior and moral character.

As individuals, we can apply this wisdom by embracing honesty in all aspects of our lives. By doing so, we uphold the integrity of our actions and decisions, ensuring that we remain aligned with the teachings of wisdom and virtue. These verses serve as a reminder that dishonesty not only distances us from knowledge but also hinders our spiritual growth.

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