Uttam Arjava is the third virtue out of the ten supreme virtues.
The word Arjava means straight- forwardness, simplicity, honesty, non- hypocrisy,
large-heartedness and freedom from deceit. If a devotee wants to carry on his life
journey in a well-planned, simple and unhindered manner, it is essential for him/her
to give up hypocrisy or crookedness.
Two saints named Gundhar and Vineydhar were staying in a garden. Saint Gundhar performed
the penance of self-torture (aatpanadi yog). During the four months of his rainy
season (Chaturmas) he used to remain standing, unmoved at one and the same spot
in a posture of bodily torture. Once, when the prescribed period of Chaturmas was
over, the gods worshiped him. The whole sky resounded with the slogan 'Victory!
Victory to thee'. The smell of flowers showered by the gods made the whole surrounding
atmosphere fragrant. This news spread in the whole city like forest fire. Next morning
the city people set out to visit and pay homage to the saint. But by the time the
city dwellers reached the garden, the saint had left the place on the completion
of his Chaturmas; and saint Vineydhar had come there instead and settled there.
The city people mistook him for the saint Gundhar who had performed his four months
rainy season stay (varshanuyog) there. Worshipping him with great devotion and respect,
and singing hymns and saying prayers they began to adore him, "O Holy Saint!
Even long accumulated sins are washed away in on time by seeing a detached saint
Saint Vineydhar thought that if he disclosed the truth to the people, they would
not worship him. Thinking so, concealing the deceitful feeling in his mind, he sat
motionless with closed eyes in a posture of deep meditation. Having worshiped him,
the city people left for home. Holy Vineydhar's mind was polluted a bit by deceitfulness.
Therefore, after death he was reborn as a semi god (Deva). Again, on the completion
of his life period as semi god, he was born as an elephant named Triloke Mandan.
One day Ram was frolicking in water in the company of Sita. In the meantime, an
elephant named Triloke Mandan, uprooting a pillar, reached the city near the same
tank where these people were frolicking in water, and as soon as he saw them he
had recollection of his previous birth (Jati smaran). Now he began to repent on
his deceitful conduct in the previous life.
"Ah! Bharat and I had performed penance together at the same time. But on account
of my deceitful conduct to entertain people's worship and homage, I am born
as an elephant." Ultimately, by performing severe penance in successive births
the elephant, Triloke Mandan, later on attained the superb state of man i.e., godhood.
Thus, even a petty deceitful deed may lead to birth in an evil state of being. On
being reduced to this low state of birth, a creature has to suffer untold types
of tortures. One who is deceitful in conduct is fated to be born in an animal state
due to his bondage of Karmas. So every living being should give up deceitful conduct.