Lying in general is considered as sin .

Under what condition ,saying a lie is not sin. What are the situation in which one can lie ?


1 Answer 1


Lying is permissible when telling truth will cause irreparable harm. An illustration of such a situation is discussed. Imagine you are in Europe of 1943 in the middle of the second world war. You have just given refuge to a Jewish person fleeing from Nazi soldiers. A group of Nazis barge in to your home and ask you if you have seen a Jewish person. What would you do then? If you tell the truth then the Jewish person in your house will be killed. In such a situation telling the truth would be same as murder. In such a situation lying is permissible.

On Truth

Bhishma said, ‘To tell the truth is consistent with righteousness. There is nothing higher than truth. I shall, now, O Bharata, say unto thee that which is not generally known to men. There where falsehood would assume the aspect of truth, truth should not be told. Then, again, where truth would assume the aspect of falsehood, even falsehood should be said. That ignorant person incurs sin who says truth which is dissociated from righteousness. That person is said to be conversant with duties who can distinguish truth from falsehood.’ [i.e., who knows when truth becomes as harmful as untruth, and untruth becomes as righteous as truth.]

Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section CIX

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    the jewish person analogy is irrelevant, because it is not supported in shastras. shastras say you can lie to save the life of a cow being chased by a butcher. it doesn't say so for all humans. by your logic, i can say "Imagine you have given refuge to a nazi stormtrooper and american soldiers barge in asking if you have seen SS soldier. if you tell the truth, the german will be killed. In such situation telling truth is same as murder, so lying is permissible".
    – ram
    Commented Sep 17, 2022 at 7:02

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