The key word in the proverb is ‘Policy’. According to the dictionary, a ‘policy’ is a plan or a course of action or a guiding principle that influences our actions. Looking at the proverb with this insight, we understand that ‘honesty is the best plan or course of action or guiding principle’.
It is not because the wise said that honesty is best policy, but because it makes sense to be honest. An honest person is upright and has no fear of guilt. He or she has a clear conscience.Over and above all he or she has the priceless treasure of peace of mind.
In addition, dishonestly causes undue and unnecessary stress. Research shows that dishonesty weakens the immune system. This results in a host of physical illnesses.
On the emotional plane, honesty strengthens our self-image where as dishonesty damages our self-esteem.
Looking at it whichever way we will, honesty is the best plan of action. It keeps our body healthy, our relationships strong, our mind calm and composed and our spirit unruffled.
Thus honesty is the best policy. As the Mundaka Upanishad says:’Satymeva Jayate‘, Truth Alone Triumps.’