"Pravda" as a higher "truth"

Copyright © 2003 by Hugo S. Cunningham
Original Russian text by N. K. Mikhailovsky is in public domain.

first added 20030516
latest minor change 20030516

Russkij tekst
Original Russian text

"Pravda" means both "truth" and "justice"

Every time the word "pravda" comes to my mind, I am exhilarated by its stunning beauty. Such a word is not, apparently, to be found in any [other?] European language. Apparently, it is only in Russian that "truth" and "justice" are called by the same word, and fuse together in one great unity. "Pravda", in that great meaning of the word, has always constituted the object of my searches. "Pravda"-truth separated from "pravda"-justice, "pravda" of the theological heaven cut off from "pravda" of the practical earth, always offended me, not just left me unsatisfied. On the contrary, beneficient everyday practice, the highest ethical and social ideals, always seemed to me insultingly impotent, if they were turned away from truth, from science. I never could believe, and do not believe now, that one cannot find such a point of view, by which "pravda"-truth and "pravda"-justice are hand in hand, each reinforcing the other. In any case, working out such a point of view is the most exalted of tasks that human intelligence can imagine, and there are no efforts too great to be expended on it.

--N. K. Mixajlovskij (1842-1904)

Source: page from unidentified Russian Orthodox calendar published in West. Date for entry: 11/III-1979 (26/II st. st.). Translation by HSC.


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