Satyam here refers to speaking truth. Because words can be so hurtful, one is advised to say not only what is truthful, but what is also pleasing and beneficial. We have a mandate to speak only what is truthful, satya. But while doing so, we may say something hurtful. So, we are enjoined to say what is pleasant, priya. And while it is important to say what is pleasant, it should not be at the cost of what is true. It should not be false, anrta.
Why does anyone tell lies? It is only due to fear of facing certain facts about oneself. But not being truthful only makes a person weaker and weaker. Therefore honestly facing situations and the facts as they are, and then being honest in conversation is the way to overcome some of these fears. In speaking about something, our words should convey the sense of it exactly as it is, that is, it has to be yathartha, with no omissions or embellished merits. What is satya and even priya may also sometimes be useless. We, therefore, try not to use words which do not serve any purpose. This implies care in using adjectives and in choosing words that most accurately convey what the thing or situation is. If you restrict your speech to what is useful, naturally, you become conscious about what you say.
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