About this Blog

This Blog is a collection of excerpts from talks given by Sri Swami Vishwananda. Please note that this Blog does not focus on dates, background and the exact original way of how Swamiji delivered the speech. We edit the talks slightly, presenting them in a kind of “poetic” format. This means we choose certain paragraphs from a talk which reflect a particular theme.
Read them as pieces of Divine Wisdom, meditate upon the words and just feel how Swamiji is addressing you with His words.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The five blind men and the elephant

Sri Swami Vishwananda once told us the famous parable about the five blind men and the elephant:
Once there were five blind men. All of them were blind and would sit under a tree. All day long they would talk and talk and talk. So one day, as it was very hot, a huge elephant came and stood under the tree . Although they were blind they could hear. So they heard that somebody had come. Then all five got up and started walking around. They could feel there is something in front of them. The first one said: “What is this!? This is a huge wall made of mud. But I don’t understand how this wall has moved here?” The second one was holding the tusk. Feeling it, he said: “Oh, these are two speers made of ivery!” The third one was holding the tail and said: “No, no, no- you are wrong. This is a rope, a big huge rope!” Fine. The fourth one was holding the trunk of the elephant and he said: “No, no, no- this is nothing of what you have said. This is a snake hanging from the tree!” and the fifth one said: “No, you are all wrong! This is the trunk of a tree!”
So among all three was a big discussion. Everyone was fighting with each other and was proclaiming: “I am right, I am right, I am right!” At that moment a small boy was passing. Looking at them and seeing how they were fighting, he said: “Oh, you five blind men, what are you quarrelling for? Why are you hanging on this elephant like that!?” When they heard: 'an elephant', they all got shocked, thinking 'An elephant!?' After some time, when the boy went, the first one said: “We are not just blind, I think we are also stupid!” The second one said: “No, no, no. I was a bit confused when I said what I said!” and the third one said: “I thought it was something like that, but I didn’t say it!” . Then the fourth one said: “Well, we were just talking loudly whatever was passing through our mind!” Finally the fifth one said: “You know, I feel so foolish! We could have just asked someone and would have been much faster!”
The same thing: humanity is blind to God-realisation. Only someone who has realized the Divine can really guide you! Only someone who knows the path can really lead you. Otherwise you will be like these blind men- you will be touching everything, left, right; it will not lead you anywhere. So just surrender!

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