Hoa Vo Uu (Buddha Dharma Education Association)
Venerable Shravasti Dhammika
The Buddha’s Words of Wisdom
Once there was a certain King in this very city of Sãvatthtĩ. He called someone, saying: “Come my good man, go and gather together in one place all the men in Sãvantthtĩ who were born blind.”
“Very good”, said the man, and he did as the King commanded, and when he had done so the King said to him: “Now, my good man, show these blind men an elephant.”
“Very good”, said the good man, and he did as the King commanded. He presented one blind man with the head of the elephant, one with the ear, one with the tusk, another the trunk, the foot, the back, the tail, and the tuft of the tail, saying to each as he did so. “O blind man, this is an elephant.”
Having done this, the man went to the King and said: “Sire, the elephant has been presented to the blind men. Do what you will.”
So, the King went to the blind men and said to each: “Oh, blind men, have you seen the elephant? “Yes, Sire, we have”, said the men. “Then tell me what an elephant is like?”
Then the one who had been presented with the head said: “An elephant is like a pot.” The one who had been presented with the ear said: “An elephant is like a winnowing basket.” They said the tusk was like a ploughshare, the trunk was like a plough pole, the body was like a granary, the foot like a pillar, the back was like a mortar, the tail like a pestle, and the tuft of the tail a broom. Then they began to argue, shouting as they did: “It is! It is not! An elephant is not like that!” “Yes, it is.” Soon they began to hit each other, and the King was delighted with what he saw.
In the same way, wanderers of other sects are blind, they do not see, they do not know the skillful or the unskillful. They do not know what Dhamma is or what Dhamma is not. And because of their ignorance they are by nature argumentative, quarrelsome, squabblers, each insisting it is thus. Then understanding this, the Lord spoke this verse:
How they cling and how they wrangle,
Yet claim to be recluses and Brãhmins.
Quarrelling and cligging to their opinions.
They only see one side of things.