The entire nation is paying tribute to the hallowed memory of Swami Vivekananda on the conclusion of his 150th birth anniversary celebrations. He was the first religious leader to proclaim from a world platform about the dire need for religious harmony. He analysed the cause for disharmony through a beautiful story during his historic address at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. The story runs as follows.

Once, there was a fat sleek frog living in a well. It was born there and had grown up there and had no exposure to the world outside.

One day another frog from the sea accidentally fell into the well. The frog of the well challenged the newcomer asking him where he was from. The sea-frog in a friendly manner told the well-frog that he was from the sea. The well-frog asked him how big the sea was. He jumped from one end of the well to the other and asked whether the sea was as big as that.

The sea-frog laughed and said that how can one compare the well with the sea. He offered to take the well-frog to the sea and show him so that the latter can realize how big the sea was. The well-frog refused the offer and drove the sea-frog out saying that he was a liar and that there could not be anything bigger than his well.

Swamiji finished the story saying that this is the real problem in the world of religions. Swamiji said that the Hindu sits in his own little well and thinks that the entire world consists of his well only. Similarly, the Christian sits in his own well and thinks that the entire world consists of his well only. So do the Muslim and others.

Swamiji concluded saying “…upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: ‘Help and not fight,’ ‘Assimilation and not destruction,’ ‘Harmony and peace and not dissension’.”

-by Swami Shantatmananda, Sunday Guardian, 11th Jan 2014

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