15th of January, 2012 is Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birthday according to Hindu almanac.  On this day let us try to remember and recall his extraordinary contribution for the promotion of religious harmony.  He addressed the audience at the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago on the 15th of September, 1893 and explained the reason for religious disharmony through a beautiful story.

There was a small little frog which was born and brought up in a well.  Every day it would feed itself on the worms in the water and became a little sleek and fat.  One day a sea-frog came and fell into the well.  The well-frog asked the intruder where he came from and got the reply that he was from the sea.  The former had never heard about the sea and hence it wanted to know how big the sea was.  It suggested to the new comer whether it was as big as the well and to demonstrate the idea took a leap from one side of the well to the other.  The sea-frog was both amused and astonished and retorted that how could the sea be compared with the well.  Then the well-frog took another leap and asked whether the sea was that big.  The sea-frog totally disagreed and this infuriated the former who said that nothing could be bigger than the well and that the intruder was a liar and hence should be turned out.  Swami Vivekananda went on to explain that has been the difficulty all the while.  The Hindu is sitting in his own little well and thinking that the whole world is his little well.  Similarly, the Christian is sitting in his own little well and thinks likewise.  So also the followers of other religions like Islam.  As long as the followers of different religions are not ready to break the barriers of their own little world, it is not possible to establish religious harmony.

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