Friday, July 13, 2012

234 Why one religion - all are frogs in wells क्यों एक धर्म, सभी धर्म कुएँ में मेढक ఒక మతాన్ని ఏరటం ఎందుకు. ప్రతి మతమూ ఒక బావిలోని కప్పయే.

Story of frogs in well told by Swami Vivekananda, is quoted quite frequently. I reproduce it here, as available from the site
http://www.payer.de/neobuddhismus/neobud0202.htm which contained the program papers of the Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893.


* Just before the close of the afternoon session, the Chairman invited some remarks from the Hindu monk SWAMI VIVEKANANDA, of Bombay, who responded with a little fable intended to illustrate the variance among men of different races and religions.
The frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. It was born there and brought up there, and yet was a little, small frog. Of course the evolutionists were not there then to tell us whether the frog lost its eyes or not; but, for our story's sake, we must take it for granted that it had its eyes, and that it every day cleansed the water of all the worms and bacilli that lived in it, with an energy that would give credit to our modern bacteriologists. In this way it went on and became a little sleek and fat — perhaps as much so as myself.
Well, one day another frog, that lived in the sea, came and fell into the well.
"Whence are you from ?"
" I'm from the sea."
"The sea ? how big is that ? Is it as big as my well ?" and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other.
" My friend," says the frog of the sea, " how do you compare the sea with your little well ? "
Then the frog took another leap, and asked : " Is your sea so big ? "
" What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your well! "
" Well, then," said the frog of the well, " nothing can be bigger than my well; there can be nothing bigger than this ; this fellow is a liar, so turn him out."
That has been the difficulty all the while.

The proceedings of this crowded day concluded with an EVENING SESSION, at which, by a coincidence unusual enough on our republican soil, the audience listened to discourses from men of the highest title and rank in their own countries.


ybrems
--Audience of the Congress of Religions 1893, mostly consisted of citizens of Chicago, born in Christianity. Most of the organisers, participants assembled there, were also Christians. From this, we get an impression, that Swami Vivekananda intended this story as an indirect 'clue' to the Christian faith assembled there, that they cannot think that theirs alone was the sole religion in the world and that there are/were other religions. He seems to have meant Christianity as the well and the other religions outside as the sea.

--Swami Vivekananda forgot that his own religion Hinduism was also like a well and the people of India were living like frogs in a well. For that reason only untouchability on dalits continued for several centuries without being disturbed, till the alien religions Islam and Christianity came and weaned away the oppressed persons into their religion.

--We can expand the analogy of frogs in well further. Chrstianity and Islam have only one God. Hence, they may be treated as very narrow wells with a very small radius. In Indian homes, we have 'single-pully' wells of about 1 or 2 meter radius, and supported by a long rope and a bucket. They are suitable for small families for domestic purposes. Hinduism is a single-God-with-multiple-forms religion. It is like a bigger community well with at least 4 pulleys, 4 ropes and 4 buckets on all the four sides. At least four people can draw water from these wells at a time. If a devotee is unable to concentrate on one form and one name, they can shift to another God/Goddess. For different purposes, there are different name and different forms. For example, Goddess Sarawati for learning, Lakshmi for prosperity, pArvati for energy and stamina.

--It is not the question here, whether multi-form-multi-name-single God/Goddess religion Hinduism is superior or inferior to single God monoliths Christianity or Islam. HINDUISM has developed some flexibility while the other religions continue with their rigidity.

--Readers will forgive me, if I compare Vivekananda himself to a frog from a well called 'Hinduism and India'. Proof: After the conclusion of the Congress of Religions, he continued lecturing in the United States for money. He liked to be a guest of aristocratic wealthy women who found his peculiar dress very appealing and his flexibility with meat and liquor quite accommodative with their habits.

--Unable to understand the SEA (United States and Europe = Sea), he went ahead teaching yoga to drunken women, without bothering about the time, place, fitness and receptivity. At the same time he went on writing belittling letters to his Indian fraternity. Some quotes generate laughter:---


In May 1896 Swami Vivekananda wrote to Ms. Alberta Sturges (age 19) that he liked Amerique - the yankee land. He called India a jelly fish.

" ... I have had two classes already — they will go on for four or five months and after that to India I go. But it is to Amerique — there where the heart is. I love the Yankee land. I like to see new things. I do not care a fig to loaf about old ruins and mope a life out about old histories and keep sighing about the ancients. I have too much vigour in my blood for that. In America is the place, the people, the opportunity for everything. I have become horribly radical. I am just going to India to see what I can do in that awful mass of conservative jelly-fish, ... "


Swamiji wrote to Ms. Ole Bull on the 17th Jan. 1900 during his second visit to USA:

"...No, not even that; whenever it comes to paying, the people are nowhere. The field of lecturing in this country has been overworked; the people have outgrown that...."


"...They come in crowds when there is a free lecture and very few when there is something to pay...


"...No money. Hard work. No result. Worse than Los Angeles.

They come in crowds when the lecture is free — when there is payment, they don't. That's all..."

On March 27, 1895 Vivekananda wrote to Ms. Isabelle Mckindley from New York.

"...This is a wonderful country for cheating, and 99.9 per cent have some motive in the background to take advantage of others. If any one just but closes his eyes for a moment, he is gone!! ..."



Vivekananda wrote to Ms. Ole Bull, from India, on August 19, 1897.

"...I had a letter from Joe saying that you are both coming to India. I, of course, will be very glad to see you in India, only you ought to know from the first that India is the dirtiest and unhealthiest hole in the world, with scarcely any European comforts except in the big capitals..."



Swami Vivekananda wrote to Swami Ramakrishnananda (head of Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, his brother-disciple, also called "Shashi") from Belur Math on Feb. 25, 1898.

"...India is a rotten corpse inside and outside. We shall revive it by the blessings of Shri Maharaj. ..."


Swami Vivekananda wrote to Swami Suddhananda from Almora on July 11, 1897:

"...India is full of lazy rogues, and curious, they never die of hunger, they always get something..."


ybrems
--The frog which came out of the Indian well, sprung into the Sea of the United States and Europe, finally had to *leap back DOWN TO A COUCH into a palatial building called Belur Math in Calcutta. *A literal jump over the monastery's gate had to be done, as the security watch man could not recognise Vivekananda and open the gate.

(Seems to be too strong a comment. I shall revise this post, after seeing the readers' responses.)

3 comments:

tomfire said...

any person with a least common sense and right study of swamiji's work can answer your claims........I have answered for some of ur posts......but since u are biased already there will be no use arguing with u fools..........Its utterly a time waste thing to visit ur blog........bloody fool

tomfire said...

In a letter to swami ramakrishnananda (sasi) in the last para swamiji himself said that "we are kupastha mandooka" meaning frogs in a well.......yet u fools criticize him............I noted one thing for sure in ur blog.........u take every thing out of context make it a debate...dont u know that swamiji criticized every bad thing in India and outside..............? u are intentionally dark in ur hearts.....Its very bad to visit ur blog.........gud bye forever...........

tomfire said...

the above letter was dated march 19, 1894.........