The Six Blind Men and the Elephant


Once upon a time, there was a king who, wishing to amuse himself, ordered the Royal Elephant to be brought before him. He also ordered some blind men, blind from birth, to be brought near the elephant. He then asked these blind men to touch the elephant and give a description of the elephant to him.

The man who touched the tail said the elephant was like a rope.
The one who touched a leg said it was like a tree.
The one who touched the body said it was like a wall.
The one who touched the ear said the elephant was like a fan.
The one who touched the trunk said it was like a snake.
The one who touched the elephant’s tusks, said it was like a spear.


Thus, each described the elephant differently, but each was sure that his own version was the true description of the elephant. They did not realize that each one touched only a part of the elephant. Each blind person had only a one-sided truth. They started arguing with each other, each sticking to his own point of view. The argument ended up in quarreling and fighting. The king and his ministers rolled with laughter as the blind men continued to quarrel and fight with each other.

The origins of this story are unknown but it appears in almost all religious literature through the world. There are many many ways to look at this story and understand it. Just goes to prove what the story intends to convey.

When the blind truly open their eyes, they will see there was no elephant there.

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