Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Can the whole Truth be known?




Question: “Does everyone know and hold on to only a partial Truth?”

We hardly know the whole truth about anything.
Do the parents know everything about their children?
Do the children know everything about the parents?
Do the scientists know everything about the universe?

There is a famous ancient Indian story that was later adopted by many cultures and religions to explain their own point of view.

The story goes like this:

Six blind men went to see an elephant. Since they could not see, they used to touch and feel things to know their form and structure. So each blind person touched one part of the elephant’s body and described the elephant accordingly.

 The person who felt the leg, said elephant was like a pillar while the one who touched the tail, described it as a rope.

"Oh, no! It is like a thick branch of a tree," said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

"It is like a big hand fan" said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

"It is like a huge wall," said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

"It is like a solid pipe," Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.


They began to argue about the elephant and every one of them insisted that he was right.

A sighted person saw this and laughed at their ignorance and said “you are all wrong since you all are blind. I can see the whole elephant so I know the whole ‘Truth’.

 But does he?

Though he can see the whole elephant in front of him, in a way, he is also seeing it partially. Just by ‘seeing’ the elephant’s body, one cannot say that he knows the whole ‘truth’ about that elephant. He has only seen the outer body. Does he know about its biology or genealogy and everything else?

Though the “Absolute Truth’ is ‘Poorna’ or ‘whole’, though we can realize and experience it through Gyana and Sumiran (meditation),  yet with our limited intellect, we can only understand it partially. That is why the Vedas, 
Upanishads and the ‘Adi Granth’, while describing God, have repeatedly said ‘Neti, Neti, Neti’ meaning ‘this is not all, there is more’.

We cannot even know everything about the nature, world or universe or the creation then how can we claim to know all about the ‘Reality, Truth or the Creator’?  

                                                               (Rajan Sachdeva)

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