There was a village. Blind people lived there. Once they went to see an elephant. They touched the elephant with their hands. The first blind man touched the elephant and had the elephant's tail in his hand. He shouted “oh, I have seen the elephant. The elephant is like a rope.” The second blind man touched the elephant. He touched the elephant's leg. He was overjoyed and cried out, “The elephant is like a pillar.” The third blind man touches the belly of the elephant. He caressed the animal and said that he saw the elephant. He described, “The elephant is round like a football.” The fourth had the elephant's ear in his hand. He shouted, “The elephant is like a country-fan or a scuttle.” The fifth blind man chanced upon to hold the elephant's trunk. He shouted, “The elephant is like a serpent.” The sixth blind man came across the tusk. He cried out, “The elephant is like a spear.”
Thus all the six blind men described the elephant differently. All stuck to their own description. They would not listen to anyone. Thus the quarrel started among them. The mahavat (elephant's controller) was watching them. When he saw them quarrelling, he said, “Why do you quarrel? Everyone of you is right and wrong as well.” The blind men said, “How?” “Each one of you has chanced upon only one part of the elephant's body. None of you has seen the whole of it.
The blind man who regards elephant as a rope has actually seen only a tail. The man who calls it like a pillar has only come across its leg. The man who considers the elephant like a football has merely seen the elephant's belly. The man who regards it like a serpent has only come upon a trunk. The man who calls it like a fan or a scuttle has only seen the elephant's ear. The blind man who takes it as a spear has only chanced upon to hold its tusk,” clarified the mahavat.
“Suppose if we put all the parts together, do we have an elephant?” asked the blind men. “No, not yet, “continued the mahavat smilingly,” still it will not be a complete elephant. Many parts are still missing. As you have seen, you cannot see the complete elephant by putting together parts. You must see the whole elephant to have a complete idea of the elephant.” The blind man said, “We want to see an elephant.
How can we see it?” “I will give a wooden elephant,” replied the mahavat. “Move your hand on the whole body from the trunk to tail of the elephant, and you will come to know the elephant. But please bear in mind that the size of the living elephant is greater than the wooden one. It is perhaps as big as a tree.” All the blind men moved their hands on the wooden elephant given by the mahavat and exclaimed. “Oh! What a big elephant it is!”
This lesson illustrates the elephant. Similar illustration of the cow is given in Shriji Maharaj's LOYA's GOSPEL
Different people speak differently about God. It is just like the Blind Men's Story. Different blind man described/interpreted the elephant differently. In a way, they are also not wrong. But when people become fanatic and remain adamant about their belief, there ensues quarrels about religion. More damage and violence have been committed in the name of religious than even by other matters. But these religious quarrels are wrong
According to Shreeji Maharaj, as no one has seen the whole cow, similarly such people have not seen the real form of religion and God. If they are capable of realizing it, there would be no religious quarrels. People can realize their blunders if such mahavat would try to compromise them.