A Message for the Day : Understand Correctly

Understand correctlyUnderstanding is the key in many aspects of life. Most of the conflicts happen in this world are due to misunderstanding.When it comes to philosophies we ensure that we get the right sense of it. Else it would end up in an absolute mess.

Once a Sage advised his disciples “All the living beings on this earth are a form of God. So you should learn to respect one another mutually and listen to them. All disciples observed his words so obediently and owed to follow his advice in their life.

After a few days, when a disciple was in a pursuit to bring some firewood from a nearby forest, he heard people screaming and running around. A man shouted “Please run away, hide somewhere, an elephant gone amok and it is nearing us. Run! Run!”

Everyone found a spot to hide, some climbed up the tall trees and some went into the bushes. This disciple was a lonely man seemed not to bother about the situation. A man from a tree shouted at him “Run away and hide! Why are you standing like this?”

He calmly replied “Why should I move? Run?, I know all living beings are a form of God. So as the Elephant!” He stood still.

The mad elephant appeared in his sight. “What is your problem?” he asked the elephant and started to sing some hymn.

“Idiot, Run Away” a few people screamed again from atop the trees.  He didn’t bother to move. The beast curled him with its trunk, lifted him up and thrown him into a spiny bush. His lucky day he survived as the elephant moved away.

But he paid the price for his madness, with severe wounds. He limped back to the ashram and went straight away to his master. He told everything happened there.

“You said once all living beings are a form of god, then why that Elephant hurt me, when I was singing a hymn for him? I am also a living being- a form of god right? So how can the elephant hurt me?” he asked the sage with narrow sense.

The Sage replied “That’s right, you too a form of god, so also the elephant, but why haven’t you listened to the words of fellow gods in human forms right atop the trees, who warned you to Run Away!?”

The disciple blinked and realized that he misunderstood the philosophy.

This is a fable to explain the importance of understanding the concepts of philosophies and religions correctly. Sometimes in real life, there are more interesting things of misunderstanding happens.

Once at a rehabilitation camp a doctor dropped a worm in a glass of alcohol and asked “What happened to the worm now?”

A participant replied “It’s Dead”

“So What you understand from this?” asked the doctor.

“We can kill all harmful worms in our stomach and intestines, if we drink alcohol regularly!!!” he replied confidently.

Thereafter the doctor never used this example! 🙂 🙂

 Hope you understand the importance of understanding the things in a right sense! 🙂


This is a translation of an episode of the popular radio program in India “Indru Oru Thagaval” means “A Message for the Day” by renowned Orator and Author Thenkachi Ko Swaminathan. The show, giving a message, was a hit and was broadcast for 12 years from 1988.

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Story : Test for Selfish People

face in waterOnce there lived a sage who was enlightened. Many people approached him to become his disciple, but he never accepted all of them. But he accepted a few, based on a test. Yet he used to get promises from them that they should not reveal anything about the test to anyone, irrespective of whether they get selected or not. Due to the respect people had for him, they too never revealed the secret to anyone.

One day, a disciple approached him when he was alone and asked him “I know you made us look at the pond and selected us, may I know why a few of us got selected and many got rejected?”

The Sage replied “Since you asked I will answer you. On that day, when you had looked at the pond, what question did I asked you and what you have answered?”

The Disciple replied “” What is the first thing you see?’ was the question and ‘Fishes’ was my answer”.

“The ones whom I rejected answered that they had seen the reflection of their own face there! I know the water would reflect their faces, but when their mind was thinking all about them, they could see only their faces first but not the fishes! They are selfish centered people by nature.

Whoever cared for others and concerned about other creatures would have seen the fishes first. They are selfless people! So I selected them”


Adapted Story from fables