--> Skip to main content

There is One Truth – Our Visions Of That Reality Differ

There is but one Truth, one God, one divine Spirit. But our visions of that Reality differ. Your vision may not be my vision. As long as we realize this, no harm can come. But when we think that our own vision is the only true vision, quarrels, fights and sectarianism ensue. We all are God, but we see Him in one of His many aspects. To see Him in Spirit and in Truth means transcending all limitations. And when all limitations are transcended we are no longer different from God, the Limitless. Then we rise beyond speech, thought and explanation. Whenever God is spoken of, He is spoken of in one of His aspects.

Sri Ramakrishna tells the story of some men who were disputing the colour of a chameleon. They had all seen it, and a dispute arose about its colour. One said, ‘The chameleon is red.’ ‘No, you are mistaken,’ said another. ‘It is green.’ A third person said, ‘Gentlemen, pardon me, but you are both mistaken. I have seen the chameleon and it is neither red nor green. It is blue.’ The quarrel grew high. At last one of the party suggested, ‘Let us go to the tree on which the chameleon lives.

There is a sannyasin living there and he must have seen it many times.He surely will know.’

They went to the sannyasin and put their difficulty before him. Then the holy man said, ‘Every one of you is right. The chameleon is red, green and blue, and it has many colours besides. But it changes its colour. At one time it is red, at another time it is blue, and at some other time it is green. And what is more, sometimes it is colourless. Having seen it at a different time, every one of you has seen a different colour.’ Then they understood how foolish their quarrel had been. They had all seen only one aspect of the little creature and thought that they had known all about it.

So it is with Truth. We get one little glimpse of God and think that we know all about Him and repudiate the testimony of others; and that is the cause of sectarianism. Different ideas may be true, but they are not the whole Truth.

Source - Prabuddha Bharata Magazine December 2004 issue