In an ancient kingdom there was a rich and a powerful king, who was loved by all his people. One day the king and his men were travelling through the forest, they came across an old monk sitting on a mud platform below the Kadamba Tree. The old monk was in a conversation with his disciples about the perception of truth, the possibility of truth and the absolute truth.
Overhearing the old monk, the great King got infuriated and declared that there is nothing but one and only one truth. Hearing this, the old monk smiled and humbly asked the great King to allow him to prove it otherwise. The old monk covered the eyes of the great King, and three of the King's wisest and most trusted ministers.
Then he brought them in front of a object and asked each one to tell what it was.
Turn by turn the ministers went. One touched the object and said it was a long broom which is used to clean the floor. The second touched the object declared it was a big wooden log. The third touched the object and declared it was a pointed weapon. The king got really confused now, he went himself and after touching the object said in a state of shock that it was nothing but a big rock. The King knew his ministers never lied, but how could he a great king deny his own logic about the object. How can his truth vary from that of his ministers? Surely everybody could not be right? There had to be only one Truth.
In deep confusion, frustration and anger, the great King accused the old monk of witchcraft and threatened him with dire consequences. The old monk again smiled and very humbly asked the great king and his ministers to remove the cloth from their eyes. On seeing the object everybody laughed. It was a sleeping elephant. Apparently the first minister had touched the tail, the second one the feet, the third one the tusks and the great king had touched the back.
The great King with moist eyes thanked the old monk; for this simple exercise had changed his outlook towards life. He realized that truth is relative to the existence. Blindfolded, for him and his ministers, the truth was relative to the part of the sleeping elephant they had touched. For any blind man it would have been the absolute truth. Only when they all got vision, they could actually see the absolute truth and realize that their previous truth was relative to their blindfolded state.
In today's fast moving world, in the race to get ahead we are losing patience to think and analyze our actions and thoughts. Without thinking we assume easily that whatever we know is the absolute truth and that we only are correct. We don't realize that our truth is also relative to our existence and there is possibility that absolute truth eludes us. This is the meaning of Syadwad. Whenever we think we only are correct, then we should remember Syadwad and this story. It will help us to appreciate the other person's point of view. Following this principal can defuse most of our day to day issues and make our lives richer and peaceful………..