The Land of Elephants and Searching Souls

Mar 07, 2014
salmons2thailand@gmail.com
Blind men and elephant

 

The Story of the Six Blind Men and the Elephant 

 

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”

They had no idea what an elephant was. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Every one of them touched the elephant.

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

“Oh, no! It is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.

“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 spear,” 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. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features that you all said.”

“Oh!” everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.[1]

 

This fable is often taught within the schools and temples with the meaning that each person can find their own truth, and though you may think you are right, others may be correct as well. Therefore all should live in harmony with each other. This belief that “every faith represents just one part of a larger truth about God,” and that “each person only has a piece of the truth leading to God by different routes,” is problematic![2] It has saturated the Thai belief system, spreading the belief that all religions are good, and ultimately we will find our own way to God/Heaven.


Thomas did us all a favor when he asked, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” Then Jesus gave an answer for which we will be eternally grateful, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Our map for Heaven was given in a clear and simple way: Jesus is the way. We get to Heaven only through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


The fable of the blind men and the elephant only serves as a picture of the blindness throughout the country of Thailand. The hymn writer wrote, “I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Let us not forget we were once lost and in need of saving! My prayer is that Thailand will experience a revival where the blind will see and be freed from the shackles that bind them to living a life dependent on works and false hope for their salvation. I hope that you will pray for the salvation of the Thai people as well.



What have been some of the misconceptions about the way to Heaven or God that you have encountered or talked to people about? How did you respond and address the misconceptions?

 

[2]To view an excellent apologetic response to this parable, visit http://www.str.org/articles/the-trouble-with-the-elephant#_ftn1.
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