2 Stories to introduce Swami Vivekananda
While introducing Swami Vivekananda to a large audience at the Detroit Opera House (USA) on the evening of 11[SUP]th[/SUP] March 1894, The Hon’ble Thomas W.Parmer said:
“ Two Knights of honour once met on the field and seeing a shield Hanging on a tree, they halted. One said: “What a very fine silver shield”. The other hastened to reply that it was not silver, but copper. Each disputed the other’s statement until at last they got off their horses, tied them on a tree, and drawing on their swords, fought for several hours. After they were exhausted by loss of blood, they staggered against each other and fell on the opposite sides from where they had been fighting. Then one chanced to glance up at the pendent shield and said, “Oh! You were right, my Friend! The shield is copper.” The other also looked up and said, “It is I who was mistaken. The shield is silver.” If they had the patience to look at both the sides of the shield, in the first place, it would have saved the unnecessary loss of much precious blood. I think, that if we care to dispassionately look at both sides of every question, perhaps there would be no argument or fighting”
“ We have with us tonight, who from the Christian standpoint is, I suppose, a pagan. But he belongs to a religion which was old, long before ours was even thought of by men. I am sure it will be pleasant to hear from the copper side of the shield. We have looked at it only from the silver side.”
Most of us do not have the patience to see the other side. The lesson is obvious. Here is a humble attempt to present the other side of the shield.
A savage man might find a few gems, and prizing them, tie them together with a rude thong and string them around his neck. As he becomes slightly civilized, he would perhaps exchange the thong for a string. Becoming still more enlightened, he would fasten his gems with a silken cord and when possessed of high civilisation, he would make an elaborate setting for his gems (with gold wire etc.). But throughout all these changes in the settings, the gems,--that is, the essentials—would remain the same.” -From “Swami Vivekananda in America—New Discoveries”-- by Marie Louise Burke.
Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says,
“ Mayi sarvmidam proktam
Sutre maniganaa eva” (Gita VII-7)
( All this is strung on Me, as rows of gems on a string)
Read my earlier posts: 60 Second Interview with Swami Vivekananda (Posted on 15 January 2012)
One Minute Bhagavad Gita (posted on 4[SUP]th[/SUP] February 2012)