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"The elephant is like a winnnowing-basket." Thus they began to dispute among themselves as to the figure of the elephant. A passer-by seeing them thus quarrelling, said, "What is it that you are disputing about?" They told him everything, and asked him to arbitrate. That man said, "None of you has seen the elephant. The elephant is not like the pillar, its legs are like pillars. It is not like a big water-vessel, its belly is like a water-vessel. It is not like a winnowing basket, its ears are like winnowing baskets. It is not like a thick stick or club, but its proboscis is like that. The elephant is the combination of all these." In the same manner those quarrel who haveseen one aspect only of the Deity.


No religion is perfect that is not founded on truth;
charity without sympathy is useless;

Knowledge is a burden without politeness; what
better use of wealth can there be than charity.
A God without potentiality is no God, religious
meditation without piety is sham;

Worship of God without love for him is superficial;
divine knowledge unaccompanied by devotion is

A man who has no spiritual knowledge cannot be called a preceptor, how can he preach others; Penance is impossible without restraining the passions;

External washing goes for nothing without internal purity.

He is not an ascetic who has no virtue; renunciation of the world is only nominal so long as there is desire for worldly things;

* By Max Müller.

A man cannot be said to have experience if his mind is still a prey to doubts; for discoveries cannot be made properly without experience.

He who seeks not true God is an ignorant man,

Chhotum says with a conviction that the above is the sum and substance of all scriptures.


A Gujaráti poet.


I venerate the man, whose heart is warm,

Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life Coincident, exhibit lucid proof

That he is honest in the Sacred Cause.

To such I render more than mere respect,

Whose actions say that they respect themselves.


That holy man who stands immoveable,
As if erect upon a pinnacle,

His appetites and organs all subdued,
Sated with knowledge secular and sacred,
To whom a lump of earth, a stone, or gold,
To whom friends, relatives, acquaintances,
Neutrals and enemies, the good and bad,
Are all alike, is called 'one yoked with God.'
The man who aims at that supreme condition,
Of perfect yoking with the Deity

Must first of all be moderate in all things,
In food, in sleep, in vigilance, in action,
In exercise and recreation.*


Whoso is pure of heart and sweet of speech,

It matters not if he have a rosary on his neck or no.
Whoso has made clear the way of self-knowledge,
It matters not if he have clotted hair on his head or no.
Whoso is passionless towards his neighbour's wife,
It matters not if there be ashes on his body or no.

* From Indian Wisdom by Monier Williams.

Whoso is blind to another's wealth, and dumb in


You may point to him as a saint, says Tukâ.*


He who has forgiveness in him is blessed. Who does not lose his courage in times of difficulty, who calls no one good or bad, who sees everything as equal, who is pure externally as well as internally, whose heart is pure as the Gangâ, Tuka says, at such a man's feet he will keep his head, and give him his body.


He that negotiates between God and man,
As God's ambassador, the grand concerns
Of judgment and of mercy, should beware
Of lightness in his speech. 'Tis pitiful

To court a grin, when you should woo a soul;
To break a jest, when pity would inspire
Pathetic exhortation; and to address

The skittish fancy with facetious tales,

When sent with God's commission to the heart.


He that preaches to man, should understand what is in man; and that skill can scarce be attained by an ascetic in his solitudes.


from teachers some they ought to

The generality of men receive theory or other, which lays down what

desire, and ought to make the prime object of life, and

• From Sir A. Grant's Translation in Fortnightly Review (1867). † A Marathi poet.

they never test the theory by their own individual experience and practice.

Unfortunately, popular teachers hold conflicting and diverse opinions, and the mass of the unthinking coming, under their influence are swayed hither and thither, and unable to judge for themselves which teacher teacher is right and which is wrong, the general mind becomes thoroughly confused, and evils which are enormous in extent and disastrous in consequences, result alike to individuals and to society at large.

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Cows are many-coloured; but the milk (of all) has one colour only. Look on knowledge as the milk, and on the teacher as the cows.

From The Works of H. H. Wilson.


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