My Take on Perspective and Religion
The old parable of the Six Blind Men touching the elephant best describes what perspective is. The man who touched the side of the elephant described it as a wall, the one who touched the tusk said it was a spear, whereas the one who touched the trunk said it was like a snake. All men had their own opinion formed about the elephant in their mind. The way one feels or sees something is what I mean by perspective- different point of view. We all encounter different perspectives in all phases of our lives even complex things like religion. Surprisingly the same old parable about the blind men is used to convey different messages by different religions! Like Jainism uses this parable to teach how to live in peace with other people having different mind-sets. Jainism also teaches that truth can be said in many forms. Whereas Buddhism uses the parable where the men are compared to the arrogant preachers who do not go let their opinion.
As mentioned above the same thing (the parable) was seen through different eyes which made different perspective between the people. This led people to believe in either one of the perspective which created a change in the identity. We judge people on the basis of their caste, belief, or character which is wrong. This created a distinction in the societies. Instead of judging we should understand them and respect their opinion. We should encourage their ideas which will help us to understand about others as well as ourselves.
I analysed and understood different religions. This helped me to see the deeper meaning of Jainism. I was impressed by the ‘Five Great Vows’, especially, the one which says about truthfulness. Earlier I used to hide a lot of truths related to any mischief or late submission to be safe from any type of punishment. Later, I understood my mistake and realized that even the smallest bad deed of mine can affect my future a lot. I couldn’t go back and erase my mistake but I surely could balance it out. From that day I have restricted myself from saying any lies.
I don’t think that this change has drastically changed my identities or my relationship with anyone. The only change in relationship was with my friends. They did not take me into their “groups” because they thought that I will reveal everything that they do. I think that they saw speaking the truth in a different way. Speaking the truth, according to me, is not simply blurting out everything what I see. It is saying the right thing on the right time.
This change has totally changed my mind-set and belief. I now always feel positivity in me as there is no more guilt inside me. I think that this was a good move to make. This change caused me some disappointments like the one with friends but as time passed I overcame them. Now I fell more purified.
In the end I would just like to add that no one’s opinion or perspective can be wrong as they are seeing that through their own eyes. In the old parable of the Six Blind Men, none of the men were wrong in their description. It was just that they only spoke the part of the truth. Similarly, every religion has many different ways to reach the god or the ultimate beings. The goal is the same but with different and unique ways. The judging on perspectives is what creates discrimination between people and changes their identities and relationships.