Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836–1886,) the eminent Hindu mystic of 19th-century India, used stories and parables to portray the core elements of his philosophy. The meaning of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories and parables are usually not explicitly stated. The meanings are not intended to be mysterious or confidential but are, in contrast, quite uncomplicated and obvious.
In the Hindu and other traditions of the major religions of the world, parables form the language of the wise for enlightening the simple, just as well as they form the language of the simple for enlightening the wise.
The Parable of the Frog in the Well
A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. It was born and brought up there. Moreover, it was a small little frog.
One day another frog that lived in the sea came upon the first frog. The frog of the well asked the newcomer, “Whence are you?”
The frog of the sea replied, “I am from the sea.”
The frog of the well questioned, “The sea! How big is that?”
The frog of the sea said, “It is very big.”
The frog of the well stretched its legs and questioned, “Ah! Is your sea so big?”
The frog of the sea said, “It is much bigger.”
The frog of the well then took a leap from one side of the well to the other and asked, “Is it as big as this, my well?”
“My friend,” said the frog of the sea, “how can you compare the sea with your well?”
The frog of the well asserted, “No, there can never be anything bigger than my well. Indeed, nothing can be bigger than this! This fellow is a liar, he must be turned out.”
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa concluded, “Such is the case with every narrow-minded man. Sitting in his own little well, he thinks that the whole world is no bigger than his well.”
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa once said, “If you first fortify yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live in the midst of wealth and worldliness, surely they will in no way affect you.”
- ‘Great Swan: Meetings with Ramakrishna’ by Lex Hixon
- ‘Vivekananda: A Biography’ by Swami Nikhilananda
- ‘Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda’ by Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nivedita
- ‘Ramakrishna Paramahamsa: The Sadhaka of Dakshineswar’ by Amiya P. Sen
- ‘Ramakrishna: His Life and Sayings’ by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
- ‘Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’ by Swami Nikhilananda