One day a wise and mighty rajah was sitting at his window contemplating the vastness of his view, when his son came to him.
“Father, what is the truth of things?” the young boy asked his father.
“A wonderful question!” the rajah said with delight, for he was well pleased that his son searching. “I will try to guide you to your answer.”
He commanded his royal elephant to be brought forth. Outside the palace the father and son mounted the elephant and proceeded to the market place.
“Bring me three blind men”, the rajah commanded. Three blind men were brought forth.
“Allow the blind men to examine the elephant”, the rajah commanded.
Now the blind men had never known of an elephant and were excited to feel one for the first time in all their poor lives. One found his way to the elephant’s tusk, another at its leg and the last at its tail.
When the three had finished the Rajah asked the blind men, “Describe the elephant to my son, that he might learn.”
“Oh noble Rajah, it is like a spear”, said the blind man who examined only the tusk.
“Oh noble Rajah, he is quite wrong, it is like a tree”, said the blind man who examined only the leg.
“Most noble Rajah, they are both wrong, the elephant is like a rope” said the blind man who only examined the tail.
At this the three blind men began to bicker amongst themselves, each telling the others why he alone was right.
“Do you see it, my son?” the rajah said holding his son, while pointing at the three blind men. “The elephant is like the truth of all things and we are like the blind men.”