There are legends with the ability to open our minds and make us think. It is therefore a great way to awaken critical thinking in children.
This legend originally from India, 'The truth of the elephant', planet a question that many philosophers have tried to answer in different ways throughout history: What is truth? You will find the answer in this legendary story.
Long ago, in a region of India called Bophal, ruled the great Rajah Amannipan. He was very wise and respected by all. He had accomplished great things for his subjects. They all had land and were not starving. Order and justice guided everyone's daily life.
Amannipan also devoted much of his time to studying and educating his son Ramani, who he had inherited great qualities from his father: He was curious and insightful, he doubted everything around him and always wanted to know more and more. His father loved showing him things and answering all his questions.
One summer day, as father and son strolled through the palace gardens, Ramani asked: 'what is the truth?'. Ammanipan was silent for a long time without answering. He instructed his son to wait a few days, after which he would solve the question.
So, a few days passed and Ramani's father took him to an area near the palace. There was a huge elephant and 4 people who he observed were blind.. They had never before seen an elephant and had never even been near one. The rajah invited the 4 blind men to approach the elephant one by one to touch it for the first time in their lives.
The first was a young man of small stature who, feeling with his bamboo stick, reached up to under the elephant's belly and touched one of the animal's legs, which was standing. After a few minutes he was satisfied and gave way to the next, a tall and thin young man who could feel the back, the spine and the huge head of the elephant.
After him, an old man with long hair approached, who approached the back of the elephant and was able to touch it as well as the long tail ending in a hair brush. The old man was convinced that he already knew everything he needed and, after bowing, he walked away from the animal.
Finally, a beautiful woman cautiously approached the elephant's head and carefully felt its trunk and dangerous tusks. After a few minutes, he withdrew with a confident smile.
Ramani He did not understand how that could help to solve his doubt about the truth. So Ammanipan asked each of them to explain what an elephant looked like.
The little blind man claimed that the elephant was like a thick, solid column covered in skin and finished in hard nails. The tall man replied saying that the elephant was a very wide and long animal, full of hair and impossible to cover, although in the end it had a large head. Faced with these statements, the old man mocked, arguing that the elephant was a vast and spherical being, made up of 2 halves and with a fine nose finished in hairs that, surely, helped him to smell. The woman ended by saying that all 3 were wrong since the elephant was a snake-like animal, long, thin, with 2 nostrils and large horns that undoubtedly helped it to hunt prey.
So the 4 blind men were talking and arguing until night came without having agreed on the true nature of the elephant. Ramani, somewhat exasperated, told his father that the only thing he could make clear was that none of the blind men actually knew what an elephant was, that no one had managed to know the truth.
However, his father replied: 'You are right, no one knows the truth and yet all 4 know it for does not the elephant have legs like columns, a vast body, a long hairy tail and a trunk and tusks? Which of the blind has found the truth? none and all, and that is why they will go on and on arguing until the stars surround us. '
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