All Gods are One – The Story of a Religious Bigot

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All Gods are One – The Story of a Religious Bigot


There was a man who worshipped Siva, but hated all other deities. One day Siva appeared to him and said,” I shall never be pleased with you so long as you hate the other gods.” But the man was inexorable. After a few days Siva again appeared to him. This time he appeared as Hari Hara, that is, one side of His body was Siva, and the other Vishnu.

At this the man was half pleased and half displeased. He laid his offerings on the side representing Siva, but nothing on that of Vishnu. When he offered the burning incense to his beloved God (Siva), he was audacious enough to press the nostrils of Vishnu lest He should have the fragrance! Siva was displeased and at once vanished from his sight. But the man was undaunted as ever.

However, the children of the village began to tease him by uttering the name of Vishnu in his hearing. Vexed with this, the man hung two bells on his ears, which he used to ring as soon as the boys cried out the name of Vishnu, in order to prevent the sound entering his ears. And thus he was known by the name of Ghanta-karna. He is still so much hated for his bigotry that every year at a certain time children in Bengal breaks his effigy with a cudgel.

(As told by Sri Ramakrishna)



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