Maximilian Schroff – Weekly Report No.4

 In Visiting Reports

During the Onam celebrations, the students had a whole week vacation. Only seven of them had to stay in St.John’s, since either there is no one who could or no one who wanted to pick them up. This is the only time I saw Children crying in this wonderful place; because no matter how well they are treated and cared here, or how well they have been included in the big family of St.John’s, this can never take the empty place their parents have left. For this reason, Father Jose tries to create the most beautiful and enjoyable time for the leftover children. And in this week he succeeded in ever part. Because I was treated same way as the children, they took me to all the programs too. For example, tours to wonderful places were planned, we played games, watched movies, etc.

In the following I want to mention few trips and talk about the wonderful experiences I made. Once, we were on a nearby mountain where a small temple was built on the top. From there you had a wonderful view of the countryside of India even reaching to the horizon. We visited a temple, where small to medium sized monkeys are fed, so that when we came there we saw hundreds of cute monkeys. We were also by a Guru (not directly seen him), his followers and their giant lotus flower Temple ‘Santhigiri Ashram’. On the Guru and his related stories, I do not want to go into detail because I’m not a proponent of such sects. By contrast, I want to tell you about Swami Vivenkananda, an Indian monk and philosopher, whose monument I was allowed to visit. This monument called “Vivekananda Rock Memorial” is located on Cape Comorin, the southern tip of India in the state of Tamil Nadu.

His most famous speech was hold in front of the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893, in which Vivekananda tried to explain the reason of disagreement between each other and different sects and religions. He told a story of a frog and this story I would like to partially quote here, because I think it is even more relevant today than it was in 1893.

“I will tell you a little story. You have heard the eloquent speaker who has just finished say, “Let us cease from abusing each other,” and he was very sorry that there should be always so much variance.

But I think I should tell you a story that would illustrate the cause of this variance. A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. It was born there and brought up there, and yet was a little, small frog. (…) it every day cleansed the water of all the worms and bacilli that lived in it (…). In this way it went on and became a little sleek and fat. Well, one day another frog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well.

“Where are you from?”
“I am from the sea.”
“The sea! How big is that? Is it as big as my well?” and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other.
“My friend,” said the frog of the sea, “how do you compare the sea with your little well?”
Then the frog took another leap and asked, “Is your sea so big?”
“What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your well!”
“Well, then,” said the frog of the well, “nothing can be bigger than my well. There can be nothing bigger than this. This fellow is a liar, so turn him out.”
That has been the difficulty all the while.
“I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christians sit in their little well and think the whole world is their well. The Muslims sit in their little well and think that is the whole world.” – Swami Vivenkananda

I am extremely happy to have come to India, especially because I saw and heard lots of new things, what has definitely broaden my mind.

Sincerely from India,
Maximilian Schroff

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