Tales Of Wisdom - Vertical & Horizontal God


A Vishnudas and a Sambhudas once to shelter from the rain in an old, desert house, on the road-side. By the vertical a horizontal marks on their foreheads, that showed themselves to be one a devotee Vishnu, and the other a Shiva-bhakta. They would, therefore, not speak to each other and put the maximum possible distance between them while taking shelter in the house—faces turned away from each other.

With no one to speak to, and nothing do, how long could they keep it up? Each was anxious to prove the superiority of his own religion. After sometime, Vishnudas broke the silence. "You are a Shaivite. But look, my God, the "Vertical-Mark~ supports the house you are taking shelter in!" He pointed to the vertical walls of the house.

Sambhudas felt humiliated and wanted to retort; and a bright idea struck him. He pointed to horizontal rafters resting on the walls and said: "Poor thing, your God He is a beast of burden—what else can your God do but bear? Look, my God, the "Horizontal-Mark", rests happily on your Lord!"

Vishnudas smouldered within and struggled to find an apt reply. Suddenly his face lit up with joy, and he exclaimed: "What a thoughtless person you are! see small vertical beams! They are standing on your rafters. Now, will you admit that my God is greater!"

Sambhudas was not in a mood to admit any such thing. He, looked up thoughtfully, and then said in triumph: "See, if you have eyes to see! There is my "Horizontal God," over your beams!" He pointed to the bamboos of the roof which were horizontally fixed over the beams.

How could Vishnudas submit to the humiliation of his God? Nothing more could be seen inside the house. He went out in the drizzling rain and peered at the roof. There Over the bamboos were the tiles'-vertically arranged; in neat lines. He rushed in an dragged out Sambhudas and pointed to his "Vertical-God" lying comfortably over the "Horizontal God."

Poor Sambhudas, what could he do? Over the tiles there was only atmosphere—Ood alone knew whether it was vertical or horizontal. He could not think of any way to prove his God's superiority. In wrath he cried out, "See what will happen to your God”.

And he climbed up on the roof and pushed and pulled until the tiles fell to the ground and broke. Vishnudas's anger had no bounds. He retaliated by breaking down the bamboos. Sambhudas broke the beams—and Vishnudas pushed down the rafters, panting. Sambhudas smashed the walls. There was nothing more that could be done. Utterly exhausted, but feeling victorious, both huddled down in heaps in separate corners.

The ram came down in torrents. There was neither the "Vertical-God” nor the “Horizontal-God" to give them shelter, and both were drenched to the skin.




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