Elephant Dinner


“Elephant Dinner” in “Silence in the Light,” Venetia Kapernekas Gallery, NYC, USA & Wako Works of Art, Tokyo, Japan 2008

Elephants often appear in the teachings of Buddhism.  There is a parable of  “the Blind Men and the Elephant, which Buddha told a group of old man to stop their argument.  In the story, one man brought an elephant to a group of blind men.  One man who touched the head of the elephant said, “this feels like a pot. Another who felt the tusk said,this feels like a plow, and the third that felt the leg said, “This feels like a pillar.  Each one maintained that he was the only right one and that everyone else was wrong.  With this story, Buddha was expressing Relativity, or awareness that there is always more than one way of seeing.

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「盲人たちよ、象を見たことがあるか、象がどのような動物か言ってみよ?」 盲人たちが象に触れた時、王はそれぞれに質問をした。 頭を触った者はこう答えた、「象は鉢のようです。」 象の耳を観察した者は、「象は箕のようだ」と。 象の牙を触ったものは、「犂の歯」と言い、象の鼻を掴んだものは「犂」と言った。 そして象の体を感じた盲人は、「象は納屋」と、足を触ったものは、「柱石」といい、背中は「しっくい」、尻尾の毛は「筆」と。 ——-ウダーナの感興詩より


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