The Children's World

A Parable by Sivananda: The Two Travellers

Two men were traveling along a village road. One man gave out a cry, caught hold of his foot and sat down. He was in pain. A big thorn had entered his foot. He was unable even to lift it. The other man went ahead and then began shouting at the former: "You fool, it is getting late. If you don't come running, we shall not reach the destination before nightfall." The other man replied: "No, my friend, I cannot move an inch forward till this thorn is removed." "Why are you making such fuss on the way? Come on, get up or I will go away," and the friend went a furlong farther. He too had trodden over a thorn and writhing in pain sat down. As even a touch aggravated the pain, they were not able to remove the thorns themselves. There they were suffering the same agony, but separated from each other by unkindness; unable to help each other. Till a third traveller came along and removed the thorns from their feet, they lay down there. A third man came and removed the thorns and said to then "Friends, they jest at scars that never felt a wound. If you had removed the thorn in the other man when he had one his foot, he would have accompanied you, when you had a thorn in your foot, he would have helped you. Thus would you have to march rapidly towards the goal, not by ignoring each other's pain."

Similarly, a hard hearted man, when he finds a fellow traveller on this thorny and rugged path called life, stricken with pain and penury, laughs at him and goes his way. The nature of life itself is such that he, too, is soon stricken by some kind of pain and penury. Beyond the reach of all help this hard hearted man also suffers. There comes a sage of supreme wisdom, who has the consciousness of Unity, and relieves them of their misery, and in the hearts of both implants the seed of love. He says: "Oh man, pain exists in the other man only in order to give you an opportunity to serve him and relieve him of his misery. Thus, serving each other, would you evolve rapidly and proceed to your destination. You may laugh at the other man's misery and say it is his Karma, but soon you might find yourself in the same condition. Understand the nature of the world. Serve all. Love all. Realise the Self in all."

My Dear Children,


  1. Who are 'Trimurtis’?
  2. Who are the seven Rishis?
  3. Who are the initiators of the six schools of thought (Darshana)?
  4. What is the distance between man and God?
  5. Tell the name of that person who realised God even in the womb of the mother.