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Why We Disagree (September 15 1893) by Swami Vivekananda

In this speech Vivekananda tried to explain the reason of disagreement between each other and different sects and religions. He told a story of a frog. In the story he told, a frog used to live in a well. It was born there and brought up there and it used to think his well was the biggest water land of the world. One day, a frog from a sea came to that well. When the frog from the sea told the frog of the well that sea is much bigger than that well, the frog of the well did not believe it and drove the frog of the sea away from his well. Vivekananda concluded– “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 Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Muslim sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world.” 

Frog in the Well: Why we fail to live at peace with one another

In a well a little away from the sea, there lived a big black frog. He had been born there and not for a single day been out . He knew Nothing of World outside. He grew fat on the worms that lived in well and also the insects that chanced to fall in.

He was enjoying a nap one day, when a frog from sea fell in with a big splash of high tide. He woke up thinking a big insect had fallen in.

Great was his surprise when he looked again ” ‘O God !’ our frog said to himself, ‘it looks like a frog …though it isn’t black like me “With out showing that he is afraid ,he asked in grave voice ,’Hallo there, Who ‘re you?”

“I am a stranger”, replied the frog from the sea.

“I Know you don’t belong here… tell me your business of being here?”

“Well, friend, I’d no intention of coming here. I fell in by chance. But of course I ‘m happy to meet you.”

Our frog wasn’t satisfied wanted to know more “ok tell me ‘where ‘re you from?”

“I ‘m from the sea.”

“The Sea ? What’s that ….How big is it? Is it this big ? he asked as he took leap from one side to other of the well.

“My friend’, said the other smiling, ‘how do you compare the sea with your little well?”

Then our frog took another leap and asked “Is your sea this big?”

“What nonsense! to compare the sea with your well! It’s thousands and thousands of times bigger than your well”,

“No, there can be nothing bigger than my well. You’re a liar, I don’t believe you.”

“That’s because you’ve never seen the sea. Come with me. I’ll show you the sea and then you’ll know the TRUTH.”

“Indeed, I won’t go with you. You can’t be honest, you go off my well”

The frog from the sea saw there was no use arguing so he left quietly.

Our frog laughed to himself and said “Hahaha! He thought I am a fool”…. he leaped once more from one side of well to other !….”Nothing can be bigger than my well”

You can listen to the speech in Vivekananda’s own words here.


Earlier in the week, on September 11, 1893 he delivered his groundbreaking speech at the Chicago World Parliament of Religions in 1893, which introduced the west to the Hindu way of life, yoga and Eastern spirituality. “Brothers and sisters of America!”

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