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The Guru, the disciples and the cat!!

This is an old story and has been featured in this platform and many more highlighting different concepts. And this is one of the best story for me to use in the teaching and learning environment. It is true that "Superficial Learning" exist. It is my personal experience and it does not have anything to with intelligence.

I am trying to give a different flavor the story. My version is about generations of disciples and cats.

In a Gurukul, as the Guru started to teach his disciples under a tree, he noticed a cat disturbing the class and distracting everyone. Little did the cat knew the consequences. It was just doing its routine. The Guru got angry and asked a disciple to tie the cat to the tree. As the other disciples watched, the obedient disciple caught the cat with much difficulty and tied it to the tree with a rope. The Guru continued to take class. After the class was over, the cat was released.

This practice continued for a very long time. The generation of the Guru, the disciples and the cat changed. Yet the practice of all remained the same. It took sometime for the cat to learn to behave as everyday for years the cat would be tied for its deeds. It was a desperate need for the next gen cats to not be treated that way and it had to behave. Cats got disciplined.

A new Guru came to teach and new batch of disciples who had heard the way the Gurukul functioned. The Guru started to teach. He felt it strange that the cat was not disturbing the class. This cat was sitting by the side of the disciples and probably listening to the class. The Guru thought "how can the cat be tied if it does not disturb, and how can I start the class if the cat is not tied?". It was getting late and he thought, lets just tie the cat. He asked one of the disciple to tie the cat using the rope so that he can start the class. Some disciples thought, "wow, this Guru knows so much" but some were puzzled and looked into the cat's eye with sympathy. Then the Guru started the class and the cat was released at the end.

This practice continued as well. The generation of the Guru, the disciples and the cat changed. Yet the practice of all remained the same. Cat would come and sit besides and get tied during the class. Generations passed. Cats now started to think its better not be around during the class. This time cats disappeared.

A new age Guru came to take class as brand new disciples were waiting for the enlightenment. The Guru started to teach and realized cat is not tied. He asked the disciple to do the routine so that he can start the class. The sympathy generation giggled and the loyal line got scared on the fact that the cat is not there to tie. The Guru asked "what's wrong?". The disciple hesitatingly told him that the cat wasn't there to tie. The Guru got puzzled. 'Now what to do?' he thought. After being admired by disciples for so many years he had to find some solution. He did not want to let the followers down nor disrespect the senior Gurus. He order the disciple to find a cat, get it to the class and then tie it so that he can start the class. This time the cat was neither disturbing, not present near the class. The disciple followed the Guru's orders and tied the cat.

In the class there were two enlightenment happened that day and there were two Gurus in the class. First the Guru who ordered the cat to be found an

d tied, and second was the cat that had leant the lessons yet was punished.

The lesson is left to the readers interpretation but for me this talks a lot of superficial learning. We hear about some deeds, watch them do but only when we do it is when we understand "How I do it?".

Happy learning.

- Prasanna Hegde

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