Friday, August 12, 2016

THE SILENCE OF FOUR DISCIPLES












Pic.: Avinash Mantri



Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

I like this story. Several years ago, my friend, Mr. Manjeet, had recounted it to our ‘young disciples’ during a P.D. session.

Silence is tough…Very tough. And, the mind can be so funny! After reading, writing teaching and preaching for decades, I am only able to see myself somewhere there among those four amazing disciples!




THE SILENCE OF
FOUR DISCIPLES


PAST:


One day, a Zen master wanted his four disciples to observe a day-and-night silence. He asked his servant to guide them to a nearby room. “Please light the lamp when darkness falls,” the Master instructed the servant.

For an entire day, the four disciples successfully observed the silence and they were all very happy about it. “Our Master will be very delighted,” they thought with pride.

Just then, one of the disciples said to the servant, “The darkness has fallen… Please light the lamp.”

“Hey you… You have broken your silence,” reacted the disciple who was sitting next to him.

“You both have opened your…” the third disciple was about to complete his sentence when he realized what he was doing. So, he tightly shut his mouth with his two palms… But, the mouth had been already opened and the silence had been already broken!

Now, when all this drama was unfolding before him, our fourth disciple was surging with pride, which he couldn’t contain any further. So, he declared, “You ignorant souls, listen to me: I am the only disciple in this room who has observed the complete silence… and, our Master will be surely proud of me!”


PRESENT:


(One day,) a Zen master wants his four disciples to observe a day-and-night silence. He asks his servant to guide them to a nearby room. “Please light the lamp when darkness falls,” the Master instructs the servant.

For an entire day, the four disciples successfully observe the silence and they are all very happy about it. “Our Master will be very delighted,” they think with pride.

Just then, one of the disciples says to the servant, “The darkness has fallen… Please light the lamp.”

“Hey you… You have broken your silence,” reacts the disciple who is sitting next to him.

“You both have opened your…” the third disciple is about to complete his sentence when he realizes what he is doing. So, he tightly shuts his mouth with his two palms… But, the mouth has been already opened and the silence has been already broken!

Now, when all this drama is unfolding before him, our fourth disciple is surging with pride, which he cannot contain any further. So, he declares, “You ignorant souls, listen to me: I am the only disciple in this room who has observed the complete silence… and, our Master will be surely proud of me!”


GERALD D’CUNHA

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