The mentor's cat

"Can you tell us any more stories about your mentor?" the disciples asked.

The Master smiled. "When did I say that he was my mentor or that this young man was actually me in my last incarnation? That means that you have read my mind; you also have occult power. All right, let me tell you a story about the mentor's cat.

"As I have told you many times, if you love someone you have to love his cat, dog, squirrel, everything. The young man in the previous story even had to be fond of his mentor's dog, who was unbearable. But since the mentor kept this dog, what could the young man do? The mentor also had a cat, whose health was creating problems. The young man tried all kinds of medicines on the cat, but it seemed that no medicine could cure the cat. But God knows how many mentors this young man had. He went to another mentor of his who was a homeopathic doctor to get some medicine for the cat.

"The young man was extremely fond of this other mentor also. Since he was a practitioner of homeopathic medicine, he always criticised allopathic medicine like anything. And the young man always agreed with him. He was a 'yes-man'. These two reached the height of mutual appreciation. If someone said the young man's writing was not good at all, that mentor would take a thick book and throw it at the critic. He was extremely fond of the young man. The young man used to swim in the sea of this mentor's love.

"But even the homeopathic medicine did not work. The young man knew that the cat was going to die, but what could he do since this was destined? Nevertheless, he didn't have the heart to tell his mentor that the cat would die. He always used to say, 'Don't worry, don't worry,' just like Indian doctors. Even if the patient is dying, up to the last minute they say, 'Oh, he is bound to be cured in one or two days.' It is an Indian tradition, even if the patient is dying, to say, 'Yes, he is getting better.'

"One day the poor cat got really worse; everybody saw it. But the young man said, 'I see it clearly; it will be cured.'

"The mentor became furious. 'I can't see that at all! It is dying. Every day it gets worse and worse and you have to tell me such lies. I don't need that kind of false consolation.'

"At this the young man's pride came forward. 'You think I don't have any occult power,' he said to himself. Then to his mentor he said, 'I will prove that it is getting better.' He used what little occult power he had and from that moment the cat began getting better.

"In a few hours the cat became quite well and the mentor and his wife were extremely happy, but they gave all the credit to the homeopathic doctor, because the young man had got some medicine from him. For two days the cat was in excellent health and the cat-owner gave fifty rupees and two most important books on homeopathy as gifts to the doctor. The young man was delighted that his other mentor, who was an old man, received these things.

"But it was God's Will that this kind of miracle could last only for three days. God wanted the cat to die; therefore, on the third day the young man had to withdraw his occult power and allow the cat to die. When this happened, what a calamity it was in the mentor's family! The mentor was sad and distressed although he did not in any way blame the young man. He felt that it was the medicine that had cured the cat, and he knew that although medicine can appear to cure, the patient may die at any moment.

"The young man didn't have the heart to go to his mentor's place after the cat's death, although he knew that his mentor was not going to scold him. God's Will was executed; therefore, he did not feel sorry for the mentor's cat. But he did feel sorry for the mentor's suffering, so for a whole day he didn't visit this mentor. The mentor was very pleased when the young man finally did come to see him, because he saw that the young man was full of sympathy for his sorrow. The mentor didn't have the heart to scold him for constantly insisting that the cat would be cured. The mentor felt that he did not deserve a scolding, since he was just an ordinary young man. He had always acted like a good subordinate, saying, 'Yes, yes, your cat will be cured.'

"Anyway, after the cat died, the mentor and his wife wanted to offer it a burial with some purity to speed its journey in the inner world. They decided that they would allow only a pure person to touch the cat. Since both husband and wife were heartbroken, they didn't have the heart to bury the cat themselves. They had a servant, but they felt that the servant was unquestionably impure; therefore, they didn't want him to bury the cat either. Although the servant always fed the cat, on that day they suddenly felt that the servant was not pure enough to touch it. They felt that the young man was the right person.

"So the young man had to give the cat a burial associated with purity. The mentor and his wife said, 'Let us use the picture of our Master. What more purity can one have?' The young man placed the picture of the Master on the chest of the cat and buried them together. The husband and the wife bitterly cried. The young man joined. And his tears were one hundred per cent real."