The callous logician

There was once a kind-hearted spiritual Master. He had three disciples. One was an ayurvedic doctor, one was an astrologer and the third one was an expert in logic. One day an elderly man came to this Master and pitifully asked him a question. He said, “Please illumine me. My daughter wants to marry a certain young man. I like him, but I am anxious. What do I know about the future? Please tell me whether or not they should get married.”

The spiritual Master replied, “They are both good people. Both of them are very, very nice, and it will be a very happy marriage, but I see that in a few months’ time your daughter will lose her husband. The marriage itself will be good, but then something will happen and your son-in-law will die.”

“Oh no!” cried the elderly man. “Then I do not want this marriage to take place.”

The spiritual Master said, “Wait, let me ask my disciples if they can be of any help.”

The astrologer-disciple concentrated on the problem and said, “Yes, it is true. This young man will soon die.”

The ayurvedic doctor-disciple quickly said, “No, he will not die. I have medicine. When he falls sick, immediately inform me and I will cure him. Your son-in-law will not die.”

The elderly man was so happy that his son-in-law would not die.

The third disciple, the one who dealt with logic, kept quiet. He did not say even one word. The wife of the spiritual Master said, “Why do you have to keep that third disciple? He contributed nothing. He was silent. We do not need him. We need only the astrologer and the ayurvedic doctor.”

The spiritual Master said, “No, we need all three.”

The young couple got married and were leading a happy life. Then, in a few months’ time, the husband fell seriously ill. Fortunately, the ayurvedic doctor was able to cure him.

Still the wife did not care for the third disciple, but the spiritual Master said, “Let me think of a way to show you that we need this fellow also.” In front of the wife, he took a tiny insect and put it into his mouth. Only his wife knew it was a dead insect. Then he pretended that he was dying because he was suffering so much from this insect. The astrologer-disciple cast the spiritual Master’s horoscope and said, “O my God! You are destined to die.”

Then it was time for them to eat. It was the custom of the three disciples to eat together. The astrologer and the ayurvedic doctor said, “We will not eat until we can cure our Master. We have to cure him.” They would not eat even one mouthful. The third disciple, the great logician, started eating heartily. Seeing this, the wife of the spiritual Master began scolding him ruthlessly.

“Clearly you have no concern for your Master,” she said. “You see, the other two are not eating. They want to cure him. And what are you doing? Thinking of your own stomach!” The logician calmly went on eating.

Then the spiritual Master said, “At a time like this, logic is needed. We all saw that this insect is tinier than the tiniest. It is not going to kill me. But the other two are so stupid. They were convinced that I was going to die. I simply pretended that I was dying. Actually I would not have died from this kind of thing. So here logic is needed.”

The wife said, “I do not need that kind of logic. If my husband is suffering, even if he pretends that he is dying, the disciples must show their love and concern.”

Then she said to her husband, “Now you decide. Either your wife will stay with you or you can keep your third disciple.”

The spiritual Master said to his wife, “I cannot afford to lose you.”

So the disciple who was supreme in logic was thrown out of the Master’s ashram.