Tuesday, September 29, 2009


COGNITION – Another Story

A Mulla Nasrudin Story



I am sure you liked the Zen Story on Cognition I posted on my blog yesterday.

Here is a Mulla Nasrudin story which exemplifies the concept of Cognition.

A foreign scholar and his entourage were passing through town where Mulla Nasrudin lived.

The scholar asked to speak with the town's most knowledgeable person.

Of course the townsfolk immediately called Mulla Nasrudin.

The foreign savant didn't speak the local language and Nasrudin didn't speak the foreign scholar’s language, so the two wise men had to communicate with signs, while the others looked on with fascination.

The foreigner, using a stick, drew a large circle on the sand.

Mulla Nasrudin took the stick and divided the circle into two.

This time the foreigner drew a line perpendicular to the one Nasrudin had drawn and the circle was now split into four quarters.

He motioned to indicate first the three quarters of the circle and then pointed to the remaining quarter.

In response to this Mulla Nasrudin made a swirling motion with the stick on the four quarters.

Then the foreigner made a bowl shape with two hands side by side, palms up, and wiggled his fingers.

Nasrudin responded by cupping his hands palms down and wiggling his fingers.

When the meeting was over, the members of the foreign scientist's entourage asked him about the great intellectual discussion he had had with Mulla Nasrudin using sign language.

“Mulla Nasrudn is truly a very learned man,” the foreign scholar said, “I told him that the earth was round and he told me that there was the equator in the middle of the earth. I told him that the three quarters of the earth was water and one quarter of it was land. He said that there were undercurrents and winds. I told him that the waters warm up, vaporize and move towards the sky, and in reply to that he said that they cool off and come down as rain.”

The townsfolk too were curious about the intellectual encounter so they gathered around Mulla Nasrudin, who started to explain, “This stranger has real good taste. He said that he wished there was a large round tray of halwa (milk cake). I said that he could only have half of it. He said that the syrup should be made with three parts sugar and one part honey. I agreed and said that they all had to mix well. Next he suggested that we should cook it on blazing fire. To this I added that we should pour crushed nuts on top of the halwa.”

“It was a very rewarding discussion,” said Nasrudin with a glow of self satisfaction, “and I am so proud that I taught the foreign scholar the best recipe for halwa for which he will be grateful to me forever.”

Do read the Zen story on Cognition


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