Thursday, April 05, 2007

Death, the Monster

An Ancient Easter Story

"I know what to do!" the emperor declared. The heaven was relieved to hear this statement.

The emperor of the heaven and the earth was seated on the throne of fire. Legions of angels flew around waiting to obey any command from his lips.

The emperor had appeared worried about something for a few days. The entire heaven shared the uneasiness of the emperor. The heaven had never seen its emperor that troubled about anything. The angels could guess that there must be something terribly wrong somewhere in the empire.

The emperor was concerned about the well-being of the human beings on the earth. The emperor treated them as his own children. Given the potential to grow as wise and powerful as the emperor, they had the freedom to choose their own way of life. This was a privilege even the angels in heaven couldn't dream of.

It was the presence of a fierce monster on the earth that troubled the emperor. This huge, ugly monster was called Death. It lived in a cave somewhere underground, and nobody knew the exact location of the cave. The monster had the unusual ability to appear anywhere on the earth and capture human beings. The captured ones were chained inside his cave.

The heart-breaking cry of the captives reached the throne of the emperor, which made him think of the most effective way to face the problem. Finally a solution surfaced in his mind. And he declared, "I know what to do!"

The emperor wanted to put an end to the terror of Death and set all its prisoners free. In order to accomplish this, he descended to the earth disguised as a human being. Born as a human baby to a poor village girl, he grew up just like any other human being. When it was time, the emperor walked straight toward Death to be captured by him.

While he was walking toward Death, the entire heaven looked down with apprehension. The Sun, moon, and the stars looked down with curiosity at what their emperor would do. The earth, the ocean, the plants, and the animals couldn't believe their eyes when they saw their emperor walking on the earth as a human being. Ironically, the only beings who could not recognize the emperor were the human beings although they were the beneficiaries of all the troubles the emperor was going through.

The emperor of heaven and earth gave himself to suffer and die at the hands of the human beings. Watching their emperor suffer at the hands of the ignorant earthlings, the angels of heaven got very angry. They were so mad that they wanted to fly down and burn those earthlings. But they restrained themselves for they knew the plan of their emperor.

Mistaking the emperor to be just another human being, the monster captured him and threw him to his dungeon. Once inside, the emperor assumed his own real form. Seeing the emperor of heaven and earth within his cave, the monster trembled with fear. He made an attempt to escape, but the emperor wouldn't let him go. What followed was a fierce battle between the emperor and the monster. At the battle of the giants, the earth quaked violently, and the heaven thundered. The battle continued until the monster fell dead. A sigh of relief rose from all the angels and other beings who were watching the cosmic battle. It was followed by shouts of joy and victory throughout the empire.

The emperor broke the chains of all the prisoners and freed them. They all assembled before the emperor, bowed before him, and thanked him profusely for all the trouble he took to save them.

Once again there was peace and well-being all over the heaven and the earth.

A Story by John Kunnathu

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