Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cry from Calvary

The novel, Black Hole, continues.

Story so far:

Chapter 1 - The Original Sin:  Kailash Public School in Delhi is donated by Sitaram Rana to Nityananda Baba of Devlok Ashram.  The ashram was founded by Kailash Baba along with the material assistance of Amarjeet and Mahendra Rana.  An Anglican Pastor, Aaron Matthews, is also an integral part of the ashram.

Chapter 2 - A Gospel: Ishan Salman Panicker is one of the English teachers at Kailash Public School.  His foot is fractured the day the school's management changes.  Lying in bed he begins to write a gospel which has its roots in Shillong. He was born of Farishta Kharmawphlang and Shankara Panicker  in Shillong. Shankara disappeared the day Ishan was born; it was during Indira Gandhi's Emergency.

Read on:


God so loved the world that he sent His only Son to perish in it.

The Gospel according to Ishan was quite different from the gospels taught to him by Father Joseph.  The priest had taught him about the Son of God who died on the cross so that the world would be saved.  Much as the priest explained it, Ishan never understood how anyone, even if he is God, could save the world by dying ignominiously on a cross.  Whenever Father Joseph spoke about Jesus saving the world, Ishan heard a heart-rending lament: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Lazarus forsakes Jesus  

Ishan wrote the title of a chapter of his gospel.  Rahu and Ketu were inspiring him as he sat in the staff quarters of Kailash Public School with his plastered foot elevated on a chair.

“You’ve taken away my death, you’ve appropriated it,” Lazarus tried hard to suppress his anger.

“I gave you life,” said Jesus calmly, “new life.”

“You had no right to do it,” Lazarus was almost contemptuous.  “Look at me, Jesus, look into my eyes.  You had no right to bring me back from death.  Do you realise the gravity of what you’ve done?  You’ve destroyed the peace that I had found in death.  I can forgive you for that.  But you’ve upset the whole world of my sisters.  They were getting used to my death.  They were learning to accept it as an inevitable fact of life.  Do you know how absurd it is for anyone to live with someone who has come back from death?  What am I now to them?  A ghost?  They want to ask me what it is like there – beyond death.  They don’t ask because they are sensitive enough.  When they do, as they surely will in due course of time, what am I to tell them?”

“Tell them the truth,” said Jesus rather enigmatically.

“Truth!  What’s truth?”

Jesus did not answer.

“Ha!  You can’t answer that,” said Lazarus. 

“They love you, Lazarus.  I love you,” Jesus sounded consoling.

Lazarus became restless.  “Love had become unbearable,” he said.  “How could I ever reciprocate the love my sisters and you bore me?  My ailments were taking away all my love to themselves. When did I ever have time to love anyone after taking care of my decrepit body?”

Lazarus had become calm.  “And now you say you’re going to die.”

“I’m going to be killed,” said Jesus.

“You chose death,” Lazarus paraphrased it.

“It’s not my choice, Lazarus.  It’s my destiny.  This is what I was born for.”

“What?  What were you born for?  To question the priests and their laws, to arouse their anger so much that they would demand your crucifixion and nothing less?  What will you achieve through that?”

“I won’t achieve anything.”  Jesus was quiet for a while and then he added, “The world will.”

“What will the world achieve?”

“Learn the meaning of surrender.”

“Surrender!  Is that all what you have got to teach?  Is that the great destiny you came to fulfil?  You are a big fool, Jesus.  Love, sacrifice, surrender... You should have been born a woman.”

Jesus remained silent.   Was he really effeminate?  He asked himself.  Hadn’t he driven out of the synagogue the money-lenders and the traders of sheep and oxen?  Hadn’t he dared to question the priests and the Pharisees?
 
Yet he knew that Lazarus was not entirely wrong.  He was weary.  Not effeminate.  Weary of mankind.  The more he tried to liberate their hearts from the clutches of the Law, the more tenaciously did they cling to them.  When he taught them to heal themselves, they demanded miracles.  Irredeemable, they were.  How can you make anyone see if they refuse to open their eyes?

“You’re capitulating, Jesus,” said Lazarus.  “Perform one more miracle,” he pleaded.  “Transform yourself.  Stop teaching love to people.  Your love is a burden.  It demands the impossible.  At best people will start worshiping you as a god for teaching them that kind of love.  Nothing will change except their god.  Jesus in place of Yahweh.  An effeminate god in place of a vindictive god.  What use is that?  Change your teaching.  Teach them the merit of reason and wisdom.  Teach them to think.”

No, Lazarus, no.  Jesus said to himself as he got up and walked away.  The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.  It is love that my God hungers for.  It is love that all His creatures hunger for.  And that love is very demanding.  Endlessly demanding.  My death is a sacrifice on the altar of love. 

A few days later rose the cry from Calvary, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Lazarus was not alive to hear that cry. 

*

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PREVIOUS PARTS

Chapter 1: The Original Sin


Chapter 2: A Gospel

2.2 Dkhar


Next: The Lost Sheep

5 comments:

  1. Love is a complicated thing. Religion complicates it further.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Has religion made anything simple ever? Its apparent simplicity (like reducing everything to faith) is the biggest complexity for the thinking person.

      Delete
  2. Religion is a narcotic. Those under its influence think themselves omnipotent.

    I'm not an atheist, but I don't believe in the religions with humanoid gods, who have human weaknesses and emotions. According to me, God is a power. That's all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep a safe distance from religion though I display my loyalty to the tribe by performing certain weekly duties. :)

      Here, the question goes beyond religion into metaphysics of spirituality.

      Delete
    2. Hahahah 'By performing certain weekly duties'! So very me!

      Delete

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