Tuesday, February 18, 2014


                      A great teacher of ancient India was teaching his students about the futility of life and the reality of death. He found that most of them were afraid of death. So he told them a story:
                      Once upon a time, there was a shipwreck and four members of a family escaped by holding on to a wooden log of the shattered ship. The waves carried them to a desolate island. The four persons who were washed ashore examined the island and started a new life using the resources available in the isolated island.
                      Months passed. One day, a stranger visited the island in a small boat and invited the father to accompany him to a safe and happy land. Everyone wanted to board the boat, but the stranger told them there was space for only one passenger in his boat at present. He consoled them and said that he would return soon and carry the others too. Months later, the stranger arrived in the same boat and carried away the mother, promising again to return later to carry the children to the promised land. The stranger arrived one day and carried the elder son away. The younger son was sad to be left alone and wanted to accompany his brother, but the stranger refused to carry the youngest child with him. He promised that he would return soon to carry him. Finally the stranger came and carried the youngest son to the promised land of peace and prosperity.
                      The teacher asked the students about the moral of the story. As they could not answer, he explained the allegory himself. The island is the world where every person is entitled to live for a definite period. The stranger is ‘death’ who arrives at unexpected moments and carries away our souls to the heaven of happiness prepared for the righteous by God, the Creator. The world is a temporary shelter to prepare us for an endless life of bliss in our real home in constant communion with God, our loving Father. Death arrives at the last moment of one’s life and may carry only one soul at a time. The others are left behind on earth with the hope that one day they too would be led to the Promised Land. The boat is represented by the coffin which carries the dead to the grave and the departed soul is led to heaven. Let us be ready to receive Death, the stranger as the carrier to a better land, a world without worries. Let us not fear his arrival which is inevitable. For those who lead a righteous life on earth in accordance with the Sacred Scriptures, life after death is in a heaven of happiness and so death is not a fearsome event.
                      The students were enlightened and lost their fear of death for ever. It is said that when we are born, we cry and the people around us rejoice. When we die, people cry, and, if we are saved, we rejoice!
                      Calvin Miller said, “Death is but a temporary inconvenience that separates our smaller living from our greater being.”
                      Sir Walter Scott said, “Is death the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.”
                      King Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great, had appointed a servant in his palace, with the duty to meet him every morning and greet him with the words, “Philip, remember that you must die.”
                      © By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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This is Story No. 206 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

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