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A legend ,history and its parallelism

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  • Alex Jojo Joseph
    Hi All, Let me take you through a legend followed by a narration from history.Let the reader draw parallels (if s/he could find any) and understand the meaning
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 2004
      Hi All,

      Let me take you through a legend followed by a narration from history.Let the reader draw parallels (if s/he could find any) and understand the meaning .............

      Part 1 :The Legend of Pak Hyokkose , the Korean myth

      After Ancient Chosun Kingdom(Tangun found this country) , many nations rose in the Korean peninsula.

      Of course, many small nations were absorbed by larger nations many times and then a few nations began to rule the peninsula. In BC 100 the three kingdoms of Koguryo, Paekjae and Shilla were founded, marking the end of the tribal era and the start of history in Korea.

      ***Founder of the Shilla Dynasty, Pak Hyokkose, the man born from an egg ***

      In the current Kyungsang Province there used to exist six villages called Yookbu. These villages belonged to separate clans whose ancestor was said to have descended from heaven...

      The chiefs of the six villages, together with their children, gathered by the shore of the Al River in order to hold a meeting. They said, "Because we have no ruler above to govern the people, the people are dissolute and do only what they wish. We should seek out a virtuous man to be our king, found a country, and lay out a capital."

      Then the six chiefs climbed to a height and looked southward. Suddenly they saw an eerie lightning-like emanation by the Na Well under Mount Yang south of the Al River. In the middle of the mysterious rays a white horse kneeled and bowed. When they reached the spot, they found a red egg, the horse gave a long neigh and flew up to heaven when it saw the people approaching. The people cracked the egg open and a beautiful infant boy came out. Everyone was amazed and filled with wonder. The infant boy was then bathed in the East Spring, and then he emitted light. Birds and beasts danced for joy, heaven and earth shook, and the sun and the moon became bright. They named the child King Hyokkose, or he who reigns brightly or Bulgonae which means makes the world bright.When the boy reached the age of thirteen he became the king and titled him kosurhan: also called 'kosokan. It later became the respectful(honorific) name of the king. They named the country Sorabol, Sobol, Sara, or Saro. After a sixty-one year reign, Hyokkose ascended to heaven.

      ---------Hidden meaning behind the legend - a material of academic interest---

      The legend of Hyukkose is much like the legends of ancestors or legends of foundations of other nations, "A god from heaven has come down to be with us and has laid the foundation of the nation". However, through this legend we can point out a few other things, which (according to me) is much more significant.

      -First,it reflects the process of how the tribal society was divided,shattered and scattered and how it unites to form one kingdom. In other words, it puts emphasis on the ruler who comes down from the heaven to rule over the six village chiefs who already had come from heaven.

      -Second,a god from heaven has come down to rule upon us from a well and not from a mountaintop.

      -Third,after him the King got a honorific title 'kosokan'

      Part 2 :Mor Yacqub Burd`ono, reviver of the holy church and the eponymous hero of the Jacobites
      The Church of Antioch was thriving under the Byzantine Empire until the fifth century when Christological controversies split the Church.

      After the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451, two camps of the one Church emerged: The Greek Church of Byzantium and the Latin Church of Rome accepted Chalcedon, but the Syriac and Coptic (later Armenian as well) Churches rejected the council. The former group professed that Christ is in two natures, human and divine, whilst the latter adopted the doctrine that Christ has one incarnate nature from two natures. It is worth noting that the drafts of the Council were according to the position of the Syriac and Coptic Churches. The final resolution, however, was according to the doctrine of the Western Churches and was rejected by the Syriac Church. This schism had sad consequences on the Syriac Church during the next few centuries and was definitively divided from the Eastern Catholics. As the Emperor supported the Chalcedonian camp, the Syriac Church came under much persecution. Many bishops were sent to exile, most notably Patriarch Mor Severius, who was later given the epithet togho d-suryoye, `Crown of the Syriacs'. Mor Severius died in exile in 538. By the year 544, the Syriac Church was in an abysmal situation with only three bishops remaining.

      ***Mor Yacqub Burd`ono, the high priest of rock solid faith***

      It was at this time that Mor Yacqub Burd`ono (Jacob Baradeus) emerged to rejuvenate the Church. The great father was born in Tella, towards the end of the fifth or the beginning of the sixth century.

      He was the son of Theophilus bar Manu, a priest of Tella, and hence his real name was Jacob bar Theophilus; the surname Burde'ana, corrupted into Baradæus, was derived from the coarse horse-cloth barda'than which he usually wore. After receiving a good education he became a monk in the monastery of Pesíltâ, and a disciple of Mor Severius. In the first half of the sixth century, the holy church weakened by internal dissensions and by the opposition of the Emperor Justinian, was on the verge of disappearing, especially when its leader Severus died.Mor Yacqub traveled to Constantinople for an audience with Empress Theodora, the daughter of a Syriac Orthodox priest from Mabbug according to Syriac Orthodox sources, and wife of Emperor Justinian. Theodora used her influence to get Jacob ordained as bishop in 544.

      Henceforth this holy father devoted all his energies to the defence of true faith. Through his untiring activity he breathed a new life into what seemed a mere expiring faction. At the cost of great hardship, he went around ordaining priests and deacons and strengthening his coreligionists. He managed to consecrate 27 bishops and hundreds of priests and deacons.There exists a profession of faith addressed to him by the abbots of the province of Arabia, with 137 signatures (see Lamy, in "Actes du XIe Congrès des Orientalistes", §4, Paris, 1897) showing that he was the undisputed leader of the believers at that time.

      For this life-long efforts to safe guard the true faith taught by apostles, the Syriac Orthodox Church honors this saint on July 30 of every year, the day of his death in 578. A few centuries later, adversaries labeled the Syriac Orthodox Church `Jacobite' after St. Jacob. The Syriac Orthodox Church initially rejected this as abelittling label which wrongly suggests that the Church was founded by Mor Yacqub Burd`ono. But as a matter of fact, this holy father spoke more through the actions of his lifetime and wrote comparatively little; a liturgy, a few letters, a sermon, and a confession of faith are extant.

      Later, the church in India was tortured by the influentials and factional feuds arose within the same. A new group of people splitted out from the mother church calling themselves as Indian Orthodox Church, carrying away lion's share of the hard earned properties.India,the land of religious freedom whole heartedly accepted them with all priviliges the law could provide. And as a consequence of this schism and because of the prominence of the name of Mor Yacqub Burd`ono the set of believers who clinched on to the true apostolic faith, wholeheartedly embraced the name,Jacobites.

      ---------Understanding the history - a material of academic interest---------

      The history of the suffering of holy syriac orthodox church (which flourished in earlier days) at Justinian's rule and the legendary life of HH Mor Yacqub Burd`ono which re-invented the foundation of the mother church to be rock solid is much like the legend of korean empire; "An angel was send by the god from heaven down to be with us and has re-affirmed the foundation of the holy church upon the true faith taught by Prince Apostle St.Peter".

      However, here also we can point out a few other things, which according to me) is much more significant.

      -First,it reflects the process of how the mother church will be divided, true faith shattered and believers scattered and how it unites to pledge the one true faith passed upon by ancestors. In other words, it puts emphasis on the care shown by heaven to safe guard the holy church which already had foundation laid upon Saint Cephas.

      -Second,a leader has come to rule upon us from a family of true faith and not necessary from an influential one.

      -Third,after him the Church got a honorific title 'Jacobite'


      Part 3 : Another reviver?
      Similiar situation was found during late 20th century and early 21st century in India until Mor Baselios Thomas I emerged as the undisputed leader.Are we seeing the repetetion of history again with him, who supplied bishops and clergy for the Church from 2003? Do AD543 maps to year 2003?

      Remember your leaders. They taught God's message to you. Remember how they lived and died, and copy their faith. ( Hebrews 13:7)

      O holy father,intercede for us and for our holy church....

      Alex Jojo Joseph
      St.Mary's JSO Cathedral, Queen's Road, Bangalore
      St.George JSO Chapel, Kavumbhagom, Thiruvalla
      Member ID # 0910
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