Thursday, April 26, 2007

st thomas

i went to a place in chennai called st thomas mount.i had a view of the mount when i was crossing the railway overbridge.ive been there once earlier.it s a small hillock on th eoutskirts of chennai overlooking the airport.it is where thomas,one of the twelve disciples(apostles)of jesus lived in his last days after being exiled by the local chieftain from the adjoining town.eventually,he was killed by the chieftain s soldiers.i cant surely say that it was a chieftain,it could have been a king.
the most incredible part was thomas reaching here from palestine.he s supposed to have landed in india in kerala from where he made his way to chennai.that journey was once recreated by a historian on b.b.c ,i think it was william dalrymple.the zeal that thomas should have possessed to come all the way down to the south of the peninsula must have been divine.alexander made his way to india through the mountain passes in the northwest.arabs have been chronicled as having traded in these parts around 1000 ad.the first muslim(arab) in india itself is supposed to be mohammed bin kasim in the 700 s.this journey by st thomas is a mystical one.the city has expanded all around and afar.

3 comments:

The Warlock said...

Interesting post... thought i'd add something to it. This following extract is from the book "The Acts of Thomas" (one of the many books that were not included in the Holy Bible) As usual, Thomas was hesitant and had to be proded on by the Saviour. The Saviour had to finally use guile to get him to go and do his appointed task. I suppose thats how it is with those appointed and trusted with a job,He will make sure that we find our destiny, somehow ... so read on..


The First Act, when he went into India with Abbanes the merchant.


At that season all we the apostles were at Jerusalem, Simon which is called Peter and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Canaanite, and Judas the brother of James: and we divided the regions of the world, that every one of us should go unto the region that fell to him and unto the nation whereunto the Lord sent him.

According to the lot, therefore, India fell unto Judas Thomas, which is also the twin: but he would not go, saying that by reason of the weakness of the flesh he could not travel, and 'I am an Hebrew man; how can I go amongst the Indians and preach the truth?' And as he thus reasoned and spake, the Saviour appeared unto him by night and saith to him: Fear not, Thomas, go thou unto India and preach the word there, for my grace is with thee. But he would not obey, saying: Whither thou wouldest send me, send me, but elsewhere, for unto the Indians I will not go.

2 And while he thus spake and thought, it chanced that there was there a certain merchant come from India whose name was Abbanes, sent from the King Gundaphorus [Gundaphorus is a historical personage who reigned over a part of India in the first century after Christ. His coins bear his name in Greek, as Hyndopheres], and having commandment from him to buy a carpenter and bring him unto him.

Now the Lord seeing him walking in the market-place at noon said unto him: Wouldest thou buy a carpenter? And he said to him: Yea. And the Lord said to him: I have a slave that is a carpenter and I desire to sell him. And so saying he showed him Thomas afar off, and agreed with him for three litrae of silver unstamped, and wrote a deed of sale, saying: I, Jesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter, acknowledge that I have sold my slave, Judas by name, unto thee Abbanes, a merchant of Gundaphorus, king of the Indians. And when the deed was finished, the Saviour took Judas Thomas and led him away to Abbanes the merchant, and when Abbanes saw him he said unto him: Is this thy master? And the apostle said: Yea, he is my Lord. And he said: I have bought thee of him. And thy apostle held his peace.

3 And on the day following the apostle arose early, and having prayed and besought the Lord he said: I will go whither thou wilt, Lord Jesus: thy will be done. And he departed unto Abbanes the merchant, taking with him nothing at all save only his price. For the Lord had given it unto him, saying: Let thy price also be with thee, together with my grace, wheresoever thou goest.

samurai said...

thomas seems to have been a bit of a naive person,but it was touching with him taking his price and leaving his native land.i ll try to get the book.it ll be a great adventure.

Shagufta said...

two historians speaking!