Saturday, 1 October 2011

Creation Myth

Long, long ago, at the very dawn of time, Akula created the Universe out of darkness and cosmic dust, and moulded it together and breathed on it so that it sparked to fire.  And the Universe blazed in shimmering mists of light, painted with all the colours that were, or could ever be; all but one.

So the other gods, great and small, grew jealous, that Akula had created something of such beauty; and they went in a body to Great Zog, who sat on His throne of black ice in the heart of His realm of desolation. And there they made complaint against Akula.

“For sure,” said one, “by making this abomination, she has tried to set herself above us all; and, if truth be told, she has challenged Your position as the Supreme One among all the gods.”

“Yes,” chimed in the others, eagerly. “She has created something which even You, with all Your powers, have not; and now she will lay claim to being the greatest of all the gods.”

But Great Zog was not at once consumed with anger, as they had hoped. Instead, He sent them away and called Akula to His presence. She came to Him on her chariot drawn by seven fire-breathing dragons, and, dismounting, stood humbly at the foot of His throne.

“Why have you created this thing?” Great Zog asked. “Your brothers and sisters the other gods are angry and disturbed.”

“It’s a sterile and pointless existence,” Akula said, “if we don’t use what powers we have to create. For, if nothing else, the Universe is beautiful.”

“And of what use is this beauty?” Great Zog enquired. “How does it help in any way?”

“It is its own reward.” Akula waved her slender arm at the curtains of light flickering all around the realms of the gods. “We have never seen the like.”

“The other gods say that you are setting yourself up to take over My position as the Supreme One,” Great Zog said. “They claim that since I have not created what you have, despite all My powers, you can claim to be greater than Me.”

“I admit and acknowledge that Your powers are greater than mine, Great Father,” Akula said humbly. “But, the fact remains that I have created what I have created, and that no one of the other gods – You included – have done so.”

And then at last was Great Zog roused to anger, and He ordered Akula to destroy the Universe she had created; but she refused. “I should be a traitor to my own principles,” she said, “apart from being a traitor to my creation.“

But Great Zog said, all full of righteous anger, “I see that your brothers and sisters were right, for you have been blinded with your own arrogance and thirst for power. Since you will not destroy your creation, you will be one with it.” And He turned her into a flicker of colour among all the others, the only colour that she had not created.

Then the other gods began talking amongst themselves. “Surely,” they said, “Great Zog is no longer the most powerful of us, for He could not do even what someone as minor and unimportant as Akula could manage. It is time, therefore, that we supplant Him and choose one amongst us to be the Supreme Lord of all the gods.”

And so the gods made their plans to overthrow Great Zog, and a titanic battle for power was fought in the heavens, with fire and the sword; at the end of which the realm of the Gods was destroyed, and all the gods with it.

Only Akula, sorrowing, remained, a flicker of colour among the others. And now that there was nobody outside it to see the colours of the Universe and marvel, there was no longer a purpose to the Universe – and it began to cool down and darken.

So the aeons passed, and the fires cooled, and the colours faded and turned to ash; and at last all there remained was a plain of grey ashes, congealing out of the last of the colours. And Akula stood amongst the ashes, and she was made of ashes too; and at last there was nothing left except the ashes, and they were Akula. And Akula looked around her, and thought of the destroyed realms of the gods, and she sorrowed and wept.

And the tears of Akula fell on the ashes that were all that was left of Creation, and turned them into mud; and then Akula took the mud, and moulded it; she breathed on it again until it sparked to fire, and, still sorrowing, released it into the eternal void. And she kept on weeping and moulding, and breathing fire on what she moulded, and when the ashes of the plain were gone she took the ashes of her own body, bit by bit, and moulded them as well, and sent them, too, swimming away into the void, with a smile and a tear.

And in the aeons to come, what she had moulded turned into stars and planets, into great galaxies and all the wonders of the Cosmos, and expanded to fill out all of eternity; in time there were worlds without number on which life squirmed and crawled and looked up into the sky and wondered. Great civilisations rose and fell, and searched for the Ultimate Truth of all things.

But of Akula there was nothing more.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2011


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