Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Ancient Egyptian Parable of Sa-Asar

A man and a woman wanted to have a child, but could not concieve so the woman, named Mehusekhe, went to a temple to sleep in hopes of finding guidance from one of the neteru (gods/goddesses). A spirit came to her in a dream and told her to find her husband, eat from a melon vine and embrace him in love. She became pregnant and her husband, Setna was very happy. In a dream, a spirit came to Setna and told him the child would be a boy and he is to be named "Sa-Asar"*, and that he would do great wonders in the land of Egypt.

When Sa-Asar was a boy of 10, he was already respected as an enlightened sage. One day he and his father were looking at two funerals. One funeral was for a rich man, who had many mourners, attendants, and offerings to the neteru. The other funeral was for a poor man, who had no one to mourn him and no offerings to be placed in his tomb. The father exclaimed, when my time comes, may my funeral be like the one of the rich man." Sa-Asar looked at his father and said "oh no father I hope you die like the poor man." Setna looked at Sa-Asar with surprise. Sa-Asar then led his father to the netherworld to see the fate of the two souls, and his father saw that the rich man was judged and found to be unrighteous, having committed more evil deeds than than virtuous deeds so his fate was to suffer. Ther poor man had led a virtuous life so all of the offerings of the rich man accrued to the poor man and the poor man was led to the presence of Asar, the Supreme Self, the Divine Essence, who was seated on his throne.

While Setna saw the rich man suffering he saw others reaching up grasping at food that was dangling above them by a rope. Still others were making (twining) ropes while at the other end Donkeys were eating the rope. "Tell me Sa-Asar", Setna said to him in amazement, "what is the meaning of these two things I see?


Sa-Asar answered, those who are twining are the people who on earth labor everyday but their labors are fruitless for themselves because they do not perform the right actions, but the fruits of their actions benefit others. Those who are reaching up to get their food in vain are those who in life on earth have life before them, but do make use of it. Those who are found to have more misdeeds than good deeds are made to suffer. Those who are found to have more virtous deeds than misdeeds are allowed to be among the gods and goddesses as one of them, and their ba(soul) flies up to be among the glorified spirits.**

*At the end of the parable Sa-Asar explains his true identity. The name Sa-Asar means son of Asar or son of Osiris. Therefore this teaching comes from Heru (Horus).

**“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”(Eccles.12:14)

Quran 99:7-8 - "So he who has done an atom's weight of good shall see it
And he who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it.