Monday, October 1, 2007
Nativity in a Cave.
Mary has to travel to Bethlehem, but on the way her time for giving birth to the child comes. According to one Gospel narrative (the Gospel of James), Jesus is born in a cave. This cave reminds us of the "Guha" or secret place where the Divine is discovered in the heart of Mother Earth. In the countryside caves are sometimes used to keep animals. So the cave is also a place where the Ox and the Ass find shelter. According to the prophetic tradition, these animals were the first to recognize the incarnation, and offer their adoration to God. In many Indian stories animals like the Nandi (bull) are considered to be disciples of God, and to be the vehicles on which the Divine is carried.