In an ancient kingdom, the Gods gifted the people with a precious jewel. “As long as the jewel is honoured every day and kept polished, its brilliance will benefit everyone in the land,” they had said. The custodians of the jewel honoured and polished it every day.
During festivals and functions, the jewel was brought out so its brilliance could touch everyone in the land. The rest of the people swore to protect the custodians and the custodians swore to protect the jewel. This they did through invasions, famines, death and disease, and the jewel and its metaphorical temple were passed on through the generations, its brilliance undimmed. The land prospered.
From across the seas, asuric forces wondered about this jewel. “Look at how prosperous and contented those people are,” they said to each other.
“We can’t allow that”. So they set sail and started robbing the land of its prosperity. Soon the asuras became rich and powerful and approached the custodians for the jewel. Under the spell of the asura’s powers, some custodians agreed to show them the jewel.
The cunning asuras made plastic copies of the jewel and started to pass off the copies as the original.
Pretty soon, the world was full of plastic jewels but still many continued to honour the real jewel and guard it fiercely. But over the years, more and more people started believing the asuras when they said “Look, here’s the jewel, take it, it’s just an ordinary jewel. You don’t have to honour and polish it, you don’t have to defend the custodians who honour it.”
Two groups of people emerged. One group that said “Huh, this is just a plastic jewel, the custodians have been lying to us all this while.” And a second group which said “Hmmm… look at them, they get to keep the real jewel for themselves, while we have to make do with plastic ones…why can’t we have the real thing.”
The people began to forget that the jewel’s brilliance was for everyone and if the jewel was not honoured and polished, its brilliance would dim and the land would fall into asuric irreverence and decline. Some people began to throw stones at the custodians.
The people who had honoured and polished the jewel of the Gods for thousands and thousands of years were painted as monsters, their services forgotten, their labour denied. “We want it, we want it’” the clamour grew louder and louder.
Crowds gathered around the metaphoric temple and with axes & spades, they tore the edifice down. The remaining custodians ran for their lives.
Inside the fallen temple, the jewel’s brightness began to dim and as the people reached out for it, they found that it too was mere plastic.