Parallels Observed in the Children's Story, “The Snow Queen”
(Minghui.org) In Russia, the country where I was born, the children's fairy tale “The Snow Queen” by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen is a considered a classic. Of course, the version we read in the Soviet Union had all the religious elements and quotes removed, because the communist government censored it.
The other day I bought the uncensored version of the book for our son and saw some parallels to what is going on with Dafa practitioners’ cultivation and saving sentient beings. Of course, practitioners enlighten to Fa principles through studying the Fa, not through studying fairy tales. Yet nevertheless, I found that the story illustrated certain similarities to the current situation in the world, leading me to see things from an interesting new perspective.
In brief, the story begins by telling of a mirror created by an evil troll (the devil) that distorts reality. It fails to reflect the good and beautiful aspects of people and things, and magnifies their bad and ugly aspects.
The demon takes the mirror to his pupils around the world, and, all at once, they try to lift it to Heaven with an aim of deceiving the angels and God himself. The higher they floated, the more the mirror grimaced and shook with laughter. Eventually, it falls back to Earth and shatters into billions of pieces. The splinters get into the world’s people's eyes and hearts and freeze them, making people unkind, just like the mirror itself.
The story then turns to two small children, Kai and Gerda, who happen to be neighbors. Their families grow roses and vegetables in window boxes. The two are very fond of each other, like brother and sister, and they love playing together until a splinter from the wicked mirror gets into Kai's eyes. He suddenly becomes very cruel to Gerda and her grandmother. The only things that look beautiful to him are the snowflakes that he sees through a magnifying glass.
Then the Snow Queen kidnaps the boy and takes him to her castle. Heartbroken, Gerda goes to search for Kai. On her way, a sorceress who lives in a beautiful summer garden wants Gerda to stay with her, so she makes all the roses sink beneath the Earth, as she knows that they will remind Gerda of Kai.
But she forgets to remove a rose from her hat, so Gerda talks to that rose and learns that Kai is alive. She remembers him and continues on her journey to find him. She meets with different challenges on the way but also gets help. She is also told that her greatest weapon is her pure child's heart.
Eventually, she makes her way to the Snow Queen's palace, but even when she finally meets Kai, he pushes her away with his cold eyes … he simply does not recognize her. Only when Gerda sheds tears of sorrow and compassion for Kai does the splinter in his eyes melt, and he finally awakens and recognizes her. Together they shed tears of joy, hug, and return home, only to notice that they've both grown up and that summer has finally arrived.
For me, the Snow Queen in the story symbolizes the Communist Party. The broken pieces of the mirror are possessing spirits of the wicked Party that distort reality, making people pursue that which is bad, wicked, and temporary, forgetting their true purpose in life. They are “Confusing Good and Evil,” as Master says (“Good and Evil Now Distinct” in Hong Yin).
Kai represents the sentient beings Dafa disciples are to save. Gerda represents Dafa disciples, who must maintain their righteous thoughts, determination, and pure compassionate hearts in order to melt the spell of the demon.
The interesting part of the story for me is that, while in the sorceress's garden, Gerda is made to forget about Kai. This is similar to how some Dafa disciples get lost in the dye vat of ordinary society and forget their true missions for coming to this world. Attracted to comfort and pleasure in the human world, they forget about their deep love for sentient beings.
Only when we study the Fa a lot and cultivate ourselves do we start viewing saving sentient beings as truly saving those whom we deeply cherish and stop viewing it as a burden or a task to complete. Perhaps we too forget that those beings are our sentient beings that we care for deeply in our worlds.
Regardless of how cruel and harsh Kai was to Gerda, she still wanted to save him from the grip of the Snow Queen's spell. Eventually, her pure and innocent tears of compassion melted his heart.
I see similarities in how Dafa disciples save sentient beings who've been poisoned by communism, and how those beings are often cruel to Dafa disciples, even when Dafa disciples work so hard to save them.
When Kai and Gerda finally return home, they find themselves grown up, reminding me of the maturity that Dafa disciples attain while undergoing tribulations in the human world.
I certainly agree that practitioners should study the Fa, and study the Fa more, yet I found reading this classic children’s story interesting enough that I felt compelled to share the experience with others.
Category: Traditional Culture