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Divine Revelation in MBH Database

These sanctified Mirrors, these Day Springs of ancient glory, are, one and all, the Exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its Essence and ultimate Purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory. (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 47)

 These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source, and are rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.  (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 287)

 This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 66)

 The essence of belief in Divine unity consisteth in regarding Him Who is the Manifestation of God and Him Who is the invisible, the inaccessible, the unknowable Essence as one and the same. (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 166)

"Material civilization is like the body. No matter how infinitely graceful, elegant and beautiful it may be, it is dead. Divine civilization is like the spirit, and the body gets its life from the spirit . . . " (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 303)

 This table from the MBH database describes some of the Great Educators of mankind and the dates or estimates of when They lived.  

 

NameDescriptionBirthDeath
Krishna

Dates of life unknown; The poem about Him existed first as an oral tradition; Written composition reached a mature form probably in about the 4th century BC;


Therefore, arise, thou Son of Kunti! brace
Thine arm for conflict, nerve thy heart to meet-
As things alike to thee- pleasure or pain,
Profit or ruin, victory or defeat:
So minded, gird thee to the fight, for so
Thou shalt not sin!
Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr.)


The Bhagavad-gita (Song of the Lord) is part of the Mahabharata; it was written in about 400 BC to 100 BC. Krishna, a central character in the story, is a manifestation of Vishnu. "The religion of Vishnu, known as Vaisnava, is the most popular Hindu religion. . . . Vishnu's most salient feature is his avataras, or incarnations. Literally meaning 'to descend into,' these refer to the times when the god descends to earth and assumes a earthly manifestation at critical junctures in the world's history" [Great Courses: Hinduism] "This greatest single event in India's ancient history, and the inspiration for the world's longest poem, did not occur until 'c1400 BC' according to the History and Culture of the Indian People, a standard work of many volumes commissioned in the 1950s to celebrate India's liberation from foreign rule and foreign scholarship." [India: A History, p. 3] "Theories on the date of composition of the Gita vary considerably. Scholars accept dates from the fifth century to the second century BCE as the probable range. Professor Jeaneane Fowler, in her commentary on the Gita, considers second century BCE to be the likely date of composition. Kashi Nath Upadhyaya, a Gita scholar, on the basis of the estimated dates of Mahabharata, Brahma sutras, and other independent sources, concludes that the Bhagavad Gita was composed in the fifth or fourth century BCE. . . . It is estimated that the text probably reached something of a "final form" by the early Gupta period (about the 4th century CE). The actual dates of composition of the Gita remain unresolved." [Wikipedia]

 

-1500 -1430
Moses

"Many scholars therefore tend to date the story of the Exodus to the mid-13th century, between 1260 and 1220 B.C.E." [National Geographic Biblical World, p. 137]
"Moses was for a long time a shepherd in the wilderness. Regarded outwardly, He was a Man brought up in a tyrannical household, and was known among men as One Who had committed a murder and become a shepherd. By the government and the people of Pharaoh He was much hated and detested.
It was such a Man as this that freed a great nation from the chains of captivity, made them contented, brought them out from Egypt, and led them to the Holy Land.
This people from the depths of degradation were lifted up to the height of glory. They were captive; they became free. They were the most ignorant of peoples; they became the most wise. As the result of the institutions that Moses gave them, they attained a position which entitled them to honor among all nations, and their fame spread to all lands, to such a degree indeed that among surrounding nations if one wished to praise a man one said, "Surely he is an Israelite." Moses established laws and ordinances; these gave life to the people of Israel, and led them to the highest possible degree of civilization at that period.
To such a development did they attain that the philosophers of Greece would come and acquire knowledge from the learned men of Israel. Such an one was Socrates, who visited Syria, and took from the children of Israel the teachings of the Unity of God and of the immortality of the soul. After his return to Greece, he promulgated these teachings. Later the people of Greece rose in opposition to him, accused him of impiety, arraigned him before the Areopagus, and condemned him to death by poison.
Now, how could a Man Who was a stammerer, Who had been brought up in the house of Pharaoh, Who was known among men as a murderer, Who through fear had for a long time remained in concealment, and Who had become a shepherd, establish so great a Cause, when the wisest philosophers on earth have not displayed one thousandth part of this influence? This is indeed a prodigy.
A Man Who had a stammering tongue, Who could not even converse correctly, succeeded in sustaining this great Cause! If He had not been assisted by divine power, He would never have been able to carry out this great work. These facts are undeniable. Materialist philosophers, Greek thinkers, the great men of Rome became famous in the world, each one of them having specialized in one branch of learning only. Thus Galen and Hippocrates became celebrated in medicine, Aristotle in logic and reasoning, and Plato in ethics and theology. How is it that a shepherd could acquire all of this knowledge? It is beyond doubt that He must have been assisted by an omnipotent power.
Consider also what trials and difficulties arise for people. To prevent an act of cruelty, Moses struck down an Egyptian and afterward became known among men as a murderer, more notably because the man He had killed was of the ruling nation. Then He fled, and it was after that that He was raised to the rank of a Prophet!
In spite of His evil repute, how wonderfully He was guided by a supernatural power in establishing His great institutions and laws! "
(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 14)

 

-1330 -1210
Zoroaster

"Little is known about Zoroaster, including when and where he lived. Roughly, we date him to around 1200 B.C.E." [Great Courses: Axial Age, p. 16] Darius I established Zoroastrianism as the state religion. [National Geographic Concise History, p. 78] "Renewed interest in Zoroastrianism developed towards the end of the Parthian Empire (238BC-AD224), and it was taken up as the official religion of the Sasanian Empire, where it flourished until the arrival of Islam in the 7th century." [Oxford Atlas World History, p. 45]
"Zoroaster was one of those shining Lamps Who has enlightened the people of a large part of western Asia. He, like Krishna, Buddha and Moses established a new civilization that lasted for centuries. . . .
Zoroaster not only completed His Mission, but also gave the glad-tidings that in the fullness of time, the World Saviour, Whom He called Sushiyant or Sháh-Bahrám, would appear and triumph over the Evil One. He also specified the date of His appearance, stating that a period of 3,060 years of conflict would continue before Ahríman would be conquered and the era of blessedness and peace would be ushered into the world. This date corresponds to the age when Bahá’u’lláh announced that He was the fulfilment of all the Prophets of the past." [The New Garden, Hooshmand Fathea'zam]

 

-1200 -1130
Buddha

"Prince Gautama (later known as the Buddha) was born in the royal family of a Himalayan kingdom. He was still a baby when an old sage, named Asita, visited the palace. Asita was a godly man and he gave the good news to Gautama’s father that his son would become the Saviour of Man. . . .
In the days of Buddha, the people of His country were fighting against each other in the name of God. They were devoted to many different gods and goddesses that they had created for themselves. Buddha knew that the way to God was only through His Manifestation. Since He was the Manifestation of God, He did not want people to fight each other in the name of God Whom they could not know except through Him. He was a wise teacher. To avoid quarrels among the people, He was mostly silent about God but called upon them to obey Him, the Manifestation of Truth. In this way he succeeded in uniting millions of people who were divided among themselves either in the name of God or in the name of caste. He said, “One does not become a Brahmin by birth, one does not become an outcast by birth. One becomes Brahmin by act, one becomes an outcast by act.”
Shortly before His passing away from this earth, Buddha made a great promise to His followers who were afraid that His Cause would gradually die away. He said:
“I am not the first Buddha who came upon earth nor shall I be the last. In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a holy one, a supremely enlightened one endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals. He shall reveal to you the same eternal truths which I have taught you. He will preach to you this religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at the climax, and glorious at the goal, in the spirit and in the letter. He will proclaim a religious life wholly perfect and pure such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousands while Mine number many hundreds.”
[The New Garden, Hooshmand Fathea'zam]

 

-563 -483
Jesus

"Afterward Christ came, saying, "I am born of the Holy Spirit." Though it is now easy for the Christians to believe this assertion, at that time it was very difficult. According to the text of the Gospel the Pharisees said, "Is not this the son of Joseph of Nazareth Whom we know? How can He say, therefore, I came down from heaven?"[1 Cf. John 6:42.]
Briefly, this Man, Who, apparently, and in the eyes of all, was lowly, arose with such great power that He abolished a religion that had lasted fifteen hundred years, at a time when the slightest deviation from it exposed the offender to danger or to death. Moreover, in the days of Christ the morals of the whole world and the condition of the Israelites had become completely confused and corrupted, and Israel had fallen into a state of the utmost degradation, misery and bondage. At one time they had been taken captive by the Chaldeans and Persians; at another time they were reduced to slavery to the Assyrians; then they became the subjects and vassals of the Greeks; and finally they were ruled over and despised by the Romans.
This young Man, Christ, by the help of a supernatural power, abrogated the ancient Mosaic Law, reformed the general morals, and once again laid the foundation of eternal glory for the Israelites. Moreover, He brought to humanity the glad tidings of universal peace, and spread abroad teachings which were not for Israel alone but were for the general happiness of the whole human race.
Those who first strove to do away with Him were the Israelites, His own kindred. To all outward appearances they overcame Him and brought Him into direst distress. At last they crowned Him with the crown of thorns and crucified Him. But Christ, while apparently in the deepest misery and affliction, proclaimed, "This Sun will be resplendent, this Light will shine, My grace will surround the world, and all My enemies will be brought low." And as He said, so it was; for all the kings of the earth have not been able to withstand Him. Nay, all their standards have been overthrown, while the banner of that Oppressed One has been raised to the zenith.
But this is opposed to all the rules of human reason. Then it becomes clear and evident that this Glorious Being was a true Educator of the world of humanity, and that He was helped and confirmed by divine power. "
(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 16)
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. [Mathew 24:14] "The stupendous endeavors of one gigantic community to convey the Scriptures in every language to every part of the globe may well deserve to be considered as an eminent sign even of these eventual times. Unless I be much mistaken, such endeavors are preparatory to the final grand diffusion of Christianity, which is the theme of so many inspired prophets, and which cannot be very far distant in the present day." [Destinations on the Prophecies, vol. II, 406, written in 1844; quoted in The Prophecies of Jesus, p. 57]

 

-4 29
Muhammad

"The Arabs then excelled all the peoples of the world in science and the arts, in industry and invention, in philosophy, government and moral character. And truly, the rise of this brutish and despicable element, in such a short interval, to the supreme heights of human perfection, is the greatest demonstration of the rightfulness of the Lord Muhammad's Prophethood." (Abdu'l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 88)
"There is a land called Arabia. It is mostly desert with very little water and a hot, unfavourable climate. In this difficult land there used to live savage tribes who were always at war with one another. They were so savage and ignorant that they used to bury their living baby daughters just because they were girls, and women were no more than slaves in those days.
However, no matter how cruel those people were, they were still God’s children and had to be educated. Muhammad, the Prophet of God, was born among them.
Muhammad was a simple man. As a young man, He was placed in charge of a camel caravan taking loads of goods from Arabia for sale in other lands. Most of the Manifestations of God were simple people. Even those who, like Buddha, came from higher ranks in life, gave up their princely positions to live simple lives. God wants to show that it is His wealth and His influence that work through His Manifestations rather than Their material possessions. When charged with the spiritual Power of God, even the humblest person becomes victorious over all the material power of the world.
One day when Muhammad was praying on a hill-top, He received inspiration from God. He had not been to any school. He could not even write His own name, but from that hour the verses of the Holy Qur’án were revealed through Him. From then onwards, Muhammad was no longer a leader of a caravan. He was the Messenger of God. He went to the people with His Message. At first nobody listened to Him. When He insisted that they should stop worshipping the idols they had built, and should believe in the One True God, the people of Arabia rose up against Him. They called Him a madman. They ridiculed Him as a poor poet. However, Muhammad went about saying, “O people, I am the Messenger of God. I have come to save you and to lead you to the Path of Truth.” This was too much for the proud people of Arabia. At first the people had tolerated Muhammad, then they began to persecute Him and His followers. However, after thirteen long years of suffering, Muhammad was still calling upon them to turn to the One Compassionate God and to follow His Commandments. Why should they put aside their gods, they thought. Besides, they were too busy with their continuous warfare. They finally lost patience with Muhammad, so they decided to kill Him and His handful of followers. However, the Mission of Muhammad was not yet fulfilled. He had additional laws to give to the people of His age. So He left His birth place, Mecca, for another town, now called Medina.
The enemies of the Cause of God organized great armies to kill Muhammad and His band of followers. Muhammad had to protect the Cause of God and those who had come to believe in God, so He permitted His followers to fight against the savages who wished to destroy them. Thus, in the days of Muhammad, as in the life time of Krishna, the armies of Light and of Darkness arrayed their forces against each other.
Muhammad was a Divine Shepherd. He had to protect His innocent flock from the attack of savage wolves. Muhammad and His followers initially had a difficult time. Many of them were killed while defending themselves against the fierce onslaught of their enemies. However, Muhammad continually assured them that the Cause of God had always been victorious and would always continue to be so. When the Muslims, His followers, were surrounded by powerful enemies, Muhammad foretold that mighty empires would soon crumble before them because they were alive with the Spirit of God whereas others were spiritually dead.
This has happened as we all know. The great Persian and Roman empires were defeated by a handful of Arabs whose lives were transformed after they believed in Muhammad, the Prophet of God, and accepted His Divine Message. The Message of God transformed the lives of millions of other people too as the teachings of Islám spread from India to Spain. During the Age of Islám’s golden civilization, many different nations were united in one great brotherhood. They offered their daily Prayers to the One God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. They recited the Holy Qur’án which prescribes a life of virtue and submission to the Will of the Almighty. Even today millions of people all over the world pray the same prayer and read the same Holy Book. Muhammad, like all the Manifestations of the past, assured his followers that a great Messenger would come after Him. He said that the Religion of God, which had come down from heaven through Him, would go back to God after the passing of a thousand years. His meaning is that people would forget His teachings during the following one thousand years. However, after that, He said, when no trace of God’s Religion was left on earth, a mighty Trumpet sound would be heard— not once but twice—and the people of the world would behold the Face of God Himself.
A Trumpet call refers to the Call of God. The Call of God has already been raised twice in this age as foretold by Muhammad. The Báb appeared over one thousand two hundred years after the revelation of the Qur’án. Very soon after this, Bahá’u’lláh declared His Mission. It was the Báb Who called men to God and reminded them of God’s great Promise. And it was Bahá’u’lláh Who raised up the cry a second time immediately after the Báb, calling upon the children of God to behold His Face!" [The New Garden, Hooshmand Fathea'zam]

 

570 632
The Bab

"As for the Báb -- may my soul be His sacrifice! -- at a youthful age, that is to say, when He had reached the twenty-fifth year of His blessed life, He stood forth to proclaim His Cause. It was universally admitted by the Shi'ites that He had never studied in any school and had not acquired knowledge from any teacher; all the people of Shiraz bear witness to this. Nevertheless, He suddenly appeared before the people, endowed with the most complete erudition. Although He was but a merchant, He confounded all the Ulama [Doctors of the religion of Islam.] of Persia. All alone, in a way which is beyond imagination, He upheld the Cause among the Persians, who are renowned for their religious fanaticism. This illustrious Soul arose with such power that He shook the supports of the religion, of the morals, the conditions, the habits and the customs of Persia, and instituted new rules, new laws and a new religion. Though the great personages of the State, nearly all the clergy, and the public men arose to destroy and annihilate Him, He alone withstood them and moved the whole of Persia.
Many Ulama and public men, as well as other people, joyfully sacrificed their lives in His Cause, and hastened to the plain of martyrdom.
The government, the nation, the doctors of divinity and the great personages desired to extinguish His light, but they could not do so. At last His moon arose, His star shone forth, His foundations became firmly established, and His dawning-place became brilliant. He imparted divine education to an unenlightened multitude and produced marvelous results on the thoughts, morals, customs and conditions of the Persians. He announced the glad tidings of the manifestation of the Sun of Baha to His followers and prepared them to believe.
The appearance of such wonderful signs and great results; the effects produced upon the minds of the people, and upon the prevailing ideas; the establishment of the foundations of progress; and the organization of the principles of success and prosperity by a young merchant, constitute the greatest proof that He was a perfect Educator. A just person will never hesitate to believe this."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 30-1)

 

1819 1850
Baha'u'llah

"To sum up, both His antagonists and His partisans, as well as all those who were received in the sacred spot, acknowledged and bore witness to the greatness of Bahá'u'lláh. Though they did not believe in Him, still they acknowledged His grandeur, and as soon as they entered the sacred spot, the presence of Bahá'u'lláh produced such an effect on most of them that they could not utter a word. How many times it happened that one of His most bitter enemies would resolve within himself, "I will say such and such things when I reach His presence, and I will dispute and argue thus with Him," but when he entered the Holy Presence, he would become amazed and confounded, and remain speechless.
Bahá'u'lláh had never studied Arabic; He had not had a tutor or teacher, nor had He entered a school. Nevertheless, the eloquence and elegance of His blessed expositions in Arabic, as well as His Arabic writings, caused astonishment and stupefaction to the most accomplished Arabic scholars, and all recognized and declared that He was incomparable and unequaled. . . .
For fifty years Bahá'u'lláh faced His enemies like a mountain: all wished to annihilate Him and sought His destruction. A thousand times they planned to crucify and destroy Him, and during these fifty years He was in constant danger. . . .
Christ, in His blessed day, in reality only educated eleven men: the greatest of them was Peter, who, nevertheless, when he was tested, thrice denied Christ. In spite of this, the Cause of Christ subsequently permeated the world. At the present day Bahá'u'lláh has educated thousands of souls who, while under the menace of the sword, raised to the highest heaven the cry of "Ya Baha'u'l-Abha"; [ A cry used as a declaration of faith by the Bahá'ís, literally, "Oh Thou the Glory of Glories!"]
Finally, we must be just and acknowledge what an Educator this Glorious Being was, what marvelous signs were manifested by Him, and what power and might have been realized in the world through Him.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 34)

 

1817 1892