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The Hindu Religion
One Bahá'í's Concept from
The Book of Revelation

Chapter Two

CONCEPT BOX

The Hindu Religion is also very ancient and there is nothing dogmatic in the Bahá'í Teachings saying whether it or the Sabean Religion is the older. Historians and students of comparative religion may dispute as to just which is the oldest religion. Both of their histories are lost in antiquity and the Bahá'í Writings themselves are silent on the subject.

    "With reference to your question concerning the Sabean and Hindu religions; there is nothing in the Teachings that could help us in ascertaining which one of these two Faiths is older. Neither history seems to be able to provide a definite answer to this question. The records concerning the origin of these religions are not sufficiently detailed and reliable to offer any conclusive evidence on this point."
    (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi
    to an individual believer, November 9, 1940:
    Extracts from Guardian's letters on Hinduism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism and Related Subject, Op. cit.)
    (Lights of Guidance,
    p. 502)
    "There are no dates in our teachings regarding the actual dates of the Prophets of the Adamic Cycle, so we cannot give any. Tentatively we can accept what historians may consider accurate. Naturally the dates referring to Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh we are sure of."
    (November 25, 1950
    to an individual believer)
    (Lights of Guidance,
    p. 503)
Nevertheless, the Bahá'í Teachings have the highest regard for Krishna, the founder of the Hindu religion.
    Blessed souls -- whether Moses, Jesus, Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius or Muhammad -- were the cause of the illumination of the world of humanity. How can we deny such irrefutable proof? How can we be blind to such light?
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
    p. 346)
    The Message of Krishna is the message of love. All God's prophets have brought the message of love. None has ever thought that war and hate are good. Every one agrees in saying that love and kindness are best.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Paris Talks,
    p. 35)
    [Bahá'u'lláh was].to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna;.To Him the Bhagavad- Gita of the Hindus had referred as the "Most Great Spirit," the "Tenth Avatar," the "Immaculate Manifestation of Krishna."
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    "God Passes By", rev. ed.
    (Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1987),
    pp. 94-95)
    'The Bahá'í view of 'reincarnation' is essentially different from the Hindu conception. The Bahá'ís believe in the attributes and qualities, but maintain that the essence or the reality of things cannot be made to return. Every being keeps its own individuality, but some of his qualities can be transmitted. The doctrine of metempsychosis upheld by the Hindus is fallacious.
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    To an individual believer, March 27, 1938)
    (Lights of Guidance,
    p. 536)
Possibly the most difficult concept for most people to understand in the Bahá'í Teachings is the one that is both most central and unique to it and that is the concept of the "Manifestation of God". Not a 'reincarnation' as understood by many Hindus nor even an 'incarnation' as thought of by many Christians. Rather a finite reflection of the Infinite God, the analogy often being given of that of a distant star appearing in the mirror of a telescope. The image in the telescope is all that we know or see of the star but certainly not the star itself. Appearing night after night in the telescope mirror. Never the exact same light but always from the same source representative of the same star.

    The Jews await the Messiah, the Christians the return of Christ, the Muslims the Mahdi, the Buddhists the fifth Buddha, the Zoroastrians Shah Bahram, the Hindoos the reincarnation of Krishna, and the Atheists - a better social organization! Baha'o'llah represents all these, and thus destroys the rivalries and the enmities of the different religions; reconciles them in their primitive purity, and frees them from the corruption of dogmas and rites.
    (Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá v1,
    p. vii)

HINDU

THE GREEK WORD SMYRNA MEANS "PERSECUTED"

2000-3000 B.C.

REVEALER KRISHNA

Bible Verses

[8] And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

Smyrna - Hindu - Commentary

V.8 John is told to write to the angel of the church of Smyrna. This is also a place where John had been teaching in Greece (now Turkey). Smyrna is now in ruins, but the word has the meaning 'Persecuted', a symbol that relates to the Hindu Faith. The prophet of the Hindu religion is Krishna, and is one of the stars in the right hand (Rev. 2:1) of Bahá'u'lláh, bringing all the religions together.

Krishna is 'the first and last' meaning that He is the same spirit of all the Revealers from God. Each and Every Prophet is both the First and the Last (and all in between) "always having been" as when Jesus said "Before Abraham was, I Am" and always being the last or latest as well as those to come. In the same spirit of Krishna, 'Bahá'u'lláh' has returned, as the 'last', and is again alive, giving guidance to the world.

    Wert thou to consider in this station the last of them to be the first, or conversely, thou wouldst indeed be speaking the truth, as hath been ordained by Him Who is the Wellspring of Divinity and the Source of Lordship: "Say: Call upon God or call upon the All-Merciful: by whichsoever name ye will, invoke him, for He hath most excellent names."
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Gems of Divine Mysteries: Verse 45)
All the Prophets for all the religions state that They are the same Spirit as the Messengers of the past, and also of the future. Like teachers in school They know the amount that the pupils can understand. Each Prophet brings different rules for the times, however each time They build upon the same message of love and spirituality.

    For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the "Beginning" and the "End," the "First" and the "Last," the "Seen" and "Hidden" -- all of which pertain to Him Who is the innermost Spirit of Spirits and eternal Essence of Essences. And were they to say: "We are the servants of God," this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can possibly attain.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    The Kitáb-i-Íqán,
    p. 179)
    John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
    (King James Bible)

[9] I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

V.9 He Commends:

We may observe the economic poverty in India, the world's largest democracy, but it is a country of rich spiritual traditions. He says that He knows their works and their tribulations. He commends Hindus for their richness in spirit because of their tribulations.

He Condemns:

Although some might on the basis of this verse be inclined to assign the Second Angel to the Jewish Church, we need not put too much emphasis on the word "Jews" in either this verse or later in Rev. 3:9, because within the context of the scripture it simply means those who claim to be religious but are hypocritical. This is blasphemous because it dishonors God in vainly appealing to His Name when the true feeling is not in the heart. Those in any of the religions who wish to appear "religious" - following the Will of God - but who are actually following their own desires are servants of Satan.

[10] Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

V.10 The Threat:

He tells them not to fear what they will have to suffer. He said they would have tribulation for ten days. (In Ezekiel 4:6 it says each day signifies a year, which may make it a period of time of ten years.) We are all aware of the troubles of India especially with their neighboring country Pakistan. He says that 'the devil' shall cast some in prison. This could be trying times, but He tells them to have faith.

The Promise:

Those who remain faithful will receive a crown of life.

[11] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

V.11 The Refrain:

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: The angel is telling them to listen to what Bahá'u'lláh is telling them.

The Promise:

"He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." The first death is the death of the body. The second death would be death of the spirit - or failure to recognize the Manifestation. When one discovers the new 'light of the age' a new life begins.

    The first life, which pertaineth to the elemental body, will come to an end, as hath been revealed by God: "Every soul shall taste of death." But the second life, which ariseth from the knowledge of God, knoweth no death, as hath been revealed aforetime: "Him will We surely quicken to a blessed life."
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Gems of Divine Mysteries: Verse 65)

Chapter Six
Bible Verses

[3] And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

V.3 Again, as the Báb opens the seal the 'second beast' says "come and see." The second seal is associated with the Second Angel and the Hindu Religion, which in its long history has tales of many epic battles, such as found in the Bhagavad Gita.
[4] And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

V.4 The red horse of war, while having universal significance may well have special significance to the Hindus in the 'last days' because of their conflict with Pakistan and possession by both of the great nuclear sword. While the world has been plagued by war for centuries, their intensity and ferocity has been moving towards an even greater affliction, great tribulation, and time of trouble.

    ". affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be."
    Mark 13:19
    a "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
    Matthew 24:21
    "a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time:"
    Daniel 12:1
    (King James Bible)

Chapter Eight
Bible Verses

[8] And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

V.8 The second angel sounded:

The second angel represents what we identify as the second most ancient of the existing religions - the Hindu Religion. Mountains are symbolic of great institutions and the Hindu Religion remains very prominent in the world, being the religion of the world's second most populous country. The sea is a symbol of separation from God. Each of the old religions have become ineffectual in their ability to bring harmony and love to all of mankind.

This religion is shown as a mountain being cast into the sea and causing a third part of the sea to become blood which is a reference to spiritual death (see Rev.16:3). This also relates to the Second Seal and the second (red) horse of the Apocalypse in Rev. 6:1, in that religious intolerance can progress to war which is the greatest scourge of mankind. The great Hindu epic, the Bhagavad Gita, describes such a conflict and even today we see the great conflict between the Hindus and the Muslims as in India and Pakistan.

    So blind hath become the human heart that neither the disruption of the city, nor the reduction of the mountain in dust, nor even the cleaving of the earth, can shake off its torpor. The allusions made in the Scriptures have been unfolded, and the signs recorded therein have been revealed, and the prophetic cry is continually being raised. And yet all, except such as God was pleased to guide, are bewildered in the drunkenness of their heedlessness!
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 39)
Because the events of the Book or Revelation are archetypes one may also see in them symbolism of other events. For example, some see the mountain as being the gigantic institution of the UN failing in not being strongly religiously based and then in this separation from God resulting in bloody tragedies throughout the world.
    None apprehendeth the meaning of these utterances except them whose hearts are assured, whose souls have found favour with God, and whose minds are detached from all else but Him. In such utterances, the literal meaning, as generally understood by the people, is not what hath been intended. Thus it is recorded: "Every knowledge hath seventy meanings, of which one only is known amongst the people. And when the Qá'im shall arise, He shall reveal unto men all that which remaineth." He also saith: "We speak one word, and by it we intend one and seventy meanings; each one of these meanings we can explain."
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    The Kitáb-i-Íqán,
    p. 255)

[9] And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

V.9 Those of limited and dogmatic minds look for actual signs such as mountains falling into the sea from the heavens but such things, even if they were to occur, are of an insignificant importance as compared to the spiritual realities regarding the establishment of the new religion.

A third of the people died. These were the ones that were separated from God, and although they had life, they died spiritually. Aside from external events that may occur, one may see ships as representing the vessels that brought the teachings to the people. Ships and all such symbols have their intuitive meanings. One needs only think of their nature and then see how they apply to spiritual values. In a spiritual sense then, these great teachers and beneficial religious institutions were the vessels that were destroyed. Later (Rev.11:9) we see them symbolically lying dead in the street where it will mean that the spirit of their religions have been killed by the people.

    The divine prophets have revealed and founded religion. They have laid down certain laws and heavenly principles for the guidance of mankind. They have taught and promulgated the knowledge of God, established praiseworthy ethical ideals and inculcated the highest standards of virtues in the human world. Gradually these heavenly teachings and foundations of reality have been beclouded by human interpretations and dogmatic imitations of ancestral beliefs. The essential realities which the prophets labored so hard to establish in human hearts and minds while undergoing ordeals and suffering tortures of persecution, have now well nigh vanished. Some of these heavenly messengers have been killed, some imprisoned; all of them despised and rejected while proclaiming the reality of divinity. Soon after their departure from this world, the essential truth of their teachings was lost sight of and dogmatic imitations adhered to.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Bahá'í World Faith,
    p. 225)

Chapter Fourteen
Bible Verses

[8] And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

V.8 Another angel, being the second in order and therefore identified here with the Hindu religion, comes to tell us that Babylon, the greatest city of the world in its time (which many see as a symbol or archetype of New York, the greatest city of our time), has fallen. It is a system that is corrupt because of materialism, and the people are drawn into it. A city that symbolizes the center of greed, materialism, and immorality in the world.

For some reason, both here and in (Rev.18:2) the fall of Babylon is announced by the Angel that we identify with the Hindu Religion. It could well be that the archetype of Babylon applies equally well to New Delhi, another Great City, often identified with teaming masses of the impoverished. We can particulary see the possibility of the fate of Babylon the Great befalling cities in India considering that both India and Pakistan are antagonistic nuclear powers. These speculations about future external events may be just vain imaginings. One can never know such meanings until after they have occurred. In any case it is not the events of the physical world that are the most significant but rather those of the spiritual.

    Busy not thyself with this world, for We test the gold with fire, and with gold We test Our servants.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Arabic Hidden Words No.55)

Chapter Sixteen
Bible Verses

[3] And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

V.3 The second vial poured upon the sea are the 'learned' who changed the Teachings of the Prophets such that they became without vitality - like the blood of a dead man - and it killed the souls of all who swam in their sea, that is to say all those who were influenced by their false teachings. While the second vial is associated with the Second Angel, which is identified with the Hindu Religion, it is an archetype for all the religions and here 'Abdu'l-Bahá shows how it applied to the Faith of Islám.
    "The second angel, or power, poured out his cup upon the sea; the sea here symbolizes the Ulama, the great and learned people like, for instance, Caiaphas. The second angel poured upon them the wrath of God, and they as well as those under their authority and guidance, were deprived."
The Ulama is the Islámic hierarchy and Caiaphas refers to the Jewish hierarchy, as he was the person who was responsible for Christ's crucifixion.

Chapter Eighteen
Bible Verses

[1] And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

One Bahá'í's Concept

V.1 After all that had happened John saw another angel, with 'great power'. The earth was enlightened with His Glory. In the order of the religions, this is then the Angel of the Hindu Faith, but once again, being one of the earliest religions, what is said about it applies as well to the later religions.

As with all the religions, the Hindus expect the return of their Lord, (in their case Lord Krishna) and for them as for all the religions, Bahá'u'lláh is the fulfillment of that promise even in His very title because the word 'Bahá'u'lláh' means the 'Glory of God'.

    Praise be unto God, incomparable in majesty, power and beauty, peerless in glory, might and grandeur; too high is He for human imaginations to comprehend Him or for any peer or equal to be ascribed unto Him. He hath clearly set forth His straight Path in words and utterances of highest eloquence.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p.101)

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