Buddhist Prophecies Fulfilled

Buddha was very logical and clear in His argument about the existence of God. He preached that every effect had a cause but observed a discreet silence about the First Cause. He implied that a Causeless Cause of all causes, an Ultimate Reality, a Boundless Light, an Eternal Noumenon behind phenomena, must clearly be infinite, unlimited, unconditioned and without attributes. We, on the other hand, are clearly finite, limited and conditioned by, and in a sense composed of innumerable attributes. It follows that we can neither define, describe nor usefully discuss the nature of that which is beyond the comprehension of our finite consciousness. It may be indicated by negatives and described indirectly by analogy and symbols, but otherwise it must ever remain in its truest sense unknown and unexpressed as being to us in our present state unknowable.

In a famous Pali text attributed to Sariputra, the great disciple of Buddha, and accepted by all Pali orthodoxy He says:

'Oh disciples, there is a non-born, a non-produced, [a] non-created, a non-formed, if there were not, oh disciples, a non-born, a non-produced, a non-created and a non-formed, there would be no issue for the born, the produced, the created, the formed.'

Since Buddha maintained that everything in the world has come into existence due to the law of Karma, law of action and reaction, there can be no action without the doer and willer of action. There must have been the first action and the fixing of the law of Karma. Whoever fixed that law and had the power to carry it out must have been confident of its result. No law can come into existence by itself without an intelligent Entity. The Master Mind behind all creation, therefore, is the First Cause. People call Him God. Buddha called Him the First Cause.

He made it clear that He was about to pass away, and when [His cousin and foremost disciple] Ananda became disconsolate, Buddha consoled him and said:

'Have I not formerly declared to you that it is in the very nature of all things near and dear to us, to pass away? O Ananda, seeing that whatever is brought into being contains within itself the inherent necessity of dissolution, how can it be that such a being (as the visible Siddhartha) should not be dissolved?'
He informed Ananda that in another three months He would pass away. Ananda, suppressing his tears, said to the Blessed One:
'Who shall teach us when Thou art gone?'
And the Blessed One replied:
...'I am not the first Buddha Who came upon this 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 will reveal to you the same eternal truths which I have taught you. He will preach to you His religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at the climax and glorious at the goal, in 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.'

Ananda said,

'How shall we know Him?'
The Blessed One replied:
'He will be known as Maitreya, which means He Whose name is "kindness.'"

A disciple asked Buddha,

"Is not Amitabha, the Infinite Light of Revelation, the Source of innumerable miracles?"
And the Blessed One replied:
"Amitabha, the Unbounded Light, is the Source of Wisdom, of virtue, of Buddhahood. The deeds of sorcerers and miracle mongers are frauds, but what is more wondrous, more mysterious, more miraculous than Amitabha?"-Amitayus Sutra

"But Master," continued the disciple, "is the promise of the happy region vain talk and a myth?"
"What is this promise?"
asked Buddha, and the disciple replied,

"There is in the West a Paradisian country called the Holy Land, exquisitely adorned with gold and silver and precious gems. There are pure waters with golden sands, surrounded by pleasant walks covered with large lotus flowers. Joyous music is heard, and flowers rain down three times a day. There are singing birds whose harmonious notes proclaim the praises of religion and in the minds of those who listen to their sweet sounds, remembrance arises of the Buddha, the law and the brotherhood. No evil birth is possible there, and even the name of hell is unknown. He who fervently and with a pious mind repeats the words 'Amitabha Buddha' will be transformed to the happy region of this holy land, and when death draws near, Buddha with His saintly followers will stand before him, and there will be perfect tranquility."

"In truth," said Buddha, "there is such a happy paradise. But the country is spiritual and is accessible only to those that are spiritual. You say it lies in the West. This means look for it where He Who enlightens the world resides."

"Your description," Buddha continued, "is beautiful; yet it is insufficient and does little justice to the glory of the Holy Land. The worldly can speak of it in a worldly way only, they use worldly similes and worldly words. But the Holy Land in which the holy live is more beautiful than you can say or imagine. However, the repetition of the name 'Amitabha Buddha' is meritorious only if you speak it with such devout attitude of mind as will cleanse your heart and attune your will to do works of righteousness. He only can reach the happy land whose soul is filled with the Infinite Light of Truth. He only can live and breathe in the spiritual atmosphere of the Western Paradise who has attained enlightenment."

Further, Buddha stated,

"A true follower of the Tathagata (a title of Buddha meaning 'He Who has thus come') does not found his trust on austerities and rituals but, giving up the idea of self, relies with his whole heart upon Amitabha, which is the unbounded light of truth."

Baha'is recognize Baha'u'llah "as the Judge, the Lawgiver and Redeemer of all mankind, as the Organizer of the entire planet, as the Unifier of the children of men, as the Inaugurator of the long-awaited millennium, as the Originator of a new "Universal Cycle," as the Establisher of the Most Great Peace, as the Fountain of the Most Great Justice, as the Proclaimer of the coming of age of the entire human race, as the Creator of a new World Order, and as the Inspirer and Founder of a world civilization.

To Israel He was neither more nor less than the incarnation of the "Everlasting Father," the "Lord of Hosts" come down "with ten thousands of saints"; to Christendom Christ returned "in the glory of the Father," to Shi'ah Islam the return of the Imam Husayn; to Sunni Islam the descent of the "Spirit of God" (Jesus Christ); to the Zoroastrians the promised Shah-Bahram; to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Buddhists the fifth Buddha...

He alone is meant by the prophecy attributed to Gautama Buddha Himself, that "a Buddha named Maitreye, the Buddha of universal fellowship" should, in the fullness of time, arise and reveal "His boundless glory"...
To attempt an exhaustive survey of the prophetic references to Baha'u'llah's Revelation would indeed be an impossible task. To this the pen of Baha'u'llah Himself bears witness: "All the Divine Books and Scriptures have predicted and announced unto men the advent of the Most Great Revelation. None can adequately recount the verses recorded in the Books of former ages which forecast this supreme Bounty, this most mighty Bestowal."
-Shoghi Effendi: God Passes By, pages 93-100

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Joel Smith is a member of the Baha'i Faith living in the United States. Much of the material on this homepage consists of extracts from existing Baha'i publications, but also included are a number of insights and comments about prophecies which are entirely the author's own understanding and, as such, do not necessarily represent the official position of the Baha'i Faith or its teachings.