When Hernando Cortez came to Mexico he found a great civilization of Indians, the Aztecs. Although they constantly waged war to take captives for bloody sacrifices, Cortez was impressed that their way of life was as orderly and convenient, and their standard of living" was nearly the same as in Spain. They had received their culture from the Toltec Indians, whom they had conquered a few centuries before, and from the ancient prophet-ruler of the Toltecs, Quetzalcoatl (the Feathered Serpent, as he was called). Just as the Spaniards made a slaughter of the Indians in the name of Christ, whose Message was of love, so had the Aztecs fallen away from the similar teachings of Quetzalcoatl.

Quetzalcoatl's message of love and wisdom is reflected in the following advice of an Aztec noble to his sons:

"Take great pains to make yourselves friends of God who is in all parts, and is invisible and impalpable, and it is meet that you give Him all your heart and body, and look that you be not proud in your heart, nor yet despair, nor be cowardly of spirit; but that you be humble in your heart and have hope in God. Be at peace with all, shame yourselves before none and to none be disrespectful; respect all, esteem all, defy no one, for no reason affront any person."

Toltec Prophecy of Return of Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcoatl was described as a white man, with a beard, who wore long robes, and who gave a message of love, forbidding the blood sacrifice, teaching of the One Supreme God, and giving the Toltecs many material things of their culture, such as the calendar. He left the Toltecs because of the enmity and persecution of powerful religious leaders, but promised one day to return, as he had left, from the East, over the ocean. This "return" as has been explained in "Warriors of the Rainbow" (Warriors of the Rainbow, by William Willoya and Vinson Brown, Naturegraph Publishers), is by no means necessarily a return of the same physical Being, But can mean far more logically the return of the same Spiritual Message coming from another Great Prophet.

Quetzalcoatl has been described by Dr. Herbert Joseph Spinden as "perhaps the most remarkable figure in ancient American history". He established not only a religion, but taught the people all manner of arts, sciences and useful social customs. Not all histories can agree on when Quetzalcoatl lived or even if he ever lived, though most tend to agree that he did exist. He has been called St. Thomas and even Jesus Christ himself. As to when he lived, there is not much agreement either, some saying he lived in the 12th century, others that he lived at the same time as Christ. Many historians, however, agree with Dr. H.J.Spinden, who states the Quetzalcoatl established the Toltec Era on August 6, 1168 A.D. and that most Mexican year counts begin with that date. A Toltec "era" was 52 years long, and calendar dates were based on cycles of 52 years. The Toltec and Aztec years were of the same length as our years, while those of the Mayas, as is explained later, were shorter than our years by 5 days.

A. Hyatt and Ruth Verrill, in their book on America's Ancient Civilizations, tell us that most myths agree that Quetzalcoatl not only said he would return from the East but that before he returned bearded white men would come who would conquer the Indians and enforce on them a different religion. However, he said that when he returned all the ancient glory of the Indians would return.

But what of the return of Quetzalcoatl? Various Writings say he spoke of a new religion coming in the 13th era. He would return, bringing a reign of peace, and the "advent of a new spiritual order". He would return as he had left, from the East, across the sea. He would be bearded, Caucasian and wear long robes. He said he would come in the year of his birth, but the only date we are given is the year of his spiritual birth, which is the birth of the Toltec Era, as described by H.J. Spinden, or 1168 A.D. The return in the 13th Toltec Era, as foretold in the prophecies, would not be earlier that 1844 A.D.

Prophecy of the return of Quetzalquatl in the 13th Toltec Era (thirteenth 52 year cycle)
0 Toltec Era......... 1168 AD
1st Toltec Era........ 1220 AD
2nd Toltec Era......... 1272 AD
3rd Toltec Era......... 1324 AD
4th Toltec Era......... 1376 AD
5th Toltec Era......... 1428 AD
6th Toltec Era......... 1480 AD
7th Toltec Era......... 1532 AD
8th Toltec Era......... 1584 AD
9th Toltec Era......... 1636 AD
10th Toltec Era......... 1688 AD
11th Toltec Era......... 1740 AD
12th Toltec Era......... 1792 AD
13th Toltec Era......... 1844 to 1896

It may be more than an amazing coincidence that 1844 was the year when millions of Christians all over the world were expecting the imminent return of Christ. The Millerites in American, for example, from whom are descended the present day 7th Day Adventists, were sure, because of the prophecies in Daniel 8:13-14 and in Matthew 24:15, that this event would happen in 1844. When nothing happened that year in the physically glorious form they imagined it would, they were much cast down and disappointed.

It is extraordinary that few or any people had the wisdom to look back into history and see that Jesus Christ had not come in the way the People of His time expected. The people in the Holy Land in 1 A.D. all expected a great Messiah, but they thought He would arrive with great glory. However, the Messiah came with spiritual glory to test them, not in the physical glory they expected. The First Century of the Christian Era was like the dawn when the first light reaches only the mountain top so that only a few see and recognize the Sun of Truth rising above the horizon. Let us look then carefully to the year 1844 and see if we cannot find that a great spiritual Being same to men in that year, but was not seen by most of them because He did not come with the Physical glory expected. If so, then He fulfilled both the Biblical prophecies and those of the Toltecs and Aztecs.

Prophecies of Chilam-Balam of the Itza-Maya
That there may have been two, not one, appearances of Prophets near the 13th Toltec Era is shown by the prophecies of the Itza-Maya. The Mayan people, so far as records show, were the first civilized people of Central America. They built great cities and two great flowerings of their civilization appeared, the first, or Old Empire, around 200 to 850 A.D., the second, or New Empire, from around 1000 to 1350 A.D. The stimulus for the civilization of the New Empire was largely due to the coming of Nahuatl speaking people from central Mexico called the Itzas, who were either related to or descended from the Toltecs and had with them the new religion of Quetzalcoatl (translated into Mayan as Kukulkan).

The Itza-Maya had fallen away from this religion to a considerable degree by the sixteenth century, which probably was the main cause of the breakup of their civilization at that time. But that the Maya recognized the "divine source" of the Itza religion, even though it was now little followed, can be seen from a quotation which refers to their holy things being derived from Kukulkan (or Quetzalcoatl).

The Mayas had a calendar with cycles of 260 years. Since their years were only 360 days long, one of their cycles is approximately equal to 256 of our years. They called a year a "tun" and 20 years made a "katun". A Katun was named after the last day in it, which would be a day "Ahau", preceded by a number. A particular katun, like "Katun 5 Ahau" would thus recur every 256 years.

Somewhere around the year 1500 A.D. there appeared among the Itza-Maya a famous seer or prophet by the name of Chilam Balam who foretold the coming of the white men and even gave details of the diseases and war they would bring and gave the dates of great disasters that actually came true according to his calculations on the Mayan calendar. It is the translations of his book of prophecies, called the "Book of the Jaguar Priest", made by Spanish-educated Mayan Indians into Latin script, but in the Maya Language, that we see today. The oldest and apparently most authentic of these translations is called the Book of Chilam Balam of Tizimin, and it has the extraordinary prophecies that we are going to quote here. It is quite evident that Chilam Balam was not only warning the Indians of the bad days they would suffer under white rule, but also giving them hope that one day their ancient glory would come back when a new religion would come that would bring all the world into harmony.

Thus we find Chilam Balam lamenting over the loss of the priests who keep the calendar:

"How can the generations of the sons of the Itza tell us the days of the prophecies and the days of the tun? How can we celebrate the rites of Lord 5 Ahau in the twelfth tun, when he comes in benign holiness. . . in Katun 5 Ahau, in the twelfth tun?"

calendar wheel...

This coming of a great Spiritual Being (probably thought of as the return of Kukulkan or Quetzalcoatl) was given great emphasis by Chilam Balam. The Katun 5 Ahau next arrived in 1594 according to the book on September 30. But the book speaks of the Indians being oppressed by the white people after 1594 so that the coming of a Great Prophet must be considered to occur at the next turn of the Katun Wheel, which would mean in another 256 years or late in 1850 A.D. The twelfth tun would appear in part of both 1862 and 1863, which would be the date of the coming of a Great Prophet "in benign holiness". To clinch this prophecy Chilam Balam gives another sign by which the coming of One or more who will unite the world shall be known. Thus he says:
"Would that he might return (to) the west, uniting with us in commiseration over our present unhappy plight! This is the fulfillment of the prophecies of Katun 5 Ahau: the pottery jars shall be shattered into dust, when Run 19 arrives! At that time there will be imprisonment among the lords, when the prophecies have come true. There will be vigils in the overburdened katun. So be it."
It is very interesting that imprisonment is spoken of here. Many Christians were imprisoned for their Faith, especially during the first two centuries A.D. The 19th tun of the 5th Katun began in December, 1868. It would thus seem evident that if we found a Prophet who proclaimed a world-uniting religion in 1862 or in 1863 and was imprisoned for this in 1868 or 1869, then this would be a proof that this prophecy literally came true. This would also agree in approximate time with the Toltec prophecy of the return of Quetzalcoatl in the 13th Toltec Era. But the implication is that there would be a coming of two great Prophets one right after the other!

The book also refers to two bearded ones from the East:

"One goes forth as ambassador. Another awakens Itzamna Kauil (God of the Heavens) in the west."
Also, on the same page, it says:
"The temple receives its guests, the bearded ones from the lands of the Sun (the east). They are bringers of a sign from our Father God: blessings in abundance!"
There will apparently be at least two important Lords who manifest themselves at this time, one as an ambassador, preparing the way, the other appearing as the one who gives the world-uniting Message. It speaks further of the sign, the blessings in abundance:
"Yes this sign is your assurance that they come from heaven. These sacramental objects of yours, O Itza, these holy things of yours, derive from Kukulkan. Find your holiness in truth and penitence. Find holiness with the people of God . . (obliterated). . in the world of Hunab Ku, The One Supreme God. He comes to you from heaven in the drops of rain. It is good, what I say unto you assembled here, O Itza. Let the earth awaken when they tread upon it, and attend, in another katun later on. Sufficient unto themselves are my words, for I am Chilam Balam the Jaguar Priest. I repeat my words of divine truth:
"I say that the divisions of the earth shall all be one!"

These prophecies of the Toltec and the Maya clearly foretell the coming of the Bab and Baha'u'llah,
the twin Prophet Founders of the Baha'i Faith.

---From "Prophetic Dates Given by Toltecs and Mayas" by Olin Karch

The time prophecies of the Toltec and the Maya indicate the beginning of a new era in 1844 AD. It was in 1844 AD that the Baha'i Faith began. These prophecies of the Toltec and the Maya have explicitly been fulfilled. They clearly foretell the coming of the Bab and Baha'u'llah, the twin Prophet Founders of the Baha'i Faith.

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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.

The article about Mayan time prophecies excerpted from a booklet titled "Four Remarkable Indian Prophecies of the Navajos, Toltecs, Mayas and Indians of Idaho" published in 1963 by:
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