Comforter and Prince of Truth

Feb 2019
164
Chicago
#11
I also wanted to share some information from a Hindu perspective on what separates a normal person from an avatar or manifestation of God. To put it in simple terms it is the degree of manifestation of divine power that separates the two. According to Hindu scriptures, God's power can manifest in creation in 16 degrees. Rocks, minerals and other inert matter have 1 degree. Plants have 2 degrees. Animals and birds have 3 or 4 degrees. An average person has 5 degrees. People with higher spiritual capacities have 6 degrees. Saintly souls depending on their state of spiritual advancement can manifest 7 or 8 degrees. Degrees beyond 8 are found in avatars or manifestations of God. They are born with degrees beyond 8 or acquire them during their life time through spiritual effort or the transfer of spiritual powers from other avatars. Depending on the needs of the avatar's mission, the degrees of spiritual power can vary from 9 to 16.

The process of experiencing the Comforter is unrelated to whether or not an individual is an avatar or manifestation of God. Experiencing the Comforter is related to an individual's spiritual growth and nearness to God which is why Jesus was able to promise it to his apostles (after his departure) even though they were not his equal in spiritual stature.
 
Feb 2019
164
Chicago
#12
No other person qualifies, they are not born of the Holy Spirit as are all of Gods Messengers.
Tony,

Since Bahuallah and Abdul Baha held the apostles of Jesus in high regard, I was looking for the testimony of the experience of the apostles of Jesus with Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit/Comforter after the death of Jesus and here is what I found in the Bible. These words were spoken by the apostles after the death of Jesus when some people objected to the apostles spreading the teachings of Jesus.

"But Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men"............We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him" - Acts 5:29-32

The apostles are stating that God has given the experience of Holy Spirit to those people that obey God - that is those who follow God's laws and grow spiritually. From this testimony of the apostles, it is clear that the experience of Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost/Comforter is not restricted to manifestations of God but to all people who obey God's laws. The apostles are speaking in past tense ("God has given" as opposed to "God will give"). That shows they are speaking from personal experience of receiving the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost/Comforter. This is consistent with the assurance Jesus gave them before his death.

The words in Acts 5:32 were spoken by Peter and other apostles and Shoghi Effendi said "Peter is recognized as one whom God has caused “the mysteries of wisdom and of utterance to flow out of his mouth.” (The Promised Day is Come, p. 110)"

Apostle Paul, a "False Teacher"?

-Venu
 
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Jul 2017
421
Olympia, WA, USA
#13
The Biblical verses relating to Comforter and Prince of Truth have deep esoteric meanings which if interpreted literally will not make much sense. I am afraid you are interpreting the Bible too literally which Shoghi Effendi also seems to do to some extent. But for now, let's go with your literal interpretation and see if it satisfies common sense reason and logic.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever - John 14:16

Jesus addressed these words to the apostles and a few others who never came in contact with Bahaullah and were dead before Bahaullah was born. So the birth of Bahaullah was of no use to them. If in the above verse Jesus was referring to Bahaullah as you and Shoghi Effendi are saying, then it makes no sense because Bahaullah certainly did not abide with the apostles of Jesus for ever. So your literal interpretation that the Comforter refers to the physical person of Bahaullah or Bahaullah is the second person to receive the Holy Spirit (Bounty of God) is not correct but it can refer to something that the apostles and Bahaullah had access to within their consciousness and that's where the esoteric interpretation will make sense.
It was not only Shoghi Effendi who said that Baha’u’llah was the Comforter, it was Baha’u’llah. That is all I need to know to believe He was the Comforter. The Revelation of Baha’u’llah is a package deal; you cannot take what you like and leave the rest and still be faithful to the Cause of Baha’u’llah.

You sound like a Christian defending Christianity with your interpretations. More than one interpretation can be true. The Comforter in that verse could be referring to the Holy Spirit, but that does not mean that in other verses the Comforter was not referring to Baha’u’llah.

“Know assuredly that just as thou firmly believest that the Word of God, exalted be His glory, endureth for ever, thou must, likewise, believe with undoubting faith that its meaning can never be exhausted.” Gleanings, p. 175
You said the Comforter comforts people and brings them the truth and Jesus was the first Comforter. So Abraham, Moses, Krishna and Buddha all of whom came before Jesus were not Comforters according to you. And that means Jews, Hindus and Buddhists did not have access to the truth and comfort that Christians had for the first time in the history. Why would God single out Christians for this favor? So millions of people all over the world were denied this favor since the creation of man but all of a sudden God thought he needs to send out a special favor for a small group of people in Israel/Palestine?
God did not single out Christians because all the prophets of former religions also brought comfort to their followers.The Comforter is just a title and since it first appeared in the New Testament that is why I said Jesus was the first Comforter. Actually, Muhammad was also referred to as the Comforter; Muslims believe that and Baha’is also believe that. I was just trying to be brief in my explanation, not comprehensive.
I think the little bit of logical analysis above has demonstrated that both you and Shoghi Effendi have not understood what Jesus actually meant by the Comforter. But I suspect you may disagree because the matter is subjective. However, I will give you some objective evidence to demonstrate that Shoghi Effendi did not know what he was talking about.

Shoghi Effendi said: "To Him the Bhagavad-Gita of the Hindus had referred as the “Most Great Spirit,” the “Tenth Avatar,” the “Immaculate Manifestation of Krishna.”"

This is a false statement because the Bhagavad-Gita has no reference at all to the "Tenth Avatar" which is the Kalki Avatar of Vishnu. I come from a Hindu background and I am familiar enough with the Bhagavad-Gita to confidently assert that there is no mention at all of the Kalki Avatar. Here is a link to online version of the Bhagavad-Gita Srimad Bhagavad-Gita. Anyone can verify that there is no mention of the Tenth Avatar/Kalkai Avatar. And by the way you will never find two versions of this scripture because Hindus maintained it in its original form for over 5000 years. So you can go with another Bhagavad-Gita web site of your choice also if you prefer. This should objectively prove to you that Shoghi Effendi was doing his own thing.

When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous. - Albert Einstein
I have to plead ignorance regarding the Tenth Avatar. I do not feel at all qualified to comment on Hinduism or Hindu prophets. I do know something about the Bible though.

Unless Baha’u’llah is a false prophet, Baha’u’llah was the Comforter, because that is who He claimed to be.

“Give ear unto that which the Dove of Eternity warbleth upon the twigs of the Divine Lote-Tree: O peoples of the earth! We sent forth him who was named John to baptize you with water, that your bodies might be cleansed for the appearance of the Messiah. He, in turn, purified you with the fire of love and the water of the spirit in anticipation of these Days whereon the All-Merciful hath purposed to cleanse you with the water of life at the hands of His loving providence. This is the Father foretold by Isaiah, and the Comforter concerning Whom the Spirit had covenanted with you. Open your eyes, O concourse of bishops, that ye may behold your Lord seated upon the Throne of might and glory.

Say: O peoples of all faiths! Walk not in the ways of them that followed the Pharisees and thus veiled themselves from the Spirit. They truly have strayed and are in error. The Ancient Beauty is come in His Most Great Name, and He wisheth to admit all mankind into His most holy Kingdom. The pure in heart behold the Kingdom of God manifest before His Face. Make haste thereunto and follow not the infidel and the ungodly. Should your eye be opposed thereto, pluck it out. 2 Thus hath it been decreed by the Pen of the Ancient of Days, as bidden by Him Who is the Lord of the entire creation. He, verily, hath come again that ye might be redeemed, O peoples of the earth. Will ye slay Him Whodesireth to grant you eternal life? Fear God, O ye who are endued with insight.”
The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 63-64

Apparently you cannot understand the problem with referring to older religions to try to figure things out, but I do. I thank God for one thing, that I was not raised in a religious home and I had no other religion before I became a Baha’i at age 17. With no preconceptions, it was so much easier to see the Truth when I stumbled upon the Baha’i Faith.

I am not saying that the older religions are not also the Truth, but I do not believe they are the Truth for this age and they are the main reason why people have not not recognized Baha’u’llah. If people already have a cup that is full, they are not going to be looking to fill it up with another religion; well, not usually. Obviously, that is not true of everyone because most Baha’is were formerly adherents to one of the older religions.
 
Feb 2019
164
Chicago
#14
It was not only Shoghi Effendi who said that Baha’u’llah was the Comforter, it was Baha’u’llah. That is all I need to know to believe He was the Comforter. The Revelation of Baha’u’llah is a package deal; you cannot take what you like and leave the rest and still be faithful to the Cause of Baha’u’llah.
The word Comforter actually refers to Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit but if it manifests in a person, then it is used as a title for that person. So Bahaullah is not the only Comforter and for reasons I already explained Jesus certainly did refer to Bahaullah when he told the apostles that he would send them the Comforter that would teach them through experience the truths he conveyed orally. He was referring the experience of Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit within their own consciousness and that wasn't Bahaullah.

You sound like a Christian defending Christianity with your interpretations.
Spiritual truths must be acknowledged no matter which religion they are found in. I was not pleased at the way you were dismissing non-Bahai religions.

I have to plead ignorance regarding the Tenth Avatar. I do not feel at all qualified to comment on Hinduism or Hindu prophets.
My only friendly suggestion is that if at all you ever feel the need on comment on Hinduism or Hindu prophets, please study them before you comment. Don't be like Shoghi Effendi.

Unless Baha’u’llah is a false prophet, Baha’u’llah was the Comforter, because that is who He claimed to be.
No one is accusing Baha’u’llah of being a false prophet. I personally feel he was not only a Comforter but much beyond that. He was also a Christ like Jesus was. Christ is also a title that is derived from the Sanskrit word Krishna. The Greeks spelled Krishna as Kristos which in Latin became Christos and in English it became Christ.

I am not saying that the older religions are not also the Truth, but I do not believe they are the Truth for this age and they are the main reason why people have not not recognized Baha’u’llah.
Spiritual truths that prophets give are eternal. Jesus said "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

Often times people distort the teachings and scriptures. It is up to each individual to figure out to what extent the distortion has happened. For example, Bahaullah never claimed he was the Kalki avatar/Tenth avatar of the Hindus but Shoghi Effendi made that incorrect claim and since he was the Guardian, it became a mainstream Bahai belief. To add something or remove something from Bahauallah's teachings is nothing but a change made to them and I consider such changes distortions of the original teachings.
 
Jul 2017
421
Olympia, WA, USA
#15
The word Comforter actually refers to Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit but if it manifests in a person, then it is used as a title for that person. So Bahaullah is not the only Comforter
That is true. I never said that Baha’u’llah was the only Comforter. Jesus and Muhammad were also Comforters, but I decline to comment on any other of the Manifestations of God since I do not know enough about them to comment.
and for reasons I already explained Jesus certainly did refer to Bahaullah when he told the apostles that he would send them the Comforter that would teach them through experience the truths he conveyed orally. He was referring the experience of Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit within their own consciousness and that wasn't Bahaullah.
I guess you meant to say “did not.”

You do not know what the apostles were referring to and neither do I. It makes no sense that the Holy Spirit could do what Christians claim the verses about the Comforter refer to. I just posted this to a Christian this morning:

The Holy Spirit is the Bounty of God which is the Comforter because it comforts people and brings them the truth. God sent the Holy Spirit (Bounty of God) to Jesus and Baha’u’llah and then Jesus and Baha’u’llah brought the Holy Spirit (Bounty of God) to humanity. That is why Jesus and Baha’u’llah were referred to as the Comforter.

Christians believe that the Comforter and Spirit of truth are the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent at Pentecost to live inside of them, but a spirit living inside of people cannot DO any of the following things that are in John 14, 15 and 16; only a man could do those things:
  • Teach you all things
  • Call to remembrance what Jesus said
  • Testify of Jesus
  • Glorify Jesus, receive of Jesus, and shew it unto you
  • Guide you into all truth
  • Speak what He hears and shew you things to come
  • Reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment
Baha’u’llah did all these things and as a result of His revelation the world will be reproved the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. No spirit living inside of Christians is going to do this. This is patently illogical because if the Holy Spirit living inside of Christians was going to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, that Holy Spirit has had 2000 years to accomplish these things. Obviously it hasn’t.

Baha’u’llah testified of Jesus and glorified Jesus in this passage where he referred to Jesus as the Son of man: Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 85-86
Spiritual truths must be acknowledged no matter which religion they are found in. I was not pleased at the way you were dismissing non-Bahai religions.
I am not dismissing the scriptures themselves; even if they are not authentic they still contain spiritual truths, and THAT is what is important, not all the details people get so caught up in.

However, I will dismiss Christian doctrines like the original sin and the Trinity because they are man-made doctrines and they contradict the Writings of the Baha’i Faith.
My only friendly suggestion is that if at all you ever feel the need on comment on Hinduism or Hindu prophets, please study them before you comment. Don't be like Shoghi Effendi.
Notice I declined to comment as I do not comment upon what I do not know from having studied it. You do not know what Shoghi Effendi studied and neither do I. He could have been interpreting something differently than you do or he could have been wrong, I don’t know.
No one is accusing Baha’u’llah of being a false prophet. I personally feel he was not only a Comforter but much beyond that. He was also a Christ like Jesus was. Christ is also a title that is derived from the Sanskrit word Krishna. The Greeks spelled Krishna as Kristos which in Latin became Christos and in English it became Christ.
I can agree with Baha’u’llah being a Christ just as Jesus was. Christ does not only refer to Jesus as Christians believe. Obviously you know a lot more about religion than I do. Religion has never been my forte.

Spiritual truths that prophets give are eternal. Jesus said "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."
That is true and Abdu’l-Baha wrote about this. In the following passage, the Law of God refers to the divinely revealed religion of God. The spiritual message (spiritual virtues and divine qualities) are the same in all the great world religions:

“the Law of God is divided into two parts. One is the fundamental basis which comprises all spiritual things—that is to say, it refers to the spiritual virtues and divine qualities; this does not change nor alter: it is the Holy of Holies, which is the essence of the Law of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, the Báb, and Bahá’u’lláh, and which lasts and is established in all the prophetic cycles. It will never be abrogated, for it is spiritual and not material truth; it is faith, knowledge, certitude, justice, piety, righteousness, trustworthiness, love of God, benevolence, purity, detachment, humility, meekness, patience and constancy. It shows mercy to the poor, defends the oppressed, gives to the wretched and uplifts the fallen......

These divine qualities, these eternal commandments, will never be abolished; nay, they will last and remain established for ever and ever. These virtues of humanity will be renewed in each of the different cycles; for at the end of every cycle the spiritual Law of God—that is to say, the human virtues—disappears, and only the form subsists.

The second part of the Religion of God, which refers to the material world,and which comprises fasting, prayer, forms of worship, marriage and divorce, the abolition of slavery, legal processes, transactions, indemnities for murder, violence, theft and injuries—this part of the Law of God, which refers to material things, is modified and altered in each prophetic cycle in accordance with the necessities of the times.” Some Answered Questions, pp. 47-48

Often times people distort the teachings and scriptures. It is up to each individual to figure out to what extent the distortion has happened. For example, Bahaullah never claimed he was the Kalki avatar/Tenth avatar of the Hindus but Shoghi Effendi made that incorrect claim and since he was the Guardian, it became a mainstream Bahai belief. To add something or remove something from Bahauallah's teachings is nothing but a change made to them and I consider such changes distortions of the original teachings.
I can agree with you that nothing should be changed or added on to the original teachings. If that happens, then we will have the same problem as other older religions. The only authority that Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi were given was as interpreters of Baha’u’llah’s Writings. The problem we thus have is that in some cases we do not have the scriptures of Baha’u’llah in order to know what they were interpreting.

For example, Abdu’l-Baha said that the spirit of animals is extinguished when they die, but I never saw anything Baha’u’llah wrote that indicates this. Moreover, some Buddhists I know said that the Buddha did not teach this. I thus have chosen to disregard it and I am not the only Baha’i who disregards it.

Before you brought it up, I never even knew that Shoghi Effendi made the claim that Baha’u’llah was the Tenth avatar of the Hindus so I would not consider it to be mainstream Baha’i belief. However, I think it needs to be addressed if it is incorrect. If this is a concern of yours, you could write a letter to the UHJ.
 
Feb 2019
164
Chicago
#16
That is true. I never said that Baha’u’llah was the only Comforter. Jesus and Muhammad were also Comforters, but I decline to comment on any other of the Manifestations of God since I do not know enough about them to comment.

I guess you meant to say “did not.”

You do not know what the apostles were referring to and neither do I. It makes no sense that the Holy Spirit could do what Christians claim the verses about the Comforter refer to. I just posted this to a Christian this morning:
Yes, I meant to say "did not". The workings of the Holy Spirit may not make any sense to you but it does not mean everyone else is in the same state of mind. Bahaullah said that Creation always existed and that it is not delimited. Does that make any sense? Everything physical was created at some point in time and has fixed boundaries. Since Creation is physical it should have an age as size as well but Bahaullah spoke to the contrary. If you cannot make sense of teachings related to the physical world, is it a surprise that esoteric spiritual truths related to the spiritual realms are difficult to grasp.

This is patently illogical because if the Holy Spirit living inside of Christians was going to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, that Holy Spirit has had 2000 years to accomplish these things. Obviously it hasn’t.
You are ignoring the fact that for the Holy Spirit to manifest in human consciousness and accomplish what it can, it requires the cooperation of human mind and surrender of human will to divine will. That is people must sincerely and loyally follow the teachings of the prophet with love and devotion. That does not happen most of the time even among the family members of the prophet who may have received the teachings directly and personally from the prophet. Jesus said "Harvest is plenteous but laborers are very few". He also said "Spirit is willing but flesh is weak". Human nature rooted in selfishness, greed, material desires and egotism prevents people from receiving the Holy Spirit which is why the gospels say that only those that were willing to receive the Holy Spirit was given the ability to becomes sons of God. One of the disciples of the Bab married the wife of Bab after his death much against the wishes of Bahaullah to gain control of the religion. How does something like that happen? Bahaullah gave the title of Ghusn-i-Akbar ("Greatest Branch") to his son Mírzá Muhammad `Alí but Abdul Baha expelled him from the Bahai faith. How does that happen if Bahaullah's teachings can turn everyone to God and rid the world of sin. Why did Judas treacherously let down Jesus? Why did Ali and Aisha, the family members of Prophet Mohammed and some of the first muslims fight each other after his death if Islam is the religion of peace and universal brotherhood.

You do not know what Shoghi Effendi studied and neither do I. He could have been interpreting something differently than you do or he could have been wrong, I don’t know.
The UHJ clarified that Shoghi Effendi by Bhagavad-Gita was referring to body of Hindu religious scriptures. That only shows Shoghi Effendi was completely ignorant of how Hindu religious scriptures and other secondary texts are structured which means he never studied them. Also the description of Kalki avatar/Tenth Avatar in Hindu texts like Mahabharata does not match that of Bahaullah. The description says the avatar would be named Kalki, be born in a Brahmin family in a place called Shambala. None of that applies to Bahaullah. It again proves, Shoghi Effendi did not read the Mahabharata.

I can agree with you that nothing should be changed or added on to the original teachings. If that happens, then we will have the same problem as other older religions. The only authority that Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi were given was as interpreters of Baha’u’llah’s Writings. The problem we thus have is that in some cases we do not have the scriptures of Baha’u’llah in order to know what they were interpreting.
So there you go. Where is the evidence in Bahaullah's writings that he claimed to be the Kalki/Tenth Avatar or Maitreye, the Buddha of universal fellowship. There is no evidence presented by UHJ and they can't because there is none. In addition to that the Bhagavad-Gita does not support Shoghi Effendi's claims about the Kalki/Tenth Avatar. In this case we don't need Bahaullah's writings to demonstrate that Shoghi Effendi's claims are incorrect. We can just look up the Bhagavad-Gita which has no reference to Kalki/Tenth Avatar - a truth acknowledged by UHJ.
 
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Mar 2013
565
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#17
Thanks Tony for your input. We can rely on metaphorical meanings for words like Shambhala, Brahmana, Devadatta etc and I am fine with that. But then what would happen is that such meanings become universal and so would apply to not only every manifestation of God but also to every person that qualifies through spiritual effort and that's the right thing to do. For example, using metaphorical meanings for words like Comforter and Shambala it can easily be demonstrated that even Prophet Mohammed or Hindu avatars like Paramahansa Yogananda qualify to be called a Comforter because the word Comforter really refers to the experience of Holy Ghost in a deep state of meditation because such experience bestows a certain amount of God contact which rids the mind of troubles and worries (the experience comforts) while also revealing some spiritual truths. That's a simple explanation but it actually goes much deeper than that. That explains why the Comforter that Jesus promised to the apostles did not show up in a physical form when they needed it the most which was after Jesus' death. You can continue to believe that Bahaullah was the Comforter that Jesus spoke of but if that is true, of what use was Bahaullah to the apostles of Jesus who died before the birth of Bahaullah? How can dead people make use of Bahaullah and his teachings? Something to think about.
Interesting point about "what use would a Comforter that appears centuries later be to the Apostles". You could also ask what use would the Return of Christ be to them, since they would all be dead by then. I think the answer is that prophecies and the Scriptures in general are for future generations and the whole world not just those around at the time they were revealed. Yes, the Apostles were in need of a Comforter, but for them, the Comforter is Jesus. 600 years later, the Comforter was Muhammad, and 1200 years after that, the Bab. Most Christians believe the Comforter is the Holy Spirit, but there is something very strange about that idea. Jesus said He must go away so that the Comforter can come. But the Holy Spirit was always present wherever Jesus was, so how could it be that Jesus had to go away so the Holy Spirit could come, that makes no sense. On the other hand, if the Comforter refers to the next Manifestation, then yes, He would have to go away otherwise there is no reason for the next Manifestation to come.

Have you read the Kitab-i-Iqan (Book of Certitude)? We could have wonderful discussions if we explore that book.
 
Feb 2019
164
Chicago
#18
Interesting point about "what use would a Comforter that appears centuries later be to the Apostles". You could also ask what use would the Return of Christ be to them, since they would all be dead by then. .
By "Return of Christ", I think you are referring to the second coming of Christ. To understand it's true meaning, one has to first understand the esoteric meaning of the word "Christ" which is given as a title to anyone that has attained a particular spiritual stature. The word "Christ" is derived from the Sanskrit word "Krishna". The Greeks spelled Krishna as Krishtos which in Latin became Christos and in English it was Christ. Krishna and Christ are titles given to souls that have manifested Kutastha Chaitanya (Sanskrit) or Christ Consciousness (English) which is the universal consciousness or cosmic intelligence of Spirit that is present in all creation. It is possible for all souls to manifest Christ Consciousness through individual spiritual effort and act just like Jesus did and I will quote his words to that effect. This manifestation of Christ Consciousness through individual spiritual effort within the consciousness of an individual is the second coming of Christ for that individual. And so the "Return of Christ" or "the second coming of Christ" signifies an individual's spiritual attainment which liberates him from human nature and unites the soul with God which obviously is to the benefit of the soul.

Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" - John 14:12

Jesus is saying that his followers can actually perform greater miracles (works) than he performed because he is going to his Father. Think about it for a minute. If a man cannot become a "Christ", how would it be possible for him to do better than Jesus Christ. And what has Jesus going to his Father got to do with it?

Yes, the Apostles were in need of a Comforter, but for them, the Comforter is Jesus..........Jesus said He must go away so that the Comforter can come. But the Holy Spirit was always present wherever Jesus was, so how could it be that Jesus had to go away so the Holy Spirit could come, that makes no sense.
The Bible says Comforter is actually the Holy Ghost and the apostles testified in Acts 5:29-32 that after the death of Jesus, the Comforter/Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit was given to everyone that obeyed the laws of God. The title of Comforter is given to any person that experiences the Holy Spirit but technically the Comforter does not refer to a person but to Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit .

The apostles of Jesus, when he was still alive, were not spiritually mature. Remember, all of them abandoned him when he was arrested and taken away for crucifixion. In John 16:12-13, Jesus says he has many things to teach but the apostles are not ready yet. Acts 1:3 says Jesus after resurrection revealed many truths about the Kingdom of God. These are esoteric truths since Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21). In Acts 1:8, Jesus after resurrection says that the apostles will receive spiritual power when Holy Ghost manifests in them. When Jesus was alive, the apostles being spiritually immature, were mentally and emotionally attached to his physical form like all ordinary people and that was hampering their ability to commune with the Holy Spirit that was manifest in his consciousness. They were paying attention to his oral instruction while he was alive but were not realizing the spiritual truths therein through personal experience born out of communion with Holy Spirit. So Jesus said that he must go away (John 16:7) so the apostles would be forced to commune with the Holy Spirit and then it can manifest in their individual consciousness just like it did in his own and teach them through personal experience what he taught them orally. That is what he meant by "bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you".

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." - John 14:26

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you". - John 16:7

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.- John 16:12-13

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth - Acts 1:8

The apostles of Jesus being able to perform greater miracles than he did when he goes to his Father is also related to their attachment to his physical form limiting their ability to make spiritual progress and become "Christs". Jesus performed only those miracles approved by God but he was saying that when the apostles become "Christs", God may permit them to perform even bigger miracles if there was a need.

Have you read the Kitab-i-Iqan (Book of Certitude)? We could have wonderful discussions if we explore that book.
I have read portions of it. You are welcome to start a new discussion on it.
 
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Mar 2013
565
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#19
Venu, you have provided a lot to digest here.

You do say in post #14 above that you think that Baha'u'llah is a Comforter but not the only Comforter. I think we can agree on that, all of the Manifestations are really the same in essence, and all of them bring the Holy Spirit, they are completely surrounded at all times with the Holy Spirit.

You say that this is what Christ was referring to when He said "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." - John 14:26".

I think that this is partly true, or rather, it is completely true that the Father sent the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles in Christ's name. Much of the Book of Acts describes the effect of this. But, the Word of God spoken through His Manifestations is always full of meaning. It has meaning for those present at the time, and also has meaning for future generations, centuries later. So, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles is one meaning. Another meaning is the coming of the next Manifestation.

To say that Christ needed to go away so that the Holy Spirit can come to the Apostles is still an odd thing to say, but that's because it is not due to a limitation of the Holy Spirit, which was always present. When statements appear in scripture which are paradoxical, it can lead us to see the deeper meanings. One thing we can see is that the Word of God is not gone forever when one Manifestation, in this case, Christ, is taken away.

What comes to mind is something that Baha'u'llah said:

"Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favored angels." (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 139)

Your understanding of the Second Coming of Christ is very interesting. Isn't it true that the literal meaning of Krishna in Sanskrit is "dark"? The meaning of Christos in Greek is "anointed", so is there a cultural convention in India which equates "dark" in the sense of Krishna's name with "anointed"? I know that Krishna is generally depicted with a blue skin, which I assume is meant to indicate that He was not a typical person, but rather a spiritual being, or, I suppose you could say, an "anointed" being.
 
Jul 2017
421
Olympia, WA, USA
#20
Yes, I meant to say "did not". The workings of the Holy Spirit may not make any sense to you but it does not mean everyone else is in the same state of mind. Bahaullah said that Creation always existed and that it is not delimited. Does that make any sense? Everything physical was created at some point in time and has fixed boundaries. Since Creation is physical it should have an age as size as well but Bahaullah spoke to the contrary. If you cannot make sense of teachings related to the physical world, is it a surprise that esoteric spiritual truths related to the spiritual realms are difficult to grasp.
I use my logical mind and if something does not comport with my logical mind I generally reject it. As I said, it makes no sense that a disembodied Holy Spirit could do the things it says in John 14, 15 and 16, things I believe Baha’u’llah did or things that will happen because of His Revelation.

It makes just as much sense to me that Creation always existed as that everything physical was created at some point in time and has fixed boundaries. The only reason that does not make sense to most people is because they have a preconceived idea that Creation had to be created at some point in time.
You are ignoring the fact that for the Holy Spirit to manifest in human consciousness and accomplish what it can, it requires the cooperation of human mind and surrender of human will to divine will. That is people must sincerely and loyally follow the teachings of the prophet with love and devotion. That does not happen most of the time even among the family members of the prophet who may have received the teachings directly and personally from the prophet. Jesus said "Harvest is plenteous but laborers are very few". He also said "Spirit is willing but flesh is weak". Human nature rooted in selfishness, greed, material desires and egotism prevents people from receiving the Holy Spirit which is why the gospels say that only those that were willing to receive the Holy Spirit was given the ability to becomes sons of God.
I do not believe that the Holy Spirit is received the way Christians believe that and that it lives inside of the human body. I believe it works through Manifestations of God and that is how it comes to man, through Them.

“But the bounty of the Holy Spirit gives the true method of comprehension which is infallible and indubitable. This is through the help of the Holy Spirit which comes to man, and this is the condition in which certainty can alone be attained.” Some Answered Questions

Christians are living an illusion with their false Christian doctrines which are based upon incorrect interpretations of scriptures. Moreover the Christians turned away from Baha’u’llah so they have turned away from God, just as the Jews who turned away from Jesus turned away from God. History repeats itself.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.


All souls continue to exist in the spiritual world after the body dies but not all souls have eternal life (everlasting life).

Eternal life refers to a “quality” of life, nearness to God, which according to Jesus comes from believing in Him, and according to Baha’u’llah, comes from believing in Him. One can have eternal life in this earth world as well as in the spiritual world (afterlife).

“The rewards of the other world are peace, the spiritual graces, the various spiritual gifts in the Kingdom of God, the gaining of the desires of the heart and the soul, and the meeting of God in the world of eternity. In the same way the punishments of the other world—that is to say, the torments of the other world—consist in being deprived of the special divine blessings and the absolute bounties, and falling into the lowest degrees of existence. He who is deprived of these divine favors, although he continues after death, is considered as dead by the people of truth.”
Some Answered Questions, pp. 224-225

Now, in this new age, it is Baha’u’llah has conferred eternal life upon all those who believe in Him.

“Incline your ears to the sweet melody of this Prisoner. Arise, and lift up your voices, that haply they that are fast asleep may be awakened. Say: O ye who are as dead! The Hand of Divine bounty proffereth unto you the Water of Life. Hasten and drink your fill. Whoso hath been re-born in this Day, shall never die; whoso remaineth dead, shall never live.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 213

“O My servants! Whoso hath tasted of this Fountain hath attained unto everlasting Life, and whoso hath refused to drink therefrom is even as the dead. Say: O ye workers of iniquity! Covetousness hath hindered you from giving a hearing ear unto the sweet voice of Him Who is the All-Sufficing. Wash it away from your hearts, that His Divine secret may be made known unto you. Behold Him manifest and resplendent as the sun in all its glory.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 169

“The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him. No more than a mere handful, however, hath been found willing to cleave to His Cause, or to become the instruments for its promotion. These few have been endued with the Divine Elixir that can, alone, transmute into purest gold the dross of the world, and have been empowered to administer the infallible remedy for all the ills that afflict the children of men. No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous, and sublime Revelation.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 83

One of the disciples of the Bab married the wife of Bab after his death much against the wishes of Bahaullah to gain control of the religion. How does something like that happen? Bahaullah gave the title of Ghusn-i-Akbar ("Greatest Branch") to his son Mírzá Muhammad `Alí but Abdul Baha expelled him from the Bahai faith. How does that happen if Bahaullah's teachings can turn everyone to God and rid the world of sin. Why did Judas treacherously let down Jesus? Why did Ali and Aisha, the family members of Prophet Mohammed and some of the first muslims fight each other after his death if Islam is the religion of peace and universal brotherhood.
I do not understand why the history of the Baha’i Faith (or any religion) would have anything to do with whether it was the Truth from God. Humans are fallible and they make mistakes and they have two natures, a selfish material nature and a noble material nature. These individuals that betrayed Jesus and Baha’u’llah chose their selfish nature.
The UHJ clarified that Shoghi Effendi by Bhagavad-Gita was referring to body of Hindu religious scriptures. That only shows Shoghi Effendi was completely ignorant of how Hindu religious scriptures and other secondary texts are structured which means he never studied them. Also the description of Kalki avatar/Tenth Avatar in Hindu texts like Mahabharata does not match that of Bahaullah. The description says the avatar would be named Kalki, be born in a Brahmin family in a place called Shambala. None of that applies to Bahaullah. It again proves, Shoghi Effendi did not read the Mahabharata.
Okay, you obviously know more than I do. And I do not know why Shoghi Effendi wrote what He did but I am not going to allow it to turn me away from the Baha’i Faith. I tend not to get caught up in details. Only if I had proof that Baha’u’llah wrote or did something that was not in keeping with His station would I reject the Faith.
So there you go. Where is the evidence in Bahaullah's writings that he claimed to be the Kalki/Tenth Avatar or Maitreye, the Buddha of universal fellowship. There is no evidence presented by UHJ and they can't because there is none. In addition to that the Bhagavad-Gita does not support Shoghi Effendi's claims about the Kalki/Tenth Avatar. In this case we don't need Bahaullah's writings to demonstrate that Shoghi Effendi's claims are incorrect. We can just look up the Bhagavad-Gita which has no reference to Kalki/Tenth Avatar - a truth acknowledged by UHJ.
So maybe Shoghi Effendi could make mistakes, or maybe not. How accurate do you think the Bhagavad-Gita is? Can you prove everything in it is the Truth from God?

It really all boils down to what people choose to believe. Until people all get on the same page with one Revelation from God superseding the former ones there will never be agreement, unity and harmony in the world. Those of the older religions will continue to contest all the religions that come after them. That made me think of this passage:

“What “oppression” is greater than that which hath been recounted? What “oppression” is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go for it and from whom to seek it? For opinions have sorely differed, and the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied. This “oppression” is the essential feature of every Revelation. Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun of Truth will not be made manifest. For the break of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error. For this reason, in all chronicles and traditions reference hath been made unto these things, namely that iniquity shall cover the surface of the earth and darkness shall envelop mankind. As the traditions referred to are well known, and as the purpose of this servant is to be brief, He will refrain from quoting the text of these traditions.” The Kitab-i-Iqan, pp. 31-32
 

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