The Most Unfulfilled Prophecy Of Them All
In my studies of other religions, I have discovered that the prophcies contained in scriptures of other religions (like Islam and Hinduism) are very deailed and full of specific information. For example, a typical prophecy in a Hindu scripture will state something along the lines of: "God will be born at this time, in such-and-such city, born as the song of Such-and-such, and this is what he will do." In some places such predicitions are limited to a verse or two whereas in other places they contain many details.
Early on in my spiritual quest I became convinced that for a major incarnation of God to appear, he would have to be extensively described in the scriptures. Apparently this was one of the die-hard signs of an avatar, to be predicted. I found out that this idea was shared by Christians too as I learnt when I read the book 'Unexpected Messiah', which dealt with all of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament and explained how they all fit Jesus Christ. It was a very interesting read and it solidified my conviction that prophecy of an avatar was a necessary item in order to prove the authenticity of them, as opposed to fake messiahs and gurus who claim to be incarnations of this, that and the other.
When I first learnt of Sai Baba (the first book I read was 'Holy Man and the Psychiatrist' by Sandweiss), I was amazed at the number of miracles that were reported; nonchalant materialisations, healings, dreams and visions, appearance in faraway places, even reports of ressurecting the dead. It was then obvious to me that if these reports were all true, then these things could not be categorised on the same level as the miracles possesed by blessed saints and that they were God-like in nature. Yet there was still a doubt in me; how could I be sure that this guy was God? Were there any prophecies around about him? Such prophecies would surely prove his authenticity as the great figure that he was being promoted as.
And so it came to be that on a visit to a Sai Centre, I picked up a back issue of a quarterly publication and, sure enough, the very first article was dedicated to prophecies of Sai Baba. And not vague ones either, really detailed ones! As far as I was concerned, I had found the "evidence" that SB was really who he claimed to be and it was at that moment that my faith solidified in him and I continued to worship him as God for the next 10 years or so.
Finding out about the authenticity of such prophecies was doubtless an earth-shattering experience. The relevant passage in Revelations 19 is a debated definition, but is still vague enough not to be considered a specific prophecy. Moreover, it is considered by many Hindus a beneficent occurrence of an 'interfaith' prediction of their own Kalki avatar. The prophecy that I had admired the most was the Islamic one. Much significant research has been made in this direction so I will not bother to recount that here except to say that the versions of the Islamic scriptures as presented in SB literature and the actual text of the relevant Islamic scriptures are extremely different indeed. Paul Holbach has done some excellent documentation in this regard. Whereas the SB-Islamic version fits SB to a tee, the actual Islamic text presents a very different description of their predicted messianic figure, known as the 'Mahdi' in their tradition.
There is much I can write on this subject and I will probably add to it on future occasions, but the important thing to remember is that to proclaim an avatar as 'authentic' one must refer to the scriptures, as they abound with such predictions. The Srimad-Bhagavatam, for instance, predicts the names of the Kings of Lord Rama's family line well into the age of Kali-yuga, which is quite impressive considering that Lord Rama lived in Treta-yuga (two yugas before Kali). The Bhavishya Purana is a well-known 'predictor' scripture as well as some sections of the Padma and Vishnu Puranas.
It turns out that SB's claims to avatarhood have no solid foundation at all. Considering how many avatars and events are predicted in the scriptures, it seems immensely puzzling why SB, supposedly the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, embodiment of every divine principle there is, is nowhere heard of in any scripture. Quaint indeed, but it's yet another sign why SB is not an avatar.
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