the expected ones

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Some of thoughts on saviours and other beings expected in the various world traditions.

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The Expected OnesGods Messengers In the previous section, we referred to those Great Sons of God known variously as Avatars, Mediators, Prophets, Messiahs, Saviours and Teachers. In this section, we shall take a closer look these special human beings, with particular emphasis on their expected return, to continue the work their began when they last worked among men, bearing in mind that some cultures, these Avatars are not the old Ones returning in another, more perfect form, but more perfect Beings than the previous Saviours or Teachers, although, in all cases, continuity is emphasised. In Eastern traditions, such sent-downs are called Avatars (Avatara), a name which has unfortunately been distorted almost beyond redress. The name simply means One Who came down from heaven to bring good news and consolation to humanity, help men out of their misery, and set their foot back on the Path to the Fathers House. Heaven as referenced here is really the Heart Centre of our planetary life, for the messenger comes from the ranks of the Hierarchy of the Guides of Humanity, who are characterised and motivated by love: hence the heart symbolism. Thus the Christ, working with/through the Master Jesus, served at a time and in a place where mans spiritual life was at particularly low ebb: under a decadent Roman empire. Muhammad worked in an equally decadent Arabia; where practically everyone had their own god, corresponding to their own whims. The major biblical prophets clearly came at times of crisis, and their warnings either fell into deaf ears, or earned them scorn and even death: we recall Jesus lament over Jerusalem, a city known for killing its prophets and stoning those who were sent to (warn) it. Earlier still, Krishna, who is said to have been an earlier incarnation of our current Christ, came at a time of great corruption, judging from the terrible persecution he had to suffer. In Hinduism and Indian mythology, Krishna is the eighth avatar or reincarnation of the god Vishnu, representing the second aspect of Divinity: in Christian theology, the Son, as the second Person of the Trinity. An even earlier Avatar of Vishnu was Parasu Rama, or Rama with the Axe. The image of an axe-wielding Avatar is also found in Rwanda, where Ruganzu the Saviour King is called Nyirintorezo yinganzamarungu, Wilder of the Giant-Felling Axe. The coming incarnation of Vishnu will be Kalki: the Avatar on a White Horse. The archetypal figure of the White Rider is, as we shall see later, typical of many of the Expected Ones. Rwandas own Saviour King, Ruganzu Mutabazi, is expected to return yet again, under the epithet of Rwaaza-Nzoogera rwa Nzooza ya Ruziga, the Illustrious One, whose name is I shall come again (to close the circle?) The following highly significant words are attributed to Krishna:1

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Whenever there is a withering of the law and an uprising of lawlessness on all sides, then I manifest Myself. For the salvation of the righteous and the destruction of such as do evil, for the firm establishing of the Law, I come to birth age after age. (Bhagavad-Gita, Book IV, Sutra 7, 8). As we shall see below, many other saviours and teachers share similar aims. The Master Djwhal Khul (DK) also writes that Avatars always come at great points of tension: Right down the ages, in many world cycles and in many countries (and today in all) great points of tension have occurred which have been characterized by a hopeful sense of expectancy. Someone is expected and His coming is anticipated. (Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul, Reappearance of the Christ, p. 5) For decades, the reappearance of the Christ, the Avatar, has been anticipated by the faithful in both hemispheresnot only by the Christian faithful, but by those who look for Maitreya and for the Bodhisattva as well as those who expect the Imam Mahdi. (Id. p. 6) As we shall see below, many other peoples expect the return of their own culture heroes and great saviours and teachers of the past. But while some of these are national of even local heroes, the above-named are cross-cultural: the Christ, the Bodhisattva (Buddha) Maitreya, and the Imam Mahdi. These are universal Expected Ones. As we meditate on these Great Ones, we shall also think about the minor ones, for they are minor only to the outside the world: to the culture concerned, they are very importantand rightly so, for they have maintained alive the flame of hope and expectancy among their faithful and followers.

The Expected OnesThe Expected Avatarswill also return in similar crisis points. Given current tensions, Their time may be near:The coming of the Avatar, the advent of a Coming One and, in terms of today, the reappearance of the Christ, are the keynotes of the prevalent expectancy. When the times are ripe, the invocation of the masses is strident enough and the faith of those who know is keen enough, then always He has come and today will be no exception to this ancient rule or to this universal law. For decades, the reappearance of the Christ, the Avatar, has been anticipated by the faithful in both hemispheresnot only by the Christian faithful, but by those who look for Maitreya and for the Bodhisattva as well as those who expect the Imam Mahdi. (Id. p. 6)

Along with the Christ and the Mahdi, other Expected Returnees include Saoshyant in Iran, Quetzalcoatl and Kontiki in Mesoamerica, Ruganzu in Rwanda, the Red Rider among the Bambara, and many others:2

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The doctrine of Mediators, of Messiahs, of Christs and of Avatars can be found running like a golden thread through all the world faiths and Scriptures and, relating these world Scriptures to some central source of emanation, they are found in rich abundance everywhere. Even the human soul is regarded as an intermediary between man and God; Christ is believed by countless millions to act as the divine mediator between humanity and divinity. (id., p. 6)

DK points to the difficulty that some may experience in accepting to consider the Christ as the Teacher of all, not just the Teacher of the Christian churches:The work and the teaching of the Christ will be hard for the Christian world to accept, though easier of assimilation in the East. Nevertheless, some hard blow or some difficult presentation of the truth is badly needed if the Christian world is to be awakened, and if Christian people are to recognize their place within a worldwide divine revelation and see Christ as representing all the faiths and taking His rightful place as World Teacher. He is the World Teacher and not a Christian teacher. He Himself told us that He had other folds and to them He has meant [63] as much as He has meant to the orthodox Christian. They may not call Him Christ, but they have their own name for Him and follow Him as truly and faithfully as their Western brethren. (Reappearance, p.62)

Similar difficulties may arise when Muslims are faced with the fact that the Mahdi will not come only for them, but for all. His work of restoring the true religion and converting the whole world to Islam is to be understood from the perspective that Islam means submission to God, or falling in with Divine Plans. When Suhrawardi, the great exponent of Shia theosophy, Ishraqthe east, the rising sun, the source of light, material and spiritualprayed for the Advent of the Mahdi (Send them a King, a Defender, an Illuminator!), he was praying for all: ...Many are crying in the secret of their sanctuaries, in the Muslim and non-Muslim world. Suhravardi meditated long on the significance of duodecimal (Twelver) Shiism teaching about the XIIth Imam, the Hidden One, as the mystical pole of our world:Il est celui qui dtient le sens sotrique de la Loi rvle par le Ntiq, le prophte dnonciateur de la Loi religieuse, et par consquent le dpositaire de la Religion divine. Cest en ce sens que lImam est appel al-Smit, le Silencieux. Il est aussi le Ple cleste et le Matre intrieur de chacun de ses fidles. Il est enfin la thophanie ternelle, grce quoi les adeptes, les amis de Dieu, contemplent le visage divin. (Henry Corbin, En Islam iranien, Gallimard, 1978, IV)

The great specialist of Suhravardi, Henry Corbin (En Islam iranien, Gallimard, 1978, IV), informs us that Suhravardi, the Shi'a theosophists, the Ishraqiyun ( those who look for the light in the East), had identified the XIIth Imam with both the Christ and the Saoshyant, the Zoroastrian Teacher, who also is expected to return and bring to greater perfection the work He began in earlier cycles.

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Other cultures expect other Great Ones of their past history to return and carry their people to greater heights of civilization and spirituality. According to the best available Teachings all these Holy Ones are in fact members of the same spiritual Hierarchy of the Elders and Guides of humanity, and They work in so united a manner that They can be thought of as One, despite the differences in presentation, which depend on culture and outlook. Such that when the Hierarchy dwells again among men in visible form, each people will recognize their own Holy King, Founder, Saviour, Teacher, Prophet.

The Awaited Messenger of the Manding In his novel, Monn, outrages et dfis (Seuil, 1990), Amadou Kourouma tells the story of Djigui Keita, king of Soba. While both king and kingdom are fictional, the Keitas were a real, historical dynasty which ruled the Mali Empire. The novel cites a traditional prophecy about a messenger who was to bring good news to the people on condition that he is recognized as such and welcomed according to the instructions of the prophets of old. Such prophecies are found in many African culturesand as shown in this paper, in many other cultures as well. As to the Manding of West African, the traditions about their Expected Ones do not appear to be very abundant, except for a Red Rider, who will have to be transformed into a White Rider before he i