By Sheriar Nooreyezdan
New Year celebrations are a universal festival and a medium of spreading goodwill. Nature celebrates New Year, too! The spring equinox – March 21– is the harbinger of a new season of sunshine and warmth, bringing down the curtain on cold winters. Warm sunshine and fresh spring air breathe new life into nature. Trees are garbed with delicate green foliage; dormant plants spring forth and blossom into colourful and fragrant flowers. Hibernating creatures emerge from their burrows to forage for food and birds chirp gleefully welcoming the sun. As nature ushers in a new season of sunshine and warmth, so do Baha’is and Zoroastrians celebrate the spring equinox as their Navroz.
History records that during man’s darkest hours a Krishna, a Buddha, a Zoroaster, Moses, Christ or Muhammad, appeared to lead him out of his gloom and depravity, and instill in him noble and sublime attributes. As long as man has followed the fresh guidance and obeyed divine laws of successive manifestations, he has progressed, and his life has been fruitful. These periods in history have been the summer seasons of unprecedented advancement, enrichment, and the establishment of glorious civilisations. And when man has veered from righteousness, he has brought on the spiritual autumn, followed by the cold lifelessness of winter. These spiritual seasons conform to our Yugs. God’s manifestation ushers in the Sat Yug of flowering faith, followed by declining fervour through Dwapar, Treta and Kali Yugs. Having suffered the woes of Kali Yug, the travails of purgation and cleansing, mankind prayerfully awaits the dawn of Sat Yug. God has not forsaken His creation. The winter season of materialism will assuredly be dispelled by the rising of the promised spiritual Sun of a divine spring. The differently named avatar of all holy scriptures – Kalki, Amitabha, Shahbahram, Messiah, Christ-returned, Qaim – is destined to appear at the preordained time and place.
The Baha’i community believes the promised manifestation has appeared and all scriptural prophecies are fulfilled. Born in Persia, Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, declared his mission in 1863.Today the rapidly globalising world is gradually veering towards Baha’u’llah’s teachings on human rights, gender equality, disarmament, universal peace, and a world government. His followers, from every background of race, religion and nationality, claim they have not converted to the Baha’i faith having abandoned ancestral beliefs. They state they have investigated and recognised in Baha’u’llah the fulfilment of prophecies of their respective scriptures. Is the Baha’i community a semblance of the destined Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam of our sages? Has a New Age dawned in the ‘soular’ system? The affirmative answer is in the holy scriptures.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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