If you are able to donate $100 or more for our Annual Fund Drive, your donation will be matched by another generous CounterPuncher! These are tough times. Regardless of the political rhetoric bantered about the airwaves, the recession hasn’t ended for most of us. We know that money is tight for many of you. But we also know that tens of thousands of daily readers of CounterPunch depend on us to slice through the smokescreen and tell it like is. Please, donate if you can!
A friend’s five year old daughter recently asked him to ‘turn off the radio news’ because its ‘always so miserable’ – is anyone else sick and tired of reading and hearing continuously disturbing, depressing news items? I know I am. The corporate worldwide media peddles a relentlessly bleak vision of life and world affairs, and acting in partnership with governments of all shades, seems determined to keep us all in a condition of perpetual anxiety and insecurity. However, there is much to cheer and feel positive about in this beautiful world of ours; allow me to share one of the more extraordinary, albeit controversial stories that the mainstream media largely ignores. It is a message of hope, and if true there may just be the chance, that “all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” As the 13th century Christian mystic Dame Julian of Norwich famously said.
Over the past thirty years or so British artist and writer Benjamin Crème travelled the globe telling anyone who would listen that Maitreya, the World Teacher, the ‘Coming One’ for this time, is in the world and is gradually, patiently emerging into public view. Crème’s work “has been to make the initial approach to the public, to help create a climate of hope and expectancy. And to this end he has given hundreds of media interviews, constantly lectured and written an impressive array of books, as well as editing Share International Magazine since its inception.
The idea of a teacher coming forth to share his wisdom and vision of life with humanity at times of crisis and upheaval is of course not new. In the Bhagavad Gita (Book iv, sutra 7 & 8) – the cornerstone of Hinduism – Krishna tells His disciple Arjuna, that “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.” Looking around this world of ours there would certainly appear to be an “uprising of lawlessness on all sides,” and the implementation of man-made laws, (never mind the adherence to Laws from a ‘higher source’), is definitely withering!
Krishna is One great teacher amongst many who have graced us with their presence over the centuries: Mohammad, Christ, the Buddha, Sankaracharya, Vyasa, Mithra, Rama are some of the other major historical figures. They have shared their knowledge and given out the teachings that inspire and guide millions of people around the world.
The Time is Right
The appearance of a divine teacher in our IT, scientifically-oriented world sounds fantastical to many who will no doubt dismiss even the possibility; but it is a promise held close by all the world’s religions and hoped for by millions of believers. Christians of course look for the second coming of Christ, Buddhists are expecting a new Buddha, called Maitreya Buddha, Hindus await the return of Krishna, Muslims, the Imam Mardi and Jews are still hoping for the Messiah. Esoteric literature makes clear, and many believe, that these are but different names for one and the same individual: the World Teacher, whose personal name is Maitreya. He was foretold to come at this time by the previous Buddha, Gautama Buddha, who is reported to have said (2,600 years ago) that, “at the beginning of this cycle there would come into the world another great teacher, a Buddha like himself, by name Maitreya”…. who “would inspire humanity to create a brilliant golden civilization based, as he put it, on Righteousness and Truth.” Two qualities that most would agree are sorely missing in this world, particularly in the world of politics and economics – imagine corporations, bankers and politicians speaking the truth and acting with righteousness!
Maitreya, Crème explains, is the head of a large group of perfected, ‘Self-Realised’ individuals, an idea found in a range of esoteric texts. They are collectively known under various names: the Great White Brotherhood, the Society of Illumined Minds, the Elder Brothers of Humanity, the Teachers, the Guides, the Mahatmas, the Masters of Wisdom and the Lords of Compassion. It is from this group of spiritual giants (who we are told, have lived for millennia in the mountains and deserts of the world) according to various sources that the teacher has cyclically emerged down the ages. We are living at the beginning of a new cosmic cycle or age: the ‘Age of Aquarius’. It is at just such an auspicious time that a guide would be expected to come forth, and is indeed hoped for by millions of people – religiously inclined and not.
Crème points to a wide range of signs, which he says Maitreya and His group is responsible for, to substantiate his claim. From the worldwide appearance of multi-coloured moving ‘stars’; to mysterious patterns of light, which for decades have adorned seemingly random buildings in Europe and America; hundreds of weeping statues of deities (mainly Jesus and the Madonna); the extraordinary Hindu ‘Milk Miracle’, which has occurred three times since 1995; the flowing of ‘healing water’ in Tlacote Mexico (since May 1991) and elsewhere – and many more baffling phenomena.
As well as these unexplained ‘miracles’ invoked as signs of Maitreya’s presence, there is a raft of more down -to-earth events, which suggest we are living in unprecedented times of change – much needed, with the inevitable uncertainty.
In amongst the outward turmoil there is evidence of a shift in thinking, small and subtle, but potent and real, taking place amongst large numbers; sharing, social responsibility and ideas of collective action, cooperation and unity are its hallmark. The worldwide protest movement, that has seen huge numbers take to the streets demanding freedom, justice, an end to government corruption and ideological interventions, bears witness to such a change. Against this progressive development religious extremism has swept across the Middle East and large parts of Africa, and the neo-conservative reactionary forces throughout the world close ranks, resist change and seek to do all they can to maintain the divisive unjust status quo.
Perhaps there is a connection between Maitreya’s promised emergence and these various global happenings.
The story is an extraordinary message of hope – something which is in very short supply. At the very least it demands our attention and open-minded enquiry; if true and it is somehow compelling, it will be seen to be of unprecedented importance.