(To be read at the Service of Universal Worship)
Religious Gatheka Number 10
The Prophet is the manifestation of the same spirit who can rightfully be called Alpha and Omega in its fullest expression, although the spirit of Alpha and Omega is in all beings, in a loving mother, in a kind father, in an innocent child, in a helpful friend, in an inspiring teacher. The Prophet is a mystic and greater than a mystic; the Prophet is a philosopher and greater than a philosopher; the prophet is a poet and greater than a poet, the Prophet is a teacher and greater than a teacher, the Prophet is a seer and greater than a seer. Why greater? Because he has a duty to perform, together with the blessing that he brings upon earth.
In the terms of the Eastern people the prophet is termed Paghambar. There are also two other names, Nabi and Rasul; and although each of these names is expressive of the prophet, yet each name is significant of a certain attribute of the prophet, also each of those words denotes a certain degree of his evolution. Paghambar verbally means the message bearer, and this word is used for the Holy Ones who from time to time brought a divine message to a certain community, nation or race, whenever there was need of wakening a certain people.
The Paghambar has worked as an alarm to warn people of the coming dangers; the Paghambar has brought reforms to improve the condition of his people. Nabi is the prophet who is not only for a certain section of humanity. Although he may live and move only in a limited region of the world, yet what he brings has its bearing upon the whole humanity. It may not be fulfilled in his lifetime, but a day of the fulfillment comes some time, even if it be in some centuries that all he brought reaches the whole humanity. Rasul is a term which denotes a degree advanced, where the prophet has not only brought a message to the world, but fulfilled his task during his lifetime, through all tests and trials that a prophet is meant to meet in life.
The prophet is an interpreter of the divine law in human tongue. He is an ambassador of the spiritual hierarchy, for he represents to humanity the illuminated souls who are known and unknown to the world, who are hidden and manifest, who are in the world or on the other side of the world. The prophet is an initiate, and initiator, for he is an answer to the cry of humanity of individuals and of the collectivity, the one who sympathizes with those in pain, guides those in darkness, harmonizes those who are in conflict and brings peace to the world, which always when excited with its activity of centuries loses its equilibrium.
The prophet can never tell the ultimate truth, which only his soul knows and no words can explain. His mission is therefore to design and paint and make the picture of the truth in words that may be intelligible to mankind. The bare truth not every man can see. If he can see he needs no more teaching. The prophet, so to speak, listens to the words of God in the language of God, and he interprets the same words in the human tongue. He speaks to every man in his own language, he converses with every man, standing on his own plane. Therefore he has little chance to disagree, unless there were someone who wanted disagreement and nothing else; there he cannot help.
Besides the words which even an intellectual person can speak, the prophet brings the love and the light which is the food of every soul. The very presence of the prophet may make a person see things differently, and yet he may not know that it was because of the prophet. He may only think that that which was not clear to him, or for a moment seemed different to him is now right and clear. For the prophet is a living light, a light which is greater in power than the sun, for the light of the sun can only make things clear to the eyes, but the light that the prophet brings to the world makes the heart see all that the eyes are not capable of seeing. The prophet brings love, the love of God, the Father and Mother of the whole humanity, a love that is life itself. No words nor actions can express that love. The presence of the prophet, his very being, speaks of it, if only the heart had ears to listen. Verily, to the believer all is right, and to the unbeliever all is wrong.
The principal work of the prophet is to glorify the Name of God and to raise humanity from the denseness of the earth, to open the doors of the human heart to the divine beauty which is everywhere manifested and to illuminate souls which are groping in darkness for years. The prophet brings the message of the day, a reform for that particular period in which he is born. A claim of a prophet is nothing to the real prophet. The being of the prophet, the work of the prophet, and the fulfillment of his task is itself the proof of prophethood.