“Christ at the Second Advent, who is to come as the center of Christianity, is the person of the Maitreya Buddha who is to return according to the teachings of Buddhism, the True Man who is awaited in the Chinese religious tradition, and the Chongdoryong for whom many Koreans yearn. He is the central figure whose advent is expected in other religions as well.” (Exposition of Divine Principle, Part I, Chapter 5: Resurrection, Section 3: The Unification of Religions)
This passage is familiar to all Unificationists, and it is our understanding Sun Myung Moon is the fulfillment not only of the Second Coming of Christ but, together with his wife, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, fulfills the ultimate role of the True Parents of humankind. Thus, we easily recognize the Mahdi in this role of the awaited returning central figure in Islam whom we can see fulfilled in the True Parents.
But what about Hinduism? If there is no corresponding central figure in Hinduism, with a billion adherents, how will all religions come together under one God, one True Parents?
I knew little of Hinduism until recently, finding the many gods, some with the heads of animals or many arms, rather unattractive. On the other hand, the greeting “namaste,” which a colleague at an interfaith gathering explained means “I bow to the divine in you,” has a deep spirituality that impressed me and evoked my respect.
When I reflected on it, I knew there must be common ground with the other religions, and this must include the expectation of a messianic figure to come, soon.
It was through working with Ginger Nicholls (UTS Class of 1986) on her memoir, The Kalki Avatar – Tears for Nepal, that I came to know who this figure is. I had never heard of the Kalki Avatar, the 10th incarnation of Vishnu. It turns out he is not strange at all. Riding a white horse named Devadatta and carrying a sword, he comes to vanquish evil and usher in the Golden Age of purity. Truly, he is a messianic figure, akin to the Second Coming of Christ.
A depiction of the Kalki Avatar by Yuichi Tanabe.
Ginger’s book does far more than merely document the growth of the Unification Movement in Nepal since 1997. It is a memoir written by a missionary who, together with her husband, sacrificed and shed tears for the nation of Nepal, giving her heart and soul for 15 years.
Throughout her narrative, Ginger identifies parallel scriptures from Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Unificationist teachings emphasizing the value of spiritual growth based on purity and fidelity. This leads to her final parallel of the Kalki Avatar in Hinduism with the Second Coming of Christ and the True Parents of humankind, whose role is to usher in the age of One Family Under God, with the power of true love through the international marriage blessing ceremonies.
The following excerpts from Ginger’s book, reflecting her love for Nepal as well as drawing parallels between the Kalki Avatar and returning central figures in other religions and True Parents, are taken from “Chapter 18: Division Leading to Victory”:
There are many speeches in which Father Moon refers to the people of the Himalayas and Mt. Everest as a place of spiritual purity and closeness to Heaven. There is a song that Unificationists have been singing since the early days of the Unification Movement in Korea in the l950s, entitled “Unite Into One,” that seems to suggest Nepal’s destiny as one of the first nations to become a nation of Cheon Il Guk. The second verse contains the words, “Raise the white cross on our banner, high upon Mt. Everest it waves; … Come ye people all around the world, lets unite into one.”
In May of 2009, three young men, a Sherpa and a Tamang, who traditionally are involved with expeditions to Mt. Everest, and one from Chetri caste, Gokul Thapa, who was a Blessed member of the Unification Movement, climbed to the top of Mt. Everest. Their purpose was for national unity and they intended to place a photo of the True Parents at the top, inside a glass Buddhist pagoda. We were truly amazed listening to Gokul describe his ordeal. Despite having no previous experience climbing, he accepted the challenge as a mission from God. Along the way he had near death experiences due to lack of oxygen and being temporarily blinded by the sun’s light; however, he was the first of the group to make it to the top, carrying a special white banner. They placed a photo of True Parents, and took a photo of Gokul Thapa holding the white banner they had carried with them (see front cover photo).
The banner had special significance as a symbol of peace and unity because it had been signed by the then prime minister of Nepal, leaders of all political parties within Nepal, representatives of all religions in Nepal, as well as Father Moon and two of his sons, and Unification leaders from all districts of Korea.
In the Bible, we read prophecy of the returning Christ or Messiah:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war…And out of his mouth came a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron. Revelations 19: 11-16
In Hinduism, we read about the Age of Kaliut and the Kalki Avatar, who comes at the end time to usher in a new age of purity: Riding a white horse with wings, known as Devadatta (God-given). Symbolizing purity and swiftness. Kalki is brandishing a sword in his hand intent on eradicating the corrupt destitution and evil of Kali Yuga. Bhagavata Purana 12.2.19-20
He will establish moral law… [and] people will return to the path of righteousness. Then the Age of Purity and the Age of Truth will return as before. Agni Purana 16.7-10
He will re-establish righteousness upon earth, and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as clear as crystal. Vishnu Purana, Book Four, Chapter 24
The Avatar will not propagate any existing religion but will usher in the true path of spirituality. Has power to change the course of time (history) in the favor of the good… (and) the power to change the destiny of the world. Kalki Purana
The men who are thus changed by his virtue shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who will follow the laws of the Age of Purity or Age of Truth (Satya Yuga).” Vishnu Purana, Book Four, Chapter 24
In parallel, the Unification teaching explains the purpose of the coming of Christ is to engraft all human beings to the “true olive tree” which is the lineage of the True Parents, who come to fulfill the role of the Messiah, the Mahdi (in Islam), the Buddha, the “enlightened one” and the Kalki Avatar in the last days. To fulfill the role of True Parents, a true man and true woman must exemplify what it means to be a true son and daughter of God, true brother/sister, true husband and wife, and true father and mother. By their virtue, and following their path, men and women are thus changed to become new seeds in preparation to receive the gift of the “inheritance of true love” through the holy marriage Blessing.
In order for families to inherit the true love of God and become part of God’s true lineage, they participate in the marriage Blessing ceremony that is being held worldwide under the authority of the True Parents. The significance of this ceremony is to remove the root of original sin that humankind inherited from the misuse of sexual love committed by the first ancestors — Adam and Eve. Millions of couples throughout the world have participated in this Blessing ceremony and opportunity to participate continues for those who “have ears to hear and eyes to see.”
Ginger Nicolls with husband, John, back home in England.
In this way, the Hindu prophecy of the men and women of a new seed, giving birth to a race of people who will follow the laws of the Age of Purity is being fulfilled. A second, third and even fourth generation of children have already been born throughout the world from parents who have received the inheritance of true love through the marriage Blessing from the True Parents. Despite the temptations of a secular world devoid of moral values, many of these children are striving to live according to the laws of the Age of Purity or Age of Truth. Such laws advocate “absolute sex” at the center, that is, abstinence and purity of mind, body and heart before marriage and absolute fidelity within marriage between one man and one woman. Where there is absolute true love between a husband and wife, each living for the sake of the other, in their intimacy, God dwells and participates in their union.
From such couples, children are born to realize and experience the love of God through their parents and within their family. Such families strive to exist for the sake of their communities, such communities exist for the sake of the nation and such a nation lives for the sake of the world, and not only for its own sovereignty. Such a nation is called a nation of Cheon Il Guk. When one nation establishes such a foundation, the rest of the world can more quickly follow and a world of One Family under God can be realized.
Nepal is called to realize such a foundation of Cheon Il Guk. The natural beauty and spirituality of its people and culture are prepared to respond to such a calling. However, it cannot happen without unity of its people, unity with a leader approved by Heaven, and the willingness to sacrifice for the higher goal. As foreigners, my husband and I were blessed to serve the nation of Nepal. Though we shed many unforgettable tears along our course, unable even to let go of our mission when we were forced out of the country, we continue to love and pray for Nepal’s victory to realize peace and prosperity not only for Nepal, but to create a ripple effect that can extend to the world.
Ginger’s text reminds me there are universals found in all religions, truths that resonate with us all. This brought home to me how we really are one human family, albeit a large and diverse one, and that the dream of a peaceful world is surely possible.♦
Dr. Jennifer P. Tanabe earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Edinburgh. She has served on the faculty and in various administrative capacities at UTS, and is the author of The Ideal Family To Be or Not To Be: Testimonies of a Life Of Faith – A Biography of David S. C. Kim, and Contemplating Unification Thought.