Volume 8 - Issue 02
FEBRUARY 2010
Other Articles

MULTI-FAITH QUIZ

ON THE MANY SACRED NAMES OF THE PROPHETS

 

Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

 

Every instance in history when God incarnated Himself in a human form or sent down His messenger was a period of great awakening. Each one of such divine personalities was absolutely unique and multi-faceted – by the power of their sheer presence and the profundity of their message they attracted hundreds and thousands and lead them onto a path of higher peace and happiness. Because of the several magnificent dimensions of their mission and their message, people hailed and described them in many ways, and used these appellations in their songs and music when their worshipped them.

Every name is insightful and powerful, and the story of how each Prophet received these titles too is also inspiring. The current quiz will offer you a glimpse of this aspect of the lives of these divine incarnations.

1. There are more than 200 sacred names of Jesus in the Bible. Some popular ones are:

Light of the World: When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Lamb of God: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

Son of God: The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

Beloved Son: Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art My Beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased." (Luke 3: 21-22)

According to Swami, when had Jesus fully realized that He indeed was the “Son of God”?

After He got baptized
After His parents confirmed His Divinity
After His consciousness rose to the level of the mind
After He started to heal people

 

2. From the standpoint of classical Buddhist doctrine, a Buddha is anyone who rediscovers the Dharma and achieves enlightenment, having amassed sufficient positive karma to do so. There have existed many such beings in the course of cosmic time, but it is commonly used to refer to the historical founder of Buddhism.

Many Buddhists believe that in the early life of Buddha as an ascetic, he was known as Sumedha. Buddha is also sometimes translated as "The Enlightened One." Siddhartha meaning "he who achieves his aim" was the name Buddha was given from His childhood (birth name), up to the moment of enlightenment. He was a prince of the Shakya clan and was also known as “Shakyamuni Buddha” or "The Awakened One of the Shakya Clan."

Buddha is known for referring to himself as the Tathagata instead of using the pronouns me, I or myself. This serves to emphasize by implication that the words are uttered by one who has transcended the human condition, who is beyond the otherwise endless cycle of rebirth, beyond all death and dying, and suffering. In Buddhist thought, such an individual is no longer human.

According to Swami, the name given to Buddha at the time of birth was "Sarvaartha Siddha". Later he was named Gautama Buddha. After who was He named Gautama?

His great grandfather
His stepmother Gautami
The family Sage
It was his father’s wish

 

3. When Lord Mahavira was born, abundant bloom of beautiful flowers was noticed in the kingdom. While addressing the gathering, his father, King Siddhartha declared: "Since the conception of our child nine months ago, we have witnessed every prosperity in the capital, and in our family. We have decided to name the Prince as `Vardhamana' (i.e. the Prosperous One).”

When the sages came to see him, they were duly satisfied and bestowed the name of `Sanmati' (i.e. Good Intellect), and proclaimed a great future for Him. He has also been known by the name of ‘Shramana Ghathaputra’, and mentioned as Nathaputra’ in Buddhist scriptures.

But as Prince Vardhamana entered boyhood, people soon realized that He possessed in great measure the rare qualities like bravery, self-control, fearlessness, helping-nature, courage, etc. In boyhood, once while playing He brought under control a wild serpent. People were tremendously impressed by this rare feat of courage and bravery and from that time began to address Him by the name “Vira” i.e. the Hero and Vira-natha (Lord of Heros). Eventually, `Mahavira' became his popular name.

At the bottom of each Jain idol, a unique symbol is placed to differentiate them, each representing the quality and virtues of the Jina (the enlightened one) and not the physical body. What is the symbol that represents Mahavira?

Lotus
Conch
Eagle
Lion

 

4. The last Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad’s full name was Abu al-Qasim Muhammad Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Abd al-Muttalib Ibn Hashim. Muhammad means, "Highly Praised".

Chanting His sacred name is part of the daily call to prayer; and following the attestation to the oneness of God, the believer proclaims, “Verily, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God” (Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasul Allah). When His name is uttered among Muslims, it is always followed by the phrase salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam (“may God's blessings and peace be upon him”).

Traditionally, 99 names for Prophet Muhammad are commonly used in litanies and prayers. Which amongst these holy names is most often used?

Wali (Friend)
Sadiq (Sincere)
Ahmad (Most Commendable)
Karim (Generous)

 

5. Bahá'u'lláh, who is often referred to Bahá'ís in his writings as "the people of Bahá’, also known as Baha Allah [Glory of God], was originally named Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri. The word 'Mirza' is a title, a bit like 'Mr' in English. It indicates that the person has standing in society; for example, by being learned or an official of government.

As a young man, Bahá'u'lláh became known as "the Father of the Poor" for His extraordinary generosity and regard for the impoverished. It seemed that the trappings of wealth held little importance for Him, even though He had grown up surrounded by them. The things of the spirit were always His main focus in life.

By what appellation is Bahá'u'lláh regognized as by His followers around the world?

Manifestation of God
Mirror of God
The Noblest One
Servant of the Lord

 

6.Guru Nanak, who is the first of the ten Sikh Gurus, was also referred to by many other names and titles such as Baba Nanak or Nanak Shah. The word Nanak is a combination of two Sanskrit terms - 'Na" and 'Anak'. The meaning attached to these words is "Not-but-One". The message conveyed by the Guru's name and the education imparted by Him through the sacred Scriptural verses, usually commence with the words "Ek Onkar". This phrase too means ‘Non-but-One’, or ‘Only One God’.

What led Guru Nanak’s parents to name Him Nanak?

The family astrologer’s found that name as most appropriate to His nature
The parents named Him after his sister’s name Nanaki
It was His grand-father’s last wish
An angel whispered the name in His Mother’s dream

 

7. Zoroaster, the Prophet of Iran, is also known to His followers as Zarathustra, meaning “golden star”. He was also known as a sage and a miracle-worker.

The Persian pronunciation of the name Zoroaster, Zartosht, is composed of two parts “Zard” meaning yellow and “Oshtor” meaning camel, which together means “Owner of the yellow camel”.

Zoroaster was pious, noble and compassionate. His message was the noble message of leading a high moral life, which paves the way for the attainment of immortality and eternal bliss. He was also known as a “moralist” because truthfulness is upheld in his teachings as the highest virtue. He is believed in being the first to reveal the struggle between good and evil, and advocated morality as the essential wheel in the working of things.

Zoroastrians believe that fire is considered a medium through which spiritual insight is gained because the elements in a fire are pure and represents God's light or wisdom. During a Divine Discourse in 1967, Swami reiterated Zoroaster’s teachings: “a mind soaked in desire cannot receive wisdom…dry it in the sun of _________”

Service
Detachment
God’s Grace
Contentment

 

8. According to the Hebrew Bible, Moses was considered not only as the most important prophet in Judaism, but also a religious leader, lawgiver, and to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed. He is also called in Hebrew as “Moshe Rabbenu” meaning, "Moses, our Teacher/Rabbi”.

The Midrash (Jewish Text), identifies Moses as one of seven biblical personalities who were called by various names. Moses' other names were: Jekuthiel (by his mother), Heber (by his father), Jared (by his sister Miriam), Avi Zanoah (by his brother Aaron), and Shemaiah ben Nethanel (by people of Israel).

Then, who named Him Moses?

His Grandfather
His neighbour
The Pharoah’s daughter
His childhood friends

 

9. Shirdi Sai Baba was also known as Sainath. During a Divine Discourse in 1992, Swami shared a lot of details of His previous Incarnation as Shirdi Baba: “No one knows the real truth about Baba. The world knows some facts about His life…when He went to Shirdi, Mhalaspathi (a priest) saw him entering the local temple. Looking at His appearance as a Muslim, Mhalaspathi turned Him out of the temple. The boy went back and sat under a neem tree. He was sixteen years old at that time. No one knew then what His name was. If anyone asked for His name, He would give no answer. He would sometimes retort saying, ‘Why do you want to know My name?’ Because of this, nobody could find out His name.”

According to Swami, Shirdi Baba was given the name “Sai Baba” when He got invited to a wedding of a Chandhubhai Patel's niece. Who gave Him this name?

Chandhubhai Patel
Chandhubhai Patel’s niece
Mhalaspathi
People at the wedding heard a Voice from the sky say “Welcome Sai Baba!”

 

10. Swami once told His brother: "Since you are calling Me as Sathya, I am Sathya. Since you are referring to Me as your brother, I am your brother. Since you call Me as a student, I am a student. By whatever name and form you refer to Me, I assume that name and form. In fact, no one is able to realize the truth. No one has any relationship whatsoever with Me. Call Me by any name, I will answer. If you call Me ‘Sai’, I will answer. If you call Me ‘Baba’, I will respond. By whatever name you call Me, it is the same for Me. All these names are only names ascribed to Me. I have, in fact, come to make you realize this Truth."

Throughout His life, so far, besides most people addressing Him as Swami, our Beloved Bhagavan has been known by many names: 1) Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba 2) Baba 3) Bhagavan Baba 4) Parthi Baba 5) Sathyanarayana Raju 5) Sathya 6) Raju 7)  Sri Sathya Sai 8) Sai Ram 9) Parthi Sai 10) Mother Sai 11) Sai Maa…and more…

Which one of these is His Name given to Him at birth?

Sathya
Sathya Sai
Parthi Sai
Sathyanarayana Raju

Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? Would you like more such quizzes? Please help us in serving you better by writing to [email protected] mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team

 

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