Volume 8 - Issue 01
JANUARY 2010
Other Articles

MULTI-FAITH QUIZ
ON THE
TRAVELS 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

 

Whenever God has descended on earth in His complete glory or sent His messenger, unlike it happens with ordinary mortals, everything is preordained and chosen by the Almighty. For example, the Mother and Father of the Blessed One are selected by the Divine Incarnation. It is the same with the place, time and circumstance of their descent. Their definite mission and designated areas of influence too are also pre-decided. And that is why, we have certain places holier than others as their history is closely intertwined with the life of the Divine One. Each one of these places is unique and the special travels that the Prophets undertook to reach these divine destinations is also extraordinary; every one of these stories have plenty of lessons to teach. It is our attempt in this quiz to share with you these insights that we could derive from these spiritual odysseys of the Divine Masters.

1. The Buddhist Path begins with Faith, then Knowledge, followed by Experience, and finally Wisdom. Buddha reached that last stage after a great deal of traveling.

Having renounced the luxurious life of being Prince Siddhartha, Buddha, after leaving His home, started walking in the southeastern direction from Kapilavastu and came to Vaishali. There, He listened briefly to the teachings but left dissatisfied. Crossing the river Ganges, He once again entered the kingdom of Magadha and came to Rajgir, where he listened to the yogic teachings of saints; again dissatisfied, He left the place, followed by five ascetics.

Along with them, He came to the place now known as Bodhgaya. There, they engaged in long, austere practices. For the first two years, Gautama ate only one grain of rice a day and for the next four years, He ate nothing at all. Despite almost full degeneration of His body, He remained seated in continual meditation. Six years after His initial renunciation, He realized that extreme mortification does not lead to liberation.

According to Swami, finally what realization did Buddha come to after reaching Gaya?

We should remain in only in one place to find enlightenment
The source of bliss is within us
To be enlightened we have to put the teachings to practice
The value of family and relationships

 

2. As Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, grew older, He avoided company and sought seclusion. For days He would sit silent in solitude and spend His time in meditation. He saw the world suffering out of hatred, fanaticism, falsehood and hypocrisy. The world had sunk in wickedness and sin. So He set out for the regeneration of humanity on this earth. For one year He spread His message of peace, compassion, righteousness and truth to the people in and around His home. But then He knew he had to travel far and wide.

According to the Sikh records, Guru Nanak undertook five missionary journeys to the far away places of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Mecca, Baghdad, Assam, Tashkand and many more and visited various centers of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jainis, Sufis, Yogis and Siddhas. He met people of different religions, tribes, cultures and races. He travelled everywhere on foot with his Muslim companion named Bhai Mardana, a minstrel.

Eventually, at His last travel stop in Kartarpur, what was his main teaching?

Singing glories to the Lord is the fastest way to salvation
A true Sikh must always first be charitable
Salvation does not require renunciation from society
All Sikhs should honour their Gurus before starting the day

 

3. Mecca is the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, and the most sacred of the Muslim holy cities. His grandfather named him Muhammad so He would be praised in the heavens and the earth.

Muhammad led a very uneventful life in Mecca, showing no signs of the Prophet in the making that He was suddenly to be. What set Him apart from His compatriots was His absolute truthfulness, trustworthiness and integrity, His sense of justice and compassion for the poor, oppressed and downtrodden.

In his late 30’s, Muhammad took to regularly visiting a cave in Mount Hira, on the outskirts of Mecca, to seek solitude and contemplation. Muhammad reported that while in a trance-like state, the Angel Gabriel appeared to Him and He received His call to become a Prophet. He kept receiving the Word of God through the Angel Gabriel and the divine message was recorded in the Holy Qur'an. During His years of preaching, Muhammad taught that there was only One true God – Allah.

After preaching for a few years in Mecca, why did Prophet Muhammad have to leave and go to Medina?

He was commanded by God
He was attracted by the people in Medina
He got too depressed in Mecca
His relatives in Medina needed him for some spiritual rituals

 

4. Regarding Hinduism, Bhagavan Baba has stated clearly in the Upanishad Vahini: “This religion has no one Founder as the others have. That invisible unknown founder is God, the source of all wisdom. He is the Prophet of this Sanathana Dharma. He is the Founder. His Grace and His Inspiration manifested through the pure Sages and they became the spokesmen of this Dharma. When the moral purity of men degenerates, God takes form as grace and inspiration in sages and teachers.”

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was one such spiritual teacher; to the extent that He was even considered by many as an Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Even though He was illiterate, He achieved worldwide fame by His pursuit of Truth and His realization of the Divine. Just as He loved to travel through the streets of Calcutta and along village roads, He also enjoyed traveling along various religious paths.

He practiced several religions, including Islam and Christianity, and recognized that in spite of the differences, all religions are valid and true and they lead to the same ultimate goal – God.  He once said, "I am the string running through all the pearls (the pearls being the individual religions of the world).”

According to Swami, what was the foremost realization Ramakrishna had regarding His own perception of Divinity, when He was living in Kamarpukur?

God has a thousand arms, face, limbs everywhere
Animals are just as Divine as humans
All Forms of God are products of our illusion
Divinity is inscrutable and unfathomable

 

5. Galilee, which means, "circle" is both the name of the freshwater lake and the region where it is located. For Christianity, the Sea of Galilee is of great importance, as it was the center of much of the activity of Jesus and his disciples. According to the Gospels, Jesus’ earthly ministry centered around the Sea of Galilee. While important events occurred in Jerusalem, the Lord spent most of the three years of His ministry along the shore of this freshwater lake. Here He gave more than half of His parables and here He performed most of His miracles.

"…Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered round Him was so large that He got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge" (Mark 4:1).

During a Divine Discourse delivered on the Christmas Day in 2002, Swami narrated how Jesus met some fishermen here at the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had 12 disciples. According to Baba, what was the key factor that turned these fishermen into staunch disciples of Jesus?

Jesus’ Divine Aura
Their Faith in Jesus
The beautiful parables that Jesus narrated
The compassion and kindness of Jesus towards them and their families

 

6. Mírzá Husayn-'Alí, who later took the title of Bahá'u'lláh ("The Glory of God" in Arabic) was the founder-prophet of the Bahá'í Faith. Even a quick review of Bahá'u'lláh's life shows Him to be remarkable. Born to a noble family in Persia, He might have lived a life of relative ease. He was generally held to be a wise and good man whose charity had earned Him the nickname "Father of the poor."

But Bahá'u'lláh was banished from His native land, the beginning of 40 years of exile and persecution. He was stripped of wealth and property and banished to Baghdád, the first of four banishments He would suffer. From Baghdad he traveled to Constantinople accompanied by a large group including family members and followers. During the trip, He was treated with respect in the towns He visited. In each place to which He was sent, His wisdom and character earned Him the admiration of people from all walks of life, but in each case the authorities, fearful of His influence, sent Him further into exile. Thus He was moved from Baghdád to Constantinople, Adrianople, and finally the prison city of Akká in the Holy Land.

While in exile in Adrianople, what did Bahá'u'lláh mostly do?

He spent his entire time preaching in prison
He did a lot of healing to the sick
He wrote a great deal
He remained silent and didn’t eat or talk to anyone

 

7. Mahavira was the apostle of peace, truth and non-violence. At about 30 years of age, Mahavira renounced the world after duly seeking His parents' permission. In Kundapur, where He lived, He was a prince. He hence left the town in a specially prepared palanquin. But, after He reached Jnatakhanda - a garden outside Kundapur, He got down and bade farewell to all. He sat on the rock, removed His garments, ornaments and even hair. Now the world ceased to belong to Him.

Mahavir traveled to various parts of northern India, teaching and preaching. These parts included Bihar, western Bengal, and western Uttar Pradesh. Mahavir attracted all kinds of people, including kings, queens, rich, poor and both men and women. Spending the next twelve and half years in deep silence and meditation, Mahavir took on the discipline of conquering His desires, feelings, and attachments. During this period, His spiritual powers fully developed and at the end He realized perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. This realization is known as keval-jnana or the perfect enlightenment.

What happened at Pawapuri - the place where Mahavir gave His last sermon after He achieved Nirvana?

People wept non-stop for 13 days
Angels descended that night and showered flowers over the sacred spot
There was a great rush to collect His ashes
A huge cave was dug for devotees to meditate in it

 

8.Most scholars believe that Zoroaster (Zarathustra in Greek) was born in present day Iran.

When Zoroaster was thirty years old, He had a divine vision of God. This vision radically transformed His view of the world, and He tried to teach this view to others. Zoroaster believed in one creator God, teaching that only one God was worthy of worship.

Zoroaster's ideas did not take off quickly at first as peope felt their own faiths, power, and particularly their rituals, were being threatened. After twelve years, Zoroaster left His home to find somewhere more open to new ideas.

In which country did Zoroaster then travel to be able to spread His teachings?

India
China
Persia
Europe

 

9. Moses was an early leader of the Hebrews and probably the most important figure in Judaism. He is described as the only person who ever knew God face-to-face (Deut. 34:10) and mouth-to-mouth (Num. 12:8), which means that God spoke to Moses directly, in plain language, not through visions and dreams. More humble than any other man (Num. 12:3), he enjoyed unique privileges, for "there hath not arisen a Prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the HaShem knew face to face" (Deut. 34:10).

Moses was raised in the court of the Pharaoh in Egypt, but when the new Pharaoh came to the throne, he enslaved the Jews. Their enslavement was harsh. Finally Moses was chosen by the Lord to lead them out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Moses then prepared the Jews to leave Egypt. He made them gather at the city of Raamsees and from there he made them march to Pithom. From Pithom they moved on to the Red Sea with Moses as their leader.

According to the Hebrew ‘Book of Exodus’, how did their Lord help Moses to make the Jews cross the Red Sea?

The Lord asked Moses to stand in the middle and the Sea parted
The Lord blew the winds and thus drove the Sea back
With the wave of a wand Moses built a bridge
The Lord made the waters shallow enough for the Jews to cross over

 

10. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 2006, Swami shared His experiences of His 1968 trip to Africa – His only overseas trip. “Some years ago, when I went on a tour to East Africa, several Africans came to Me for Darshan. Each one of them prayed, ‘Swami! Please spend some time with us.’ There were a few hundred children among them. All of them had their vision glued to My Form.

“I stayed in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The last day was Guru Purnima, an important occasion for Sai devotees. I had earlier promised to return to Bombay by that date. But, the Africans did not allow Me. They fell at My feet and prayed: ‘Bhagavan! Please spend this holy day with us’, with tears in their eyes. In answer to their prayers I stayed back to spend Guru Purnima with them. On that day, they wished to take photos with Me. I told them that they might silently pray in their hearts so that their request would be fulfilled. To their joy, each one of them found a photo with Swami standing beside them.”

During this historic trip to East Africa, when Swami filled the hearts of thousands in joy, He visited principally three countries. What were they? 

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria
Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya
Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia

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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