The end of the Mayan calendar has now come and gone, and to the relief of many, we did not have the much anticipated apocalypse on Earth on December 21. So what happened? Were the Mayans mistaken? Or did we misinterpret the significance of this date?
The last time the world was supposed to end was on October 21, 2011 when an American radio host came up with a date for the apocalypse through a series of calculations that were based on the Jewish feast days and the lunar month calendar. He also predicted that at precisely 6:00 p.m. on May 21, 2011, God’s elect people would rise to heaven in an event he called the “Rapture”, leaving the rest of humanity behind. Some quit their jobs, and sold their homes in anticipation of the coming of the end. We had more significant predictions in the middle of the 19th century, such as William Miller who predicted on the basis of Daniel 8:14–16 and the “day-year principle” that Jesus Christ would return to Earth between the spring of 1843 and the spring of 1844. There were similar predictions in the Middle East and Far East around that time as well [The Baha’i faith started in spring of 1844].
Regarding the Mayan apocalypse, about 1 out of 8 Americans and about 1 out of 5 Chinese believed the notion that end of the world would occur on Dec 21st of this year. What amazes me about this statistic is the fact that this localized doomsday prophecy of the Mayans has now become a global phenomenon. It seems that there is a global sense that we have gone astray, and the end of the world is a fitting punishment for our selfishness, greed, excesses and sins. There is a growing consensus we have not done anything on climate change, and have not tackled the deteriorating environment, or the widespread economic, financial and social instability thus angering the Gods.
We also had the millennium scare, the end of the world prediction of year 2000 and the Y2K technological apocalypse.
The Baha’i Point of View
The Baha’is believe that we are indeed living in the ‘end’ times, the end times being the end of the prophetic cycle and the start of a glorious cycle of fulfillment, prophesized in all the world scriptures in one way or another. This age is an age of transition towards a global society, made possible by the explosion of technology and commerce. The fact that war, poverty and economic and social disorder are rife, are just the symptoms of a chauvinistic society failing to recognize the oneness of the human race. Baha’u’llah the prophet founder of the Baha’i faith has elaborated on this new and wonderful age:
“This is the Day whereon naught can be seen except the splendors of the Light that shineth from the face of Thy Lord, the Gracious, the Most Bountiful. Verily, We have caused every soul to expire by virtue of Our irresistible and all-subduing sovereignty. We have, then, called into being a new creation, as a token of Our grace unto men. I am, verily, the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days.“
More specifically, Abdu’l-Baha, the Son of Baha’u’llah designated the unforgettable twentieth century as the century of light. Here is a quote of him:
“Let this century be the sun of previous centuries the effulgences of which shall last forever, so that in times to come they shall glorify the twentieth century, saying the twentieth century was the century of lights, the twentieth century was the century of life, the twentieth century was the century of international peace, the twentieth century was the century of divine bestowals and the twentieth century has left traces which shall last forever”
To the Baha’is the 20th century was a turning point, a tipping point for world consciousness, that sigalled the dawn of world solidarity and unity. He also stated:
“In this wondrous Revelation, this glorious century, the foundation of the Faith of God and the distinguishing feature of His Law is the consciousness of the Oneness of Mankind.“
One important reason for the failed attempt of creating a new world order by Woodrow Wilson about 100 years ago was the fact that this concept of “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens” was not firmly rooted in the world at that time.
So here we have it, we did not have the end of the world at year 2000 or December 2012, but we reached a new level of understanding that we are all members of one family, and live in an interconnected world and one planet, as evidenced by the world-wide interest for the Mayan prophecies. This intangible yet important milestone, in the years to come will accelerate and validate any attempt at world order, leading to world unity and the much anticipated glorious world civilization prophesized by all the religions of the world.
 Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 234
Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u'llah, p. 36
 Baha’u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u'llah, p. 250
Baha’u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u'llah, p. 29