December 21, 2012: End of the World or the End of the Beginning

December 21, 2012: End of the World or the End of the Beginning


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 preBahram Nadimicisely 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.[4]”

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[1]”

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.[2]”

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[3]” 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.


[1] Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 234

[2]Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 36

[3] Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 250

[4]Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 29


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6 thoughts on “December 21, 2012: End of the World or the End of the Beginning

  1. Hahaha, the mayans never predicted the end of the world. They predicted a change of era. In 21/12/2012 the long count of the calendar ended the baktun count, a measure of 400 years. This was the 13th baktun (oxlajuj baktun in the original) and it was an important date for the mayans because 13 is a holy and sacred number to them. I went to their rituals yesterday and thursday. Very good. They were calling for unity of humanity and to care for Mother Nature. They thanked the ajaw (heart of heaven), the nahual, their ancestors and gods. It was something very beautiful to watch and very interesting too. It’s also funny how the priest scoffed at the notion the world was about to end. It’s not about that. It’s just as call for humanity to love and peace and to care about nature and the living beings that surround it.

  2. A very important topic Bahram dear and a perfect timing of it too, where all were waiting for the world to end according to certain expectations and I think the movie (2012) emphasized on those ideas too…I wonder if you see it??
    Bahais and mature humans should look at it at as the beginning of a new turning point for all humanity with the injustice that is taking place in all life’s aspects (economic, gender, social..etc).
    Its time to start to think practically how can we practice the world citizenship? how can we participate in making the world peace that all religions promised us with? how can we adapt living with each others on this planet even if we are different in race, language, color and ethnicity? how can we live the concept of leaves of one humanitarian tree?
    I think its time to stop for a minute to evaluate our behaviors ad look at its results of war, injustice, killings…etc, and so to start to change and try the other types of behaviors such as care, love, acceptance, fair and equality in rights?
    Really thank you for choosing such a vital topic 🙂

  3. Until recently I shared the idea that the whole Mayan Apocalypse was a fevered overreaction to the idea that the Mayan calendar was just “rolling over” like an odometer. Time to just note it and go on about our business. Then I came across a reference in a Scientific American article debunking the whole Mayan Apocalypse thing, and it mentioned that the Mayans predicted that at the end of this cycle, a God named Bolon Yockte would descend. I was intrigued by the fact that the name translated as “God of Nine Feet,” so I looked a little harder and found this web site, a summary of a book by Geoff Stray:

    Here is a snippet:

    “The first question this prompts is, “Who is Bolon-Yokte?” [5] Bolon Yokte is the God of Nine Strides, (or the God of Numerous Strides, since Bolon, which means “nine” is often used as “many”). Sometimes referred to as B’olon Yookte’ K’u, or B’olon Okte’ K’uh, where K’uh means deity, he has also been called Ah Bolon Yocte of Nine Paths in the post-conquest books of Chilam Balam. The god has an association with the underworld, conflict and war, [6] dangerous transition times, social unrest, eclipses and natural disasters like Earthquakes. He appears at the end of baktuns, assisted at the Creation of the current world and will be present at the next Creation in 2012. Other translations of the name are God of Nine Steps; the Nine-Footed God; and Jaguar-Foot-Tree, because the word bolon or balan (nine) was used by the Maya as a pun for balam (jaguar). The god was seen alternatively as nine individuals or as a collective god.”

    OK, now I was really interested. This could be an description of Baha’u’llah. They also prophesied three days of darkness, which may refer to the three great calamities that Baha’u’llah predicted. They prophesied that after the descent will come a Golden Age in which all men are brothers.

    There’s more. The Mayans prophesied many things that have come true:

    “There are also said to be nine prophecies that will be fulfilled before the Day of Purification that precedes the Emergence. These are the coming of the white man; covered wagons; longhorn cattle; railroad tracks; power lines & telephone lines; concrete roads; oil spills; the coming of the hippies; the Blue Star kachina. Only the last of these nine remains to be fulfilled. When a blue star is seen in the sky, and the Blue Star kachina dancer removes his mask in the plaza, then the Hopi ceremonies will cease. Though some have said this was Comet Holmes, the fact is that the Hopi ceremonies were still continuing after Comet Holmes came and went (according to eye-witness report of a personal friend).”

    I’m wondering if the creation of Israel, with its blue Star of David waving in the sky, (or its Sky-Blue Star of David) may fulfill the prophecy of the Blue Star kachina.

    1. Cool stuff, Reed. Coming to the Baha’i Faith from a Christian background in which there were a plethora of prophecies relating to the return of Christ or the coming of “another Counselor”, I was intrigued to find similar prophecies in a wide variety of sacred texts, including Native American, Aztec, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.

      This is really nifty.

  4. Hi Randa

    Thanks for your comments. The world is crying for unity and the problems and pain will multiply and intensify until we give unity a chance

    Hi Reed

    I have always been interested in Native American/Mayan prophecies and I will look through your link. Thanks

    Alejandro: you nailed it, it is all about the new age, a new civilization that is based on love as its foundation

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