Question: In the prophecy of the Trees, it says Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is both Melekh Shubkha and Ania, but another Manichaean document says that Shabala (Sabala) is also the same Bodhisattva. Are Melekh Shubkha, Ania, and Shabala one and the same? And what about Avalokiteshvara (Guan Yin in Chinese) the Call, or Karia? Is this Divinity associated with any other Aeons?
Shabala (Atlas) and Shubkha share the role of Ksitigarbha, so yes, they are the same, but only in the sense of sharing the responsibility of serving as such a Bodhisattva.
Avalokiteshvara is associated with various divine beings and Messengers. The name is used in a multitude of ways, much in the same way, for example, Amitabha Buddha. Amitabha is a name used for both Avalokiteshvara and for Buddha Moni. The name is also used in reference to the Living Spirit and a number of His various manifestations and emanations.
In the celestial realm, there are countless thousands of beings that share the same names. In some cases, some of the celestial beings share these same names because one of them may have been an emanation of another. For example, the celestial being known as Aduz has emanated three additional celestial beings and each of them were given the name of Aduz. In the celestial realm there are literally billions upon billions of examples of this nature. (Aduz is a celestial being associated with the spread of Truth and Justice).
There is also the case where Mir Izgadda and Mar Mani (Buddha Moni, Ajahn Jyoti) often appear and/or speak as one person. Mir Izgadda has appeared before some of the brethren and spoken with them, and only within a matter of minutes he begins to appear as Mar Mani. While they do not share the same names of “Mir Izgadda” and “Mar Mani”, they often share the same physical appearance, and the accent in their voices are very similar. They do, however, as mentioned above, share the same name of “Avalokiteshvara” and “Amitabha.”
It can get very confusing for sure. In the celestial heights, these are identified by another means which humans are unable to accomplish except in the spirit world. The best way I can describe that is with the word “intuition”, or “spiritual intuition,” because under normal circumstances the celestial beings, including the aeons and flying immortals (angels and other spirit beings of a righteous nature), do not have physical bodies and thus are without visage except in cases when they must interact with humans, and then they take physical characteristics. Humans often seem to have a need to see physical things so they can identify objects and to commit them to memory. Other examples of their visage being described is in the various Manichaean texts when a description would be necessary for the reader to gain a better understanding of the individual being’s power, authority or for certain other reasons.
Mar Mani speaks of Shabala (Atlas) in the 23rd chapter of the Karazuta and among other chapters as noted below.
His Brother also, who is near him, is Sabala, the fifth Son of Light, is the stout-hearted Hero, that leading one who stands on the lowest earth and keeps the earths in order.
Patience, the Messenger of the Light who is in embryo of the earth, the Supporter, the great Burden-bearer who treads upon the depth with the soles of his feet, holding up the earths with his hands, lifting up the load of the creations.
The Supporter has authority over this great earth on which he stands and over the four Supports that are at his feet, together with his three glorious Columns, his five holy Vaults, his celestial being and his Angels that are spread over the earth.
In the watch of the Supporter, again, the lower columns were exposed and revolted against their chains; a great earthquake happened in that place.
Tzefat Ziwa said:
His Divine Presence has within Himself many, many others. We often call these others His brothers. His brothers will manifest in the earth for various purposes, but mainly to observe humanity and its progress. Some will manifest within a secular environment to prepare some for judgment or for other purposes.
As for the celestial beings, there are countless billions (countless to humanity’s mental ability), where there are gods, angels, sub-aeons, guardians, messengers, eyes, sons, companions, consorts, and many others. Even for each of these, there are countless ranks and divisions.
If we were to explain these to humans, they would then tend to focus more on those topics than they would on their own liberation and simple service to Il’Ya and His Son Mir Izgadda.
For Further Reading
- Who is Manbed Mentioned in the Holy Book?
- Some Buddhist Rituals and Festivals
- What Happens to the Spirits of Children and Aborted Fetuses when they Die?
- Karuzuta d’Mar Mani, Chapters 5, 8, 23