Chapter II-3 The Distinctive Claims of Ahmad - The Incarnation of Krisna

On November 1st, 1904, in an address at Sialkot, Ahmad made the first public announcement of his being the burooz (spiritual manifestation), or, in the Hindu language, the avatar (incarnation), of Krisna, as well as, in some sense, of Muhammad and Christ, although he then claimed that he had been addressed as Krisna in one of his earlier revelations :

"He has told me, not on one occasion but repeatedly, that so I am Krisna for the Hindus and the Promised Messiah for the Muhammadans and the Christians. I know that ignorant Muhammadans will at once exclaim, upon hearing this, that I have become a plain unbeliever and heretic on account of my having adopted the name of an unbeliever, as they think the Holy Krisna to be, but this is a revelation from God which I cannot but announce, and this is the first day that I announce this claim in such a large gathering, for those who come from God do not fear being blamed or reviled. Now Raja Krisna was revealed to me as so great and perfect a man that his equal is not to be found among the Hindu Risliis1 and avatars. . . . I love Krisna, for I appear as his image. . . . Spiritually, Krisna and the Promised Messiah are one and the same person, there being no difference except that which exists in the terminology of the two people, Hindu and Muhammadan " (Review of Religions, III, p. 411).

In the revelation Ahmad was thus addressed: "It is not good to oppose the 'Brahman Avatar'" (Review of Religions, III, p. 411).

Hitherto Ahmad, as the Promised Messiah, standing outside of the Hindu fold, had had much to say about Hindu weaknesses and faults. Now he occupied a new platform and spoke with a new voice. In the address from which I have quoted he reiterated many of his old objections to the Arya Samaj, but he now prefixed to them the words: " As Krisna I now warn the Aryas of some of their errors." There is no evidence to show that Hindus and Aryas looked with any more favour upon Ahmad after his unique pronouncement than before, but certainly his anticipations were realized in a further deepening of the animosity with which orthodox Islam regarded this sot disant champion of their faith.

Since Ahmad's death one of his followers at Qadian has had printed on the letterhead of his correspondence paper the following legend, which adds further claims not hitherto enunciated, and makes it clear that present-day followers of Ahmad believe that every prophecy of any religion that anticipates the coming upon earth of a great spiritual leader has been fulfilled in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. This reads as follows :

"Praised be Allah, the Almighty, the Gracious, the Merciful, one worshipable God, Sustainer of all; who through his kindness raised a prophet in these days like unto the prophets of old days, viz., ' AHMAD,' the Promised Messiah, the Muhammadan Mehdi, the Krisna, the latter day Reformer of Parsees, the Hope of all the nations of the day— Champion of Islam, Reformer of Christianity, Avatar of Hinduism, Buddha of East — blessed are they who believe in him, and take shelter under his peaceful banner, now held by his second successor, the promised son, His Hazrat 'Mahmud,' to whom all correspondence should be addressed on the subjects of : Existence and Unity of God, the divine message of the greatest of the Prophets, 'Muhammad' (on whom be peace and blessings), truth of Islam, Jesus' Tomb in Kashmir, Second Advent of the Messiah at Qadian, Ahmadiya Movement, etc."

1 Cf. p. 105, Note l.