From time immemorial, a vast majority of humans have been in need of guidance. Now, guidance did not come from some alien source but from a few humans who attained mastery over belief, thought and themselves. Since the spirit formed the core of their beliefs, they came to be known as spiritualists. They reformed the society, fought against evil elements within its setup and brought about revolutionary changes inspiring millions with their wisdom and knowledge. So, here’s for you, a list of the top 10 spiritualists of all time.
10. Isaiah (8th century B.C. – 7th century B.C.):
This 8th century B.C. Judean prophet is one of the most influential spiritualists in Judaism as well as Christianity. The Bible has an entire book to his name. Being a strong proponent of God, he disliked the lack of faith people had in the powers of God and preached that the almighty is the creator of the Earth, and he can destroy it at his will. He advocated that for anything humans need, they must turn to God.
9. Confucius (551–479 B.C.):
Confucius, the Chinese philosopher and preacher, is from the time of the Spring Autumn period of the Chinese History (771 to 476 BC). Not a very religious man, his real concern lay in how to improve the day to day lives of people. He strongly advocated family bonds, and emphasized on being true and following a specific code of conduct for the spiritual enlightenment of all beings. It is his teachings that shaped the modern day Chinese beliefs, traditions and religion.
8. Moses (1391–1271 B.C.):
The most important prophet of Judaism, Moses is also revered by various other faiths like Christianity and Islam. He is widely known for relieving the Jews from the brutality of the Pharaoh of Egypt. Moses is believed to have received the Ten Commandments from God himself. Said to be embedded on stone, the Ten Commandments are rules of ethics and worship which every Jewish and Christian must follow.
7. Ayatollah Khomeini (September 22, 1902 – June 3, 1989):
Widely known for leading the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Ayatollah was the spiritual leader who overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and established a theocratic government in Iran. He was adamant about having a strictly Islamic government in the country, and also condemned the Western people for all the atrocities they inflicted on Muslims across the world. For this, he always remained in the good books of Islamic people.
6. Desmond Tutu (October 7, 1931 – date):
Desmond Tutu is best known as the outspoken critic of apartheid. He started his career as a teacher, and later became the first black Archbishop of Cape Town and, later, the Bishop of Johannesburg. He was also honoured with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. Desmond Tutu has always been the voice of the voiceless and contributed much of his efforts to issues ranging from AIDS to racism.
5. Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546):
The German theologian, most famously known as the founder of Protestantism, was also the person who sent shockwaves across the Christian community when started retaliating against the malpractices of the Church and the ill-treatment of the common people. He translated the Bible in German, and became the pioneer of clerical marriages in Christianity, which were previously debarred. He married a nun, Katharina Von Bora, and they had 6 children.
4. Osho (December 11, 1931 – January 19, 1990):
One of the most controversial spiritualists of his times, Rajneesh Chandra Mohan Jain, later revered as Osho, was a traveler and philosopher. He used to travel across India and preach love and meditation. In fact he had devised several meditation techniques and initiated a dynamic change in the way people perceived spirituality and meditation. Osha was a controversial guru who later shifted base to America but returned after getting embroiled in a bioterror attack charge. He revolutionized students where ever he went by delivering highly influencing and out of the box discourses.
3. Pope John Paul II (May 18, 1920 – April 2, 2005):
One of the most widely acclaimed spiritual and religious leaders, Pope John Paul II served as Pope and Sovereign of the state of the Vatican City for 27 years till his death. He is widely acclaimed for the kind of reverence he had for all other religions of the world. His efforts in improving the relations with Judaism, Islam and the Eastern Orthodox Church have always earned him respect from the people as well as other religious leaders.
2. Mother Teresa (August 26, 1910 – September 5, 1997):
A gift to humanity, the more people revere Mother Teresa, the less it is. A Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, she spent her life in the service of the poor and the destitute living in the slums of Kolkata. She also founded the Missionaries of Calcutta in 1969. All her life, Mother Teresa remained a messiah for people who suffered from incurable disease, abandoned by the society and their families, and people who lived in dire poverty. Her selfless compassion, love and true concern for mankind are qualities that are rarely seen in humans. Her beatification by Pope John Paul II following her death gave her the title “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”.
1. Dalai Lama (July 6, 1935 – date):
The Dalai Lama is the religious leader of Tibet and one of the most influential spiritualists in the world. Here we are talking about the 14th Dalai Lama or Tenzin Gyatso. Most often called the “Man of Peace”, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He has always taken a strong stand on various social issues like abortion, non-violence, animal welfare, environment and women’s rights.