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God commanded some Hebrews to be prophets and spread His words to the people. One of them is Isaiah who saw the tragedy in Judah and the coming of Jesus Christ. While prophets are gone, there are now 4 to 5 million holy men in India. Both prophets and sadhus are respected, except some quarters question sadhus’ role in the society.God calls prophets. Sadhus either inherited the position or decided to live a holy life devoid of worldly things except for cannabis. While some prophets warn people, sadhus, bring cure to the sick, drive away evils and bless marriages. The lives and works of the prophets are curved in the pages of the Bible while sadhus still wanders from one holy place to another. The sadhus strive for enlightenment – the meaning and purpose of their being.Prophets are gone nowadays. And the holy men of India may start to dwindle, but the words of God stand forever. Somehow somewhere God will use men as messengers of His words.Prophets are referred to as speakers of God. And God commanded the Hebrew prophets to spread His words to the people of Israel (Robinson 2000). “In his mouth will be my words and he will declare to them all that I ask him” (Deuteronomy 18:18 Old Testament). Thus the Hebrew prophets were commanded to preach people about His words, ask them to repent and go back to the true faith. The prophets also have the ability to foresee coming events (Robinson 2000).There were hundreds of prophets, some of their prophecies were recorded in the bible and many were not. One of the greatest prophets is Isaiah who preached in the court of Jerusalem. He saw the tragedy in the Southern Kingdom of Judah that he attributed to the grave sins of the people. The book of Isaiah covers a wide scope such as the destiny of other nations, the extraordinary role portrayed by Jerusalem, the great faith shown by Israel that it relied solely on God instead of depending on other countries, the adoption of righteousness and the rule of law. His most important prophecy is the arrival of the “servant of the Lord”, who Isaiah refers to as Jesus Christ. This event would deliver great peace and joy to Israel (Robinson 2000). “No more violence shall prevail in your country nor devastation within your boundaries; no more will the sun provides you with daylight nor moon shines at night, but Yahweh shall become your light for eternity; your sun will set no more nor your moon fades away, and your days of mourning will be forgotten” (Isaiah 60 Old Testament) Isaiah’s prophecy also contains future events that will happen on Christ’s second coming (Robinson 2000).The present day Israel is a country ravaged by war. It still carries the protection promised to them by the Lord. Although wars are fought in its borders from time to time, Israel has never lost a battle. But long and lasting peace, at this nation, seems to continue to be elusive.On the other hands, India’s Holy Men still baffle the mind of the westerners. Even in their own country, the role of these Holy Men is often misunderstood, although they are respected (Kamat and Kamat 2006). Holiness still prevails in India. However, their concept of holiness is not similar to the western world in the sense that being holy for them sometimes does not necessarily mean being “good”. Hinduism is associated with its long tradition of “divine madness’ and India saints like Ramakrishna or Chaitanya are viewed by the west as outrageous. But in general, the Holy Men, also known as sadhus, are valued as representative of the gods and there are times they are admired like the gods themselves (Hartsuiker 2006).There are 4 to 5 million holy men in India roaming in its streets, caves and in the mountains. They are still being respected and sometimes feared for the curses that they may bring. People also believe that the simple lives that the sadhus live help lighten their karma including that of the community (Road Junky Guides 2006). With the help that the holy men contribute to society, many people donate for their cause. But this does not hold true in all places in India.   The past and the present sadhus are object of suspicion especially in the urban areas of India. In the cities often visited by pilgrims, sadhus are thought of as being more of beggars than devotees. (Wikipedia 2006).Hebrews prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah are very much respected too. Their names have been curved in the pages of the Christian bible – a book of life that never fails to occupy a space in the list of best-selling items. Their names will continue to shine for eternity and people will wait with expectant faith for the fulfillment of their prophecies. They proclaim God’s plans and instructions for the people and there’s one point in the Bible that they were mistaken as the Messiah just like the holy men of India who were sometimes thought as gods. Their roles in the great History of Salvation are definite and well understood. Some of their prophecies have already been fulfilled. “John the Baptist begins spreading the words of God, “Turn away from sins, and turn to the Lord our God, for His kingdom is here to come”. “This is what the prophet Isaiah had proclaimed centuries ago, “There is one crying in the wilderness, make way for the Lord, straighten the path where He will tread” (Matthew 3: 2-3 New Testament).Hebrew prophets did not choose to be prophets. God chooses them. He communicates with the chosen people through dreams and signs. When God called Moses, He was seen in the form of a burning bush (Exodus 3:2 Old Testament). Hebrew prophets leave their families and go places preaching God’s words. They make themselves holy by following the Scriptures.India’s holy men go from one place to another too. They have made their own decision to be holy. They have turned their back to their material life, left their families and their possessions. They vowed to live a life of single-blessedness, do abstinence and strive for enlightenment. They visit holy places and paint their body with ashes. Some of them believe that they can be holier by putting one arm up in the air and remain in that position for years. Others endure standing up 24 hours a day (Leffel 2006)Men in India choose to be holy. They opted to acquire holiness in their reverence to their God, be enlightened and earn the respect of the community. Some inherit the position from their parents or relatives and in whatever manner how they become sadhus, it’s not easy to be one. It involves a lot of sacrifice. Aside from the vow to live a simple life and remain single forever, sadhus have to first be with their guru for guidance, serve him and gain experience from him until they are ready to live and face the world, on their own, completely devoid of material things. The daily four o’clock morning bath in the freezing temperature in the mountains is one of tests the sadhus have to face before they start their prayer for the day (Road Junky Guides 2006). Although they live without sexual life, sadhus are free to smoke hash and cannabis (Leffel 2006). These plants that contain medicinal value but can alter behavior of a person if taken in large amount, can be a factor in enduring a lonely life of the sadhus in their quest for God’s glory.While India’s holy men can have hash or cannabis, St. John the Baptist takes locusts and wild honey for food. He can only have woven camel hair and leather belt as clothing (Matthew 3:4 New Testament). This man who claims he is not even worthy to untie the sandal of his Savior, nevertheless, baptizes the Son of God with water (Matthew 3:11 New Testament). Hebrew prophets in their humble living can communicate with God. They are called to do those heavenly duties. They are honored and felt privileged for being chosen. Being obedient in the Lord gives them a place in His kingdom. “For we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, once no people, now God’s people proclaiming His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9-10).The Hebrew prophets are holy just as the men of India are holy. Both choose to lead simple lives, leave their families and possessions and become messenger of God’s words. The holy men of India, with their God’s grace, can also be prophets. While the Christian Bible had been closed, India’s scriptural canon remains open because they believe in the eternal truths that their book contains. In the future, the truth will be expressed in new ways and it is imperative that they will be accessible to believers in all places and times (Wikipedia 2006). Some denominations in Hinduism believe that God comes in their midst from time to time to help those who work hard to achieve enlightenment and salvation. “Every time there is a decline in righteousness, and a rise in unrighteousness, I will present a body, at all times I will return so that I will be with you, to put an end to sins, and righteousness will be put in place” (Wikipedia 2006).Some Hebrew prophets did not receive enough gift of prophecy (perhaps they were not given or were not asked to). In the book of Amos, the author made little predictions. Most of the topics he loves to discuss (or maybe it was assigned) are addressing or giving criticism to some wrongdoings, lawlessness, oppression and luxurious worship without concern for the starving poor. He uses to caution wrongdoers of the consequences for their present actions and caution believers of future disasters like earthquake and drought (Bulkeley 2005). “Yahweh, the God of Israel, in His wrath, had promised to punish the sinners, to send earthquake that would jolt the nation and will cause people to weep” (Amos 8:7-8 Old Testament).While some prophets admonish and warn people, some holy men of India, bring cure to the sick people of the community, cause evil to disappears and even gives blessings to marriages. Sadhus serve to remind the average Hindu about their God. As a form of respect, they can ride trains for free. Some of the holy men served in the military in their younger days and up to the present time, a certain sect still carry their swords (Road Junky Guides 2006).The present day sadhus live in various ways. Some of them are living in temples in the heart of major cities while others in shack beside villages. Some prefer to stay in caves located in the far-flung mountains living in solitary confinement. Others are very much mobile moving from one holy place to another while some reside in big communities. While some treasure the bonds of being identified with the sadhus, others remain passive (Wikipedia 2006)In comparison, some prophets lived in Israel in groups. They preferred to live and shared in conducting some of their activities together. Many loved this kind of setting as they found it conducive to hear promptings from the Lord. Community members are often called “sons of the prophets” but that does not mean that the position of a prophet can be inherited. If writings in their books of some prophets in the Bible look isolated, they just show the scanty stories, which were told about them and not a suggestion that they are individualists (Burkeley 2005).In the contemporary days, Hebrew prophets can only be seen in the bible. If anyone feels God is speaking to him, the message could be reminders for repentance. The Christian bible is complete and the world eagerly awaits the second coming when all prophecies will be fulfilled. There is also an apparent reduction in the number of India’s holy men. The times are changing and the global economy has much opportunity to offer.  The sadhus have existed for thousand of years and the impact that they contribute to religion; culture and tradition cannot be underestimated. No prophet can foretell if global change can put the holy men of India into extinction. But all religion may probably agree to a bible verse that says that the words of God stand forever. And like in the olden days, God will use prophets or holy men as messengers of His words.While the Christian world waits for the second coming or strive to achieve an eternal ambition that is to be with God in His Kingdom someday, the Hindus work hard for their highest goal in life – spiritual enlightenment – the only one that gives meaning   and purpose to their existence.

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