We received an email from an acquaintance who simply sent an “FYI” and a link about Baba Vangelia, the prophetess of Bulgaria, who passed in 1996. There has been a surge of internet articles about the predictions, much of it ominous, and plain sensation seeking. In this article, we take a look at Prophecy, Seers, Clairvoyants and the history of Vangelia Pandeva Dimitrova, known popularly around the world as Baba Vanga. We look to spurious predictions, unsubstantiated predictions and some actual material sourced to Baba Vanga. We then look at how people might use discernment on materials found in the media, be it the newspaper, radio, the evening TV news or the Internet media. The media presents information; it is up to the user to evaluate that information in its context.
once again, you send me an email with no commentary, no thoughts, no reflections, just a link to an article. The link, Woman Who Predicted The Fall Of The Twin Towers Has Bad News For 2016 And There’s More!. I do not know the state of your mind, your being. I do not know if you are filled with awe, or perhaps trepidation at the bad news, or even fear. Since you did not comment, I do not know if you eagerly welcome this, or if you despise this. Of late you have been sending links about the price of oil, the state of the markets, the rise and rise of corporate manipulation. Perhaps you are filled with glee at the purported words of this blind prophet? I do not know, for you did not say.
Seers and Prophecy
A seer is a person with unusual powers of foresight. A seer may also be regarded as an authoritative person who divines the future. Synonyms could include visionary, illusionist, prophet, oracle. A seer is a kind of perceiver, observer, beholder, diviner. Lets look to what prophecy is, since this lady is called, “Blind Prophet”.
Prophecy is knowledge of the future (usually said to be obtained from a divine source). A prophecy is a prediction uttered under a divine inspiration. Prophecy is a kind of foretelling, forecasting of what is to come. There are different kinds of prophets. Claims of prophethood have existed in many cultures, including Judaism, Christianity, Ancient Greece (the Oracle of Delphi and perhaps, Cassandra) Zoroastrianism and other examples exist. A modern secular prophet might be Mother Shipton or Edgar Cayce, and a most famous so-called prophet is Nostradamus, although his status as a prophet is under attack as the quatrains are so difficult to understand.
Judaism is likely the religion that brings prophecy to notice the most, as Moses was a prophet, Samuel actually means “seer” in Hebrew, and of course, there are the prophets themselves in Tanakh, including Abraham, Moses, Miriam Isaiah, Samuel, Ezekiel and Job. There were the minor prophets as well, Hosea and Micah come to mind.
Prophecy in Christianity is the fruit of one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the paraclete. One is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit to deliver a message for a purpose. Usually churches limit the scope of prophecy to that congregation but in the New Testament there are examples of prophecy for a wider audience. The reception of a message is called revelation and the delivery of a message is called prophecy.
There are of course, criteria for true and false prophets, and they stoned the false prophets in the centuries BC and afterwards, also. The prophet Jeremiah railed against false prophets in his day, and Iraneaus wrote of second-century believers with the gift of prophecy.
We turn to Islam, for Islam also honours prophets (beginning with Abraham and Moses, and includes both Jesus and Mary, the Mother of Jesus (Maryam) as prophets. Muhammad himself is called the “seal of the prophets” for he is the last prophet to speak to mankind, according to Islamic belief and the Koran.
The Bahá’í Faith refers to what are commonly called prophets as “Manifestations of God” and likens such events and persons to prophets, but not exclusively.
As for modern prophets, Joseph Smith was (in his own words) “The Prophet Joseph Smith … was called of God, by the voice of God Himself, to open up the dispensation of the Gospel to the world for the last time.” (Joseph F. Smith)
There other lists of modern prophets, and some would bore you. Some say Gandhi and Martin Luther King were prophets, others say Rudolf Steiner and theosophist Madame Helena Blavatsky were prophets. Most lists include Mother Teresa and some go as far to include Jack Kevorkian (Doctor Death). Many circulate images of Steve Jobs with a halo, suggesting he was both a visionary and a modern saint. Perhaps the world was encouraged by the sainthood of Mother Teresa and wants more saints!
Rational as we may think we are, we are still all ears whenever the end of the world is prophesied. The turn of a century generally marks a psychological milestone in our collective consciousness, and comes with its share of apocalyptic predictions – think of the millennium bug mania, or the end of the Mayan calendar on 21 December 2012.
Hollywood regularly exploits this trend with blockbuster films based on natural disasters and cataclysmic conflicts, and doomsday prepping (“survivalism”) is now a multi-billion-dollar industry in America. Religious or not, most of us accept that the world, like our lives, will end one day. The question is: when? Of course, we had the prophecies about the turn of the millennium (they fell over) and the prophecies about 21 December 2012 and the end of the Mayan Calendar. What became of all these doom and gloom prophecies?
There is one other topic we need to consider: that of clairvoyance, what is sometimes regarded as a “parlour game”. The term clairvoyance (from French clair meaning “clear” and voyuer meaning “vision”) is the ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through extrasensory perception.
Clairvoyance refers to the ability to see persons and events that are distant in time or space. It can be divided into roughly three classes: precognition, the ability to perceive or predict future events, retro-cognition, the ability to see past events, and remote viewing, the perception of contemporary events happening outside of the range of normal perception.
Of course, you have known clairvoyants, and indeed, from time to time, transcribe the work of one clairvoyant. It is my considered evaluation that Padre Pio had the gift of clairvoyance. He could bi-locate as well, but that’s another matter.
The Cult of Living Saints
Some people get treated as saints while they are still alive – this certainly happened to Baba Vanga. She came from Bulgaria, and popular religious saint-making does occur in Bulgaria: the miracle-maker of Silistra Angelush Trifonov (1827-after 1904), the Holy Virgin Korteza Khadzhiiska from Sliven (c.1873-after 1920), the prophet Bona Velinova from Grigorevo (1885-1960), the Venerable Stoina Dimitrova from the district of Melnik (1883-1933), and the most celebrated near-saint of present-day Bulgaria, the oracle from the town of Petrich Vanga Dimitrova (1911-1996). So you will understand that folk religion and religiosity is very strong in this region.
Stoina Dimitrova was born on September 9, 1883 in the hamlet of Haznatar, Sérrai region (since 1913 part of Greece, where it is called Chrisohorapha). According to the legend, her birth was marked by a sign from God: a pigeon landed on her cradle signifying the beginning of an exceptional life. When she was seven, Stoina lost her sight. She contracted smallpox, and at the critical moment when her parents thought she was dying a terrible storm broke out. The door opened and the house was lit by an unbearable light. The child told her parents not to be afraid: St. George had come to visit her. That day she became permanently blind, but thanks to a gift from Heaven to the saint she was granted a different spiritual sight.
Vanga Baba is regarded as Stoina Dimitrova’s successor – because she had “a different spiritual sight”.
In 1913 (during the Balkan Wars) Stoina Dimitrova and her relatives, like many other Bulgarian families from the region, migrated northwards, to the inner territories of the country.(7) Along the way Stoina parted with them forever and headed alone to the church of St. George in Sushitsa, following, as she explained, her call .to serve the saint.. The church of Sushitsa is situated outside the village, in an isolated hilly place right next to the village cemetery. Stoina chose this space inhabited by saints and the dead, living there to the end of her days. At her request a small room was built for her in the upper level of the church, in the woman.s section. Since there was no precedent in Bulgaria for people to live inside a church, this act of Stoina’s alone marked her out as exceptional, not only in her own community, but in the tradition as a whole.
Everything in the daily routine of this extraordinary hermit woman was also unusual. She ate only communion bread and dressed like a nun only in black, although she never took the veil. Peasants from Sushitsa led her around the district to preach, and people came to her to confess their sins, as if she were a priest and not an illiterate woman. Above all, however, she was distinguished by her gift from God, allowing her to see things beyond the range of normal. She recognised people from their breathing, called total strangers by their names, knew without explanation why somebody was visiting her. People came to learn secrets from the past and events of the future, to get advice on communal or personal problems, or to satisfy their curiosity about the end of this world and life in the next.
So we have a text and context of popular folkloric religion in Bulgaria and a tradition of living saints who were venerated in their lifetime and after, without formal canonisation from the Church.
And then we come back to where we began. You sent this article, FYI, Woman Who Predicted The Fall Of The Twin Towers Has Bad News For 2016 And There’s More!. Well now, is she a prophet? What do we know about her, what is her story, what is the background here?
Baba Vanga (as she is popularly known) was Vangelia Pandeva Dimitrova, a blind Bulgarian mystic, clairvoyant, and herbalist from the region of Macedonia, who spent most of her life in the Rupite area in the Kozhuh mountains, Bulgaria.
Now we have to cross a certain bridge here. Hagiography has sprung up around this lady, so fact has to be sorted from fiction. Hagiography is a biography that idealises or idolises the person (especially a person who is regarded as a saint). This term is often referred to as the “cult of saints”.
She was a simple girl, who played games with other children as “healer”. She would give other children herbs to become well. A tradition has sprung up of a whirlwind lifting her up and throwing her away and she ended up with sand in her eyes, and much pain. Surgery was undertaken, but she went blind some years later and attended a school for the blind, where she spent three years, and was taught to read Braille, play the piano, as well as do knitting, cooking, and cleaning. After the death of her stepmother she had to go back home to take care of her younger siblings. Her family was very poor, and she had to work all day.
Vanga was illiterate or semi-literate. She did not write any books herself. What she said or allegedly said had been captured by staff members. Later numerous esoteric books on Vanga’s life and predictions were written.
Vanga claimed that her extraordinary abilities had something to do with the presence of invisible creatures, but she could not clearly explain their origin. She said that those creatures gave her information about people, which she could not transmit to them, because distance and time didn’t matter. According to Vanga, the life of everyone standing in front of her was like a film to her from birth until death. But changing “what was written on the generation” was beyond her power.
Vanga incorrectly predicted that the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final would be played between “two teams beginning with B”. Some say that she foretold it that way because of the penalty that Bulgaria wasn’t given. One finalist was Brazil, but Bulgaria was eliminated by Italy in the semi-finals. It is claimed that Vanga predicted that a World War III would start in November 2010 and last until October 2014. However, according to close friends, Vanga was not the type to voice predictions she saw if they were catastrophic because she knew that chaos that would ensue around those she told.
Witnesses and close friends also claim that she never made such prophecies, and in fact when asked claimed that there will be no World War III. Nevertheless, after North Korea — a nuclear nation — attacked South Korea on 23 November 2010, there was a spike in internet interest about Vanga concerning this alleged prophecy.
Vanga attempted to prophesy about newborn or unborn children. She said that she was “seeing” and “talking” to people, who had died hundreds of years ago. Vanga talked about the future, although she did not like to. In her words, in 200 years man will make contact with brothers in mind from other worlds. She said that many aliens have been living on the earth for years.
Followers of Vanga believe that she predicted the precise date of her own death, dreaming that she would die on 11 August, and be buried on 13 August.
As word of Vanga’s talents travelled, so people were prepared to travel to visit her. Among Vanga’s visitors were village people, intellectuals, ministers and politicians. Former prime minister Zhan Videnov and former communist dictator Todor Zhivkov are both reported to have sought her counsel. Petar Stoyanov also went to see her at the start of his (successful) campaign as a presidential candidate.
Such was her standing, that when the communists came to power in 1945, she was not interfered with, and later they even made allowance for her, making her what has been described as the first “subsidised prophetess”.
One recent attempt to systematically summarise the existing knowledge about Vanga was made in the documentary Vanga: The Visible and Invisible World. The movie includes interviews with some of the people who met Vanga in person, including Sergey Medvedev (press secretary to President of Russia Boris Yeltsin in 1995–96; Sergey Medvedev visited Vanga as Yeltsin’s envoy following Vanga’s request to meet her), Neshka Robeva (Bulgarian rhythmic gymnast and coach), Sergey Mikhalkov (Soviet and Russian writer, author of the Soviet Union anthem), Nevena Tosheva (director of the first documentary about Vanga), Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (Kalmyk multi-millionaire businessman and politician). According to the documentary, Baba Vanga predicted Yeltsin’s second electoral victory in 1995, and warned him about his heart condition.
The Internet, The Media.
Here is a link to a video about Baba Vanga on Sky News, 9 December 2015. Title is Here’s what blind prophet Baba Vanga predicted for 2016 and beyond: It’s not good
- Bulgarian born prophetess, known as Nostradamus of the Balkans
- Many believe she foretold 9/11, the 2004 Tsunami, and the birth of ISIS
- She made prophecies about life after 2016
- Baba Vanga predicted that in 2018 mankind would fly to Venus to search for new sources of energy
- Baba Vanga predicted that in 2013 civilisations would live underwater with the help of aliens
- Baba Vanga predicted that in 3005 a war on Mars would change the trajectory of the planet
- Baba Vanga predicted that in 3797 everything on Earth will have died and civilisation will move to a new star system.
What is Sky News doing here? I think Sky News is simply engaging in entertainment and providing a specious – if somewhat fabulous – filler about Baba Vanga to fill up a slow news day. The media have a term for that, doubtless you know yourself, my dear, having worked with media over the years.
Now it is time. It is time to take a look at the alleged past predictions:
- 2010: World War 3 begins in November 2010. Starting as a regular war, it will progress to a nuclear and chemical war. Vanga says the war will be finished by October 2014.
- 2011: As a result of the war, radioactive showers will destroy almost all life in the Northern Hemisphere. The remaining Europeans will face an even further threat from the Muslims who will use chemical weapons to finish them off.
- 2014: As another result of the chemicals and nuclear weapons during the war, most of the world population will have skin cancer and other skin diseases.
- 2016: Europe is nearly uninhabited.
Well, these bad-news events didn’t come true.
I suspect – and not without good reason – a lot of terrible, ominous material is being attributed to this lady without verifiable sources. It is being attributed on the basis of hearsay. And I say that because you can go to this page and read where this fellow gives a string of prophecies, unverified. Here is what he told, in 2009:
And just when I thought this long look into a possible future by Baba Vanga was finished, I found a whole bunch of reposts of even more dates on many blogs and forums. Not sure where they originated from either. These next ones are copied since all the sites are the same – these aren’t in my words, that is.
“Not sure where they originated from“. Hmmm. And this fellow chooses to republish what is unverified.
It seems to me that one reporter from this nation, Nine News actually, wrote a story in early December 2015 which was put out on the feed and seized and it went worldwide. It is still going viral, if you go to Google News today, there are over 60,000 news stories about Baba Vanga and her predictions.
Baba-Vanga.com tells another story:
- Peace for 1000 years will settle on Earth. People will realise the existence of the spiritual world
- Cancer and HIV/AIDS will be cured – a medicine made from iron.
- Around 2020 trains will be charged with sun energy; oil extraction will stop and mother Earth will rest – prediction made 46 years ago
- In 1960 Baba Vanga predicted that around 2018-2020 scientists will initiate projects for producing helium-3 energy from space.
- Around 2050 people will travel to other worlds with a speed 10 times faster than the speed of light
And then, more in line with the topics you are investigating and writing about, the following from Baba-Vanga.com:
- “There won’t be a third world war, but if you continue polluting the nature like that, it will destroy us. Mother Nature is God, and it won’t tolerate our impact on it.”
- “The world will not disappear soon – it will change. A time will come when borders will disappear and people will live together in peace and cooperation.”
- “If you continue to treat Mother Nature like that, a day will come when different plants, vegetables, and animals will start to disappear…First it will be the onion, garlic, pepper, and bees. Milk will become poisonous. People will sow wheat, but rye will grow.”
- “All of the gold will appear on the surface of the planet, but water will hide. Water will become more expensive than the black gold, and one day it will disappear. Those that are alive will eat and drink in golden utensils, but there won’t be water.”
- “We all one by one will go to the other world, but planet Earth and humanity will remain. Our planet existed for billions of years, and will exist for many more before the apocalypse. Don’t be scared – be united and help each other. Whatever is written in stone cannot be changed. Sooner or later it happens.”
- “We are not alone on this planet. An extraterrestrial intelligence exists, and humans will make contact one day. Hungarians will be the first to contact citizens from another planet. This will happen no sooner than 200 years from now.”
- “Every nation has its star that recharges it with energy. But there are exceptions, some nations have a planet instead of a star…the new time will come and those nations will not be able to survive. In unusual for them atmosphere, they will choke. A nation that has a planet instead of a star will die out just like a candle dies out when there is a strong wind.”
- “Our Bulgarian mountains and lakes are sacred – like those in India. Unfortunately our nation still does not realise that. A day will come when people from all over the world will visit those places to draw energy… The seven Rila lakes are a haven place – this is one of our connections with the cosmos. That is why Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) used to visit the lakes so often.”
- “Where is hell? Here on Earth. This is the hell. Here are the life struggles, the sins, the failures and fall downs. You have been brought here to purge yourself, so you can go up where the light is. A time will come when people will dramatically change – I won’t be alive, but I know it will happen. We all have better, more peaceful, and happier times ahead of us.”
Concluding Unscientific Reflections
you sent me one link to go and read. Yes, it gave bad news, and yet, that article somewhat redeemed itself with a potted history of Baba Vanga. Of course, there are others who have taken the same material and twist the lady’s words and say there will be a Muslim war this year. Much of the media is just entertainment, and it seems that we are so deeply buried in the Hollywood Doomsday movie scenarios that shock, horror, carnage and ennui at very life itself is commonplace.
Well, it seems to me that Vangelia Pandeva Dimitrova had some skills.
We have examined prophets and prophecy in religion. We have looked to revelation and delivery of messages, prophecy. We have examined seers and clairvoyants. From Baba-Vanga.com – and the videos on You Tube, is is clear that Baba Vanga is both clairvoyant and clairaudient. She sees things, she hears voices. She was not regarded as a fake in her time. To this end, we looked at hagiography, the cult of the living saint, and know from the photographs and video of Baba Vanga that there were many around her and there was in fact a cult of the living saint which continues to this day. She was visited by Presidents and would-be-presidents, she was visited by the rich and famous, she was visited by the poor and down-trodden.
Baba Vanga became the focus of formal examinations. The government funded institute of suggestology assessed her predictions with an 80% success rate. Baba Vanga gave advice on health and gave herbs which healed where modern medicine had failed.
She did not give out bad news. Baba Vanga herself told that if she gave out everything she saw, people would drop dead there and then. She followed the eternal dicta of r’shis, sages and saints: “Speak the truth, speak the truth softly, and if the truth hurts, then it is better not to speak at all“.
- Baba Vanga built the St Petka Church in the Rupite
- “I want to build a white Church in the Rupite to be a home for all believers”
- The Church was consecrated on 14 October 1994
- A monastery surrounds the Church
- A memorial cross is embedded in the rock facing the church, it is 40 metres high and 30 metres wide
- Baba Vanga told Bishops they should be softer than cotton and sweeter than sugar
Baba Vanga advices
- We have to love each other and be good to each other to survive
- Don’t look for retribution – sooner or later everyone pays for their deeds
- Don’t judge others – you don’t have that right. Only God can be the judge
- A lot of people suffer because they lack the skill to forget the bad times and moments in life and so can’t forgive others.
- Poverty is like a flower, don’t be happy with a lot of wealth. Poverty gives you the opportunity to enjoy happy moments with children, friends and relatives. The wealth is making the soul sick.
Baba Vanga said, “The time has come for the science to make big discoveries in the field of non-material matter. Scientists will find many facts for the future of our planet and the universe. They will find a lot of information in the old holy books. Many secrets will be uncovered. Many antiques will be unearthed.
The Media and Baba Vanga
- Where in the media has this been reported?
- Where in the media is the respect for a patently devout and religious woman?
- Where in the media are the stories of the scientists who visited Baba Vanga and left astounded?
- Where in the media are the stories of the historians who visited Baba Vanga and learned more than the history recorded in the books?
- The media is selective; the media exists to earn income and make profits.
- The media does not deliver facts, the media presents the beliefs and preferences of its owners
- The media does not deliver facts, the media delivers what the editors and sub-editors think will attract readers and viewers and therefore, more sales, and more advertising dollars.
- The media is not free, it is there to make money for itself. Therefore it will sensationalise news in order to attract attention and purchases, subscriptions, viewers
- The media will take existing material, sensationalise it, add click thru advertisements to such articles and make their money when you click on such pages. It is called click-bait.
From the Gangetic Plain
Looking at Baba Vanga from the Ganges Plain, we learn that she particularly wanted to speak to women with child, enciente as they say in India, She saw souls hundreds of years old, waiting to be born, and she – apparently – read the vasanas, the samskaras, the prarabdha karma that had been chosen and shared this with the parents to be. Well, you know from the teaching of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, that the mind accompanies the soul from birth to birth. Baba Vanga told the same, the personality comes with the soul. She seemed to have a gift of reading the soul, the soul contract for this lifetime, and – although she was childless – it must have been a joy to her to render assistance to the parents-in-waiting. In fact, there are other predictions about the future where the soul coming to a foetus, the parents will know all about the child, its character, what to learn and study, and the lessons that soul has come to learn. Maybe we can look to Baba Vanga with another pair of spiritual eyes, eyes of joy and hope, and sometimes, eyes of sorrows and sufferings. It does not seem to me that this lady was a prophet of doom and gloom, but that others, in the name of generating attention and income (read corporate greed of the media) have cottoned onto something of what they reckon is a good thing (Bad News Sells) and continue to reproduce this material on slow news days.
I am pleasantly surprised to read of Baba Vanga speaking of “Mother Nature is God”. And that if we continue to mistreat her, then resources – including oil – will cease to be available. And if humanity at large continues to be callous, then it will merit the consequences of poor choices and even lose the supply of water. This is not gloom and doom; it is a simple warning note echoed by in this day and age by those who take climate change seriously. It is also echoed by those to love Bhu-devi, Mother Earth, Gaia, Mother Nature, whatever they wish to call her – but they call her with love. You know already that the Bees are disappearing, and there is alarm. We have both signed petitions to halt certain entrepreneurs and their manufactures which are killing off the Bees populations on many continents – here included. I do truly observe nearly 80% fewer bees in my garden and lawns, and in the City Gardens. There is truly a need to sit up and take notice.
Baba Vanga seems to be aware of Satya Yuga and the 1000 years of peace, perhaps what you term Prema Yuga. Baba Vanga speaks of healing HIV-AIDS, of solar power for public transport, the regeneration of diseased organs, and the fact that Stars remit energy to nations on Earth, something that is vedanga, a limb of the Vedas.
Moreover, you do know, My Dear, that Sai Baba told that tools to heal the environment and global warming along with the Earth’s climate will be found in the Vedas. There are levels upon levels upon levels of knowledge in the Vedas, following principles Sai Baba gave of jnatum, drashtum, pravestam. Note well that Baba Vanga tells above that information will be found in the old holy books.
When we read the media, we need to keep our wits about us, and that includes our spiritual wits.
When we read – or watch – what is in the media, we apply our store of wisdom to it. For example, Sathya Sai Baba taught, first – apply common sense. Then apply spiritual sense (your spiritual intelligence, your acquired spiritual discipline and awareness), and finally, apply Baba’s teachings.
If I can borrow from a source common to both Christianity and Hinduism – something Christianity calls “discernment of spirits” and Hinduism calls “viveka” and “vairagya” (discrimination and detachment) then we might take what the media present and ask ourselves a few questions:
Centre yourself. Become aware of the Divinity within.
- Review the material.
- Pay attention to your feelings, your emotions.
- Does the material make you feel peaceful, calm?
- Does the material make you feel disturbed, desolate?
- If you let your mind absorb and embrace this media information – this line of thought and reporting – where will it take you?
- Imagine where that will take you. Pay attention to your feelings, your emotions in this next scenario.
- Does that make you feel peaceful, calm?
- Does that make you feel disturbed, desolate?
And obviously, you choose the peaceful, calm path. We are all but a blending of the gunas, the three impulses to activity within, and there is the sathwic, the peaceful and calm condition, there is the rajasic, the excited and disturbed condition, and there is the tamasic, the lazy and inert condition. What we are looking for here is that which will bring us peace and keep us in alignment with our own personal spirituality.
This is how you discern your own righteousness, your following of dharma, with what is in the media. Your intellect has the faculty of discrimination and detachment. You can read the matters in the media, use the antarkaranas, the inner instruments of action and exercise the intellect about the value and worth of that media. You can perform a quick, simple self-check about whether it is helpful or unhelpful, worth reading and persevering with, or not. Divinity is within you, forever illuminating the path towards the itself, within you, if you only but turn to all that the Divine gives you within.
Put simply, I borrow the ABC of Sai Baba.
ABC: Always Be Careful.
But Sai Baba never stopped at just ABC. No, no.
Sai Baba taught us ABCDEFG:
Always Be Careful; Don’t Ever Forget God.