Mar Mani, the founder of Manichaeaism had a mysterious life. According to the Taoists themselves Mani was the reincarnation of Lao Tzu. The HISTORY of Mani’s life was unimportant to his followers (bearing in mind Manichaeaism lasted for around a 1000 years, so it was not a small group); what was important was the spiritual prowess and leadership of Mani. Any history of Mani was first and foremost to show his spiritual significance, and his factual life a distant second. We could perhaps take this into consideration when it comes to “official” lines on the historical Jesus..

“Then four hundred and fifty or so years after my last manifestation, I, Lao-Tzu, shall ride on a vapour of the Tao of natural light. I shall leave the domain of Truth and Calmness and fly into the precious territory of Hsi-na (?Rome). In the kingdom of Su-lin (Assuristan) I shall descend into the royal palace and be born as crown-prince. I shall leave my family and enter the Way and be called Mo-mo-ni (Mar Mani), I shall turn the wheel of the great law (dharma) and I shall explain the canonical commandments and regulations and the practice of meditation and knowledge, as well as the doctrines of the Three Epochs and Two Principles. I shall instruct both gods and men and make them realize that the Present Moment reaches up to the Realm of Light and down to the paths of Darkness. All the beings will thereby be saved.

Five times ninety years (450 years) after Mani, the metallic vapour (or vital force) will rise and my teaching will prosper. As a sign, holy images of Mani will come spontaneously from the Western Regions to the Middle Continent (China).This will be a sign of realization. The two vapours, yellow and white, will coalesce and the Three Schools (Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism) will be united together and return to me. The temples of benevolence and the places of cultivation (will be so numerous) that they will join their beams and link their rafters. The bright and venerable law of the Later Sage will be translated and interpreted. The Taoist masters of the Middle Continent will extensively explain the doctrine of cause and effect (hetupratyaya). They will be the ships of the world and enlarge the scope of service of the law. All that moves, grows. or has life will be saved. This is known as the total absorption of all schools.”

–The Prophecy of Lao Tzu

(taken from Mani, The Angel and the Column of Glory, Andrew Welburn)

In the Name of the Great Life!

Up, Up! Ye Elect righteous ones,

Rise up, ye perfected and believing ones!

Rise, worship and praise the Almighty Living Ones!

And praise the great King Shishlam-Rba,

And praise the Occult Tanna and Ham-Ziwa,

And praise thr great Yawar and Zlar the great,

And praise Simar-Hiia,

From whom all the worlds came into being;

And praise the Wellspring and Datepalm

From Whom the Father of Uthras came into being.

I worship and praise that lofty and great

King of Light, the compassionate One

Who is full of loving kindness.