Archive for June 2015

23 June ― 19 Nur   Leave a comment

When studying at school or university Bahá’í youth will often find themselves in the unusual and slightly embarrassing position of having a more profound insight into a subject than their instructors. The Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh throw light on so many aspects of human life and knowledge that a Bahá’í must learn, earlier than most, to weigh the information that is given to him rather than to accept it blindly. A Bahá’í has the advantage of the Divine Revelation for this age, which shines like a searchlight on so many problems that baffle modern thinkers; he must therefore develop the ability to learn everything from those around him, showing proper humility before his teachers, but always relating what he hears to the Bahá’í teachings, for they will enable him to sort out the gold from the dross of human error.

 

The Universal House of Justice

Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, pp: 95-96

MORNING:

O friends! Help ye the one true God, exalted be His glory, by your goodly deeds, by such conduct and character as shall be acceptable in His sight. He that seeketh to be a helper of God in this Day, let him close his eyes to whatever he may possess, and open them to the things of God. Let him cease to occupy himself with that which profiteth him, and concern himself with that which shall exalt the all-compelling name of the Almighty. He should cleanse his heart from all evil passions and corrupt desires, for the fear of God is the weapon that can render him victorious, the primary instrument whereby he can achieve his purpose. The fear of God is the shield that defendeth His Cause, the buckler that enableth His people to attain to victory. It is a standard that no man can abase, a force that no power can rival. By its aid, and by the leave of Him Who is the Lord of Hosts, they that have drawn nigh unto God have been able to subdue and conquer the citadels of the hearts of men.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 272

EVENING:

If it be your wish, O people, to know God and to discover the greatness of His might, look, then, upon Me with Mine own eyes, and not with the eyes of any one besides Me. Ye will, otherwise, be never capable of recognizing Me, though ye ponder My Cause as long as My Kingdom endureth, and meditate upon all created things throughout the eternity of God, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Omnipotent, the Ever-Abiding, the All-Wise. Thus have We manifested the truth of Our Revelation, that haply the people may be roused from their heedlessness, and be of them that understand.

 

Behold the low estate of these men who know full well how I have offered up Mine own Self and My kindred in the path of God and for the preservation of their faith in Him, who are well aware how Mine enemies have compassed Me about, in the days when the hearts of men feared and trembled, the days when they hid themselves from the eyes of the loved ones of God and of His enemies, and were busied in ensuring their own security and peace.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp:  272-273

FROM THE EXEMPLAR OF THE CAUSE  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

“…rest ye not, seek ye no composure, attach not yourselves to the luxuries of this ephemeral world, free yourselves from every attachment, and strive with heart and soul to become fully established in the Kingdom of God. Gain ye the heavenly treasures. Day by day become ye more illumined. Draw ye nearer and nearer unto the threshold of oneness. Become ye the manifestors of spiritual favors and the dawning-places of infinite lights!…

 

“As regards the teachers, they must completely divest themselves from the old garments and be invested with a new garment. According to the statement of Christ, they must attain to the station of rebirth: — that is, whereas in the first instance they were born from the womb of the mother, this time they must be born from the womb of the world of nature. Just as they are now totally unaware of the experiences of the foetal world, they must also forget entirely the defects of the world of nature. They must be baptized with the water of life, the fire of the love of God and the breaths of the Holy Spirit; be satisfied with little food, but take a large portion from the heavenly table. They must disengage themselves from temptation and covetousness, and be filled with the spirit. Through the effect of their pure breath, they must change the stone into the brilliant ruby and the shell into pearl. Like unto the cloud of vernal shower, they must transform the black soil into the rose garden and orchard. They must make the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the extinguished one enkindled and set aglow, and the dead quickened.”

 

Tablets of the Divine Plan, pp. 52-53

The Individual and Teaching – Raising the Divine Call, pp: 8-9

22 June ― 18 Núr   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_5230Every eye, in this Day, should seek what will best promote the Cause of God. He, Who is the Eternal Truth, beareth Me witness! Nothing whatsoever can, in this Day, inflict a greater harm upon this Cause than dissension and strife, contention, estrangement and apathy, among the loved ones of God. Flee them, through the power of God and His sovereign aid, and strive ye to knit together the hearts of men, in His Name, the Unifier, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

Beseech ye the one true God to grant that ye may taste the savor of such deeds as are performed in His path, and partake of the sweetness of such humility and submissiveness as are shown for His sake. Forget your own selves, and turn your eyes towards your neighbor. Bend your energies to whatever may foster the education of men. Nothing is, or can ever be, hidden from God. If ye follow in His way, His incalculable and imperishable blessings will be showered upon you. This is the luminous Tablet, whose verses have streamed from the moving Pen of Him Who is the Lord of all worlds. Ponder it in your hearts, and be ye of them that observe its precepts.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 8-9

 IMG_1084EVENING:

THE world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System — the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.

Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause — a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it — verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, pp. 118-119

FROM  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ, CENTRE OF THE COVENANT

O ye beloved ones! It is the moment of the ecstasy of the soul and consciousness and the season of running in the arena of sacrifice! Show ye kindness to all; be ye engaged in the refinement of the souls. Become ye as ignited lamps and adorn ye the orchard of being! These days are swiftly passing and this mortal life will remain fruitless and without result. Therefore, while there is yet time and the arrow is in the bow, enter ye the chase and strike ye the game. This game is the good-pleasure of God, and this chase is the merciful Providence; that is, living accord with the divine instructions.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 573-574

21 June ― 17 Núr   Leave a comment

IMG_9901MORNING:

He that is unjust in his judgment is destitute of the characteristics that distinguish man’s station. He Who is the Eternal Truth knoweth well what the breasts of men conceal. His long forbearance hath emboldened His creatures, for not until the appointed time is come will He rend any veil asunder. His surpassing mercy hath restrained the fury of His wrath, and caused most people to imagine that the one true God is unaware of the things they have privily committed. By Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed! The mirror of His knowledge reflecteth, with complete distinctness, precision and fidelity, the doings of all men. Say: Praise be to Thee, O Concealer of the sins of the weak and helpless! Magnified be Thy name, O Thou that forgivest the heedless ones that trespass against Thee!

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 204

TrustworthinessEVENING:

The time is at hand when whatsoever lieth hid in the souls and hearts of men will be disclosed. This Day is the Day whereof Luqmán spoke unto his son, the Day which the Lord of Glory announced and with which He acquainted Him Who was His Friend (Muḥammad) through these, His words — exalted be He: — “O my son! Verily, God will bring everything to light, though it were but the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and hidden in a rock or in the heavens or in the earth; for God is Subtile, informed of all.” This Day the deceitful of eye, and all that men’s breasts conceal, are made known and laid bare before the throne of His Revelation. Nothing whatsoever can escape His knowledge. He heareth and seeth, and He, in truth, is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. How very strange that they discern not between the trustworthy and the treacherous!

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 107

Posted June 21, 2015 by Once in Bahá’u’lláh, God, Luqmán, Muḥammad

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20 June ― 16 Núr   Leave a comment

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT OF GOD  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O thou bird of pleasing tones!

Thy little book of poems, which were very sweet, was read. It was a source of joy, for it was a spiritual anthem and a melody of the love of God.

Continue as long as thou canst this melody in the gatherings of the beloved; thus may the minds find rest and joy and become in tune with the love of God. When eloquence of expression, beauty of sense and sweetness of composition unite with new melodies the effect is ever great, especially if it be the anthem of the verses of oneness and the songs of praise to the Lord of Glory.

Endeavor your utmost to compose beautiful poems to be chanted with heavenly music; thus may their beauty affect the minds and impress the hearts of those who listen.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 59

MORNING:

Who is there that hath cried after Thee, and whose prayer hath remained unanswered? Where is he to be found who hath reached forth towards Thee, and whom Thou hast failed to approach? Who is he that can claim to have fixed his gaze upon Thee, and toward whom the eye of Thy loving-kindness hath not been directed? I bear witness that Thou hadst turned toward Thy servants ere they had turned toward Thee, and hadst remembered them ere they had remembered Thee. All grace is Thine, O Thou in Whose hand is the kingdom of Divine gifts and the source of every irrevocable decree.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 253

IMG_6564EVENING:

Peruse My verses with joy and radiance. Verily they will attract you unto God and will enable you to detach yourselves from aught else save Him. Thus have ye been admonished in God’s Holy Writ and in this resplendent Tablet.

From a Tablet- translated from the Arabic

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 188

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT, ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ

‘Abdu’l-Bahá walking in front of Helen Goodall’s home in Oakland, California, October 12, 1912

O thou spiritual friend! Thou hast asked about the wisdom of obligatory prayer. Know thou that such prayer is mandatory and binding. Man under no pretext whatsoever is excused from observing the prayer unless he is incapable of performing it or some great obstacle interveneth. The wisdom of obligatory prayer is this: That it causeth a connection between the servant and the True One, because at that time man with all his heart and soul turneth his face towards the Almighty, seeking His association and desiring His love and companionship. For a lover, there is no greater pleasure than to converse with his beloved, and for a seeker, there is no greater bounty than intimacy with the object of his desire. It is the greatest longing of every soul who is attracted to the Kingdom of God to find time to turn with entire devotion to his Beloved, so as to seek His bounty and blessing and immerse himself in the ocean of communion, entreaty and supplication.

The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting, #VII

19 June – 15 Núr   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9718

Yet it behoveth the people of truth that the signs of humility should shine upon their faces, that the light of sanctity should radiate from their countenances, that they should walk upon the earth as though they were in the presence of God and distinguish themselves in their deeds from all the dwellers of the earth. Such must be their state that their eyes should behold the evidences of His might, their tongues and hearts make mention of His name, their feet be set towards the lands of His nearness, and their hands take fast hold upon His precepts. And were they to pass through a valley of pure  gold and mines of precious silver, they should regard them as wholly unworthy of their attention.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp. 59-60

Photo: Mírẓá Músá loyal brother to Bahá’u’lláh in Adrionople Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 331

IMG_9585EVENING:

O son of man! If thine eyes be turned towards mercy, forsake the things that profit thee and cleave unto that which will profit mankind. And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself. Humility exalteth man to the heaven of glory and power, whilst pride abaseth him to the depths of wretchedness and degradation.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 64

FROM  THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_9741All religions teach that we should love one another; that we should seek out our own shortcomings before we presume to condemn the faults of others, that we must not consider ourselves superior to our neighbours! We must be careful not to exalt ourselves lest we be humiliated.

Who are we that we should judge? How shall we know who, in the sight of God, is the most upright man? God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts! How many men who have seemed saint-like to their friends have fallen into the greatest humiliation. Think of Judas Iscariot; he began well, but remember his end! On the other hand, Paul, the Apostle, was in his early life an enemy of Christ, whilst later he became His most faithful servant. How then can we flatter ourselves and despise others?

Let us therefore be humble, without prejudices, preferring others’ good to our own! Let us never say, ‘I am a believer but he is an infidel’, ‘I am near to God, whilst he is an outcast’. We can never know what will be the final judgment! Therefore let us help all who are in need of any kind of assistance.

Let us teach the ignorant, and take care of the young child until he grows to maturity. When we find a person fallen into the depths of misery or sin we must be kind to him, take him by the hand, help him to regain his footing, his strength; we must guide him with love and tenderness, treat him as a friend not as an enemy.

We have no right to look upon any of our fellow-mortals as evil.

Paris Talks, pp. 147-148

18 June ― 14 Núr   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_0292

Merge thy will in His pleasure, for We have, at no time, desired anything whatsoever except His Will, and have welcomed each one of His irrevocable decrees. Let thine heart be patient, and be thou not dismayed. Follow not in the way of them that are sorely agitated.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 120

Mírẓá Muḥammad-Qulí, loyal brother of Bahá’u’lláh in Adrionople Photograph from Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 2, p. 331

IMG_0294EVENING:

Although Thou mayest cause a person to be destitute of all earthly possessions, and from the beginning of his life until his ascension unto Thee he may be reduced to poverty through the operation of Thy decree, yet wert Thou to have brought him forth from the Tree of Thy love, such a bounty would indeed be far better for him than all the things Thou hast created in heaven and earth and whatsoever lieth between them; inasmuch as he will inherit the heavenly home, through the revelation of Thy favours, and will partake of the goodly gifts Thou hast provided therein; for the things which are with Thee are inexhaustible. This indeed is Thy blessing which according to the good-pleasure of Thy Will Thou dost bestow on those who tread the path of Thy love.

— His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 189

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_9114O thou dear maid-servant of God!

In reality thou art faithful and assured, thoughtful and mentioning the name of thy Lord. All the inhabitants of the Kingdom are satisfied with thy service, and the approximate angels are opening their tongues in thy praise. These angels are spiritual and merciful powers, and in one sense the angels are those sanctified souls who have disentangled themselves from the world of possession and are confirmed with the powers of the Kingdom. However, be thou not sad. Rejoice and delight in the divine glad-tidings!

I know that thou art in difficulty, but this difficulty is conducive to the everlasting felicity and this weakness is followed by the supreme strength. Consider thou how the faithful women in the time of Christ, and after the departure of His Highness, underwent hardships! What difficulties did they not bear; and what calamities did they not endure! But adversity and trial,  265  misfortune and derision, became the cause of imperishable and deathless glory and rest.

Do ye not look upon the beginning of the affairs; attach your hearts to the ends and results. The present period is like unto the sowing time. Undoubtedly it is impregnated with perils and difficulties, but in the future many a harvest shall be gathered and benefits and results will become apparent. When one considers the issue and the end, exhaustless joy and happiness will dawn.

Live thou as far as thou art able according to the divine commands and advices, because they are conducive to eternal life.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 264-265

17 June ― 13 Núr   Leave a comment

An illumined Tablet in the handwriting of Bahá’u’lláh “When I contemplate, O my God, the relationship that bindeth me to Thee, I am moved to proclaime to all created things ‘Verily I am God!’; and when I consider my own self, lo I find it coarser than clay!”

MORNING:

Concerning thine own affairs, if thou wouldst content thyself with whatever might come to pass it would be praiseworthy. To engage in some profession is highly commendable, for when occupied with work one is less likely to dwell on the unpleasant aspects of life. God willing thou mayest experience joy and radiance, gladness and exultation in any city or land where thou mayest happen to sojourn. This lowly servant will never forget that distinguished and kind friend. He hath remembered and will continue to remember thee. The decree lieth with God, the Lord of all worlds. I fain would hope He may vouchsafe divine assistance and grant confirmation in that which is pleasing and acceptable unto Him.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 175

Bahá’í Temple. Apia, Samoa

EVENING:

It is enjoined upon every one of you to engage in some form of occupation, such as crafts, trades and the like. We have graciously exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship unto God, the True One. Ponder ye in your hearts the grace and the blessings of God and render thanks unto Him at eventide and at dawn. Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others. Thus hath it been decreed in this Tablet from whose horizon the day-star of wisdom and utterance shineth resplendent.

The most despised of men in the sight of God are those who sit idly and beg. Hold ye fast unto the cord of material means, placing your whole trust in God, the Provider of all means. When anyone occupieth himself in a craft or trade, such occupation itself is regarded in the estimation of God as an act of worship; and this is naught but a token of His infinite and all-pervasive bounty.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 26

‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His entourage on the main drive at Leland Stanford Junior University in Palo Alto, California, following His address on October 8, 1912

ATTRIBUTED TO  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

There are certain forms of work which are beyond human endurance and others which are within it;  and these differ according to the early environment and training of each individual…The struggling, winning, successful man is he who accustoms himself to the accomplishment of those things which are beyond human endurance.  Only a soul thus great can stand the tests of life and come out of the crucible pure and unspotted. …if one cannot raise to this height he can at least school himself to perform the tasks which are within the range of his endurance.  If a man cannot qualify in one of these two classes he becomes a social burden.

Words attributed to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá from the diary of Ahmad Sohrab

Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 10, pp: 270-271

Fire and Gold, p. 147