Archive for July 2015

29 July ― 17 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_2002Comprehend, in like manner, every station, sign, and allusion, that thou mayest perceive all things in their own place and consider all matters in their proper light. For in this station, the City of Divine Unity, are to be found those who have entered within the ark of divine guidance and journeyed through the heights of divine unity. Thou shalt behold the lights of beauty upon their faces and the mysteries of glory in their human temples. Thou shalt perceive the musk-laden fragrance of their words and behold the signs of His sovereignty in all their ways and doings. Nor wilt thou be veiled by the deeds of them that have failed to quaff from the crystal springs or to attain unto the cities of holiness, and who follow their selfish desires and spread disorder in the land, all the while believing themselves to be guided aright. It is indeed of them that it hath been said: “These are the abject and foolish, who follow every clamorous impostor and who bend with every changing wind.” The stages of this journey, station, and abode are clear and manifest to thee and require no further explanation.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 64

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EVENING:

Praise be unto Thee, O my God! Thou art He Who by a word of His mouth hath revolutionized the entire creation, and by a stroke of His pen hath divided Thy servants one from another. I bear witness, O my God, that through a word spoken by Thee in this Revelation all created things were made to expire, and through yet another word all such as Thou didst wish were, by Thy grace and bounty, endued with new life.

I render Thee thanks, therefore, and extol Thee, in the name of all them that are dear to Thee, for that Thou hast caused them to be born again, by reason of the living waters which have flowed down out of the mouth of Thy will. Since Thou didst quicken them by Thy bounteousness, O my God, make them steadfastly inclined, through Thy graciousness, towards Thy will; and since Thou didst suffer them to enter into the Tabernacle of Thy Cause, grant by Thy grace that they may not be kept back from Thee.

Unlock, then, to their hearts, O my God, the portals of Thy knowledge, that they may recognize Thee as One Who is far above the reach and ken of the understanding of Thy creatures, and immeasurably exalted above the strivings of Thy people to hint at Thy nature, and may not follow every clamorous impostor that presumeth to speak in Thy name. Enable them, moreover, O my Lord, to cleave so tenaciously to Thy Cause that they may remain unmoved by the perplexing suggestions of them who, prompted by their desires, utter what hath been forbidden unto them in Thy Tablets and Thy Scriptures.

Thou art well aware, O my Lord, that I hear the howling of the wolves which appear in Thy servants’ clothing. Keep safe, therefore, Thy loved ones from their mischief, and enable them to cling steadfastly to whatsoever hath been manifested by Thee in this Revelation, which no other Revelation within Thy knowledge hath excelled.

Do Thou destine for them, O my Lord, that which will profit them. Illumine, then, their eyes with the light of Thy knowledge, that they may see Thee visibly supreme over all things, and resplendent amidst Thy creatures, and victorious over all that are in Thy heaven and all that are on Thy earth. Powerful art Thou to do Thy pleasure. No God is there but Thee, the All-Glorious, Whose help is implored by all men.

Praised be Thou, Who art the Lord of all creation. 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 42-43

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28 July ― 16 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Indeed, there existeth in man a faculty which deterreth him from, and guardeth him against, whatever is unworthy and unseemly, and which is known as his sense of shame. This, however, is confined to but a few; all have not possessed and do not possess it.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 63

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EVENING:

One wondereth why those who have been the symbols of highest glory should now stoop to boundless shame. What is become of their high resolve? Whither is gone the sense of dignity and honour? The sun of glory and wisdom hath unceasingly been shining above the horizon of Persia, but nowadays it hath sunk to such a low level that certain dignitaries have allowed themselves to be treated as playthings in the hands of the foolish.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 94-95

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

O ye loved ones of God! In this, the Bahá’í dispensation, God’s Cause is spirit unalloyed. His Cause belongeth not to the material world. It cometh neither for strife nor war, nor for acts of mischief or of shame; it is neither for quarrelling with other Faiths, nor for conflicts with the nations. Its only army is the love of God, its only joy the clear wine of His knowledge, its only battle the expounding of the Truth; its one crusade is against the insistent self, the evil promptings of the human heart. Its victory is to submit and yield, and to be selfless is its everlasting glory. In brief, it is spirit upon spirit:

Entrance to the Home of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Unless ye must,

Bruise not the serpent in the dust,

How much less wound a man.

And if ye can,

No ant should ye alarm,

Much less a brother harm.

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 256

27 July ― 15 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

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It is incumbent upon them who are in authority to exercise moderation in all things. Whatsoever passeth beyond the limits of moderation will cease to exert a beneficial influence. Consider for instance such things as liberty, civilization and the like. However much men of understanding may favourably regard them, they will, if carried to excess, exercise a pernicious influence upon men.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 169

EVENING:

In this Day, We can neither approve the conduct of the fearful that seeketh to dissemble his faith, nor sanction the behavior of the avowed believer that clamorously asserteth his allegiance to this Cause. Both should observe the dictates of wisdom, and strive diligently to serve the best interests of the Faith.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 343)

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_4377The scope of Universal Peace must be such that all the communities and religions may find their highest wish realized in it. At present the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh are such that all the communities of the world, whether religious, political or ethical, ancient or modern, find in the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh the expression of their highest wish.

For example, the people of religions find, in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, the establishment of Universal Religion — a religion that perfectly conforms with present conditions, which in reality effects the immediate cure of the incurable disease, which relieves every pain and bestows the infallible antidote for every deadly poison. For if we wish to arrange and organize the world of mankind in accordance with the present religious imitations and thereby to establish the felicity of mankind, it is impossible and impracticable: for example, the enforcement of the laws of the Old Testament and also of the other religions in accordance with present imitations. But the essential basis of all the divine religions which pertains to the virtues of the world of mankind and is the foundation of the welfare of the world of man, is found in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh in the most perfect presentation.

Similarly, with regard to the people who clamor for freedom: the moderate freedom which guarantees the welfare of the world of man, is found in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh.

So with regard to political parties: that which is the greatest policy directing the world of mankind, nay, rather the divine policy, is found in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh.

Likewise with regard to the party of “equality” which seeks the solution of the economic problems: until now all proposed solutions have proved impracticable except the economic proposals in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, which are practicable and cause no distress to society.

So with the other parties: when ye look deeply into this matter, ye will discover that the highest aims of those parties are found in the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. These teachings constitute the all-inclusive power among all men, and are practicable….

Foundations of World Unity, pp. 31-32

26 July ― 14 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

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The fourth Taráz concerneth trustworthiness. Verily it is the door of security for all that dwell on earth and a token of glory on the part of the All-Merciful. He who partaketh thereof hath indeed partaken of the treasures of wealth and prosperity. Trustworthiness is the greatest portal leading unto the tranquillity and security of the people. In truth the stability of every affair hath depended and doth depend upon it. All the domains of power, of grandeur and of wealth are illumined by its light.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 37

EVENING:

TrustworthinessO people of God! Give ear unto that which, if heeded, will ensure the freedom, well-being, tranquillity, exaltation and advancement of all men. Certain laws and principles are necessary and indispensable for Persia. However, it is fitting that these measures should be adopted in conformity with the considered views of His Majesty — may God aid him through His grace — and of the learned divines and of the high-ranking rulers. Subject to their approval a place should be fixed where they would meet. There they should hold fast to the cord of consultation and adopt and enforce that which is conducive to the security, prosperity, wealth and tranquillity of the people. For were any measure other than this to be adopted, it could not but result in chaos and commotion.

According to the fundamental laws which We have formerly revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and other Tablets, all affairs are committed to the care of just kings and presidents and of the Trustees of the House of Justice. Having pondered on that which We have enunciated, every man of equity and discernment will readily perceive, with his inner and outer eyes, the splendours of the day-star of justice which radiate therefrom.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 92-93

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

IMG_8004Yea, some of the intellectually cultured people in those countries exert themselves to reach the loftiest summits of prosperity in worldly affairs and most of them are desiring wealth and are making an effort to attain it somehow. But they are unmindful of the treasury of the Kingdom, the spiritual affluence and the wealth of mind; therefore, thou findest them subject to the rage of lusts and under the influence of egotistic and selfish desires, sinking into intemperance and engaged in drinking the cup of lust. Were they to become mindful of their heedlessness and awakened from the sleep of ignorance, they would become intoxicated by the cup of the love of God and exhilarated by the good cheer of the wine of the knowledge of God.

I beg of God to shine forth unto you with the lights of His sanctity and send to you divine souls, that they may fully reveal to you the divine teachings.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp. 648-649

25 July ― 13 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

HRM Willim I 023It is incumbent upon everyone to firmly adhere to and observe that which hath streamed forth from Our Most Exalted Pen. God, the True One, beareth Me witness, and every atom in existence is moved to testify that such means as lead to the elevation, the advancement, the education, the protection and the regeneration of the peoples of the earth have been clearly set forth by Us and are revealed in the Holy Books and Tablets by the Pen of Glory.

We entreat God to graciously aid His servants. What this Wronged One doth expect from everyone is justice and fairness. Let no one be content with mere hearing; rather doth it behove everyone to ponder that which this Wronged One hath revealed. I swear by the Day-Star of utterance, shining above the horizon of the Kingdom of the All-Merciful, had there been any expounder or speaker discernible, We would not have made Ourself the object of the censure, ridicule and slander of the people.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 130-131

EVENING:

IMG_6976Every 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

FROM ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,

CENTRE OF THE COVENANT :

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These are the commands of the Blessed Beauty, these are the counsels of the Greatest Name. O ye dear friends! The world is engaged in war and struggle, and mankind is in the utmost conflict and danger. The darkness of unfaithfulness has enshrouded the earth and the illumination of faithfulness has become concealed. All nations and tribes of the world have sharpened their claws and are warring and fighting with each other. The edifice of man is shattered. Thousands of families are wandering disconsolate. Thousands of souls are besmeared with dust and blood in the arena of battle and struggle every year, and the tent of happiness and life is overthrown. The prominent men become commanders and boast of bloodshed, and glory in destruction. One says: “I have severed with my sword the necks of a nation,” and one: “I have levelled a kingdom to the dust”; and another: “I have overthrown the foundation of a government.” This is the pivot around which the pride and glory of mankind are revolving. In all regions friendship and uprightness are denounced and reconciliation and regard for truth are despised. The herald of peace, reformation, love and reconciliation is the Religion of the Blessed Beauty which has pitched its tent on the apex of the world and proclaimed its summons to the people.

Then, O ye friends of God! Appreciate the value of this precious Revelation, move and act in accordance with it and walk in the straight path and the right way. Show it to the people. Raise the melody of the Kingdom and spread abroad the teachings and ordinances of the loving Lord’ so that the world may become another world, the darkened earth may become illumined and the dead body of the people may obtain new life.

Bahá’í World Faith, p. 215

24 July ― 12 Kalimát   Leave a comment

Earthrise from the Moon

MORNING:IMG_2298

O SON OF MAN!

Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more.

O SON OF BEING!

If poverty overtake thee, be not sad; for in time the Lord of wealth shall visit thee. Fear not abasement, for glory shall one day rest on thee.

O SON OF BEING!

If thine heart be set upon this eternal, imperishable dominion, and this ancient, everlasting life, forsake this mortal and fleeting sovereignty.

IMG_4300O SON OF BEING!

Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants.

O SON OF MAN!

Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom. By My life! This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy; how can My way accord with thine?

O SON OF MAN!

Bestow My wealth upon My poor, that in heaven thou mayest draw from stores of unfading splendor and treasures of imperishable glory. But by My life! To offer up thy soul is a more glorious thing couldst thou but see with Mine eye.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, #’s 52-57

EVENING:

Say, O beloved of God!  Fear none and let nothing grieve thee;  be steadfast in the Cause.  By God, those who have drunk of the love of God, the glorious, the Effulgent, have not fear of anyone, and show patience in calamity, like unto the patience of the lover toward the good-pleasure of the beloved.  With them affliction ranketh greater than that which the lovers perceive in the countenance of the beloved….*

…Blessed are the steadfastly enduring, they that are patient under ills and hardships, who lament not over anything that befalleth them, and who tread the path of resignation…**

…He, verily, shall increase the reward of them that endure with patience….***

…The virtues and attributes pertaining unto God are all evident and manifest, and have been mentioned and described in all the heavenly Books. Among them are trustworthiness, truthfulness,purity of heart while communining with God, forbearance, resignation to whatever the Almighty hath decreed, contentment with the things His Will hath provided, patience, nay, thankfulness in the midst of tribulation,and complete reliance inall circumstances, upon Him.  These rank,according to the estimate of God, among the highest and most laudable of all acts.****

*quoted by Hand of the Cause of God Mr. H.M. Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá’ís in the Time of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 22

**Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 129

***Ibid.

**** Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 290

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

[All of the above…Fire and Gold, pp. 199-200]

First photograph of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá taken after World War I

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

For any soul who walketh in the path of guidance, there is no doubt he shall endure hardships. Consider thou their Highness the Apostles; likewise the Assembly of Christians, who were sanctified souls; what calamities and persecutions hailed them in the Cause during the first and second century and even up to the third century!

Look thou around the world of existence: A little worldly transaction cannot be brought about except through surmounting many an obstacle. How much more important are the objects of the Supreme World! Certainly there existeth troubles, trials, afflictions, persecution, censure and contempt. When thou didst occupy thy time in the past to give out religious exhortations and advices, thou experienced some persecutions and trouble. But thou canst not realize in this present moment what great ordeals are in store and what unbearable calamities, affliction and adversity exist, and that to give up life is the easiest of all those calamities. But the end of all these is bliss, overflowing joy, everlasting exultation, happiness and supreme contentment. It is eternal life, never ending glory, a lordly gift and divine sovereignty!

In brief, thou hast asked concerning my desire for thee: I wish, if thou art worldly, to become heavenly; if thou art of the world of possession, become thou celestial; if thou art of the material sphere, become an inhabitant of the realm of Light; hasten from the world of darkness to the world of illumination and become the manifestor of the exhortations, advices and instructions of the Blessed Perfection. This is my greatest desire for thee.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp. 547-548

23 July ― 11 Kalimát   Leave a comment

FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION, 1604-1611]

Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans:

8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

8:11 But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.

8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

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MORNING:

Success or failure, gain or losss, must…depend upon man’s own exertions.  The more he striveth, the greater will be his progress*….All that which ye potentially possess can, however, be manifested only as a result of your own volition.  Your own acts testify to this truth.**

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

*Gleanings from the Writings of  Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 81-82

**Gleanings from the Writings of  Bahá’u’lláh, pl 149

Fire and Gold, p. 211

EVENING:

Indeed, if God willeth, He is potent to turn the stone into a mirror, but the person himself remaineth reconciled to his state.  Had he withed to become a crystal, God would have made hime to assume a crystal form.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 103

FROM  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,

CENTRE OF THE COVENANT OF GOD:

In this day every one must be tested, as the time of the ‘chosen ones’ to prove their worth is indeed very short.  The day of attainment is drawing to a close for them. The ‘first fruits’ must be ripened in spirit, mellowed in love, and consumed by their self-sacrifice and severance.  None other are acceptable as first fruits, and all who fail to attain the standard through the tests, are relegated to the ‘many who are called’.

Words attributed to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in answer to questions asked by Dr. Edward Gesinger, Star of the West, vol. 6, no. 6, p. 45

Fire and Gold, p. 177

FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION, 1604-1611] THE GOSPEL OF ST. MATTHEW]:

19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

19:25 When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore? 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My Name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

20:2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

20:3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 20:4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

20:6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 20:7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

20:8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

20:9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

20:10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

20:11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 20:12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

20:13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 20:14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.