Archive for April 2017

30 April ― 3 Jamál ― THE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

30 April ― 3 Jamál THE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

 


How glad we are to see that this endeavour is being vigorously advanced
across the far-flung regions of the globe, and in a diversity of circumstances
and settings, in clusters already numbering some three thousand. Many clusters
are at a point where momentum is being generated through the implementation
of a few simple lines of action. In others, after successive cycles of activity,
the number of individuals taking initiative within the framework of the Plan
has increased and the pitch of activity intensified; as the quality of the
process of spiritual education is enhanced through experience, souls are more
readily attracted to participate in it. From time to time, there may be a lull
in activity or an obstacle to the way forward; searching consultation on the
reasons for the impasse, combined with patience, courage, and perseverance,
enables momentum to be regained. In more and more clusters, the programme
of growth is increasing in scope and complexity, commensurate with the rising
capacity of the Plan’s three protagonists–the individual, the community, and
the institutions of the Faith–to create a mutually supportive environment.
And we are delighted that, as anticipated, there are a growing number of
clusters where a hundred or more individuals are now facilitating the
engagement of a thousand or more in weaving a pattern of life, spiritual,
dynamic, transformative. Underlying the process even from the start is, of
course, a collective movement towards the vision of material and spiritual
prosperity set forth by Him Who is the Lifegiver of the World. But when such
large numbers are involved, the movement of an entire population becomes
discernible.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2014

MORNING:

O people of the earth! By the righteousness of the One true God, I am the Maid of Heaven begotten by the Spirit of Bahá, abiding within the Mansion hewn out of a mass of ruby, tender and vibrant; and in this mighty Paradise naught have I ever witnessed save that which proclaimeth the Remembrance of God by extolling the virtues of this Arabian Youth. Verily there is none other God but your Lord, the All-Merciful. Magnify ye, then, His station, for behold, He is poised in the midmost heart of the All-Highest Paradise as the embodiment of the praise of God in the Tabernacle wherein His glorification is intoned.

At one time I hear His Voice as He acclaimeth Him Who is the Ever-Living, the Ancient of Days, and at another time as He speaketh of the mystery of His most august Name. And when He intoneth the anthems of the greatness of God all Paradise waileth in its longing to gaze on His Beauty, and when He chanteth words of praise and glorification of God all Paradise becomes motionless like unto ice locked in the heart of a frost-bound mountain. Methinks I visioned Him moving along a straight middle path wherein every paradise was His Own paradise, every heaven His Own heaven, while the whole earth and all that is therein appeared but as a ring upon the finger of His servants. Glorified be God, His Creator, the Lord of everlasting sovereignty. Verily He is none other but the servant of God, the Gate of the Remnant of God your Lord, the Sovereign Truth.

 

— His Holiness The Báb

Qayyúmu’l-Asmá, Chapter XXIX

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 54-55

 

EVENING:

Have ye denied the One in Whose path He Who came with the truth, bearing the announcement of your Lord, the Exalted, the Great, suffered martyrdom? Say: This is an Announcement whereat the hearts of the Prophets and Messengers have rejoiced. This is the One Whom the heart of the world remembereth and is promised in the Books of God, the Mighty, the All-Wise. The hands of the Messengers were, in their desire to meet Me, upraised towards God, the Mighty, the Glorified…. Some lamented in their separation from Me, others endured hardships in My path, and still others laid down their lives for the sake of My Beauty, could ye but know it. Say: I, verily, have not sought to extol Mine Own Self, but rather God Himself were ye to judge fairly. Naught can be seen in Me except God and His Cause, could ye but perceive it. I am the One Whom the tongue of Isaiah hath extolled, the One with Whose name both the Torah and the Evangel were adorned…. Blessed be the king whose sovereignty hath withheld him not from his Sovereign, and who hath turned unto God with his heart. He, verily, is accounted of those that have attained unto that which God, the Mighty, the All-Wise hath willed. Ere long will such a one find himself numbered with the monarchs of the realms of the Kingdom. Thy Lord is, in truth, potent over all things. He giveth what He willeth to whomsoever He willeth, and withholdeth what He pleaseth from whomsoever He willeth. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the Almighty.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, p. 29-30

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

 

Of the exact circumstances attending that epoch-making Declaration we, alas, are but scantily informed. The words Bahá’u’lláh actually uttered on that occasion, the manner of His Declaration, the reaction it produced, its impact on Mirza Yahya, the identity of those who were privileged to hear Him, are shrouded in an obscurity which future historians will find it difficult to penetrate. The fragmentary description left to posterity by His chronicler Nabil is one of the very few authentic records we possess of the memorable days He spent in that garden. “Every day,” Nabil has related, “ere the hour of dawn, the gardeners would pick the roses which lined the four avenues of the garden, and would pile them in the center of the floor of His blessed tent. So great would be the heap that when His companions gathered to drink their morning tea in His presence, they would be unable to see each other across it. All these roses Bahá’u’lláh would, with His own hands, entrust to those whom He dismissed from His presence every morning to be delivered, on His behalf, to His Arab and Persian friends in the city.” “One night,” he continues, “the ninth night of the waxing moon, I happened to be one of those who watched beside His blessed tent. As the hour of midnight approached, I saw Him issue from His tent, pass by the places where some of His companions were sleeping, and begin to pace up and down the moonlit, flower-bordered avenues of the garden. So loud was the singing of the nightingales on every side that only those who were near Him could hear distinctly His voice. He continued to walk until, pausing in the midst of one of these avenues, He observed: ‘Consider these nightingales. So great is their love for these roses, that sleepless from dusk till dawn, they warble their melodies and commune with burning passion with the object of their adoration. How then can those who claim to be afire with the rose-like beauty of the Beloved choose to sleep?’ For three successive nights I watched and circled round His blessed tent. Every time I passed by the couch whereon He lay, I would find Him wakeful, and every day, from morn till eventide, I would see Him ceaselessly engaged in conversing with the stream of visitors who kept flowing in from Baghdad. Not once could I discover in the words He spoke any trace of dissimulation.”

God Passes By, p. 152

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29 April ― 2 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

29 April ― 2 Jamál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

 

To the Peoples of the World:

The Great Peace towards which people of good will throughout the centuries have inclined their hearts, of which seers and poets for countless generations have expressed their vision, and for which from age to age the sacred scriptures of mankind have constantly held the promise, is now at long last within the reach of the nations. For the first time in history it is possible for everyone to view the entire planet, with all its myriad diversified peoples, in one perspective. World peace is not only possible but inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of this planet—in the words of one great thinker, “the planetization of mankind”.

Whether peace is to be reached only after unimaginable horrors precipitated by humanity’s stubborn clinging to old patterns of behaviour, or is to be embraced now by an act of consultative will, is the choice before all who inhabit the earth. At this critical juncture when the intractable problems confronting nations have been fused into one common concern for the whole world, failure to stem the tide of conflict and disorder would be unconscionably irresponsible.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

THE PROMISE OF WORLD PEACE, ¶1-2

MORNING:

We cherish the hope that through the earnest endeavours of such as are the exponents of the power of God ― exalted be His glory ― the weapons of war throughout the world may be converted into instruments of reconstruction and that strife and conflict may be removed from the midst of men.

The sixth Glad-Tidings is the establishment of the Lesser Peace, details of which have formerly been revealed from Our Most Exalted Pen. Great is the blessedness of him who upholdeth it and observeth whatsoever hath been ordained by God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 23

 

EVENING:

Whilst in the Prison of ‘Akká, We revealed in the Crimson Book that which is conducive to the advancement of mankind and to the reconstruction of the world. The utterances set forth therein by the Pen of the Lord of creation include the following which constitute the fundamental principles for the administration of the affairs of men:

First: It is incumbent upon the ministers of the House of Justice to promote the Lesser Peace so that the people of the earth may be relieved from the burden of exorbitant expenditures. This matter is imperative and absolutely essential, inasmuch as hostilities and conflict lie at the root of affliction and calamity.

Second: Languages must be reduced to one common language to be taught in all the schools of the world.

Third: It behoveth man to adhere tenaciously unto that which will promote fellowship, kindliness and unity.

Fourth: Everyone, whether man or woman, should hand over to a trusted person a portion of what he or she earneth through trade, agriculture or other occupation, for the training and education of children, to be spent for this purpose with the knowledge of the Trustees of the House of Justice.

Fifth: Special regard must be paid to agriculture. Although it hath been mentioned in the fifth place, unquestionably it precedeth the others. Agriculture is highly developed in foreign lands, however in Persia it hath so far been grievously neglected. It is hoped that His Majesty the Shah — may God assist him by His grace — will turn his attention to this vital and important matter.

Were men to strictly observe that which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed in the Crimson Book, they could then well afford to dispense with the regulations which prevail in the world. Certain exhortations have repeatedly streamed forth from the Pen of the Most High that perchance the manifestations of power and the dawning-places of might may, sometime, be enabled to enforce them. Indeed, were sincere seekers to be found, every emanation of God’s pervasive and irresistible Will would, for the sake of His love, be revealed. But where are to be found earnest seekers and inquiring minds? Whither are gone the equitable and the fair-minded? At present no day passeth without the fire of a fresh tyranny blazing fiercely, or the sword of a new aggression being unsheathed. Gracious God! The great and the noble in Persia glory in acts of such savagery that one is lost in amazement at the tales thereof.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 89-90

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

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. Every soul may seek everlasting life through the breath of the Merciful. Life in this mortal world will quickly come to an end, and this earthly glory, wealth, comfort and happiness will soon vanish and be no more. Summon ye the people to God and call the souls to the manners and conduct of the Supreme Concourse. To the orphans be ye kind fathers, and to the unfortunate a refuge and shelter. To the poor be a treasure of wealth, and to the sick a remedy and healing. Be a helper of every oppressed one, the protector of every destitute one, be ye ever mindful to serve any soul of mankind. Attach no importance to self-seeking, rejection, arrogance, oppression and enmity. Heed them not. Deal in the contrary way. Be kind in truth, not only in appearance and outwardly. Every soul of the friends of God must concentrate his mind on this, that he may manifest the mercy of God and the bounty of the Forgiving One. He must do good to every soul whom he encounters, and render benefit to him, becoming the cause of improving the morals and correcting the thoughts so that the light of guidance may shine forth and the bounty of His Holiness the Merciful One may encompass. Love is light in whatsoever house it may shine and enmity is darkness in whatsoever abode it dwell.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 216-217

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

During this Formative Age of the Faith, and in the course of present and succeeding epochs, the last and crowning stage in the erection of the framework of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh — the election of the Universal House of Justice — will have been completed, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Mother-Book of His Revelation, will have been codified and its laws promulgated, the Lesser Peace will have been established, the unity of mankind will have been achieved and its maturity attained, the Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will have been executed, the emancipation of the Faith from the fetters of religious orthodoxy will have been effected, and its independent religious status will have been universally recognized, whilst in the course of the Golden Age, destined to consummate the Dispensation itself, the banner of the Most Great Peace, promised by its Author, will have been unfurled, the World Bahá’í Commonwealth will have emerged in the plenitude of its power and splendor, and the birth and efflorescence of a world civilization, the child of that Peace, will have conferred its inestimable blessings upon all mankind.

Citadel of Faith, p. 6

…concerning but two or three impressions of audiences with His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, there is the following:

…my conductor paused for a moment while I removed

my shoes. Then, with a quick movement of the hand, he

withdrew, and, as I passed, replaced the curtain; and I

found myself in a large apartment, along the upper end of

which ran a low divan, while on the side opposite to the door

were placed two or three chairs. Though I dimly suspected

whither I was going and whom I was to behold (for no

distinct intimation had been given to me), a second or two

elapsed ere, with a throb of wonder and awe, I became

definitely conscious that the room was not untenanted. In

the corner where the divan met the wall sat a wondrous and

venerable figure, crowned with a felt head-dress of the kind

called taj by dervishes (but of unusual height and make),

round the base of which was wound a small white turban.

The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though

I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read

ones very soul; power and authority sat on that ample

brow; while the deep lines on the forehead and face implied

an age which the jet-black hair and beard flowing down in

indistinguishable luxuriance almost to the waist seemed to

belie. No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed

myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love

which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!

A mild dignified voice bade me be seated, and then

continued: ‘Praise be to God that thou hast attained!… Thou

hast come to see a prisoner and an exile… We desire but

the good of the world and the happiness of the nations;

yet they deem us a stirrer up of strife and sedition worthy of

bondage and banishment… That all nations should become

one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of

affection and unity between the sons of men should be

strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and

differences of race be annulled — what harm is there in

this?… Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these

ruinous wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great Peace’

shall come… Do not you in Europe need this also? Is not

this that which Christ foretold?… Yet do we see your

kings and rulers lavishing their treasures more freely on

means for the destruction of the human race than on that

which would conduce to the happiness of mankind…

These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease,

and all men be as one kindred and one family… Let not a

man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather

glory in this, that he loves his kind…’

Such, as far as I can recall them, were the words which,

besides many others, I heard from Beha.† Let those who

read them consider well with themselves whether such

doctrines merit death and bonds, and whether the world is

more likely to gain or lose by their diffusion.

† Bahá’u’lláh. (A.T.)]God Passes By, p. 152

Adib Tahersadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, V.2

28 April ― 2 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN THE FEAST OF JAMÁL [BEAUTY]   Leave a comment

28 April ― 2 Jamál

Holy Day – The 9th Day of the Festival of RIḌVÁN


The Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, described by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as “one of the most vital institutions of the world”, weds two essential, inseparable aspects of Bahá’í life:  worship and service.  The union of these two is also reflected in the coherence that exists among the community-building features of the Plan, particularly the burgeoning of a devotional spirit that finds expression in gatherings for prayer and an educational process that builds capacity for service to humanity.  The correlation of worship and service is especially pronounced in those clusters around the world where Bahá’í communities have significantly grown in size and vitality, and where engagement in social action is apparent.  Some of these have been designated as sites for the dissemination of learning so as to nurture the friends’ ability to advance the junior youth programme in associated regions.  The capacity to sustain this programme, as we have recently indicated, also fuels the development of study circles and children’s classes.  Thus, beyond its primary purpose, the learning site fortifies the entire scheme of expansion and consolidation.  It is within these clusters that, in the coming years, the emergence of a local Mashriqu’l-Adhkár can be contemplated.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2012, ¶9

MORNING:

Glorified is He Who hath surrendered the embodiment of His Beauty to the clutches of the envious and the wicked — a fate unto which We are fully resigned, though none may perceive this save those who are endued with insight.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 4

 

EVENING:

Pointing with her finger unto My head, she addressed all who are in heaven and all who are on earth, saying: By God! This is the Best-Beloved of the worlds, and yet ye comprehend not. This is the Beauty of God amongst you, and the power of His sovereignty within you, could ye but understand. This is the Mystery of God and His Treasure, the Cause of God and His glory unto all who are in the kingdoms of Revelation and of creation, if ye be of them that perceive. This is He Whose Presence is the ardent desire of the denizens of the Realm of eternity, and of them that dwell within the Tabernacle of glory, and yet from His Beauty do ye turn aside.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 5

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

The Blessed Beauty saith: ‘Ye are all the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch.’ Thus hath He likened this world of being to a single tree, and all its peoples to the leaves thereof, and the blossoms and fruits. It is needful for the bough to blossom, and leaf and fruit to flourish, and upon the interconnection of all parts of the world-tree, dependeth the flourishing of leaf and blossom, and the sweetness of the fruit.

For this reason must all human beings powerfully sustain one another and seek for everlasting life; and for this reason must the lovers of God in this contingent world become the mercies and the blessings sent forth by that clement King of the seen and unseen realms. Let them purify their sight and behold all humankind as leaves and blossoms and fruits of the tree of being. Let them at all times concern themselves with doing a kindly thing for one of their fellows, offering to someone love, consideration, thoughtful help. Let them see no one as their enemy, or as wishing them ill, but think of all humankind as their friends; regarding the alien as an intimate, the stranger as a companion, staying free of prejudice, drawing no lines.

In this day, the one favoured at the Threshold of the Lord is he who handeth round the cup of faithfulness; who bestoweth, even upon his enemies, the jewel of bounty, and lendeth, even to his fallen oppressor, a helping hand; it is he who will, even to the fiercest of his foes, be a loving friend. These are the Teachings of the Blessed Beauty, these the counsels of the Most Great Name.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 1-2


 

27 April ― 1 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

27 April ― 1 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

The Feast of Jamál

MORNING:

IMG_1561O ye the dawning-places of knowledge! Beware that ye suffer not yourselves to become changed, for as ye change, most men will, likewise, change. This, verily, is an injustice unto yourselves and unto others. Unto this beareth witness every man of discernment and insight. Ye are even as a spring. If it be changed, so will the streams that branch out from it be changed. Fear God, and be numbered with the godly. In like manner, if the heart of man be corrupted, his limbs will also be corrupted. And similarly, if the root of a tree be corrupted, its branches, and its offshoots, and its leaves, and its fruits, will be corrupted. Thus have We set forth similitudes for your instruction, that perchance ye may not be debarred by the things ye possess from attaining unto that which hath been destined for you by Him Who is the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 47

 

EVENING:

Say: O peoples of the earth! Destroy the abodes of negligence with the hands of power and assurance, and raise up the mansions of true knowledge within your hearts, that the All-Merciful may shed the radiance of His light upon them. Better is this for you than all whereon the sun shineth, and unto this beareth witness He Who holdeth within His grasp the ultimate decree. The Breeze of God hath been wafted over the world at the advent of the Desired One in His great glory, whereupon every stone and clod of earth hath cried out: “The Promised One is come! The Kingdom is God’s, the Mighty, the Gracious, the Forgiving.”

Beware lest human learning debar thee from Him Who is the Supreme Object of all knowledge, or lest the world deter thee from the One Who created it and set it upon its course. Arise in the name of thy Lord, the God of Mercy, amidst the peoples of the earth, and seize thou the Cup of Life with the hands of confidence. First drink thou therefrom, and proffer it then to such as turn towards it amongst the peoples of all faiths. Thus hath the Moon of Utterance risen above the horizon of wisdom and understanding.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 55-56

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

“O friends, help the Oppressed One with well-pleasing virtues and good deeds! Today let every soul desire to attain the highest station. He must not regard what is in him, but what is in God. It is not for him to regard what shall advantage himself, but that whereby the Word of God which must be obeyed shall be upraised. The heart must be sanctified from every form of selfishness and lust, for the weapons of the unitarians and the saints were and are the fear of God. That is the buckler which guardeth man from the arrows of hatred and abomination. Unceasingly hath the standard of piety been victorious, and accounted amongst the most puissant hosts of the world. Thereby do the saints subdue the cities of [men’s] hearts by the permission of God, the Lord of hosts. Darkness hath encompassed the earth: the lamp which giveth light was and is wisdom. The dictates thereof must be observed under all circumstances. And of wisdom is the regard of place and the utterance of discourse according to measure and state. And of wisdom is decision; for man should not accept whatsoever anyone sayeth.

“Under all circumstances desire of the True One (glorious is His glory) that He will not deprive His servants of the sealed wine and the lights of the Name of the Self-Subsistent.

A Traveller’s Narrative, pp: 45-46

26 April ― 18 Jalál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

26 April ― 18 Jalál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

 

The obligations that must be met by the company of the faithful are made the more pressing by the confusion, distrust, and cloudiness in the world. Indeed, the friends should use every opportunity to shine a light that can illuminate the way and offer assurance to the anxious, hope to the despairing. We are reminded of the counsel given by the Guardian to one Bahá’í community in words that seem intended for our own time: “As the fabric of present-day society heaves and cracks under the strain and stress of portentous events and calamities, as the fissures, accentuating the cleavage separating nation from nation, class from class, race from race, and creed from creed, muhiply, the prosecutors of the Plan must evince a still greater cohesion in their spiritual lives and administrative activities, and demonstrate a higher standard of concerted effort, of mutual assistance, and of harmonious development in their collective enterprises.” Always emphasizing the spiritual significance of the work of the Faith and the single-minded resolve with which the believers are to discharge their sacred duties, Shoghi Effendi warned too against having any share in political controversies, entanglements, and bickerings. “Let them rise above all particularism and partisanship,” he urged on another occasion, “above the vain disputes, the petty calculations, the transient passions that agitate the face, and engage the attention, of a changing world.” These are the inevitable foam and spray cast up as wave after wave convulses a turbulent and divided society. Too much is at stake to be occupied with distractions of this kind. As every follower of Bahá’u’lláh knows well, humanity’s ultimate well-being is dependent upon its differences being transcended and its unity firmly established. Every contribution Bahá’ís make to the life of their society is aimed at fostering unity; every community-building endeavour is directed towards the same end. For those tired of contention, the communities growing under the shadow of the Greatest Name offer a potent example of what unity can achieve.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2017

IMG_1773MORNING:

It behoveth him who is a wayfarer in the path of God and a wanderer in His way to detach himself from all who are in the heavens and on the earth. He must renounce all save God, that perchance the portals of mercy may be unlocked before his face and the breezes of providence may waft over him. And when he hath inscribed upon his soul that which We have vouchsafed unto him of the quintessence of inner meaning and explanation, he will fathom all the secrets of these allusions, and God shall bestow upon his heart a divine tranquillity and cause him to be of them that are at peace with themselves. In like manner wilt thou comprehend the meaning of all the ambiguous verses that have been sent down concerning the question thou didst ask of this Servant Who abideth upon the seat of abasement, Who walketh upon the earth as an exile with none to befriend, comfort, aid, or assist Him, Who hath placed His whole trust in God, and Who proclaimeth at all times: “Verily we are God’s, and to Him shall we return.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp: 25-26

 

IMG_1774EVENING:

The first Taraz and the first effulgence which hath dawned from the horizon of the Mother Book is that man should know his own self and recognize that which leadeth unto loftiness or lowliness, glory or abasement, wealth or poverty. Having attained the stage of fulfilment and reached his maturity, man standeth in need of wealth, and such wealth as he acquireth through crafts or professions is commendable and praiseworthy in the estimation of men of wisdom, and especially in the eyes of servants who dedicate themselves to the education of the world and to the edification of its peoples. They are, in truth, cup-bearers of the life-giving water of knowledge and guides unto the ideal way. They direct the peoples of the world to the straight path and acquaint them with that which is conducive to human upliftment and exaltation. The straight path is the one which guideth man to the dayspring of perception and to the dawning-place of true understanding and leadeth him to that which will redound to glory, honour and greatness.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 34

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

If we are not happy and joyous at this season, for what other season shall we wait and for what other time shall we look?

This is the time for growing; the season for joyous gathering! Take the cup of the Testament in thy hand; leap and dance with ecstasy in the triumphal procession of the Covenant! Lay your confidence in the everlasting bounty, turn to the presence of the generous God; ask assistance from the Kingdom of Abha; seek confirmation from the Supreme World; turn thy vision to the horizon of eternal wealth; and pray for help from the Source of Mercy!

Soon shall ye see the friends attaining their longed-for destination and pitching their tents, while we are but in the first day of our journey. 

This period of time is the Promised Age, the assembling of the human race to the “Resurrection Day” and now is the great “Day of Judgment.” Soon the whole world, as in springtime, will change its garb. The turning and falling of the autumn leaves is past; the bleakness of the winter time is over. The new year hath appeared and the spiritual springtime is at hand. The black earth is becoming a verdant garden; the deserts and mountains are teeming with red flowers; from the borders of the wilderness the tall grasses are standing like advance guards before the cypress and jessamine trees; while the birds are singing among the rose branches like the angels in the highest heavens, announcing the glad-tidings of the approach of that spiritual spring, and the sweet music of their voices is causing the real essence of all things to move and quiver.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 351-352

FROM HIS HOLINESS THE CHRIST, THE HOLY BIBLE, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT LUKE:

5:18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.

5:19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.

5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

5:21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 5:22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? 5:23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? 5:24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.

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FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION 1604-1616] THE BOOK OF HABAKKUK:

3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

3:19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

25 April ― 17 Jalál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

25 April ― 17 Jalál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

FROM THE

RIḌVÁN

Message 0f 2017

of

The Universal House of Justice

For the teaching opportunity that is now before the Baha’i world to be seized to its fullest extent, creative thought needs to be given to the conversations that could unfold with every kind of person. In the course of such meaningful conversations, perception is heightened and hearts are opened—sometimes immediately. In this worthy occupation all find a calling, and of the joy that comes from being engaged in this work none should deprive themselves. We entreat the one Beloved that the whole of this bicentennial year may be filled with this joy that is purest and sweetest: telling another soul of the dawning of the Day of God.

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MORNING:

They who recite the verses of the All-Merciful in the most melodious of tones will perceive in them that with which the sovereignty of earth and heaven can never be compared. From them they will inhale the divine fragrance of My worlds — worlds which today none can discern save those who have been endowed with vision through this sublime, this beauteous Revelation. Say: These verses draw hearts that are pure unto those spiritual worlds that can neither be expressed in words nor intimated by allusion. Blessed be those who hearken.

           His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas,¶116 p. 60

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EVENING:

Assist ye, O My people, My chosen servants who have arisen to make mention of Me among My creatures and to exalt My Word throughout My realm. These, truly, are the stars of the heaven of My loving providence and the lamps of My guidance unto all mankind. But he whose words conflict with that which hath been sent down in My Holy Tablets is not of Me. Beware lest ye follow any impious pretender. These Tablets are embellished with the seal of Him Who causeth the dawn to appear, Who lifteth up His voice between the heavens and the earth. Lay hold on this Sure Handle and on the Cord of My mighty and unassailable Cause.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas,¶117 pp: 61-62

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FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

“The object of God’s teaching to man is that man may know himself in order to comprehend the greatness of God. The Word of God is for agreement and concord. If you go to Persia where the friends of Abhá are many, you will at once realize the unifying force of God’s work. They are doing their utmost to strengthen this bond of amity. There, people of different nationalities gather in one meeting and chant the divine tablets with one accord. It might be supposed that they were all brethren. We do not consider anyone a stranger, for it is said by Bahá’u’lláh ‘Ye are all the rays of one sun; the fruits of one tree; and the leaves of one branch.’ We desire the true brotherhood of humanity. This shall be so, and it has already begun. Praise to be God, the Helper, the Pardoner!”

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 80

24 April ― 16 Jalál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

24 April ― 16 Jalál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN


And what could be more fitting to offer the Blessed Beauty on the two hundredth anniversary of His Birth than the earnest striving of His loved ones to extend the reach of His Faith? The first of the two bicentenaries to be celebrated by the Baha’i world is thus an occasion with prospects most thrilling. Viewed aright, this year presents the single greatest worldwide opportunity there has ever been for connecting hearts to Baha’u’llah. In the months ahead, let all be mindful of this precious chance and alert to the possibilities that exist in every space for acquainting others with His life and sublime mission. For the teaching opportunity that is now before the Baha’i world to be seized to its fullest extent, creative thought needs to be given to the conversations that could unfold with every kind of person. In the course of such meaningful conversations, perception is heightened and hearts are opened—sometimes immediately. In this worthy occupation all find a calling, and of the joy that comes from being engaged in this work none should deprive themselves. We entreat the one Beloved that the whole of this bicentennial year may be filled with this joy that is purest and sweetest: telling another soul of the dawning of the Day of God.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

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RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2017

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 FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN, SHOGHI EFFENDI

We can prove ourselves worthy of our Cause only if in our individual conduct and corporate life we sedulously imitate the example of our beloved Master, Whom the terrors of tyranny, the storms of incessant abuse, the oppressiveness of humiliation, never caused to deviate a hair’s breadth from the revealed Law of Bahá’u’lláh.

12 April 1927 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, published in Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932 p. 132; The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 173

MORNING:

Canst thou discover any one but Me, O Pen, in this Day? What hath become of the creation and the manifestations thereof? What of the names and their kingdom? Whither are gone all created things, whether seen or unseen? What of the hidden secrets of the universe and its revelations? Lo, the entire creation hath passed away! Nothing remaineth except My Face, the Ever-Abiding, the Resplendent, the All-Glorious.

This is the Day whereon naught can be seen except the splendors of the Light that shineth from the face of Thy Lord, the Gracious, the Most Bountiful. Verily, We have caused every soul to expire by virtue of Our irresistible and all-subduing sovereignty. We have, then, called into being a new creation, as a token of Our grace unto men. I am, verily, the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 29

 

IMG_1728EVENING:

I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy hair which moveth across Thy face, even as Thy most exalted pen moveth across the pages of Thy Tablets, shedding the musk of hidden meanings over the kingdom of Thy creation, so to raise me up to serve Thy Cause that I shall not fall back, nor be hindered by the suggestions of them who have caviled at Thy signs and turned away from Thy face. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come…I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy Beauty that shineth forth above the horizon of eternity, a Beauty before which as soon as it revealeth itself the kingdom of beauty boweth down in worship, magnifying it in ringing tones, to grant that I may die to all that I possess and live to whatsoever belongeth unto Thee. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 289

 

IMG_8987FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O thou who dost believe in the Unity of God!

Know verily nothing will benefit a person save the love of the Merciful One. Nothing illuminates a man’s heart save the radiance which shines forth from the Kingdom of God! Put away every thought and doubtful mentioning and keep thy thoughts entirely on that which uplifts man to the heaven of the gift of God and that which causes every bird that belongs to the Kingdom to soar unto the incomparable realms, the center of everlasting grandeur in this world.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 52

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FROM HIS HOLINESS THE CHRIST, THE HOLY BIBLE, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT LUKE:

8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

8:19 Then came to Him His mother and His brethren, and could not come at him for the press.

8:20 And it was told Him by certain which said, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to see Thee.

8:21 And He answered and said unto them, My mother and My brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.