Archive for the ‘Dispensation’ Category

20 November ― 17 Qudrat   Leave a comment

THE DUTY OF KINDNESS AND SYMPATHY TOWARDS STRANGERS AND FOREIGNERS

Talks delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during His visit to Paris in 1911 & 1913

PART I
1
October 16th and 17th, 1911
15
1.1
When a man turns his face to God he finds sunshine everywhere. All men are his brothers. Let not conventionality cause you to seem cold and unsympathetic when you meet strange people from other countries. Do not look at them as though you suspected them of being evil-doers, thieves and boors. You think it necessary to be very careful, not to expose yourselves to the risk of making acquaintance with such, possibly, undesirable people.

1.2
I ask you not to think only of yourselves. Be kind to the strangers, whether come they from Turkey, Japan, Persia, Russia, China or any other country in the world.

1.3
Help to make them feel at home; find out where they are staying, ask if you may render them any service; try to make their lives a little happier.

1.4
In this way, even if, sometimes, what you at first suspected should be true, still go out of your way to be kind to them — this kindness will help them to become better.

1.5
After all, why should any foreign people be treated as strangers?

1.6
Let those who meet you know, without your proclaiming the fact, that you are indeed a Bahá’í.  16

1.7
Put into practice the Teaching of Bahá’u’lláh, that of kindness to all nations. Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path.

1.8
Oh, you of the Western nations, be kind to those who come from the Eastern world to sojourn among you. Forget your conventionality when you speak with them; they are not accustomed to it. To Eastern peoples this demeanour seems cold, unfriendly. Rather let your manner be sympathetic. Let it be seen that you are filled with universal love. When you meet a Persian or any other stranger, speak to him as to a friend; if he seems to be lonely try to help him, give him of your willing service; if he be sad console him, if poor succour him, if oppressed rescue him, if in misery comfort him. In so doing you will manifest that not in words only, but in deed and in truth, you think of all men as your brothers.

1.9
What profit is there in agreeing that universal friendship is good, and talking of the solidarity of the human race as a grand ideal? Unless these thoughts are translated into the world of action, they are useless.

1.10
The wrong in the world continues to exist just because people talk only of their ideals, and do not strive to put them into practice. If actions took the place of words, the world’s misery would very soon be changed into comfort.

1.11
A man who does great good, and talks not of it, is on the way to perfection.

1.12
The man who has accomplished a small good and magnifies it in his speech is worth very little.  17

1.13
If I love you, I need not continually speak of my love — you will know without any words. On the other hand if I love you not, that also will you know — and you would not believe me, were I to tell you in a thousand words, that I loved you.

1.14
People make much profession of goodness, multiplying fine words because they wish to be thought greater and better than their fellows, seeking fame in the eyes of the world. Those who do most good use fewest words concerning their actions.

1.15
The children of God do the works without boasting, obeying His laws.

1.16
1.16>My hope for you is that you will ever avoid tyranny and oppression; that you will work without ceasing till justice reigns in every land, that you will keep your hearts pure and your hands free from unrighteousness.

1.17
This is what the near approach to God requires from you, and this is what I expect of you.

(Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks)

MORNING:

Man’s highest station, however, is attained through faith in God in every Dispensation and by acceptance of what hath been revealed by Him, and not through learning; inasmuch as in every nation there are learned men who are versed in divers sciences. Nor is it attainable through wealth; for it is similarly evident that among the various classes in every nation there are those possessed of riches. Likewise are other transitory things.

IMG_8534True knowledge, therefore, is the knowledge of God, and this is none other than the recognition of His Manifestation in each Dispensation. Nor is there any wealth save in poverty in all save God and sanctity from aught else but Him — a state that can be realized only when demonstrated towards Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation. This doth not mean, however, that one ought not to yield praise unto former Revelations. On no account is this acceptable, inasmuch as it behooveth man, upon reaching the age of nineteen, to render thanksgiving for the day of his conception as an embryo. For had the embryo not existed, how could he have reached his present state? Likewise had the religion taught by Adam not existed, this Faith would not have attained its present stage. Thus consider thou the development of God’s Faith until the end that hath no end.

— His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 89

EVENING:

Glory be unto Thee, O Lord! 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.

How numerous the souls who in former times were put to death for Thy sake, and in whose names all men now pride themselves; and how vast the number of those whom Thou didst enable to acquire earthly fortunes, and who amassed them while they were deprived of Thy Truth, and who in this day have passed into oblivion. Theirs is a grievous chastisement and a dire punishment.

O Lord! Provide for the speedy growth of the Tree of Thy divine Unity; water it then, O Lord, with the flowing waters of Thy good-pleasure, and cause it, before the revelations of Thy divine assurance, to yield such fruits as Thou desirest for Thy glorification and exaltation, Thy praise and thanksgiving, and to magnify Thy Name, to laud the oneness of Thine Essence and to offer adoration unto Thee, inasmuch as all this lieth within Thy grasp and in that of none other.

Great is the blessedness of those whose blood Thou hast chosen wherewith to water the Tree of Thine affirmation, and thus to exalt Thy holy and immutable Word.

— His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp: 189-190

14 August ― 14 Kamál   Leave a comment

 MORNING:IMG_7970

Know of a certainty that in every Dispensation the light of Divine Revelation hath been vouchsafed unto men in direct proportion to their spiritual capacity. Consider the sun. How feeble its rays the moment it appeareth above the horizon. How gradually its warmth and potency increase as it approacheth its zenith, enabling meanwhile all created  things to adapt themselves to the growing intensity of its light. How steadily it declineth until it reacheth its setting point. Were it, all of a sudden, to manifest the energies latent within it, it would, no doubt, cause injury to all created things…. In like manner, if the Sun of Truth were suddenly to reveal, at the earliest stages of its manifestation, the full measure of the potencies which the providence of the Almighty hath bestowed upon it, the earth of human understanding would waste away and be consumed; for men’s hearts would neither sustain the intensity of its revelation, nor be able to mirror forth the radiance of its light. Dismayed and overpowered, they would cease to exist.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 87-88

EVENING:

Incline your hearts, O people of God, unto the counsels of your true, your incomparable Friend. The Word of God may be likened unto a sapling, whose roots have been implanted in the hearts of men. It is incumbent upon you to foster its growth through the living waters of wisdom, of sanctified and holy words, so that its root may become firmly fixed and its branches may spread out as high as the heavens and beyond.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 97

Tasmanian Bahá’í Centre of Learning, Australia

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

Thy letter was understood. Thou hast asked, very humbly, for certain things and all were worthy to be coveted. Thou desirest forgiveness of sins; didst ask for great unity and peace; sought nearness to the Threshold of God; hoped to be detached from thine own will, seeking the will of God; prayed for rescue from self-love; hoped for progress in the station of knowledge; desired to serve God; and prayed that thy honorable husband and thy children may be set aglow with the fire of the love of God and may manifest light on their brows through the radiance of the knowledge of God. All these wishes are well worthy of asking. Especially the rescue from self-love. This is a strange trait and the means of the destruction of many important souls in the world. If man be imbued with all good qualities but be selfish, all the other virtues will fade or pass away and eventually he will grow worse.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, pp: 135-136

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

IMG_2016

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