Archive for the ‘Independent investigation of truth’ Category

7 August ― 7 Kamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_5121O Living Temple! We, verily, have made Thee a mirror unto the kingdom of names, that Thou mayest be, amidst all mankind, a sign of My sovereignty, a herald unto My presence, a summoner unto My beauty, and a guide unto My straight and perspicuous Path. We have exalted Thy Name among Our servants as a bounty from Our presence. I, verily, am the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days. We have, moreover, adorned Thee with the ornament of Our own Self, and have imparted unto Thee Our Word, that Thou mayest ordain in this contingent world whatsoever Thou willest and accomplish whatsoever Thou pleasest. We have destined for Thee all the good of the heavens and of the earth, and decreed that none may attain unto a portion thereof unless he entereth beneath Thy shadow, as bidden by Thy Lord, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. We have conferred upon Thee the Staff of authority and the Writ of judgement, that Thou mayest test the wisdom of every command. We have caused the oceans of inner meaning and explanation to surge from Thy heart in remembrance of Thy Lord, the God of mercy, that Thou mayest render thanks and praise unto Him and be of those who are truly thankful. We have singled Thee out from amongst all Our creatures, and have appointed Thee as the Manifestation of Our own Self unto all who are in the heavens and on the earth.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 43-44

EVENING:

IMG_7574Beware 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

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 55

FROM THE EXEMPLAR, ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

It is true that there are foolish individuals who have never properly examined the fundamentals of the Divine religions, who have taken as their criterion the behavior of a few religious hypocrites and measured all religious persons by that yardstick, and have on this account concluded that religions are an obstacle to progress, a divisive factor and a cause of malevolence and enmity among peoples. They have not even observed this much, that the principles of the Divine religions can hardly be evaluated by the acts of those who only claim to follow them. For every excellent thing, peerless though it may be, can still be diverted to the wrong ends. A lighted lamp in the hands of an ignorant child or of the blind will not dispel the surrounding darkness nor light up the house — it will set both the bearer and the house on fire. Can we, in such an instance, blame the lamp? No, by the Lord God! To the seeing, a lamp is a guide and will show him his path; but it is a disaster to the blind.

François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) [1694 – 30 May 1778

Among those who have repudiated religious faith was the Frenchman, Voltaire, who wrote a great number of books attacking the religions, works which are no better than children’s playthings. This individual, taking as his criterion the omissions and commissions of the Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic religion, and the intrigues and quarrels of the spiritual leaders of Christendom, opened his mouth and caviled at the Spirit of God (Jesus). In the unsoundness of his reasoning, he failed to grasp the true significance of the sacred Scriptures, took exception to certain portions of the revealed Texts and dwelt on the difficulties involved. “And We send down of the Qur’án that which is a healing and a mercy to the faithful: But it shall only add to the ruin of the wicked.”*

* Qur’án 17:84

The Sage of Ghazna* told the mystic story

To his veiled hearers, in an allegory:

If those who err see naught in the Qur’án

But only words, it’s not to wonder on;

Of all the sun’s fire, lighting up the sky

Only the warmth can reach a blind man’s eye.**

* The poet Sana’i

** Rumi, The Mathnavi, III, 4229-4231

“Many will He mislead by such parables and many guide: but none will He mislead thereby except the wicked…”*

* Qur’án 2:24

It is certain that the greatest of instrumentalities for achieving the advancement and the glory of man, the supreme agency for the enlightenment and the redemption of the world, is love and fellowship and unity among all the members of the human race. Nothing can be effected in the world, not even conceivably, without unity and agreement, and the perfect means for engendering fellowship and union is true religion. “Hadst Thou spent all the riches of the earth, Thou couldst not have united their hearts; but God hath united them…“*

* Qur’án 8:64

With the advent of the Prophets of God, their power of creating a real union, one which is both external and of the heart, draws together malevolent peoples who have been thirsting for one another’s blood, into the one shelter of the Word of God. Then a hundred thousand souls become as one soul, and unnumbered individuals emerge as one body.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 71-74

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16 June ― 12 Núr   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9666

How resplendent the luminaries of knowledge that shine in an atom, and how vast the oceans of wisdom that surge within a drop! To a supreme degree is this true of man, who, among all created things, hath been invested with the robe of such gifts, and hath been singled out for the glory of such distinction. For in him are potentially revealed all the attributes and names of God to a degree that no other created being hath excelled or surpassed. All these names and attributes are applicable to him. Even as He hath said: “Man is My mystery, and I am his mystery.” Manifold are the verses that have been repeatedly revealed in all the heavenly Books and the holy Scriptures, expressive of this most subtle and lofty theme. Even as He hath revealed: “We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves.”* Again He saith: “And also in your own selves: will ye not then behold the signs of God?”** And yet again He revealeth: “And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves.”*** In this connection, He Who is the eternal King — may the souls of all that dwell within the mystic Tabernacle be  102  a sacrifice unto Him — hath spoken: “He hath known God who hath known himself.

    *Qur’án 41:53

  **Qur’án 51:21

***Qur’án 59:19

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 100

Edward I 015EVENING:

No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding except he be detached from all that is in heaven and on earth. Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that haply ye may attain that station which God hath destined for you and enter thus the tabernacle which, according to the dispensations of Providence, hath been raised in the firmament of the Bayán.

The essence of these words is this: they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly — their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way. Then will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, and become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen, inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 3-4

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

Thou didst ask whether, at the advent of the Kingdom of God, every soul was saved. The Sun of Truth hath shone forth in splendour over all the world, and its luminous rising is man’s salvation and his eternal life — but only he is of the saved who hath opened wide the eye of his discernment and beheld that glory.

Likewise didst thou ask whether, in this Bahá’í Dispensation, the spiritual will ultimately prevail. It is certain that spirituality will defeat materialism, that the heavenly will subdue the human, and that through divine education the masses of mankind generally will take great steps forward in all degrees of life — except for those who are blind and deaf and mute and dead. How can such as they understand the light? Though the sun’s rays illumine every darkest corner of the globe, still the blind can have no share in the glory, and though the rain of heavenly mercy come down in torrents over all the earth, no shrub or flower will bloom from a barren land.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 191-192