Archive for the ‘Prison’ Category

8 January ― 9 Sharaf   Leave a comment

PARIS

IMG_9741Paris is exceedingly dispirited and is in a state of torpor and so far it hath not burst into flames although the French nation is an active and lively one. But the world of nature hath fully stretched its pavilion over Paris and hath done away with religious sentiments. But this power of the Covenant shall heat every freezing soul, shall bestow light upon everything that is dark and shall secure for the captive in the hand of nature the true freedom of the Kingdom.

Arise thou at present in Paris with the power of the Kingdom, with a divine confirmation, with a genuine zeal and ardour and with a flame of the love of God. Roar like unto a lion and exhibit such ecstasy and love among these few souls that praise and glorification may continuously reach thee from the divine Kingdom and mighty confirmations may descend upon thee. Rest thou assured. If thou dost act accordingly and hoist the standard of the Covenant, Paris shall burst into flame. Be constantly attached to and seek always the confirmations of Bahá’u’lláh for these turn the drop into a sea and convert the gnat into an eagle.

HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp: 102-103

MORNING:

IMG_8357Methinks, the lamp of Thy love is burning in their hearts, and the light of Thy tenderness is lit within their breasts. Adversities are incapable of estranging them from Thy Cause, and the vicissitudes of fortune can never cause them to stray from Thy pleasure.

I beseech Thee, O my God, by them and by the sighs which their hearts utter in their separation from Thee, to keep them safe from the mischief of Thine adversaries, and to nourish their souls with what Thou hast ordained for Thy loved ones on whom shall come no fear and who shall not be put to grief.  

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 3

 

EVENING:

IMG_8356Every existence, whether seen or unseen, O my Lord, testifieth that Thy mercy hath surpassed all created things, and Thy loving-kindness embraced the entire creation. Look upon them, I entreat Thee, with the eyes of Thy mercy. Thou art the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate. Do with them as beseemeth Thy glory, and Thy majesty, and Thy greatness, and Thy bounteousness and Thy grace. Deal not with them according to the limitations imposed upon them, or the manifold vicissitudes of their earthly life.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp:113-114

ON THE SUBJECT OF THE LIFE OF HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_9247“About this time another ship appeared in the harbor, an Italian vessel sent by order of the Italian consul. On it I was to escape by night. The friends implored me to go, but I sent this message to the captain: ‘The Báb did not run away; Bahá’u’lláh did not run away; I shall not run away’ — so the ship sailed away after waiting three days and three nights.

“It was while the Sultan’s committee of investigation was homeward bound that the first historic shell was dropped into ‘Abdu’l-Hamid’s camp and the first gun of freedom was into the home of despotism. That was God’s gun,” said Abdu’l- Bahá, with one of his wonderful smiles.

“When the committee reached Constantinople they had more urgent things to think of. The capital was in a state of uproar and rebellion and the committee, as members of the government staff, were delegated to investigate the insurrection. Meanwhile the people established a constitutional government and Abdu’l- Hamid was deposed.

“With the advent of the Young Turk’s supremacy, realized through the Society of Union and Progress, in 1898, all the political and religious prisoners of the Ottoman Empire were freed. Events took the chains from my neck and placed them about Hamid’s. Abdu’l Bahá came out of prison and Abdu’l-Hamid went in!”

“What became of the committee?” was asked.

“Arif Bey,” answered ‘Abdu’l Bahá, “was shot with three bullets; the general was exiled; the next in rank died suddenly and the third ran away to Cairo where he sought and received help from some of the friends there.”

“We are glad you are free,” I said.

Again the wondrous smile. “Freedom is not a matter of place. It is a condition. I was thankful for the prison and the lack of liberty was very pleasing to me, for those days were passed in the path of service under the utmost difficulties and trials, bearing fruits and results.

IMG_8356“Unless one accepts dire vicissitudes he will not attain. To me prison is freedom; troubles rest me; incarceration is an open court; death is life and to be despised is honor. Therefore, I was happy all that time in prison. When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed freedom, for self is the greater prison. When this release takes place, one can never be imprisoned. They used to put my feet in stocks so,” and he put out his feet before him to illustrate and laughed as though it were a joke he enjoyed.

“I would say to the guard ‘You cannot imprison me, for here I have light and air and bread and water. There will come a time when my body will be in the ground and I shall have neither light nor air nor food nor water, but even then I shall not be imprisoned.’ The afflictions which come to humanity sometimes tend to center the consciousness upon the limitations. This is a veritable prison. Release comes by making of the will a door through which the confirmations of the spirit come.”

This sounded so like the old theology that the modern within me rebelled doubting if the discipline really compensated for the effort.

“What do you mean by the confirmations of the spirit?” I asked.

“The confirmations of the spirit are all those powers and gifts with which some are born and which men sometimes call genius, but for which others have to strive with infinite pains. They come to that man or woman who accepts his life with radiant acquiescence.”

Radiant acquiescence — that was the quality with which we were suddenly seemed inspired as Abdu’l-Bahá bade us good-bye.

It was a remarkable experience, hearing one who had passed along the prison path for forty years declare, “There is no prison save the prison of self”; and it drove conviction to the heart as this white-robed messenger from the East pointed the way out; not by renunciation, but by radiant acquiescence — the shining pathway out of the “greater prison of self.”

Divine Philosophy, pp: 20-23

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22 November ― 19 Qudrat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

As these tribulations, however, were sustained in Thy path and for love of Thee, they who were afflicted by them render thanks, under all conditions, unto Thee, and say: “O Thou Who art the Delight of our hearts and the Object of our adoration! Were the clouds of Thy decree to rain down upon us the darts of affliction, we would, in our love for Thee, refuse to be impatient. We would yield Thee praise and thanksgiving, for we have recognized and are persuaded that Thou hast ordained only that which will be best for us. If our bodies be, at times, weighed down by our troubles, yet our souls rejoice with exceeding gladness. We swear by Thy might, O Thou Who art the Desire of our hearts and the Exultation of our souls! Every trouble that toucheth us in our love for Thee is an evidence of Thy tender mercy, every fiery ordeal a sign of the brightness of Thy light, every woeful tribulation a cooling draught, every toil a blissful repose, every anguish a fountain of gladness.”

Whosoever, O my Lord, is impatient in the tribulations befalling him in Thy path, hath not drunk of the cup of Thy love nor tasted of the sweetness of Thy remembrance. I implore Thee, by Him Who is the King of all names and their Sovereign, Who is the Revealer of all attributes and their Creator, and by them who have soared aloft and drawn nigh unto Thee and winged their flight into the atmosphere of Thy presence, and have endured the galling of chains for Thy sake, to grant that all Thy people may be graciously aided to recognize Him Who is the Manifestation of Thine own Self, Who, because He summoned mankind unto Thee, hath been exiled and cast into prison.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 135-136

EVENING:

For all these things I offer thanksgiving unto Thee, O my Lord! I implore Thee to assist me and them that love me to magnify Thy Word, and to endow us with such strength that the ills of this world and its tribulations will be powerless to hinder us from remembering Thee and from extolling Thy virtues. Powerful art Thou to do all things; resplendent art Thou above all things.

Every conqueror is but a serf whom Thy hand hath subjected, and the richest of the rich is as destitute before the immensity of Thy wealth. The noblest of nobles is humbled when faced with the manifestations of Thy glory, and the mightiest of potentates is a mere abject one when confronted with the compelling evidences of Thine authority. 

Tear asunder, O my God, the veil of vain imaginings that hath obscured the vision of Thy people, that all may haste towards Thee, may tread the path of Thy pleasure, and walk in the ways of Thy Faith. We are, O my God, Thy servants and Thy bondsmen. Thou art sufficient unto us so that we can dispense with the world and all that is therein. We are wholly satisfied with all that hath befallen us in Thy path, and exclaim: “Praised be Thou, in Whose hand are the realms of revelation and of creation, and all the kingdoms of earth and heaven!”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 101-102

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

Later on a general reception was held, ninety people coming to meet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá who spoke to them with impressive earnestness.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “You are very welcome. I have come far to see you. I praise God that after forty years of waiting I am permitted at last to come and bring my message. This is an assembly full of spirituality. Those who are present have turned their hearts towards God. They are looking and longing for glad tidings. We have gathered here by the power of the Spirit, therefore our hearts are stirred with thanksgiving. ‘Send out Thy Light and Thy Truth O God: Let them lead us to the Holy Mountains!’ May we be refreshed by the holy springs that are renewing the life of the world! As day follows night, and after sunset comes the dawn, so Jesus Christ appeared on the horizon of this world like a Sun of Truth; even so when the people — after forgetting the teachings of Christ and His example of love to all humanity — had again grown tired of material things, a heavenly Star shone once more in Persia, a new illumination appeared and now a great light is spreading throughout all lands.

“Men keep their possessions for their own enjoyment and do not share sufficiently with others the bounty received from God. Spring is thus changed into the winter of selfishness and egotism. Jesus Christ said ‘Ye must be born again’ so that divine Life may spring anew within you. Be kind to all around and serve one another; love to be just and true in all your dealings; pray always and so live your life that sorrow cannot touch you. Look upon the people of your own race and those of other races as members of one organism; sons of the same Father; let it be known by your behaviour that you are indeed the people of God. Then wars and disputes shall cease and over the world will spread the Most Great Peace.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, pp: 82-83

‘Abdu’l-Bahá boarding a train…