Archive for the ‘Scriptures’ Category

15 May– 18 Jamál   Leave a comment

Bahá’í House of Worship in Kampala, Uganda

MORNING:

Whoso cleaveth to justice, can, under no circumstances, transgress the limits of moderation. He discerneth the truth in all things, through the guidance of Him Who is the All-Seeing. The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing. If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation. Meditate on this, O people, and be not of them that wander distraught in the wilderness of error. The day is approaching when its flame will devour the cities, when the Tongue of Grandeur will proclaim: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 342-343

IMG_4729EVENING:

All other things are subject to this same principle of moderation. Render thanks unto thy Lord Who hath remembered thee in this wondrous Tablet. All-Praise be to God, the Lord of the glorious throne.

Were any man to ponder in his heart that which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed and to taste of its sweetness, he would, of a certainty, find himself emptied and delivered from his own desires, and utterly subservient to the Will of the Almighty. Happy is the man that hath attained so high a station, and hath not deprived himself of so bountiful a grace.

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:

The third element of the utterance under discussion is, “opposes his passions.” How wonderful are the implications of this deceptively easy, all-inclusive phrase. This is the very foundation of every laudable human quality; indeed, these few words embody the light of the world, the impregnable basis of all the spiritual attributes of human beings. This is the balance wheel of all behavior, the means of keeping all man’s good qualities in equilibrium.

For desire is a flame that has reduced to ashes uncounted lifetime harvests of the learned, a devouring fire that even the vast sea of their accumulated knowledge could never quench. How often has it happened that an individual who was graced with every attribute of humanity and wore the jewel of true understanding, nevertheless followed after his passions until his excellent qualities passed beyond moderation and he was forced into excess. His pure intentions changed to evil  ones, his attributes were no longer put to uses worthy of them, and the power of his desires turned him aside from righteousness and its rewards into ways that were dangerous and dark. A good character is in the sight of God and His chosen ones and the possessors of insight, the most excellent and praiseworthy of all things, but always on condition that its center of emanation should be reason and knowledge and its base should be true moderation. Were the implications of this subject to be developed as they deserve the work would grow too long and our main theme would be lost to view.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 59

FROM DHAMMAPADA—SAYINGS OF THE BUDDHA [TRANSLATION: J. RICHARDS]:

Happy indeed we live who are free from hatred among those who still hate. In the midst of hate-filled men, we live free from hatred.
Happy indeed we live who are free from disease among those still diseased. In the midst of diseased men, we live free from disease.
Happy indeed we live who are free from worry among those who are still worried. In the midst of worried men, we live free from worry.
Happy indeed we live who have nothing of our own. We shall feed on joy, just like the radiant devas.
A victor only breeds hatred, while a defeated man lives in misery, but a man at peace within lives happily, abandoning up
ideas of victory and defeat.
There is no fire like desire. There is no weakness like anger. There is no suffering like the khandhas. There is no happiness greater than peace.
Hunger is the supreme disease. Mental activity is the supreme suffering. When one has grasped this as it really is, nirvana is the supreme happiness.
Health is the supreme possession. Contentment is the supreme wealth. A trustworthy friend is the supreme relation.
Nirvana is the supreme happiness.
After enjoying the taste of solitude and the taste of peace, one is freed from distress and evil, as one enjoys the taste of spiritual joy.
It is good to meet with the saints. Living with them is always sweet. By not meeting fools one can be happy all the time.
A man who keeps company with a fool, will suffer for it a long time. It is always painful to live with fools, like with an enemy, but a wise man is good to live with, like meeting up with relatives.
Therefore, if he is a man of understanding and penetration, learned and habitually moral, devout and noble, one should cultivate the company of that just and wise man, in the same way as the moon keeps to a path among the stars.

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20 September ― 13 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_6135To read but one of the verses of My Revelation is better than to peruse the Scriptures of both the former and latter generations. This is the Utterance of the All-Merciful, would that ye had ears to hear! Say: This is the essence of knowledge, did ye but understand.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas

Bahá’í World Centre, 1992 edition, p. 69

EVENING:

Lament not in your hours of trial, neither rejoice therein; seek ye the Middle Way which is the remembrance of Me in your afflictions and reflection over that which may befall you in future. Thus informeth you He Who is the Omniscient, He Who is aware.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas

Bahá’í World Centre, 1992 edition, p. 35

The Universal House of Justice 2005

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSICE:

The reawakened interest in religion is clearly far from having reached its peak, in either its explicitly religious or its less definable spiritual manifestations. On the contrary. The phenomenon is the product of historical forces that steadily gather momentum. Their common effect is to erode the certainty, bequeathed to the world by the twentieth century, that material existence represents ultimate reality.

The most obvious cause of these re-evaluations has been the bankruptcy of the materialist enterprise itself. For well over a hundred years, the idea of progress was identified with economic development and with its capacity to motivate and shape social improvement. Those differences of opinion that existed did not challenge this world view, but only conceptions as to how its goals might best be attained. Its most extreme form, the iron dogma of “scientific materialism”, sought to reinterpret every aspect of history and human behaviour in its own narrow terms. Whatever humanitarian ideals may have inspired some of its early proponents, the universal consequence was to produce regimes of totalitarian control prepared to use any means of coercion in regulating the lives of hapless populations subjected to them. The goal held up as justification of such abuses was the creation of a new kind of society that would ensure not only freedom from want but fulfilment for the human spirit. At the end, after eight decades of mounting folly and brutality, the movement collapsed as a credible guide to the world’s future.

IMG_9483Other systems of social experimentation, while repudiating recourse to inhumane methods, nevertheless derived their moral and intellectual thrust from the same limited conception of reality. The view took root that, since people were essentially self-interested actors in matters pertaining to their economic well-being, the building of just and prosperous societies could be ensured by one or another scheme of what was described as modernization. The closing decades of the twentieth century, however, sagged under a mounting burden of evidence to the contrary: the breakdown of family life, soaring crime, dysfunctional educational systems, and a catalogue of other social pathologies that bring to mind the sombre words of Bahá’u’lláh’s warning about the impending condition of human society: “Such shall be its plight, that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly.” *

*Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1983), section 91

One Common Faith

Bahá’í World Centre, 2005 edition, pp: 7-9

30 August ― 11 Asmá’   Leave a comment

    
MORNING:

IMG_1224THE BEGINNING OF ALL UTTERANCE IS THE PRAISE OF GOD

O servants! The springs of divine bestowal are streaming forth. Quaff ye therefrom, that by the aid of the incomparable Friend ye may be sanctified from this darksome world of dust and eHis Holinessnter His abode. Renounce the world and direct your steps toward the city of the Beloved.

O servants! The fire that consumeth all veils hath been kindled by My hand; quench it not with the waters of ignorance. The heavens are the token of My greatness; look upon them with a pure eye. The stars bear witness to My truth; bear ye likewise witness thereto.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, p. 67

 

EVENING:

O servants! Eyes are needed if one is to see, and ears, if one is to hear. Whoso in this blessed Day hath not heard the divine call hath indeed no ear. By this is not meant that bodily ear that is perceived by the eye. Open your inner eye, that ye may behold the celestial Fire, and listen with the ear of inner understanding, that ye may hear the delightsome words of the Beloved.

O servants! If your heart acheth for the Beloved, lo, the remedy is come! If ye have eyes to see, behold, the shining countenance of the Friend hath appeared! Kindle ye the fire of knowledge and flee from the ignorant. Such are the words of the Lord of the world.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, pp: 67-68

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

IMG_6616A fire from the Kingdom hath been kindled in the heart of the world, in the Blessed Tree, whose flame shall ere long set aglow the pillars of the earth and its rays illumine the horizons of the nations. All the signs have appeared, all the prophetic references have become clear, all that was revealed in the Books and Scriptures hath become fully manifest, and there is no ground for any one to hesitate in regard thereto.

Some people of former times and some sects avoided certain others as strangers, but now the glorious beloved One hath ridden upon His swift coursing steed, encircling about in the arena of truth and all that was hidden became manifest.

Bahá’í World Faith, p. 353