Archive for the ‘Sin’ Category

24 March ― 4 Bahá   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Concerning this realm, there is many a tradition and many a verse, of broad or special relevancy, but two of these will suffice to serve as a light for men of mind and heart.

The first is His statement: “O My Servant! Obey Me and I shall make thee like unto Myself. I say ‘Be,’ and it is, and thou shalt say ‘Be,’ and it shall be.

And the second: “O Son of Adam! Seek fellowship with none until thou hast found Me, and whenever thou shalt long for Me, thou shalt find Me close to thee.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, p. 62

 

EVENING:

Say: We have ordained that our Cause be taught through the power of utterance. Beware lest ye dispute idly with anyone. Whoso ariseth wholly for the sake of his Lord to teach His Cause, the Holy Spirit shall strengthen him and inspire him with that which will illumine the heart of the world, how much more the hearts of those who seek Him. O people of Bahá! Subdue the citadels of men’s hearts with the swords of wisdom and of utterance. They that dispute, as prompted by their desires, are indeed wrapped in a palpable veil. Say: The sword of wisdom is hotter than summer heat, and sharper than blades of steel, if ye do but understand. Draw it forth in My name and through the power of My might, and conquer then with it the cities of the hearts of them that have secluded themselves in the stronghold of their corrupt desires. Thus biddeth you the Pen of the All-Glorious, whilst seated beneath the swords of the wayward.

If ye become aware of a sin committed by another, conceal it, that God may conceal your own sin. He, verily, is the Concealer, the Lord of grace abounding. O ye rich ones on earth! If ye encounter one who is poor, treat him not disdainfully. Reflect upon that whereof ye were created. Every one of you was created of a sorry germ.  It behoveth you to observe truthfulness, whereby your temples shall be adorned, your names uplifted, your stations exalted amidst men, and a mighty recompense assured for you before God.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 78-79

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15 November ― 12 Qudrat   Leave a comment

From

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

 

NINTH PRINCIPLE — THE NON-INTERFERENCE OF RELIGION WITH POLITICS
4 Avenue de Camoens, Paris

49.1
In the conduct of life, man is actuated by two main motives: “The Hope for Reward” and “The Fear of Punishment.”

49.2
This hope and this fear must consequently be greatly taken into account by those in authority who have important posts under Government. Their business in life is to consult together for the framing of laws, and to provide for their just administration.

49.3
The tent of the order of the world is raised and established on the two pillars of “Reward and Retribution.”

49.4
In despotic Governments carried on by men without Divine faith, where no fear of spiritual retribution exists, the execution of the laws is tyrannical and unjust.

49.5
There is no greater prevention of oppression than these two sentiments, hope and fear. They have both political and spiritual consequences.

49.6
If administrators of the law would take into consideration  158  the spiritual consequences of their decisions, and follow the guidance of religion, “They would be Divine agents in the world of action, the representatives of God for those who are on earth, and they would defend, for the love of God, the interests of His servants as they would defend their own.” If a governor realizes his responsibility, and fears to defy the Divine Law, his judgments will be just. Above all, if he believes that the consequences of his actions will follow him beyond his earthly life, and that “as he sows so must he reap”, such a man will surely avoid injustice and tyranny.

49.7
Should an official, on the contrary, think that all responsibility for his actions must end with his earthly life, knowing and believing nothing of Divine favours and a spiritual kingdom of joy, he will lack the incentive to just dealing, and the inspiration to destroy oppression and unrighteousness.

49.8
When a ruler knows that his judgments will be weighed in a balance by the Divine Judge, and that if he be not found wanting he will come into the Celestial Kingdom and that the light of the Heavenly Bounty will shine upon him, then will he surely act with justice and equity. Behold how important it is that Ministers of State should be enlightened by religion!

49.9
With political questions the clergy, however, have nothing to do! Religious matters should not be confused with politics in the present state of the world (for their interests are not identical).

49.10
Religion concerns matters of the heart, of the spirit, and of morals.  

49.11
Politics are occupied with the material things of life. Religious teachers should not invade the realm of politics; they should concern themselves with the spiritual education of the people; they should ever give good counsel to men, trying to serve God and human kind; they should endeavour to awaken spiritual aspiration, and strive to enlarge the understanding and knowledge of humanity, to improve morals, and to increase the love for justice.

49.12
This is in accordance with the Teaching of Bahá’u’lláh. In the Gospel also it is written, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things which are God’s.”

49.13
In Persia there are some amongst the important Ministers of State who are religious, who are exemplary, who worship God, and who fear to disobey His Laws, who judge justly and rule their people with Equity. Other Governors there are in this land who have no fear of God before their eyes, who think not of the consequences of their actions, working for their own desires, and these have brought Persia into great trouble and difficulty.

49.14
Oh, friends of God, be living examples of justice! So that by the Mercy of God, the world may see in your actions that you manifest the attributes of justice and mercy.

49.15
Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality. Its operation must be carried out in all classes, from the highest to the lowest. Justice must be sacred, and the rights of all the people must be considered. Desire for others only that which you desire for yourselves. Then shall we rejoice in the Sun of Justice, which shines from the Horizon of God.

49.16
Each man has been placed in a post of honour, which he must not desert. A humble workman who commits an injustice is as much to blame as a renowned tyrant. Thus we all have our choice between justice and injustice.

49.17
I hope that each one of you will become just, and direct your thoughts towards the unity of mankind; that you will never harm your neighbours nor speak ill of any one; that you will respect the rights of all men, and be more concerned for the interests of others than for your own. Thus will you become torches of Divine justice, acting in accordance with the Teaching of Bahá’u’lláh, who, during His life, bore innumerable trials and persecutions in order to show forth to the world of mankind the virtues of the World of Divinity, making it possible for you to realize the supremacy of the spirit, and to rejoice in the Justice of God.

49.18
By His Mercy, the Divine Bounty will be showered upon you, and for this I pray!

50

 Paris Talks, p. 157

MORNING:

Magnify My Cause and promulgate My teachings and commandments, for none other course beside this shall beseem you, and no other path shall ever lead unto Him. Would that ye might heed Our counsel!

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 37

EVENING:

IMG_2461Say: We have ordained that our Cause be taught through the power of utterance. Beware lest ye dispute idly with anyone. Whoso ariseth wholly for the sake of his Lord to teach His Cause, the Holy Spirit shall strengthen him and inspire him with that which will illumine the heart of the world, how much more the hearts of those who seek Him. O people of Baha! Subdue the citadels of men’s hearts with the swords of wisdom and of utterance. They that dispute, as prompted by their desires, are indeed wrapped in a palpable veil. Say: The sword of wisdom is hotter than summer heat, and sharper than blades of steel, if ye do but understand. Draw it forth in My name and through the power of My might, and conquer then with it the cities of the hearts of them that have secluded themselves in the stronghold of their corrupt desires. Thus biddeth you the Pen of the All-Glorious, whilst seated beneath the swords of the wayward.

If ye become aware of a sin committed by another, conceal it, that God may conceal your own sin. He, verily, is the Concealer, the Lord of grace abounding. O ye rich ones on earth! If ye encounter one who is poor, treat him not disdainfully. Reflect upon that whereof ye were created. Every one of you was created of a sorry germ. It behoveth you to observe truthfulness, whereby your temples shall be adorned, your names uplifted, your stations exalted amidst men, and a mighty recompense assured for you before God.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 78-79

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Know that, verily, this day is the day of teaching, this day is the day of diffusing the fragrances of God, being severed from aught else save God, attracted to the Word of God, and clinging to the Covenant of God. There is no work greater than this. Be ye entirely spiritual, purely brilliant, cut your dependence from any other mention, thought or purpose, and confine your mentions, thoughts and occupations to spreading the fragrances of God, and devote your attention to this great work. By God, the True One, verily, the Sun of Truth will cast forth its lights in your assemblies and will make you shining lamps, glittering stars, brilliant signs, and as souls attracted to the Holy Spirit. This is the great prosperity! This is the manifest light!

Upon you be greeting and Praise!

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 28

29 September ― 3 Mashíyyat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9202These* are they who circle round the Cause of God even as the shadow doth revolve around the sun. Open, then, your eyes, O people of the Bayán, that haply ye may behold them! It is by virtue of their movement that all things are set in motion, and by reason of their stillness all things are brought to rest, would that ye might be assured thereof! Through them the believers in the Divine Unity have turned towards Him Who is the Object of the adoration of the entire creation, and by them the hearts of the righteous have found rest and composure, could ye but know it! Through them the earth hath been established, the clouds have rained down their bounty, and the bread of knowledge hath descended from the heaven of grace, could ye but perceive it!

* “…such souls as will remain unswayed by the insinuations of the rebellious, and who will quaff at all times of the cup that is life indeed. These, truly, are of the blissful.”

These souls are the protectors of the Cause of God on earth, who shall preserve its beauty from the obscuring dust of idle fancies and vain imaginings. In the path of their Lord they shall not fear for their lives; rather will they sacrifice their all in their eagerness to behold the face of their Well-Beloved when once He hath appeared in this Name, the Almighty, the All-Powerful, the All-Glorious, the Most Holy.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 9

EVENING:

O thou who hast set thy face towards the Realm on High and hast quaffed My sealed wine from the hand of bounteousness! Know thou that the term ‘Infallibility’ hath numerous meanings and divers stations. In one sense it is applicable to the One Whom God hath made immune from error. Similarly it is applied to every soul whom God hath guarded against sin, transgression, rebellion, impiety, disbelief and the like. However, the Most Great Infallibility is confined to the One Whose station is immeasurably exalted beyond ordinances or prohibitions and is sanctified from errors and omissions. Indeed He is a Light which is not followed by darkness and a Truth not overtaken by error. Were He to pronounce water to be wine or heaven to be earth or light to be fire, He speaketh the truth and no doubt would there be about it; and unto no one is given the right to question His authority or to say why or wherefore. Whosoever raiseth objections will be numbered with the froward in the Book of God, the Lord of the worlds. ‘Verily He shall not be asked of His doings but all others shall be asked of their doings.’* He is come from the invisible heaven, bearing the banner ‘He doeth whatsoever He willeth’ and is accompanied by hosts of power and authority while it is the duty of all besides Him to strictly observe whatever laws and ordinances have been enjoined upon them, and should anyone deviate therefrom, even to the extent of a hair’s breadth, his work would be brought to naught.

* Qur’án 21:23

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 108

Portrait of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá by Kalil Gibran

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

In cycles gone by, each one of the Manifestations of God hath had His own rank in the world of existence, and each hath represented a stage in the development of humanity. But the Manifestation of the Most Great Name—may my life be a sacrifice for His loved ones—was an expression of the coming of age, the maturing of man’s inmost reality in this world of being. For the sun is the source and well-spring of light and heat, the focal point of splendours, and it compriseth all the perfections that are made manifest by the other stars which have dawned upon the world. Make thou an effort that thou mayest take thy place under the sun and receive an abundant share of its dazzling light. In truth do I tell thee, once thou hast attained this station, thou shalt behold the saints bowing down their heads in all humility before Him. Haste thou to life before death cometh; haste thou to the spring season before autumn draweth in; and before illness striketh, haste thou to healing—that thou mayest become a physician of the spirit who, with the breaths of the Holy Spirit, healeth all manner of sickness in this famed and glorious age.

Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 lightweight edition, pp: 56-57

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

IMG_7561What the Cause now requires is not so much a group of highly cultured and intellectual people who can adequately present its Teachings, but a number of devoted, sincere and loyal supporters who, in utter disregard of their own weaknesses and limitations, and with hearts afire with the love of God, forsake their all for the sake of spreading and establishing His Faith.

Directives from the Guardian, p. 75

Quickeners of Mankind, p. 19

Seat of The Universal House of Justice, Haifa, Israel

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

Acceptance of the oneness of mankind is the first fundamental prerequisite for reorganization and administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind. Universal acceptance of this spiritual principle is essential to any successful attempt to establish world peace. It should therefore be universally proclaimed, taught in schools, and constantly asserted in every nation as preparation for the organic change in the structure of society which it implies.

In the Bahá’í view, recognition of the oneness of mankind “calls for no less than the reconstruction and the demilitarization of the whole civilized world—a world organically unified in all the essential aspects of its life, its political machinery, its spiritual aspiration, its trade and finance, its script and language, and yet infinite in the diversity of the national characteristics of its federated units.”

Elaborating the implications of this pivotal principle, Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, commented in 1931 that: “Far from aiming at the subversion of the existing foundations of society, it seeks to broaden its basis, to remold its institutions in a manner consonant with the needs of an ever-changing world. It can conflict with no legitimate allegiances, nor can it undermine essential loyalties. Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame of a sane and intelligent patriotism in men’s hearts, nor to abolish the system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive centralization are to be avoided. It does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world. It calls for a wider loyalty, for a larger aspiration than any that has animated the human race. It insists upon the subordination of national impulses and interests to the imperative claims of a unified world. It repudiates excessive centralization on one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other. Its watchword is unity in diversity”.

The Promise of World Peace,

Bahá’í World Centre, October 1985, p.10

Posted September 29, 2016 by Once in "Directives from the Guardian" by Shoghi Effendi, "Quickeners of Mankind", "Súriy-i-Haykal", "Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá", "Summons of the Lord of Hosts", "The Promise of World Peace", 'Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh", Autumn, Bahá’í view, Bahá’u’lláh, Bayán, Book of God, Bread of knowledge, Breaths of the Holy Spirit, Cause of God, Civilized world, Climate, Clouds, Coming of age, Composure, Cultured and intellectual people, Cycles, Death, Demilitarization, Disbelief, Diversity, Divine unity, Earth, Essential loyalties, Ethic origins, Ever-changing world, Excessive centralization, Federal units, Finance, Fire, Focal point of splendours, Habit, Hair's breaadth, Healing, Hearts, Heaven, History, Holy Spirit, Home of humankind, Human race, Humanity, Idle fancies, Illness, Imperative claims, Impiety, Infallibility, Inmost reality, Institutions, Invisible heaven, Language, Legitimate allegiances, Light, Light not followed by darkness, Limitations, Lord of the worlds, Love of God, Manifestations of God, Most Great Name, Movement, National characteristics, National impulses, Nations, One country, Oneness of mankind, Ordinances, Organic change, Patriotism, People of the Bayán, Peoples, Perfections, Physician, Physician of the spirit, Political machinery, Prohibitions, Protectors of the Cause of God, Qur'án, Reallm on High, Rebellion, Rest, Saints, Script, Sealed wine, Shoghi Effendi, Sin, sincere and loyal supporters, Spiritual aspiration, Spring, st Great Infallibility, Stars, Station, Stations, Stillness, Structure of society, Sun, Thought, Trade, Tradition, Transgression, Truth, Truth not overtaken by error, Unified world, Uniformity, Unity in diversity, Universal House of Justice, Vain imaginings, Water, Weaknesses, Well-spring of heat, Well-spring of light, Wine, World of existence, World peace

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27 September ― THE FEAST OF MASHÍYYAT   Leave a comment

27 September ― THE FEAST OF MASHÍYYAT [Will]

MORNING:

IMG_9971He is the Exalted, the Most High!

O thou who treadest the path of justice and beholdest the countenance of mercy! Thine epistle was received, thy question was noted, and the sweet accents of thy soul were heard from the inmost chambers of thy heart. Whereupon the clouds of the Divine Will were raised to rain upon thee the outpourings of heavenly wisdom, to divest thee of all that thou hadst acquired aforetime, to draw thee from the realms of contradiction unto the retreats of oneness, and to lead thee to the sacred streams of His Law. Perchance thou mayest quaff therefrom, repose therein, quench thy thirst, refresh thy soul, and be numbered with those whom the light of God hath guided aright in this day.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 3

EVENING:

For instance, if thou wert to reduce the unseen world to the realm of creation, this would be an act of sheer blasphemy, and the converse would likewise be the essence of impiety. Wert thou, however, to describe the unseen world and the realm of creation within their own stations, this would be the undoubted truth. In other words, wert thou to witness any transformation in the realm of the divine unity, no greater sin could be conceived in all creation, but wert thou to consider transformation in its own place and understand it accordingly, no harm could befall thee.

By My Lord! Notwithstanding all that We have revealed unto thee of the mysteries of utterance and the degrees of exposition, methinks I have spoken not a single letter of the ocean of God’s hidden knowledge and the essence of His inscrutable wisdom. God willing, this We shall erelong accomplish in its appointed time. He verily, remembereth all things in their own place, and we, in truth, all yield praise unto Him.

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp: 63-64

FROM CENTRE OF THE CAUSE

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O ye that have minds to know! Raise up your suppliant hands to the heaven of the one God, and humble yourselves and be lowly before Him, and thank Him for this supreme endowment, and implore Him to succor us until, in this present age, godlike impulses may radiate from the conscience of mankind, and this divinely kindled fire which has been entrusted to the human heart may never die away.

Consider carefully: all these highly varied phenomena, these concepts, this knowledge, these technical procedures and philosophical systems, these sciences, arts, industries and inventions — all are emanations of the human mind. Whatever people has ventured deeper into this shoreless sea, has come to excel the rest. The happiness and pride of a nation consist in this, that it should shine out like the sun in the high heaven of knowledge. “Shall they who have knowledge and they who have it not, be treated alike?”* And the honor and distinction of the individual consist in this, that he among all the world’s multitudes should become a source of social good. Is any larger bounty conceivable than this, that an individual, looking within himself, should find that by the confirming grace of God he has become the cause of peace and well-being, of happiness and advantage to his fellow men? No, by the one true God, there is no greater bliss, no more complete delight.

*Qur’án 39:12

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 2-3

COMMISSIONED BY THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

IMG_9483Service to the goal calls for an understanding of the fundamental difference distinguishing the mission of Bahá’u’lláh from political and ideological projects of human design. The moral vacuum that produced the horrors of the twentieth century exposed the outermost limits of the mind’s unaided capacity to devise and construct an ideal society, however great the material resources harnessed to the effort. The suffering entailed has engraved the lesson indelibly on the consciousness of the earth’s peoples. Religion’s perspective on humanity’s future, therefore, has nothing in common with systems of the past-and only relatively little relationship with those of today. Its appeal is to a reality in the genetic code, if it can be so described, of the rational soul. The Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus taught two thousand years ago, is “within”. His organic analogies of a “vineyard”, of “seed [sown] into the good ground”, of the “good tree [that] bringeth forth good fruit” speak of a potentiality of the human species that has been nurtured and trained by God since the dawn of time as the purpose and leading edge of the creative process. The ongoing work of patient cultivation is the task that Bahá’u’lláh has entrusted to the company of those who recognize Him and embrace His Cause. Little wonder, then, at the exalted language in which He speaks of a privilege so great: “Ye are the stars of the heaven of understanding, the breeze that stirreth at the break of day, the soft-flowing waters upon which must depend the very life of all men….”

IMG_9519The process bears within itself the assurance of its fulfilment. For those with eyes to see, the new creation is today everywhere emerging, in the same way that a seedling becomes in time a fruit-bearing tree or a child reaches adulthood. Successive dispensations of a loving and purposeful Creator have brought the earth’s inhabitants to the threshold of their collective coming-of-age as a single people. Bahá’u’lláh is now summoning humanity to enter on its inheritance: “That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith.”

One Common Faith, ¶’s 72-73