Archive for the ‘“Star of the West”’ Category

17 August ― 9 Jalál   Leave a comment

MORNING:IMG_6778

And yet, is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed, the futility of God’s universal Manifestations would be apparent.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 240

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EVENING:

“Be unrestrained as the wind, while carrying the Message of Him Who hath caused the Dawn of Divine Guidance to break. Consider, how the wind, faithful to that which God hath ordained, bloweth upon all the regions of the earth, be they inhabited or desolate… So should be every one that claimeth to be a lover of the one true God. It behoveth him to fix his gaze upon the fundamentals of His Faith, and to labor diligently for its propagation. Wholly for the sake of God he should proclaim His Message, and with that same spirit accept whatever response his words may evoke in his hearer.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 339

IMG_5897FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Turn thy face unto the Kingdom of the Covenant, thy heart beating with the love of God, thy soul attracted to the fragrances of God, thy tongue speaking of the appearances of the Kingdom of God, thy insight rending veils asunder and disclosing the realities of things–and with a power which may move the heart of all in the world.
      This is a confirmation from the Lord of the effulgence, while all else save this shall never profit thee! This is that by reason of which thy face shall gleam, thy heart shall de dilated with joy, thy soul become pure, thy back strengthened, thy spirit rejoiced and thy identity quickened. Leave the people of suspicion behind thy back and adhere to the manifest signs.

Star of the West, IV, p. 10

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23 November ― Feast of Qawl [Speech]   Leave a comment

23 November ― Feast of Qawl [Speech]

MORNING:

Say: If it be Our pleasure We shall render the Cause victorious through the power of a single word from Our presence. He is in truth the Omnipotent, the All-Compelling. Should it be God’s intention, there would appear out of the forests of celestial might the lion of indomitable strength whose roaring is like unto the peals of thunder reverberating in the mountains. However, since Our loving providence surpasseth all things, We have ordained that complete victory should be achieved through speech and utterance, that Our servants throughout the earth may thereby become the recipients of divine good. This is but a token of God’s bounty vouchsafed unto them. Verily thy Lord is the All-Sufficing, the Most Exalted.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdás, pp: 197-198

EVENING:

…THE VALLEY OF CONTENTMENT.

In this Valley he feeleth the winds of divine contentment blowing from the plane of the spirit. He burneth away the veils of want, and with inward and outward eye, perceiveth within and without all things the day of: “God will compensate each one out of His abundance.”* From sorrow he turneth to bliss, from anguish to joy. His grief and mourning yield to delight and rapture.

*Qur’án 4:129

Although to outward view, the wayfarers in this Valley may dwell upon the dust, yet inwardly they are throned in the heights of mystic meaning; they eat of the endless bounties of inner significances, and drink of the delicate wines of the spirit.

The tongue faileth in describing these three Valleys, and speech falleth short. The pen steppeth not into this region, the ink leaveth only a blot. In these planes, the nightingale of the heart hath other songs and secrets, which make the heart to stir and the soul to clamor, but this mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart, confided only from breast to breast.

Only heart to heart can speak the bliss of mystic knowers;

No messenger can tell it and no missive bear it.*

* Hafiz: Shamsu’d-Din Muḥammad, of Shiráz, died ca. 1389 A.D. One of the greatest of Persian poets

I am silent from weakness on many a matter,

For my words could not reckon them and my speech would fall short.*

*Arabian poem

O friend, till thou enter the garden of such mysteries, thou shalt never set lip to the undying wine of this Valley. And shouldst thou taste of it, thou wilt shield thine eyes from all things else, and drink of the wine of contentment; and thou wilt loose thyself from all things else, and bind thyself to Him, and throw thy life down in His path, and cast thy soul away. However, there is no other in this region that thou need forget: “There was God and there was naught beside Him.”* For on this plane the traveler witnesseth the beauty of the Friend in everything. Even in fire, he seeth the face of the Beloved. He beholdeth in illusion the secret of reality, and readeth from the attributes the riddle of the Essence. For he hath burnt away the veils with his sighing, and unwrapped the shroudings with a single glance; with piercing sight he gazeth on the new creation; with lucid heart he graspeth subtle verities. This is sufficiently attested by: “And we have made thy sight sharp in this day.”**

*Hadith, i.e. action or utterance traditionally attributed to the Prophet Muhammad or to one of the holy Imáms

**Qur’án 50:21

After journeying through the planes of pure contentment, the traveler cometh to THE VALLEY OF WONDERMENT

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Seven Valleys, pp: 29-31

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

“Profitless discussions fatigue and weary a person…

 

“Man’s speech is the revealer of his heart. In whatever world the heart travels, man’s conversation will revolve around that center. From his words you can understand in what world he is traveling, whether he is looking upward toward the realm of light or downward to the nether world, whether he is mindful or unaware, whether he is awake or asleep, whether he is alive or dead. For this reason His Holiness Ali says: ‘Man is hidden behind his tongue. Out of the abundance of his heart does man speak.'”

Words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, July 25, 1914: Star of the West, Vol. VIII, No. 2, pp. 24-25

Lights of Guidance Part 5

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“Today the greatest need of the world of humanity is discontinuance of the existing misunderstandings among nations. This can be accomplished through the unity of language. Unless the unity of languages is realized, the Most Great Peace and the oneness of the human world cannot be effectively organized and established because the function of language is to portray the mysteries and secrets of human hearts. The heart is like a box, and language is the key. Only by using the key can we open the box and observe the gems it contains. Therefore, the question of an auxiliary international tongue has the utmost importance. Through this means international education and training become possible; the evidence and history of the past can be acquired. The spread of the known facts of the human world depends upon language. The explanation of divine teachings can only be through this medium. As long as diversity of tongues and lack of comprehension of other languages continue, these glorious aims cannot be realized. Therefore, the very first service to the world of man is to establish this auxiliary international means of communication. It will become the cause of the tranquility of the human commonwealth. Through it sciences and arts will be spread among the nations, and it will prove to be the means of the progress and development of all races.”

The Promulgation of Universal Peace Wilmette, 1982, pp. 60-61

21 December ― 10 Masá’il   Leave a comment

MORNING:

The fifth Glad-Tidings

IMG_9576In every country where any of this people reside, they must behave towards the government of that country with loyalty, honesty and truthfulness. This is that which hath been revealed at the behest of Him Who is the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days.

It is binding and incumbent upon the peoples of the world, one and all, to extend aid unto this momentous Cause which is come from the heaven of the Will of the ever-abiding God, that perchance the fire of animosity which blazeth in the hearts of some of the peoples of the earth may, through the living waters of divine wisdom and by virtue of heavenly counsels and exhortations, be quenched, and the light of unity and concord may shine forth and shed its radiance upon the world.

We cherish the hope that through the earnest endeavours of such as are the exponents of the power of God — exalted be His glory — the weapons of war throughout the world may be converted into instruments of reconstruction and that strife and conflict may be removed from the midst of men.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 22-23

 

 

 EVENING:

IMG_9591It is incumbent upon every man, in this Day, to hold fast unto whatsoever will promote the interests, and exalt the station, of all nations and just governments. Through each and every one of the verses which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed, the doors of love and unity have been unlocked and flung open to the face of men. We have erewhile declared — and Our Word is the truth — : ‘Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship.’ Whatsoever hath led the children of men to shun one another, and hath caused dissensions and divisions amongst them, hath, through the revelation of these words, been nullified and abolished. From the heaven of God’s Will, and for the purpose of ennobling the world of being and of elevating the minds and souls of men, hath been sent down that which is the most effective instrument for the education of the whole human race. The highest essence and most perfect expression of whatsoever the peoples of old have either said or written hath, through this most potent Revelation, been sent down from the heaven of the Will of the All-Possessing, the Ever-Abiding God. Of old it hath been revealed: ‘Love of one’s country is an element of the Faith of God.’ The Tongue of Grandeur hath, however, in the day of His manifestation proclaimed: ‘It is not his to boast who loveth his country, but it is his who loveth the world.’ Through the power released by these exalted words He hath lent a fresh impulse and set a new direction to the birds of men’s hearts, and hath obliterated every trace of restriction and limitation from God’s holy Book.

This Wronged One hath forbidden the people of God to engage in contention or conflict and hath exhorted them to righteous deeds and praiseworthy character. In this day the hosts that can ensure the victory of the Cause are those of goodly conduct and saintly character. Blessed are they who firmly adhere unto them and woe betide such as turn away therefrom.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 87-88

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

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Unity is love. It cannot be established without love. Therefore try, as far as possible, to be filled with love. Love is perpetual life, the most perfect vitality. Consider how love has gathered us together from the East and the West! If there were no love between us our friendship would have been concluded with salutations, such as “Good morning” and “Good evening.” Love draws us in friendship to the people of every race and religion. He is a Baha’i, of the people of Baha, from whom we breathe the fragrance of this love again. …

The highest love is independent of any personal advantages which we may draw from the love of the friend. If you love truly, your love for your friend will continue, even if he treats you ill. A man who really loves God, will love Him whether he be ill, or sad, or unfortunate. He does not love God because He has created him — his life may be full of disassociations and miseries. He does not love God because He has given him health or wealth, because these may disappear at any moment. He does not love Him because He has given him the strength of youth, because old age will surely come upon him. The reason for his love is not because he is grateful for certain mercies and benefits. No! The lover of God desires and adores Him because He is perfection and because of His perfections. Love should be the very essence of love, and not dependent on outward manifestations.

A moth loves the light, though his wings are burnt. Though his wings are singed, he throws himself against the flame. He does not love the light because it has conferred some benefit upon him. Therefore he hovers round the light, though he sacrifices his wings.

This is the highest degree of love. Without this abandonment, this ecstasy love is imperfect.

The lover of God loves Him for Himself, not for his own sake.
Words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá quoted in Fortnightly Review, June, 1911; Star of the West, vol. VIII, no. 9, August 20, 1917

19 August ― 19 Kamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_5877Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is a direct evidence of the revelation within it of the attributes and names of God, inasmuch as within every atom are enshrined the signs that bear eloquent testimony to the revelation of that most Great Light. Methinks, but for the potency of that revelation, no being could ever exist. 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 attributed 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 a sacrifice unto Him — hath spoken: “He hath known God who hath known himself.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 177-78

EVENING:

O My servants! Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would, of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves — a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being. Ye would find yourselves independent of all else but Me, and would perceive, with your inner and outer eye, and as manifest as the revelation of My effulgent Name, the seas of My loving-kindness and bounty moving within you. Suffer not your idle fancies, your evil passions, your insincerity and blindness of heart to dim the luster, or stain the sanctity, of so lofty a station . . .

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 326-327

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

IMG_0768Today the confirmations of the Kingdom of Abhá are with those who renounce themselves, forget their own opinions, cast aside personalities and are thinking of the welfare of others. Whosoever has lost himself has found the universe and the inhabitants thereof. Whosoever is occupied with himself is wandering in the desert of heedlessness and regret. The “master-key” to self-mastery is self-forgetting. The road to the palace of life is through the path of renunciation.

Star of the West, vol. 17, no. 2, p. 348

Compilation from the Research Department of The Universal House of Justice, 02 December 1985:  Psychology and Knowledge of Self


23 July ― 11 Kalimát   Leave a comment

FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION, 1604-1611]

Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans:

8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

8:11 But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.

8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

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MORNING:

Success or failure, gain or losss, must…depend upon man’s own exertions.  The more he striveth, the greater will be his progress*….All that which ye potentially possess can, however, be manifested only as a result of your own volition.  Your own acts testify to this truth.**

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

*Gleanings from the Writings of  Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 81-82

**Gleanings from the Writings of  Bahá’u’lláh, pl 149

Fire and Gold, p. 211

EVENING:

Indeed, if God willeth, He is potent to turn the stone into a mirror, but the person himself remaineth reconciled to his state.  Had he withed to become a crystal, God would have made hime to assume a crystal form.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 103

FROM  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,

CENTRE OF THE COVENANT OF GOD:

In this day every one must be tested, as the time of the ‘chosen ones’ to prove their worth is indeed very short.  The day of attainment is drawing to a close for them. The ‘first fruits’ must be ripened in spirit, mellowed in love, and consumed by their self-sacrifice and severance.  None other are acceptable as first fruits, and all who fail to attain the standard through the tests, are relegated to the ‘many who are called’.

Words attributed to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in answer to questions asked by Dr. Edward Gesinger, Star of the West, vol. 6, no. 6, p. 45

Fire and Gold, p. 177

FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION, 1604-1611] THE GOSPEL OF ST. MATTHEW]:

19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

19:25 When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore? 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My Name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

20:2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

20:3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 20:4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

20:6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 20:7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

20:8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

20:9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

20:10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

20:11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 20:12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

20:13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 20:14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

14 May ― 17 Jamál   Leave a comment

Shoghi Effendi perceived in the organic life of the Cause a dialectic of victory and crisis. The unprecedented triumphs, generated by the adamantine steadfastness of the Iranian friends, will inevitably provoke opposition to test and increase our strength. Let every Bahá’í in the world be assured that whatever may befall this growing Faith of God is but incontrovertible evidence of the loving care with which the King of Glory and His martyred Herald, through the incomparable Centre of His Covenant and our beloved Guardian, are preparing His humble followers for ultimate and magnificent triumph….

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

2 January 1986 to the Bahá’ís of the World

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p: 168-169

 

MORNING:

Say: The fierce gales and whirlwinds of the world and its peoples can never shake the foundation upon which the rocklike stability of My chosen ones is based. Gracious God! What could have prompted these people to enslave and imprison the loved ones of Him Who is the Eternal Truth? … The day, however, is approaching when the faithful will behold the Day Star of justice shining in its full splendor from the Day Spring of glory. Thus instructeth thee the Lord of all being in this, His grievous Prison.

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 341-342

 

EVENING:

Behold how in this Dispensation the worthless and foolish have fondly imagined that by such instruments as massacre, plunder and banishment they can extinguish the Lamp which the Hand of Divine power hath lit, or eclipse the Day Star of everlasting splendor. How utterly unaware they seem to be of the truth that such adversity is the oil that feedeth the flame of this Lamp! Such is God’s transforming power. He changeth whatsoever He willeth; He verily hath power over all things….

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 72

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

The friends of God are supported by the Kingdom on high and they win their victories through the massed armies of the most great guidance. Thus for them every difficulty will be made smooth, every problem will most easily be solved.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 279

All who stand up in the cause of God will be persecuted and misunderstood. It hath ever been so, and will ever be. Let neither enemy nor friend disturb your composure, destroy your happiness, deter your accomplishment. Rely wholly upon God. Then will persecution and slander make you the more radiant. The designs of your enemies will rebound upon them. They, not you, will suffer.

Oppression is the wind that doth fan the fire of the Love of God. Welcome persecution and bitterness. A soldier may bear arms, but until  he hath faced the enemy in battle he hath not earned his place in the king’s army. Let nothing defeat you. God is your helper. God is invincible. Be firm in the Heavenly Covenant. Pray for strength. It will be given to you, no matter how difficult the conditions.

Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 5 (5 June 1913), p. 88 – revised translation)

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, pp: 155-156

 

 

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD SHOGHI EFFENDI:

…every apparent trial with which the unfathomable wisdom of the Almighty deems it necessary to afflict His chosen community serves only to demonstrate afresh its essential solidarity and to consolidate its inward strength…  For such demonstrations of the interpositions of an ever- watchful Providence they who stand identified with the Community of the Most Great Name must feel eternally grateful. From every fresh token of His unfailing blessing on the one hand, and of His visitation on the other, they cannot but derive immense hope and courage….

 

Though small in numbers, and circumscribed as yet in your experiences, powers, and resources, yet the Force which energizes your mission is limitless in its range and incalculable in its potency. Though the enemies which every acceleration in the progress of your mission must raise up be fierce, numerous, and unrelenting, yet the invisible Hosts which, if you persevere, must, as promised, rush forth to your aid, will, in the end, enable you to vanquish their hopes and annihilate their forces. Though the ultimate blessings that must crown the consummation of your mission be undoubted, and the Divine promises given you firm and irrevocable, yet the measure of the goodly reward which every one of you is to reap must depend on the extent to which your daily exertions will have contributed to the expansion of that mission and the hastening of its triumph.

From a letter dated 25 December 1938 to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, published in The Advent of Divine Justice p. 2; p. 16

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, pp: 158-159