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27 April ― 1 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

27 April ― 1 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

The Feast of Jamál

MORNING:

IMG_1561O ye the dawning-places of knowledge! Beware that ye suffer not yourselves to become changed, for as ye change, most men will, likewise, change. This, verily, is an injustice unto yourselves and unto others. Unto this beareth witness every man of discernment and insight. Ye are even as a spring. If it be changed, so will the streams that branch out from it be changed. Fear God, and be numbered with the godly. In like manner, if the heart of man be corrupted, his limbs will also be corrupted. And similarly, if the root of a tree be corrupted, its branches, and its offshoots, and its leaves, and its fruits, will be corrupted. Thus have We set forth similitudes for your instruction, that perchance ye may not be debarred by the things ye possess from attaining unto that which hath been destined for you by Him Who is the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 47

 

EVENING:

Say: O peoples of the earth! Destroy the abodes of negligence with the hands of power and assurance, and raise up the mansions of true knowledge within your hearts, that the All-Merciful may shed the radiance of His light upon them. Better is this for you than all whereon the sun shineth, and unto this beareth witness He Who holdeth within His grasp the ultimate decree. The Breeze of God hath been wafted over the world at the advent of the Desired One in His great glory, whereupon every stone and clod of earth hath cried out: “The Promised One is come! The Kingdom is God’s, the Mighty, the Gracious, the Forgiving.”

Beware 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

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 55-56

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

“O friends, help the Oppressed One with well-pleasing virtues and good deeds! Today let every soul desire to attain the highest station. He must not regard what is in him, but what is in God. It is not for him to regard what shall advantage himself, but that whereby the Word of God which must be obeyed shall be upraised. The heart must be sanctified from every form of selfishness and lust, for the weapons of the unitarians and the saints were and are the fear of God. That is the buckler which guardeth man from the arrows of hatred and abomination. Unceasingly hath the standard of piety been victorious, and accounted amongst the most puissant hosts of the world. Thereby do the saints subdue the cities of [men’s] hearts by the permission of God, the Lord of hosts. Darkness hath encompassed the earth: the lamp which giveth light was and is wisdom. The dictates thereof must be observed under all circumstances. And of wisdom is the regard of place and the utterance of discourse according to measure and state. And of wisdom is decision; for man should not accept whatsoever anyone sayeth.

“Under all circumstances desire of the True One (glorious is His glory) that He will not deprive His servants of the sealed wine and the lights of the Name of the Self-Subsistent.

A Traveller’s Narrative, pp: 45-46

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2 February ― 15 Sulṭán   Leave a comment

MORNING:

The voice of the Divine Herald, proceeding out of the throne of God, declareth: O ye My loved ones! Suffer not the hem of My sacred vesture to be smirched and mired with the things of this world, and follow not the promptings of your evil and corrupt desires. The Day Star of Divine Revelation, that shineth in the plenitude of its glory in the heaven of this Prison, beareth Me witness. They whose hearts are turned towards Him Who is the Object of the adoration of the entire creation must needs, in this Day, pass beyond and be sanctified from all created things, visible and invisible. If they arise to teach My Cause, they must let the breath of Him Who is the Unconstrained, stir them and must spread it abroad on the earth with high resolve, with minds that are wholly centered in Him, and with hearts that are completely detached from and independent of all things, and with souls that are sanctified from the world and its vanities. It behoveth them to choose as the best provision for their journey reliance upon God, and to clothe themselves with the love of their Lord, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious. If they do so, their words shall influence their hearers.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 200-201

EVENING:

The vitality of men’s belief in God is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it. The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and revive it? Is it within human power, O Hakim, to effect in the constituent elements of any of the minute and indivisible particles of matter so complete a transformation as to transmute it into purest gold? Perplexing and difficult as this may appear, the still greater task of converting satanic strength into heavenly power is one that We have been empowered to accomplish. The Force capable of such a transformation transcendeth the potency of the Elixir itself. The Word of God, alone, can claim the distinction of being endowed with the capacity required for so great and far-reaching a change.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 199

IMG_9023FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ quoted by SHOGHI EFFENDI:

This vital force is dying out, this mighty agency has been scorned, this radiant light obscured, this impregnable stronghold abandoned, this beauteous robe discarded. God Himself has indeed been dethroned from the hearts of men, and an idolatrous world passionately and clamorously hails and worships the false gods which its own idle fancies have fatuously created, and its misguided hands so impiously exalted. The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. Their high priests are the politicians and the worldly-wise, the so-called sages of the age; their sacrifice, the flesh and blood of the slaughtered multitudes; their incantations outworn shibboleths and insidious and irreverent formulas; their incense, the smoke of anguish that ascends from the lacerated hearts of the bereaved, the maimed, and the homeless.

The theories and policies, so unsound, so pernicious, which deify the state and exalt the nation above mankind, which seek to subordinate the sister races of the world to one single race, which discriminate between the black and the white, and which tolerate the dominance of one privileged class over all others — these are the dark, the false, and crooked doctrines for which any man or people who believes in them, or acts upon them, must, sooner or later, incur the wrath and chastisement of God.

“Movements,” is the warning sounded by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “newly born and worldwide in their range, will exert their utmost effort for the advancement of their designs. The Movement of the Left will acquire great importance. Its influence will spread.”

Contrasting with, and irreconcilably opposed to, these war-engendering, world-convulsing doctrines are the healing, the saving, the pregnant truths proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh, the Divine Organizer and Savior of the whole human race — truths which should be regarded as the animating force and the hallmark of His Revelation: “The world is but one country, and mankind its citizens.” “Let not a man glory in that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.” And again: “Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.” “Bend your minds and wills to the education of the peoples and kindreds of the earth, that haply … all mankind may become the upholders of one order, and the inhabitants of one city…. Ye dwell in one world, and have been created through the operation of one Will.” “Beware lest the desires of the flesh and of a corrupt inclination provoke divisions among you. Be ye as the fingers of one hand, the members of one body.” And yet again: “All the saplings of the world have appeared from one Tree, and all the drops from one Ocean, and all beings owe their existence to one Being.” And furthermore: “That one indeed is a man who today dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race.”

The Promised Day is Come, pp: 113-114

 

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

IMG_1456

…A word of caution seems to be in order.  It is certainly not incorrect to speak of “training” children’s class teachers or, for that matter, animators of junior youth groups.  Institutes, however, ought to take care, lest they begin to perceive their work as training in techniques, losing sight of the conception of capacity building at the heart of the institute process that entails a profound understanding of Baha’u’llah’s Revelation….¶15

… In all such matters, those serving as teachers and animators alike are called upon to exercise discretion.  Education is a vast field, and educational theories abound.  Surely many have considerable merit, but it should be remembered that none is free of assumptions about the nature of the human being and society.  An educational process should, for example, create in a child awareness of his or her potentialities, but the glorification of self has to be scrupulously avoided.  So often in the name of building confidence the ego is bolstered.  Similarly, play has its place in the education of the young.  Children and junior youth, however, have proven time and again their capacity to engage in discussions on abstract subjects, undertaken at a level appropriate to their age, and derive great joy from the serious pursuit of understanding.  An educational process that dilutes content in a mesmerizing sea of entertainment does them no service.  We trust that, in studying the institute courses, teachers and animators will find themselves increasingly equipped to make judicious decisions in selecting any materials or activities necessary, whether from traditional educational sources or from the wealth of items, such as songs, stories, and games, that are sure to be developed for the young in the Baha’i community in the years to come.

     Propelled by forces generated both within and outside the Baha’i community, the peoples of the earth can be seen to be moving from divergent directions, closer and closer to one another, towards what will be a world civilization so stupendous in character that it would be futile for us to attempt to imagine it today.  As this centripetal movement of populations accelerates across the globe, some elements in every culture, not in accord with the teachings of the Faith, will gradually fall away, while others will be reinforced.  By the same token, new elements of culture will evolve over time as people hailing from every human group, inspired by the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, give expression to patterns of thought and action engendered by His teachings, in part through artistic and literary works.  It is with such considerations in mind that we welcome the decision of the Ruhi Institute, in formulating its courses, to leave for the friends to address locally issues related to artistic activity.  What we ask at this stage, then, when energies are to be invested in the extension of children’s classes and junior youth groups, is that the multiplication of supplementary items for this purpose be allowed to occur naturally, as an outgrowth of the process of community building gathering momentum in villages and neighbourhoods.  We long to see, for instance, the emergence of captivating songs from every part of the world, in every language, that will impress upon the consciousness of the young the profound concepts enshrined in the Baha’i teachings.  Yet such an efflorescence of creative thought will fail to materialize, should the friends fall, however inadvertently, into patterns prevalent in the world that give licence to those with financial resources to impose their cultural perspective on others, inundating them with materials and products aggressively promoted.  Further, every effort should be made to protect spiritual education from the perils of commercialization.  The Ruhi Institute itself has explicitly discouraged the proliferation of products and items that treat its identity as a brand to be marketed.  We hope that the friends will respect its diligence in this matter. ¶’s 17-18

31 December ― The Feast of Sharaf [Honour]   Leave a comment

31 December ― The Feast of Sharaf [Honour]

    

MORNING:

This Wronged One hath invariably treated the wise with affection. By the wise is meant men whose knowledge is not confined to mere words and whose lives have been fruitful and have produced enduring results. It is incumbent upon everyone to honour these blessed souls. Happy are they that observe God’s precepts; happy are they that have recognized the Truth; happy are they that judge with fairness in all matters and hold fast to the Cord of My inviolable Justice.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 62

IMG_2445 

EVENING:

O people of Bahá! The source of crafts, sciences and arts is the power of reflection. Make ye every effort that out of this ideal mine there may gleam forth such pearls of wisdom and utterance as will promote the well-being and harmony of all the kindreds of the earth.

Under all conditions, whether in adversity or at ease, whether honoured or afflicted, this Wronged One hath directed all men to show forth love, affection, compassion and harmony. And yet whenever there was any slight evidence of progress and advancement, those concealed behind the veils would sally forth and utter calumnies more wounding than the sword. They cling unto misleading and reprehensible words and suffer themselves to be deprived of the ocean of verses revealed by God.

IMG_3076If these obstructing veils had not intervened Persia would, in some two years, have been subdued through the power of utterance, the position of both the government and the people would have been raised and the Supreme Goal, unveiled and unconcealed, would have appeared in the plenitude of glory. In short, sometimes in explicit language, at other times by allusion, We said whatever had to be said. Thus, once Persia had been rehabilitated, the sweet savours of the Word of God would have wafted over all countries, inasmuch as that which hath streamed forth from the Most Exalted Pen is conducive to the glory, the advancement and education of all the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Indeed it is the sovereign remedy for every disease, could they but comprehend and perceive it.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 72-73

 

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

 

 IMG_0737

Lift up your hearts above the present and look with eyes of faith into the future! Today the seed is sown, the grain falls upon the earth, but behold the day will come when it shall rise a glorious tree and the branches thereof shall be laden with fruit. Rejoice and be glad that this day has dawned, try to realize its power, for it is indeed wonderful! God has crowned you with honour and in your hearts has He set a radiant star; verily the light thereof shall brighten the whole world!

Paris Talks, p. 68

8 September ― Feast of ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

8 September ― Feast of ‘Izzat

IMG_8678

MORNING:

Blessed art thou O Vafá, inasmuch as thou hast been faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament at a time when all men have violated it and have repudiated the One in Whom they had believed, and this notwithstanding that He hath appeared invested with every testimony, and hath dawned from the horizon of Revelation clothed with undoubted sovereignty.

It behoveth thee, however, to exert thine utmost to attain the very essence of fidelity. This implieth to be well assured in thy heart and to testify with thy tongue to that whereunto God hath testified for His Own exalted Self, proclaiming: ‘Verily, self-subsisting am I within the Realm of Glory.’ Whoso is enabled in these days to solemnly affirm this truth, hath attained unto all good, and the heavenly Spirit shall descend upon him in the daytime and in the night season, shall graciously assist him to glorify the Name of his Lord and suffer him to unloose his tongue and uphold with his words the Cause of his Lord, the Merciful, the Compassionate. And none can ever achieve this except he who hath purged his heart from whatsoever is created between heaven and earth, and hath entirely detached himself from all but God, the sovereign Lord, the Almighty, the Gracious.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súrih-i- Vafá (Tablet to Vafá)

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pp: 181-182

IMG_8677

EVENING:

Know thou moreover that in the Day of His Manifestation all things besides God shall be brought forth and placed equally, irrespective of their rank being high or low. The Day of Return is inscrutable unto all men until after the divine Revelation hath been fulfilled. He is in truth the One Who ordaineth whatsoever He willeth. When the Word of God is revealed unto all created things whoso then giveth ear and heedeth the Call is, indeed, reckoned among the most distinguished souls, though he be a carrier of ashes. And he who turneth away is accounted as the lowliest of His servants, though he be a ruler amongst men and the possessor of all the books that are in the heavens and on earth.

It behoveth thee to look with divine insight upon the things We have revealed and sent unto thee and not towards the people and that which is current amongst them. They are in this day like unto a blind man who, while moving in the sunshine, demandeth: Where is the sun? Is it shining? He would deny and dispute the truth, and would not be of them that perceive. Never shall he be able to discern the sun or to understand that which hath intervened between him and it. He would object within himself, voice protests, and would be among the rebellious. Such is the state of this people. Leave them unto themselves, saying: Unto you be that which ye desire and unto us that which we desire. Wretched indeed is the plight of the ungodly.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súrih-i- Vafá (Tablet to Vafá)

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 186

10 October ― 14 Mashíyyat   1 comment

MORNING:IMG_9488

They that have forsaken their country for the purpose of teaching Our Cause — these shall the Faithful Spirit strengthen through its power. A company of Our chosen angels shall go forth with them, as bidden by Him Who is the Almighty, the All-Wise. How great the blessedness that awaiteth him that hath attained the honor of serving the Almighty! By My life! No act, however great, can compare with it, except such deeds as have been ordained by God, the All-Powerful, the Most Mighty. Such a service is, indeed, the prince of all goodly deeds, and the ornament of every goodly act. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Sovereign Revealer, the Ancient of Days.

Whoso ariseth to teach Our Cause must needs detach himself from all earthly things, and regard, at all times, the triumph of Our Faith as his supreme objective. This hath, verily, been decreed in the Guarded Tablet. And when he determineth to leave his home, for the sake of the Cause of his Lord, let him put his whole trust in God, as the best provision for his journey, and array himself with the robe of virtue. Thus hath it been decreed by God, the Almighty, the All-Praised.

If he be kindled with the fire of His love, if he forgoeth all created things, the words he uttereth shall set on fire them that hear him. Verily, thy Lord is the Omniscient, the All-Informed. Happy is the man that hath heard Our voice, and answered Our call. He, in truth, is of them that shall be brought nigh unto Us.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 334-335

EVENING:

Say: Teach ye the Cause of God, O people of Bahá, for God hath prescribed unto every one the duty of proclaiming His Message, and regardeth it as the most meritorious of all deeds. Such a deed is acceptable only when he that teacheth the Cause is already a firm believer in God, the Supreme Protector, the Gracious, the Almighty. He hath, moreover, ordained that His Cause be taught through the power of men’s utterance, and not through resort to violence. Thus hath His ordinance been sent down from the Kingdom of Him Who is the Most Exalted, the All-Wise.  Beware lest ye contend with any one, nay, strive to make him aware of the truth with kindly manner and most convincing exhortation. If your hearer respond, he will have responded to his own behoof, and if not, turn ye away from him, and set your faces towards God’s sacred Court, the seat of resplendent holiness.

Dispute not with any one concerning the things of this world and its affairs, for God hath abandoned them to such as have set their affection upon them. Out of the whole world He hath chosen for Himself the hearts of men — hearts which the hosts of revelation and of utterance can subdue. Thus hath it been ordained by the Fingers of Bahá, upon the Tablet of God’s irrevocable decree, by the behest of Him Who is the Supreme Ordainer, the All-Knowing.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 278-279

FROM THE EXEMPLAR OF THE CAUSE ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O ye that stand fast in the Covenant! When the hour cometh that this wronged and broken-winged bird will have taken its flight into the Celestial Concourse, when it will have hastened to the Realm of the Unseen and its mortal frame will have been either lost or hidden neath the dust, it is incumbent upon the Afnán, that are steadfast in the Covenant of God and have branched from the Tree of Holiness; the Hands, (pillars) of the Cause of God (the glory of the Lord rest upon them), and all the friends and loved ones, one and all to bestir themselves and arise with heart and soul and in one accord, to diffuse the sweet savors of God, to teach His Cause and to promote His Faith. It behooveth them not to rest for a moment, neither to seek repose. They must disperse themselves in every land, pass by every clime, and travel throughout all regions. Bestirred, without rest, and steadfast to the end, they must raise in every land the triumphal cry “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá!” (O Thou the Glory of Glories), must achieve renown in the world wherever they go, must burn brightly even as a candle in every meeting and must kindle the flame of Divine love in every assembly; that the light of truth may rise resplendent in the midmost heart of the world, that throughout the East and throughout the West a vast concourse may gather under the shadow of the Word of God, that the sweet savors of holiness may be diffused, that faces may shine radiantly, hearts be filled with the Divine spirit and souls be made heavenly.

In these days, the most important of all things is the guidance of the nations and peoples of the world. Teaching the Cause is of utmost importance for it is the head corner-stone of the foundation itself. This wronged servant has spent his days and nights in promoting the Cause and urging the peoples to service. He rested not a moment, till the fame of the Cause of God was noised abroad in the world and the celestial strains from the Abhá Kingdom roused the East and the West. The beloved of God must also follow the same example. This is the secret of faithfulness, this is the requirement of servitude to the Threshold of Bahá!

The disciples of Christ forgot themselves and all earthly things, forsook all their cares and belongings, purged themselves of self and passion, and with absolute detachment scattered far and wide and engaged in calling the peoples of the world to the divine guidance; till at last they made the world another world, illumined the surface of the earth, and even to their last hour proved self-sacrificing in the pathway of that beloved One of God. Finally in various lands they suffered glorious martyrdom. Let them that are men of action follow in their footsteps!

The Will and Testament, pp: 10-11

FROM THE BAHÁ’Í LIBRARY ONLINE

Conversation with the Guardian by Mrs. Rollins and Mrs. McCormick

There is not a Bahá’í in the world that can be hurt if they follow a very simple rule. They can stand all the unwisdom of their sisters and brothers, the slights and the slanders, if they will do one thing only (three times he struck his hand, the back of it, into the palm of the other while he said)

“Say the Greatest Name instantly,
Say the Greatest Name instantly,
Say the Greatest Name instantly.”

The Guardian’s other statement was this: “Every Bahá’í in the world could be a teacher and a speaker. How? Like this:

Every Bahá’í should memorize Bahá’í Prayers. Every Bahá’í should memorize Bahá’í Principles. Every Bahá’í should memorize some of the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, some of the writings of Bahá’u’lláh (short passages), also some of the other writings. Then, he said, these are the tools that you put into the subconscious mind; and you can stand before any audience and never be struck for something to say.

Even if you start out with a prayer in a sincere and humble manner, the Supreme Concourse on high will assist you and you will never be at a loss for words.

From a recently unearthed pilgrim note found in the Barstow Collection;
typed by “Thellie” Lovejoy and proofread by Rob Stauffer, 1999.
It has been suggested that “Mrs. McCormick” is Temple McCormick, from Washington


[year and first names unknown]

NOTE: About this document:   As explained by the Universal House of Justice, no policy other than the exercise of wisdom currently governs the appearance of such notes on the internet. A brief Compilation on Pilgrims’ Notes can also be consulted. Other pilgrims’ notes can also be found in some of the older Notable Talks and some historical documents.

The motive for presenting these notes online is perhaps best summarized in the following quotation from a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:

“While these notes taken down by the pilgrims do not constitute as official pronouncements made by the Guardian, and therefore should not be imposed on the friends, those who wish to share them with the members of the Community should, under no circumstances, be prevented from doing so. Though not strictly official, and in some instances inaccurate and misleading, these notes, as experience has shown, can be of tremendous help, guidance and inspiration to many individual believers, and their value as such should therefore be readily admitted.”

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, April 28, 1939.

Classified in collection Pilgrims’ Notes.
No copyright; document is in public domain. Note: This is a “Pilgrim’s note,” an individual’s recollection of statements and actions of the Central figures. They are subjective and not authoritative.

7 October ― 11 Mashíyyat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9489We pray God — exalted be His glory — and cherish the hope that He may graciously assist the manifestations of affluence and power and the daysprings of sovereignty and glory, the kings of the earth — may God aid them through His strengthening grace — to establish the Lesser Peace. This, indeed, is the greatest means for insuring the tranquillity of the nations. It is incumbent upon the Sovereigns of the world — may God assist them — unitedly to hold fast unto this Peace, which is the chief instrument for the protection of all mankind. It is Our hope that they will arise to achieve what will be conducive to the well-being of man. It is their duty to convene an all-inclusive assembly, which either they themselves or their ministers will attend, and to enforce whatever measures are required to establish unity and concord amongst men. They must put away the weapons of war, and turn to the instruments of universal reconstruction. Should one king rise up against another, all the other kings must arise to deter him. Arms and armaments will, then, be no more needed beyond that which is necessary to insure the internal security of their respective countries. If they attain unto this all-surpassing blessing, the people of each nation will pursue, with tranquillity and contentment, their own occupations, and the groanings and lamentations of most men would be silenced.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp: 30-31

EVENING:

IMG_9488Arise thou to serve the Cause of thy Lord; then give the people the joyful tidings concerning this resplendent Light whose revelation hath been announced by God through His Prophets and Messengers. Admonish everyone moreover to observe prudence as ordained by Him, and in the Name of God advise them, saying: It behoveth every one in this Day of God to dedicate himself to the teaching of the Cause with utmost prudence and steadfastness. Should he discover a pure soil, let him sow the seed of the Word of God, otherwise it would be preferable to observe silence.

Not long ago this most sublime Word was revealed in the Crimson Book by the All-Glorious Pen: ‘The heaven of divine wisdom is illumined with two luminaries: consultation and compassion’. Please God, everyone may be enabled to observe this weighty and blessed word.

Certain people seem to be entirely bereft of understanding. By clinging to the cord of idle fancy they have debarred themselves from the Sure Handle. I swear by My life! Were they to reflect a while with fairness on that which the All-Merciful hath sent down, they would, one and all, spontaneously give utterance to these words, ‘Verily Thou art the Truth, the manifest Truth.’

It behoveth thee to turn thy gaze in all circumstances unto the One true God, and seek diligently to serve His Cause. Call thou to mind when thou wert in My company, within the Tabernacle of Glory, and didst hear from Me that which He Who conversed with God* heard upon the Sinai of divine knowledge. Thus did We graciously aid thee, enabled thee to recognize the truth and cautioned thee, that thou mightest render thanks unto thy bountiful Lord. Thou shouldst safeguard this sublime station through the potency of My Name, the Omnipotent, the Faithful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá‘u’lláh, pp: 242-243

THE INTERNATIONAL BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY AS COMMISSONED BY THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

IMG_4783It may be argued that, since spiritual and moral issues have historically been bound up with contending theological doctrines which are not susceptible of objective proof, these issues lie outside the framework of the international community’s development concerns. To accord them any significant rôle would be to open the door to precisely those dogmatic influences that have nurtured social conflict and blocked human progress. There is doubtless a measure of truth in such an argument. Exponents of the world’s various theological systems bear a heavy responsibility not only for the disrepute into which faith itself has fallen among many progressive thinkers, but for the inhibitions and distortions produced in humanity’s continuing discourse on spiritual meaning. To conclude, however, that the answer lies in discouraging the investigation of spiritual reality and ignoring the deepest roots of human motivation is a self-evident delusion. The sole effect, to the degree that such censorship has been achieved in recent history, has been to deliver the shaping of humanity’s future into the hands of a new orthodoxy, one which argues that truth is amoral and facts are independent of values.

IMG_6478So far as earthly existence is concerned, many of the greatest achievements of religion have been moral in character. Through its teachings and through the examples of human lives illumined by these teachings, masses of people in all ages and lands have developed the capacity to love. They have learned to discipline the animal side of their natures, to make great sacrifices for the common good, to practise forgiveness, generosity, and trust, to use wealth and other resources in ways that serve the advancement of civilization. Institutional systems have been devised to translate these moral advances into the norms of social life on a vast scale. However obscured by dogmatic accretions and diverted by sectarian conflict, the spiritual impulses set in motion by such transcendent figures as Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, and Muḥammad have been the chief influence in the civilizing of human character.

Since, then, the challenge is the empowerment of humankind through a vast increase in access to knowledge, the strategy that can make this possible must be constructed around an ongoing and intensifying dialogue between science and religion. It is—or by now should be—a truism that, in every sphere of human activity and at every level, the insights and skills that represent scientific accomplishment must look to the force of spiritual commitment and moral principle to ensure their appropriate application. People need, for example, to learn how to separate fact from conjecture—indeed to distinguish between subjective views and objective reality; the extent to which individuals and institutions so equipped can contribute to human progress, however, will be determined by their devotion to truth and their detachment from the promptings of their own interests and passions. Another capacity that science must cultivate in all people is that of thinking in terms of process, including historical process; however, if this intellectual advancement is to contribute ultimately to promoting development, its perspective must be unclouded by prejudices of race, culture, sex, or sectarian belief. Similarly, the training that can make it possible for the earth’s inhabitants to participate in the production of wealth will advance the aims of development only to the extent that such an impulse is illumined by the spiritual insight that service to humankind is the purpose of both individual life and social organization.

The Prosperity of Humankind, p.10

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14 August ― 14 Kamál   Leave a comment

 MORNING:IMG_7970

Know of a certainty that in every Dispensation the light of Divine Revelation hath been vouchsafed unto men in direct proportion to their spiritual capacity. Consider the sun. How feeble its rays the moment it appeareth above the horizon. How gradually its warmth and potency increase as it approacheth its zenith, enabling meanwhile all created  things to adapt themselves to the growing intensity of its light. How steadily it declineth until it reacheth its setting point. Were it, all of a sudden, to manifest the energies latent within it, it would, no doubt, cause injury to all created things…. In like manner, if the Sun of Truth were suddenly to reveal, at the earliest stages of its manifestation, the full measure of the potencies which the providence of the Almighty hath bestowed upon it, the earth of human understanding would waste away and be consumed; for men’s hearts would neither sustain the intensity of its revelation, nor be able to mirror forth the radiance of its light. Dismayed and overpowered, they would cease to exist.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 87-88

EVENING:

Incline your hearts, O people of God, unto the counsels of your true, your incomparable Friend. The Word of God may be likened unto a sapling, whose roots have been implanted in the hearts of men. It is incumbent upon you to foster its growth through the living waters of wisdom, of sanctified and holy words, so that its root may become firmly fixed and its branches may spread out as high as the heavens and beyond.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 97

Tasmanian Bahá’í Centre of Learning, Australia

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

Thy letter was understood. Thou hast asked, very humbly, for certain things and all were worthy to be coveted. Thou desirest forgiveness of sins; didst ask for great unity and peace; sought nearness to the Threshold of God; hoped to be detached from thine own will, seeking the will of God; prayed for rescue from self-love; hoped for progress in the station of knowledge; desired to serve God; and prayed that thy honorable husband and thy children may be set aglow with the fire of the love of God and may manifest light on their brows through the radiance of the knowledge of God. All these wishes are well worthy of asking. Especially the rescue from self-love. This is a strange trait and the means of the destruction of many important souls in the world. If man be imbued with all good qualities but be selfish, all the other virtues will fade or pass away and eventually he will grow worse.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, pp: 135-136