Archive for the ‘Contentment’ Tag

27 June ― 4 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

MORNING:

Recite ye the verses of God every morn and eventide. Whoso faileth to recite them hath not been faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament, and whoso turneth away from these holy verses in this Day is of those who throughout eternity have turned away from God. Fear ye God, O My servants, one and all.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 73

EVENING:

O my friend, look upon thyself: Hadst thou not become a father nor begotten a son, neither wouldst thou have heard these sayings. Now forget them all, that thou mayest learn from the Master of Love in the schoolhouse of oneness, and return unto God, and forsake the inner land of unreality* for thy true station, and dwell within the shadow of the tree of knowledge.

*[This refers to the Sufi idea of the inner plane, which compared to Revealed Truth is but unreal.]

O thou dear one! Impoverish thyself, that thou mayest enter the high court of riches; and humble thy body, that thou mayest drink from the river of glory, and attain to the full meaning of the poems whereof thou hadst asked.

Thus it hath been made clear that these stages depend on the vision of the wayfarer. In every city he will behold a world, in every Valley reach a spring, in every meadow hear a song. But the falcon of the mystic heaven hath many a wondrous carol of the spirit in His breast, and the Persian bird keepeth in His soul many a sweet Arab melody; yet these are hidden, and hidden shall remain.

If I speak forth, many a mind will shatter,…

Jalál ad-Dán Muḥammad Rúmí (1207-1273 A.D.[/caption]
* [Jalál ad-Dán Muḥammad Rúmí (1207-1273 A.D.); The Mathnavi. Jalalu’d-Din, called Mawláná (“our Master”), is the greatest of all Persian Sufi poets, and founder of the Mawlavi “whirling” dervish order.]

** This refers to Bahá’u’lláh Himself, Who had not yet declared His mission.]

Peace be upon him who concludeth this exalted journey and followeth the True One by the lights of guidance.

And the wayfarer, after traversing the high planes of this supernal journey, entereth THE VALLEY OF CONTENTMENT.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Seven Valleys, pp. 28-29

FROM ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

If a man understands the real meaning of a poet’s verses such as those of Shakespeare, he is pleased and rejoiced. How much greater his joy and pleasure when he perceives the reality of the Holy Scriptures and becomes informed of the mysteries of the Kingdom!

The Promulgation of Universal Peace Part 2, p. 460

FROM HAND OF THE CAUSE OF GOD, MR. UGO GIACERY:

Ugo Giachery (May 13, 1896 – July 5, 1989) and his wife, Angeline
In early youth I studied English, and for reasons yet unknown to me, I was so attracted by the freedom of expression which this language offers that the entire course of my life was influenced. When I was in my early teens, in Italy, one of my English teachers for whom I had great admiration and affection urged me to read Shakespeare, Byron and Shelley; my partiality for the English language was inflamed.

When I first read some of Shoghi Effendi’s early messages to the American Baha’is, I was struck by a high sense of purpose, a sublimity of intention and a feeling of chastity (in the wide meaning of the word). It is difficult now to convey an idea of the emotions aroused by their beauty and the impact of their vision which, like sudden showers in the desert, enrich the arid nature of man with something rewarding, refreshing and precious. Later on, when it became feasible, I searched also in his earlier writings, when he wrote for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá or translated His Tablets to the Western Baha’is, most of which were published in the Star of the West.*those

IMG_8788

Recite ye the verses of God every morn and eventide. Whoso faileth to recite them hath not been faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament, and whoso turneth away from these holy verses in this Day is of those who throughout eternity have turned away from God. Fear ye God, O My servants, one and all.

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 73

IMG_9987EVENING:

O my friend, look upon thyself: Hadst thou not become a father nor begotten a son, neither wouldst thou have heard these sayings. Now forget them all, that thou mayest learn from the Master of Love in the schoolhouse of oneness, and return unto God, and forsake the inner land of unreality* for thy true station, and dwell within the shadow of the tree of knowledge.

*[This refers to the Sufi idea of the inner plane, which compared to Revealed Truth is but unreal.]

O thou dear one! Impoverish thyself, that thou mayest enter the high court of riches; and humble thy body, that thou mayest drink from the river of glory, and attain to the full meaning of the poems whereof thou hadst asked.

Thus it hath been made clear that these stages depend on the vision of the wayfarer. In every city he will behold a world, in every Valley reach a spring, in every meadow hear a song. But the falcon of the mystic heaven hath many a wondrous carol of the spirit in His breast, and the Persian bird keepeth in His soul many a sweet Arab melody; yet these are hidden, and hidden shall remain.

If I speak forth, many a mind will shatter,

And if I write, many a pen will break. *, **

Jalál ad-Dán Muḥammad Rúmí (1207-1273 A.D.

* [Jalál ad-Dán Muḥammad Rúmí (1207-1273 A.D.); The Mathnavi. Jalalu’d-Din, called Mawláná (“our Master”), is the greatest of all Persian Sufi poets, and founder of the Mawlavi “whirling” dervish order.]

** This refers to Bahá’u’lláh Himself, Who had not yet declared His mission.]

Peace be upon him who concludeth this exalted journey and followeth the True One by the lights of guidance.

And the wayfarer, after traversing the high planes of this supernal journey, entereth THE VALLEY OF CONTENTMENT.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Seven Valleys, pp. 28-29

FROM ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

If a man understands the real meaning of a poet’s verses such as those of Shakespeare, he is pleased and rejoiced. How much greater his joy and pleasure when he perceives the reality of the Holy Scriptures and becomes informed of the mysteries of the Kingdom!

The Promulgation of Universal Peace Part 2, p. 460

FROM HAND OF THE CAUSE OF GOD, MR. UGO GIACERY:

Ugo Giachery (May 13, 1896 – July 5, 1989) and his wife, Angeline

In early youth I studied English, and for reasons yet unknown to me, I was so attracted by the freedom of expression which this language offers that the entire course of my life was influenced. When I was in my early teens, in Italy, one of my English teachers for whom I had great admiration and affection urged me to read Shakespeare, Byron and Shelley; my partiality for the English language was inflamed.

When I first read some of Shoghi Effendi’s early messages to the American Baha’is, I was struck by a high sense of purpose, a sublimity of intention and a feeling of chastity (in the wide meaning of the word). It is difficult now to convey an idea of the emotions aroused by their beauty and the impact of their vision which, like sudden showers in the desert, enrich the arid nature of man with something rewarding, refreshing and precious. Later on, when it became feasible, I searched also in his earlier writings, when he wrote for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá or translated His Tablets to the Western Baha’is, most of which were published in the Star of the West.*

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.

18 April ― 10 Jalál   Leave a comment

IMG_9736

The ninth principle of Bahá’u’lláh is: That Religion should not concern itself with Political Questions.

Religion is concerned with things of the spirit, politics with things of the world. Religion has to work with the world of thought, whilst the field of politics lies with the world of external conditions.

It is the work of the clergy to educate the people, to instruct them, to give them good advice and teaching so that they may progress spiritually. With political questions they have nothing to do.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp: 132-133

MORNING:

Thy might beareth me witness! Were it not to celebrate Thy praise, my tongue would be of no use to me, and were it not for the sake of rendering service to Thee, my existence would avail me not. But for the pleasure of beholding the splendours of Thy realm of glory, why should I cherish sight? And but for the joy of giving ear to Thy most sweet voice, of what use is hearing?

Alas! Alas! I know not, O my God, my Mainstay, my heart’s Desire, whether Thou hast ordained for me that which shall bring solace to mine eyes, gladden my bosom and rejoice my heart, or whether Thine irrevocable decree, O King of eternity and the sovereign Lord of all nations, will debar me from presenting myself before Thy throne. I swear by Thy glory and majesty and by Thy dominion and power, the darkness of my remoteness from Thee hath destroyed me. What hath become of the light of Thy nearness, O Desire of every understanding heart? The tormenting agony of separation from Thee hath consumed me. Where is the effulgent light of Thy reunion, O Well-Beloved of such as are wholly devoted to Thee?

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 113-114

 

EVENING:

How vast is the tabernacle of the Cause of God! It hath overshadowed all the peoples and kindreds of the earth, and will, ere long, gather together the whole of mankind beneath its shelter. Thy day of service is now come. Countless Tablets bear the testimony of the bounties vouchsafed unto thee. Arise for the triumph of My Cause, and, through the power of thine utterance, subdue the hearts of men. Thou must show forth that which will ensure the peace and the well-being of the miserable and the downtrodden. Gird up the loins of thine endeavour, that perchance thou mayest release the captive from his chains, and enable him to attain unto true liberty.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 84

11 April ― 3 Jalál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

No sooner had her voice reached that most exalted Spot than We made reply: ‘Render thanks unto thy Lord, O Carmel. The fire of thy separation from Me was fast consuming thee, when the ocean of My presence surged before thy face, cheering thine eyes and those of all creation, and filling with delight all things visible and invisible. Rejoice, for God hath in this Day established upon thee His throne, hath made thee the dawning-place of His signs and the dayspring of the evidences of His Revelation. Well is it with him that circleth around thee, that proclaimeth the revelation of thy glory, and recounteth that which the bounty of the Lord thy God hath showered upon thee. Seize thou the Chalice of Immortality in the name of thy Lord, the All-Glorious, and give thanks unto Him, inasmuch as He, in token of His mercy unto thee, hath turned thy sorrow into gladness, and transmuted thy grief into blissful joy. He, verily, loveth the spot which hath been made the seat of His throne, which His footsteps have trodden, which hath been honoured by His presence, from which He raised His call, and upon which He shed His tears.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 3

EVENING:

We have unveiled to thine eyes the sea and the waves thereof, the sun and the radiance thereof, the heavens and the stars thereof, the shells and the pearls thereof. Render thou thanks unto God for so great a bounty, so gracious a favour that hath pervaded the whole world.

 O thou who hast set thy face towards the splendours of My Countenance! Vague fancies have encompassed the dwellers of the earth and debarred them from turning towards the Horizon of Certitude, and its brightness, and its manifestations and its lights. Vain imaginings have withheld them from Him Who is the Self-Subsisting. They speak as prompted by their own caprices, and understand not. Among them are those who have said: ‘Have the verses been sent down?’ Say ‘Yea, by Him Who is the Lord of the heavens!’ ‘Hath the Hour come?’ ‘Nay, more; it hath passed, by Him Who is the Revealer of clear tokens! Verily, the Inevitable is come, and He, the True One, hath appeared with proof and testimony. The Plain is disclosed, and mankind is sore vexed and fearful. Earthquakes have broken loose, and the tribes have lamented, for fear of God, the Lord of Strength, the All-Compelling.’ Say: ‘The stunning trumpet-blast hath been loudly raised, and the Day is God’s, the One, the Unconstrained.’

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 117-118

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

How many blessed souls have longed for this radiant century, their utmost hopes and desires centered upon the happiness and joy of one such day as this. Many the nights they passed sleepless and lamenting until the very morn in longing anticipation of this age, yearning to realize even an hour of this time. God has favored you in this century and has specialized you for the realization of its blessings. Therefore, you must praise and thank God with heart and soul in appreciation of this great opportunity and the attainment of this infinite bestowal — that such doors have been opened before your faces, that such abundance is pouring down from the cloud of mercy and that these refreshing breezes from the paradise of Abhá are resuscitating you. You must become of one heart, one spirit and one susceptibility. May you become as the waves of one sea, stars of the same heaven, fruits adorning the same tree, roses of one garden in order that through you the oneness of humanity may establish its temple in the world of mankind, for you are the ones who are called to uplift the cause of unity among the nations of the earth.

First, you must become united and agreed among yourselves. You must be exceedingly kind and loving toward each other, willing to forfeit life in the pathway of another’s happiness. You must be ready to sacrifice your possessions in another’s behalf. The rich among you must show compassion toward the poor, and the well-to-do must look after those in distress. In Persia the friends offer their lives for each other, striving to assist and advance the interests and welfare of all the rest. They live in a perfect state of unity and agreement. Like the Persian friends you must be perfectly agreed and united to the extent and limit of sacrificing life. Your utmost desire must be to confer happiness upon each other. Each one must be the servant of the others, thoughtful of their comfort and welfare. In the path of God one must forget himself entirely. He must not consider his own pleasure but seek the pleasure of others. He must not desire glory nor gifts of bounty for himself but seek these gifts and blessings for his brothers and sisters. It is my hope that you may become like this, that you may attain to the supreme bestowal and be imbued with such spiritual qualities as to forget yourselves entirely and with heart and soul offer yourselves as sacrifices for the Blessed Perfection. You should have neither will nor desire of your own but seek everything for the beloved of God and live together in complete love and fellowship. May the favors of Bahá’u’lláh surround you from all directions. This is the greatest bestowal and supreme bounty. These are the infinite favors of God.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp: 214-215

10 April ― 2 Jalál   Leave a comment

MORNING

This is the Day whereon the Ocean of God’s mercy hath been manifested unto men, the Day in which the Day Star of His loving-kindness hath shed its radiance upon them, the Day in which the clouds of His bountiful favor have overshadowed the whole of mankind. Now is the time to cheer and refresh the down-cast through the invigorating breeze of love and fellowship, and the living waters of friendliness and charity.

They who are the beloved of God, in whatever place they gather and whomsoever they may meet, must evince, in their attitude towards God, and in the manner of their celebration of His praise and glory, such humility and submissiveness that every atom of the dust beneath their feet may attest the depth of their devotion. The conversation carried by these holy souls should be informed with such power that these same atoms of dust will be thrilled by its influence. They should conduct themselves in such manner that the earth upon which they tread may never be allowed to address to them such words as these: “I am to be preferred above you. For witness, how patient I am in bearing the burden which the husbandman layeth upon me. I am the instrument that continually imparteth unto all beings the blessings with which He Who is the Source of all grace hath entrusted me. Notwithstanding the honor conferred upon me, and the unnumbered evidences of my wealth — a wealth that supplieth the needs of all creation — behold the measure of my humility, witness with what absolute submissiveness I allow myself to be trodden beneath the feet of men….”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp:7-8

EVENING:

Show forbearance and benevolence and love to one another. Should any one among you be incapable of grasping a certain truth, or be striving to comprehend it, show forth, when conversing with him, a spirit of extreme kindliness and good-will. Help him to see and recognize the truth, without esteeming yourself to be, in the least, superior to him, or to be possessed of greater endowments.

The whole duty of man in this Day is to attain that share of the flood of grace which God poureth forth for him. Let none, therefore, consider the largeness or smallness of the receptacle. The portion of some might lie in the palm of a man’s hand, the portion of others might fill a cup, and of others even a gallon-measure.

Every eye, in this Day, should seek what will best promote the Cause of God. He, Who is the Eternal Truth, beareth Me witness! Nothing whatsoever can, in this Day, inflict a greater harm upon this Cause than dissension and strife, contention, estrangement and apathy, among the loved ones of God. Flee them, through the power of God and His sovereign aid, and strive ye to knit together the hearts of men, in His Name, the Unifier, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

Beseech ye the one true God to grant that ye may taste the savor of such deeds as are performed in His path, and partake of the sweetness of such humility and submissiveness as are shown for His sake. Forget your own selves, and turn your eyes towards your neighbor. Bend your energies to whatever may foster the education of men. Nothing is, or can ever be, hidden from God. If ye follow in His way, His incalculable and imperishable blessings will be showered upon you. This is the luminous Tablet, whose verses have streamed from the moving Pen of Him Who is the Lord of all worlds. Ponder it in your hearts, and be ye of them that observe its precepts.

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 8-9

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

The love which exists between the hearts of believers is prompted by the ideal of the unity of spirits. This love is attained through the knowledge of God, so that men see the Divine Love reflected in the heart. Each sees in the other the Beauty of God reflected in the soul, and finding this point of similarity, they are attracted to one another in love. This love will make all men the waves of one sea, this love will make them all the stars of one heaven and the fruits of one tree. This love will bring the realization of true accord, the foundation of real unity.

Paris Talks, pp: 180-181

19 March ― 19 ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

19 March ― 19 ‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 19

 

MORNING:

1B Newby 021The plants that have sprung forth, O my Lord, in the hearts of Thy loved ones have withered away. Send down upon them, from the clouds of Thy spirit, that which will cause the tender herbs of Thy knowledge and wisdom to grow within their breasts. Rejoice, then, their hearts with the proclamation of Thy Cause and the exaltation of Thy sovereignty.

Their eyes, O my Lord, are expectantly turned in the direction of Thy bounty, and their faces are set towards the horizon of Thy grace. Suffer them not, through Thy bounty, to be deprived of Thy grace. Potent art Thou, by Thy sovereign might, over all things. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 199-200

 

EVENING:

Make me ready, in all circumstances, O my Lord, to serve Thee and to set myself towards the adored sanctuary of Thy Revelation and of Thy Beauty. If it be Thy pleasure, make me to grow as a tender herb in the meadows of Thy grace, that the gentle winds of Thy will may stir me up and bend me into conformity with Thy pleasure, in such wise that my movement and my stillness may be wholly directed by Thee.

Thou art He, by Whose name the Hidden Secret was divulged, and the Well-Guarded Name was revealed, and the seals of the sealed-up Goblet were opened, shedding thereby its fragrance over all creation, whether of the past or of the future. He who was athirst, O my Lord, hath hasted to attain the living waters of Thy grace, and the wretched creature hath yearned to immerse himself beneath the ocean of Thy riches.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 240-241

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

Thank God that the evidence and the proof became clear and manifest to thee. He gave thee eyes to see therewith the lights of guidance; He gave thee ears to hear the divine call; He gave thee nostrils to sense the beautiful fragrance of the rose-garden of the Kingdom; He gave thee  taste to find the sweetness of the love of God; He gave thee a tongue to mention Him. Therefore, thou must thank Him night and day for having attained this bounty. Thus mayest thou become firm in trials and bear every difficulty and, like unto the mountains, hold thy feet firm and steadfast, so that thou mayest not be shaken by the adverse winds.

The bounty of the Lord of the Kingdom is great and His outpouring is glorious. His favors are boundless. I ask, through His bounty, to grant thee readiness and capacity, so that the rains of mercy may cultivate flowers of significances in the garden of the heart.

The essential thing is firmness and steadfastness. I hope that all the friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful One may be strengthened and confirmed therein.

To pardon shortcomings is an attribute of the Lord of forgiveness. Thank God, thou art a dawning-point of kindness and the recipient of pardon and forgiveness.

Sacrifice thy life to the Lord of the Kingdom and seek only His will. Make thy meeting the house of ‘Abdul-Bahá and the rose-garden of the heavenly birds…

…Know thou the value of the day of the Lord and take a portion and a share of the bounty in this glorious cycle. If a tree doth not thrive and grow in this divine springtime, in what season will it bear fruit? I hope that, through the life-nurturing breeze of the rose-garden of the Kingdom, thou mayest become a tree full of blossoms and fruit.

Convey reverential greeting to the maid-servant of God, . . . .and say: “Happy is thy condition that thou art meek and humble and directed to the Kingdom of God and looking to God. I ask God that, day by day, thou mayest become more illumined and more spiritual…

Be in sympathy with . . . .and in the utmost of kindness. Close thine eyes to shortcomings and live according to the divine teachings. I hope that the breath of life may penetrate them. Thank God that in the world of vision thou art witnessing great signs.

In great tenderness blow the breath of life into . . . . . and . . . .and call them to God. Perchance, through divine bounty and providence, their hearts may become radiant and illumined and may remain firm and steadfast through trials.

To be far in body is of no account. To be near in spirit is essential. Seek that from God. When thou hast attained that, thou art always with me.. .

…The real light is the light of the love of God. Praise be to God! thy face is illumined by the radiance of the divine love and thy nostrils are perfumed through the fragrances of the garden of the Kingdom of Abhá, and thou art engaged, night and day, in service in this divine garden and art spreading the Tablets of ‘Abdul-Bahá. Wherefore, thank God that thou art assisted to such a service….

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp: 694-697

18 March ― 18 ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

18 March ― 18 ‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 18

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

“In one of His Tablets ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, after stating that fasting consists of abstinence from food and drink, categorically says that smoking is a form of ‘drink’. (In Arabic the verb ‘drink’ applies equally to smoking.) “In the East, therefore, the friends abstain from smoking during the hours of fasting, and friends from the East living in the West do likewise. But, as stated in our letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of New Zealand, this application of the Divine Law has not been extended to the friends in the West for the present, and therefore it should not be made an issue.”
Letter from the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, March 15, 1972
Lights of Guidance, p. 235

MORNING:

Look not upon the creatures of God except with the eye of kindliness and of mercy, for Our loving providence hath pervaded all created things, and Our grace encompassed the earth and the heavens. This is the Day whereon the true servants of God partake of the life-giving waters of reunion, the Day whereon those that are nigh unto Him are able to drink of the soft-flowing river of immortality, and they who believe in His unity, the wine of His Presence, through their recognition of Him Who is the Highest and Last End of all, in Whom the Tongue of Majesty and Glory voiceth the call: “The Kingdom is Mine. I, Myself, am, of Mine own right, its Ruler.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 32

 

EVENING:

O Son of Justice! In the night season the beauty of the immortal Being hath repaired from the emerald height of fidelity unto the Sadratu’l-Muntahá, and wept with such a weeping that the Concourse on high and the dwellers of the realms above wailed at His lamenting. Whereupon there was asked, Why the wailing and weeping? He made reply: As bidden I waited expectant upon the hill of faithfulness, yet inhaled not from them that dwell on earth the fragrance of fidelity. Then summoned to return I beheld, and lo! certain doves of holiness were sore tried within the claws of the dogs of earth. Thereupon the Maid of Heaven hastened forth unveiled and resplendent from Her mystic mansion, and asked of their names, and all were told but one. And when urged, the first letter thereof was uttered, whereupon the dwellers of the celestial chambers rushed forth out of their habitation of glory. And whilst the second letter was pronounced they fell down, one and all, upon the dust. At that moment a voice was heard from the inmost shrine: “Thus far and no farther.” Verily, We bear witness unto that which they have done, and now are doing.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp 91-92

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

O thou faithful and confident!

 

Thanks be to God that thou hast obtained that which was sought by all prophets and holy souls; namely, the knowledge of God and the love of God. First, the knowledge; and, second, His unfathomable love. Also the different members of thy family, who followed thee and who obtained that which thou didst obtain.

This is a great gift from God and hath no equal; although in this physical world its greatness is not perceivable, nor its nature clearly known, yet in the spiritual world it shineth like the sun.

So long as the pearl remaineth hidden at the bottom of the sea, its value is not known nor its brilliancy and fineness seen, it is only when in the hands of the expert jeweler that its great beauty becomes revealed.

Thou shouldst be at the utmost height of joy and satisfaction, for thou art surrounded by the bounties of the Merciful and hast become the object of the appearance of divine guidance.

In order to give thanks for this great and glorious gift, thou shouldst do all thou canst to guide His creatures, to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf; life to the dead, and endeavor to turn those who are still attached to material things in the way which leads to spiritual heights; to help them to travel in the way of the Kingdom and to walk in the path that leads to the King of Kings.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, pp: 415-416

22 February — 16 Mulk   Leave a comment

The Americas have been a melting pot and a meeting place for the races of men, and the need is acute for the fulfillment of God’s promises of the realization of the oneness of mankind. Particularly do the Master and the Guardian point to the Afro-Americans and the Amerindians, two great ethnic groups whose spiritual powers will be released through their response to the Creative Word. But our Teachings must touch all, must include all peoples. And, in this hour of your tireless activity, what special rewards shall come to those who will arise, summoned by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Words: “Now is the time to divest yourselves of the garment of attachment to this phenomenal realm, be wholly severed from the physical world, become angels of heaven, and travel and teach through all these regions.”

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The Universal House of Justice

Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973,

pp: 73-7

IMG_1561MORNING:

Whosoever Thou exaltest is raised above the angels, and attaineth the station: ‘Verily, We uplifted him to a place on high!’; and whosoever Thou dost abase is made lower than dust, nay, less than nothing. O Divine Providence! Though wicked, sinful, and intemperate, we still seek from Thee a ‘seat of truth,’ and long to behold the countenance of the Omnipotent King. It is Thine to command, and all sovereignty belongeth to Thee, and the realm of might boweth before Thy behest. Everything Thou doest is pure justice, nay, the very essence of grace. One gleam from the splendors of Thy Name, the All-Merciful, sufficeth to banish and blot out every trace of sinfulness from the world, and a single breath from the breezes of the Day of Thy Revelation is enough to adorn all mankind with a fresh attire. Vouchsafe Thy strength, O Almighty One, unto Thy weak creatures, and quicken them who are as dead, that haply they may find Thee, and may be led unto the ocean of Thy guidance, and may remain steadfast in Thy Cause.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp: 9-10

 

IMG_1555EVENING:

And likewise He saith:  “Then gave We the Book to Moses — complete for Him who should do right, and a decision for all matters, and a guidance, and a mercy, that they might believe in the Presence of their Lord.” And likewise he saith: “They are those who believe not in the signs of the Lord, or that they shall ever attain His Presence. Vain, therefore, are their works; and no weight will We allow them on the Day of Resurrection. This shall be their reward — Hell. Because they were unbelievers, and treated My signs and My Apostles with scorn.” And likewise He saith: “Hath the history of Moses reached thee? When He saw a fire, and said to His family, ‘Tarry ye here, for I perceive a fire; haply I may bring you a brand from it, or find at the fire a guide.’ And when He came to it, He was called to, ‘O Moses! Verily, I am Thy Lord; therefore pull off Thy shoes, for Thou art in the holy vale of Towa. And I have chosen Thee; hearken then to what shall be revealed. Verily, I am God, there is no God but Me. Therefore, worship Me.'” And likewise He saith: “Have they not considered within themselves that God hath not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them but for a serious end, and for a fixed term? But truly most men believe not that they shall attain the Presence of their Lord.” And likewise He saith: “What! Have they no thought that they shall be raised again for the Great Day, the Day when mankind shall stand before the Lord of the worlds?” And likewise He saith: “We heretofore gave the Book to Moses. Have thou no doubt as to His attaining Our Presence.” And He saith: “Aye! But when the earth shall be crushed with crushing, crushing, and thy Lord shall come and the angels rank on rank.” And likewise He saith: “Fain would they put out the light of God with their mouths! But though the infidels hate it, God will perfect His light.” And likewise He saith: “And when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was journeying with His family, He perceived a fire on the mountain side. He said to His family: ‘Wait ye, for I perceive a fire, haply I may bring you tidings from it, or a brand from the fire to warm you.’ And when He came up to it, a Voice cried to Him out of the Bush from the right side of the Vale in the sacred Spot: ‘O Moses, I truly am God, the Lord of the worlds!'”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp: 116-118

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

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“O people of loyalty, O people of faithfulness, O people who are awakened by the Breath of God, O people who are inhaling the scent of life from the Spirit of God! The path hath become smooth, the way straightened, the carpet of the Kingdom is spread, the Tabernacle hath been elevated upon the Hill of Might, the powers of heaven have been shaken, the corners of the earth have quaked, the sun has been darkened, the moon ceased to give light, the stars have fallen, the nations of the earth have lamented, and the Son of Man hath come upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and He hath sent His angels with the sound of the great trumpet, and no one knows the meaning of these emblems save the wise and informed.

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“Ye are the angels, if your feet be firm, your spirits rejoiced, your secret thoughts pure, your eyes consoled, your ears opened, your breasts dilated with joy, and your souls gladdened, and if you arise to assist the Covenant, to resist dissension and to be attracted to the Effulgence! Verily, I say unto you that the Word of God has assuredly been explained and has become an evident sign and a strong and solid proof, and its traces shall be spread in the East and West, and to these all heads shall bow and all souls shall submit and kneel down with their faces to the ground.”

Tablets of Abdu’l- Bahá v1, pp: 145-146

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FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE FAITH SHOGHI EFFENDI:

“Now is the time,” He* no less significantly remarks in another of these Tablets, “for you to divest yourselves of the garment of attachment to this world that perisheth, to be wholly severed from the physical world, become heavenly angels, and travel to these countries. I swear by Him besides Whom there is none other God that each one of you will become an Israfil of Life, and will blow the Breath of Life into the souls of others.” And lastly this glorious promise in another of those immortal Tablets: “Should success crown your enterprise, America will assuredly evolve into a center from which waves of spiritual power will emanate, and the throne of the Kingdom of God, will, in the plenitude of its majesty and glory, be firmly established.”

*‘Abdu’l-Bahá

In one of the earliest Tablets addressed by Him to the American believers these equally significant words have been penned: “If ye be truly united, if ye agree to promote that which is the essential purpose, and to show forth an all-unifying love, I swear by Him Who causeth the seed to split and the breeze to waft, so great a light will shine forth from your faces as to reach the highest heavens, the fame of your glory will be noised abroad, the evidences of your preeminence will spread throughout all regions, your power will penetrate the realities of all things, your aims and purposes will exert their influence upon the great and mighty nations, your spirits will encompass the whole world of being, and ye will discover yourselves to be kings in the dominions of the Kingdom, and attired with the glorious crowns of the invisible Realm, and become the marshals of the army of peace, and princes of the forces of light, and stars shining from the horizon of perfection, and brilliant lamps shedding their radiance upon men.”

Citadel of Faith, p. 29

February 21 –15 Mulk   Leave a comment

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MORNING:

Although a brief example hath been given concerning the beginning and ending of the relative world, the world of attributes, yet a second illustration is now added, that the full meaning may be manifest. For instance, let thine Eminence consider his own self; thou art first in relation to thy son, last in relation to thy father. In thine outward appearance, thou tellest of the appearance of power in the realms of divine creation; in thine inward being thou revealest the hidden mysteries which are the divine trust deposited within thee. And thus firstness and lastness, outwardness and inwardness are, in the sense referred to, true of thyself, that in these four states conferred upon thee thou shouldst comprehend the four divine states, and that the nightingale of thine heart on all the branches of the rosetree of existence, whether visible or concealed, should cry out: “He is the first and the last, the Seen and the Hidden….” *

* Qur’án 57:3

These statements are made in the sphere of that which is relative, because of the limitations of men. Otherwise, those personages who in a single step have passed over the world of the relative and the limited, and dwelt on the fair plane of the Absolute, and pitched their tent in the worlds of authority and command — have burned away these relativities with a single spark, and blotted out these words with a drop of dew. And they swim in the sea of the spirit, and soar in the holy air of light. Then what life have words, on such a plane, that “first” and “last” or other than these be seen or mentioned! In this realm, the first is the last itself, and the last is but the first.

 

In thy soul of love build thou a fire

 

And burn all thoughts and words entire.†

 

† Jalálu’d-Dín Rúmí (1207–1273 A.D.); The Mathnaví. Jalálu’d-Dín, called Mawláná (“our Master”), is the greatest of all Persian Súfí poets, and founder of the Mawlaví “whirling” dervish order.

O my friend, look upon thyself: Hadst thou not become a father nor begotten a son, neither wouldst thou have heard these sayings. Now forget them all, that thou mayest learn from the Master of Love in the schoolhouse of oneness, and return unto God, and forsake the inner land of unreality* for thy true station, and dwell within the shadow of the tree of knowledge.

* This refers to the Súfí idea of the inner plane, which compared to Revealed Truth is but unreal.

O thou dear one! Impoverish thyself, that thou mayest enter the high court of riches; and humble thy body, that thou mayest drink from the river of glory, and attain to the full meaning of the poems whereof thou hadst asked.

Thus it hath been made clear that these stages depend on the vision of the wayfarer. In every city he will behold a world, in every Valley reach a spring, in every meadow hear a song. But the falcon of the mystic heaven hath many a wondrous carol of the spirit in His breast, and the Persian bird keepeth in His soul many a sweet Arab melody; yet these are hidden, and hidden shall remain.

If I speak forth, many a mind will shatter,

 

And if I write, many a pen will break. †, *

† Jalalu’d-Din Rumi (1207-1273 A.D.); The Mathnavi. Jalalu’d-Din, called Mawlana (“our Master”), is the greatest of all Persian Sufi poets, and founder of the Mawlavi “whirling” dervish order

* This refers to Bahá’u’lláh Himself, Who had not yet declared His mission.

Peace be upon him who concludeth this exalted journey and followeth the True One by the lights of guidance.

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Seven Valleys, pp: 26-29

 

EVENING:

My God, Thou Whom I adore and worship, Who art Most Powerful! I testify that no description by any created thing can ever reveal Thee, and no praise which any being is able to utter can express Thee. Neither the comprehension of any one in the whole world, nor the intelligence of any of its peoples, can, as it befitteth Thee, gain admittance into the court of Thy holiness, or unravel Thy mystery. What sin hath kept the inmates of the city of Thy names so far from Thine all-glorious Horizon, and deprived them of access to Thy most great Ocean? One single letter of Thy Book is the mother of all utterances, and a word therefrom the begetter of all creation. What ingratitude have Thy servants shown forth that Thou hast withheld them, one and all, from recognizing Thee? A drop out of the ocean of Thy mercy sufficeth to quench the flames of hell, and a spark of the fire of Thy love is enough to set ablaze a whole world.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 245

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

I now assure thee, O servant of God, that, if thy mind become empty and pure from every mention and thought and thy heart attracted wholly to the Kingdom of God, forget all else besides God and come in communion with the Spirit of God, then the Holy Spirit will assist thee with a power which will enable thee to penetrate all things, and a Dazzling Spark which enlightens all sides, a Brilliant Flame in the zenith of the heavens, will teach thee that which thou dost not know of the facts of the universe and of the divine doctrine. Verily, I say unto thee, every soul which ariseth today to guide others to the path of safety and infuse in them the Spirit of Life, the Holy Spirit will inspire that soul with evidences, proofs and facts and the lights will shine upon it from the Kingdom of God. Do not forget what I have conveyed unto thee from the breath of the Spirit. Verily, it is the shining morning and the rosy dawn which will impart unto thee the lights, reveal the mysteries and make thee competent in science, and through it the pictures of the Supreme World will be printed in thy heart and the facts of the secrets of the Kingdom of God will shine before thee.

Bahá’íWorld Faith, p. 369

30 January ― 12 Sultán   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_4042Glorified is He besides Whom there is none other God. In His grasp He holdeth the source of authority, and verily God is powerful over all things. We have decreed that every long life shall in truth suffer decline* and that every hardship shall be followed by ease,** that perchance men may recognise the Gate of God as He Who is the eternal Truth, and verily God shall stand as witness unto those that have believed.

*cf. Qur’án 36:68

**cf. ibid. 65:7; 94:5

 His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp: 47-48

 

IMG_6552EVENING:

O Supreme Pen, We have heard Thy most sweet call in the eternal realm: Give Thou ear unto what the Tongue of Grandeur uttereth, O Wronged One of the worlds?

Were it not for the cold, how would the heat of Thy words prevail, O Expounder of the worlds?

Were it not for calamity, how would the sun of Thy patience shine, O Light of the worlds?

Lament not because of the wicked. Thou wert created to bear and endure, O Patience of the worlds.

How sweet was Thy dawning on the horizon of the Covenant among the stirrers of sedition, and Thy yearning after God, O Love of the worlds.

By Thee the banner of independence was planted on the highest peaks, and the sea of bounty surged, O Rapture of the worlds.

By Thine aloneness the Sun of Oneness shone, and by Thy banishment the land of Unity was adorned. Be patient, O Thou Exile of the worlds.

We have made abasement the garment of glory, and affliction the adornment of Thy temple, O Pride of the worlds.

Thou seest the hearts are filled with hate, and to overlook is Thine, O Thou Concealer of the sins of the worlds.

When the swords flash, go forward! When the shafts fly, press onward! O Thou Sacrifice of the worlds.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Fire Tablet

Bahá’í Prayers, pp: 217-218

 

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

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It is a cold and miserable day but as I was anxious to see you I came here. For a man who has love, effort is a rest. He will travel any distance to visit his friends.

Thank God I see you spiritual and at rest; I give you this message from God; that you must be turned toward Him. Praise God that you are near Him! The unworthy things of this world have not deterred you from seeking the world of Spirit. When in harmony with that world, you care not for the things that perish; your desire is for that which never dies and the Kingdom lies open before you. I hope that the teaching of God will spread throughout the world, and will cause all to be united.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 48