Archive for the ‘Death’ Tag

15 February ― 9 Mulk   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9301

O friends of God, verily the Pen of Sincerity enjoineth on you the greatest faithfulness. By the Life of God, its light is more evident than the light of the sun! In its light and its brightness and its radiance every light is eclipsed. We desire of God that He will not withhold from His cities and lands the radiant effulgence of the Sun of Faithfulness. We have directed all in the nights and in the days to faithfulness, chastity, purity, and constancy; and have enjoined good deeds and well-pleasing qualities. In the nights and in the days the shriek of the pen ariseth and the tongue speaketh, that against the sword the word may arise, and against fierceness patience, and in ””place of oppression submission, and at the time of martyrdom resignation. For thirty years and more, in all that hath befallen this oppressed community they have been patient, referring it to God. Everyone endowed with justice and fairness hath testified and doth testify to that which hath been said. During this period this Oppressed One was engaged in good exhortations and efficacious and sufficient admonitions, till it became established and obvious before all that this Victim had made Himself a target for the arrows of calamity unto the showing forth of the treasures deposited in [men’s] souls. Strife and contest were and are seemly in the beasts of prey of the earth, [but] laudable actions are seemly in man.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh quoted by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

A Traveller’s Narrative, pp: 46-47

 

IMG_9302EVENING:

Gracious God! But for fear of the Nimrod of tyranny and for the protection of the Abraham of justice, I would reveal unto thee that which, wert thou to abandon self and desire, would enable thee to dispense with aught else and to draw nigh unto this city. Be patient, however, until such time as God will have proclaimed His Cause. He, verily, rewardeth beyond measure them that endure with patience. Inhale then the sweet savours of the spirit from the garment of hidden meanings, and say: “O ye that are immersed in the ocean of selflessness! Hasten to enter the City of Immortality, if ye seek to ascend its heights.” And We exclaim: “Verily we are God’s, and to Him shall we return.”

 

From this most august and exalted station, and from this most sublime and glorious plane, the seeker entereth the City of Immortality, therein to abide forever. In this station he beholdeth himself established upon the throne of independence and the seat of exaltation. Then will he comprehend the meaning of that which hath been revealed of old concerning the day “whereon God shall enrich all through His abundance”. Well is it with them that have attained unto this station and drunk their fill from this snow-white chalice before this Crimson Pillar.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, ¶’s 104-105

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

When an illness is slight a small remedy will suffice to heal it, but when the slight illness becomes a terrible disease, then a very strong remedy must be used by the Divine Healer. There are some trees that blossom and bear fruit in a cool climate, others there are which need the hottest rays of the sun to bring them to perfect maturity. Paris is one of those trees for whose spiritual unfoldment a great flaming Sun of the Divine Power of God is needed.

 

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I ask you all, each one of you, to follow well the light of truth, in the Holy Teachings, and God will strengthen you by His Holy Spirit so that you will be enabled to overcome the difficulties, and to destroy the prejudices which cause separation and hatred amongst the people. Let your hearts be filled with the great love of God, let it be felt by all; for every man is a servant of God, and all are entitled to a share of the Divine Bounty.

 

 

Especially to those whose thoughts are material and retrograde show the utmost love and patience, thereby winning them into the unity of fellowship by the radiance of your kindness.

If you are faithful to your great work, following the Holy Sun of Truth without swerving, then will the blessed day of universal brotherhood dawn on this beautiful city.

Paris Talks, p. 27

FROM THE HOLY QU’RÁN, SURA OF HUD [RODWELL TRANSLATION]:

Unto God shall ye return, and over all things is He Potent.

 

Do they not doubly fold up their breasts, that they may hide themselves

from Him?

 

But when they enshroud themselves in their garments, doth He not know

alike what they conceal and what they shew?

 

For He knoweth the very inmost of their breast.

 

There is no moving thing on earth whose nourishment dependeth not on

God; He knoweth its haunts and final resting place: all is in the clear Book.

 

And He it is who hath made the Heavens and the Earth in six days: His

throne had stood ere this upon the waters, that He might make proof which of

you would excel in works.

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11:10 And if thou say, “After death ye shall surely be raised again,” the

infidels will certainly explain, “This is nothing but pure sorcery.”

 

And if we defer their chastisement to some definite time, they will

exclaim, “What keepeth it back?” What! will it not come upon them on a day

when there shall be none to avert it from them? And that at which they scoffed

shall enclose them in on every side.

 

And if We cause man to taste Our mercy, and then deprive him of it,

verily, he is despairing, ungrateful.

 

IMG_0292And if after trouble hath befallen him We cause him to taste Our favour,

he will surely exclaim, “The evils are passed away from me.” Verily, he is

joyous, boastful.

 

Except those who endure with patience and do the things that are right:

these doth pardon await and a great reward.

FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION, 1604-1611], THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT LUKE:

8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that He went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with Him, 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, 8:3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance.

8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spake by a parable: 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

8:6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

8:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

8:8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when He had said these things, He cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

IMG_11728:9 And His disciples asked Him, saying, What might this parable be? 8:10 And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God.

8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

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25 July ― 13 Kalimát   Leave a comment

Throughout the Near and Middle East the nucleus of a community life was beginning to take shape among those who had accepted His message. For its guidance, Bahá’u’lláh had revealed a system of laws and institutions designed to give practical effect to the principles in His writings. Authority was vested in councils democratically elected by the whole community, provisions were made to exclude the possibility of a clerical elite arising, and principles of consultation and group decision making were established.

At the heart of this system was what Bahá’u’lláh termed a “new Covenant” between God and humankind. The distinguishing feature of humanity’s coming of age is that, for the first time in its history, the entire human race is consciously involved, however dimly, in the awareness of its own oneness and of the earth as a single homeland. This awakening opens the way to a new relationship between God and humankind. As the peoples of the world embrace the spiritual authority inherent in the guidance of the Revelation of God for this age, Bahá’u’lláh said, they will find in themselves a moral empowerment which human effort alone has proven incapable of generating. “A new race of men” will emerge as the result of this relationship, and the work of building a global civilization will begin. The mission of the Bahá’í community was to demonstrate the efficacy of this Covenant in healing the ills that divide the human race.

The International Bahá’í Community as commissioned by

The Universal House of Justice

Statement on Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 27-28

MORNING:

The Lord hath decreed that the dead should be interred in coffins made of crystal, of hard, resistant stone, or of wood that is both fine and durable, and that graven rings should be placed upon their fingers. He, verily, is the Supreme Ordainer, the One apprised of all.

The inscription on these rings should read, for men: “Unto God belongeth all that is in the heavens and on the earth and whatsoever is between them, and 65 He, in truth, hath knowledge of all things”; and for women: “Unto God belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is between them, and He, in truth, is potent over all things”. These are the verses that were revealed aforetime, but lo, the Point of the Bayán now calleth out, exclaiming, “O Best-Beloved of the worlds! Reveal Thou in their stead such words as will waft the fragrance of Thy gracious favours over all mankind. We have announced unto everyone that one single word from Thee excelleth all that hath been sent down in the Bayán. Thou, indeed, hast power to do what pleaseth Thee. Deprive not Thy servants of the overflowing bounties of the ocean of Thy mercy! Thou, in truth, art He Whose grace is infinite.” Behold, We have hearkened to His call, and now fulfil His wish. He, verily, is the Best-Beloved, the Answerer of prayers. If the following verse, which hath at this moment been sent down by God, be engraved upon the burial-rings of both men and women, it shall be better for them; We, of a certainty, are the Supreme Ordainer: “I came forth from God, and return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” Thus doth the Lord single out whomsoever He desireth for a bounty from His presence. He is, in very truth, the God of might and power.

The Lord hath decreed, moreover, that the deceased should be enfolded in five sheets of silk or cotton. For those whose means are limited a single sheet of either fabric will suffice. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. 66 It is forbidden you to transport the body of the deceased a greater distance than one hour’s journey from the city; rather should it be interred, with radiance and serenity, in a nearby place.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh,

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶¶: 128-130

EVENING:

O peoples of the world! Give ear unto the call of Him Who is the Lord of Names, Who proclaimeth unto you from His habitation in the Most Great Prison: “Verily, no God is there but Me, the Powerful, the Mighty, the All-Subduing, the Most Exalted, the Omniscient, the All-Wise.” In truth, there is no God but Him, the Omnipotent Ruler of the worlds. Were it His Will, He would, through but a single word proceeding from His presence, lay hold on all mankind. Beware lest ye hesitate in your acceptance of this Cause—a Cause before which the Concourse on high and the dwellers of the Cities of Names have bowed down. Fear God, and be not of those who are shut out as by a veil. Burn ye away the veils with the fire of My love, and dispel ye the mists of vain imaginings by the power of this Name through which We have subdued the entire creation.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh,

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶132

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

If we ponder a while over the Qur’ánic verses and proofs, and the traditional accounts which have come down to us from those stars of the heaven of Divine Unity, the Holy Imams, we shall be convinced of the fact that if a soul is endowed with the attributes of true faith and characterized with spiritual qualities he will become to all mankind an emblem of the outstretched mercies of God. For the attributes of the people of faith are justice and fair-mindedness; forbearance and compassion and generosity; consideration for others; candor, trustworthiness, and loyalty; love and loving-kindness; devotion and determination and humanity. If therefore an individual is truly righteous, he will avail himself of all those means which will attract the hearts of men, and through the attributes of God he will draw them to the straight path of faith and cause them to drink from the river of everlasting life.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp: 55-56

5 November ― 2 Qudrat   Leave a comment

But praise be to God, the world of existence does not culminate here. If this were so, existence itself would be sterile. There are many worlds of light. For even as the plant imagines life ends with itself and has no knowledge of our existence, so the materially-minded man has no knowledge of other worlds of consciousness.

But some there are who have found divine intelligence and have obtained spiritual understanding. They have the real sight. They know of the other worlds. That is why the prophets of God forfeited this world, renounced everything material and gave their hearts to the heavenly world. Were there nothing after death, Christ would not have accepted the cross; the prophets of all time would not have sacrificed their lives. They were in touch with the celestial world and they overlooked this transitory life. This is the fruit of the tree of creation – to be freed from the darkness of the planet in order to enter the worlds of light. This is the object of existence; this is the fruit of the tree of humanity.

If not for this fruition, what is the purpose of the tree? For this world is like unto a tree, and the fruits thereof are the divine worlds; assuredly the tree of creation is adorned with luscious fruits. Were it not for the existence of the divine worlds, the kingdom of being would be fruitless. Were it not for the inspiration of the breath of the Holy Spirit, this life would be a farce.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Divine Philosophy, p:123-124

MORNING:

O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, #31

EVENING:

O SON OF THE SUPREME! I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendor. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, #32

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

You have asked regarding the influence of evil spirits. Evil spirits are deprived of eternal life. How can they exercise any influence? But as eternal life is ordained for holy spirits, therefore their influence exists in all the divine worlds.

At the time you were here, this question was accordingly answered, that after the ascension of the godly souls, great influence and widespreading bounties are destined for them, and all-encircling signs in the seen and unseen are decreed for them.

When the souls leave the bodies, they do not assume elemental bodies. Whatever man thinks regarding this is but his own imagination.

When man desires help and communication from holy souls, he puts himself in a condition of self-unconsciousness and becomes submerged in the sea of meditation, then a spiritual state, which is sanctified from matter and all material things, becomes visible and apparent to him. Then he thinks he beholds a form. Its appearance is like unto a vision. Man beholds in the world of vision various images, communicates with them, and receives benefits, and in that world of vision he thinks they are physical temples and material bodies, while they are purely immaterial….To be brief, the holy souls have great influence and intense effect, and their influence and continuity does not depend upon physical existence and elemental composition.

Ponder ye, that during sleep the human body and the five physical senses, viz., sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch are passive–i.e., all physical forces are inactive. Notwithstanding this, human reality has spiritual life, and the spiritual powers are penetrative; and wonderful disclosures are made in both the East and the West, and perchance one may discover some matters, which, after a long time, may become apparent in the physical world. Therefore, it has become evident that the continuity and influence of the human reality does not depend upon the physical instrumentality…Humanity consists of the spiritual reality, and that reality is penetrative in all things, and it is that reality which discovers the invisible mysteries, and through that reality all sciences, arts, and inventions become known and manifest. Whatever thou beholdest of the works of man is but a faint ray of that reality. It encircles all things and comprehends all things.

Reflect thou that all these existent sciences, crafts, industries and arts were at one time in the world of invisibility, unknown and concealed mysteries. As the spirit of man environs all things, therefore he has discovered them and brought them from the unknown world into the arena of manifestation. Therefore, it is evident and established that the human spirit is the discover of things, the seer of things, and the comprehender of things.

But regarding the progress of the spirit in the world of the Kingdom after its ascension, it is wholly beyond space and time, and developments after leaving this body are spiritual and not terrestrial. It is like unto the progress of the child form the world of the fetus to the world of maturity and intelligence, from the world of ignorance to the world of knowledge, from the station of imperfection to the pinnacle of perfection.

As Divine Perfections are infinite, therefore the progress of the spirit is limitless.

Daily Lessons Received at Akka:
January 1908

by Helen S. Goodall and Ella Goodall Cooper

Wilmette, IL: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1979, pp:78-80

2 June – 17 ‘Azamat   Leave a comment

IMG_9757MORNING:

Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station. The honor with which the Hand of Mercy will invest the soul is such as no tongue can adequately reveal, nor any other earthly agency describe. Blessed is the soul which, at the hour of its separation from the body, is sanctified from the vain imaginings of the peoples of the world. Such a soul liveth and moveth in accordance with the Will of its Creator, and entereth the all-highest Paradise. The Maids of Heaven, inmates of the loftiest mansions, will circle around it, and the Prophets of God and His chosen ones will seek its companionship. With them that soul will freely converse, and will recount unto them that which it hath been made to endure in the path of God, the Lord of all worlds. If any man be told that which hath been ordained for such a soul in the worlds of God, the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below, his whole being will instantly blaze out in his great longing to attain that most exalted, that sanctified and resplendent station…. The nature of the soul after death can never be described, nor is it meet and permissible to reveal its whole character to the eyes of men. The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most High. The light which these souls radiate is responsible for the progress of the world and the advancement of its peoples. They are like unto leaven which leaveneth the world of being, and constitute the animating force through which the arts and wonders of the world are made manifest. Through them the clouds rain their bounty upon men, and the earth bringeth forth its fruits. All things must needs have a cause, a motive power, an animating principle. These souls and symbols of detachment have provided, and will continue to provide, the supreme moving impulse in the world of being. The world beyond is as different from this world as this world is different from that of the child while still in the womb of its mother. When the soul attaineth the Presence of God, it will assume the form that best befitteth its immortality and is worthy of its celestial habitation. Such an existence is a contingent and not an absolute existence, inasmuch as the former is preceded by a cause, whilst the latter is independent thereof. Absolute existence is strictly confined to God, exalted be His glory. Well is it with them that apprehend this truth. Wert thou to ponder in thine heart the behavior of the Prophets of God thou wouldst assuredly and readily testify that there must needs be other worlds besides this world. The majority of the truly wise and learned have, throughout the ages, as it hath been recorded by the Pen of Glory in the Tablet of Wisdom, borne witness to the truth of that which the holy Writ of God hath revealed. Even the materialists have testified in their writings to the wisdom of these divinely-appointed Messengers, and have regarded the references made by the Prophets to Paradise, to hell fire, to future reward and punishment, to have been actuated by a desire to educate and uplift the souls of men. Consider, therefore, how the generality of mankind, whatever their beliefs or theories, have recognized the excellence, and admitted the superiority, of these Prophets of God. These Gems of Detachment are acclaimed by some as the embodiments of wisdom, while others believe them to be the mouthpiece of God Himself. How could such Souls have consented to surrender themselves unto their enemies if they believed all the worlds of God to have been reduced to this earthly life? Would they have willingly suffered such afflictions and torments as no man hath ever experienced or witnessed?

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá‘u’lláh, pp. 155-158

IMG_9749EVENING:

Thou hast asked Me whether man, as apart from the Prophets of God and His chosen ones, will retain, after his physical death, the self-same individuality, personality, consciousness, and understanding that characterize his life in this world. If this should be the case, how is it, thou hast observed, that whereas such slight injuries to his mental faculties as fainting and severe illness deprive him of his understanding and consciousness, his death, which must involve the decomposition of his body and the dissolution of its elements, is powerless to destroy that understanding and extinguish that consciousness? How can any one imagine that man’s consciousness and personality will be maintained, when the very instruments necessary to their existence and function will have completely disintegrated?

Know thou that the soul of man is exalted above, and is independent of all infirmities of body or mind. That a sick person showeth signs of weakness is due to the hindrances that interpose themselves between his soul and his body, for the soul itself remaineth unaffected by any bodily ailments. Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere with its radiance, the light itself continueth to shine with undiminished power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an impediment that preventeth the soul from manifesting its inherent might and power. When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá‘u’lláh, pp. 153-154

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

You will retain your individuality and will not be swallowed up in one vast spirit.  Concerning the condition of the human soul after its ascension from the material world:  the essence of the human soul is clarified from material substances and purified from the embodiments of physical things.  It is exclusively luminous;  it hath no body;  it is a dazzling pencil of light;  is is a celestial orb of brightness.

The Eternal Quest for God, p. 216

Bahá’u’lláh’s Teachings on Spiritual Reality, p. 104