Archive for the ‘Detachment’ Tag

14 September ― 7 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

“There is no difference between countries,” is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s testimony in one of those Tablets. “The future of the Dominion of Canada, however, is very great, and the events connected with it infinitely glorious. It shall become the object of the glance of Providence, and shall show forth the bounties of the All-Glorious.” “Again I repeat,” He, in that same Tablet affirms, “that the future of Canada is very great, whether from a material or a spiritual standpoint…. The clouds of the Kingdom will water the seeds of guidance which have been sown there.”

The Beloved Guardian of the Cause 

Shoghi Effendi

quoting Abdu’l-Bahá

Citidel of Faith, p. 13

MORNING:

The angels and the spirits, arrayed rank upon rank, descend, by the leave of God, upon this Gate 1 and circle round this Focal Point in a far-stretching line. Greet them with salutations, O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn, for the dawn hath indeed broken; then proclaim unto the concourse of the faithful: ‘Is not the rising of the Morn, foreshadowed in the Mother Book, to be near at hand? 2 …’

O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! Turn Thou eagerly unto God in Thy Cause, for the peoples of the world have risen in iniquity, and but for the outpouring of the grace of God and Thy mercy unto them, no one could purge even a single soul for evermore. 3 O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! The life to come is indeed far more advantageous unto Thee and unto such as follow Thy Cause than this earthly life and its pleasures. This is what hath been foreordained according to the dispensations of Providence…

O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! Say: Verily I am the ‘Gate of God’ and I give you to drink, by the leave of God, the sovereign Truth, of the crystal-pure waters of His Revelation which are gushing out from the incorruptible Fountain situate upon the Holy Mount. And those who earnestly strive after the One True God, let them then strive to attain this Gate. 4 Verily God is potent over all things…

O peoples of the earth! Give ear unto God’s holy Voice proclaimed by this Arabian Youth Whom the Almighty hath graciously chosen for His Own Self. He is indeed none other than the True One, Whom God hath entrusted with this Mission from the midst of the Burning Bush. O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! Unravel what Thou pleasest from the secrets of the All-Glorious, for the ocean is surging high 5 at the behest of the incomparable Lord.

 

.

1.

cf. Qur’án 78:38

2.

cf. Qur’án 11:83

3.

cf. Qur’án 24:21

4.

cf. Qur’án 83:25–26

5.

Qur’án 52:6

His Holiness The Báb

Qayyúmu’l-Asmá, Chapter XXIV

Selections From the Writings of the Báb, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 lightweight edition, pp: 50-51

EVENING:

O QURRATU’L-‘AYN! Stretch not Thy hands wide open in the Cause, inasmuch as the people would find themselves in a state of stupor by reason of the Mystery, and I swear by the true, Almighty God that there is yet for Thee another turn after this Dispensation.

And when the appointed hour hath struck, do Thou, by the leave of God, the All-Wise, reveal from the heights of the Most Lofty and Mystic Mount a faint, an infinitesimal glimmer of Thy impenetrable Mystery, that they who have recognized the radiance of the Sinaic Splendour may faint away and die as they catch a lightning glimpse of the fierce and crimson Light that envelops Thy Revelation. And God is, in very truth, Thine unfailing Protector.

His Holiness The Báb

Qayyúmu’l-Asmá, Chapter XXVIII

Selections From the Writings of the Báb, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 lightweight edition, pp: 50-51

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

It is known and clear that today the unseen divine assistance encompasseth those who deliver the Message. And if the work of delivering the Message be neglected, the assistance shall be entirely cut off, for it is impossible that the friends of God could receive assistance unless they be engaged in delivering the Message. Under all conditions the Message must be delivered, but with wisdom. If it be not possible openly, it must be done quietly. The friends should be engaged in educating the souls and should become instruments in aiding the world of humanity to acquire spiritual joy and fragrance. For example: If every one of the friends were to establish relations of friendship and right dealings with one of the negligent souls, associate and live with him with perfect kindliness, and meanwhile through good conduct and moral behavior lead him to divine instruction, to heavenly advice and teachings, surely he would gradually arouse that negligent person and would change his ignorance into knowledge. 

 

Souls are liable to estrangement. Such methods should be adopted that the estrangement should be first removed, then the Word will have effect.

 

If one of the believers be kind to one of the negligent ones and with perfect love should gradually make him understand the reality of the Cause of God in such a way that the latter should know in what manner the Religion of God hath been founded and what its object is, doubtless he will become changed; excepting abnormal souls who are reduced to the state of ashes and whose hearts are like stones, yea, even harder.

 

If by this method every one of the friends of God were to try to lead one soul to the right path, the number of the believers would be doubled every year. But this should be carried out with perfect wisdom and in such a manner that no harm would ever result therefrom.

 

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 385-386

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11 September ― 4 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

There can be no doubt whatever that with every turn of the wheel, as a result of the operation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan, and with every extension in the range of its evolution, a responsibility of still greater gravity and of wider import will have to be shouldered by its divinely chosen executors wherever its ramifications may extend and however oppressive the state of the countries and continents in which they may have to labor. They must strive, ceaselessly strive, ready for any emergency, steeled to meet any degree of opposition, unsatisfied with any measure of progress as yet achieved, prepared to make sacrifices far exceeding any they have already willingly made, and confident that such striving, such readiness, such resolution, such high-mindedness, such sacrifice will earn them the palm of a victory still more soul-satisfying and resounding in its magnificence than any as yet won since the inception of their mission.

 

The Beloved Guardian of the Cause of God Shoghi Effendi

Citadel of Faith, pp: 62-63

 

 

 

MORNING:

The Third Valley

If the loving seekers wish to live within the precincts of the Attracting One (Majdhúb),1 no soul may dwell on this Kingly Throne save the beauty of love. This realm is not to be pictured in words.

 

Love shunneth this world and that world too,
In him are lunacies seventy-and-two.
The minstrel of love harpeth this lay:
Servitude enslaveth, kingship doth betray.2

 

This plane requireth pure affection and the bright stream of fellowship. In telling of these companions of the Cave He saith: “They speak not till He hath spoken; and they do His bidding.”3

 

On this plane, neither the reign of reason is sufficient nor the authority of self. Hence, one of the Prophets of God hath asked: “O my Lord, how shall we reach unto Thee?” And the answer came, “Leave thyself behind, and then approach Me.”

 

 

These are a people who deem the lowest place to be one with the throne of glory, and to them beauty’s bower differeth not from the field of a battle fought in the cause of the Beloved.

 

 

The denizens of this plane speak no words—but they gallop their chargers. They see but the inner reality of the Beloved. To them all words of sense are meaningless, and senseless words are full of meaning. They cannot tell one limb from another, one part from another. To them the mirage is the real river; to them going away is returning. Wherefore hath it been said:

 

The story of Thy beauty reached the hermit’s dell;
Crazed, he sought the Tavern where the wine they buy and sell.
The love of Thee hath leveled down the fort of patience,
The pain of Thee hath firmly barred the gate of hope as well.4

 

In this realm, instruction is assuredly of no avail.

The lover’s teacher is the Loved One’s beauty,
His face their lesson and their only book.
Learning of wonderment, of longing love their duty,
Not on learned chapters and dull themes they look.
The chain that binds them is His musky hair,
The Cyclic Scheme,5 to them, is but to Him a stair.6

 

Here followeth a supplication to God, the Exalted, the Glorified:

 

 

O Lord! O Thou Whose bounty granteth wishes!
I stand before Thee, all save Thee forgetting.
Grant that the mote of knowledge in my spirit
Escape desire and the lowly clay;
Grant that Thine ancient gift, this drop of wisdom,
Merge with Thy mighty sea.7

 

Thus do I say: There is no power or might save in God, the Protector, the Self-Subsistent.8

 

 

1.

That attribute of God which draws all creatures to Him

2.

The Mathnaví

3.

Qur’án 21:27

4.

Sa’dí

5.

The Cyclic Theory of Abú-‘Alí Síná (Avicenna—980–1037) as expressed by him in the quatrain:

Every semblance, every shape that perisheth today
In the treasure-house of Time is safely stored away.
When the world revolveth to its former place,
Out of the Invisible He draweth forth its face.

See also Some Answered Questions, p. 284

6.

The Mathnaví

7.

Ibid

8.

From Qur’án 18:37

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 55-59

 

EVENING:

   
The Fourth Valley   
If the mystic knowers be of those who have reached to the beauty of the Beloved One (Mahbúb), this station is the apex of consciousness and the secret of divine guidance. This is the center of the mystery: “He doth what He willeth, ordaineth what He pleaseth.” 1   
Were all the denizens of earth and heaven to unravel this shining allusion, this darksome riddle, until the Day when the Trumpet soundeth, yet would they fail to comprehend even a letter thereof, for this is the station of God’s immutable decree, His foreordained mystery. Hence, when searchers inquired of this, He made reply, “This is a bottomless sea which none shall ever fathom.” 2 And they asked again, and He answered, “It is the blackest of nights through which none can find his way.”    
Whoso knoweth this secret will assuredly hide it, and were he to reveal but its faintest trace they would nail him to the cross. Yet, by the Living God, were there any true seeker, I would divulge it to him; for they have said: “Love is a light that never dwelleth in a heart possessed by fear.”    
Verily, the wayfarer who journeyeth unto God, unto the Crimson Pillar in the snow-white path, will never reach unto his heavenly goal unless he abandoneth all that men possess: “And if he feareth not God, God will make him to fear all things; whereas all things fear him who feareth God.” 3   
Speak in the Persian tongue, though the Arab please thee more;
A lover hath many a tongue at his command. 4 
 
How sweet is this couplet which revealeth such a truth:    
See, our hearts come open like shells, when He raineth grace like pearls,
And our lives are ready targets, when agony’s arrows He hurls.  
 
And were it not contrary to the Law of the Book, I would verily bequeath a part of My possessions to the one who would put Me to death, and I would name him My heir; yea, I would bestow upon him a portion, would render him thanks, would seek to refresh Mine eyes with the touch of his hand. But what can I do? I have no possessions, no power, and this is what God hath ordained. 5   
Methinks at this moment, I catch the fragrance of His garment 6 blowing from the Egypt of Bahá; 7 verily He seemeth near at hand, though men may think Him far away. 8 My soul doth smell the perfume shed by the Beloved One; My sense is filled with the fragrance of My dear Companion.  

The duty of long years of love obey
And tell the tale of happy days gone by,
That land and sky may laugh aloud today,
And it may gladden mind and heart and eye. 9

 

 
This is the realm of full awareness, of utter self-effacement. Even love is no pathway to this region, and longing hath no dwelling here; wherefore is it said, “Love is a veil betwixt the lover and the beloved.” Here love becometh an obstruction and a barrier, and all else save Him is but a curtain. The wise Saná’í hath written:   
Never the covetous heart shall come to the stealer of hearts,
Never the shrouded soul unite with beauty’s rose.  
 
For this is the realm of Absolute Command and is free of all the attributes of earth.    
The exalted dwellers in this mansion do wield divine authority in the court of rapture, with utter gladness, and they do bear a kingly sceptre. On the high seats of justice, they issue their commands, and they send down gifts according to each man’s deserving. Those who drink of this cup abide in the high bowers of splendor above the Throne of the Ancient of Days, and they sit in the Empyrean of Might within the Lofty Pavilion: “Naught shall they know of sun or piercing cold.” 10    
Herein the high heavens are in no conflict with the lowly earth, nor do they seek to excel it, for this is the land of mercy, not the realm of distinction. Albeit at every moment these souls appear in a new office, yet their condition is ever the same. Wherefore of this realm it is written, “No work withholdeth Him from another.” 11 And of another state it is said: “Every day doth some new work employ Him.” 12 This is the food whose savor changeth not, whose color altereth not. If thou eatest thereof, thou shalt verily chant this verse: “I turn my face to Him Who hath created the Heavens and the earth … I am not one of those who add gods to God.” 13 “And thus did we show Abraham the Kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth, that He might be established in knowledge.” 14 Wherefore, put thy hand into thy bosom, then stretch it forth with power, and behold, thou shalt find it a light unto all the world.” 15   
How crystal this cool water that the Cup-Bearer bringeth! How bright this pure wine in the hands of the Beloved! How delicate this draught from the Heavenly Cup! May it do them good, whoso drink thereof, and taste of its sweetness and attain to its knowledge.    

It is not fitting that I tell thee more,
For the stream’s bed cannot hold the sea. 16

 

 

 
For the mystery of this utterance is hid within the storehouse of the Great Infallibility 17 and laid up in the treasuries of power. It is sanctified above the jewels of explanation; it is beyond what the most subtle of tongues can tell.   
Astonishment here is highly prized, and utter poverty essential. Wherefore hath it been said, “Poverty is My pride.” 18 And again: “God hath a people beneath the dome of glory, whom He hideth in the clothing of radiant poverty.” 19 These are they who see with His eyes, hear with His ears, as it is written in the well-known tradition.  
Concerning this realm, there is many a tradition and many a verse, of broad or special relevancy, but two of these will suffice to serve as a light for men of mind and heart. 
The first is His statement: “O My Servant! Obey Me and I shall make thee like unto Myself. I say ‘Be,’ and it is, and thou shalt say ‘Be,’ and it shall be.”  
And the second: “O Son of Adam! Seek fellowship with none until thou hast found Me, and whenever thou shalt long for Me, thou shalt find Me close to thee.”   
Whatever high proofs and wondrous allusions are recounted herein, concern but a single Letter, a single Point. “Such hath been the way of God … and no change canst thou find in the way of God.” 20

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 60-69

 
 

1.

Qur’án 2:254; 5:1, etc

 
 

2.

Statement attributed to ‘Alí

 
 

3.

This quotation is in Arabic

 
 

4.

The Mathnaví

 
 

5.

This was revealed before the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh. The lines following refer to the imminence of His Manifestation

 
 

6.

Literally, the garment of Ha’, which is the letter “H” and here represents Bahá.

 
 

7.

This reference is to the story of Joseph in the Qur’án and the Bible.

 
 

8.

This refers to those who did not expect the imminent advent of Him Whom God Shall Manifest.

 
 

9.

The Mathnaví

 
 

10.

Qur’án 76:13

 
 

11.

This quotation is from one of the commentators on Qur’án 55:29. Cf. the dictionary Lisánu’l-‘Arab

 
 

12.

Qur’án 55:29

 
 

13.

Qur’án 6:79

 
 

14.

Qur’án 6:75

 
 

15.

Cf. Qur’án 7:105 etc., and Hadíth

 
 

16.

The Mathnaví

 
 

17.

Ismat-i-Kubrá, the invariable attribute of the Divine Manifestation

 
 

18.

Muḥammad

 
 

19.

Hadíth

 
 

20.

Qur’án 33:62; 48:23.  

 
           

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 57-64

10 September ― 3 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

If thou art not seeing dreams (and visions), be thou not sad. Thou art going to see, whilst thou art awake. A wakeful eye is acceptable in the Threshold of the Almighty. Therefore, I hope that thou wilt open the eye of thine insight, travel in all the realms of God, see the splendor of the Kingdom and behold the effulgence of the Realm of might.

 

 

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp: 531-532

 

 

MORNING:

The First Valley

If the travelers seek after the goal of the Intended One (maqṣúd), this station appertaineth to the self — but that self which is “The Self of God standing within Him with laws.”†

On this plane, the self is not rejected but beloved; it is well-pleasing and not to be shunned. Although at the beginning, this plane is the realm of conflict, yet it endeth in attainment to the throne of splendor. As they have said: “O Abraham of this day, O Friend Abraham of the Spirit! Kill these four birds of prey,”‡ that after death the riddle of life may be unraveled.

This is the plane of the soul who is pleasing unto God. Refer to the verse:

O thou soul who art well assured,

Return to thy Lord, well-pleased, and pleasing unto Him.1

which endeth:

Enter thou among My servants,

And enter thou My paradise.2

This station hath many signs, unnumbered proofs. Hence it is said: “Hereafter We will show them Our signs in the regions of the earth, and in themselves, until it become manifest unto them that it is the truth,”3 and that there is no God save Him.

One must, then, read the book of his own self, rather than some treatise on rhetoric. Wherefore He hath said, “Read thy Book: There needeth none but thyself to make out an account against thee this day.”4

The story is told of a mystic knower, who went on a journey with a learned grammarian as his companion. They came to the shore of the Sea of Grandeur. The knower straightway flung himself into the waves, but the grammarian stood lost in his reasonings, which were as words that are written on water. The knower called out to him, “Why dost thou not follow?” The grammarian answered, “O Brother, I dare not advance. I must needs go back again.” Then the knower cried, “Forget what thou didst read in the books of Síbávayh and Qawlavayh, of Ibn-i-Hajíb and Ibn-i-Málik,§ and cross the water.”

§ Famed writers on grammar and rhetoric

The death of self is needed here, not rhetoric:

Be nothing, then, and walk upon the waves.

Likewise is it written, “And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves. These are the wicked doers.”5

 

† Hadith

The Mathnaví. Here Rúmí tells a story of four evil birds which, when put to death, changed into four birds of goodness. The allegory refers to subduing evil qualities and replacing them with good.

1 Qur’án 89:27-30

2Qur’án 89:27-30

3 Qur’án 41:53

4 Qur’án 17:15

5 Qur’án 59:19

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 49-52

EVENING:

The Second Valley

If the wayfarer’s goal be the dwelling of the Praiseworthy One (Maḥmúd),1 this is the station of primal reason which is known as the Prophet and the Most Great Pillar.2 Here reason signifieth the divine, universal mind, whose sovereignty enlighteneth all created things—nor doth it refer to every feeble brain; for it is as the wise Saná’í hath written:

How can feeble reason encompass the Qur’án,
Or the spider snare a phoenix in his web?
Wouldst thou that the mind should not entrap thee?
Teach it the science of the love of God!

On this plane, the traveler meeteth with many a trial and reverse. Now is he lifted up to heaven, now is he cast into the depths. As it hath been said: “Now Thou drawest me to the summit of glory, again Thou castest me into the lowest abyss.” The mystery treasured in this plane is divulged in the following holy verse from the Súrih of THE CAVE:3

“And thou mightest have seen the sun when it arose, pass on the right of their cave, and when it set, leave them on the left, while they were in its spacious chamber. This is one of the signs of God. Guided indeed is he whom God guideth; but for him whom He misleadeth, thou shalt by no means find a patron.”

If a man could know what lieth hid in this one verse, it would suffice him. Wherefore, in praise of such as these, He hath said: “Men whom neither merchandise nor traffic beguile from the remembrance of God….”4

This station conferreth the true standard of knowledge, and freeth man from tests. In this realm, to search after knowledge is irrelevant, for He hath said concerning the guidance of travelers on this plane, “Fear God, and God will instruct thee.”5 And again: “Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth.”6

Wherefore, a man should make ready his heart that it be worthy of the descent of heavenly grace, and that the bounteous Cup-Bearer may give him to drink of the wine of bestowal from the merciful vessel. “For the like of this let the travailers travail!”7

And now do I say, “Verily we are from God, and to Him shall we return.”8

1.

An attribute of God and one of the titles of Muḥammad.

2.

Maqám-i-Mahmúd—Praiseworthy Station—is the rank of Prophets endowed with constancy.

3.

Qur’án 18:16. This is a reference to the station of complete faith. The companions of the Cave are identified with early Christian martyrs.

4.

Qur’án 24:37

5.

Qur’án 2:282

6.

Hadíth

7.

Qur’án 37:59

8.

Qur’án 2:151

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 52-54

3 September ― 15 Asmá’   Leave a comment

The 105th Anniversary of the Visit of Abdu’l-Bahá to Montréal, Québec, Canada

    3 September 1912

 

The body of man becomes lean or fat; it is afflicted with disease, suffers mutilation; perhaps the eyes become blind, the ears deaf; but none of these imperfections and failings afflict or affect the spirit. The spirit of man remains in the same condition, unchanged. A man is blinded, but his spirit continues the same. He loses his hearing, his hand is cut off, his foot amputated; but his spirit remains the same. He becomes lethargic, he is afflicted with apoplexy; but there is no difference, change or alteration in his spirit. This is proof that death is only destruction of the body, while the spirit remains immortal, eternal.

 

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

In the Home of Mr. and Mrs. Sutherland Maxwell, 1 September 1912 ―Montréal, Québec, Canada

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 308

 

 

 

MORNING:

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

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 157-158

EVENING:

Thou hast asked Me concerning the nature of the soul. Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to  unravel. It is the first among all created things to declare the excellence of its Creator, the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him. If it be faithful to God, it will reflect His light, and will, eventually, return unto Him. If it fail, however, in its allegiance to its Creator, it will become a victim to self and passion, and will, in the end, sink in their depths.

Whoso hath, in this Day, refused to allow the doubts and fancies of men to turn him away from Him Who is the Eternal Truth, and hath not suffered the tumult provoked by the ecclesiastical and secular authorities to deter him from recognizing His Message, such a man will be regarded by God, the Lord of all men, as one of His mighty signs, and will be numbered among them whose names have been inscribed by the Pen of the Most High in His Book. Blessed is he that hath recognized the true stature of such a soul, that hath acknowledged its station, and discovered its virtues.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 158-159

23 August – 4 Asmá’   Leave a comment

IMG_3191

MORNING:

IMG_2514Set before thine eyes God’s unerring Balance and, as one standing in His Presence, weigh in that Balance thine actions every day, every moment of thy life. Bring thyself to account ere thou art summoned to a reckoning, on the Day when no man shall have strength to stand for fear of God, the Day when the hearts of the heedless ones shall be made to tremble.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 235

 EVENING:

IMG_2521Say: O people! Let not this life and its deceits deceive you, for the world and all that is therein is held firmly in the grasp of His Will. He bestoweth His favor on whom He willeth, and from whom He willeth He taketh it away. He doth whatsoever He chooseth. Had the world been of any worth in His sight, He surely would never have allowed His enemies to possess it, even to the extent of a grain of mustard seed. He hath, however, caused you to be entangled with its affairs, in return for what your hands have wrought in His Cause. This, indeed, is a chastisement which ye, of your own will, have inflicted upon yourselves, could ye but perceive it. Are ye rejoicing in the things which, according to the estimate of God, are contemptible and worthless, things wherewith He proveth the hearts of the doubtful?

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 209

FROM THE EXEMPLAR  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O thou servant of God!

According to what I have heard, thou hast experienced a great financial loss. Do not feel sorry, for thou wilt be compensated. I hope that whatever thou hast lost will come back to thee. But this material loss is not a very grave one; it is for a time and shall pass away. Alhamdalláh!* — that thou hast a share in the Kingdom of God and art receiving gifts from the treasury of the Holy Spirit. Do not feel sorry; do not brood over the loss; do not sit down depressed; do not be silent; but, on the contrary, day and night be engaged in the commemoration of thy Lord in the greatest joy and gladness.

* Praise be to God!

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 133

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

12:22 And He said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

12:23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment….

…12:25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 12:26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 12:27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.

12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom….

12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

31 July ― 16 Kalimát   Leave a comment

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Then the long line of interviews commenced. One was an ardent suffragist, a militant one. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá advised her that the women who are working for the interest of the enfranchisement of women should not commit unseemly acts, nor resort to violent measures, such as window smashing, police beating, train wrecking, letter-box destroying, etc.; nay, rather they should demand their rights with the power of intelligence, with scientific accomplishments, with artistic attainments. Unseemly deeds would rather retard the realization of their cherished hope. In this age a weak person resorts to frightful measures, but an intelligent person uses the superior power of intelligence and wisdom.
20 December 1912

SOW – Star of the West, Star of the West – 3

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The declared purpose of history’s series of prophetic revelations, therefore, has been not only to guide the individual seeker on the path of personal salvation, but to prepare the whole of the human family for the great eschatological Event lying ahead, through which the life of the world will itself be entirely transformed. The revelation of Bahá’u’lláh is neither preparatory nor prophetic. It is that Event. Through its influence, the stupendous enterprise of laying the foundations of the Kingdom of God has been set in motion, and the population of the earth has been endowed with the powers and capacities equal to the task. That Kingdom is a universal civilization shaped by principles of social justice and enriched by achievements of the human mind and spirit beyond anything the present age can conceive. “This is the Day,” Bahá’u’lláh declares, “in which God’s most excellent favours have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things…. Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead.”

Commissioned by

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

One Common Faith

Bahá’í World Centre, 2005 edition, pp: 54-55

MORNING:

O people of the world! Follow not the promptings of the self, for it summoneth insistently to wickedness and lust; follow, rather, Him Who is the Possessor of all created things, Who biddeth you to show forth piety, and manifest the fear of God. He, verily, is independent of all His creatures. Take heed not to stir up mischief in the land after it hath been set in order. Whoso acteth in this way is not of Us, and We are quit of him. Such is the command which hath, through the power of truth, been made manifest from the heaven of Revelation.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶ 64

EVENING:

Lament not in your hours of trial, neither rejoice therein; seek ye the Middle Way which is the remembrance of Me in your afflictions and reflection over that which may befall you in future. Thus informeth you He Who is the Omniscient, He Who is aware.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶ 43

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

If man were to care for himself only he would be nothing but an animal for only the animals are thus egoistic. If you bring a thousand sheep to a well to kill nine hundred and ninety-nine the one remaining sheep would go on grazing, not thinking of the others and worrying not at all about the lost, never bothering that its own kind had passed away, or had perished or been killed. To look after one’s self only is therefore an animal propensity. It is the animal propensity to live solitary and alone. It is the animal proclivity to look after one’s own comfort. But man was created to be a man — to be fair, to be just, to be merciful, to be kind to all his species, never to be willing that he himself be well off while others are in misery and distress — this is an attribute of the animal and not of man. Nay, rather, man should be willing to accept hardships for himself in order that others may enjoy wealth; he should enjoy trouble for himself that others may enjoy happiness and well-being. This is the attribute of man. This is becoming of man. Otherwise man is not man — he is less than the animal.

The man who thinks only of himself and is thoughtless of others is undoubtedly inferior to the animal because the animal is not possessed of the reasoning faculty. The animal is excused; but in man there is reason, the faculty of justice, the faculty of mercifulness. Possessing all these faculties he must not leave them unused. He who is so hard-hearted as to think only of his own comfort, such an one will not be called man.

Man is he who forgets his own interests for the sake of others. His own comfort he forfeits for the well-being of all. Nay, rather, his own life must he be willing to forfeit for the life of mankind. Such a man is the honor of the world of humanity. Such a man is the glory of the world of mankind. Such a man is the one who wins eternal bliss. Such a man is near to the threshold of God. Such a man is the very manifestation of eternal happiness. Otherwise, men are like animals, exhibiting the same proclivities and propensities as the world of animals. What distinction is there? What prerogatives, what perfections? None whatever! Animals are better even — thinking only of themselves and negligent of the needs of others.

 

Foundations of World Unity, p. 42

8 July ― 15 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9525Worship thou God in such wise that if thy worship lead thee to the fire, no alteration in thine adoration would be produced, and so likewise if thy recompense should be paradise. Thus and thus alone should be the worship which befitteth the one True God. Shouldst thou worship Him because of fear, this would be unseemly in the sanctified Court of His presence, and could not be regarded as an act by thee dedicated to the Oneness of His Being. Or if thy gaze should be on paradise, and thou shouldst worship Him while cherishing such a hope, thou wouldst make God’s creation a partner with Him, notwithstanding the fact that paradise is desired by men.

 

Fire and paradise both bow down and prostrate themselves before God. That which is worthy of His Essence is to worship Him for His sake, without fear of fire, or hope of paradise.

Although when true worship is offered, the worshipper is delivered from the fire, and entereth the paradise of God’s good-pleasure, yet such should not be the motive of his act. However, God’s favour and grace ever flow in accordance with the exigencies of His inscrutable wisdom.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Bàb, pp: 77-78

 

EVENING:

IMG_9525It is better to guide one soul than to possess all that is on earth, for as long as that guided soul is under the shadow of the Tree of Divine Unity, he and the one who hath guided him will both be recipients of God’s tender mercy, whereas possession of earthly things will cease at the time of death. The path to guidance is one of love and compassion, not of force and coercion. This hath been God’s method in the past, and shall continue to be in the future! He causeth him whom He pleaseth to enter the shadow of His Mercy. Verily, He is the Supreme Protector, the All-Generous.

There is no paradise more wondrous for any soul than to be exposed to God’s Manifestation in His Day, to hear His verses and believe in them, to attain His presence, which is naught but the presence of God, to sail upon the sea of the heavenly kingdom of His good-pleasure, and to partake of the choice fruits of the paradise of His divine Oneness.

 

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Bàb, p. 73

 

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

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Consider not the present condition, but rather foresee the future and the end. A seed in the beginning is very small, but in the end a great tree. One should not consider the seed, but the tree and its abundance of blossoms, leaves and fruits.

 

Consider the days of Jesus, when there was only a small body of people, and then observe the great tree which grew from that seed and what an abundant fruit it produced. This is greater than that, for as much as it is the calling of the Lord of Hosts and the Voice of the Trumpet of the Living God; it is the summons unto the harmony and unison of the world, and it is the banner of faithfulness, trustworthiness and friendship among the different nations and sects of the universe; it is the light of the Sun of Truth and the spirituality of the Majestic One. Verily this great cycle (dispensation) will encompass all the horizons and ultimately all the nations will gather together under this standard.

 

Therefore, know the importance of this seed which was planted in the divine field by the heavenly Gardener, watered with the rain of grace and nurtured by the heat and light of the Sun of Truth. Thus, O ye friends of God, give thanks unto His Majesty, the One, that ye became (or were made) the manifestation of such a gift and the recipient of such favor.

 

Blessed are ye! Good-tidings unto you for this great blessing!

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, v1, pp: 10-11