Archive for the ‘Religion’ Tag

12 May — 15 Jamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Yea, inasmuch as the peoples of the world have failed to seek from the luminous and crystal Springs of divine knowledge the inner meaning of God’s holy words, they therefore have languished, stricken and sore athirst, in the vale of idle fancy and waywardness. They have strayed far from the fresh and thirst-subduing waters, and gathered round the salt that burneth bitterly. Concerning them, the Dove of Eternity hath spoken: “And if they see the path of righteousness, they will not take it for their path; but if they see the path of error, for their path will they take it. This, because they treated Our signs as lies, and were heedless of them.” *

* Qur’án 7:145

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 104

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EVENING:

Let your light shine before the eyes of men. Such must be the purity of your character and the degree of your renunciation, that the people of the earth may through you recognize and be drawn closer to the heavenly Father who is the Source of purity and grace. For none has seen the Father who is in heaven. You who are His spiritual children must by your deeds exemplify His virtues, and witness to His glory. You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? Such must be the degree of your detachment, that into whatever city you enter to proclaim and teach the Cause of God, you should in no wise expect either meat or reward from its people. Nay, when you depart out of that city, you should shake the dust from off your feet. As you have entered it pure and undefiled, so must you depart from that city. For verily I say, the heavenly Father is ever with you and keeps watch over you. If you be faithful to Him, He will assuredly deliver into your hands all the treasures of the earth, and will exalt you above all the rulers and kings of the world.’ O My Letters! Verily I say, immensely exalted is this Day above the days of the Apostles of old. Nay, immeasurable is the difference! You are the witnesses of the Dawn of the promised Day of God. You are the partakers of the mystic chalice of His Revelation. Gird up the loins of endeavour, and be mindful of the words of God as revealed in His Book: ‘Lo, the Lord thy God is come, and with Him is the company of His angels arrayed before Him!’ Purge your hearts of worldly desires, and let angelic virtues be your adorning. Strive that by your deeds you may bear witness to the truth of these words of God, and beware lest, by ‘turning back,’ He may ‘change you for another people,’ who ‘shall not be your like,’ and who shall take from you the Kingdom of God. The days when idle worship was deemed sufficient are ended. The time is come when naught but the purest motive, supported by deeds of stainless purity, can ascend to the throne of the Most High and be acceptable unto Him. ‘The good word riseth up unto Him, and the righteous deed will cause it to be exalted before Him.’

—His Holiness The Christ quoted by His Holiness The Báb

Shoghi Effendi The Dawn-Breakers, p. 92

FROM  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

The assemblage in the world which today is thoughtful of God, the assemblage which is occupied with the thought of illumining the world of humanity, the assemblage which is occupied with the mentioning of the kingdom of God, the assemblage which has as its chief motive the good pleasure of the Lord of Hosts, is verily the assemblage of Bahá’ís, for they have no intention, aim, or purpose save the attainment of the good pleasure of God, and entrance into the Kingdom of God, and of being the promulgators of the religion of God. They are the spreaders of the fragrances of God. These are the desires of the assemblage of the Bahá’ís…

…I hope that many such assemblages may be founded in America, and that from all the centers of the world people may come to the Bahá’í assemblages and there manifest the oneness of the world of humanity.

The people in general are all asleep; they are all inadvertent; they are all slumbering, because their thoughts are confined to materialism; they are not at all thoughtful of God’s thoughts except you, who are thinking of God. Verily, you are the spirit of the world! You are the cause of the light of the world! You are the salt of the earth!

Do not look at your limited numbers now. Ere long you will see that the divine Radiance has flooded all regions. The believers in the various sects are decreasing in numbers, whereas the people of God are constantly increasing, growing stronger and greater, day by day becoming more effective.

Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 372-373

FROM THE CHRIST, THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION 1604-1611], THE GOSPEL OF MARK:

9:33 And He came to Capernaum: and being in the house He asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
9:35 And He sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
9:36 And He took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when He had taken him in his arms, He said unto them, 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name, receiveth Me: and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him that sent Me.
9:38 And John answered Him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in My name, that can lightly speak evil of Me.
9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in Me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

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28 April ― 2 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN THE FEAST OF JAMÁL [BEAUTY]   Leave a comment

28 April ― 2 Jamál

Holy Day – The 9th Day of the Festival of RIḌVÁN


The Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, described by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as “one of the most vital institutions of the world”, weds two essential, inseparable aspects of Bahá’í life:  worship and service.  The union of these two is also reflected in the coherence that exists among the community-building features of the Plan, particularly the burgeoning of a devotional spirit that finds expression in gatherings for prayer and an educational process that builds capacity for service to humanity.  The correlation of worship and service is especially pronounced in those clusters around the world where Bahá’í communities have significantly grown in size and vitality, and where engagement in social action is apparent.  Some of these have been designated as sites for the dissemination of learning so as to nurture the friends’ ability to advance the junior youth programme in associated regions.  The capacity to sustain this programme, as we have recently indicated, also fuels the development of study circles and children’s classes.  Thus, beyond its primary purpose, the learning site fortifies the entire scheme of expansion and consolidation.  It is within these clusters that, in the coming years, the emergence of a local Mashriqu’l-Adhkár can be contemplated.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2012, ¶9

MORNING:

Glorified is He Who hath surrendered the embodiment of His Beauty to the clutches of the envious and the wicked — a fate unto which We are fully resigned, though none may perceive this save those who are endued with insight.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 4

 

EVENING:

Pointing with her finger unto My head, she addressed all who are in heaven and all who are on earth, saying: By God! This is the Best-Beloved of the worlds, and yet ye comprehend not. This is the Beauty of God amongst you, and the power of His sovereignty within you, could ye but understand. This is the Mystery of God and His Treasure, the Cause of God and His glory unto all who are in the kingdoms of Revelation and of creation, if ye be of them that perceive. This is He Whose Presence is the ardent desire of the denizens of the Realm of eternity, and of them that dwell within the Tabernacle of glory, and yet from His Beauty do ye turn aside.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 5

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

The Blessed Beauty saith: ‘Ye are all the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch.’ Thus hath He likened this world of being to a single tree, and all its peoples to the leaves thereof, and the blossoms and fruits. It is needful for the bough to blossom, and leaf and fruit to flourish, and upon the interconnection of all parts of the world-tree, dependeth the flourishing of leaf and blossom, and the sweetness of the fruit.

For this reason must all human beings powerfully sustain one another and seek for everlasting life; and for this reason must the lovers of God in this contingent world become the mercies and the blessings sent forth by that clement King of the seen and unseen realms. Let them purify their sight and behold all humankind as leaves and blossoms and fruits of the tree of being. Let them at all times concern themselves with doing a kindly thing for one of their fellows, offering to someone love, consideration, thoughtful help. Let them see no one as their enemy, or as wishing them ill, but think of all humankind as their friends; regarding the alien as an intimate, the stranger as a companion, staying free of prejudice, drawing no lines.

In this day, the one favoured at the Threshold of the Lord is he who handeth round the cup of faithfulness; who bestoweth, even upon his enemies, the jewel of bounty, and lendeth, even to his fallen oppressor, a helping hand; it is he who will, even to the fiercest of his foes, be a loving friend. These are the Teachings of the Blessed Beauty, these the counsels of the Most Great Name.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 1-2


 

24 April ― 16 Jalál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

24 April ― 16 Jalál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN


And what could be more fitting to offer the Blessed Beauty on the two hundredth anniversary of His Birth than the earnest striving of His loved ones to extend the reach of His Faith? The first of the two bicentenaries to be celebrated by the Baha’i world is thus an occasion with prospects most thrilling. Viewed aright, this year presents the single greatest worldwide opportunity there has ever been for connecting hearts to Baha’u’llah. In the months ahead, let all be mindful of this precious chance and alert to the possibilities that exist in every space for acquainting others with His life and sublime mission. For the teaching opportunity that is now before the Baha’i world to be seized to its fullest extent, creative thought needs to be given to the conversations that could unfold with every kind of person. In the course of such meaningful conversations, perception is heightened and hearts are opened—sometimes immediately. In this worthy occupation all find a calling, and of the joy that comes from being engaged in this work none should deprive themselves. We entreat the one Beloved that the whole of this bicentennial year may be filled with this joy that is purest and sweetest: telling another soul of the dawning of the Day of God.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

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RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2017

* * * * * *  * * *

 FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN, SHOGHI EFFENDI

We can prove ourselves worthy of our Cause only if in our individual conduct and corporate life we sedulously imitate the example of our beloved Master, Whom the terrors of tyranny, the storms of incessant abuse, the oppressiveness of humiliation, never caused to deviate a hair’s breadth from the revealed Law of Bahá’u’lláh.

12 April 1927 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, published in Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932 p. 132; The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 173

MORNING:

Canst thou discover any one but Me, O Pen, in this Day? What hath become of the creation and the manifestations thereof? What of the names and their kingdom? Whither are gone all created things, whether seen or unseen? What of the hidden secrets of the universe and its revelations? Lo, the entire creation hath passed away! Nothing remaineth except My Face, the Ever-Abiding, the Resplendent, the All-Glorious.

This is the Day whereon naught can be seen except the splendors of the Light that shineth from the face of Thy Lord, the Gracious, the Most Bountiful. Verily, We have caused every soul to expire by virtue of Our irresistible and all-subduing sovereignty. We have, then, called into being a new creation, as a token of Our grace unto men. I am, verily, the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 29

 

IMG_1728EVENING:

I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy hair which moveth across Thy face, even as Thy most exalted pen moveth across the pages of Thy Tablets, shedding the musk of hidden meanings over the kingdom of Thy creation, so to raise me up to serve Thy Cause that I shall not fall back, nor be hindered by the suggestions of them who have caviled at Thy signs and turned away from Thy face. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come…I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy Beauty that shineth forth above the horizon of eternity, a Beauty before which as soon as it revealeth itself the kingdom of beauty boweth down in worship, magnifying it in ringing tones, to grant that I may die to all that I possess and live to whatsoever belongeth unto Thee. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 289

 

IMG_8987FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O thou who dost believe in the Unity of God!

Know verily nothing will benefit a person save the love of the Merciful One. Nothing illuminates a man’s heart save the radiance which shines forth from the Kingdom of God! Put away every thought and doubtful mentioning and keep thy thoughts entirely on that which uplifts man to the heaven of the gift of God and that which causes every bird that belongs to the Kingdom to soar unto the incomparable realms, the center of everlasting grandeur in this world.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 52

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FROM HIS HOLINESS THE CHRIST, THE HOLY BIBLE, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT LUKE:

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.

8:19 Then came to Him His mother and His brethren, and could not come at him for the press.

8:20 And it was told Him by certain which said, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to see Thee.

8:21 And He answered and said unto them, My mother and My brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.


23 April ― 15 Jalál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

23 April ― 15 Jalál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN


We have observed how, especially in those places where intensity in teaching and community-building activities has been maintained, the friends have been able to guard themselves against the forces of materialism that risk sapping their precious energies. Not only that, but in managing the various other calls upon their time, they never lose sight of the sacred and pressing tasks before them. Such attentiveness to the needs of the Faith and to humanity’s best interests is required in every community. Where a programme of growth has been established in a previously unopened cluster, we see how the initial stirrings of activity arise out of the love for Bahá’u’lláh held in the heart of a committed believer. Notwithstanding the orders of complexity that must eventually be accommodated as a community grows in size, all activity begins with this simple strand of love. It is the vital thread from which is woven a pattern of patient and concentrated effort, cycle after cycle, to introduce children, youth, and adults to spiritual ideas; to foster a feeling for worship through gatherings for prayer and devotion; to stimulate conversations that illuminate understanding; to start ever-growing numbers on a lifetime of study of the Creative Word and its translation into deeds; to develop, along with others, capacity for service; and to accompany one another in the exercise of what has been learned. Beloved friends, loved ones of the Abhá Beauty: We pray for you in earnest on every occasion we present ourselves at His Holy Threshold, that your love for Him may give you the strength to consecrate your lives to His Cause.

 

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2015

IMG_1740MORNING:

The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new. Speak, and hold not thy peace. The day star of blissfulness shineth above the horizon of Our name, the Blissful, inasmuch as the kingdom of the name of God hath been adorned with the ornament of the name of thy Lord, the Creator of the heavens. Arise before the nations of the earth, and arm thyself with the power of this Most Great Name, and be not of those who tarry.

 

Methinks that thou hast halted and movest not upon My Tablet. Could the brightness of the Divine Countenance have bewildered thee, or the idle talk of the froward filled thee with grief and paralyzed thy movement? Take heed lest anything deter thee from extolling the greatness of this Day — the Day whereon the Finger of majesty and power hath opened the seal of the Wine of Reunion, and called all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth. Preferrest thou to tarry when the breeze announcing the Day of God hath already breathed over thee, or art thou of them that are shut out as by a veil from Him?

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 27-28

 

IMG_1712EVENING:

No veil whatever have I allowed, O Lord of all names and Creator of the heavens, to shut me from the recognition of the glories of Thy Day — the Day which is the lamp of guidance unto the whole world, and the sign of the Ancient of Days unto all them that dwell therein. My silence is by reason of the veils that have blinded Thy creatures’ eyes to Thee, and my muteness is because of the impediments that have hindered Thy people from recognizing Thy truth. Thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in Thee. Thou art the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. By Thy name that excelleth all other names! If Thy overruling and all-compelling behest should ever reach me, it would empower me to revive the souls of all men, through Thy most exalted Word, which I have heard uttered by Thy Tongue of power in Thy Kingdom of glory. It would enable me to announce the revelation of Thy effulgent countenance where through that which lay hidden from the eyes of men hath been manifested in Thy name, the Perspicuous, the sovereign Protector, the Self-Subsisting.

 

Canst thou discover any one but Me, O Pen, in this Day? What hath become of the creation and the manifestations thereof? What of the names and their kingdom? Whither are gone all created things, whether seen or unseen? What of the hidden secrets of the universe and its revelations? Lo, the entire creation hath passed away! Nothing remaineth except My Face, the Ever-Abiding, the Resplendent, the All-Glorious.

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 28-29

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

 

It should not be imagined that the writer’s earlier remarks constitute a denunciation of wealth or a commendation of poverty. Wealth is praiseworthy in the highest degree, if it is acquired by an individual’s own efforts and the grace of God, in commerce, agriculture, art and industry, and if it be expended for philanthropic purposes. Above all, if a judicious and resourceful individual should initiate measures which would universally enrich the masses of the people, there could be no undertaking greater than this, and it would rank in the sight of God as the supreme achievement, for such a benefactor would supply the needs and insure the comfort and well-being of a great multitude. Wealth is most commendable, provided the entire population is wealthy. If, however, a few have inordinate riches while the rest are impoverished, and no fruit or benefit accrues from that wealth, then it is only a liability to its possessor. If, on the other hand, it is expended for the promotion of knowledge, the founding of elementary and other schools, the encouragement of art and industry, the training of orphans and the poor — in brief, if it is dedicated to the welfare of society — its possessor will stand out before God and man as the most excellent of all who live on earth and will be accounted as one of the people of paradise.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp: 24-25

21 April ― 13 Jalál ― THE FIRST DAY OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

21 April ― 13 Jalál THE FIRST DAY OF RIḌVÁN

MORNING:

Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He Who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Riḍván and entered it. Guide, then, the people unto the garden of delight which God hath made the Throne of His Paradise. We have chosen thee to be our most mighty Trumpet, whose blast is to signalize the resurrection of all mankind.

Say: This is the Paradise on whose foliage the wine of utterance hath imprinted the testimony: “He that was hidden from the eyes of men is revealed, girded with sovereignty and power!” This is the Paradise, the rustling of whose leaves proclaims: “O ye that inhabit the heavens and the earth! There hath appeared what hath never previously appeared. He Who, from everlasting, had concealed His Face from the sight of creation is now come.” From the whispering breeze that wafteth amidst its branches there cometh the cry: “He Who is the sovereign Lord of all is made manifest. The Kingdom is God’s,” while from its streaming waters can be heard the murmur: “All eyes are gladdened, for He Whom none hath beheld, Whose secret no one hath discovered, hath lifted the veil of glory, and uncovered the countenance of Beauty.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 31

 

EVENING:

Within this Paradise, and from the heights of its loftiest chambers, the Maids of Heaven have cried out and shouted: “Rejoice, ye dwellers of the realms above, for the fingers of Him Who is the Ancient of Days are ringing, in the name of the All-Glorious, the Most Great Bell, in the midmost heart of the heavens. The hands of bounty have borne round the cup of everlasting life. Approach, and quaff your fill. Drink with healthy relish, O ye that are the very incarnations of longing, ye who are the embodiments of vehement desire!”

This is the Day whereon He Who is the Revealer of the names of God hath stepped out of the Tabernacle of glory, and proclaimed unto all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth: “Put away the cups of Paradise and all the life-giving waters they contain, for lo, the people of Bahá have entered the blissful abode of the Divine Presence, and quaffed the wine of reunion, from the chalice of the beauty of their Lord, the All-Possessing, the Most High.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 31-32

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

Thou didst wish to celebrate the Day of Riḍván with a feast, and to have those present on that day engage in reciting Tablets with delight and joy, and thou didst request me to send thee a letter to be read on that day. My letter is this:

O ye beloved, and ye handmaids of the Merciful! This is the day when the Day-Star of Truth rose over the horizon of life, and its glory spread, and its brightness shone out with such power that it clove the dense and high-piled clouds and mounted the skies of the world in all its splendour. Hence do ye witness a new stirring throughout all created things.

See how, in this day, the scope of sciences and arts hath widened out, and what wondrous technical advances have been made, and to what a high degree the mind’s powers have increased, and what stupendous inventions have appeared.

This age is indeed as a hundred other ages: should ye gather the yield of a hundred ages, and set that against the accumulated product of our times, the yield of this one era will prove greater than that of a hundred gone before. Take ye, for an example, the sum total of all the books that were ever written in ages past, and compare that with the books and treatises that our era hath produced: these books, written in our day alone, far and away exceed the total number of volumes that have been written down the ages. See how powerful is the influence exerted by the Day-Star of the world upon the inner essence of all created things!

But alas, a thousand times alas! The eyes see it not, the ears are deaf, and the hearts and minds are oblivious of this supreme bestowal. Strive ye then, with all your hearts and souls, to awaken those who slumber, to cause the blind to see, and the dead to rise.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 111-112

7 April ― 18 Bahá   Leave a comment

Florence Khanum asked: “If one is situated with a family or a number of people who are in need of help and assistance, and one should have tried his best to assist them with, however, no cooperation or encouragement on their part,- until one feels utterly impotent to render them any further assistance,- should he still remain with them and endeavor to offer them help, or should he leave them and go after his own business?” ‘Abdu’l-Baha answered: “Man is responsible to the degree of his power and capacity.” (That is, man should do his best to help his fellowmen as much as it is possible for him.)

He was further asked: “If one feels grieved at his failure to help others much more than one actually could, while one had the desire and intention of rendering them greater help, what should he do?” ‘Abdu’l-Baha said in part: “In this case, the fact that one had the desire and the intention of helping is enough for him. For ‘God judges man’s deeds according to the intention which actuated them.’ This authentic tradition has come down from the Prophet, to wit: ‘A man’s intention or will is better than his act.’ This means that when a man has a good intention, that is, cherishes the desire In his heart for a righteous act, it is impossible that such an intention be anything but pure. Whereas, in acting, it is possible that selfish reasons may have prompted it. For instance, it is possible that a man performs a good deed with a view to personal interest; such a good deed done is not separated from hypocrisy and insincerity. But when a man cherishes a good intention, it is impossible that it be prompted by any prejudice or be intended for anything but good. In this sense, ‘A man’s intention is better than his act.'”

He further said in part: “It is possible that men may have a good intention to perform a worthy deed, but be without the means to execute it. For instance, a man may have the intention to succor the poor and assist the orphan, but be without the necessary means with which to carry it out. Such an intention will have its effect in the world of Existence, and will be accepted in the Kingdom of God. And if a man be enabled to put it into deeds it will be ‘light upon light’ (i.e. doubly acceptable, as is commonly expressed).”

—Ali-Kuli Khan 1906 Pilgrim Notes , pp: 14-16

Latest Version : http://www.paintdrawer.co.uk/david/folders/Research/Bahai/Abdul-Baha/Khan%20Pilgrim%20Notes%201906.htm

“These Pilgrim Notes are a graphic record from the pen of the highly-esteemed Ali Kuli Khan, of the words, stories and actions of ‘Abdu’l-Baha that he witnessed. He spoke Persian fluently, was used by ‘Abdu’l-Baha as a translator, and submitted the most important of these notes for correction by ‘Abdu’l-Baha. Many works were translated by him early this century. Given these details and the wide scope and substantial length of the topics addressed, these are very important pilgrim notes. At the same time, like all Pilgrim Notes they are not necessarily the exact words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and this must always be borne in mind when weighing matters up.” [p.3 of above]

MORNING:

As to the position of Christianity, let it be stated without any hesitation or equivocation that its divine origin is unconditionally acknowledged, that the Sonship and Divinity of Jesus Christ are fearlessly asserted, that the divine inspiration of the Gospel is fully recognized, that the reality of the mystery of the Immaculacy of the Virgin Mary is confessed, and the primacy of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, is upheld and defended. The Founder of the Christian Faith is designated by Bahá’u’lláh as the “Spirit of God,” is proclaimed as the One Who “appeared out of the breath of the Holy Ghost,” and is even extolled as the “Essence of the Spirit.” His mother is described as “that veiled and immortal, that most beauteous, countenance,” and the station of her Son eulogized as a “station which hath been exalted above the imaginings of all that dwell on earth,” whilst Peter is recognized as one whom God has caused “the mysteries of wisdom and of utterance to flow out of his mouth.” “Know thou,” Bahá’u’lláh has moreover testified, “that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive and resplendent Spirit. We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened and the soul of the sinner sanctified…. He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Promised Day is Come, pp: 109-110

 

EVENING:

“Through the movement of Our Pen of Glory We have, at the bidding of the Omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a new life into every human frame, and instilled into every word a fresh potency. All created things proclaim the evidences of this worldwide regeneration.” “O people! I swear by the one true God! This is the Ocean out of which all Seas have proceeded, and with which every one of them will ultimately be united. From Him all the Suns have been generated, and unto Him they will all return. Through His potency the Trees of Divine Revelation have yielded their fruits, every one of which hath been sent down in the form of a Prophet, bearing a Message to God’s creatures in each of the worlds whose number God, alone, in His all-encompassing knowledge, can reckon. This He hath accomplished through the agency of but one Letter of His Word, revealed by His Pen — a Pen moved by His directing Finger — His Finger itself sustained by the power of God’s Truth.” “By the righteousness of the one true God! If one speck of a jewel be lost and buried beneath a mountain of stones, and lie hidden beyond the seven seas, the Hand of Omnipotence would assuredly reveal it in this Day, pure and cleansed from dross.” “Every single letter proceeding from Our mouth is endowed with such regenerative power as to enable it to bring into existence a new creation — a creation the magnitude of which is inscrutable to all save God. He verily hath knowledge of all things.” “It is in Our power, should We wish it, to enable a speck of floating dust to generate, in less than the twinkling of an eye, suns of infinite, of unimaginable splendor, to cause a dewdrop to develop into vast and numberless oceans, to infuse into every letter such a force as to empower it to unfold all the knowledge of past and future ages.” “We are possessed of such power which, if brought to light, will transmute the most deadly of poisons into a panacea of unfailing efficacy.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

Quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Advent of Divine Justice, pp:80-81

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

There is however another spirit which may be termed the divine, to which Jesus Christ refers when He declares that man must be born of its quickening and baptized with its living fire. Souls deprived of that spirit are accounted as dead, though they are possessed of the human spirit. His Holiness Jesus Christ has pronounced them dead inasmuch as they have no portion of the divine spirit. He says: “Let the dead bury their dead.” In another instance He declares: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” By this He means that souls though alive in the human kingdom are nevertheless dead if devoid of this particular spirit of divine quickening. They have not partaken of the divine life of the higher kingdom; for the soul which partakes of the power of the divine spirit is verily living.

 

This quickening spirit has spontaneous emanation from the Sun of Truth, from the reality of divinity and is not a revelation or a manifestation. It is like the rays of the sun. The rays are emanations from the sun. This does not mean that the sun has become divisible; that a part of the sun has come out into space. This plant beside me has risen from the seed; therefore it is a manifestation and unfoldment of the seed. The seed, as you can see, has unfolded in manifestation and the result is this plant. Every leaf of the plant is a part of the seed. But the reality of divinity is indivisible and each individual of human kind cannot be a part of it as is often claimed. Nay, rather, the individual realities of mankind when spiritually born are emanations from the reality of divinity, just as the flame, heat and light of the sun are the effulgence of the sun and not a part of the sun itself. Therefore a spirit has emanated from the reality of divinity, and its effulgences have become visible in human entities or realities. This ray and this heat are permanent. There is no cessation in the effulgence. As long as the sun exists the heat and light will exist, and inasmuch as eternality is a property of divinity, this emanation is everlasting. There is no cessation in its outpouring. The more the world of humanity develops, the more the effulgences or emanations of divinity will become revealed, just as the stone when it becomes polished and pure as a mirror will reflect in fuller degree the glory and splendor of the sun.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 261-262

 

FROM LETTERS WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF THE GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD SHOGHI EFFENDI:

“. . . Today, as never before, the magnet which attracts the blessings from on high, is teaching the Faith of God. The Hosts of Heaven are poised between heaven and earth, just waiting, and patiently, for the Bahá’í to step forth, with pure devotion and consecration, to teach the Cause of God, so they may rush to his aid and assistance. It is the Guardian’s prayer that the friends may treble their efforts, as the time is short — alas, the workers too few. Let those who wish to achieve immortality, step forth and raise the Divine Call. They will be astonished at the spiritual victories they will gain.”…

 

From a letter dated 28 March 1953 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer

 

…”What is needed to achieve success in the teaching field is a complete dedication on the part of the individual, consecrating to the glorious task of spreading the Faith, and the living of the Bahá’í life, because that creates the magnet for the Holy Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit which quickens the new soul. Thus the individual should be as a reed, through which the Holy Spirit may flow, to give new life to the seeking soul.

 

“One should search out those who are receptive to the Faith, and then concentrate on these persons in their teaching.”

From a letter dated 19 December 1953 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to two individual believers

The Individual and Teaching – Raising the Divine Call, p. 31-32

6 April – 17 Bahá   3 comments

MORNING:               IMG_2109

The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him. No more than a mere handful, however, hath been found willing to cleave to His Cause, or to become the instruments for its promotion. These few have been endued with the Divine Elixir that can, alone, transmute into purest gold the dross of the world, and have been empowered to administer the infallible remedy for all the ills that afflict the children of men. No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous, and sublime Revelation.

Incline your ears, O friends of God, to the voice of Him Whom the world hath wronged, and hold fast unto whatsoever will exalt His Cause. He, verily, guideth whomsoever He pleaseth unto His straight Path. This is a Revelation that infuseth strength into the feeble, and crowneth with wealth the destitute.

With the utmost friendliness and in a spirit of perfect fellowship take ye counsel together, and dedicate the precious days of your lives to the betterment of the world and the promotion of the Cause of Him Who is the Ancient and Sovereign Lord of all. He, verily, enjoineth upon all men what is right, and forbiddeth whatsoever degradeth their station.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 183-184

 

EVENING:

Meditate on what the poet hath written: “Wonder not, if my Best-Beloved be closer to me than mine own self; wonder at this, that I, despite such nearness, should still be so far from Him.”… Considering what God hath revealed, that “We are closer to man than his life-vein,” the poet hath, in allusion to this verse, stated that, though the revelation of my Best-Beloved hath so permeated my being that He is closer to me than my life-vein, yet, notwithstanding my certitude of its reality and my recognition of my station, I am still so far removed from Him. By this he meaneth that his heart, which is the seat of the All-Merciful and the throne wherein abideth the splendor of His revelation, is forgetful of its Creator, hath strayed from His path, hath shut out itself from His glory, and is stained with the defilement of earthly desires.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 184

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

God be praised, wherever we turn, the Ancient Beauty hath opened wide the gates of grace, and hath in unmistakable words announced glad tidings of victory through the Lord’s sustaining help. Through love hath He carried off the hearts of the believers, and He hath entrusted their triumph to the armies of the Concourse on high.

Now amidst all the peoples of the world must the beloved arise, with a heart even as the day-star, a strong inward urge, a shining brow, a musk-scented breath, a tongue speaking ever of God, an exposition crystal-clear, a high resolve, a power born of heaven, a spiritual character, a confirmation nothing short of the divine. Let them one and all become as a splendour on the horizon of heaven, and in the skies of the world a dazzling star. Let them be fruitful trees in the celestial bowers, sweet-scented blooms in the divine gardens; let them be verses of perfection on the page of the universe, words of oneness in the Book of Life. This is the first age, and the early beginnings of the dispensation of the Most Great Light, wherefore, within this century, virtues must be acquired, goodly qualities must be perfected within this span of time. In these very days the Abha Paradise must pitch its pavilions on the plains of the world. The lights of reality must now be revealed, and the secrets of God’s bestowals must now be made known, and now must the olden grace shine forth and this world change into the pleasure-ground of heaven, the garden of God. And out of pure hearts, and through heavenly bounties, all the perfections, qualities and attributes of the divine must now be made manifest.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 231-232