Mar 24, 2017

Vain Imaginings

You ask why the Manifestation of God for this day, in other words, Bahá'u'lláh, has not given all the detailed answers to the theories advanced by occultists, spiritualists and many of the more abstruse philosophers of the present day.

It would be absolutely impossible for anyone to answer all the questions that might be asked by the curious, whether scholars or ordinary people, on any subject. If the Prophet of God only came to this world in order to answer people's questions, and elucidate all the "nonsense", for the most part, that people have gotten together and formed into cults and philosophies, They would have no time to instruct man by Their example and through Their Teachings in a new way of life.

We must turn aside from these vain imaginings and suppositions and philosophizings of the world, and fix our eyes upon the clear stream of the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. Out of these Teachings, and the society which they will create on this planet, will come a solution to all of the problems of men. Gradually, greater scholars, more deeply spiritual thinkers, will be able to answer from a Bahá'í standpoint many of these questions. It is not necessary that they should be in the divine text; they can be studied and learned in the future; but at present we have not had time to evolve the Bahá'í scholars who can deal with these subjects in detail, and take upon themselves to answer the abstruse points and the many unfounded doctrines which are advanced by modern philosophers.
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a message dated 22 April 1954 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; included in a message by the Universal House of Justice dated 5 August 1969)

Mar 23, 2017

The Báb & Baha’u’llah

The Blessed Perfection and the Báb are unique and peerless in this Dispensation, and until the next Manifestation. The belief, the opinion and the thoughts of all believers must revolve around this common Center. This oneness of belief must become fully realized so that in the future there may arise no differences. His Holiness the Báb was the "Morn of Guidance." The Blessed Perfection was the "Desired One" of all the religions and nations, and all of us are under the Blessed Shade, non-existent and evanescent. All of us are the servants of this Holy Threshold. All of us are the thralls -- meek, humble and lowly. All of us receive the Light from that Sun of Reality. There is no other mention, no other quality, no other appellation for us save this. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ahmad Sohrab; Extract from the Diary of Mirza Ahmad Sobrab, 17 January, 1914; Star of the West, vol. 5, no. 5, June 5, 1914)

Mar 22, 2017

To “realize our imperfection”

We must realize our imperfection and not permit ourselves to get too upset over the unfortunate things which occur, sometimes in Conventions, sometimes in Assemblies or on Committees, etc. Such things are essentially superficial and in time will be outgrown. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 17 March 1943 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

Mar 21, 2017

Words & Deeds

Should your words, O people, be at variance with your deeds, what then shall distinguish you from those who profess their faith in the Lord, their God, and yet, when He came down to them overshadowed with clouds, rejected Him and waxed proud before God, the Incomparable, the Omniscient? 
- Baha'u'llah  (Tablet to Napoleon III, Suriy-i-Haykal [Tablet of Temple]; ‘The Summons of the Lord of Hosts’)

Mar 20, 2017

Naw-Rúz

Praised be Thou, O my God, that Thou hast ordained Naw-Rúz as a festival unto those who have observed the fast for love of Thee and abstained from all that is abhorrent unto Thee. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah)

Mar 19, 2017

The Báb

Magnify Thou, O Lord my God, Him Who is the Primal Point, the Divine Mystery, the Unseen Essence, the Day-Spring of Divinity, and the Manifestation of Thy Lordship, through Whom all the knowledge of the past and all the knowledge of the future were made plain, through Whom the pearls of Thy hidden wisdom were uncovered, and the mystery of Thy treasured name disclosed, Whom Thou hast appointed as the Announcer of the One through Whose name the letter B and the letter E have been joined and united, through Whom Thy majesty, Thy sovereignty and Thy might were made known, through Whom Thy words have been sent down, and Thy laws set forth with clearness, and Thy signs spread abroad, and Thy Word established, through Whom the hearts of Thy chosen ones were laid bare, and all that were in the heavens and all that were on the earth were gathered together, Whom Thou hast called ‘Alí-Muhammad in the kingdom of Thy names, and the Spirit of Spirits in the Tablets of Thine irrevocable decree, Whom Thou hast invested with Thine own title, unto Whose name all other names have, at Thy bidding and through the power of Thy might, been made to return, and in Whom Thou hast caused all Thine attributes and titles to attain their final consummation. To Him also belong such names as lay hid within Thy stainless tabernacles, in Thine invisible world and Thy sanctified cities. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah’)

Mar 18, 2017

Vision

If it be your wish, O people, to know God and to discover the greatness of His might, look, then, upon Me with Mine own eyes, and not with the eyes of any one besides Me. Ye will, otherwise, be never capable of recognizing Me, though ye ponder My Cause as long as My Kingdom endureth, and meditate upon all created things throughout the eternity of God, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Omnipotent, the Ever-Abiding, the All-Wise. Thus have We manifested the truth of Our Revelation, that haply the people may be roused from their heedlessness, and be of them that understand. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah’)

Mar 17, 2017

Manifestation of God

I am he, O my God, who testifieth to Thy unity, who acknowledgeth Thy oneness, who boweth humbly before the revelations of Thy majesty, and who recognizeth with downcast countenance the splendors of the light of Thy transcendent glory. I have believed in Thee after Thou didst enable me to know Thy Self, Whom Thou hast revealed to men’s eyes through the power of Thy sovereignty and might. Unto Him I have turned, wholly detached from all things, and cleaving steadfastly unto the cord of Thy gifts and favors. I have embraced His truth, and the truth of all the wondrous laws and precepts that have been sent down unto Him. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah’)

Mar 16, 2017

Baha’u’llah’s stupendous Revelation

The germ that holds within itself the potentialities of the Revelation that is to come is endowed with a potency superior to the combined forces of all those who follow me… Of all the tributes I have paid to Him Who is to come after Me, the greatest is this, My written confession, that no words of Mine can adequately describe Him, nor can any reference to Him in My Book, the Bayán, do justice to His Cause. 
- The Báb  (Quoted by Shoghi Effendi in a letter dated February 8, 1934; ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’)

Mar 15, 2017

Nearness to God

This principle hath operated in each of the previous Dispensations and been abundantly demonstrated.... It is for this reason that, in every age, when a new Manifestation hath appeared and a fresh revelation of God's transcendent power was vouchsafed unto men, they that misbelieved in Him, deluded by the appearance of the peerless and everlasting Beauty in the garb of mortal men, have failed to recognize Him. They have erred from His path and eschewed His company -- the company of Him Who is the Symbol of nearness to God. They have even arisen to decimate the ranks of the faithful and to exterminate such as believed in Him. 
- Baha'u'llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah’)

Mar 14, 2017

Divine infallibility

It should be remembered, however, that although National and Local Spiritual Assemblies can receive divine guidance if they consult in the manner and spirit described by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, they do not share in the explicit guarantees of infallibility conferred upon the Universal House of Justice. Any careful student of the Cause can see with what care the Guardian, after the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, guided these elected representatives of the believers in the painstaking erection of the Administrative Order and in the formulation of Local and National Bahá'í Constitutions. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 7 December 1969 to an individual believer; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963 to 1986’)

Mar 13, 2017

Deeds

Occupy thyself, during these fleeting days of thy life, with such deeds as will diffuse the fragrance of Divine good pleasure, and will be adorned with the ornament of His acceptance. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Epistle to the Son of the Wolf’)

Mar 12, 2017

“The tests of every dispensation”

The tests of every dispensation are in direct proportion to the greatness of the Cause, and as heretofore such a manifest Covenant, written by the Supreme Pen, hath not been entered upon, the tests are proportionately severe.... 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Quoted by the Universal House of Justice in a a letter dated 7 December 1969 to an individual believer; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963 to 1986’)

Mar 11, 2017

The “System ordained by Bahá'u'lláh”

…we must all remember, that we stand too close to the beginnings of the System ordained by Bahá'u'lláh to be able fully to understand its potentialities or the interrelationships of its component parts. As Shoghi Effendi's secretary wrote on his behalf to an individual believer on 25 March 1930, "The contents of the Will of the Master are far too much for the present generation to comprehend. It needs at least a century of actual working before the treasures of wisdom hidden in it can be revealed. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 7 December 1969 to an individual believer; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963 to 1986’)

Mar 10, 2017

“The Lord of creation”

Exalted be this blessed and glorious day [Naw-Ruz] which Thou hast designated by that beloved Name which is both hidden and manifest, and which, when it shone forth above the horizon of eternity, the Divine Lote-Tree called out, saying: “By God! The Lord of creation hath come, Whom no name can describe.” Whereupon Paradise was set astir and proclaimed with joy and fervour: “O concourse of the world! He hath come, round Whom circle the Daysprings of the All-Merciful, the Manifestations of the All-Praised, and the Dawning-Places of inspiration.” And all things cried aloud: “This is that Tablet with which the kingdom of creation hath been adorned and through which the gate leading unto the Divine Presence hath been flung open unto all who are in heaven and on earth.” Happy the one who hath forsaken every desire and hath drawn nigh unto the One Whose reality no word or utterance can convey. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Days of Remembrance’)

Mar 9, 2017

The “fragrance” of one’s “deeds”

O ye the beloved of the one true God! Pass beyond the narrow retreats of your evil and corrupt desires, and advance into the vast immensity of the realm of God, and abide ye in the meads of sanctity and of detachment, that the fragrance of your deeds may lead the whole of mankind to the ocean of God’s unfading glory. 
- Baha’u’llah  (Quoted by Shoghi Effendi in a letter dated 25 December 1938; ‘The Advent of Divine Justice’)

Mar 8, 2017

Divine Physicians

The Prophets of God should be regarded as physicians whose task is to foster the well-being of the world and its peoples, that, through the spirit of oneness, they may heal the sickness of a divided humanity. To none is given the right to question their words or disparage their conduct, for they are the only ones who can claim to have understood the patient and to have correctly diagnosed its ailments. No man, however acute his perception, can ever hope to reach the heights which the wisdom and understanding of the Divine Physician have attained. Little wonder, then, if the treatment prescribed by the physician in this day should not be found to be identical with that which he prescribed before. How could it be otherwise when the ills affecting the sufferer necessitate at every stage of his sickness a special remedy? 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah’)

Mar 7, 2017

God’s “commandments”

O ye peoples of the world! Know assuredly that My commandments are the lamps of My loving providence among My servants, and the keys of My mercy for My creatures. 
- Baha'u'llah  (‘The Kitab-i-Aqdas’)

Mar 6, 2017

To “show forth piety, and manifest the fear of God”

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. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘The Kitab-i-Aqdas’)