Baha’i Sabbath: Qudrat 13, 175 B.E. (11/16/2018)

November 17th, 2018

IN THE NAME OF THE ONE TRUE GOD

PRAISE be to the all-perceiving, the ever-abiding Lord Who, from a dewdrop out of the ocean of His grace, hath reared the firmament of existence, adorned it with the stars of knowledge, and admitted man into the lofty court of insight and understanding. This dewdrop, which is the Primal Word of God, is at times called the Water of Life, inasmuch as it quickeneth with the waters of knowledge them that have perished in the wilderness of ignorance. Again it is called the Primal Light, a light born of the Sun of divine knowledge, through whose effulgence the first stirrings of existence were made plain and manifest. Such manifestations are the expressions of the grace of Him Who is the Peerless, the All-Wise. He it is who knoweth and bestoweth all. He it is who transcendeth all that hath been said or heard. His knowledge will remain forever above the grasp of human vision and understanding and beyond the reach of human words and deeds. To the truth of this utterance existence itself and all that hath appeared therefrom bear eloquent testimony.

It is clear and evident, therefore, that the first bestowal of God is the Word, and its discoverer and recipient is the power of understanding. This Word is the foremost instructor in the school of existence and the revealer of Him Who is the Almighty. All that is seen is visible only through the light of its wisdom. All that is manifest is but a token of its knowledge. All names are but its name, and the beginning and end of all matters must needs depend upon it.

Baha’u’llah, Tablet to Mánikchí Ṣáḥib (Preamble)

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Holy Day: Anniversary Of The Birth Of Baha’u’llah: Qudrat 9, 175 B.E. (11/12/2018)

November 12th, 2018

O ye who are the chosen ones of the Abhá Kingdom! Praise ye the Lord of Hosts for He, riding upon the clouds, hath come down to this world out of the heaven of the invisible realm, so that East and West were lit by the glory of the Sun of Truth, and the call of the Kingdom was raised, and the heralds of the realm above, with melodies of the Concourse on high, sang out the glad tidings of the Coming. Then the whole world of being did quiver for joy, and still the people, even as the Messiah saith, slept on: for the day of the Manifestation, when the Lord of Hosts descended, found them wrapped in the slumber of unknowing. As He saith in the Gospel, My coming is even as when the thief is in the house, and the goodman of the house watcheth not.

From amongst all mankind hath He chosen you, and your eyes have been opened to the light of guidance and your ears attuned to the music of the Company above; and blessed by abounding grace, your hearts and souls have been born into new life. Thank ye and praise ye God that the hand of infinite bestowals hath set upon your heads this gem-studded crown, this crown whose lustrous jewels will forever flash and sparkle down all the reaches of time.

To thank Him for this, make ye a mighty effort, and choose for yourselves a noble goal. Through the power of faith, obey ye the teachings of God, and let all your actions conform to His laws. Read ye The Hidden Words, ponder the inner meanings thereof, act in accord therewith. Read, with close attention, the Tablets of Tarazát (Ornaments), Kalímát (Words of Paradise), Tajallíyyát (Effulgences), Ishráqát (Splendours), and Bishárát (Glad Tidings), and rise up as ye are bidden in the heavenly teachings. Thus may each one of you be even as a candle casting its light, the centre of attraction wherever people come together; and from you, as from a bed of flowers, may sweet scents be shed.

Raise ye a clamour like unto a roaring sea; like a prodigal cloud, rain down the grace of heaven. Lift up your voices and sing out the songs of the Abhá Realm. Quench ye the fires of war, lift high the banners of peace, work for the oneness of humankind and remember that religion is the channel of love unto all peoples. Be ye aware that the children of men are sheep of God and He their loving Shepherd, that He careth tenderly for all His sheep and maketh them to feed in His own green pastures of grace and giveth them to drink from the wellspring of life. Such is the way of the Lord. Such are His bestowals. Such, from among His teachings, is His precept of the oneness of mankind.

The portals of His blessings are opened wide and His signs are published abroad and the glory of truth is blazing forth; inexhaustible are the blessings. Know ye the value of this time. Strive ye with all your hearts, raise up your voices and shout, until this dark world be filled with light, and this narrow place of shadows be widened out, and this dust heap of a fleeting moment be changed into a mirror for the eternal gardens of heaven, and this globe of earth receive its portion of celestial grace.

Then will aggression crumble away, and all that maketh for disunity be destroyed, and the structure of oneness be raised—that the Blessed Tree may cast its shade over east and west, and the Tabernacle of the singleness of man be set up on the high summits, and flags that betoken love and fellowship flutter from their staffs around the world until the sea of truth lift high its waves, and earth bring forth the roses and sweet herbs of blessings without end, and become from pole to pole the Abhá Paradise.

These are the counsels of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. It is my hope that out of the bestowals of the Lord of Hosts ye will become the spiritual essence and the very radiance of humankind, binding the hearts of all with bonds of love; that through the power of the Word of God ye will bring to life the dead now buried in the graves of their sensual desires; that ye will, with the rays of the Sun of Truth, restore the sight of those whose inner eye is blind; that ye will bring spiritual healing to the spiritually sick. These things do I hope for, out of the bounties and the bestowals of the Beloved.

At all times do I speak of you and call you to mind. I pray unto the Lord, and with tears I implore Him to rain down all these blessings upon you, and gladden your hearts, and make blissful your souls, and grant you exceeding joy and heavenly delights….

O Thou loving Provider! These souls have hearkened to the summons of the Kingdom, and have gazed upon the glory of the Sun of Truth. They have risen upward to the refreshing skies of love; they are enamoured of Thy nature, and they worship Thy beauty. Unto Thee have they turned themselves, speaking together of Thee, seeking out Thy dwelling, and thirsting for the waterbrooks of Thy heavenly realm.

Thou art the Giver, the Bestower, the Ever-loving.

‘Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’, #17

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Sabbath: Qudrat 6, 175 B.E. (11/9/2018)

November 10th, 2018

The Wronged One

(al-Mathlum)

Be at all times a “Wronged One,” for this is one of My attributes, though none but the sincere are aware of it. Verily, the sighs of patience uttered by one wronged (al-Mathlum) are more precious to God than any other deed, did you but know. (Baha’u’llah, Suriy-i-Damm)

Dear friends,

Allah’u’Abha! May this letter find you in good spirits and in good health!

One of the mysteries enshrined throughout the writings of Baha’u’llah is His reference to Himself as “the Wronged One of the world” or this “wronged one.” As it turns out, in the Suriy-i-Damm, Baha’u’llah explains that what is meant by this is a certain essential and important quality and attribute of God that we should all strive to obtain that is directly related to the first and foremost quality and attribute of God “patience” (See His Tablet of Job for more) and also to severance and detachment from the things of this mortal world.

The knowledge of “the wronged one” as a quality and attribute of God that we can all demonstrate in our character and spiritual personality, is an essential guideline from Baha’u’llah on how our behavior is to be transformed in our transactions with people, in order that we shall successfully walk the spiritual path with practical feet and tend to do that which will elevate our spiritual stations in certitude and experience of the nearness of God within our very own lives, hearts and souls. He explains:

Adorn yourself with My Character, in such wise that should anyone treat you unjustly you would take no heed of him, nor oppose him. Leave him to the judgment of your Lord, the Powerful, Omnipotent and Self-Subsisting. Be at all times a “Wronged One,” for this is one of My Attributes, though none but the sincere are aware of it. Verily, the sighs of patience uttered by one wronged are more precious to God than any other deed, did you but know. Therefore, be patient in the face of whatever befalls you, and set your trust in your Lord God in all your affairs. He, verily, suffices you against all the harm that any created thing can wreak toward you, and preserves you in the shelter of His Cause and the mighty fortress of His guardianship. There is no God but Him. His are the worlds of creation and command (alam-i-khalq va amr) and all seek His aid. Should anyone slander you, you must not retaliate against him in kind lest you become as he is. Turn aside from him and set your face toward the Holy Tabernacle in this exalted and sacred Canopy. Be among men as a sweet-scented knoll, that the fragrance of sanctity may be wafted among them. In such wise, you might succeed in attracting them to the court of the Holy and Beloved One. Should you find a helper among the friends of God, seek his company at eventide and dawn, throughout the months and years. In all matters, emulate God, your Succorer. Walk among men with His dignity and peace, and teach them the Cause of their Lord to the extent that they are able to hear it.” (Baha’u’llah, Suriy-i-Damm)

This concept of al-Mathlum contains within its powers and precincts a depth of right conduct and an experience of inner blissful-joy of severance and detachment, that no other religious dispensation has seen its like. Much can be said and written about this–to fill a thousand thousand books, letters and epistles!

For example consider the events manifested in the personal life and personal conduct of Baha’u’llah, Himself. In all times He remained quiescent and patient with daily troubles and personal afflictions against Himself and His character. He never arose to defend his own ego, or wrangled uselessly with worldly or mortal affairs. It was only when things escalated to necessitating protection of the Cause, or the promulgation of this soul-stirring message that He arose to teach, guard the faith, and win the hearts minds and souls over to God. In fact His behavior of patience, detachment, trusting in God, laying “all His affairs in God’s Hands” and having this peculiar characteristic of the “Wronged One” and the accompanying thoughts, words, and deeds that go along with that–also safeguarded the Cause, and His own relationship with God, as He navigated His own personal affairs of His human life, throughout His own personal journey back to God. Radiant acquiescence (rida).

This calls for pause for deep thought, reflection and consideration, as we prepare ourselves in our own personal lives for the “consecration” in the faith, that ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi have spoken about, in order to successfully pass the tests, trials, and tribulations, that are to come upon the world this very year.

I would like to close this letter with the prayer that states “I lay all my affairs in Thy Hand”and then a story from the lifetime of Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha that amplifies what this more deeply means when we give something over to God for Him to resolve, trusting in Him, and patiently awaiting the outcome–without expectations or pre-conceived ideas–but with that deep sense of love and gratefulness for whatsoever shall befall us on our path of reunion with the Beloved of All the Worlds!

Your servant

Refresh and Gladden My Spirit

O God!  Refresh and gladden my spirit.  Purify my heart.  Illumine my powers.  I lay all my affairs in Thy hand.  Thou art my Guide and my Refuge.  I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being.  O God!  I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me.  I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

O God!  Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself.  I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.

The Unfailing Protection of God

When ‘Abdu’r-Rahman Pasha received the note from the Sublime Porte condemning the exiles to imprisonment, it boosted his arrogance. He decided to use it as a means of extracting some money for himself… Having failed to do this, one evening he called on Shaykh ‘Aliy-i-Miri, the Mufti of ‘Akka who was an admirer of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and shared with him his plan of arresting the Baha’is in the morning. His plan was to arrest them as they came to open their shops and send them to prison. He also planned to restrict ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s freedom of movement in the city. He solicited the support of the Mufti in this plan… That same night the Mufti went to ‘Abdu’l-Baha, told him the news and strongly urged the Master to bribe the Governor, as otherwise everyone would be arrested in the morning. Disapproving the Mufti’s solution, ‘Abdu’l-Baha assured him that God was compassionate and merciful, and that He would leave this matter in the hand of God. He advised him to go home and to rest assured of the outcome. It was late and Baha’u’llah had just retired. Nevertheless, ‘Abdu’l-Baha went to Him and gave Him the news. Baha’u’llah ordered that the believers be advised not to go to work in the morning. Everyone was informed and they all assembled in the reception room of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in the morning.

I was, at the time, confined to prison… but each morning was permitted to go to the house of Baha’u’llah where I worked as a cook and at night I returned to prison. On that morning, on my way, I noticed that the shop of Aqa Muhammad-Ibrahim, the coppersmith, was closed and so were other shops belonging to the believers. I was very surprised and wondered what had happened. I hastened to the house of Baha’u’llah where I found all the shopkeepers assembled in the reception room. I was told the news and went into the kitchen to work. It was approximately two hours after sunrise when a man pushed aside the curtain in front of the door with his walking stick. I looked up and it was Iskandar Effendi, the head of the telegraph office. He was in great haste but signs of joy could be detected in his appearance. He wanted to see the Master who was upstairs at the time. I went up and found that He was in the presence of Baha’u’llah. I told the Master that Iskandar Effendi had come to see Him and he was in a happy mood. The Blessed Beauty smiled and said [to ‘Abdu’l-Baha] ‘Go downstairs, Aqa! He has good news. No one can frustrate God in His purpose.’

‘Abdu’l-Baha went to the reception room where He was shown a telegram just received containing the order of dismissal of ‘Abdu’r-Rahman Pasha. After a few minutes He went hurriedly upstairs. Halfway up, I asked Him if he could tell me the news. He smiled and said in a loud voice, ‘God has struck a severe blow at the Pasha.’ He then went to convey the news to Baha’u’llah.

As to ‘Abdu’r-Rahman Pasha, in the morning, accompanied by a few soldiers, he went to arrest the believers at their shops and send them to prison. To his surprise he found the shops were closed. At first he thought the late opening was perhaps due to the month of Ramadan when people were going late to work. Soon after, he went to the Police Station where he waited for the shops to open up. During this time he was unaware of God’s intervention… The above telegram was addressed to Shaykh ‘Aliy-i-Miri, the Mufti of ‘Akka, who communicated its content to the Pasha… The Mufti had been truly astonished by this event. For it was late in the evening when the Governor’s scheme had come to light, and in the morning the telegram arrived. He considered this incident to have been a miracle. He said to the Master, “I am almost on the verge of losing my mind over this episode. Please tell me, what did Baha’u’llah say late that evening when you informed Him of the plot?” ‘Abdu’l-Baha responded by saying that the Blessed Beauty ordered the believers not to open their shops in the morning and advised them to leave their affairs in the hand of God Baha’u’llah also declared that when a person leaves hisaffairs to God, he ought not to take any other measures himself, otherwise he could frustrate the plan of God. (The Revelation of Baha’u’llah, Vol. III, pp. 411-412)

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Month: Qudrat/Power 1, 175 B.E. (11/4/2018)

November 5th, 2018

“There are three processes in teaching: the first is to attract the people; the second is to convert the people; and the third is to be consecrated. There must be attraction, conversion, and consecration. The teachers must not be unwise.” (Shoghi Effendi, Memories of ‘Abdu’l-Baha: Recollections of the Early Days of the Baha’is of California, p. 115)

Dear friends:

Shoghi Effendi has explained that the key to the ultimate victory of the light is conditioned upon the inner transformation of character and personality development in service to the Cause of God:

“Not by the force of numbers, not by the mere exposition of a set of new and noble principles, not by an organized campaign of teaching–no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character–not even by the staunchness of our faith or the exaltation of our enthusiasm, can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and skeptical age the supreme claim of the Abha Revelation. One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Baha’u’llah.” (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 196)

Now we come across a deepened teaching: the principle of consecration in the faith. What does this mean “consecration?”

“The friends must realize the Power of the Holy Spirit which is manifest and quickening them at this time through the appearance of Baha’u’llah. There is no force of heaven or earth which can affect them if they place themselves wholly under the influence of the Holy Spirit and under its guidance. Such individuals who are subject to the negative influences of the world are those who are not properly consecrated in the Faith.” (Shoghi Effendi, August 11, 1957)

The catastrophe that is upon us now is primarily due to the forces of purification that are quickly liberating a dead and inanimate humanity toward the inner life of the spirit. Those who experience this purification cannot survive this catastrophe (both spiritual and material/both inward and outward) unless they are properly consecrated in the faith, thus freeing themselves from the negative influences emerging in the outer external world due to this cleansing disaster.

However being and becoming “consecrated in the Faith” will mean different inner adjustments for all of us, as we undergo the personal tests and challenges that God has set for us in this world and upon our encounters on the path of teaching in our journeying unto God. Group tests are that which we encounter as a community. Personal tests are those that help us in a very specific and idiosyncratic manner, to pass those group tests and remain growing in the school of the prophets.

In either case–as both operate upon us at once through the divine decree of God–what the deep inner experience of consecration will mean and feel like is something that we will have to discovery each and everyone for ourselves. This cannot be articulated outwardly with mere words.

The transformation, purification and consecration of the soul unto God is above all personal and private. However, once the station of personal spiritual consecration is properly attained–and the mirror of the self is severed from the dross of negative influences of this world that tend to warp the personality; and these grievous veils are rent asunder–the quality of the group meetings, 12 Principle Unity Feasts, Forums, Firesides, and Council meetings, and all other functions, activities and gatherings of the friends, will take on a reflected characteristic, that shall bring down the power, so to speak, of the light of God into the world of activity in a manner and style unheard of in all prior dispensations of the past, and never seen upon the earth in such a magnitude of focus, and consummate expression of lordly power, that all obstacles shall most easily be overcome. This we are promised in the Covenant, and this we are firmly assured is the sacred writings of God. All this in the name: Baha’i.

Consecration? We ask ourselves: “What does this really mean for me?” “What truly is this ‘consecration’ for myself? And for the group and community I associate within?”

Something for all of us to meditate upon in this coming year, something for us all to strive to acquire through the grace of God, as we prepare to gather and assemble in the first weeks of August next year.

In service,

Your servant and co-worker in the vineyard

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Sabbath: Ilm 18, 175 B.E. (11/2/2018)

November 3rd, 2018

THIS is a Tablet which the Lord of all being hath sent down from His glorious station in honor of him who hath believed in God, the Almighty, the All-Loving.

Blessed is the wayfarer who hath recognized the Desired One, and the seeker who hath heeded the Call of Him Who is the intended Aim of all mankind, and the learned one who hath believed in God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

How vast the number of the learned who have turned aside from the way of God and how numerous the men devoid of learning who have apprehended the truth and hastened unto Him, saying, “Praised be Thou, O Lord of all things, visible and invisible.”

By the righteousness of God! The world’s horizon is resplendent with the light of the Most Great Luminary, yet the generality of mankind perceive it not. Verily He Who is the Sovereign Truth moveth before the eyes of all men. Unto this beareth witness the One Who is proclaiming in the midmost heart of the world, “In truth no God is there but Me, Omnipotent over all things, whether of the past or of the future.”

Great is the blessedness of the believer who hath directed himself towards Him and hath gained admittance into His presence, and woe betide every disbeliever who hath turned away from God and followed the wayward and the outcast.

Baha’u’llah-Tablets

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Sabbath: Ilm 11, 175 B.E. (10/26/2018)

October 27th, 2018

This is the day when the gems of constancy that lie hid in the mine of men’s inner selves should be made manifest. O people of Justice! Be as brilliant as the light and as splendid as the fire that blazed in the Burning Bush. The brightness of the fire of your love will no doubt fuse and unify the contending peoples and kindreds of the earth, whilst the fierceness of the flame of enmity and hatred cannot but result in strife and ruin. We beseech God that He may shield His creatures from the evil designs of His enemies. He verily hath power over all things.

Baha’u’llah-Tablet Of The World

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Fuse And Unify The Contending Peoples And Kindreds Of The Earth

Holy Day: The Birth Of The Bab: Ilm 5, 175 B.E. (10/20/2018)

October 20th, 2018

ALL praise be to Thee, O my God, inasmuch as Thou hast adorned the world with the splendour of the dawn following the night wherein was born the One Who heralded the Manifestation of Thy transcendent sovereignty, the Dayspring of Thy divine Essence and the Revelation of Thy supreme Lordship. I beseech Thee, O Creator of the heavens and Fashioner of names, to graciously aid those who have sheltered beneath the shadow of Thine abounding mercy and have raised their voices amidst the peoples of the world for the glorification of Thy Name.

O my God! Thou beholdest the Lord of all mankind confined in His Most Great Prison, calling aloud Thy Name, gazing upon Thy face, proclaiming that which hath enraptured the denizens of Thy kingdoms of revelation and of creation. O my God! I behold Mine own Self captive in the hands of Thy servants, yet the light of Thy sovereignty and the revelations of Thine invincible power shine resplendent from His face, enabling all to know of a certainty that Thou art God, and that there is none other God but Thee. Neither can the power of the powerful frustrate Thee, nor the ascendancy of the rulers prevail against Thee. Thou doest whatsoever Thou willest by virtue of Thy sovereignty which encompasseth all created things, and ordainest that which Thou pleasest through the potency of Thy behest which pervadeth the entire creation.

I implore Thee by the glory of Thy Manifestation and by the power of Thy might, Thy sovereignty and Thine exaltation to render victorious those who have arisen to serve Thee, who have aided Thy Cause and humbled themselves before the splendour of the light of Thy face. Make them then, O my God, triumphant over Thine enemies and cause them to be steadfast in Thy service, that through them the evidences of Thy dominion may be established throughout Thy realms and the tokens of Thine indomitable power be manifested in Thy lands. Verily Thou art potent to do what Thou willest; no God is there but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

This glorious Tablet hath been revealed on the Anniversary of the Birth [of the Báb] that thou mayest recite it in a spirit of humility and supplication and give thanks unto thy Lord, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. Make thou every effort to render service unto God, that from thee may appear that which will immortalize thy memory in His glorious and exalted heaven.

Say: Glorified art Thou, O my God! I implore Thee by the Dawning-Place of Thy signs and by the Revealer of Thy clear tokens to grant that I may, under all conditions, hold fast the cord of Thy loving providence and cling tenaciously to the hem of Thy generosity. Reckon me then with those whom the changes and chances of the world have failed to deter from serving Thee and from bearing allegiance unto Thee, whom the onslaught of the people hath been powerless to hinder from magnifying Thy Name and celebrating Thy praise. Graciously assist me, O my Lord, to do whatever Thou lovest and desirest. Enable me then to fulfil that which will exalt Thy Name and will set ablaze the fire of Thy love.

Thou art, in truth, the Forgiving, the Bountiful.

Baha’u’llah-Tablets

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This Is The Straight Path, The Fixed And Immovable Foundation

Baha’i Month: Ilm/Knowledge 1, 175 B.E. (10/16/2018)

October 16th, 2018

The Great Being saith: The heaven of statesmanship is made luminous and resplendent by the brightness of the light of these blessed words which hath dawned from the dayspring of the Will of God: It behooveth every ruler to weigh his own being every day in the balance of equity and justice and then to judge between men and counsel them to do that which would direct their steps unto the path of wisdom and understanding. This is the cornerstone of statesmanship and the essence thereof. From these words every enlightened man of wisdom will readily perceive that which will foster such aims as the welfare, security and protection of mankind and the safety of human lives. Were men of insight to quaff their fill from the ocean of inner meanings which lie enshrined in these words and become acquainted therewith, they would bear witness to the sublimity and the excellence of this utterance. If this lowly one were to set forth that which he perceiveth, all would testify unto God’s consummate wisdom. The secrets of statesmanship and that of which the people are in need lie enfolded within these words. This lowly servant earnestly entreateth the One true God—exalted be His glory—to illumine the eyes of the people of the world with the splendor of the light of wisdom that they, one and all, may recognize that which is indispensable in this day.

That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. In another passage He hath proclaimed: It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.

Such exhortations to union and concord as are inscribed in the Books of the Prophets by the Pen of the Most High bear reference unto specific matters; not a union that would lead to disunity or a concord which would create discord. This is the station where measures are set unto everything, a station where every deserving soul shall be given his due. Well is it with them that appreciate the meaning and grasp the intent of these words, and woe betide the heedless. Unto this all the evidences of nature, in their very essences, bear ample testimony. Every discerning man of wisdom is well acquainted with that which We have mentioned, but not those who have strayed far from the living fountain of fairmindedness and are roving distraught in the wilderness of ignorance and blind fanaticism.

The Great Being saith: O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity. This is the straight Path, the fixed and immovable foundation. Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure. Our hope is that the world’s religious leaders and the rulers thereof will unitedly arise for the reformation of this age and the rehabilitation of its fortunes. Let them, after meditating on its needs, take counsel together and, through anxious and full deliberation, administer to a diseased and sorely afflicted world the remedy it requireth.

The Great Being saith: The heaven of divine wisdom is illumined with the two luminaries of consultation and compassion. Take ye counsel together in all matters, inasmuch as consultation is the lamp of guidance which leadeth the way, and is the bestower of understanding.

Baha’u’llah-Tablet of Maqsud (exc.)

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Whatsoever Is Raised On This Foundation, The Changes And Chances Of The World Can Never Impair Its Strength, Nor Will The Revolution Of Countless Centuries Undermine Its Structure

Baha’i Sabbath: Mashiyyat 16, 175 B.E. (10/12/2018)

October 12th, 2018

THE SPIRIT OF JUSTICE

What could be better before God than thinking of the poor? For the poor are beloved by our heavenly Father. When His Holiness Christ came upon the earth those who believed in him and followed him were the poor and lowly, showing the poor were near to God. When a rich man believes and follows the Manifestation of God it is a proof that his wealth is not an obstacle and does not prevent him from attaining the pathway of salvation. After he has been tested and tried it will be seen whether his possessions are a hindrance in his religious life. But the poor are especially beloved of God. Their lives are full of difficulties, their trials continual, their hopes are in God alone. Therefore you must assist the poor as much as possible, even by sacrifice of yourself. No deed of man is greater before God than helping the poor. Spiritual conditions are not dependent upon the possession of worldly treasures or the absence of them. When physically destitute, spiritual thoughts are more likely. Poverty is stimulus toward God. Each one of you must have great consideration for the poor and render them assistance. Organize in an effort to help them and prevent increase of poverty. The greatest means for prevention is that whereby the laws of the community will be so framed and enacted that it will not be possible for a few to be millionaires and many destitute. One of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings is the adjustment of means of livelihood in human society. Under this adjustment there can be no extremes in human conditions as regards wealth and sustenance. For the community needs financier, farmer merchant and laborer just as an army must be composed of commander, officers and privates. All cannot be commanders; all cannot be officers or privates. Each in his station in the social fabric must be competent; each in his function according to ability; but justness of opportunity for all.

Lycurgus, king of Sparta, who lived long before the day of Christ, conceived the idea of absolute equality in government. He proclaimed laws by which all the people of Sparta were classified into certain divisions. Each division had its separate rights and function. First, farmers and tillers of the soil. Second, artisans and merchants. Third, leaders or grandees. Under the laws of Lycurgus the latter were not required to engage in any labor or vocation but it was incumbent upon them to defend the country in case of war and invasion. Then he divided Sparta into nine thousand equal parts or provinces, appointing nine thousand leaders or grandees to protect them. In this way the farmers of each province were assured of protection but each farmer was compelled to pay a tax to support the grandee of that province. The farmers and merchants were not obliged to defend the country. In lieu of labor the grandees received the taxes. Lycurgus in order to establish this forever as a law, brought nine thousand grandees together, told them he was going upon a long journey and wished this form of government to remain effective until his return. They swore an oath to protect and preserve his law. He then left his kingdom, went into voluntary exile and never came back. No man ever made such a sacrifice to insure equality among his fellowmen. A few years passed and the whole system of government he had founded collapsed, although established upon such a just and wise basis.

Difference of capacity in human individuals is fundamental. It is impossible for all to be alike, all to be equal, all to be wise. Bahá’u’lláh has revealed principles and laws which will accomplish the adjustment of varying human capacities. He has said that whatsoever is possible of accomplishment in human government will be effected through these principles. When the laws he has instituted are carried out there will be no millionaires possible in the community and likewise no extremely poor. This will be effected and regulated by adjusting the different degrees of human capacity. The fundamental basis of the community is agriculture, tillage of the soil. All must be producers. Each person in the community whose income is equal to his individual producing capacity shall be exempt from taxation. But if his income is greater than his needs he must pay a tax until an adjustment is effected. That is to say, a man’s capacity for production and his needs will be equalized and reconciled through taxation. If his production exceeds he will pay no tax; if his necessities exceed his production he shall receive an amount sufficient to equalize or adjust. Therefore taxation will be proportionate to capacity and production and there will be no poor in the community.

Abdu’l-Baha’, Foundations of World Unity

Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

The Golden Rule

Baha’i Sabbath: Mashiyyat 2, 175 B.E. (9/28/2018)

September 29th, 2018

FORGIVE

O ye friends of God! Show ye an endeavor that all the nations and communities of the world, even the enemies, put their trust, assurance and hope in you; that if a person falls into errors for a hundred-thousand times he may yet turn his face to you, hopeful that you will forgive his sins; for he must not become hopeless, neither grieved nor despondent. This is the conduct and the manner of the people of Baha’. This is the foundation of the most high pathway! Ye should conform your conduct and manners with the advices of Abdul-Baha. 1

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These are the days of my farewell to you, for I am sailing on the fifth of the month. Wherever I went in this country, I returned always to New York City. This is my fourth or fifth visit here, and now I am going away to the Orient. It will be difficult for me to visit this country again except it be the will of God. I must, therefore, give you my instructions and exhortations today, and these are none other than the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.

You must manifest complete love and affection toward all mankind. Do not exalt yourselves above others, but consider all as your equals, recognizing them as the servants of one God. Know that God is compassionate toward all; therefore, love all from the depths of your hearts, prefer all religionists before yourselves, be filled with love for every race, and be kind toward the people of all nationalities. Never speak disparagingly of others, but praise without distinction. Pollute not your tongues by speaking evil of another. Recognize your enemies as friends, and consider those who wish you evil as the wishers of good. You must not see evil as evil and then compromise with your opinion, for to treat in a smooth, kindly way one whom you consider evil or an enemy is hypocrisy, and this is not worthy or allowable. You must consider your enemies as your friends, look upon your evil-wishers as your well-wishers and treat them accordingly. Act in such a way that your heart may be free from hatred. Let not your heart be offended with anyone. If some one commits an error and wrong toward you, you must instantly forgive him. Do not complain of others. Refrain from reprimanding them, and if you wish to give admonition or advice, let it be offered in such a way that it will not burden the bearer. Turn all your thoughts toward bringing joy to hearts. Beware! Beware! lest ye offend any heart. Assist the world of humanity as much as possible. Be the source of consolation to every sad one, assist every weak one, be helpful to every indigent one, care for every sick one, be the cause of glorification to every lowly one, and shelter those who are overshadowed by fear.

In brief, let each one of you be as a lamp shining forth with the light of the virtues of the world of humanity. Be trustworthy, sincere, affectionate and replete with chastity. Be illumined, be spiritual, be divine, be glorious, be quickened of God, be a Bahá’í. 2

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  1. Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha’-pg. 436
  2. The Promulgation of Universal Peace-Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Kinney-12/2/1912

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That All The Nations And Communities Of The World, Even The Enemies, Put Their Trust, Assurance And Hope In You

The Golden Rule