Monday, August 2, 2010

Speaking with Ease About the Person of Bahá'u'lláh

In the Ridván 2010 Message, the Universal House of Justice has written of “the rise we have observed in the capacity of the friends . . . to speak with ease about the Person of Bahá'u'lláh and His Revelation.”  

Here are a few of the passages emphasizing His station, which we can share with one another and with the peoples of the world when we invite them to join us in the core activities in our communities:

Say: This is the Voice of God, if ye do but hearken. This is the Day Spring of the Revelation of God, did ye but know it. This is the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God, were ye to recognize it. This is the Source of the commandment of God, did ye but judge it fairly. This is the manifest and hidden Secret; would that ye might perceive it.   (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 33)

Turning My face, I beheld a Maiden -- the embodiment of the remembrance of the name of My Lord -- suspended in the air before Me. . . . 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. (Bahá'u'lláh, Surih of the Temple, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 5, paragraphs 1.6-1.7)

This is the Lamp which the light of Thine own Essence hath lit, and whose radiance the winds of discord can never extinguish. This is the Ocean that moveth by the power of Thy sovereign might, and whose waves the influence of the infidels that have disbelieved in the Judgment Day can never still. This is the Sun that shineth in the heaven of Thy will and the splendor of which the veils of the workers of iniquity and the doubts of the evil doers can never cloud.
(Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh, p. 153)

This is the Father foretold by Isaiah*, and the Comforter** concerning Whom the Spirit [Jesus] had covenanted with you.

(Bahá'u'lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 63)
(* Isaiah 9:6 ) (** Gospel of John, Chapters 14, 15, 16)

In His dealings with men, Baha'u'llah demonstrated great courage, which we can emulate.  In 1863, when Baha'u'llah learned of the order of His banishment from Constantinople to Adrianople, an edict that was unjust and based on intrigue among the Persian officials, He at first refused to comply, stating, "We, few that we are, will stand our ground, until every one of us meets a martyr's death." Then Bahá'u'lláh turned to His followers: "Do you wish to drain the cup of martyrdom? No better time can there be than now to offer your lives in the path of your Lord. Our innocence is manifestly evident, and they have no alternative but to declare their injustice."
      However, Mirza Yahya wavered, and led a group of the believers to appeal to Baha'u'llah, so that their lives might be saved. In order to prevent a breach in the community, Baha'u'llah acceded to this request. But He commented that a golden opportunity, which would have redounded to the glory of the Cause, had been missed. "They called us here, as their guests," He is reported to have said, "and innocent as we are, they turned on us with vengeance. If we, few as we are, had stood our ground to fall martyrs in the midmost heart of the world, the effect of that martyrdom would have been felt in all the worlds of God. And possibly nothing would have happened to us." (Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 201-202)


We can draw on Bahá'u'lláh's power, His unfailing efficacy and might, to become “courageous” as the Universal House of Justice calls upon us to be, in Paragraph 3 of its Ridván 2010 Message:

“. . . how courageous and deliberate the rank and file of the believers have become in stepping outside their immediate circle of family members and friends, ready to be led by the guiding Hand of the All-Merciful to receptive souls in whatever quarter they may reside.”

For those who are not yet participating in the sequence of courses or the core activities, some of whom even belittle the process, might well ask themselves if they yet possess this courage.  Courage is one of the capacities being gradually and successfully developed in tens of thousands of believers worldwide, through the implementation of the Ruhi courses and their practices.  


It will help us to reflect on these passages from the Writings  urging us to be courageous, and to overcome timidity:

The source of courage and power is the promotion of the Word of God, and steadfastness in His Love.

(Words of Wisdom, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 156)

Clothe thyself with the essence of righteousness, and let thine heart be afraid of none except God. ... Set all thy hope in God, and cleave tenaciously to His unfailing mercy.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 323)

Armed with this love, I am afraid of no one, though all the peoples of the world unite to hurt me.

(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 309)

There lay concealed within the Holy Veil, and prepared for the service of God, a company of His chosen ones who shall be manifested unto men, who shall aid His Cause, who shall be afraid of no one, though the entire human race rise up and war against them. These are the ones who, before the gaze of the dwellers on earth and the denizens of heaven, shall arise and, shouting aloud, acclaim the name of the Almighty, and summon the children of men to the path of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Praised. Walk thou in their way, and let no one dismay thee. Be of them whom the tumult of the world, however much it may agitate them in the path of their Creator, can never sadden, whose purpose the blame of the blamer will never defeat.
 (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 280)

Be ye valiant and fearless! Day by day add to your spiritual victories. Be ye not disturbed by the constant assaults of the enemies. Attack ye like unto the roaring lions. Have no thought of yourselves, for the invisible armies of the Kingdom are fighting on your side. Enter ye the battlefield with the Confirmations of the Holy Spirit. Know ye of a certainty that the powers of the Kingdom of Abha are with you. The hosts of the heaven of Truth are with you. The cool breezes of the Paradise of Abha are wafting over your heated brows. Not for a moment are ye alone. Not for a second are ye left to yourselves. The Beauty of Abha is with you. The Glorious God is with you. The King of Kings is with you.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Compilation on the Power of Divine Assistance, The Compilation of Compilations Volume II, p. 213, #1685)

O ye servants of the Sacred Threshold! The triumphant hosts of the Celestial Concourse, arrayed and marshalled in the Realms above, stand ready and expectant to assist and assure victory to that valiant horseman who with confidence spurs on his charger into the arena of service. Well is it with that fearless warrior, who armed with the power of true Knowledge, hastens unto the field, disperses the armies of ignorance, and scatters the hosts of error, who holds aloft the Standard of Divine Guidance, and sounds the Clarion of Victory. By the righteousness of the Lord! He hath achieved a glorious triumph and obtained the true victory.
(Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 264, #208)

“Inviting people to embrace the Cause requires courage...”

(Letter from The International Teaching Centre to all Counsellors dated 9 July 1992; from Ocean

"At the time We proposed to . . . achieve the deliverance of Tahirih and conduct her to Tihran, Shaykh Abu-Turab wrote Us, insisting that such an attempt was fraught with grave risks and might occasion an unprecedented tumult. We refused to be deflected from Our purpose. That Shaykh was a kind-hearted man, was simple and lowly in temper, and behaved with great dignity. He lacked courage and determination, however, and betrayed weakness on certain occasions."
(Baha'u'llah, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 462)


And now, having confessed the things Thou didst cause to flow down from my Pen, I implore Thee, by Thy name which Thou hast raised up above every other name, and hast caused to overshadow all that are in heaven and all that are on earth, to cast not away him that hath turned towards Thee, and to deny him not the wonders of Thy grace and the hidden evidences of Thy mercy. Let the hands of Thine omnipotence kindle in his heart a lamp that will enable him to shine brightly in Thy days, and to cry out with such vehemence in Thy name that no timidity will deter him from soaring in the atmosphere of Thy love, and from ascending to the horizon of rapture and longing for Thee, and that the pursuits of Thy creatures will not withhold him from magnifying Thy word, that Thou mayest behold him sanctified as Thou wishest and as beseemeth Thy majesty and glory.
(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 63)

Do Thou ordain for me through Thy most exalted Pen, O my Lord, the good of this world and of the next. I testify that within Thy grasp are held the reins of all things. Thou changest them as Thou pleasest. No God is there save Thee, the Strong, the Faithful. Thou art He Who changeth through His bidding abasement into glory, and weakness into strength, and powerlessness into might, and fear into calm, and doubt into certainty. No God is there but Thee, the Mighty, the Beneficent.
(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, CLVI p. 249)


  1. Turning My face, I beheld a like one of my favorite passages. I love the mystic passages so much. Can't say that I understand them...but they make my heart soar.
    One passage that has been puzzling me is in Gleanings on page 90. Do you know what that 'emblem' is?
    Love, Steph

  2. You are referring to this passage: "O My Well-Beloved! Thou hast breathed Thy Breath into Me, and divorced Me from Mine own Self. Thou didst, subsequently, decree that no more
    than a faint reflection, a mere emblem of Thy Reality within Me be left among the perverse and envious. Behold, how, deluded by this emblem, they have risen against Me, and heaped upon Me their denials! Uncover Thy Self, therefore, O My Best-Beloved, and deliver Me from My plight. Thereupon a Voice replied: "I love, I dearly cherish this emblem. How can I consent that Mine eyes, alone, gaze upon this emblem, and that no heart except Mine heart recognize it? By My Beauty, which is the same as Thy Beauty! My wish is to hide Thee from Mine own eyes: how much more from the eyes of men!"

    The word here translated as "emblem" is on p. 328 of Gleanings translated as "show" -- "the world is but a show".

    Perhaps it is related to Baha'u'llah's title "Remnant of God" -- see pp. 23, 69 and 97 of God Passes By.

    My impression on reading this passage is that Baha'u'llah is implying that God's triumphant power is not yet manifest; that God is allowing Baha'u'llah to be imprisoned and persecuted, that this meekness gives the impression to the enemies of God that they are powerful and that He is weak, and He asks God to show His might to His enemies.