Wednesday, June 30, 2021

“Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favoured angels.”

 

"This servant’s highest wish and greatest desire hath ever been that we may all gather together beneath the sheltering shadow of the Word of Oneness, wholly forgetful of every vain imagining; that we may search for none other than His Countenance, seek naught but His abode, and commune only with Him. May we, in truth, offer up our lives wholly for His sake, surrender ourselves in His path, and strive to diffuse the sweet savours of the Beloved far and wide.


For many years, Bahá’u’lláh nurtured these servants in the bosom of His loving-kindness, and trained and educated us through His compassion and unfailing bounty. Even as a tender and loving Teacher, He taught us—His children--the requisites of courtesy. In the school of God He instructed us, so that after the ascension of His radiant Beauty we might arise to follow the example of the faithful, and strive to serve the Cause of God and glorify His Word. He promised us His confirmations and assured us of His assistance, saying, “Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favoured angels.”72


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #41, part 4)
www.bahai.org/r/572746755

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

" ... that no breach may be made in the unity of the Word of God, and no divisions may arise in this mighty Covenant and binding Testament."

 
"O Lord! I beseech Thee by the Hands of Thy Cause, the Daysprings of Thy remembrance and the Dawning-Places of Thy command, and by the coursing of the stars and the burning meteors that rain down upon them that deny Thy manifest Cause and stray from Thy straight Path, to assist Thy loved ones who are firm in Thy Covenant and Testament and steadfast in Thy love and remembrance. Help them attain unto every good Thou hast ordained in Thine all-glorious Kingdom. Thou art, in truth, the Powerful, the Mighty.


That which Jináb-i-Ismu’lláh had written was perused. He hath asked for provisions for the journey to the divine Kingdom, and spiritual sustenance for the world to come. As thou well knowest, in this day, such provisions consist in assisting weak souls to become firm and steadfast in the Covenant, diffusing the divine fragrances, protecting the stronghold of the Cause of God, and preserving the distinctive features of His religion. For in the Abhá Kingdom there is no greater gift than this, and among the Concourse on high there is no offering more wondrous. It is therefore incumbent upon thee to strive to the utmost, by day and by night, to carry out this important task, so that no breach may be made in the unity of the Word of God, and no divisions may arise in this mighty Covenant and binding Testament. Alas for all whose feet slip and whose hearts waver!"


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #41, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/727956597

Monday, June 28, 2021

"For to proclaim Thy sanctity and holiness is naught but to venture to describe Thee and, as such, is an evident sin, a shameful and palpable error."

 
"O my God! Given such clear and evident powerlessness, such plain and manifest poverty in recognizing the least of the signs of Thy dominion in the world of creation, how then can I unloose my tongue to make mention of Thine attributes and to proclaim Thy virtues? How can I speak forth Thy praise and celebrate Thy glory in Thy presence? How can I extol the evidences of being and the realities of existence that are found in the world of allusions and the realm of creation?


I have no recourse but to proclaim: “Hallowed and sanctified art Thou! Immeasurably high, exalted, and glorified art Thou!” and to implore pardon for this sin and transgression of mine‎, which hath filled me with shame before Thy loved ones. For to proclaim Thy sanctity and holiness is naught but to venture to describe Thee and, as such, is an evident sin, a shameful and palpable error."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #41, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/939892221

Sunday, June 27, 2021

" ... for the very essence of remembrance is wholly removed from the One remembered, and the inner reality of all praise remaineth veiled from the One praised."

 
"He is the All-Glorious.


Glorified art Thou, O God! The least of the signs of Thy Kingdom is, under all conditions, sanctified above all description and praise, and every single reality in Thy dominion is exalted beyond the highest tributes of the people of the world; for the very essence of remembrance is wholly removed from the One remembered, and the inner reality of all praise remaineth veiled from the One praised. The signs of Thy dominion, in their very essence, are immeasurably exalted above the reckoning of the exponents of praise, and are sanctified beyond the grasp of them that are endued with understanding. The most eminent of sages have acknowledged their failure in this regard, confessing that their minds can fathom only that which is within the measure of human capacity and commensurate with the power of the birds of mortal thought when soaring in the heights of knowledge."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #41, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/370730572

Saturday, June 26, 2021

"Our purpose is to fill the whole world with the fragrance of musk, while others seek to torment the senses of all peoples and nations with the foul odour of dissension."

 
Mt. Carmel, Haifa Israel
Certain pure souls, such as Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl—upon him rest the glory of God, the All-Glorious—are engaged day and night in demonstrating the truth of this blessed Cause through conclusive proofs and clear testimonies, recounting the facts and removing the veils, propagating the Faith of God and diffusing the divine fragrances. Meanwhile, other individuals, like unto birds of night, strive to sow the seeds of doubt and are detested and estranged. Behold how great is the difference in their ways! Our purpose is to fill the whole world with the fragrance of musk, while others seek to torment the senses of all peoples and nations with the foul odour of dissension.


At times, they even accuse this servant of claiming Divinity and assert this allegation to be the basis of their hostility, whereas ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would never barter servitude at the Sacred Threshold for the sovereignty of both worlds; indeed, the dust of that Sacred Threshold is his refulgent diadem. But the Slanderer, in a document that is still extant, written in his own hand and bearing his own seal, hath proclaimed himself to be the Sun of Truth and laid claim to a revelation greater than that of the Blessed Beauty. The following are his very words: “By the righteousness of the Lord! The Greater Day-Star of God hath appeared, before whom every other sun is punier than the puniest of things.” And he goeth further still to say, “These verses were revealed to me while I was still a child.” The Blessed Beauty rejected this claim of his, and it was at that time that He revealed a Tablet stating: “Should he for a moment pass out from under the shadow of the Cause …”, and so forth.70


Indeed, in my own writings there doth exist a passage stating that the Sun of Truth rose from the zodiac sign of Aries and is now shining resplendent in the sign of Leo. This servant is still present! As thou hast said, they must address their questions to me rather than give interpretations according to their own vain imaginings and personal motives. In making such a statement, I had in mind no one else except the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, the character of whose Revelations it had been my purpose to elucidate. The Revelation of the Báb may be likened to the sun, its station corresponding to the first sign of the Zodiac—the sign Aries—which the sun entereth at the Vernal Equinox. The station of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation, on the other hand, is represented by the sign Leo, the sun’s mid-summer and highest station. By this is meant that this holy Dispensation is illumined with the light of the Sun of Truth shining from its most exalted station, and in the plenitude of its resplendency, its heat and glory.


As to the words “may all eyes be illumined”, these are from the revered martyr Varqá—may my life be offered up for him. What thou hast written is correct.


And furthermore, regarding the statement “He who summoneth mankind in My Name, he verily is of Me“, these are the blessed words of the Abhá Beauty—may my life be offered up for His loved ones; the statement is not mine. How grievously hath he erred who reported such a thing, who spread it abroad, and who repeated it. “Feeble indeed are the seeker and the sought!”71


God grant that through the celestial might of the Kingdom and the power of the Covenant, and through heavenly inspiration, thou mayest withstand the insinuations of the sowers of doubt, for their whisperings utterly quench the flame of the Lord’s burning Fire in the hearts. Kindle thou a flame, and set ablaze the fire of the love of God! The glory of God rest upon thee."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #40, part 4)
www.bahai.org/r/341184295

Friday, June 25, 2021

"The drumbeat of His Divinity reverberated, moreover, throughout the world, and the bell of His Lordship pealed out the triumphal summons of “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá!” from East and West."

 
"After His ascension, all the governments and peoples of the world expected that His luminous Orb would set and His sheltering shade would be withdrawn. They waited for His upraised standard to be hauled down and the light shining from His brow to fade away and be no more. All grace and bounty are His; for instead, the lamp of His Cause glowed luminous, and the morning light of His loving providence shone resplendent. The Sinai of His oneness was exalted, and the Summit of His singleness was raised to even loftier heights. The standards of His sovereignty were unfurled, and the signs of His might were made clear and evident to every discerning soul. The drumbeat of His Divinity reverberated, moreover, throughout the world, and the bell of His Lordship pealed out the triumphal summons of “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá!” from East and West. At one time, it kindled its flame in America; at another it shed its radiance upon Africa, and upon the Turk and the Tajik. At one time, it raised its call among the Slav; at another it set Cumania ablaze. Its fame hath now been noised abroad throughout the world, and all the peoples and kindreds of the earth are in search of it. 

And yet, some thoughtless individuals loudly clamour that the darkest of nights hath arrived and the deepest gloom hath enveloped all, that the Cause of God hath been abolished and His Law annulled, that another hath laid claim to a new revelation, raised the cry of “Verily, I am God”, and exalted himself above the Ancient Beauty.69 Their purpose is to use these false and foolish statements to conceal their own violation and to shroud the tabernacle of the Covenant of the ever-living Lord under the frail webs they have woven. Though immersed in the depths of idle fancies, yet with their lips they profess the one true faith of God. Though violating the Covenant, yet they utter the name of the Day-Star of the world. Though they linger in the darksome night of doubt, yet they cry out: “Where is the light that shineth on every side from the unseen realm of the All-Glorious?”


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. #40, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/665404755

Thursday, June 24, 2021

"I raise my suppliant hands in prayer to Thee, beseeching Thee at every morn and eventide, seeking shelter at Thy sublime and most exalted Threshold, pleading for the intercession of the Primal Point, Him Who is the Word of Thy oneness, Him Whose breast was riddled in Thy path by the myriad bullets fired by the enemies ..."

 
"I raise my suppliant hands in prayer to Thee, beseeching Thee at every morn and eventide, seeking shelter at Thy sublime and most exalted Threshold, pleading for the intercession of the Primal Point, Him Who is the Word of Thy oneness, Him Whose breast was riddled in Thy path by the myriad bullets fired by the enemies; and I adjure Thee by that hallowed Beauty Whom Thou didst make a companion of Thy divine countenance when the Dayspring of Thy resplendent Sun shone forth upon the Supreme Horizon, to ordain for this servant of Thine the chalice of selflessness from the hands of bounty, to lift the veil so he may ascend towards Thy sublime Threshold within Thine all-glorious Kingdom. Deliver me, then, from the onslaught of the people of malice, from the darts of slander and rancour raining down upon me, from the successive assaults of the arrows of animosity, and from the spears of calumny hurled in continuous succession by the leaders of men. Thou art the God of bounty, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful.


O thou friend of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá! Although the Sun of Truth hath set on the horizon of this nether world, yet grace and bounty are His, for He shineth forth with extraordinary brilliance from the hidden realm of souls, above the horizon of the unseen Kingdom."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #40, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/701974857

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

"I render Thee thanks, O Lord, for this tribulation, which I deem amongst the greatest of Thy bounties and gifts, for it is endured in the path of Thy love—a love whose flames blaze within my very heart and soul."

 
Mt. Carmel
"He is the All-Glorious.


O God, my God! Thou hearest my sighs and bitter wailing, my cry and the voice of my lamentation in the depths of these darksome nights. Thou seest my abasement and lowliness, my patience and resignation, my poverty and urgent need, my anguish, my distress, my grief, and my sorrows throughout my days.


I render Thee thanks, O Lord, for this tribulation, which I deem amongst the greatest of Thy bounties and gifts, for it is endured in the path of Thy love—a love whose flames blaze within my very heart and soul. This is my wish and my hope, O my God. This is a soothing balm for my anguish, O my Best-Beloved; a cooling draught to these parched lips, O my Healer; the remover of my sorrows, O Thou Who art my Friend."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #40, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/740047474

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

"Therefore, in thanksgiving for His divine confirmations, let us strive by day and by night to exalt His Word, to be consumed by the fire of His love, and to raise our voices in His remembrance and praise."

 
"In like manner, a group of foes gathered in the Great City and sought through every ruse, plot, and stratagem to bring ruin to the Cause of God, to disperse the gathering of His loved ones, and to cause a breach amongst His people.67 I swear by the Ancient Beauty! When that company of foes joined hands with the shameless Jamálu’d-Dín,68 they kindled such a fire of sedition in the Great City that it was feared its flames might reach the lofty abode of Him round Whom circle all that dwell on earth, and that the resulting damage might threaten the very foundations of the Cause of God. Then did the Hand of Omnipotence emerge from His unseen Kingdom and disperse that company in such wise that it was reduced to a handful of scattered dust and condemned to eternal perdition.


Therefore, in thanksgiving for His divine confirmations, let us strive by day and by night to exalt His Word, to be consumed by the fire of His love, and to raise our voices in His remembrance and praise. Given such tender mercies, such bestowals, such aid and assistance, how can we remain still? How can we sit silent? O how pitiful it would be, were we to tarry, to hesitate, or to fail to offer up our souls! How pitiful, were we to set our hearts on ephemeral attachments rather than quaff of this mystic wine! Woe unto us should we remain occupied with our selfish desires, busy ourselves with our own earthly concerns, and follow the promptings of such passions as deprive us of these bounties and deny us a portion of these bright effulgences. By my life! This, verily, would be naught but manifest loss."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #39, part 5)
www.bahai.org/r/438966294

Monday, June 21, 2021

"The radiance of His glory spread throughout the East, and His influence was made manifest in the West."

 
In brief, after His ascension, He Who is the Self-Subsisting was faithful to His promises. He vouchsafed a remedy to heal the hearts, and caused the gentle breezes of joy to waft. He aided His loved ones with the hosts of the unseen, and confirmed them with the power of the Kingdom. He assisted the friends throughout the earth, and succoured His loved ones in every land. The radiance of His glory spread throughout the East, and His influence was made manifest in the West. His enemies were brought low in all regions, and His foes were everywhere left friendless and forlorn. Each mighty one was rendered weak, and every haughty stirrer of mischief was abased, with none to help them.


Consider how, through the operation of invisible means, the foolish ones of the earth arose to foment discord and strife, made the government of Persia exasperated, engaged in rebellion, and raised a tumult. It became thereby clear that they were the root of all mischief and the source of all malice. Thus were the promoters of peace distinguished from the seditious, and the ensuing events exposed their hidden secrets. Thus was it made plain that they were wolves in the guise of shepherds and thieves garbed as watchmen, an oppressive darkness in the world and a formidable obstacle to the well-being and prosperity of all.66


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #39, part 4)
www.bahai.org/r/051996858

Sunday, June 20, 2021

"This is the day when we all should gather beneath the shade of the Word of Oneness. Let us burn even as bright candles in every gathering; let us be aflame with the fire of love."

 
"In these days, although this lowly one hath no time or respite whatsoever for correspondence, yet the sweet savours of the love of the beloved of God have so enraptured my heart that, when writing, the reins of volition slip from my grasp and the words flow unrestrained. In particular, whenever my thoughts turn towards thee, whose heart is attracted to God, the act of writing bringeth me joy and happiness, and setting pen to paper is conducive to delight. Hardship turneth into gladness of the heart, and toil is transmuted into blessing for the soul.


This is the day when we all should gather beneath the shade of the Word of Oneness. Let us burn even as bright candles in every gathering; let us be aflame with the fire of love. Now that the Beauty of the All-Praised hath ascended, and the Day-Star of the Kingdom hath set, whither can we direct our affections, and what comfort can we expect? How are we to find repose, and in what hope can our hearts rejoice? O the pity! A myriad times the pity, if for a single moment we should look for ease or comfort. Alas! A thousand times alas, if we should seek any peace and tranquillity except in trials, tribulations, and suffering sustained in His path.


That sanctified Being spent His days in chains and fetters, and lived to the end of His life under the threat of the sword. Not a moment’s rest did He find; not a tranquil breath did He draw. Not for a single night did He repose on a bed of comfort, nor lay His head upon a pillow of ease. Every bird hath a nest, and every creature dwelleth in its abode, while the Blessed Beauty was consumed by the fire of cruelty lit by His enemies. The people of the world are asleep upon the couch of ease, while the Most Great Name found not a moment’s rest, nor drew a single breath in peace. By what standard of fairness or fidelity can we seek repose or pursue comfort and rest?


Praise be to God that thou art engaged day and night in serving the Cause of God, and art earnestly striving to diffuse His fragrances and to propagate the splendours of the light of His knowledge. By thy very life! This is a bounty from amongst the bestowals of the Lord, one that no other bounty in the world of being can ever rival. Erelong its splendours shall shine forth and its musk-scented breaths be shed abroad; the gentle breezes of its meadows shall waft and the soft-flowing waters of its fountains flow. Thereupon, thou shalt see those who taunt and mock yielding thanks, and those who sigh and complain rendering praise. Thou shalt behold the envious becoming remorseful, and the slandering women cutting their hands, exclaiming, “Great God! No mortal is this! This is no other than a noble angel.”64  “Verily, there is a prosperous issue to the God-fearing.”65


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #39, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/672309677

Saturday, June 19, 2021

"O Lord! Assist him through Thine invisible hosts, and strengthen him with the might of Thy holy angels."

Frederick Douglass

"O Lord! Assist him through Thine invisible hosts, and strengthen him with the might of Thy holy angels. Make him a brilliant star, a radiant orb, a manifest light, a breeze from the meadows of Thy glory, a fragrance from the flowers of the plain of Thy mercy, a ray of light from Thy divine Kingdom, a bright beam from the sun of the heaven of Thy Oneness, and a standard rippling on the summits of Thy great majesty and singleness. O Lord! Strengthen his loins by Thy triumphant might, and sustain him amidst the people through Thy glorious sovereignty. Grant that all hearts may be attracted to him, all minds astounded in his presence, and all ears made attentive to his utterance; that, moreover, all eyes may turn their gaze towards his cheerful countenance and all hearts marvel at the brightness of his face. Thou art, verily, the Most Powerful, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate, the All-Loving."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #39, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/983719048

Friday, June 18, 2021

"O Thou Whose exalted Threshold is my haven and my refuge, Whose hallowed Sanctuary is my shelter and my abode! I entreat Thee ..."

 

"He is God.

Rockville Plantation, Negro Church, 1860 (stereo photograph) 
from the Library of Congress
O Thou Whose exalted Threshold is my haven and my refuge, Whose hallowed Sanctuary is my shelter and my abode! I entreat Thee, with a heart aglow with the fire of Thy love, and with eyes streaming with tears in my longing to attain Thy presence, in my yearning to gain admittance into the Kingdom of Thy glory, and in my desire to taste the sweetness of faithfulness to Thee, to graciously aid this servant through the breaths of Thy holiness and the delight of communion with Thee. Render victorious, O my God, by the hosts of Thine all-glorious Kingdom and the waves of the seas of Thine all-encompassing bounty, this servant of Thine, who is enraptured by the company of Thine angels on high and enkindled with the fire of Thy love amidst Thy servants. He is engaged in serving Thy Cause amongst the peoples of the world, and in magnifying Thy name before the ministers and rulers. He is occupied in diffusing Thy sweet savours in gatherings held in remembrance of Thee, and hath hoisted Thy banner amidst the masses. He hath turned his face towards the Court of Thy grandeur, and is illumined with the light of unwavering constancy in Thy Covenant and Testament. He is striving to enable all to remain steadfast in that which Thou hast enjoined upon the entire company of Thy chosen ones, which Thou hast foreordained for them that are dear to Thee, and with which Thou hast sealed Thine ultimate decree."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #39, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/477238435

Thursday, June 17, 2021

"For although the Ancient Beauty is now hidden from the horizon of the world, His light shineth forth from the heaven of eternity, in the Most Great Kingdom."

 
"Those loved ones of God who have turned from the Mosaic gulf towards the ocean of the Almighty Lord and the billowing waters of His Ancient Beauty have at all times been remembered in the court of His manifold bounties and in the presence of the Lord of Hosts. Now that the Day-Star of the heaven of holiness hath ascended unto the Most Exalted Kingdom and dawned above the horizon of the all-glorious Concourse, every firm and constant believer is mentioned in that Realm of sanctity in the august presence of the Beloved.


Despair not over this grievous calamity, this dire affliction. For although the Ancient Beauty is now hidden from the horizon of the world, His light shineth forth from the heaven of eternity, in the Most Great Kingdom. Was the eternal radiance that shone forth from the horizon of Moses in bygone days extinguished after He ascended to the realms above? Nay, by the righteousness of the Lord! It rose and shone even more intensely, and the bright flame of the remembrance of God blazed even higher. Now once again, ye shall behold how the resplendent lights of Divine Unity will erelong envelop the kingdom of existence, and the ensigns of His words will be raised upon the loftiest heights of the realities of all beings.


Esther was a woman; when she was favoured with pure intent and turned her gaze unto the Lord, what services she was enabled to render! Now behold the tomb of this woman of noble birth, and consider the myriads of mighty kings who ruled over Persia, Transoxania, and other countries in the world. Neither name nor fame nor trace doth remain of any of those kings; all have faded into utter nothingness and have been utterly abased. Yet, as this woman who was the pride of all men drew a breath in the path of the All-Merciful, the influence of her actions still endureth, and her name is, to this day, mentioned amongst the loved ones of God. Take ye good heed, O people of insight!"


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #38)
www.bahai.org/r/301700095

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

"O thou who hast fixed thy gaze upon the Kingdom of Glory!"

 
Robert Turner, First African-American Bahá'í, Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

"He is God.


O thou who hast fixed thy gaze upon the Kingdom of Glory! The splendour of the Beauty of the world illumined the whole earth, conferring heavenly grace upon all created things. The Beloved of the world shone forth, captivating His lovers with His charm. And now, though that Sun hath set, He still shineth resplendent from the unseen Kingdom, continuing to bestow eternal grace upon all regions. Those that are possessed of insight perceive the world to be illumined with the splendours of the Sun of Truth. But those whose inner eye is dimmed are deprived of beholding the light: They pronounce day to be night and proclaim morn to be eve.


Say: O hapless one! That Sun shall never set, nor shall that Day-Star of the Realm of Glory ever wane. The setting of the sun is only in relation to the dwellers of the earth, for how can there be any daybreak or nightfall in the sun itself? It remaineth ever shining in its meridian splendour, ever glowing and luminous, at the sublime apex of bounty. The Glory of Glories rest upon thee."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #37)
www.bahai.org/r/969505511

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

"It behoveth us, therefore, to see ourselves, at every breath, as standing ready to depart to the next world, and to arise to carry out that which is conducive to eternal life ..."

 
Moat and Citadel of Prison of Baha'u'llah, Akka (Stereo Photograph)
"
He is the Most Glorious.

O thou verdant, fresh, and radiant leaf! Were we to weep and moan for a hundred thousand years at this Supreme Affliction,63 to sigh and lament, to rend our garments in sorrow, to shed tears and heap dust upon our heads, and to pine away with grief, this pain would never be stilled, this wound never healed, this fire never quenched. It behoveth us, therefore, to see ourselves, at every breath, as standing ready to depart to the next world, and to arise to carry out that which is conducive to eternal life and would cause us to ascend unto the Kingdom and to attain the court of His Presence. The glory of God rest upon thee."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #36)
www.bahai.org/r/406954022

63. The Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh May 29, 1892

Monday, June 14, 2021

"O friends, make ye a mighty effort! O loved ones, arise and bestir yourselves!"

 
"Erelong our days shall draw to a close, and the birds of the meadows shall carol the anthem of departure. Erelong the lamp of health shall be quenched, the darkness of death shall prevail, and the resplendent morn of the life to come shall dawn. Let us then strive with earnest endeavour to arrive at the heavenly Kingdom with radiant faces and, in the Realm of Glory, be admitted into the circle of those who have remained fast and firm. Consider what a fire of guidance eleven souls kindled on the summits of the world when they endured all manner of woes and trials and arose with all their hearts! Now, were we to arise as we ought, armed with the assured confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom, what splendours would be made manifest and what results would ensue! I swear by the Beauty of the All-Praised, by His upraised standard, and by His sheltering shade, that such a conflagration would blaze up in the heart of the world as would melt the very rocks and clods of earth.


O friends, make ye a mighty effort! O loved ones, arise and bestir yourselves! Occupy yourselves not with the tales and accounts of those who waver in the Covenant, for these are but confused dreams and idle and childish talk. Speak of them that are steadfast, and tread the path of them that stand unwaveringly firm! 


The duty of long years of love obey,

And tell the tale of blissful days gone by." 62


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #35, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/815456698

Sunday, June 13, 2021

“root is firmly fixed, and whose branches reach unto heaven, yielding its fruit in all seasons”

 
Walker Evans
"When Christ winged His flight unto the limitless realms, He left behind eleven disciples. As they arose, with a seeing eye and a hearing ear, with an eloquent tongue and an unshakeable resolve, to magnify the Word of God, they so flourished that each became like unto the tree whose “root is firmly fixed, and whose branches reach unto heaven, yielding its fruit in all seasons”.60 Simon Cephas,61 who was the shining moon amongst those stars of guidance, was to outward seeming no more than a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. And yet, because he arose with fixed resolve and the utmost vigour to spread the signs of God and gather together the righteous, the light of his servitude shone with such brilliance above the horizon of existence that the very sun and moon were left bewildered, and circled, moth-like, around that resplendent candle.


Now, upon His ascension, the Ancient Beauty—may my life be offered up for His Most Great Name—left behind some fifty thousand believers upon this swiftly passing world. He educated them, one and all, through the sweet scents of holiness, opened the doors of manifold grace before their faces, nurtured them in the bosom of His loving-kindness, and taught them the lessons of the spirit in the school of insight. Would it not be regrettable if we were to sit dispirited or remain lost and bewildered, if we were to prefer the path of comfort and repose, seeking freedom from all cares? This is not faithfulness! This is not sincerity! This is not the path of guidance!"


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #35, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/877958251

Saturday, June 12, 2021

"Thus may ye, on the shores of the Most Great Ocean, net the fish that thirst for the seas of divine knowledge ... "


"O ye loved ones of the Abhá Beauty! O ye friends of the Almighty Lord! Unloose your tongues in thanksgiving for this supreme bestowal, and render praise unto the peerless Lord that ye were singled out for this grace and favour, and numbered amongst those who have attained the heights of servitude. Gird up the loins of endeavour, and step into the circle of the angels of the paradise of Oneness. Thus may ye, on the shores of the Most Great Ocean, net the fish that thirst for the seas of divine knowledge and, in the fields of unity, catch the gazelles that seek the meads of reality, so that through the unfailing aid and bounty of the Lord, ye may gather together all nations beneath the shade of the Word of Oneness. Thus may the fragrances of God spread through the East and the West, and the magnetic forces of the All-Merciful stir the world of being into motion. Thus may the mysteries of this holy Cycle be made manifest, the signs of the Dispensation of the Most Great Name be revealed, the garden of the world be rendered fertile, and the orchard of creation bear luscious fruits. Thus may the candle of Divine Unity be kindled, contingent limitations be consumed away by a single flame of the Lord’s burning Fire, the lights of guidance shine, and the darkness of ignorance and blindness be utterly obliterated."

(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #35, part 2)

Friday, June 11, 2021

" ... such servants have been gathered beneath the standard of the Covenant as have perfumed the world through the gentle breezes wafting from the gardens of their hearts ..."

 

"Praise be to God that through the grace and favour of the Ancient Beauty—may my life be offered up for His loved ones—such servants have been gathered beneath the standard of the Covenant as have perfumed the world through the gentle breezes wafting from the gardens of their hearts, and flooded the realm of splendours with the light shining from their faces. They are the manifestations of the manifold bounties of the ever-living Lord and the exponents of the signs and tokens of the Great Announcement. They are the dawning-places of the stars of guidance and the daysprings of the mysteries of loving-kindness, the sweet savours of the rose-gardens of Divine Unity and the fragrances of the meads of Oneness, the immovable mountains of the Covenant and Testament and the wellsprings of the soft-flowing waters of joy and certitude, the fruitful trees of the paradise of faith and the birds of holiness soaring above the meadows of understanding, the shining lamps in the assemblage of divine mysteries and the embodiments of purity in the gathering of the righteous. They are graciously aided by the hosts of the Abhá Kingdom and favoured with the assistance of the angels of the celestial Concourse."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #35, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/753023675


Thursday, June 10, 2021

"We must strive with heart and soul to drink a brimful cup of this heavenly wine, that our words, our deeds, and our conduct may be those of the righteous."

 
"Now, in gratitude for these infinite bestowals, it behoveth us to arise to carry out the counsels and admonitions of the Blessed Beauty, and to act in accordance with His teachings and ordinances. We must strive with heart and soul to drink a brimful cup of this heavenly wine, that our words, our deeds, and our conduct may be those of the righteous. We must show forth love and kindliness, and demonstrate, through our faith and sincerity, that we are all servants of His Threshold, and true and steadfast keepers at His door. We must prove ourselves Bahá’ís in reality, and not merely in words.


‘Abdu’l-Bahá yearneth to join the friends in servitude to the Threshold of Bahá, but he is abashed and doth sigh, lament, and repeat this verse by day and by night: Before the Friend how can I ever lift my face,Abashed that I did naught to befit His grace?56


The Glory of Glories rest upon you."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #32, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/387995498

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

"But in this wondrous Dispensation, the Blessed Beauty hath delivered the friends from this heavy burden. He abrogated contention and conflict, and even rejected undue insistence."

 
"His laws all grant liberation rather than restriction; they confer freedom rather than limitation; they impart joy and radiance rather than constraint. The laws and ordinances of all former religions included the waging of holy war, resorting to bows and arrows, swords and spears, chains and shackles, and the threatening and beheading of every hostile oppressor. But in this wondrous Dispensation, the Blessed Beauty hath delivered the friends from this heavy burden. He abrogated contention and conflict, and even rejected undue insistence. He exhorted us instead to “consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship”. He ordained that we be loving friends and well-wishers of all peoples and religions, and enjoined upon us to demonstrate the highest virtues in our dealings with the kindreds of the earth. He even regarded enemies as friends, and considered strangers as comrades and intimate companions. What a heavy burden was all that enmity and rancour, all that recourse to sword and spear! Conversely, what joy, what gladness is imparted by loving-kindness!"


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #32, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/408465671

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

"... honoured us with the title of “O My servants”, associated us with His own Self, and freed us from distress and fear."

 
"O beloved friends of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá! No sooner had the Hand of divine power raised the tabernacle of everlasting glory—the tabernacle of the oneness of humanity—in the midmost heart of the world, than He opened wide the portals of supreme mercy before us all, addressed us in hallowed accents in the Hidden Words, honoured us with the title of “O My servants”, associated us with His own Self, and freed us from distress and fear. He spread wide the banquet table of bounty and issued a universal invitation. He prepared for us all manner of heavenly food and bestowed upon us divine favours and heavenly gifts. He delivered us from every heavy load and relieved us from every grievous burden. He enjoined upon us only laws, ordinances, and teachings that bestow life to the soul and cause it to draw nigh unto the Best-Beloved."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #32, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/604156868

Monday, June 7, 2021

"Not for a moment did He rest; not for a second did He find repose."

 
© 2021 Chuck Egerton
"He is God.


O ye two handmaidens of Bahá! The Ancient Beauty, the Most Great Name—may my life, my soul, and mine inmost being be offered up for His sacred dust—was burdened with anguish at every breath. At one time, He was a captive to unyielding cruelty, and at another, a target to the darts of woe. At one time, He was a wanderer on the plain of Badasht, and at another He suffered the tribulations of Níyálá. At one point, He was bound with chains and shackles, and afflicted by grievous torment in Ámul; at another He had for associates His most despicable and cruel enemies. By day He was assailed by sorrow and grief in Karbilá; by night He lay within the embrace of afflictions in the camp of adversity. One day, He was conducted in chains, with bared head and bare feet, all the way from Shimírán to Ṭihrán. There He remained in confinement for four months, weighed down with fetters and irons and threatened at every breath by blades and arrows. At another time, He was exiled to Iraq, and at yet another He roamed the wilderness of Kurdistan, where the birds of the air and the beasts of the field were His only companions. For many a long year, He was beset from all sides by the onslaught of His foes in Baghdad, and was encompassed by the fiercest woes and troubles. Every day brought a fresh adversity, and every night season an arduous calamity. Not for a moment did He rest; not for a second did He find repose. He was then exiled to the Great City54and was pierced by the arrows of gross calumny. Men of high rank and stature arose, one and all, to denigrate Him, whilst the leaders of nations were intent upon His demise. Thereupon they banished Him to the Land of Mystery, where they submerged Him in dire adversities and woeful tribulations."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #31, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/007089084

Sunday, June 6, 2021

"Can we seek any balm other than a wound suffered for His sake, or any remedy except pain itself? "

 
Varga (r) and his son Ruhu'llah (l)
"Given these trials and tribulations of the Blessed Beauty—may my life be a ransom for the earth ennobled by the footsteps of His loved ones—can we yearn for any greater gift than affliction in His path? Can we seek any balm other than a wound suffered for His sake, or any remedy except pain itself? Can we wish for any refuge save moments of fear, or any haven other than occasions of abasement? Can we hasten to any field but the arena of sacrifice, or desire any solace for our souls save the blade of tyranny? Nay, by Him Whose might extendeth over all things! 


O my Lord! Graciously assist me to remain faithful and steadfast in Thy Cause amidst all peoples. Aid me to drain the cup of woe, to be immersed beneath an ocean of trials and tribulations, to drink deep from the chalice of affliction, and to be invigorated by the gentle breaths of faithfulness in Thy path, O Thou in Whose grasp are the kingdoms of earth and heaven! Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the Most Exalted.


Read thou this letter in the gatherings of the friends."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #30, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/472246573