May 23, 2010

The great spiritual lights have always appeared in the East; We must endeavor to increase our capcity daily

17 April 1912
Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Kinney
780 West End Avenue, New York
Notes by John G. Grundy


In the Holy Books it is recorded that when the Sun of Truth dawns, it will appear in the East, and its light will be reflected in the West. Already its dawning has taken place in the East, and its signs are appearing in the West. Its illumination shall spread rapidly and widely in the Occident. The Sun of Truth has risen in Persia, and its effulgence is now manifest here in America. This is the greatest proof of its appearance in the horizon of the world, as recorded in the heavenly Books. Praise be to God! That which is prophesied in the Holy Books has been fulfilled.

On Sunday last at Carnegie Hall the revered soul who introduced 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave voice to the statement that according to tradition demons would appear from the land of the sunrise, but now we find angels appearing instead. At the time this statement was made a reply was not possible, but today we will speak of it. The great spiritual lights have always appeared in the East. The Blessed Perfection, Bahá'u'lláh, appeared in the East. Jesus Christ dawned upon the horizon of the East. Moses, Aaron, Joseph and all the Israelitish prophets such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and others appeared from the Orient. The lights of Muhammad and the Báb shone from the East. The eastern horizon has been flooded with the effulgence of these great lights, and only from the East have they risen to shine upon the West. Now -- praise be to God! -- you are living in the dawn of a cycle when the Sun of Truth is again shining forth from the East, illumining all regions.

May 7, 2010

The Pathway of the Disciples of Christ – it should inspire us in our humble services to Baha’u’llah

A talk given by ‘Abdu'l-Baha,
June 11, 1912, at 309 West 78th Street, New York City
Translated/Interpreted by Dr. Ameen U Fareed


[After instructions upon certain matters, Abdu'l-Baha continued:

The essence of the intention is that I wish you to pray for me and I will pray for you. The pathway we shall walk together is the pathway of the disciples of Christ.

After the departure of His Holiness to the Supreme Paradise, the disciples who had followed His teachings met together in consultation upon the summit of a mountain near Jaffa. Such a consultation was never before held. They said to each other, "His Holiness Jesus Christ has been crucified. He offered His life in this way, gave up His rest and comfort, forfeited His happiness, renounced His possessions, family and life, and quaffed the chalice of martyrdom. He educated us in order that we might arise after Him in His Cause. He sacrificed His life that the oil in the lamps of our souls might become ignited and His Light shine forth from them. He suffered on the cross that we may irrigate the tree of His planting. He consented to a cruel death in order that the seed of His sowing might be cultivated and preserved by us. Now must we be loyal to His Holiness. If we wish to be loyal we must arise to carry out the duties of loyalty. Otherwise each of us will continue to seek after his own livelihood, rest and comfort; each, like other people, find repose, enjoy a family, have a household, provide food and strive to gain glory and power. Shall we do this?”

May 5, 2010

Individuality and Personality

     
Feb. 14, 1913 at 30 rue St. Didier, Paris
(from Persian notes; translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab)


Today one of those present asked a question on personality. From what source does it come? What are its attributes? What are its characteristic features or aspects?

Personality is one of two kinds. One is the natural or God-given personality which the Western thinkers call individuality. Individuality is the inner aspect of man which is not subject to change. The second is personality. Personality is the acquired virtues and perfections, with which man is adorned.

When the individuality of man, i.e., his God-given natural virtues, is adorned with acquired virtues and perfections then we have character. When the infinite effulgences of God are revealed in the individual, then divine perfections which are invisible in all creation will become manifest in him.

For instance, one man is the manifestor of knowledge, i.e., divine knowledge is revealed to him. Another man is the dawning place of power, a third is wealthy, another is generous. Again a person is faithful, and another with whom you come in touch, is merciful. All these attributes are God-given and natural in man.

May 1, 2010

The Holiest Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Bahá'í world (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to the Baha'i World, 1950-1957, p. 146)

1 May 1912
Talk at Dedication of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar Grounds
Wilmette, Illinois
Notes by Joseph H. Hannen


The power which has gathered you here today notwithstanding the cold and windy weather is, indeed, mighty and wonderful. It is the power of God, the divine favor of Bahá'u'lláh which has drawn you together. We praise God that through His constraining love human souls are assembled and associated in this way.

Thousands of Mashriqu'l-Adhkars, dawning points of praise and mention of God for all religionists will be built in the East and in the West, but this, being the first one erected in the Occident, has great importance. In the future there will be many here and elsewhere -- in Asia, Europe, even in Africa, New Zealand and Australia -- but this edifice in Chicago is of especial significance. It has the same importance as the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Ishqabad, Caucasus, Russia, the first one built there. In Persia there are many; some are houses which have been utilized for the purpose, others are homes entirely devoted to the divine Cause, and in some places temporary structures have been erected. In all the cities of Persia there are Mashriqu'l-Adhkars, but the great dawning point was founded in Ishqabad. It possesses superlative importance because it was the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar built. All the Bahá'í friends agreed and contributed their utmost assistance and effort. The Afnan devoted his wealth, gave all he had to it. From such a mighty and combined effort a beautiful edifice arose. Notwithstanding their contributions to that building, they have assisted the fund here in Chicago as well. The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Ishqabad is almost completed. It is centrally located, nine avenues leading into it, nine gardens, nine fountains; all the arrangement and construction is according to the principle and proportion of the number nine. It is like a beautiful bouquet. Imagine a very lofty, imposing edifice surrounded completely by gardens of variegated flowers, with nine avenues leading through them, nine fountains and pools of water. Such is its matchless, beautiful design. Now they are building a hospital, a school for orphans, a home for cripples, a hospice and a large dispensary. God willing, when it is fully completed, it will be a paradise.

I hope the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Chicago will be like this. Endeavor to have the grounds circular in shape. If possible, adjust and exchange the plots in order to make the dimensions and boundaries circular. The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar cannot be triangular in shape. It must be in the form of a circle. (The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 70)