August 14, 2010

As the sun is to the body of a man so is the Sun of Truth [Prophets/Manifestations of God] to his soul

Paris, France, October 22nd, 1911

It is a lovely day, the sun shines brightly upon the earth, giving light and warmth to all creatures. The Sun of Truth is also shining, giving light and warmth to the souls of men. The sun is the life-giver to the physical bodies of all creatures upon earth; without its warmth their growth would be stunted, their development would be arrested, they would decay and die. Even so do the souls of men need the Sun of Truth to shed its rays upon their souls, to develop them, to educate and encourage them. As the sun is to the body of a man so is the Sun of Truth to his soul.

A man may have attained to a high degree of material progress, but without the light of truth his soul is stunted and starved. Another man may have no material gifts, may be at the bottom of the social ladder, but, having received the warmth of the Sun of Truth his soul is great and his spiritual understanding is enlightened.

A Greek philosopher living in the days of the youth of Christianity, being full of the Christian element, though not a professing Christian, wrote thus: 'It is my belief that religion is the very foundation of true civilization'. For, unless the moral character of a nation is educated, as well as its brain and its talents, civilization has no sure basis.

August 10, 2010

Interview between ‘Abdu’l-Baha and a San Francisco Newspaper Reporter, October 3, 1912

(From the Diary of Mirza Ahmad Sohrab)

Correspondent: Are you pleased with the United States?

‘Abdu’l-Baha: The continent of America is most progressive. The means of instructions are prepared; the educational institutions are thoroughly equipped and the pupils are being systematically trained and educated. The wealth is on an upward tendency. Its government is democratic. Its advancement is unceasing. Its nation is hospitable. Its people are loyal, energetic and noble. Its inhabitants are free and the lovers of liberty. Its men are civilized and its women are cultured, refined and idealistic. On the other hand, all these advantages are on the material plane, and I observe the majority of the people are submerged in the sea of materialism and agnosticism. The natural civilization is well-nigh perfect; but it is in need of the civilization of heaven -- Divine civilization.

Correspondent: What do you mean by "Divine civilization"?

‘Abdu’l-Baha: Divine civilization is the light. Material civilization is the lamp. Material civilization is the body; in itself it is not sufficient, and humanity from every standpoint stands in sore need of divine civilization. Natural civilization insures material welfare and prosperity; Divine civilization vouchsafes to man ideal virtues. Material civilization serves the physical world; Divine civilization serves the world of morality. Divine civilization is a symposium of the perfections of the world of humanity. Divine civilization is the improvement of the ethical life of a nation. Divine civilization is the discovery of the reality of phenomena. Divine civilization is the spiritual philosophy. Divine civilization is the knowledge of God with rational and intellectual evidences. Divine civilization is Eternal Life. Divine civilization is the immortality of the soul. Divine civilization is the Breath of the Holy Spirit. Divine civilization is heavenly wisdom. Divine civilization is the reality of all the Teachings of the ancient prophets. Divine civilization is Universal Peace and the oneness of the world of humanity. The Holy manifestations of God have been the founders of Divine civilization, the first Teachers of mankind, and the spreaders of the fragrances of holiness and sanctity amongst the children of men.