November 27, 2017

Thornton Chase – The first Baha’i in America

There are some souls like Mary Magdalen, and Mr. Chase was one of those.
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha to the friends in San Francisco, October 4, 1912, quoted by Willard Hatch; Baha’i News, no. 40, April 1930)

November 17, 2017

Future of Japan

In speaking again of Japan, 'Abdu'l-Baha said:

"Blessed results will appear from the Holy Cause established in that land.” 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of 'Abdu'l-Baha to Mason Remey, and Howard C. Struven while in His presence at Haifa, May 1910;  Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 11, September 27, 1910)

November 16, 2017

"In movement there is life; in immobility there is death.”

In speaking of spreading the fragrances of the Kingdom, 'Abdu'l-Baha said:

"In movement there is life; in immobility there is death. The traveling of the teachers from place to place, country to country, and from the Occident to the Orient, is one of the greatest means for sowing spiritual seeds in the souls of the people." 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha (Words of 'Abdu'l-Baha to Mason Remey, and Howard C. Struven while in His presence at Haifa, May 1910;  Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 11, September 27, 1910)

November 14, 2017

How to prevent sad feelings from entering one’s heart

When your heart is filled with the love of God there will be no room for sorrow. There will only be love and happiness. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of 'Abdu'l-Baha recorded by Mrs. Crockett; Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 9, August 20, 1910)

November 10, 2017

The grazing and domestic animals versus the wild and ferocious

Animals are of two kinds, one the grazing and domestic; the other the wild and ferocious. If the wild beasts are near each other for ten years, still, as soon as they find an opportunity they attack and tear one another to pieces; whereas the tame creatures show their kind feelings toward each other. The beloved of God are like the blessed birds; they are kind and merciful. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, 10 May 1910, recorded by Mason Remey; Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 8, August 1, 1910)

October 4, 2017

Implications of “divine unity” among believers

[We spoke about the inhabitants of Honolulu; that many nationalities are there represented and yet all are in great harmony.]

‘Abdu’l-Baha said: "Time and place play a great influence over the conditions; when in a certain place some strangers meet, necessity requires that they should be in harmony; but our purpose is this, that the divine unity and concord may become well established among all the nations, so that they may become as one spirit in different bodies; the drops of one ocean; the fruits of one tree and the rays of the same sun.

In America, when the different people united together they were enabled to drive away the English government and establish a new government for themselves. Consider how great is the result of unity and harmony! There has never been any action performed nor any philanthropic deed achieved except through unity and concord; disagreement and dissension have always been the means of evil and corruption." 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, 10 May 1910, recorded by Mason Remey; Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 8, August 1, 1910)

September 28, 2017

Concerning the death of King Edward of England

The English king, with his pomp and grandeur, used to address the sun and say: 'Thou dost never disappear from my lands' but now he is buried under the earth. Some time ago the flags at the top of the masts proclaimed the day of his ascension to the throne; but today the flags are at half mast, for he is dead. The flags and banners of the Beloved are ever waving at the top of the masts; they are never inverted; nay, rather, they go on higher day by day; in fact, theirs is the sovereignty. Without fighting forces they conquer the cities; and without taking any tribute they bestow and give freely. The kings gain their victory through bloodshed and the taking of life; whereas the Beloved of God confer life and are victorious. The sovereignty of the friends is an eternal one. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, Holy Land, 10 May 1910, recorded by Mason Remey; Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 8, August 1, 1910)

September 20, 2017

Number of subjects students should be required to take at school

Question: ''The students in the schools have to study so many subjects! There are arising more and more sciences. What should be the remedy?''

‘Abdu’l-Baha: ''It is too much. One must be moderate in choosing the number of subjects. When there are too many the result is confusion. Moderation is necessary. For instance: if a man has the power to carry a load of three hundred (pounds) he no doubt would fall if we give him one thousand (pounds). He cannot bear it. The same way, one's brain must not be overburdened. For instance: students should not have more than six hours a day, lessons and preparations included. Otherwise they will not succeed. The brain becomes tired.'' 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

September 11, 2017

Should Baha’u’llah’s name be included when promoting principles of the Faith?

Question: ''Should these principles be spread under the name of Baha'u'llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha, or without these names?''

‘Abdu’l-Baha: "In the beginning you should mention Baha’u’llah. They are His and are spread by ‘Abdu’l-Baha. When all the world was in disorder, when warfare was prevailing in the East and the West, Russia with Turkey, Persia with England and Afghanistan, and Garibaldi was fighting, the East was in intense darkness. There was prejudice of race and religion; national and political prejudice; the horizon was very dark. And at such a time Baha’u’llah arose and spread a set of teachings." 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

September 1, 2017

Best method to help the growth of the Cause

Question: "What is the best method to spread this Cause?"

‘Abdu’l-Baha: “Explain the teachings, the principles of this Cause. Some of them were revealed fifty years ago, some sixty years ago. Fifty years ago there was no thought of universal peace and arbitration. No one spoke of the oneness of religion and science. Now many spread them in their own ways. I spread them through numerous churches and papers in America; then also in Europe. The word of God is powerful. It will come to pass.'' 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

August 25, 2017

Need for moderation in “thinking”

 Question: "Shall we devote much time to the study of philosophy?"

‘Abdu’l-Baha: "Everything must be done moderately. Excess is not desirable. Do not go to extremes. Even in thinking do not go to excess but be moderate. If there is too much thinking you will be unable to control your thoughts." 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

August 20, 2017

Why so much evil in the world?

Question: "Why so much evil in the world?"

‘Abdu’l-Baha: "God has created a remedy for every disease. One must apply the remedy. Now these patients run away from the expert Physician. They neglect Him. Under inexperienced physicians they get worse. The words of the religious leaders have no influence, no effect. These physicians are more diseased than their patients. The spiritual leaders now have no faith, though they claim to have faith in order to secure their positions." 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

August 12, 2017

“We should speak in the language of heaven -- in the language of the spirit”

We should speak in the language of heaven -- in the language of the spirit -- for there is a language of the spirit and heart. It is as different from our language as our own language is different from that of the animals, who express themselves only by cries and sounds. It is the language of the spirit which speaks to God. When, in prayer, we are freed from all outward things and turn to God, then it is as if in our hearts we hear the voice of God. Without words we speak, we communicate, we converse with God and hear the answer. ... All of us, when we attain to a truly spiritual condition, can hear the Voice of God. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk reported by Ethel J. Rosenberg; ‘Baha'u'llah and the New Era’, by Dr. J.E. Esslemont)  

August 4, 2017

What to do when people we meet don’t show interest about religion

Question: "When people deny religion how shall we deal with them?"
Answer by 'Abdu'l-Baha: "You must be tolerant and patient, because the station of sight is a station of bounty; it is not based on capacity. They must be educated." 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

July 27, 2017

Will mankind be able to eventually “see” things with their “inner eye”?

Question: "Will the day come when all mankind will be able to discern by sight?" 

‘Abdu’l-Baha said: "There will always be some. Only a special number will have this attainment. As Christ said, 'Many are called, but few are chosen.' It will always be so. The transformation depends upon divine bounty. The mineral progresses in its own world. But from the mineral to the vegetable it progresses only by divine bounty. Also transformation from the vegetable to the animal is God's plan. Of itself the transformation cannot take place. In the realm of men transformation is possible only through another person.” 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

July 20, 2017

Joining one’s mother in the next world

Question: "Shall I find my mother again?"

The Master said: "Certainly. Separation is only in the world of bodies." 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

July 12, 2017

How does Prophet “know” about immortality? – ‘Abdu’l-Baha was asked

Question: "Science denies immortality. How does the prophet know the contrary?"

The Master said: "Science does not know; but the Manifestation makes discoveries with the power of the Spirit. For instance: a philosopher with induction finds out a way. But the prophet discerns with sight. A blind man has to find his way with a stick from point to point; so a philosopher through arguments from premises goes to conclusions, and not by sight. But the Manifestations see with their inner eye (own eye); they do not go from premises to conclusions. The prophets see many things with their inner eye. They do not need to go by discoveries. The scientist with induction is like a blind man who cannot see two steps ahead of him. The prophet sees a long distance.''
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

July 5, 2017

Baha’u’llah had promised that Jews would come back to the Holy Land

We told the Master of a group of Jews who were on the boat from Brindisi to Palestine. He said:

In their heavenly books the Prophets have spoken of the Day of the Lord, the Last Day, and what They have spoken is all being real zed in this day. The Blessed Beauty sixty years ago in some of His Tablets promised the Jews that they would come back to the Holy Land -- and what He said will be realized. The pavilion of the Lord will be pitched on the mountain and this was fulfilled. The pavilion of the Blessed Beauty was often pitched on Mount Carmel and the plain and hills around Acca while He was a prisoner. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ann Kunz, Haifa, 1921; Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 6, September 1922)

June 25, 2017

‘Abdu’l-Baha choosing Shoghi Effendi as His Successor

Baha'u'llah, the Great Perfection - blessed be His words - in the past, the present and forever - chose this insignificant one to be His successor, not because I was the first born, but because His inner eye had already discerned on my brow the seal of God. Before His ascension into eternal Light the blessed Manifestation reminded me that I too irrespective of primogeniture or age - must observe among my sons and grandsons whom God would indicate for His office. My sons passed to eternity in their tenderest years, in my line, among my relatives, only little Shoghi has the shadow of a great calling in the depths of his eyes.  
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Quoted to have told a German woman doctor, named Dr. J. Fallscheer, who lived in Haifa in the days of the Master and occasionally attended the ladies of His household; included by the Universal House of Justice in a letter dated December 23, 1974 to the Hands of the Cause of God and the Continental Board of Counsellors; printed in ‘The Power of Covenant, Part Two’, by the NSA of Canada)

June 16, 2017

To use the Hidden Words as a mirror

‘Abdu’l-Bahá once said to me that we should use the Hidden Words as a mirror—comparing our actions and thoughts with what is there revealed—and if they did not match, so to speak, and fully reflect these Divine Counsels—then we must change our actions and conduct until they were in perfect harmony and agreement with these heavenly exhortations. 
- Ethel J. Rosenberg  (Included in a letter dated 12 April, 1927, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; ‘Messages to Canada’)

June 8, 2016

Baha’is must make a superhuman effort

One day during her [Jessie Revell] pilgrimage Shoghi Effendi invited her to stroll up Mount Carmel with him to visit the Shrine of the Bab. On that walk he said that the Baha’is must make a superhuman effort. Jessie often said there was something about the way the Guardian said ‘superhuman’ that engraved it for all time in her heart. 
- Ethel Revell  ('In Memoriam' section of 'The Baha’i World 1963-1968')

May 4, 2016

A believer's Baha’i parents in the next world follow their children’s services to the Faith in this life “with much greater awareness”, and “rejoice” at them

The Guardian had not intended coming over for dinner that night as he was pressed with urgent work. But he did come and when Leroy greeted him asking: How are you tonight, Shoghi Effendi? the Guardian replied: "I am very sad because of this news we have had." Leroy [Ioas] wondered what he was referring to, and suddenly realized the Guardian was speaking of his mother. The Guardian shook hands with both of them and continued: "You have my deepest sympathy at the passing of your dear mother. I will surely remember her in my prayers. I will pray for her ardently.

"You must not grieve, you must not weep. We have been assured by the Master and Baha'u'llah that when we go to the other world, our awareness of things increases - keenness, consciousness, all are increased. You can be sure she is following your services with much greater awareness now than before her death. She follows every detail of your services here at the World Centre and rejoices at them.

"She is very, very happy now, joined with your father, and both of them rejoicing together at the services you and your family are rendering - and watching the progress of you and your work."

When Leroy told the Guardian that Maria [his mother] was the oldest living Baha'i in America, in years of Baha'i service, having become a Baha'i in 1898, Shoghi Effendi said: "I was not aware of that - that is in itself a station." 
- Anita Ioas Chapman  (Book: ‘Leroy Ioas – Hand of the Cause of God’)

April 18, 2016

Attributes of divine unity among people and nations

We spoke about the inhabitants of Honolulu; that many nationalities are there represented and yet all are in great harmony.

‘Abdu’l-Baha said: "Time and place play a great influence over the conditions; when in a certain place some strangers meet, necessity requires that they should be in harmony; but our purpose is this, that the divine unity and concord may become well established among all the nations, so that they may become as one spirit in different bodies; the drops of one ocean; the fruits of one tree and the rays of the same sun.

In America, when the different people united together they were enabled to drive away the English government and establish a new government for themselves. Consider how great is the result of unity and harmony!

There has never been any action performed nor any philanthropic deed achieved except through unity and concord; disagreement and dissension have always been the means of evil and corruption." 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha (Reported words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha from a talk to some pilgrims, Haifa, 1910; ‘Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 8, August 1, 1910)

April 10, 2016

All teaching should be done by the Spirit working or speaking through the teacher

He [‘Abdu’l-Baha] then asked whether the addresses given in the various cities had been prepared or were extemporaneous. When told they had been the latter He said that the teacher should always speak from the heart, for only words from the heart reach the hearts of the hearers and has effect, whereas when one speaks not from the heart, the effect of his words is but a passing one. All teaching should be done by the Spirit working or speaking through the teacher, and should not come from the mentality of the individual. One should always use spiritual methods in teaching. 
(Reported words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha to travelling teachers Mason Remey and Howard Struven, Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 11, September 27, 1910)

April 2, 2016

Happiness

The star of happiness is in every heart. We must remove the veils so that it may shine forth radiantly. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (‘Abdu’l-Baha’s words quoted by May Maxwell printed in ‘The Life of Thomas Breakwell’, by Rajwantee Lakshiman-Lepain, London: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1998)

March 17, 2016

Baha’i Organization “is a Divine Organization, the Institute of God for the establishment of His Kingdom upon earth.”

In many different conversations with us, Shoghi Effendi made it clear that the Baha’i Organization is not political and bears no resemblance to a political system.

It is a Divine Organization, the Institute of God for the establishment of His Kingdom upon earth. Shoghi Effendi said that this Institute is perfect, although its functioning and operation is necessarily imperfect in our present state of development and understanding, but as the Baha’is become matured and perfected, it will be found to be the most perfect Institute the world has ever known.

He said that in all elections, whether of local Spiritual Assembly, of delegates to the convention or in electing the National Assembly, the believers must be entirely free from personality, basing their choice on the spiritual qualifications of those whom they elect according to the explicit instructions of 'Abdu’l-Baha. They must have no prejudices, no preconceived ideas, they must not discuss these matters previous to election with anyone nor even breathe the name of a single person in connection with the possibility of their election; thus they will purify the Cause of every trace of human politics.

February 28, 2016

Witnessing confirmations of Baha’u’llah

One day, when 'Abdu'l-Bahá was very tired, he said to several young Bahá'ís who came to see him: "My work is done. The tree of my life has yielded its fruits. I have set a fire in the world. Your duty is to add to its flame. My sons, it is now your turn. The members of my bodily constitution are well-nigh disintegrated. You are young, and your blood is pure; your intelligence is keen. You can bear the difficulties of this life. I would like to remain silent for some time, and listen to the incoming news of those who are endeavouring to spread the Fragrances of God. How far shall they succeed?  How will they promote the Word of God?  How will they raise the melodies and sing the songs of 'Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá!'? Assuredly the Blessed Perfection is with such souls.  They shall see with their own eyes the confirmations of Bahá'u'lláh; just as I saw them when addressing large gatherings in churches and temples. I saw them hovering like the birds of paradise!" 
(From the Diary of Mírzá Ahmad Sohráb; Star of the West, vol. 5, no. 1, March 21, 1914)

February 21, 2016

The incredible transformation that Baha’u’llah will bring about to humanity

Nabil-i-Azam recorded several statements which were made by Bahá'u'lláh to certain Persian princes in Baghdad on the subject of the future nobility of mankind:

“My purpose in coming to this corrupt world where the tyrants and traitors, by their acts of cruelty and oppression, have closed the doors of peace and tranquility to all mankind, is to establish, through the power of God and His might, the forces of justice, trust, security and faith. For instance [in the future] should a woman ..., who is unsurpassed in her beauty and adorned with the most exquisite and priceless jewels, travel unveiled and alone, from the east of the world to the west thereof, passing through every land and journeying in all countries, there would be such a standard of justice, trustworthiness and faith on the one hand, and lack of treachery and degradation on the other, that no one would be found who would wish to rob her of her possessions or to cast a treacherous and lustful eye upon her beauteous chastity!...”  

“Through the power of God I shall transform the peoples of the world into this exalted state and shall open this most great door to the face of all humanity.” 
- Baha'u'llah  (Words of Baha’u’llah quoted by Nabil-‘A’zam in Panj Kanz (Five Treasures), unpublished, printed in ‘The Revelation of Baha’u’llah, vol. 2’, by Adib Taherzadeh)  

February 6, 2016

The Relation between Thought and Action

You must not only think thoughts, but do actions.  The reality of men is their thoughts and their spirits, not their material bodies.  Man and animal with regard to matter are partners. The difference is that man has the power of thought.

Thoughts may be divided into two classes: 
1.  The world of thought alone. 
2.  The world of thought which expresses itself in action. 

For instance, philosophers belong to the first class, for they only think heavenly thoughts and do not do heavenly deeds. Whereas spiritual teachers belong to the second class, for they express their high and noble thoughts in actions as soon as they think them. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of 'Abdu'l-Baha, from a talk, 18 October 1911, Paris, France; 'Star of the West’, vol.2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)