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)

January 30, 2016

Believers should serve and unite with all people in humanitarian works

Later on 'Abdu'l-Bahá said that the believers have many duties to perform. They should associate themselves with and assist all good causes. Aiding and supporting educational, charitable and other philanthropic institutions should form a part of their work. They should serve and unite with all people in humanitarian works.
(Notes of 'Abdu'l-Baha's comments by Mason Remey, London, 1911; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 11, September 27, 1911)

January 23, 2016

Mashriqu'l-Adhkár – is the “spiritual foundation”

Regarding the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár, 'Abdu'l-Bahá said,

"Its building is the most important of all things. This is the spiritual foundation. For that reason it is the most important of all foundations. From that Spiritual Foundation will come forth all manner of advancement and progress in the world of humanity. Therefore, how great is its importance." 
-'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha recorded by Mason Remey when with ‘Abdu’l-Baha in London in 1911; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 11, September 27, 1911)

January 17, 2016

The Divine wisdom in fasting

The Divine wisdom in fasting is manifold. Among them is this: As during those days (i.e. the period of fasting which the followers afterward observe) the Manifestation of the Sun of Reality, through Divine inspiration, is engaged in the Descent of Verses, the instituting of Divine Law and the arrangement of Teachings, through excessive occupation and intense attraction there remains no condition or time for eating and drinking. For example, when His Holiness Moses went to Mount Tur (Sinai) and there engaged in instituting the Law of God, he fasted forty days. For the purpose of awakening and admonishing the people of Israel, fasting was enjoined upon them.

Likewise His Holiness Christ in the beginning of instituting the Spiritual Law, the systematizing of the Teachings and the arrangement of counsels, for forty days abstained from eating and drinking. In the beginning the disciples and Christians fasted. Later the assemblages of the chief Christians changed fasting into Lenten observances.

January 3, 2016

Waves – ocean and human mind

While looking from the window ‘Abdu’l-Baha said:

“We hear the murmur of the sea always continuing. It never ceases. Were it to cease, the world would be dead. Stagnant, lifeless. But the waves of the mind of man are far greater than those of the sea; they also are ceaseless. They never stop for one instant. This movement is good. If these waves of the mind are few, the man is dull and quiet. What pearls and jewels are contained in the depths of sea! But the pearls and jewels hidden in the mind of man are knowledge, virtues, capabilities, etc. These pearls can grow and increase in luster forever, but the pearls of the sea remain always the same. These waves from our minds go forth and create movement and thought in other minds. From one strong thought of love what great results may be produced!” 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Ethel Rosenberg in ‘Akka, January 1909)

December 12, 2015

Spiritual effects of travel teaching/pioneering

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, recorded by Howard Stuven and Charles Mason, Haifa, May 1910; Star of the west, vol. 1, no. 11, September 27, 1910)

December 9, 2015

When teaching the Cause one should speak from the heart

…’Abdu’l-Baha 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. 
(Notes of comments made by ‘Abdu’l-Baha to Howard Stuven and Charles Mason, Haifa, May 1910; Star of the west, vol. 1, no. 11, September 27, 1910)

December 6, 2015

Inspiration

The heart, when pure and free, becomes inspired. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha aboard the Cedric on the way to America, March 26, 1912; recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

November 29, 2015

Humility

If a man considers himself humble and lowly in the Cause of God, he becomes glorified in all eyes. On the other hand, the moment he aspires to personal greatness, he falls into disgrace and oblivion. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha aboard the Cedric on the way to America, March 26, 1912; recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

November 25, 2015

About Kheiralla

When Mírzá Munír stated that one of the Arab travelers had spoken to him about Mírzá Kheiralla's arrogance and heedlessness, 'Abdu'l-Bahá replied:

"The poor man has become nameless and debased both in this world and in the Kingdom. What a high honor he had! But as he did not appreciate the fact, it all came to naught. He wished to be made the leader of America and wrote plainly to me to this effect. One of the answers I gave him was, 'Cast aside all mention of the ruler and the ruled, the governor and the governed.'"
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha aboard the Cedric on the way to America, March 26, 1912; recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

November 20, 2015

To be thankful

One of the servants asked why man is not thankful when in comfort.

‘Abdu'l-Bahá replied, ‘It is due to negligence. Otherwise one must be aware and thankful when immersed in the sea of bounties.' 
- 'Abdu'l-Baba  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha aboard the Cedric on the way to America, March 26, 1912; recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

November 15, 2015

One’s spirit is naturally attracted to beautiful and graceful things

It is natural for the heart and spirit to take pleasure and enjoyment in all things that show forth symmetry, harmony, and perfection. For instance: a beautiful house, a well-designed garden, a symmetrical line, a graceful motion, a well written book, pleasing garments—in fact, all things that have in themselves grace or beauty are pleasing to the heart and spirit… 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Mary Lucas during her pilgrimage in 1905; ‘A Brief Account of My Visit to Acca’, by Mary Lucas)