On prayer..... excerpts from "Baha'i Writings":

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause—a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it—verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures."

    (“A Synopsis and Codification of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book of Bahá’u’lláh”, 1st ed. (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1973), pp. 27–28) [1]

    "Recite ye the verses of God every morning and evening. Whoso reciteth them not hath truly failed to fulfil his pledge to the Covenant of God and His Testament, and whoso in this day turneth away therefrom hath indeed turned away from God since time immemorial. Fear ye God, O concourse of My servants!

    "Take heed lest excessive reading and too many acts of piety in the daytime and in the night season make you vainglorious. Should a person recite but a single verse from the Holy Writings in a spirit of joy and radiance, this would be better for him than reciting wearily all the Scriptures of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.


    "Recite ye the verses of God in such measure that ye be not overtaken with fatigue or boredom. Burden not your souls so as to cause exhaustion and weigh them down, but rather endeavour to lighten them, that they may soar on the wings of revealed Verses unto the dawning-place of His signs. This is conducive to nearer access unto God, were ye to comprehend."

    (“Kitáb-i-Aqdas”—provisional translation from the Arabic) [2]

    https://www.bahai.org/library/autho...r-meditation-devotional-attitude.pdf?314624f0
     
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  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "The wine of renunciation must needs be quaffed, the lofty heights of detachment must needs be attained, and the meditation referred to in the words “One hour’s reflection is preferable to seventy years of pious worship” must needs be observed, so that the secret of the wretched behaviour of the people might be discovered, those people who, despite the love and yearning for truth which they profess, curse the followers of Truth when once He hath been made manifest...."

    ~ Baha'u'llah

    (“Kitáb-i-Íqán” [rev. ed.], (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1985), p. 238) [3]
     
  3. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    Thank you.

    What kind of renunciation is being referred to, here? Or is it a symbol, like the wine?

    Somehow, I had assumed renunciation, in the sense of "renouncing the world", monasticism etc, to be frowned upon in the Baha'i faith?
     
  4. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thanks for posting Cino! I'll provide here some excerpts on renunciation from the Baha'i Writings:

    Such are the mysteries of the Word of God, which have been unveiled and made manifest, that haply thou mayest apprehend the morning light of divine guidance, mayest quench, by the power of reliance and renunciation, the lamp of idle fancy, of vain imaginings, of hesitation, and doubt, and mayest kindle, in the inmost chamber of thine heart, the new-born light of divine knowledge and certitude.

    (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 48)

    And now, observe the "return" of the self-same determination, the self-same constancy and renunciation, manifested by the companions of the Point of the Bayan.[1] Thou hast witnessed how these companions have, through the wonders of the grace of the Lord of Lords, hoisted the standards of sublime renunciation upon the inaccessible heights of glory.

    (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 159)


    He remarked that only when the true seeker finds that attachments to the material are keeping him from his spiritual heritage, will he gladly enter the way of renunciation. Then will the rich man joyfully share his worldly possessions with the needy. 'Abdu'l-Bahá contrasted the unpretentious hospitality before him with the costly banquets of the wealthy, who too often sit at their feasts forgetting the hungry multitudes.

    (Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 83)

    Regarding "monasticism":

    "Say: O concourse of monks! Seclude not yourselves in your churches and cloisters. Come ye out of them by My leave, and busy, then, yourselves with what will profit you and others. Thus commandeth you He Who is the Lord of the Day of Reckoning. Seclude yourselves in the stronghold of My love. This, truly, is the seclusion that befitteth you, could ye but know it. He that secludeth himself in his house is indeed as one dead."

    (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 49)
     
  5. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    Renounce idle fancy, vain imaginings, hesitation, and doubt.

    I'm not sure I understand the second passage: Does it refer to the Bab's followers? If so, their renunciation was of social status and material security, wasn't it?

    The third passage also seems to recommend renouncing material wealth.

    The last one reads as an admonition against extreme renunciation of social contact and earning a livelihood.

    The reference to the Bab's followers seems to stick out a little - their renunciation was more extreme than what is recommended in the other passages. They did engage in armed rebellion, and many were killed. Renouncing one's life is also a form of Baha'i renunciation?
     
  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Cino… Thanks for posting! You might enjoy reading some history re. the early Babi-Baha'i movement in Iran called "The Dawn Breakers". It's online at

    http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/nz/DB/
     
  7. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    Thanks. It's going to take me a while :)

    I take that as a "no, we don't do that any more", then.
     
  8. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    One of my favorite selections:

    "Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility."

    From Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
    http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-130.html
     
  9. apexcone

    apexcone Trackdayguy

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    Over the past few years I have met several people from the Bahai Faith and my overall impression is lovely people. I love the sense of non-judgment and acceptance of all, including their understanding that we are one people all sharing the same planet. I often spend time with a really sweet lady who became a Bahai about 20 years. I love the spirit of these people, but all the religious baggage that goes with being a Bahai is enough to make anyone run to the door and like most other religions it very quickly becomes about the idolizing on men. eg. Jesus - Bahá'u'lláh - Muhammad.

    Got no time for it, none.
     
  10. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    The idolizing of men? Got any examples to explain what you mean?
     
  11. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thanks for your post "apexcone"! The "religious baggage" for me and my family over the past fifty some years has been surprisingly light! But you are of course free to arrive at your own conclusions. We do hold to a principle known as "Independent Investigation of Truth/Reality" and here I'll find a passage on the subject to share:

    "Discover for yourselves the reality of things, and strive to assimilate the methods by which noble-mindedness and glory are attained among the nations and people of the world.
    No man should follow blindly his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate independently in order that he may find the truth. The religion of forefathers and ancestors is based upon blind imitation. Man should investigate reality."

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 24

    "The basic principle of the Cause is independent investigation of truth. This applies to us as much as to our children. They should be free to chose for themselves any religion they wish. To promise that they will belong to a certain Faith and not to another is therefore not only contrary to our precepts, but is also a futile promise to give. How can we make the future generation think as we do or follow our dictates. God has made them free. All that we can do is to open their eyes and tell them of what we think to be the truth."

    (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 3, 1931)
    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 156)

    I do hope though to eventually get back to the topic of this thread....
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I also have issues with some structure,.cinformity and dogma (surprise to anyone who has read my posts). Love the concepts of religions worshipped together (although it appears to me some of that doesn't quite fit) but had read long hair for men is out and one has to marry in the faith...these two restrictions were enough for me to not investigate further as to what others there were.
     
  13. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Again I was hoping we could focus on the topic of the thread... but since you brought it up let me comment...

    Hair length is mentioned in the Kitab-I-Aqdas:

    "Shave not your heads; God hath adorned them
    with hair, and in this there are signs from the Lord of
    creation to those who reflect upon the requirements of
    nature. He, verily, is the God of strength and wisdom.
    Notwithstanding, it is not seemly to let the hair pass
    beyond the limit of the ears. Thus hath it been decreed
    by Him Who is the Lord of all worlds."


    (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 35)

    Hair length is a provision that is not enforced... anywhere. There are no sanctions in place. I'll share here a photo of the well known calligrapher Mishkin-Qalam ("The Musk scented pen") a primo Calligrapher and follower of Baha'u'llah:

    [​IMG]


    Regarding your comment: "one has to marry in the faith..."

    Untrue.

    "While marriage is enjoined in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh
    clarifies that it is not obligatory
    (Q and A 46). Shoghi
    Effendi, in a letter written on his behalf, also declared that
    "marriage is by no means an obligation", and he affirmed
    that "in the last resort, it is for the individual to decide
    whether he wishes to lead a family life or live in a state of
    celibacy". If a person has to wait a considerable period of
    time before finding a spouse, or ultimately must remain
    single, it does not mean that the individual is thereby
    unable to fulfil his or her life's purpose, which is
    fundamentally spiritual."


    (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 207)

    My "prayer" is that we could focus on it in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  14. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    I came across a meditation that I'll share here:

    "Regard ye the world as a man's body, which is afflicted with divers ailments, and the recovery of which dependeth upon the harmonizing of all of its component elements. Gather ye around that which We have prescribed unto you, and walk not in the ways of such as create dissension.

    "Meditate on the world and the state of its people. He, for Whose sake the world was called into being, hath been imprisoned in the most desolate of cities (Akká), by reason of that which the hands of the wayward have wrought.

    "From the horizon of His prison-city He summoneth mankind unto the Dayspring of God, the Exalted, the Great. Exultest thou over the treasures thou dost possess, knowing they shall perish?

    "Rejoicest thou in that thou rulest a span of earth, when the whole world, in the estimation of the people of Baha, is worth as much as the black in the eye of a dead ant?

    "Abandon it unto such as have set their affections upon it, and turn thou unto Him Who is the Desire of the world. Whither are gone the proud and their palaces?

    "Gaze thou into their tombs, that thou mayest profit by this example, inasmuch as We made it a lesson unto every beholder. Were the breezes of Revelation to seize thee, thou wouldst flee the world, and turn unto the Kingdom, and wouldst expend all thou possessest, that thou mayest draw nigh unto this sublime Vision."

    ~ Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 55

    Actually this meditation comes from the last paragraph of a letter that Baha'u'llah wrote to Napoleon III found on

    http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/PB/pb-6.html

    It is enclosed above as part of an anthology of prayers and meditations composed by Baha'u'llah near the end of His life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  15. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    CXXX.

    "Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility."

    ~ Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 285
     
  16. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    ".... know thou that the True One possesseth invisible worlds which human meditation is unable to comprehend and the intellect of man hath no power to imagine. When thou wilt purify and clarify thy spiritual nostrils from every worldly moisture, then thou wilt inhale the holy fragrances diffusing from the merciful gardens of these worlds."

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 393
     

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