Covenant(s) and breaking thereof

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Cino, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    May I ask some questions about the Baha'i Covenant?

    Who are the parties in this covenant? Individual Baha'i believers and God?

    There seem to be a greater and a lesser covenant. Is this like the Laws of Moses as compared to the Laws of Noah? Which laws are part of the lesser one, and which are part of the greater one?

    I understand that "breaking the covenant" is a grave matter in the Baha'i Faith. What does it mean, in terms of what offense is being committed?

    Is it possible to break the greater but not the lesser covenant?

    Are the consequences really excommunication?
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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  3. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Thanks for all the links!

    What's your personal take?
     
  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    The first link seems to cover both covenants, but is unspecific about the nature of the obligations in this covenant, although it stresses the importance of keeping it.

    The second one says that the greater covenant is belief in Baha'u'llah and observance of his laws (I assume the latter refers to the Aqdas).

    The third one, about the lesser covenant, mentions a "book of the covenant" and I assume it is the Kitab-i-Ahd you linked under the heading of Core Documents - is my understanding correct that this is essentially Baha'u'llah's last will?

    The Greater Covenant revolves about belief in the Manifestation of God. The Lesser one is about hereditary leadership.

    Shoghi Effendi was the last of the line of succession, if I understand correctly. So the lesser covenant seems to have expired in a sense?
     
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Actually the Institution mentioned in the Will and Testament of Abdul-Baha is the Universal House of Justice and it is currently the "Center of the Faith" and as you may learn is elected every five years:

    "The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice, to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God."

    https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/will-testament-abdul-baha/2#189137811

    An excellent essay on the Baha’i Covenant by Moojan Momen can be found at



    Covenant, The, and Covenant-breaker


    Read more at



    Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh - Wikipedia


    I would urge you to listen to the following recording by the late Adib Taherzadeh noted author and scholar on the subject:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Thanks! The link "Covenant, The, and Covenant-Breaker" answers the questions I had initially.

    Did the situation with Remey claiming leadership, and other schisms around that time, arise because Shoghi Effendi did not name a sucessor?

    You mention that the House of Justice is the current leadership, but they draw their authority from Abdul Baha's last will, which also handed leadership to Shoghi Effendi. I imagine it is this ambivalence that contenders would try to bend to their advantage?
     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Cino… Go back to the first site I mentioned and you will read the following:

    http://covenantstudy.org/questions/after-passing-of-the-guardian.1.html

    While Remey did contribute to the Cause and was declared a Hand of the Cause his claim to be recognized as Guardian was generally disregarded and he later left the company of the Hands of the Cause.

    The beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi passed away in 1957 and the Universal House of Justice was elected in 1963 in London by delegates representing the Baha'i world.

    See:

    https://bahaipedia.org/Universal_House_of_Justice

    When ever the House of Justice issues a proclamation it often cites the writings of Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi so in a sense even though there is no living Guardian the House does defer to his writings.
     
  8. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    I see. Thanks, Arthra.
     
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  9. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Active Member

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    Thanks, Arthra, for answering those questions so well. I hadn't been to this thread until now.
     
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