Feast of Mashiyyat (Will) September 25th-26th

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    The next Baha'i Feast is coming up in a few days so I decided to post some prayers:

    Baha'i days begin and end at sunset so from September 25th sunset to sunset September 26th our community can schedule a Feast.

    A compilation from the Baha'i writings on the topic of Will ( Mashíyyat ) - a Baha'i Feast devotional program.



    1. Praise be to Thee, O Lord my God! I am the one who hath sought the good pleasure of Thy will, and directed his steps towards the seat of Thy gracious favors. I am he who hath forsaken his all, who hath fled to Thee for shelter, who hath set his face towards the tabernacle of Thy revelation and the adored sanctuary of Thy glory.’… I beseech Thee to grant that I may be numbered with them that have quaffed the wine that is life indeed from the hands of Thy gracious providence, and have rid themselves, in Thy path, of all attachment to Thy creatures, and been so inebriated with Thy manifold wisdom that they hastened to the field of sacrifice with Thy praise on their lips and Thy remembrance in their hearts. Send down, also, upon me, O my God, that which will wash me from anything that is not of Thee, and deliver me from Thine enemies who have disbelieved in Thy signs.



    Potent art Thou to do what Thou willest. No God is there beside Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.


    -- Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, CXXI, pp. 206-207



    2. The Revelation which, from time immemorial, hath been acclaimed as the Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished Desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures. Behold how, notwithstanding such an announcement, mankind hath strayed from its path and shut out itself from its glory.



    Say: O ye lovers of the One true God! Strive, that ye may truly recognize and know Him, and observe befittingly His precepts. This is a Revelation, under which, if a man shed for its sake one drop of blood, myriads of oceans will be his recompense. Take heed, O friends, that ye forfeit not so inestimable a benefit, or disregard its transcendent station. Consider the multitude of lives that have been, and are still being, sacrificed in a world deluded by a mere phantom which the vain imaginations of its peoples have conceived. Render thanks unto God, inasmuch as ye have attained unto your heart's Desire, and been united to Him Who is the Promise of all nations. Guard ye, with the aid of the one true God--exalted be His glory--the integrity of the station which ye have attained, and cleave to that which shall promote His Cause.

    -- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, III, pp. 5-6



    3. In former religions such ordinances as holy war, destruction of books, the ban on association and companionship with other peoples or on reading certain books had been laid down and affirmed according to the exigencies of the time; however, in this mighty Revelation, in this momentous Announcement, the manifold bestowals and favours of God have overshadowed all men, and from the horizon of the Will of the Ever-Abiding Lord, His infallible decree hath prescribed that which We have set forth above. We yield praise unto God--hallowed and glorified be He--for whatsoever He hath graciously revealed in this blessed, this glorious and incomparable Day. Indeed if everyone on earth were endowed with a myriad tongues and were to continually praise God and magnify His Name to the end that knoweth no end, their thanksgiving would not prove adequate for even one of the gracious favours We have mentioned in this Tablet.

    -- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 28
     
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  2. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    Thank you Arthra.

    Regards Tony
     
  3. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Interesting!

    Is this referring to Baha'u'llah's experience of loss and displacement? Or to his retreat in the Kurdish mountains? Otherwise, it sounds like a dedication to renunciate, austere practices?

    How do Baha'is view renunciation, the life of a recluse?
     
  4. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thanks for the question Cino! I've been busy..... As you know the life of a recluse is usually associated with a withdrawal from the world... from various professions... from marriage and family life. Baha'is do not practice austerities. I'll quote from a site that deals with the question:

    In many spiritual traditions, if a person decides to dedicate him or herself to living a spiritual life, it can often mean renouncing the things of the world: from money to marriage. The Baha’i teachings have a unique and fascinating perspective on this important question. Baha’u’llah says:

    Know ye that by “the world” is meant your unawareness of Him Who is your Maker, and your absorption in aught else but Him… Flee it, that ye may be numbered with the blest. – Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 276.

    And in another instance Baha’u’llah says:

    Say: By the world is meant that which turneth you aside from Him Who is the Dawning-Place of Revelation, and inclineth you unto that which is unprofitable unto you. Verily, the thing that deterreth you, in this day, from God is worldliness in its essence. Eschew it, and approach the Most Sublime Vision, this shining and resplendent Seat. Blessed is he who alloweth nothing whatsoever to intervene between him and his Lord. – The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 77.

    These words do not refer to any particular types of material objects, social relationships or ways of living that need to be renounced in order to live a spiritual life.

    In a broader way, Baha’u’llah tells us that we need to renounce anything that stands between us and God. This could mean that some things we usually considered worldly, are in fact acceptable. About this Baha’u’llah says:

    Should a man wish to adorn himself with the ornaments of the earth, to wear its apparels, or partake of the benefits it can bestow, no harm can befall him, if he alloweth nothing whatever to intervene between him and God, for God hath ordained every good thing, whether created in the heavens or in the earth, for such of His servants as truly believe in Him.Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 276.

    The Baha’i teachings ask us to enjoy the riches the world offers, as long as they do not come between us and God. But how do we make sure that they do not block us from God? Baha’u’llah explains:

    No harm, assuredly, can befall him if he partaketh with justice of the benefits of this world, inasmuch as We have created all things for such of Our servants as truly believe in God. – The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 77.

    The Baha’i teachings also counsel moderation. If we use the things of this world with moderation, they are less likely to become barriers between us and God. That being said, while material wealth does not necessarily need to be renounced, it can often be a spiritual road block. On this subject Baha’u’llah wrote:

    O ye that pride yourselves on mortal riches! Know ye in truth that wealth is a mighty barrier between the seeker and his desire, the lover and his beloved. The rich, but for a few, shall in no wise attain the court of His presence nor enter the city of content and resignation. Well is it then with him, who, being rich, is not hindered by his riches from the eternal kingdom, nor deprived by them of imperishable dominion. By the Most Great Name! The splendor of such a wealthy man shall illuminate the dwellers of heaven even as the sun enlightens the people of the earth! – The Hidden Words, p. 41.


    The above is a quote from
    https://bahaiteachings.org/do-we-need-to-renounce-the-world/
     
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  5. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Thanks, Arthra!

    The passage you quoted indicates that "worldliness in its essence" is the main obstacle nowadays, which is not to be confused with the harmless partaking in justice and moderation of the benefits of the world.

    Did Baha'u'llah teach what the essence of worldliness is?
     
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  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Yes read what Baha'u'llah wrote Napoleon III:

    "Say: He from whom, in this day, the sweet savours of the remembrance of His Lord, the All-Merciful, have not been diffused, is indeed unworthy of the station of man. He, verily, is of them that have followed their own desires, and shall erelong find himself in grievous loss. Doth it behove you to relate yourselves to Him Who is the God of mercy, and yet commit the things which the Evil One hath committed? Nay, by the Beauty of Him Who is the All-Glorified! could ye but know it. Purge your hearts from love of the world, and your tongues from calumny, and your limbs from whatsoever may withhold you from drawing nigh unto God, the Mighty, the All-Praised. Say: By the world is meant that which turneth you aside from Him Who is the Dawning-Place of Revelation, and inclineth you unto that which is unprofitable unto you. Verily, the thing that deterreth you, in this day, from God is worldliness in its essence. Eschew it, and approach the Most Sublime Vision, this shining and resplendent Seat. Blessed is he who alloweth nothing whatsoever to intervene between him and his Lord. No harm, assuredly, can befall him if he partaketh with justice of the benefits of this world, inasmuch as We have created all things for such of Our servants as truly believe in God.

    "Should your words, O people, be at variance with your deeds, what then shall distinguish you from those who profess their faith in the Lord, their God, and yet, when He came down to them overshadowed with clouds, rejected Him and waxed proud before God, the Incomparable, the Omniscient? Shed not the blood of anyone, O people, neither judge ye anyone unjustly. Thus have ye been commanded by Him Who knoweth, Who is informed of all. They that commit disorders in the land after it hath been well ordered, these indeed have outstepped the bounds that have been set in the Book. Wretched shall be the abode of the transgressors!"

    The Summons of the Lord of Hosts

     
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  7. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    Arthra posted a reply, I would like to add that our greatest trap in this age and a strong sign of worldliness is materialism, there is a lot written on that specific subject.

    Here are a few quotes.


    Materialisim can unfold in faith as attachments to dogmas and doctrine as well.

    Regards Tony
     
  8. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Yes, I read it. It was the same quote as before, with more context, and did not further explain the "essence of worldliness".

    Thanks for explaining it in terms of materialism. I read a part of the page you linked, and it seems to be, in essence, a call to austerity, getting by with the minimum material resources so as not to weigh down the spirit and hinder its return to a better world.

    To me, this seems to be in contradiction to those other passages which approve of the skillful accumulation of riches, and encourage enjoyment of well earned physical pleasures.

    How do you personally resolve this? I know you can't speak for all Baha'is, but I'm interested more in your take than in wading through tens of snippets of scripture.
     

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