Baha'i Holy Day May 29th The ascension of Baha'u'llah:

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, May 29, 2022.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Baha'is generally observe the passing of Baha'u'llah in the early morning hours of May 29th. The day is a Baha'i Holy Day on which work/school is suspended.

    On May 29, 1892, shortly before dawn began to break, Baha’u’llah passed on from this mortal life and His spirit was finally “released from the toils of a life crowded with tribulations.” He was surrounded only by family members and a small but loyal band of followers. His body was laid to rest, reverently and without any extravagant ceremony, in one of the buildings of the property in Bahji, outside of Akka, Israel, where He had spent the last twelve years of His life. He died a prisoner, a captive of one of the many governments that had persecuted Him for the past forty years and exiled Him from Tehran to Baghdad to Constantinople to Adrianople to Akka and finally to Bahji. In fact, of the countless themes which run through Baha’u’llah’s Writings, his imprisonment and suffering is one of the most recurring:

    The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole world may attain unto true liberty. He hath drained to its dregs the cup of sorrow, that all the peoples of the earth may attain unto abiding joy, and be filled with gladness. This is of the mercy of your Lord, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful. We have accepted to be abased, O believers in the Unity of God, that ye may be exalted, and have suffered manifold afflictions, that ye might prosper and flourish. He Who hath come to build anew the whole world, behold, how they that have joined partners with God have forced Him to dwell within the most desolate of cities![ii]

    But while Baha’u’llah spent the last forty years of His life as a prisoner, His captivity in no wise prevented Him from proclaiming His message even to the most powerful of individuals on the planet. One of the most notable features of Baha’u’llah’s revelation is the fact that He sent personal tablets and letters to a number of kings and rulers who reigned during His ministry, even those who were responsible for His imprisonment. Among these rulers was Nasiri’d-Din Shah, the ruler of the Persian empire; Sultan Abdu’l-Aziz of Turkey; Napoleon III of France; the king of Prussia, and the first German emperor William I; Francis Joseph, who served as both the emperor of Austria and the king of Hungary; Nicolaevitch Alexander II, the all-powerful Czar of Russia; and even Pope Pius IX, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the sovereign of the Papal States in Italy.

    Although outwardly a lowly and desolate prisoner, Baha’u’llah addressed these rulers with the majesty and authority invested in Him by God. Baha’u’llah wrote:

    "Lay not aside the fear of God, O kings of the earth, and beware that ye transgress not the bounds which the Almighty hath fixed. Observe the injunctions laid upon you in His Book, and take good heed not to overstep their limits. Be vigilant, that ye may not do injustice to anyone, be it to the extent of a grain of mustard seed. Tread ye the path of justice, for this, verily, is the straight path.

    "Compose your differences, and reduce your armaments, that the burden of your expenditures may be lightened, and that your minds and hearts may be tranquillized. Heal the dissensions that divide you, and ye will no longer be in need of any armaments except what the protection of your cities and territories demandeth. Fear ye God, and take heed not to outstrip the bounds of moderation, and be numbered among the extravagant.[iii]

    "And perhaps most importantly, Baha’u’llah foretold great calamities which would befall these sovereigns if they failed to recognize His station as a divine messenger and act in accordance with His instructions:

    "If ye pay no heed unto the counsels which, in peerless and unequivocal language, We have revealed in this Tablet, Divine chastisement shall assail you from every direction, and the sentence of His justice shall be pronounced against you. On that day ye shall have no power to resist Him, and shall recognize your own impotence. Have mercy on yourselves and on those beneath you. Judge ye between them according to the precepts prescribed by God in His most holy and exalted Tablet, a Tablet wherein He hath assigned to each and every thing its settled measure, in which He hath given, with distinctness, an explanation of all things, and which is in itself a monition unto them that believe in Him.[iv]"


    Reflections on the Ascension of Baha’u’llah
     
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  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    I wish you a happy holiday. Is there a Baha'i-specific way of saying this?

    I'm wondering... the German emperor William II certainly bears a major part of the responsibility for the first world war, but on the other hand, he was only the tip of a vast iceberg of Prussian militarism and chauvinism, which took, in effect another world war to be decisively defeated and removed as the defining factor in German society. As much as I despise his memory and lament the tragedies and horrors perpetrated on his command, I doubt that he alone could have turned around the system of militarized petty nobles lording it over the population that was Prussia. Speaking for my country here.

    What are your thoughts? Would WWI have been averted if a few heads of state had become Baha'i believers?
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thanks for your post Cino.

    Before WWI and shortly afterward the international community was transforming into a more responsive body.

    There was an
    Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Mohonk_Conference_on_International_Arbitration
    that began around 1911 and was visited encouraged by Abdul-Baha the Son of Baha'u'llah.
    There was also:
    The Hague Peace Conferences and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)
    The Hague Peace Conference of 1899, convened on the initiative of the Russian Czar Nicholas II, marked the beginning of a third phase in the modern history of international arbitration.

    Also the League of Nations starting in 1920:

    https://www.ichistory.com/uploads/1/0/2/9/10290322/league_free_member_samples_.pdf

    These international efforts were encouraged by Baha'is:

    Read online
    Tablets to The Hague
     
  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Yes, I'm aware of these efforts, which continue today, and which I support whole-heartedly.

    My question was more about the personal correspondence addressed at William, which indicates it would have been in his hand to prevent the wars and associated horrors, not the efforts of countless other people over decades and now over a century.
     
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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  6. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    It is a striking text.

    Maybe nowadays an analogous text would address global warming. Even a person as influential as the heads of state of today's 7 most powerful and rich countries are unable to change the course, it seems. Just like William would have been unable to prevent WWI on his own, IMO. Even if Baha'u'llah implied he could have.

    Well, I don't want to derail your thread.
     

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