Salvation

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Seeker_of_truth, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Seeker_of_truth

    Seeker_of_truth New Member

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    I have a question about the following quote:

    You ask if, through the appearance of the kingdom of God, every soul hath been saved. The Sun of Reality hath appeared to all the world. This luminous appearance is salvation and life; but only he who hath opened the eye of reality and who hath seen these lights will be saved.

    (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 389)


    It seems that Abdu'l-Baha says that only the people who have recognized Baha'u'llah will be saved. This is contrary to what i was brought up believing about the faith.
    Is that the correct interpretation?

    Thanks in advance
    -Seeker
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Opening the eye of reality...

    I think we have to be careful about what the term "salvation" means in a Christain context and not let this word and associations with it influence how we Baha'is view it...:)

    I don't think we need to be dogmatic about this as some groups but my own opinion is that Sun of Reality has appeared manifested "to all the world" and in this day that would be Baha'u'llah..

    It was also through every Manifestation in the past that the Sun of Reality appeared and also through the future Manifestations, so anyone who consciously turns away from the Manifestation of God for the time in which they live is most likely alienating themselves from the Truth.

    I read the Tablet of Ahmad and think about this line:

    Be thou assured in thyself that verily, he who turns away from this Beauty hath also turned away from the Messengers of the past and showeth pride towards God from all eternity to all eternity.


    Also this passage from Baha'i World Faith where Abdul-Baha related the following:

    The greatest happiness for a lover is to converse with his beloved, and the greatest gift for a seeker is to become familiar with the object of his longing; that is why with every soul who is attracted to the Kingdom of God, his greatest hope is to find an opportunity to entreat and supplicate before his Beloved, appeal for His mercy and grace and be immersed in the ocean of His utterance, goodness and generosity.

    p. 368 Baha'i World Faith
     
  3. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Here is a quote from the Baha'i offical website.
     
  4. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Greetings, Dave!

    Please note that the passage you quoted DOES NOT restrict spiritual progress only to those who have recognized Baha'u'llah: the Baha'i scriptures make it clear this is available to all who turn to God, through whatever path!

    I quote again a famous passage you've doubtless already seen:

    "There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God. The difference between the ordinances under which they abide should be attributed to the varying requirements and exigencies of the age in which they were revealed. All of them, except a few which are the outcome of human perversity, were ordained of God, and are a reflection of His Will and Purpose. Arise and, armed with the power of faith, shatter to pieces the gods of your vain imaginings, the sowers of dissension amongst you. Cleave unto that which draweth you together and uniteth you."

    -- (The Proclamation of Baha'u'llah, page 114)

    Best,

    Bruce
     
  5. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    I agree. "Salvation" is a term that Baha`i's understand quite differently from Christian definitions. Trying to apply a Christian definition to the word is bound to create misunderstanding when trying to fathom the Revelation of Baha`u'llah.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  6. Seeker_of_truth

    Seeker_of_truth New Member

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    How would you define salvation in Baha'i terms as opposed to Christian terms.
     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    You might want to pursue this in the comparative religion section or you could ask Christians to define salvation for themselves on their forum but personally I think it is a heavily weighted term theologically for them as there are theologies about about man's sinfulness and original sin which are foriegn for the most part in Baha'i terms...

    For Baha'is salvation probably has more social meaning as well as personal meaning... The Kingdom of God on earth has also for us an important implication which could mean for us salvation for the planet.... Personal and independent recognition of Who Baha'u'llah is has important implications also...

    - Art
     
  8. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    Here's some dictionary distinctions:

    sal·va·tion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sl-vshn)
    n.

    1 a Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil.
    b A source, means, or cause of such preservation or deliverance.

    2 Christianity.
    a Deliverance from the power or penalty of sin; redemption.
    b The agent or means that brings about such deliverance.

    The concept of "original sin" as man's state of being is totally foreign to the teachings of Baha`u'llah. Instead, man is created Noble, and demeans himself through his own actions and decisions.

    By following the injunctions of the Manifestation we are "saved" from destruction, difficulty and evil because we do not deman ourselves through our actions and decisions--we are saved from our own idle fancies and vain imaginings.

    Perdition and damnation do not exist for us.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  9. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Greetings, Scott!

    Indeed, for anyone who bothers to read Ezekiel 18, inheritance of sin is totally foreign to Judaism and Christianity, too (little as many individuals realize this)!

    Cheers, :)

    Bruce
     
  10. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Peter, hi!

    It occurs to me that you might appreciate this quote:

     
  11. Seeker_of_truth

    Seeker_of_truth New Member

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    Thanks Bruce!
     
  12. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    When I am teaching someone about the Baha'i Faith, I use a similar analogy as Bruce quoted. I say, "We all have a soul. It is an entity, with identity and form. We nourish the soul with prayer, recognition of God and good acts. In return, the soul gives us guidance and aids us in our everyday decisions. I mean every little decision, every yes/no decision we make continually throughout the day. The types of decisions that can make a day bad if we don't make a good decision.

    As we learn to listen to our soul, and abide by its advice, our life becomes rewarded with calmness. We become more able to handle adverse situations as they occur. We become more of an attractor to others and so we are able to say the Greatest Name more to others and, of course, our soul is nourished even more.

    Recognition of the "Sun of Reality" is only the beginning, but it is the first step in our personal salvation, or as Scott quoted, "a Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil." We are also told that anybody that rejects the "Sun" will do themselves great harm. Reverse the process I just mentioned and picture an undernourished soul, not able to guide an individual and this individual having to make all those decisions on their own with a 50/50 chance of chosing wrong. Could be a pretty lousy day, I would think.

    warmly,

    Mick
     
  13. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Hi again! :)

    I would say salvation means recognizing and endeavoring to follow our purpose here.

    And according to the Baha'i Faith, this purpose is twofold:
    • As individuals, we are to acquire and develop the spiritual virtues we'll need both here and in the Next Life.
    • In aggregate, we are to carry forward an ever-advancing, spritually-based civilization.
    And the purpose of religion is to show us HOW to go about these!

    Best, :)

    Bruce
     
  14. Dah-veeth

    Dah-veeth Abeja Maya

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    I was thinking of those two definitions of salvation also. For the first, I think of salvation as loving God. If you love God you are saved. For the second, the Baha'i Faith is here for the salvation of civilization.. for all of mankind, for the unity of the human family and establishment of universal peace.

    Which reminds me of this quote:

    "God's purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first is to liberate the children of men from the darkness of ignorance, and guide them to the light of true understanding. The second is to ensure the peace and tranquillity of mankind, and provide all the means by which they can be established." -Baha'u'llah

     
  15. Dah-veeth

    Dah-veeth Abeja Maya

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    Also refer to 'Abdu'l-Baha's explanation of Matthew 12:31, 32... what it means to blaspheme against the Holy Ghost.
     
  16. Dah-veeth

    Dah-veeth Abeja Maya

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    I think this topic needs a passage from Gleanings :)

    "That which thou hast heard concerning Abraham, the Friend of the All-Merciful, is the truth, and no doubt is there about it. The Voice of God commanded Him to offer up Ishmael as a sacrifice, so that His steadfastness in the Faith of God and His detachment from all else but Him may be demonstrated unto men. The purpose of God, moreover, was to sacrifice him as a ransom for the sins and iniquities of all the peoples of the earth. This same honor, Jesus, the Son of Mary, besought the one true God, exalted be His name and glory, to confer upon Him. For the same reason was Husayn offered up as a sacrifice by Muhammad, the Apostle of God.

    "No man can ever claim to have comprehended the nature of the hidden and manifold grace of God; none can fathom His all-embracing mercy. Such hath been the perversity of men and their transgressions, so grievous have been the trials that have afflicted the Prophets of God and their chosen ones, that all mankind deserveth to be tormented and to perish. God's hidden and most loving providence, however, hath, through both visible and invisible agencies, protected and will continue to protect it from the penalty of its wickedness. Ponder this in thine heart, that the truth may be revealed unto thee, and be thou steadfast in His path." -Baha'u'llah


     

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