Daily Reflection – 6 Bahá (Splendor)

by hanjuthai.com

“Baha’u’llah has said that religion is dying out in every land. One of the most striking evidences of the truth of that statement is the abdication of responsibility for one’s own life on the part of an ever increasing number of people.To be no longer in charge of determining one’s destiny is to adopt a passive attitude towards life an attitude devoid of self discipline, initiative, volition, and attainment. The inevitable consequence is a yielding to the pressures of the old order and conformity to behavior patterns which hasten its downfall.

“Religion dies out when man forgets God’s purpose for him. Without a sense of that purpose, there can be no vision of spiritual destiny, no motivation to live in the present in ways that guarantee a spiritual life in the future, no reason to resist the corrupting temptations of a collapsing civilization. The rebirth of religion, therefore, means an infusion of God’s purpose for man into the affairs of men. Fundamentally, this is what the Baha’i Faith does as it spreads throughout the world; it provides the means through which each individual follower of Baha’u’llah can gain knowledge of God’s purpose for man in this day and, in collaboration with all of the Baha’is throughout the world, translate that purpose into action which will ultimately lead us to the Most Great Peace.

“If we are serious about becoming true Baha’is, if this is one of our most important objectives, then we must have knowledge of God’s purpose for man, the will to plan our lives around it, and the capacity to act. Without knowledge, volition, and action, no spiritual transformation can occur.”
(Daniel Jordan, ‘Baha’i Comprehensive Deepening Program: Knowledge – Volition – Action’)

Daily Reflection – 10 Sultan (Sovereignty)

“Pleasing and acceptable as is a righteous person before God’s Holy Threshold, yet good works should proceed from knowledge.

“However matchless and exquisite may be a blind man’s handiwork, yet he himself is deprived of seeing it.

“How sorely do certain animals labour on man’s behalf, what loads they bear for him, how greatly they contribute to his ease and comfort; and yet, because they are unwitting, they earn no recompense for all their pains.

“The clouds rain down their bounty, nurturing the plants and flowers, and imparting verdure and enchantment to the plain and prairie, the forest and the garden; but yet, unconscious as they are of the results and fruit of their outpourings, they win no praise or honour, nor earn the gratitude and approbation of any man.

“The lamp imparteth light, but as it hath no consciousness of doing so, no one is indebted to it.

“This apart, a man of righteous deeds and goodly conduct will assuredly turn towards the Light, in whichever quarter he behold it.

“The point is this, that faith compriseth both knowledge and the performance of good works.

(Revised translation of Bahá’í World Faith, pp. 382-383, provided by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice in its “Authenticity of Bahá’í World Faith and Foundations of World Unity” Memorandum dated 28 March 1996.)

 


Evening

“God is eternal and ancient; not a new God. His sovereignty is of old, not recent; not merely existent these five or six thousand years. This infinite universe is from everlasting. The sovereignty, power, names and attributes of God are eternal, ancient. His names presuppose creation and predicate His existence and will. We say God is creator. This name creator appears when we connote creation. We say God is the provider. This name presupposes and proves the existence of the provided. God is love. This name proves the existence of the beloved. In the same way God is mercy, God is justice, God is life, etc., etc. Therefore as God is creator, eternal and ancient, there were always creatures and subjects existing and provided for. There is no doubt that divine sovereignty is eternal. Sovereignty necessitates subjects, ministers, trustees and others subordinate to sovereignty. Could there be a king without country, subjects and armies? If we conceive of a time when there were no creatures, no servants, no subjects of divine lordship we dethrone God and predicate a time when God was not. It would be as if He had been recently appointed and man had given these names to Him. The divine sovereignty is ancient, eternal. God from everlasting was love, justice, power, creator, provider, the omniscient, the bountiful.” (Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, pp100-104)

Daily Reflection – 19 ‘Ilm (Knowledge)

Morning:

Knowledge is one of the wondrous gifts of God. It is incumbent upon everyone to acquire it. Such arts and material means as are now manifest have been achieved by virtue of His knowledge and wisdom which have been revealed in Epistles and Tablets through His Most Exalted Pen—a Pen out of whose treasury pearls of wisdom and utterance and the arts and crafts of the world are brought to light.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 39)


Evening:
The second of these spiritual standards which apply to the possessor of knowledge is that he should be the defender of his faith. It is obvious that these holy words do not refer exclusively to searching out the implications of the Law, observing the forms of worship, avoiding greater and lesser sins, practicing the religious ordinances, and by all these methods, protecting the Faith. They mean rather that the whole population should be protected in every way; that every effort should be exerted to adopt a combination of all possible measures to raise up the Word of God, increase the number of believers, promote the Faith of God and exalt it and make it victorious over other religions.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 39)

Daily Reflection – 18 ‘Ilm (Knowledge)

Morning:

Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 26)


Knowledge is not enough; we hope by the Love of God we shall put it into practice. A spiritual universal Force is needed for this. Meetings are good for engendering spiritual force. To know that it is possible to reach a state of perfection, is good; to march forward on the path is better. We know that to help the poor and to be merciful is good and pleases God, but knowledge alone does not feed the starving man, nor can the poor be warmed by knowledge or words in the bitter winter; we must give the practical help of Loving-kindness.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 60-61)

Daily Reflection – 16 ‘Ilm (Knowledge)

Morning:

The fourth Taraz concerneth trustworthiness.

Verily it is the door of security for all that dwell on earth and a token of glory on the part of the All-Merciful. He who partaketh thereof hath indeed partaken of the treasures of wealth and prosperity. Trustworthiness is the greatest portal leading unto the tranquillity and security of the people. In truth the stability of every affair hath depended and doth depend upon it. All the domains of power, of grandeur and of wealth are illumined by its light. 

(Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 37 )


Evening:

“But O my brother, when a seeker intends to turn the step of search and journeying into the path of the knowledge of the King of Pre-existence, he must first cleanse and purify his heart,—which is the place of the appearance and emanation of the splendor of the hidden mysteries of divinity—and he must cleanse and refine his breast—which is the throne for the accession and establishment of the love of the Eternal Beloved—from all the gloomy dusts of acquired learnings and from the allusions of satanic appearances. He must likewise sanctify his heart from attachment to water and clay—that is, from all phantasmal forms and spectral images—in such manner that no trace of love or hatred may remain in the heart, lest that love may cause him to incline toward a direction without guide, or that hatred prevent him from another direction; just as in this day, most are bereft of the immortal Face and of the threshold of meanings, because of these two tendencies, and are grazing shepherdless in the deserts of error and oblivion.”
(The Spirit of the Age, p. 163)

Daily Reflection – 15 ‘Ilm (Knowledge)

Morning:

“Hear Me, ye mortal birds! In the Rose Garden of changeless splendor a Flower hath begun to bloom, compared to which every other flower is but a thorn, and before the brightness of Whose glory the very essence of beauty must pale and wither. Arise, therefore, and, with the whole enthusiasm of your hearts, with all the eagerness of your souls, the full fervor of your will, and the concentrated efforts of your entire being, strive to attain the paradise of His presence, and endeavor to inhale the fragrance of the incorruptible Flower, to breathe the sweet savors of holiness, and to obtain a portion of this perfume of celestial glory. Whoso followeth this counsel will break his chains asunder, will taste the abandonment of enraptured love, will attain unto his heart’s desire, and will surrender his soul into the hands of his Beloved. Bursting through his cage, he will, even as the bird of the spirit, wing his flight to his holy and everlasting nest.” 
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 319-3220


Evening:
“Briefly: One must ponder over the Words of the Sun of Truth, and if they are not understood, they should be submitted to those who are custodians of the depositories of knowledge, in order that they may explain and remove the difficulty. One should not interpret the Holy Words according to his own inclination and desire, proceed to reject and deny …”
( Bahá’u’lláh, The Book of Ighan, trans. Ali Kuli Khan, assisted by Howard MacNutt (New York: George V. Blackburne, Co., 1904), Chapter 2) 

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