9 Bahá (Splendor)

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“To sum it up, the Ancient Beauty was ever, during His sojourn in this transitory world, either a captive bound with chains, or living under a sword, or subjected to extreme suffering and torment, or held in the Most Great Prison. Because of His physical weakness, brought on by His afflictions, His blessed body was worn away to a breath; it was light as a cobweb from long grieving. And His reason for shouldering this heavy load and enduring all this anguish, which was even as an ocean that hurleth its waves to high heaven—His reason for putting on the heavy iron chains and for becoming the very embodiment of utter resignation and meekness, was to lead every soul on earth to concord, to fellow-feeling, to oneness; to make known amongst all peoples the sign of the singleness of God, so that at last the primal oneness deposited at the heart of all created things would bear its destined fruit, and the splendour of ‘No difference canst thou see in the creation of the God of Mercy,’ 3 would cast abroad its rays.

“Now is the time, O ye beloved of the Lord, for ardent endeavour. Struggle ye, and strive. And since the Ancient Beauty was exposed by day and night on the field of martyrdom, let us in our turn labour hard, and hear and ponder the counsels of God; let us fling away our lives, and renounce our brief and numbered days. Let us turn our eyes away from empty fantasies of this world’s divergent forms, and serve instead this pre-eminent purpose, this grand design. Let us not, because of our own imaginings, cut down this tree that the hand of heavenly grace hath planted; let us not, with the dark clouds of our illusions, our selfish interests, blot out the glory that streameth from the Abhá Realm. Let us not be as barriers that wall out the rolling ocean of Almighty God. Let us not prevent the pure, sweet scents from the garden of the All-Glorious Beauty from blowing far and wide. Let us not, on this day of reunion, shut out the vernal downpour of blessings from on high. Let us not consent that the splendours of the Sun of Truth should ever fade and disappear. These are the admonitions of God, as set forth in His Holy Books, His Scriptures, His Tablets that tell out His counsellings to the sincere.

“The glory rest upon you, and God’s mercy, and God’s blessings.”

(Abdu’l-Baha, ‘Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha‘ p. 259-264)

8 Sharaf (Honour)

Siyah Chal, Black Pit

Morning:
XXXI: Contemplate with thine inward eye the chain of successive Revelations that hath linked the Manifestation of Adam with that of the Báb.

I testify before God that each one of these Manifestations hath been sent down through the operation of the Divine Will and Purpose, that each hath been the bearer of a specific Message, that each hath been entrusted with a divinely-revealed Book and been commissioned to unravel the mysteries of a mighty Tablet. The measure of the Revelation with which every one of them hath been identified had been definitely fore-ordained. This, verily, is a token of Our favor unto them, if ye be of those that comprehend this truth…. And when this process of progressive Revelation culminated in the stage at which His peerless, His most sacred, and exalted Countenance was to be unveiled to men’s eyes, He chose to hide His own Self behind a thousand veils, lest profane and mortal eyes discover His glory. This He did at a time when the signs and tokens of a divinely-appointed Revelation were being showered upon Him—signs and tokens which none can reckon except the Lord, your God, the Lord of all worlds. And when the set time of concealment was fulfilled, We sent forth, whilst still wrapt within a myriad veils, an infinitesimal glimmer of the effulgent Glory enveloping the Face of the Youth, and lo, the entire company of the dwellers of the Realms above were seized with violent commotion and the favored of God fell down in adoration before Him. He hath, verily, manifested a glory such as none in the whole creation hath witnessed, inasmuch as He hath arisen to proclaim in person His Cause unto all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth. 
(Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp 74-75)


Evening:
“How numerous the verses Thou didst send down unto Me, and the prayers Thou didst hear Me offer unto Thee. How diverse the revelations which Thou didst call into being through Me and the experiences Thou didst witness in Me.

“Magnified be Thy Name. Manifold trials have been powerless to deter Me from yielding thanks unto Thee and My shortcomings have failed to keep Me back from extolling Thy virtues. The infidels had purposed to turn My abode into one of disgrace and humiliation. But Thou hast glorified Me through My remembrance of Thee, hast exalted Me through My praise of Thee, hast graciously aided Me through the revelations of Thy oneness, and hast conferred upon Me a great honour through the effulgent splendours of Thine ancient eternity. To the fire Thou dost command, ‘Be thou a soothing balm unto My Servant’, and to the prison, ‘Be thou a seat of tender compassion to My Servant, as a token from My presence’. Yea, I swear by Thy glory; to Me the prison hath proved to be naught but the most delightful garden of Paradise and hath served as the noblest spot in the realm above.

“Praised and glorified art Thou. How often did adversities descend upon Me and Thou didst temper them and avert them through Thy gracious favour; and how many times were commotions stirred up against Me at the hand of the people, while Thou didst cause them to subside through Thy tender mercy. How numerous the occasions when the Nimrods kindled fires wherewith to burn Me, but Thou didst make them balm for Me; and how manifold the instances when the infidels decreed My humiliation and Thou didst turn them into marks of honour for Me…

“Verily Thou art the highest aspiration of every earnest seeker and the Goal of the desire of them that yearn after Thee….”
(Selections From the Writings of the Bab, Pages 183-186: gr6)