An Important Naw-Ruz Moment!

Shrine of the Bab-Photo by Marco Abrar

Remembering an important Naw-Rúz
Moment —

“On the [day] of the first Naw-Ruz (1909), which He celebrated after His release from His confinement, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had the marble sarcophagus transported with great labor to the vault prepared for it, and in the evening, by the light of a single lamp, He laid within it, with His own hands—in the presence of believers from the East and from the West and in circumstances at once solemn and moving – the wooden casket containing the sacred remains of the Báb and His companion. When all was finished, and the earthly remains of the Martyr-Prophet of Shiraz were, at long last, safely deposited for their everlasting rest in the bosom of God’s holy mountain, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Who had cast aside His turban, removed His shoes and thrown off His cloak, bent low over the still open sarcophagus, His silver hair waving about His head and His face transfigured and luminous, rested His forehead on the border of the wooden casket, and, sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him. That night He could not sleep, so overwhelmed was He with emotion. The most joyful tidings is this,” He wrote later in a Tablet announcing to His followers the news of this glorious victory, “that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb … after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquillity has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Rúz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel… By a strange coincidence, on that same day of Naw-Rúz, a cablegram was received from Chicago, announcing that the believers in each of the American centers had elected a delegate and sent to that city … and definitely decided on the site and construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar.”
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 276)

Image: The Baha’is of Mandalay, Burma, with the marble casket offered by them for the remains of the Bab, April 22, 1898.

“On the morning of March 21st 1909, the day of Naw-Ruz, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had the marble sarcophagus — gift of the Bahá’ís of Rangoon — carried up the mountain and placed in the vault. That evening He laid in the sarcophagus the wooden casket which contained the inseparable remains of the Báb and the disciple who had died with Him. A solitary lamp lit the scene, so poignant and yet so exultant. The Báb had been cruelly maligned, cruelly wronged, cruelly put to death. His torn and smashed body had had no home for many long years. Now the heart of Carmel was receiving it forevermore. Of this event Zechariah had written: ‘Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord’. How mysteriously and indubitably had his prophecy come true. ‘The Branch’ had built ‘the temple of the Lord’, had raised His ‘tabernacle’ on His Mountain — on Carmel — the Mountain of God.”
(Balyuzi, ‘Abdu’l-Baha – The Centre of the Covenant’)

Lua Getsinger, Herald of the Covenant

“Lua in Persian means ‘Flag’, and you must be my flag and wave it in the East and in the West!” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said to Lua Getsinger when she visited Him as a prisoner of ‘Akká, a member of the very first pilgrimage from America in 1898.Stepping up to the lovely young woman standing beside Dr. Edward Getsinger, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, seeing with His spiritual vision her capacity to become one of the great teachers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, put something into her mouth, saying,”I have given you the power to speak and loosened your tongue!” Dr. Getsinger tells us of the scene.”Then, the glorious Servant of God gave an exhortation into which He put such spiritual force and emphasis that it seemed as though the very walls trembled, and we were hardly able to stand on our feet. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was declaring that the millennium had come and the Kingdom of God was to be established on earth, and that he wanted Lua to proclaim it everywhere in a loud voice.”And from the beginning, she was able to speak fluently and brilliantly and without fear in any gathering, because of the precious gift bestowed upon her by the Master. In May Maxwell’s words,”As Qurratu’l-‘Ayn was the Trumpet of the Dawn in the Orient in the Day of Bahá’u’lláh, so Lua Aurora shall wave forever and ever the Banner of the Dawn in the Day of the Covenant.” 
~By Amine DeMille, “Lua Getsinger – Herald of the Covenant.pdf

Tricia Hague-Barrett: Mushrooming in the Paddocks

Recently, I was giving some thought to the vegetable world.  I had come across a statement of `Abdu’l-Bahá’s in the book “Some Answered Questions” in which He tells us:

 

“All the elements that are combined in man exist also in vegetables; therefore, if one of the constituents which compose the body of man diminishes, and he partakes of foods in which there is much of that diminished constituent, then the equilibrium will be established, and a cure will be obtained.  So long as the aim is the readjustment of the constituents of the body, it can be effected either by medicine or by food.

 

“The majority of the diseases which overtake man also overtake the animal, but the animal is not cured by drugs.  In the mountains, as in the wilderness, the animal’s physician is the power of taste and smell.  The sick animal smells the plants that grow in the wilderness; he eats those that are sweet and fragrant to his smell and taste, and is cured.  The cause of his healing is this.  When the sugar ingredient has become diminished in his constitution, he begins to long for sweet things therefore, he eats an herb with a sweet taste, for nature urges and guides him; its smell and taste please him, and he eats it.  The sugar ingredient in his nature will be increased, and health will be restored.

 

“It is, therefore, evident that it is possible to cure by foods, aliments and fruits; but as today the science of medicine is imperfect, this fact is not fully grasped.  When the science of medicine reaches perfection, treatment will be given by foods, aliments, fragrant fruits and vegetables, and by various waters, hot and cold in temperature.”  – `Abdu’l-Bahá

 

When I was just a little girl of 11 years old going on 12, my brother, Geoffrey, was only 9 years old and always getting into mischief.  The stories I could tell you about his escapades would fill a book, and of course, that will have to wait till another time.  I only had two kinds of foods that I absolutely craved: Lollies and Mushrooms.  I loved lollies so much I could eat a 3 lb bag of mixed lollies in a couple of days. 

 

My first job after leaving school was behind the sweet counter at a shop, and I was told I could eat whatever I wanted.  Boy, they didn’t know what that consent would mean to me.  The other joy of my life, mushrooms, were instilled into me as a young child.  Fried in butter and this black gravy with heaps of mushrooms was perhaps my favorite food of all time and still is to this very day.  Yummy!  I will never forget the adventures we had in getting them for a meal.

 

My mother and stepfather liked to go on long trips on Saturdays into the countryside to look for mushrooms. Whenever we were looking out for big mushrooms growing in a paddock, we had to call out “mushrooms!” and our parents would stop the car so we could race each other to climb out of the car, run to and jump over the fence with our buckets to go collect them. I was the oldest, the strongest and the fastest, so I could get more mushrooms than my brother. We had different colored buckets and we wore old clothes. It didn’t matter much if we got dirty because Saturday was our bath day and it would be fun to clean up later. I had my bright red dress on today, and Geoffrey wore old trousers and a green jumper.

 

Sometimes we would fill both of our buckets to the brim and bring them back to the car to take home for tea. However, sometimes we would not find many. Now that was sad, because we loved mushrooms cooked in butter and in black sauce. On this day, my parents found a paddock with a lot of mushrooms in it. My brother and I were so busy picking mushrooms and had nearly filled our buckets completely when suddenly, I heard a very strange noise. A sort of Thud! Thud! Thud! 

 

Turning around, I saw the biggest red bull that I have ever seen, and it was pawing the ground and getting ready to run towards us. I yelled out loud to Geoffrey, and we both picked up our buckets and started running towards the car.

 

Flinging the buckets over the gate, and with the big red bull right behind us, my brother jumped up and over the fence before me. As he jumped over the fence, his trousers got caught in the barbed wire, and it pulled some cloth right out of the back of his pants.

 

I jumped over the fence too, and just in time – part of my skirt was ripped as well. The big red bull stopped chasing us, but only after banging into the fence, giving us a huge big fright.

 

We were both still shaking when we got into the car, and our eyes were open really wide in wonder at what had just happened to us. 

 

Guess what? We never went mushrooming without looking all around the paddock first from that day forward.

 

Something just seemed a little bit special about these mushrooms today, we thought, as we tucked right in. Yum, yum….  and each one of these large mushrooms would sit on a dinner plate. 

 

I also wonder why I get the craving for them from time to time.  Does my body require them?  Is this what my body requires to balance out the sweet intake?  

 

Abu’l Qásim Faizí: Our Offering in Prayer

Abu’l Qásim Faizí

The following has been extracted, (and title added), from a photocopy of an unsigned transcript of a talk given by Hand of the Cause of God, Abu’l-Qasim Faizi in Melbourne, Australia on November 26, 1969. It was discovered in the archives of the Bahá’ís of Nevada County, California, among the papers of the late double Knight of Bahá’u’lláh, Elise Schreiber Lynelle.

 

Our Offering in Prayer 

 

“To me, many of the hard problems of all the religions of God have been explained by the Báb, very easily. He brought these things from heaven to earth, and said this is what it means… Why do we pray? The Báb says, when we pray, what do we take to God? What do we talk to Him of, what do we offer Him? Do you offer your knowledge? He is the Source of knowledge. Do you offer Him your wealth? Do you offer Him your strength, the strength of body or mental strength? All these things are not even worthy of being mentioned in the sight of God. 

 

Therefore, why do we pray? The Báb says, I will give you an example. Suppose you want to go and visit a king. You will go here and there and ask many people: what is it that the king does not have in his treasury? I would like to take it as a gift to him. And, for instance, suppose somebody will say if you take a moonstone, he does not have it, then you will take it. 

 

‘Now, if you take the whole treasure of the world, God has it. The whole knowledge of the world He is the source of it. Strength? He is the source of Power. But the Báb says, as I advise you and tell you, there is one thing that God does not have in His treasure house, and that is NOTHINGNESS. 
Take your nothingness to Him. When you sit down in front of Him and pray, have an attitude that you are nothing as compared with God. You take that attitude, and He says this will immediately be accepted.'”

Tricia Hague-Barrett: Looking Back 31 Years Ago

Timaru, New Zealand

Timaru, New Zealand 1986

Looking back to 31 years ago when I lived in Timaru, and while searching through my boxes of papers and old articles and other worldly things that I have hoarded over the years, I found a Timaru Bahá’í newsletter (I was the editor at that time) dated October 1986. and our small Bahá’í community organized and co-sponsored a major conference on Peace. It might not seem very major by today’s standards but it was a mighty effort on the part of our community. It is wonderful to read back about our community life in those days, and this event surely pulled us all together.

 

Let me give an idea of the grand event that we co-sponsored. Prior to the event beginning, there were forty ads on radio and these were paid for by sponsors – mainly firms and other community organisations. In addition, they financed a three-quarter page slot in the Timaru Herald with supportive advertisements.  There was a  cake stall held at Northtown Mall, with peace related posters, and a Peace Seminar Stall at Stafford Mall.  Extensive advertising in the Timaru Herald incorporated local Bahá’í artist, Dave Stewart’s, exciting and inventive “Peace It Together” logo. Furthermore, there were many exhaustive meetings by the steering committee, enthusiastic support from the Tangata Whenua, organised by a Kaumatua, Mr. Bruce Toa, and catering by Maatua Whangai along with tireless assistance from another local supporter, Mr Bryan Hannam, who looked after the technical and stage management side of things.  There were heaps of encouragement and support from speakers and other Baha’i communities; these are just some of the factors and people that made the building up to the seminar itself an exciting one. Finally, there was a 15-minute Radio Caroline (named after Caroline Bay) interview with local Bahá’í’s, Danny Gresham and Tony Howie, on the Friday before the main event.  

 

Displays

 

On the day of the event, the hall was decorated by 80 “peace” posters produced by the children of two local primary schools.  Other local peace groups created and exhibited displays related to peace issues. The Bahá’í display looked particularly attractive and owed much to the loan of materials donated by the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Christchurch on behalf of it’s community.

 

Opening

 

The seminar was officially opened by Mr. Bruce Toa and members of the Tangata Whenua. The highlight of this was the presentation of three white feathers as a symbol of peace, to Mrs. Gae Cherry who had kindly agreed to speak in place of Sonia Davies – whose hectic round of conferences and meetings had finally caught up with her.

 

Plea for Peace

 

Bahá’ís Huda Melson and Afsaneh Howie, from Iraq and Iran, respectively, made a moving plea for peace between their countries by each chanting a prayer in their respective languages and then joining together for the song of the Martyrs.  It was sensational and brought tears to people’s eyes because these two countries were against each other back then.  

 

Food

 

Maatua Whangai provided lunch and afternoon “Devonshire” tea with proceeds going towards their Marae fund.  A potluck dinner was held in the evening; the efforts of Maatua Whangai were very much appreciated, especially by our stomachs.

 

Attendance

140 attended the regional peace seminar. The sessions were inspiring.

 

Dr. Neil Cherry (Left)

Dr. Neil Cherry spoke of the world situation at that time, but stressed that this was only a negative picture if we gave up. He maintained that there is enough food in the world to feed everyone with 300 calories a day in grain alone. 
 

Additional Information: 
Neil James Cherry (29 September 1946 – 24 May 2003) was a New Zealand environmental scientist.)Peace Award
On 3 December 2002 Neil was one of the recipients of the first eight Christchurch City Peace Awards given to local groups and individuals.

 

Peace Award Citation:
Dr. Neil James Cherry, ONZM (Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit)
“Neil Cherry has been a tireless worker for peace and disarmament research and education for many years. In 1985 he founded the Canterbury Branch of Scientists Against Nuclear Arms and convened the group until 1996. He was an active member of the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists and ‘Beyond War’, the Aotearoa/New Zealand Peace Foundation, Students and Teachers Educating for Peace and the Riccarton Peace Group. He was a member of the local committees of the 1986 United Nations International Year of Peace and served as the scientific member of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control from 1989-1991. He was awarded the 1990 Commemorative Medal by the government for services to peace and disarmament research and education. He has also published articles about the dangers of nuclear power and nuclear winter, and the need for nuclear disarmament. (http://www.nzine.co.nz/features/neilcherry_lifestory_part15.html)

 

Dr. Ali Danesh, Psychiatrist

Dr Ali Danesh, member of the New Zealand Bahá’í community, then destroyed racism as a valid concept. It was now regarded as an anti-social problem and a product of man’s lower nature. He said there were 4 steps by which the higher or spiritual nature could dominate, tolerance, equality, unity, and altruism (the last being an unattainable idea to which we were always striving). His son, John Danesh, reminded the session that youth could achieve great things by helping to break down meaningless traditions that cause division. The disease of the world was disunity.  For more information about this speaker: – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10578118

 

Gae Cherry

Gae Cherry’s address concerned the conflict between sexes which she said was rooted in the system. Women wished to work with men, not for them, but their talents and needs had been ignored. The assumption that any relationship involved one member being up and the other down had to be dissolved and parity achieved. Through peer relationships between the sexes, she felt that peace could come.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Look at the heart

Juliet Thompson has given us a sweet picture of the Master in ‘Akka: ‘He had sent for us that afternoon to meet Mr. Sprague and the Persian believers and, not being ready, I put on a dress I could slip into easily. As I passed the Master standing in His door: ‘I am afraid I am not dressed well enough,’ I said. He touched my arm, smiling with the utmost sweetness. ‘The Persian believers do not look at the dress, My child. They look at the heart.’
(Thompson, Diary, p. 85)

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