Exploring the Baha’i literature to “obtain a more adequate understanding of the significance of Baha’u’llah’s stupendous Revelation”… (Shoghi Effendi)

November 3, 2017

Devotions & Service

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  • Immersion in the ocean of Holy Words
  • The “core of religious faith”
  • The effect of reciting “the verses revealed by God”
  • To offer prayers with “spirituality and radiance”
  • An example of how one’s ability and capacity increase(s) as a result of saying prayers
  • Daily devotions
  • “Man’s merit lies in service and virtue”
  • Serving the Cause of God
  • How to increase one’s ability by “tenfold”
  • A “new way of life for humanity”
  • “Pure detachment and selfless service”
  • Service to the Cause “plays a particular role” in the process of gaining “a more profound understanding of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation”

October 27, 2017

Personal Growth and Development, Acquisition of Divine Virtues

Bahiyyih Khanum, The Greatest Holy Leaf, 
the "archetype of the people of Baha"
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  • Attitude to maintain while going through life
  • The object of every Revelation from God is “a transformation in the whole character of mankind”
  • Power of God operating through His Manifestation
  • Transformative effect of the Word of God
    • Need for “regular reading and study of the Holy Word”
    • “converting satanic strength into heavenly power”
    • “As the light of spirituality penetrates deep into the hearts…”
  • To be born again
  • “…turn your back to the darkness and your face to Me.”
  • “…virtues and attainments… [that] are the adornments of the human reality”

October 26, 2017

Unity of Human Race

  • Points/Images to keep in mind
    • “…fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch”
    • “The world is but one country and mankind its citizens”
    • “drops of one ocean”
    • All have been created “from one same substance”
    • “pearls from one shell”
    • Power of the “light of unity”
  • The most glorious fruit of the tree of knowledge
  • The world of humanity maybe likened to the Earth and God’s bounty to the Sun – all receive the same light but reflect it differently
  • “God has created all and has nurtured all and provideth for all and preserveth all”
  • We are all “in need of education and civilization” - to become more “polished”
  • Imitations to overcome
  • Some of the factors that need to be addressed and implemented
    • Independent investigation of reality
    • Religion should be the cause of unity “among all the creeds”
    • Elimination of prejudice
    • Harmony of science and religion
    • Equality between man & woman
    • Economic adjustments
    • Need for the breadth of Holy Spirit
  • Spiritual Unity – a “unity” that is “greater than the unity of mankind”

October 25, 2017

Progressive Revelation & Unity of Religions

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  • What is Religion?
  • Purpose of religion
  • Religions of God have one foundation
  • Apparent differences among religions – is due to our misconceptions about Absolute Truth
  • Imitations and superstitions have obscured the Reality of Divine Religion
  • Each Manifestation of God was “commissioned to unravel the mysteries of a mighty Tablet”
  • Founders of all religions are “the Manifestations of Truth”
  • Teachings of the religion of God can be grouped into two parts - spiritual and material
    • Examples of changes in social laws associated with various past religions
  • Various religions “are in reality one” – “the one reality appearing in its successive manifestations”

October 24, 2017

Human Soul, its Growth and Development, Life after Death

This life and the Next
  • The spiritual world is the “exact counterpart” of the physical world
  • Preparation in this world for the life beyond
  • What is needed in the next world
  • How can one acquire in this life what is needed in the life beyond?

 Human Soul
  • The “nature of the soul”
  • The “human soul is, in its essence, one of the signs of God, a mystery among His mysteries”
  • The rational soul, also known as the human spirit “is the substance upon which the body depends”
  • Human spirit needs to “receives the breath of the Holy Spirit”
  • The soul has “its own individuality”

Life after Death
  • “…after its separation from the body, the human soul begins to lead a new life…”
  • “The nature of the soul after death can never be described…”
  • The hour of death: “…the utmost purity and sanctity and…absolute detachment”
  • Soul continues to progress after death
  • Upon entering “the world of God, then veils will fall away…”
  • A “Blessed” soul “at the hour of its separation from the body”
  • The “state of the soul after its separation from the body”

October 18, 2017

Baha’u’llah’s Supporting Role after the Historic Conference of Badasht

Shrine of Shaykh Tabarsi circa 1935
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  • Receiving severe injuries at the village of Niyálá - consequences of misconduct behavior of a few
  • Babís who had attended the conference of Badasht
  •  Baha’u’llah recalls the incident at the village of Niyala
  • Baha’u’llah arranged for the safe transfer of Tahirih to Núr in Mazindaran
  • Baha’u’llah travelled from Badash to Núr “village by village, town by town”
  • 1848: Muhammad Shah orders Baha’u’llah’s arrest and execution
  • 1848: Baha’u’llah and Quddus faced “bitter denunciations” in the town of Sari
  • Whereabouts of Baha’u’llah, Quddus, Tahirih, and Mulla Husayn following the conference of Badasht
  • Fall 1848: Baha’u’llah visits Mulla Husayn and his companions at Fort Tabarsi
  • December 1848: Faithful to His promise to Mulla Husayn, Baha’u’llah sets out for Fort Tabarsi
  • Baha’u’llah recalls His intention to join the believers at Fort Tabarsi
  • 1848: Baha’u’llah is interrogated by a group of hostile divines in Amul
  • 1848: Baha’u’llah suffered the humiliating bastinado punishment

August 17, 2017

Baha’u’llah’s Supporting Role in the Service of the Cause of the Báb

  • Reflecting on the station of the Manifestation of God
  • Fall 1845: Bahá’u’lláh received Quddus into His presence in Tihran
  • 1847: While the Báb was in the hamlet of Kulayn, 10 miles south of Tihran, He received “a sealed letter together with certain gifts” from Bahá’u’lláh
  • circa 1848: Mulla Husayn was ushered into the presence of Bahá’u’lláh in Tihran
  • circa 1847: The Báb “summoned those twin great lights” [Quddús and Táhirih] to “seek His [Bahá’u’lláh’s] advice, to reinforce His efforts, and to prepare the way for His coming Revelation.”
  • circa 1848: Bahá’u’lláh’s first imprisonment
  • circa 1848: Bahá’u’lláh receives Táhirih in Tihran and arranges for her departure to Khurásán (north-east of Tihran)
  • Baha’u’llah recalls receiving news of Tahirih’s captivity, His involvement in her rescue operation, and arrival at Badasht
  • 1848: Bahá’u’lláh, Quddus and Tahirih reach the hamlet of Badasht
  • The Conference of Badasht – an epoch-making event, unique and unparalleled in the religious annals of humanity
    • Baha’u’llah bestowed a new name to every believer attending the conference of Badasht
    • Breaking from the man-made fetters of the past
    • Baha’u’llah describes the consternation that seized the Babís when Tahirih suddenly appeared unveiled at the conference of Badasht
    • The Guardian describes Bahá'u'lláh’s role in the historic conference of Badasht – “steadily, unerringly, yet unsuspectedly, steered the course of that memorable episode, and… brought the meeting to its final and dramatic climax.”

August 3, 2017

Baha’u’llah arose to promote the Cause of the Báb

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  • Reflecting on the station of the Manifestation of God
  • Bahá'u'lláh Championed the New Cause
  • Photo: Northern Persia - A Summer Interlude Place for Bahá'u'lláh's Family
  • Bahá’u’lláh acknowledges that the Báb is “the Primal Point, through Whom the point of creation hath been made to revolve in both the visible and invisible worlds…”
  • Bahá’u’lláh’s first journey for the Báb
  • Map: Some of the places associated with the early years of Bahá’u’lláh's life
  • Bahá’u’lláh’s amazing success in the district of Nur alarmed His uncle
  • Photo: Mirza Músá – Bahá’u’lláh’s faithful brother
  • The chief divine of Nur sent two trusted envoys to challenge Bahá’u’lláh
  • Photo: Village of Afchih
  • Bahá’u’lláh paid a visit to the chief divine of Núr “to enlighten… [him] regarding a new and wondrous Message, divinely inspired…”
  • A young dervish recognizes Bahá’u’lláh’s station in 1844
  • The province of Mázindarán and the district of Núr in particular become the first to eagerly embrace the Divine Message of the Báb
  • Bahá’u’lláh comments on His days in Núr and the receptivity of its people to the New Message…
  • The news of Bahá’u’lláh’s immediate response to the Divine Message and His subsequent teaching activities cheered and gladdened the Báb

July 23, 2017

Baha'u'llah's Life - Marriage, Family, & New Religion

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  • Bahá’u’lláh’s marriage with Asíyih Khánum
    • Families of Bahá'u'lláh and Ásiyih Khanum possessed great wealth – their daughter recalls
    • Bahiyyih Khanum recalls many years later about her mother, Ásiyih Khanum
    • Became known as "The Father of the Poor" and "The Mother of Consolation"
    • Children
    •  ‘Abdu’l-Baha confirms His mother's name
    • Asíyih Khánum's station: The ‘Most Exalted Leaf
    • Asíyih Khánum's station: 54th chapter of Isaiah
  • Marriage Certificate of Baha’u’llah
  • Bahá'u'lláh’s father experienced extreme difficulties towards the concluding years of his life
  • 1839: Bahá'u'lláh’s father passed away when He was twenty-two years old
  • Bahá’u’lláh recounts the life of His father
  • Bahá'u'lláh took responsibility over His father’s large family
  • Baha’u’llah sought neither government position nor prominence and gave abundantly to the poor
  • The Prime Minister of Persia schemed ways to possess a village that belonged to the family of Baha’u’llah
  • 1844: A New Manifestation of God in Persia
  • The First Letter of the Living is given the assignment to bring the Message of the Báb to Bahá'u'lláh
  • The Báb’s messenger finds Bahá'u'lláh in Tihran and delivers the Message
  • Bahá'u'lláh instantly accepts the Báb’s spiritual authority
    • Bahá'u'lláh acknowledges that the Báb “hath been sent down by the Will of the one true God”
    • Impact on the family in Tehran
    • Prayer by Bahá'u'lláh about the Báb

June 29, 2017

Baha'u'llah's Life - Childhood & Youth Years

  • Bahá'u'lláh’s father had an amazing dream about his Son
  • Bahá'u'lláh’s mother was so fascinated by Him
  • As a child, Baha’u’llah was a little short in stature
  • Bahá'u'lláh’s dream at a young age
  • Bahá'u'lláh's intelligence and perception as a child surpassed mature men
  • Bahá'u'lláh didn’t attend any schools
  • Seeing a puppet show at a young age and its marked effect on Bahá'u'lláh
  • Bahá'u'lláh became renowned for His learning when He was about thirteen years old
  • Bahá'u'lláh’s remarkable knowledge and sagacity during His youthful years was acknowledged in all gatherings of doctors and scholars
  • As a youth Bahá'u'lláh became well known for His unparalleled powers of exposition, yet He was courteous and non-argumentative
  • Bahá'u'lláh was keenly affected by and opposed to all manifestations of injustice
  • An example of Bahá'u'lláh’s great sagacity and insight as a youth
  • A mujtahid’s dream about Bahá'u'lláh during His youthful years – recalled by ‘Abdu’l-Baha
  • An example of how Bahá'u'lláh during His younger years chastised a famous religous leader for showing disrespect towards Christ

June 12, 2017

Baha’u’llah’s Life -- Birth, His Noble Family and Ancestors

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The Station of the Manifestation of God
  • The Primal Will of God
  • The Soul of the Manifestation of God
  • Reason for the Appearance of a Manifestation of God in a Given Place
  • The “School of God” – attended by Manifestations of God
  • The incredibly exalted station of the Manifestation of God
    • Divine Unity
    • Divine Presence
    • Examples of The lofty Station of the Manifestation of God
    • Examples of Attributes of God Revealed to humanity through His Manifestations
Baha’u’llah - the latest Manifestation of God
  • Bahá'u’lláh was born into an ancient and noble family
  • Views of the House in Tihran where Baha’u’llah was born
  • Bahá’u’lláh’s Ancestors
  • Province of Mazandaran – Home of Bahá'u'lláh’s family
  • Some of the places associated with the early years of Bahá’u’lláh's life
    • Bahá'u'lláh's ancestral home in the village of Takur
    • Village of Afchih
  • Bahá'u'lláh’s Father - Mirza Buzur
  • Bahá'u'lláh’s Mother - Khadijih Khanum
  • Bahá'u'lláh and His siblings
  • Condition of Persia (Iran) at the time of Bahá'u'lláh’s birth
  • 1889 Persia: Qajar Kings maintained the threefold functions of government, legislative, executive, and judicial – observations by Lord George Curzon during his six-month travels in Persia