June 7, 2010

Early believers recall witnessing the majesty, beauty, power and authority of Baha’u’llah

Haji Mirza Haydar-‘Ali, known by Western Baha’is as the ‘Angle of Carmel’ related the following story:

A certain man … once requested the late Haji Siyyid Javad-i-Karbila'i . . ., an early believer and one of the Mirrors of the Babi Dispensation, to describe the countenance of the Bab ... and its beauty. He said 'He was unsurpassed in beauty and sweetness; I saw in Him all the goodness and beauty ascribed to the person of Joseph.' … I asked him to tell us about the beauty of the One (Baha'u'llah) in Whose holy presence the Kingdom of beauty prostrates itself and at whose threshold the most high realm of omnipotence and majesty raises a song of praise and glory. He replied, 'Know with absolute certainty that if anyone, whether friend or foe, claims that he was able to look directly into the blessed face of Baha'u'llah he is a liar. I tested this repeatedly and tried time and again to gaze upon His blessed countenance, but was unable to do so. Sometimes, when a person attains the presence of Baha'u'llah, he is so enamoured and carried away that in fact he becomes dumbfounded, awestruck, oblivious of himself and forgetful of the world. And whenever he is not carried away, should he try to look into His blessed face with concentration, it would be like looking into the sun. In the same way that the eye is blinded by the efflulgent rays of the sun, causing tears to flow, should one persist in gazing upon the countenance of the Blessed Beauty, tears will fill the eyes making it impossible to gain any impression of Him.'

I myself had this experience. During the seven months that I stayed in Adrianople, I was so carried away and dazzled [by His presence] that I was completely oblivious of myself and all creation. Fourteen or fifteen years later I arrived in the holy city of 'Akka, the luminous Spot round which circle in adoration the Concourse on High, the Sinai of Revelation unto Moses. I attained the presence of Baha'u'llah for three months. During all this time I had wanted to know the colour of the blessed taj (a tall felt headdress worn by Baha'u'llah) He was wearing, and yet I forgot to think of it every time I was in His presence, until one day He adorned, perfumed and illumined the Garden of Ridvan [the one near ‘Akka] with His blessed footsteps. The realities of the promised gardens of Paradise, both hidden and manifest, lay prostrate at that Garden of Ridvan [Paradise]. He was having a midday meal in the room which pilgrims still visit and where a couch, chair, and some items used by Him are kept. Two or three people were standing inside and several outside the room. They were all enamoured of His peerless, imperishable and glorious Beauty. I saw the taj then ... as I stood behind the friends and His companions ... its colour was green ... (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 2, p. 9)