August 30, 2010

An example of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s amazing patience, love and understanding …And, Myron Phelps’ book: The Master in ‘Akka

Among the early Western visitors who received permission to come were “Madame de Canavarro and Mr. [Myron] Phelps, who had been in the company of Dr. Arastu Khan on the last leg of their journey from Beirut to 'Akka. At the time of their arrival, the house which had been the residence of Baha’u’llah was fortunately unoccupied and available, and so the late doctor was taken to the pilgrim house and the two Western friends were housed in that residence. The American Mme. De Canavarro had previously been attracted to the Buddhist Faith, had become one of its ardent teachers and had spent large sums over the years in propagation of her views. She had sacrificed much in order to attain mastery of the Buddhist philosophy, and in the process had won distinction and renown. Sister Sanghamitta, as she was known, was an accomplished and well-respected member of her Faith and had a long-standing acquaintance with Western philosophy and a deep knowledge of Indian mysticism. She had translated and published the book of Buddha, in both English and French, under the title ‘The Gospel o f Buddha, and had now found the Baha’i Faith through the Buddhist Faith. She seemed to be about forty-five or fifty years old, and although suffering from physical infirmity was yet spiritually radiant and joyful. Mr. Phelps, on the other hand might be considered to be Sister Sanghamitta's spiritual brother. He professed belief in Buddhism, had literary ability, had journeyed to 'Akka with his spiritual sister and was keeping a journal of his observations and experiences. As she entered, she humbly kissed 'Abdu'l-Baha's hand. The Master treated her with the utmost consideration and tenderness as she was led to the andaruni of the Master's residence. The dinner-table discussions began next day.

August 24, 2010

The first human being to receive God’s Message brought to humanity by the Bab –- Mulla Husayn describes Its impact on him

Mulla Husayn … has left in everlasting language a memory of that first announcement by 'Ali Muhammad, the Báb. He could never forget the inner peace and serenity which he had felt in the life-creating presence of the Báb. He spoke often to his companions of that wondrous night. "I sat spellbound by His utterance," he said. "All the delights [of Paradise] I seemed to be experiencing that night. Methinks I was in a place of which it could be truly said: 'Therein no toil shall reach us,...but only the cry, Peace! Peace!'" Sleep had departed from Mulla Husayn as he listened to the music of his Beloved's voice. "'O thou who are the first to believe in Me. Verily, I am the Báb, the Gate of God.'" To Mulla Husayn, the first to believe in Him, the Báb gave the title: the Babu'l-Bab, the gate of the Gate. In that hour, the Báb proclaimed that He was the One foretold in all the holy Books of the past. He said that He had come to usher in a new era, a fresh springtime in the hearts of men. His name, the Báb, meant the door or gate. His teaching, He said, was to open the door or the gate to a new age of unity in which men would recognize one God and worship in one religion -- the same religion which all of God's prophets had taught from the beginning of time. It would be an age in which all men would live as brothers. The Báb cautioned Mulla Husayn not to tell either his companions or any other soul what he had seen and heard. In the beginning, eighteen souls must spontaneously and of their own accord seek and accept Him and recognize the truth of His Revelation. When their number was complete, He would send them forth to teach the Word of God. Mulla Husayn's long search was at an end. His own words can best describe the depth of that experience:

August 17, 2010

How did it feel to be near the Guardian -- his humility and selflessness

(Recalled by Hand of the Cause of God, Ugo Giachery. Mr. Giachery visited Haifa on several occasions and spent a number of months there.)

Humility of a kind not yet known elsewhere was one of Shoghi Effendi's many unique virtues, a humility which came from the conviction that man's faculties are not self-created but are a precious trust from God, not to be displayed or used overbearingly or with vanity. And yet he emanated true pride and dignity, such a regal dignity that raised him far above any man I have yet met or known.

When conversing with him, one could strongly sense this feeling of humility, while his ample brow and penetrating eyes reflected an inner light born of faith, courage and determination. One could feel an awareness that was amazing and rendered one speechless.

August 13, 2010

What one of the early believers experienced when he attained the presence of Bahá’u’lláh

Every time I attained His [Bahá’u’lláh’s] presence, I would find the portals of His grace and revelation open before my eyes. Each of them was a mighty proof and a precious gift. All those supernatural acts that I witnessed in His blessed presence and the immense joy which flooded my soul as I sat before Him are indescribable and cannot be recorded here... In the gatherings of the friends, if the Blessed Beauty turned his face to a person, that individual was unable to gaze upon His countenance and see the effulgent rays of the Sun of Truth. It was therefore Bahá'u'lláh's practice to look to the right side as He spoke, so that the friends might find it easier to look at His face. And if He ever turned His face towards the friends, He would close His eyes and speak...

August 8, 2010

The episode of a roving Bedouin who stole the Bab’s saddlebag while He was on His way to Mecca

One day, when the Báb had dismounted close to a well in order to offer His morning prayer, a roving Bedouin suddenly appeared on the horizon, drew near to Him, and, snatching the saddlebag that had been lying on the ground beside Him, and which contained His writings and papers, vanished into the unknown desert. His Ethiopian servant set out to pursue him, but was prevented by his Master, who, as He was praying, motioned to him with His hand to give up his pursuit. "Had I allowed you," the Báb later on affectionately assured him, "you would surely have overtaken and punished him. But this was not to be. The papers and writings which that bag contained are destined to reach, through the instrumentality of this Arab, such places as we could never have succeeded in attaining. Grieve not, therefore, at his action, for this was decreed by God, the Ordainer, the Almighty." Many a time afterwards did the Báb on similar occasions seek to comfort His friends by such reflections. By words such as these He turned the bitterness of regret and of resentment into radiant acquiescence in the Divine purpose and into joyous submission to God's will. (Nabil , The Dawn-Breakers, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi, p. 132)

August 3, 2010

September 23rd, 1911, London, Britain -- ‘Abdu’l-Baha related the story of His life in prison at the request of a reporter who had asked for an interview

We sat in a circle facing 'Abdu'l-Bahá who inquired if there were any questions we would like to ask. I said my editor had sent me to ascertain something of his prison life, and 'Abdu'l-Bahá at once related in a simple impersonal way one of the most remarkable stories conceivable:

"At nine years of age, I accompanied my father, Bahá'u'lláh, in his journey of exile to Baghdad, seventy of his disciples going with us. This decree of exile, after persistent persecution, was intended to effectively stamp out of Persia what the authorities considered a dangerous religion. Bahá'u'lláh, with his family and followers, was banished, and travelled from one place to another. When I was about twenty-five years old, we were moved from Constantinople to Adrianople, and from there went with a guard of soldiers to the fortressed city of 'Akká, where we were imprisoned and closely guarded."