May 12, 2016

How the spiritual purity becomes more manifest in a human being

Except a man be purified and sanctified from the soil of his dependence on this world, the spiritual purity will not become manifest in him. The more the mirror is clear and pure the greater will the rays and the bounties of the Sun of Truth show forth from it. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, vol. 1’)

March 2, 2016

How the “grace of God” becomes “revealed” in “the human heart”

…love of God and spiritual attraction do cleanse and purify the human heart and dress and adorn it with the spotless garment of holiness; and once the heart is entirely attached to the Lord, and bound over to the Blessed Perfection, then will the grace of God be revealed. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

February 10, 2016

Teaching the Faith is like offering “Water” to a “thirsty” soul

If a soul calls the people to the Kingdom of God according to the Teachings of Baha’u’llah, there will be many listeners.

First, one must teach by deeds; then speak the word!

One must become thirsty; then the salubrious Water be offered. No matter how delicious the Water is, one who is not thirsty will not enjoy it.

Therefore, make ye an effort, so that the people may become thirsty; then cause them to quaff from the Divine Chalice.
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet; Star of the West, vol. 5, no. 1, March 21, 1914)

February 1, 2016

Nearness to God

The essential thing and the real nearness to God, is to be steadfast in the Religion of God, to serve His Cause and to be in Servitude at the Threshold of Unity. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet, Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

January 20, 2016

Human spirit finds “eternal life” in the breath of the Holy Spirit

This spirit is one of the divine bounties, a manifestation of the Sun of Truth; but if the human spirit receives the breath of the Holy Spirit, then it is a pure spirit. The breath of the Holy Spirit is the divine teaching; in it the spirit finds eternal life. It is the heavenly light and illumines the human world by the divine qualities. Hence we must endeavour to act according to the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk at Alliance Spiritualiste of Paris, 9 November 1911; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 17, January 19, 1912)

January 9, 2016

“A person's heart must be like a child's, pure and free from all contamination.”

The hearts of children are extremely pure and simple. A person's heart must be like a child's, pure and free from all contamination. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, From a talk at San Francisco’s Jewish Temple, October 15, 1912, Pleasanton, California, USA, recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

December 19, 2015

The Divine wisdom in fasting

The Divine wisdom in fasting is manifold. Among them is this: As during those days (i.e. the period of fasting which the followers afterward observe) the Manifestation of the Sun of Reality, through Divine inspiration, is engaged in the Descent of Verses, the instituting of Divine Law and the arrangement of Teachings, through excessive occupation and intense attraction there remains no condition or time for eating and drinking. For example, when His Holiness Moses went to Mount Tur (Sinai) and there engaged in instituting the Law of God, he fasted forty days. For the purpose of awakening and admonishing the people of Israel, fasting was enjoined upon them.

Likewise His Holiness Christ in the beginning of instituting the Spiritual Law, the systematizing of the Teachings and the arrangement of counsels, for forty days abstained from eating and drinking. In the beginning the disciples and Christians fasted. Later the assemblages of the chief Christians changed fasting into Lenten observances.

Likewise the Koran having descended in the month Ramazan, fasting during that month became a duty. In like manner His Holiness the Supreme (the Bab), in the beginning of the Manifestation, through the excessive effect of descending Verses, passed days in which his nourishment was reduced to tea only.

November 29, 2015

"There are two kinds of cooperation: material and spiritual"

There are two kinds of cooperation: material and spiritual. Cooperation in the material world will insure happiness and fellowship, and will facilitate the progress of humankind; but the ideal, the most real and virtuous cooperation is spiritual. That is realized when people gather together to investigate and discuss principles impartially, to talk over the divine and philosophic principles of the age and to assist each other in pursuit of divine knowledge and wisdom. This real cooperation and mutual assistance is the foundation on which the super-structure of material reciprocity is based. Through this spiritual inter-assistance the prosperity of the world of man is unveiled. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha at a Nineteen-Day Feast in London, December 29, 1912; Baha’i News no. 33, July 1929) (To see the entire talk please visit Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

November 15, 2015

The object of Nineteen-Day Feasts

One of these means of unity and agreement is made possible in this very meeting. The Nineteen Day Feast was inaugurated by the Báb and ratified by Bahá’u’lláh, in His holy book, the Akdás, so that people may gather together and outwardly show fellowship and love, that the divine mysteries may be disclosed. The object is concord, that through this fellowship hearts may become perfectly united, and reciprocity and mutual helpfulness be established. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha at a Nineteen-Day Feast in London, December 29, 1912; Baha’i News no. 33, July 1929) (To see the entire talk please visit Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha)

November 1, 2015

Cooperation & mutual helpfulness are the basis of human society

…the members of the world of humanity are unable to exist without being banded together, cooperation and mutual helpfulness is the basis of human society. Without the realization of these two great principles no great movement is pressed forward. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha at a Nineteen-Day Feast in London, December 29, 1912; Baha’i News no. 33, July 1929) (To see the entire talk please visit Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha)

October 18, 2015

The ability to “distinguish between sincere intentions and false words”

…in this world individuals who are able to distinguish between sincere intentions and false words are as rare as the philosopher’s stone… 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘The Secret of Divine Civilization’)

September 27, 2015

"Religion is the light of the world..."

Religion is the light of the world, and the progress, achievement, and happiness of man result from obedience to the laws set down in the holy Books.
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘The Secret of Divine Civilization’)

September 6, 2015

“…a great unifying, cleansing force in the world…”

Put all your beliefs into harmony with science; there can be no opposition, for truth is one. When religion, shorn of its superstitions, traditions, and unintelligent dogmas, shows its conformity with science, then will there be a great unifying, cleansing force in the world which will sweep before it all wars, disagreements, discords and struggles—and then will mankind be united in the power of the Love of God. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, November 12, 1911, Paris; ‘Paris Talks’)

August 23, 2015

“Be constantly attached to and seek always the confirmations of Bahá’u’lláh”

Be constantly attached to and seek always the confirmations of Bahá’u’lláh for these turn the drop into a sea and convert the gnat into an eagle. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha)

August 2, 2015

Rational soul has a beginning but no end. It “is endowed with everlasting life”

As to the station of the rational soul, despite having a beginning, it has no end and is endowed with everlasting life. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Excerpt from a table talk, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre. To see the entire talks please visit ‘Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha)

July 12, 2015

The “reality of prophethood… is the Word of God” and “its radiance varies like that of the sun”

Now, the reality of prophethood, which is the Word of God and the state of perfect divine manifestation, has neither beginning nor end, but its radiance varies like that of the sun. For example, it dawned above the sign of Christ with the utmost splendour and radiance, and this is eternal and everlasting. See how many world-conquering kings, how many wise ministers and rulers have come and gone, each and all fading into oblivion—whereas even now the breezes of Christ still waft, His light still shines, His call is still upraised, His banner is still unfurled, His armies still do battle, His voice still rings sweetly, His clouds still rain down life-giving showers, His lightning still streaks forth, His glory is still clear and indisputable, His splendour is still radiant and luminous; and the same holds true of every soul that abides beneath His shade and partakes of His light. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Excerpt from a table talk, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre. To see the entire talks please visit Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

June 28, 2015

There was a time “when the earth itself did not exist”

…the various species found upon the earth have an origin in time; for it is acknowledged by all that there was a time when these species existed nowhere on the face of the earth, and indeed a time when the earth itself did not exist. But the world of existence has always been, for it is not confined to this terrestrial globe. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Excerpt from a table talk, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre. To see the entire talks please visit ‘Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha)

June 7, 2015

Human soul has a beginning but no end

Know that, although human souls have existed upon the earth for a myriad ages and cycles, the human soul is nonetheless originated. And since it is a sign of God, once it has come into being it is everlasting. The human spirit has a beginning but no end: It endures forever. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Excerpt from a table talk, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre. To see the entire talks please visit ‘Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

May 17, 2015

Manifestations of God have three stations

Know that, while the Manifestations of God possess infinite virtues and perfections, They occupy only three stations: The first is the material station; the second is the human station, which is that of the rational soul; and the third is that of divine manifestation and heavenly splendour. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Excerpt from a table talk, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre. To see the entire talks please visit Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

May 3, 2015

“Man has two powers”

Man has two powers; and his development, two aspects. One power is connected with the material world, and by it he is capable of material advancement. The other power is spiritual, and through its development his inner, potential nature is awakened. These powers are like two wings. Both must be developed, for flight is impossible with one wing. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, 25 April, 1912, Washington, D.C.; ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912’)

April 5, 2015

The arc of descent and the arc of ascent

…the material worlds terminate at the end of the arc of descent… the station of man lies at the end of the arc of descent and the beginning of the arc of ascent… from the beginning to the end of the arc of ascent the degrees of progress are of a spiritual nature. The arc of descent is called that of “bringing forth” and the arc of ascent that of “creating anew”. The arc of descent ends in material realities and the arc of ascent in spiritual realities. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre)

March 14, 2015

The “demarcation line between the shadow and the light” -- “the inner reality of man”

…the inner reality of man is a demarcation line between the shadow and the light, a place where the two seas meet; [1] it is the lowest point on the arc of descent, and therefore is it capable of gaining all the grades above. With education it can achieve all excellence; devoid of education it will stay on, at the lowest point of imperfection. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá’)
[1] Qur'án 25:55, 35:13, 55:19-25

February 15, 2015

Human “mind… has no place, although it is connected with the brain.”

Where then can one find in man this mind that resides in him and whose existence is beyond doubt? Were you to examine the human body with the eye, the ear, or the other senses, you would fail to find it, even though it clearly exists. The mind, therefore, has no place, although it is connected with the brain. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Center)

January 4, 2015

“qualities which are essential” when delivering the divine Message

O thou handmaid of God! The heavenly glad tidings must be delivered with the utmost dignity and magnanimity. And until a soul ariseth with qualities which are essential for the bearer of these tidings, his words will take no effect. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

December 21, 2014

The “divine perfections are manifested and reflected” in “the most perfect being”: “the Divine Manifestations of God”

Man… on the plane of the contingent world is the most perfect being. By man is meant the perfect individual, who is like unto a mirror in which the divine perfections are manifested and reflected. But the sun doth not descend from the height of its sanctity to enter into the mirror, but when the latter is purified and turned towards the Sun of Truth, the perfections of this Sun, consisting of light and heat, are reflected and manifested in that mirror. These souls are the Divine Manifestations of God. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

November 9, 2014

There are “stages of mortality” in the world of existence

In the world of existence—that which is comprehensible—there are stages of mortality: the first stage is the mineral world, next is the vegetable world. In the latter world the mineral doth exist but with a distinctive feature which is the vegetable characteristic. Likewise in the animal world, the mineral and vegetable characteristics are present and in addition the characteristics of the animal world are to be found, which are the faculties of hearing and of sight. In the human world the characteristics of the mineral, vegetable and animal worlds are found and in addition that of the human kind, namely the intellectual characteristic, which discovereth the realities of things and comprehendeth universal principles. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha‘  (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

October 12, 2014

“Existence is of two kinds: one is the existence of God… The second kind of existence is the human existence.”

Existence is of two kinds: one is the existence of God which is beyond the comprehension of man. He, the invisible, the lofty and the incomprehensible, is preceded by no cause but rather is the Originator of the cause of causes. He, the Ancient, hath had no beginning and is the all-independent. The second kind of existence is the human existence. It is a common existence, comprehensible to the human mind, is not ancient, is dependent and hath a cause to it. The mortal substance does not become eternal and vice versa; the human kind does not become a Creator and vice versa. The transformation of the innate substance is impossible. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

September 9, 2014

How to enlarge one’s capacity

The lights of earth are all acceptable, but the center of effulgence is the sun, and we must direct our gaze to the sun. God is the Supreme Center. The more we turn toward this Center of Light, the greater will be our capacity. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, New York, 14 April 1912; ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912’)

August 17, 2014

“Love is the source of all the bestowals of God”

Love is the source of all the bestowals of God. Until love takes possession of the heart, no other divine bounty can be revealed in it. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, New York, 14 April 1912; ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912’)

July 12, 2014

Faith & Service

O servant of God! Faith is the magnet which draws the confirmation of the Merciful One. Service is the magnet which attracts the heavenly strength. I hope thou wilt attain both. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, vol. 1’)