The Humility of the Earth

tilled earth humility

Rarely do we find the quality of humility valued or appreciated in our popular culture. We do not celebrate or place confidence in the humble. Yet they are precisely the kind of people needed for the healing of the world. This, perhaps, is the meaning of The meek shall inherit the Earth It is appropriate. For the word humility is connected…

The World and the Self

the world and the self

For a work about the world as a whole, the Tablet of the World is personal: intensely personal. It reflects the fact, commented on in a previous article – that the personal is universal. The world and the self are intimately interconnected. As in many passages of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings old concepts are recast — suddenly providing new insight – new inspiration.…

Frank Wyss – Knight of Bahá’u’lláh

Frank Wyss

Frank Wyss was a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. He did not engage in physical warfare. That was not the kind of knight he was. A Knight of Bahá’u’lláh engages in a spiritual battle – primarily a battle against self. The title was granted to those who arose, in response to plans set by Shoghi Effendi in 1953, to take the Baha’i…

The Tablet of the World and Bahá’u’lláh’s Homeland

Tablet of the World and Baha'u'llah's Homeland - shrines haifa

The Tablet of the World was written in 1891 in Haifa. It was written at a time when two of Bahá’u’lláh’s followers lay imprisoned because of their faith. These two, Ali-Akbar, and Haji Abu’l Hassan-i-Amin, had been designated Hands of the Cause and the Tablet of the World starts by honouring them. The words used to do so are resonant:…

Bahá’u’lláh’s counsel to do no harm

crushed terracotta path bahji - do no harm

In the Tablet of the World, Bahá’u’lláh counsels us that we should do no harm. Incline your hearts to the counsels given by the Most Exalted Pen and beware lest your hands or tongues cause harm unto anyone among mankind.[1] The principle to “do no harm” has ancient provenance and appears in both East and West. It is attributed to…

The Beatitudes of Bahá’u’lláh

shrine of Baha'u'llah beatitudes

In the Lawh-i-Aqdas – Bahá’u’lláh speaks primarily to those familiar with the teachings of Jesus Christ. He concludes this message with twenty-one beatitudes. These, obviously evoke the beatitudes of Jesus and the sermon on the mount, and there are many similarities. But there is also a different resonance. When Jesus spoke two thousand years ago he prepares his followers —…

Bahá’u’lláh’s Message to Christians

Shrine of the Bab - Reflections off water - message to christians

The Lawh-i-Aqdas – the Most Holy Tablet –  is addressed to Christians. Bahá’u’lláh announces his mission to the followers of Christ. Almost at its outset, the call is made: O followers of the Son! Have ye shut out yourselves from Me by reason of My Name?[1] These words allude to passages such as the following from the Bible. The nations will…

Metaphors for Bahá’u’lláh: the Sun of Knowledge, the Ocean of Wisdom, the Royal Falcon

kashkul of Bahaullah - metaphors for bahaullah

Innumerable metaphors for Bahá’u’lláh appear in his writings. They enrich our understanding of who Bahá’u’lláh is. One of the most striking such metaphors appears in the Lawh-i-Maqsud. He that hath Me not is bereft of all things. Turn ye away from all that is on earth and seek none else but Me. I am the Sun of Wisdom and the Ocean of Knowledge. I cheer the faint…

The Mansion of Bahji and the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh

mansion of bahji

In a previous article we explored Bahá’u’lláh’s immediate departure from the prison city of Akka. Although absolute monarchs had ordered his perpetual imprisonment, in the end, the love those around him had for him, including government officers, opened the gates of the prison city and Bahá’u’lláh left the city. No one tried to stop him. In 1879 Bahá’u’lláh and his family…

Lawh-i-Maqsud – Principles of the Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings

lawh-i-maqsud bahji

We have already been exploring the Lawh-i-Maqsud – written in the closing years of Bahá’u’lláh’s life. In addition to the themes already discussed we find some of Baha’u’llah’s most characteristic teachings, a number of which Abdu’l Baha identifies as principles of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings. Bahá’u’lláh gives us a panoramic vista of unity among human beings illuminating dimension after dimension. The following…

If the Learned Illuminated the Path to Human Unity …

path to human unity

“The cult of [national sovereignty] has become mankind’s major religion. The intensity of worship of the idol of the national state, is of course, no evidence that national sovereignty provides a satisfactory basis for the political organization of mankind … The truth is the very opposite … It seems fairly safe to forecast that, if the human race survives, it…

Bahiyyih Khanum

Bahiyyih Khanum

Bahiyyih Khanum was Bahá’u’lláh’s daughter, the younger sister of Abdu’l Baha. She was only 6 when her family’s home in Tehran was ransacked and the family were sent across the snowbound mountains to Baghdad. It was the beginning of a life of in exile and imprisonment with Baha’u’llah and her fellow family members. We have already met her in her…