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Compilations : Baha'i Scriptures Part 3

241. O Children of Dust! Let the rich learn the midnight sighing of the poor, lest negligence destroy them and they be deprived of their portion of the tree of wealth. Giving and generosity are qualities of Mine. Happy is he who adorns himself with My virtues.

242. O Son of My Maid-Servant! Let not poverty trouble thee, nor rest assured in wealth. All poverty is succeeded by wealth, and all wealth is followed by poverty. But to be poor in all save God is a great blessing; make it not small, for in the end it will make thee rich in God. This condition is hidden in the verse of the Qur'an: "Ye are poor," but the blessed word, "God only is rich" shall appear, shine forth and illumine, like the true morn, from the horizon of the lover's mind, and shall be established upon the Throne of Wealth.

243. O Ye Who Boast Because of Mortal Possessions! Know ye that wealth is a strong barrier between the seeker and the Desired One, between the lover and the Beloved. Never shall the rich arrive at the abode of nearness, nor enter into the city of contentment and resignation, save only a few. Then good is the state of that wealthy one, whose wealth preventeth him not from the Everlasting Kingdom, and depriveth him not of the Eternal Possessions. Verily, I declare by the Greatest Name that the light of that wealthy one shall illumine the people of Heaven, as the sun shines upon the people of the earth.

244. O Ye Who are Wealthy on Earth! The poor among you are My trust. Therefore guard My trust, and be not wholly occupied with your own ease.

245. O My Son! The company of the wicked increaseth sorrow, and the fellowship of the righteous removeth the rust of the mind. He who desires to associate with God, let him associate with His beloved; and he who desires to hear the Word of God, let him hear the words of His Chosen Ones.

246. O Heedless Ones! Think not that the mysteries of hearts are concealed; nay, rather know with certainty that they are inscribed in clear type, and are openly manifest in the Presence.

247. O Son of Dust! Close not thine eye to the peerless Wine of the Eternal Beloved, and open not thine eye to the turbid and mortal wine. Take immortal Cups from the hand of the Cup Bearer of Oneness, and thou shalt become all consciousness, and hear the invisible Utterances of Reality. Say: O worthless ones --

248. O Ye Oppressors on Earth! Withdraw your hands from oppression, for I have vowed to pass not over any one's oppression. This is a Covenant which I have decreed in the Preserved Tablet, and sealed it with the seal of Power.

249. O Rebellious Ones! My forbearance hath made you bold and My patience hath made you negligent, so that ye fearlessly ride upon the steeds of the fire of passion in the pathways of destruction. Perchance ye have thought Me heedless, and considered Me to be ignorant.

250. O Plant of the Earth! How is it that thou wilt not touch thine own garment with hands soiled with sugar, while with thy mind soiled with the filth of passion and lust, thou seekest companionship with Me, and desirest to be directed to the dominions of My Holiness. Alas! Alas! for that which thou hast desired!

251. O Sons of Adam! "The good word" and pure and holy deeds ascend to the glorious Heaven of Oneness. Strive that thy deeds may be cleansed from the dust of hypocrisy and from the turbidness of self and passion, and thus enter the glorious Presence of Acceptance. For soon the Assayers of Existence, in the portico of the Presence of the Worshipped One, shall accept naught but pure virtue, and shall admit none but pure deeds. This is the sun of Wisdom and Significances which has dawned from the horizon of the Mouth of the Divine Will. Blessed are they who advance.

252. O Son of Delight! The plain of being is a pleasant plain, if thou dost reach it; the home of immortality is a good home, if thou wilt step beyond the dominion of mortality; the ecstasy of wine is sweet, if thou drinkest it from the Chalice of Inner Significances passed by the hand of the Divine Servant. Shouldst thou attain to these degrees thou shalt become free from mortality, affliction and error.

253. O My Friends! Remember the Covenant ye entered into with Me upon the Mount of Paran, situated under the blessed Shrine of Teman. I took as witness to that Covenant the Supreme Concourse and the dwellers in the City of Life. Now I find none steadfast in that Covenant. Pride and disobedience have indeed effaced it from the minds to such a degree that not a trace of it has remained and, although knowing this, I have endured it patiently and have not divulged it.

254. O My Servant! Thou art like unto a jeweled sword concealed in a dark sheath, by reason of which its value is unknown to the jewelers. Then come forth from the sheath of self and desire, that thy jewels may become open and manifest to the people of the world.

255. O My Friend! Thou art the sun of the heaven of My Holiness; defile not thyself with the eclipse of the world. Tear asunder the veil of negligence, that thou mayest emerge from behind the veil, be uncovered from the cloud, and array all beings with the robe of Life.

256. O Child of My Maid Servant! Guidance hath ever been by words, but at this time it is by deeds. That is, all pure deeds must appear from the temple of man, because all are partners in words, but pure and holy deeds belong especially to Our friends. Then strive with your life to be distinguished among all people by deeds. Thus We exhort you in the holy and radiant Tablet.

257. O Son of Justice! In the eve of beauty, the Temple of Immortality returned to the Sadrat-el-Montaha from the "emerald hill" of Faithfulness, and wept with such a wailing that the Supreme Concourse and the Cherubim wept because of His grief. When He was asked the cause of lamentation and grief, He answered: I was waiting, as commanded, upon the hill of Faithfulness, and found not the fragrance of fidelity from the dwellers of the earth. Therefore I returned and declared unto them that many doves of holiness are suffering under the claws of the dogs of the earth.

Thereupon the Divine Houri hastened, unveiled, from the Spiritual Palace, and questioned their names. All were mentioned save one of the names. And when they insisted, the first letter of that name flowed from the tongue, whereupon the people of the upper chambers hurried forth from their retreats of honor. When the second letter was mentioned, all dropped down upon the dust. Then came forth from the Retreat of Nearness this Voice: More than this is not permissible. Verily We were witness to that which they have done and are doing at this time!

258. O Child of My Maid Servant! Drink the wine of Significances from the Tongue of the Merciful, and behold the lights of the Sun of Explanation, without veil or cover, from the Dawningplace of the Word of God. Spread the seeds of My Immediate Wisdom in the fertile soil of the heart, and water it with the water of certainty: thus shall the hyacinths of My Knowledge and Wisdom spring up verdantly from the holy city.

259. O My Servants! Ye are the trees of My garden; ye must bear fresh and beautiful fruits, that ye and others may be profited by them. Therefore it is necessary for you to engage in arts and business. This is the means of attaining wealth, O ye possessors of intellect. Affairs depend upon means, and the blessing of God will appear therein and will enrich you. Fruitless trees have been and will be only fit for fire.

260. O My Servant! The lowest of men are those who bear no fruit upon the earth; they are indeed counted as dead. Nay, the dead are preferred in the Presence of God before those who are indolent and negligent.

261. O My Servant! The best of people are they who gain by work, and spend for themselves and their kindred in the Love of God, the Lord of the creatures.

262. The bride of wonderful Significances, who was concealed behind the veils of words, hath appeared through Divine Providence and Heavenly Bounties, like unto the radiance of the Beauty of the Beloved. I testify, O friends, that the Bounty has become complete, the Evidence is accomplished, the Argument manifested, and the Reason affirmed. Now what will your endeavors show forth from the degrees of devotion? Thus are the favors perfected unto all who are in the Heavens and earths. Praise be unto God, the Lord of all mankind!

PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATIONS

263. Praise be to Thee, O God of Names and Creator of Heaven! Praise be to Thee, for Thou hast made known unto Thy servants Thy Day, wherein the River of Life streamed forth from the finger of Thy Generosity, and the Fountain of Revelation and Unity became manifest by Thy Manifestation, to all who are in Thy earth and heaven.

O God! This is a Day the Light of which Thou hast sanctified above the sun and its effulgence. I testify that this Day is illumined by the Light of Thy Face and by the effulgence of the dawning Lights of Thy Manifestation.

O Thou, my God, and the Beloved of my heart! With the name of this Day Thou hast adorned Thy Tablet, which is known only to Thee. Thou hast called it The Day of God. Nothing is to be seen therein but Thy Supreme Self, and naught is to be remembered save Thy sweetest Name. Wherefore, when He appeared, the foundations of nations trembled, the learned were bewildered and the wise men were confounded, save those who came near unto Thee, took from the Hand of Favor the pure wine of Thy Inspiration, and drank in Thy Name, saying: "Praise be unto Thee, O Desire of the Nations! Praise be to Thee, O Beloved of the hearts of the yearning!"

264. Glory be unto Thee, O God, for Thy Manifestation of Love to mankind! O Thou, who art our Life and Light, guide Thy servants to Thy Way, and make them rich in Thee and free from all save Thee.

O God, teach them Thy Oneness, and give unto them a realization of Thy Unity; that they may see no one save Thee. Thou art the Merciful and the Giver of Bounty!

O God, create in the hearts of Thy beloved the fire of Thy Love, that it may burn away the thought of everything save Thee.

Reveal unto them, O God, Thy Exalted Eternity; that Thou hast ever been and will always be, and that there is no God save Thee. Verily, in Thee will they find comfort and strength!

265. I testify, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to adore Thee. I testify at this instant to my powerlessness and to Thy Power; to my poverty and to Thy Wealth. There is no God but Thee, the Protector, Self-Subsistent.

266. Thou art my God and my Beloved! Shower upon me, from the right side of Thy Mercy and Providence, the holy waves of Thy Beneficence, to lift me from myself and from the world, unto the shore of Thy Presence and Communion. For Thou art powerful to do whatsoever Thou wishest and Thou art ever pervading the universe!

267. I arise in Thy Shelter, and it behooveth him who seeketh Thy Protection to be under the shield of Thy Guard and in the fortress of Thy Defence. O my Lord, enlighten me inwardly by the lights of the daybreak of Thy Manifestation, as Thou hast enlightened me outwardly by the light of the dawn of Thy Favor.

268. Thou art the Praiser and the Praised One! O my God, and my Master, and my Desire! This, Thy servant, desireth to sleep in the shelter of Thy Mercy and to rest under the shadow of the dome of Thy Favor, assisted by Thy Protection and Thy Guard. O my Lord, I invoke Thee, by Thine Eye which sleepeth not, to protect my sight from beholding aught beside Thee: then increase its light by witnessing Thy Signs and by looking toward the horizon of Thy Manifestation. Thou art He before whose appearance of might the existence of power is subdued. There is no God but Thee, the Powerful, the Conquerer, the Unconstrained!

269. Praise be to Thee, O God my Lord! Every time I try to mention Thee my dreadful sins and awful crimes prevent me, and by them I find myself removed from Thee and prevented from calling upon Thee for help. But my assurance of Thy Generosity and my full trust in Thy Bounty enables me to mention Thee and ask of Thee what Thou hast to give.

O my God! I beg of Thee -- by Thy Mercy, which was before all things existing, and to which all those who are in the depths of the seas of Names did bear witness -- leave me not to myself, for it always desires to do what is wrong. Keep me in the stronghold of Thy Shelter and amid the surroundings of Thy Protection.

O my God! I do not want but what was appointed to me by Thy Power; and this is what I have chosen to myself -- that Thy good Destiny and Judgment may confirm me, and that I may be exalted by what Thou hast written and ordained for me.

I beg of Thee, O Thou, Beloved of the hearts of Thy lovers -- by the manifestation of Thy Commandments, by the depths of Thine Inspiration, by the heights of Thine Exaltation, and by the stores of Thy Wisdom -- forbid me not from visiting Thy sacred house and holy abode. Permit me, O my God, the privilege to drink from the fountain of its holy place, to wander about its courts, and to stand beside its gates. For Thou art He who is, was and ever shall be Powerful and Mighty! Nothing can be hidden from Thy Knowledge! Thou art He who has all power, majesty and glory! Praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds!

270. O Thou, by whose Name the sea of joy moveth and the fragrance of happiness is wafted! I ask Thee to show me, from the wonders of Thy Favor, that which shall brighten my eyes and gladden my heart.

271. In Thy Name, the Sufficer, the Healer, the Fulfiller, the Loftiest, the Supreme, the Baha-El-Abha!

I ask Thee by Thine Ancient Beauty, and I supplicate Thee by the manifestation of Thy Greatest Majesty, and Thy Name, around which the heavens of the Manifestations revolve; by which the waters of the oceans overflow, the full moons appear, the lights diffuse, and verily, the visible and the invisible, the mysterious and the celebrated; by which all sorrow will be turned into joy and all disease will be turned into health, and by which every sick, afflicted, unfortunate and constrained one may be healed, to suffice to heal this weary, sick-worn one of the seen and the unseen disease.

Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Conqueror, the Mighty, the Living, the Forgiver!

272. O our God, we beg of Thee by the King of Names and Maker of heaven and earth, by the rustling of the leaves of the Tree of Life and by Thine utterances, through which the realities of things are drawn unto us, to grant that the unity in the Love of God may be speedily established throughout the world; that Thou wilt guide us always and unmistakably to whatever Thou wouldst have us to do, and that we may ever be strong and fully prepared to render instant, exact and complete obedience.

273. A pure heart create within me, O my Lord! A tranquil soul renew within me, O my Hope! Through the spirit of command make me firm in Thy Cause, O my Beloved! By the light of guidance show unto me Thy Path, O my Desire! By the might of loftiness cause me to ascend to the heaven of Thy Sanctity, O my Beginning! Through the worlds of immortality cause me to rejoice, O my Lord! By the melodies of eternity tranquillize me, O my Companion! By the riches of Thy Pre-existent Countenance deliver me from all else save Thee, O my Lord! And by the interpretation of Thy Everlasting Identity rejoice me! O Thou who art more apparent than my appearance, O Thou who art hidden in my inmost heart!

274. O my God! Make Thy Beauty to be my food and let Thy Presence be my drink. Let my truth be in Thy Will, and my deeds according to Thy Command. Let my service be acceptable to Thee, and my action a praise to Thee. Let my help come only from Thee, and ordain my home to be Thy Mansion, boundless and holy. Thou art the Precious, the Ever-present, the Loving.

275. O my God! O my God! Unite the hearts of Thy servants, and reveal to them Thy Great Purpose. May they follow Thy Commandments and abide in Thy Law. Help them, O God, in their endeavor, and grant them strength to serve Thee. O God, leave them not to themselves, but guide their steps by the light of Knowledge, and cheer their hearts by Thy Love. Verily, Thou art their Helper and their Lord!

276. He is the Everlasting Being!

This is a message which We have appointed as Our meeting for those who advance toward God in this Day in which all countries are changed.

The one who reads that which is revealed in this Tablet from the direction of the Throne, and doubts the reality of meeting his Lord; verily, he is of those who deny God, who causeth the mornings to break forth!

O birds of Paradise! Hear the voice of the Beloved in these days wherein the feet of the people deviate.

On account of your advancement the Supreme Concourse hath rejoiced; but because of your not having attained the meeting, and being thirty while near the ocean, the cry of mourning and weeping has been raised by the inhabitants of the cities of eternity.

This is indeed good; that this rejoicing and sorrow seem to unite and to embrace one another in the Day of God, the Omnipresent, the Dear, the Chosen!

The bellies of the polytheists are burned by that which We have uttered aforetime, and for this reason they dissemble day and night against My soul.

Blessed are you, since ye have entered the city and attained that which your Lord, the Dear, the Giver, desireth.

It is incumbent upon you that gladness and exultation shall be manifest in your faces; so that every soul may find in you submission and forbearance. Thus it is preordained from the Pen of El-Abha. Verily, your Lord the Merciful is the knower of that which is secret and manifest!

Ye are in the shadow of My providence and under the Dome of My mercy. Verily, the sight of God is directed toward you, O ye possessors of clear insight.

Blessed are ye; those who love you and those who advance toward you sincerely, for the sake of God, the Dear, the Almighty!

God beareth witness, and those who are encircling the Throne, that ye have victoriously attained His meeting, and have circulated around the Holy of Holies of His Cause, and were present before His Face. Verily, He is the powerful over all that He wisheth! There is no God but He, the Dear, the Bestower!

By Myself! We have accepted from you that which ye desired, and We will be with you in all times.

El-Baha be upon you on the part of the Dear, the Helper!

CHAPTER FIVE
THE INNER SIGNIFICANCES TABLET OF WISDOM

277. In His Name, the Originator, the All-knowing, the Wise! This is a Book which the Merciful hath caused to descend from the Kingdom of His utterances.

It is indeed the spirit of life to whosoever is in the realm of creation. Exalted is God, the Lord of the people of existence.

In this great Tablet He mentioneth him who is mentioning His Lord; verily he is En-nabell (Muhammad).

O thou Muhammad; hear the voice which is raised from the highest region of greatness and from the lofty Sadrat elevated upon the land of Zaafaran, "that there is no God but Me, the Omniscient, the Wise."

278. Be as the blowing wind of the Merciful to the trees of the created world, and rear them up in the name of thy Lord, the Equitable, the Learned One. Verily we desire to mention unto thee that which will be commemorated by all people that they may cast away what they have and turn their faces unto God the Lord of the sincere. Verily we admonish the servants in these days wherein the face of justice has become clouded with dust, the cheeks of ignorance brightened and illumined, the shame of the mind manifested, repose and faithfulness have disappeared, while calamities and afflictions have prevailed, covenants have been violated and promises broken. In these days people have become ignorant, unable to distinguish between that which opens their eyes, and that which blinds them, that which leads them astray, and that which guides them into the right path.

279. O people, shun vice and adopt virtue, be perfect examples unto people, and become a monitor whereby mankind is preached to and admonished.

280. He who arises with steadfastness to serve the cause of God must be a manifestation of wisdom, striving to remove ignorance from amongst human beings.

281. Say! Let your word be one and agree in your opinions and make your mornings preferable to your evenings and the morrow better than yesterday. The merit of man depends upon his service and perfection and not upon the ornaments of riches, and wealth. Let your words be free from falsehood and lust, and your actions sanctified and above suspicion and pure from hypocrisy.

282. Say! Spend not the wealth of your precious lives on lustful desires and do not confine things only to your private interests, but bestow when you have and be patient when you have not. Distress is followed by affluence and confusion by clearness. Shun mendacity and slothfulness and take hold of that whereby the people will be profited, whether young or old, aged or widows.

283. Say, beware of sowing the tares of discord among the creatures or the thorns of doubts and suspicions in the pure and brilliant hearts.

284. Say, O beloved of God, commit not that which will disturb the clearness of the pure water of love or sever the perfumed ties of friendship.

285. By my life, you are created for love and affection and not for hatred and obstinacy.

286. Boast not of love to your own people but of love to your fellow creatures. Glory not in loving your homes but in loving the whole world.

287. Let your eye be chaste, your hand faithful, your tongue truthful, and your heart instructed. Abase not the glorious station of the learned and do not belittle the honor of the chief men who justly judge amongst you.

288. Let equity be your army, reason your arms, and pardon and forgiveness your character and nature. By my life, it grieved me to hear of the sorrows thou hast mentioned. Regard not the people and their actions; but look to the truth and His dominion, verily He shall mention thee in that which was the origin of the gladness of the world.

289. Drink the pure water of pleasure from the cup of the utterances of the day-spring of the Manifestation, who remembers thee in this strong fort. Spare not any effort within thy power to establish the truth with wisdom and explanations, and destroy falsehood from amidst the creatures, thus doth the dawningplace of knowledge command you from this brilliant horizon.

290. O thou utterer of My Name! Consider the people and what they have done in My Days; we have revealed to one of the Emirs that which made all the living on the earth impotent to produce the like and we asked him to confront us with the savants of this age in order to make manifest unto him the proof of God, His argument, His greatness and His authority. We did not desire in that anything save pure goodness; but, verily he has committed that which made the denizens of the cities of equity and justice lament. Thus it was judged between Me and him -- verily thy Lord is the controller, the informed one.

291. The case being as thou seest, how could it be possible for the Divine Bird to fly away in the atmosphere of explanations, after his foremost feather have been broken by the stones of suspicions and hatred and He was imprisoned in a cave built of shining rock. By God, the people are indeed great oppressors.

292. Referring to that which thou hast mentioned regarding the beginning of creation, know that this is a matter which differs in proportion to the difference of minds and visions -- shouldst thou say "Be and it is" it would be right. Shouldst thou say the same as recorded in the Holy Books, verily there will be no doubt about it; because it has been caused to descend on the part of God, the Lord of the worlds. Verily it was as hidden treasure and this is a state which could not be interpreted by any interpretation or explained by any explanation. In another place it is said, "My desire to be known made me create."

293. The Truth was, and creation has been under His shadow since the beginning which has no beginning; but this was preceded by the priority which has no priority, and by the Cause that could not be known by the learned knowers.

294. That which is in existence was before but not in the condition wherein it is seen today. The worlds were formed through the force emanating from the re-action of the active and passive principles; although the worlds are always the same, nevertheless they change constantly. Thus doth this Instructor who is greater than this great structure (creation) inform thee.

295. Verily the actor and the acted upon were created by the unresisted Word of God, which is indeed the cause of creation, and aught beside His Word was created and caused.

296. Verily thy Lord is the explainer, the wise. Then know that the Word of God (exalted and glorified is He!), is far superior to what is comprehended by the senses; because it does not belong to the nature nor essence, rather it is sanctified from the known elements and free from comprehended and high rudiments. It became manifest without an utterance made, or a voice breathed. It is the command of God, the protector against all the worlds.

297. Verily the Word of God has never ceased to descend upon the world. It is the overflowing, the greatest bounty, which was the cause of abundance. It is the being which is sanctified from what was and is. Verily, we do not desire to explain the particulars of this condition, because the ears of the objectors are stretched out that they may hear that whereat they would object to God, the protector, the self-existent. Being unable to comprehend, through the mysteries of science and wisdom, that which hath appeared from the day-spring of the Light of Unity, they therefore object and make a clamour. But the fact is that they object to that which they know themselves and not to that which was expounded by the Expounder, and predicted by the Truth, the knower of the seen and the unseen.

298. All of their objections will return upon themselves, but by thy life, they do not understand this.

299. It is an indisputable fact that there is nothing without an origin, as there is no building without a builder. This is indeed that cause which hath preceded existence which is advanced with the embroidered garment of priority though subject to renovation and production at all times, and under all circumstances; exalted is the Wise who hath created this great and noble structure.

300. Look at the world and ponder over it. Verily it will reflect to you the book of its very self, and that which is recorded therein by the pen of thy Lord, the maker, the informed.

301. That book will show thee that which is therein and upon and will distinctly give thee such explanation that will make thee independent of any other eloquent explainer.

302. Say, nature, with the whole of its being, is nothing but the manifestation of My Name, the maker, the creator, but its manifestations may differ through a certain cause of causes, which differences are indeed signs to those who perceive. Nature is the manifestation of the will of God in the apparent world. Verily it is the preordination on the part of One, the predestinator and omniscient. Should it be said that nature is the Divine Primal Will, manifested in the created world, no one has the right to object to that, for a great power is ordained therein of which the limit and essence could not be comprehended by the people of the world. Verily the clear sighted cannot see in it aught save the transfiguration of My Name, the creator. Say, this is a state to which corruption has no access. This is a being which made nature confounded regarding His appearance, His proofs and His effulgence, which encompassed the worlds.

303. It does not become thee to have regard either to the former things or the latter; but speak of this Day and that which hath appeared therein; verily it sufficeth the whole world.

304. Verily, all explanation and indications concerning such questions, will only tend to cool the warmth of being and for this reason it becometh thee only to utter in this Day that which will enkindle the hearts, and make the bodies of the advancing fly upward. He who believes today in this new creation and beholds the impregnable Truth as being the guardian and protector over it, verily he is of the people of vision before this greatest Outlook; to this the discerning and confident bear witness. Walk above the world by the power of the Greatest Name that thou mayest see the secrets of pre-existence and know that which none know of. Verily thy Lord is the upholder, the wise, the all-knowing. Be as an artery pulsating in the body of the created world that, through the heat produced by the motion, the hearts of the hesitators will be quickened. Thou hast associated with Me and seen the sun of the heaven of My wisdom, and the surges of the sea of My utterances when we were behind seventy thousand barriers of light. Verily thy Lord is the faithful, the perfect. Blessed is He who attains unto the overflowing bounty of this sea in the days of his Lord, the bounteous, the wise one.

305. When we were in Iraq, in the house of one known as El-Majeed, we have pointed out to thee the mysteries of nature, its origin, and the cause; but after we left the house, our utterances became only confined to "verily there is no God but Me, the forgiver, the generous."

306. Be the deliverer of the cause of God in such wise that through thine utterances, the tree will be set on fire and made to utter, "Verily there is no God but Me, the Mighty, the Unconstrained."

307. Say, the Bayan is an essence which seeks penetration and uniformity, -- the former is dependent on thinness, and thinness belongs to the empty and clear hearts; and the latter state is dependent on being blended with wisdom which we have revealed in the Books and Tablets.

308. Reflect on that which was caused to descend from the heaven of the will of God, the bountiful, that thou mayest know what we have desired in the depth of the verses.

309. Verily, those who have denied God and adhered unto nature as nature is, are indeed void of both sciences and wisdom, -- are they not of the erring?

310. Verily those people have never attained unto the highest station or unto the utmost desire; accordingly their eyes were shut and their thoughts varied. Had it not been for that, the chiefs of the people would have confessed in God and acknowledged His dominion; to this will bear witness thy Lord, the protector, the self-existent. And when the eyes of the people of the East became satiated and gratified through the arts, crafts and industries of the people of the West, they adhered to the effects and neglected the cause and the originator.

311. However, those who were they day-springs of wisdom had never denied the causer, the maker, and the creator of the origin of such a progress and advancement; verily thy God knoweth, but the majority of the people do not know.

312. Under the circumstances it will be advisable to mention in this Tablet some of the words of the wise people and savants for the sake of God, the ruler of names, that through such words the eyes of the servants may be opened and they may thus believe that He is the maker, the potent, the originator, the producer, the all-knowing, the wise.

313. Although it is at present considered that the savants of today have been the most important element and factor in the influence and progress of arts and sciences, yet, if with a discerning eye such matters are examined and investigated, it will positively appear that the great part of knowledge and arts was taken from the seers of old, who were indeed the means of laying the solid foundation of wisdom, facilitating its building up, and strengthening its basis; thus does thy Lord the ancient inform thee.

314. Not only that, but also the ancients had received their sciences from the prophets who were the day-springs of the divine wisdom and the manifestations of the heavenly mysteries.

315. From among the people some have attained unto the pure and clear water of their utterances, and others have only drunk the sediments of the cup; every one receiving his share according to his own capacity, -- verily He is the equitable, the wise.

316. Empedocles who was famous in wisdom was a contemporary of David. Pythagoras was a contemporary of Solomon the son of David. Both received wisdom from the source of wisdom (Solomon). Pythagoras was the one who thought that he had heard the rustling sound of the Ark and thus attained unto the station of authority. Thus doth thy Lord, if He will, detail every matter; verily He is the omniscient, the encompasser.

317. Verily the foundation and origin of wisdom were the prophets themselves; but the inner significances and mysteries of wisdom became diversified according to the differences of vision and reasoning powers of people.

318. We will inform thee of a report of a day whereon one of the prophets hath spoken among the people of that of which He was taught of the powerful, -- verily thy Lord is the inspirer, the mighty, the impregnable. When the springs of wisdom and utterances had gushed forth from the source of His explanations, and the exhilaration of the wine of knowledge had taken possession of those who were standing at His door, they said, "Now we are filled with the spirit." From among the people were some who had accepted this statements and various utterances and thus they became leaders followed by others. Verily should we wish to mention their names and give all that concerns them in full detail it would take a long time and cause us to deviate from the intended point in view -- verily thy Lord is the wise, the all-knowing.

319. And from amongst them some others have drunk the sealed wine which was opened by the key of the tongue if the day-spring of the signs of thy Lord, the mighty, the bounteous.

320. Say, philosophers have never denied the Ancient; rather the majority of them passed from this life in deep grief because of not knowing Him, as was testified by some of them. Verily thy Lord is the informer, the learned one.

321. Consider Hippocrates! He was one of the greatest philosophers, and yet he believed in God and acknowledged His dominion! After him came Socrates. He was a wise, virtuous and devout man. He devoted his life to developing spirituality -- admonishing the people to shun passion and lust; setting aside the seductions of the world, he secluded himself in a cave in the mountain, and prohibited the people from worshipping idols. He taught them the way of the Merciful, until at the ignorant ones assailed him, took him and slew him in a prison. Thus doth also the swift pen relate to thee what a clean and acute sight that man had in philosophy! Verily he was the master of philosophy and a very wise man.

322. We do indeed testify that he was the "Knight of Wisdom" to which he became a steady and permanent servant, thus rendering a more important service than any other philosopher. He was an able man, and had a thorough knowledge of all the sciences of that day, as known amongst the people, and also of that which was hidden and beyond the limit of their knowledge. He had, as it were, a sip of this Greatest Sea when it overflowed with this pure and brilliant water. He is the one who became acquainted with the specific and uniform nature which controls the world and which, in the order of things, bears the same relation as does the spirit to the body of man. On these transcendent problems he gave special comments, which, if the savants of today were asked to demonstrate, they would prove incapable even in comprehending: Verily thy Lord speaketh the truth, but the majority of the people do not understand.

323. After Socrates came the divine Plato. Verily, he was the disciple of Socrates and he sat on the chair of wisdom after him. He confessed his faith in God and His signs, which are the guardians over what man was and is.

324. Then came Aristotle, the famous wise man. He was the one who discovered the theory of motion. All of these were of the chiefs and leaders of the people, and all of them confessed God and acknowledged the Ancient in whose grasp the reins of science were held.

325. I will also mention unto thee that which was said by Pliny, who, in his Natural History, was conversant with what Kikmat (the father of wisdom, Socrates) had said regarding the mysteries of creation. Thus all may become assured of what We have revealed unto thee in this illustrious Tablet, which, if pressed with the hands of justice and knowledge, would give vent to the Spirit of Life for the quickening of whosoever is in the contingent world. Blessed is he who swims in this sea and praises his God, the mighty, the beloved.

326. The fragrance of inspiration hath been diffused from the Verses of thy Lord, in such a manner that they could not be ignored by any one save by him who is deprived of hearing, sight, reason, and all human senses. Verily, thy Lord testifieth but the people do not know or understand. He was the one who said, "I am Pliny, the wise, the performer of miracles and charms." He is the one by whom arts and sciences were spread, such as were not produced by others. He was the one who ascended to the heights of humility and supplication. Hearken unto that which he said in his prayers before the Independent, the Exalted; "I arise between the hands of my Lord, mentioning His favors and bounties, and describing Him as He desireth Himself, that I may be a mercy and guidance to those who accept my words." He also continues saying: "O Lord, thou art God, and there is no God but thee. Thou art the creator, and there is no creator but thee. Strengthen me and uphold thou me, for my heart is trembling, my limbs are shivering, my mind is lost, and my reason is extinguished. Therefore, give me power, and let my tongue speak that I may utter that which is wisdom. Thou art the Omniscient, the Wise, the Ancient, the Compassionate." Verily he was the sage who became conversant with the mysteries of creation, and of the signs and token which were hidden in the Tablets of Hermes.

327. Verily, we do not desire to mention more than we have: rather we say that which the Spirit hath imparted to us, "There is no God but He, the All-knowing, the Mighty, the Protector, and Powerful and Extolled."

328. By my life! This is a day wherein the Sadrat doth not desire but to utter to the world, "There is no God but Me, the Peerless, the Informed." Had it not been for My love unto thee, I would not have mentioned what is herein. Know, therefore, this station! Then keep it as thou keepest thine own eyes and be grateful.

329. Thou, indeed, knowest that we have never read the books of the people, or ever become conversant with what they know of science. But whenever we wish to mention anything concerning the utterances of the learned and wise, -- that which is in existence and that which books and tablets contain, become manifest before the face of thy Lord in a clear Tablet. Thus we see and then write what we see. Verily, His knowledge encompasseth the heavens and earth. This is a Tablet wherein is written by the Hidden Pen the science of what was and is, and of which there has been no interpreter save my wonderful tongue.

330. As to what My heart is and the concerns thereof, God hath assuredly made it free from all conceptions of the learned and pure from all utterances of the sages. Verily, it speaketh of God alone. The tongue of greatness bears witness thereof in this clear Book.

331. Say, O people of the earth! Beware lest the mention of wisdom withhold you from the Day-spring and the Dawning-place thereof. Cling to your Lord, the protector, the wise! Verily we have ordained unto every land a destiny, unto every hour a fate; unto every utterance a time, unto every circumstance a word. Consider the case of Greece! Verily, we made it the center of wisdom for a long period. But when the time of its end came, its throne became levelled, its tongue dumb, its lamp extinct, and its standard reversed. Thus we give and take away. Verily thy Lord is the taker, the giver, the mighty, the potent.

332. We have committed to the charge of every land the Sun of Knowledge so that when the time comes, from it will beam a command on the part of God, the all-knowing, the wise. Should we wish to enumerate unto thee every tract of land in the earth, and that which is therein and what has appeared out of it, verily, we are able to do so; for the knowledge of thy Lord hath indeed encompassed the earth and heavens.

333. Then know that the ancients have produced that which the modern sages have not produced. Among the former was Martos who invented a machine to convey sounds a distance of sixty miles. Not only he, but also others have discovered many wonderful things such as the people of this never saw. Verily thy Lord maketh to appear in every country that which He desireth, as a wisdom on His part. He is indeed the controller, the wise!

334. He who is a true philosopher, never denies God and His authority which is the protection against all the world. In truth some sages have produced that which the people have profited by, and we have upheld them by a command on our part. Verily, we are able to do this! Beware, O ye my beloved, lest ye deny the supremacy of my sages, the servants whom God hath made the day-springs of His name, the creator amidst the worlds! Make an effort that from you may appear arts and the things whereby everyone, whether young or old, may profit. Verily, we are quit of the foolish and ignorant ones who think that wisdom is confined to speaking of desires and passions or to turning away from God, the Lord of the worlds, as we hear the same today declared by those who are heedless.

335. Say, the beginning of wisdom and knowledge and its origin, is to confess and acknowledge that which God has made manifest -- because through it, order has been firmly established and thus become a coat of mail for the preservation of the body of the world. Ponder over this, that ye may know what was uttered by My supreme pen in this magnificent Tablet!

336. Say, everything that relates to order or rule, of which ye debate and discuss, has been derived from every word of the words which have been revealed by the Might of His utterance, who is the potent, the impregnable.

337. Thus we have related unto thee that which will gladden thy heart and console thine eye, that thou mayest arise with steadfastness to serve the cause amongst the people of the world.

338. Say, praise be to God, O God, My God! I ask Thee, by Thy Name, whereby the light of wisdom hath shone forth when the atmosphere of His utterances has moved amongst the creatures, to strengthen me by Thy powers, and make me commemorate Thy name in the midst of Thy servants.

O God, I have turned my face unto Thee, cutting myself from aught beside thee, and taking hold of the hem of Thy garment and of Thy bounty. Cause me, therefore, to utter that which will draw the minds and make the souls and spirits soar upwards. Then uphold me in Thy cause, in such wise that I may not be hindered either by the influence of the oppressors, or by the power of the unbelievers of the inhabitants of Thy kingdom. Make me as a lamp in the midst of Thy realm which will guide all those in whose hearts the light of Thy knowledge doth exist, and in whom Thy love is planted. Verily thou art the powerful over that which thou willest, and in Thy grasp is the kingdom of creation.

There is no God but Thee.
TABLET OF JOSEPH

339. O Joseph! My demonstration was brought to its fulness and completion for all that are in Heaven and on earth, before I made myself known, because it appeared with such wonderful condition that no one could find any way to delay or oppose.

340. Meditate upon the nations of former ages, and why they were excluded from approaching the shore of God, and prevented from the beauty of the eternal majesty. If thou lookest with clear insight thou wilt perceive that all are deprived of the bounty of God, on account of the veils of words, imaginations, and invented proofs. In the day of God, though the beauty of God was like the sun in the heaven, shining and radiating, still they were veiled on account of their superstitions and imaginations. Notwithstanding they were commanded in all the Tablets not to cling to anything between earth and heaven in the time of the Manifestation, but to adhere only to the root of the Cause and that which is manifested through Him, yet they deviated from the right path, and adhered to the idea that the way to know God (who is exalted and holy above all), depends upon believing and disbelieving the people. Woe upon them! Being remote (from God) because of their willingness to know God through that which is beside Him! This is impossible, because the ancient essence is known by Himself and all things which are known are made possible through that which flows from the Pen of His command. Exalted is He! That He should be known through that which is beside Him is impossible, because, verily all else beside Him was created as thou art.

341. In this day all those on earth and in heaven, are viewed (by God) as being in one region. Every soul which is cut wholly from all else save Him and soaring to the heaven of knowing Himself (God), that soul is and will be of those who are faithful to God and is of His saints even though he should not be known by others. And he who denies (or rejects) will be considered as one of the lowest of the creatures in the sight of God, even if he is of the chiefs among the people; because God (exalted is His mention!) hath never been and never shall be related or attributed to any one of the creatures.

342. All (people) were created alike by the (the blow of the) breath of His command, and the loftiness, exaltation and debasement appeared among the people after they had been created.

343. Every soul who accepts the word of God while hearing it, verily he is of the inhabitants of the supreme kingdom and of the confirmed ones in the paradise of Abha, and those who do not are mentioned as the people of Hades.

344. In this day, if any one desires to be in relationship with the tree of the Cause, he must withdraw himself from all that is in heaven and on earth, and advance toward the great aspect (God) with a pure and shining heart and a sanctified soul.

345. Now, if any soul desire to know God (exalted is His Majesty!) through other means, he will never succeed, and will never understand; because all beside Him are limited with the (evident) limitations of possibilities and are brought unto existence by (His) power of creation.

346. Through that which is created and limited the Essence of the Ancient was not and never will be known.

347. Hear the Lordly commandments and the tones of the eternal holiness, and turn from the left hand of uncertainty and superstition to the right hand of assurance; ponder carefully with thine insight upon the manifestations of God and the conditions of eternal holiness; cleanse the eye from unsatisfying views, that thou mayest see the manifestations of the majestic oneness in everything; purify thine ear from the saying of all the people, that thou mayest hear the holy and God-like tones from all directions and sanctify thy heart from the confused worldly allusions of the past, that thou mayest perceive the plain, direct, wonderful words revealed, and victoriously succeed to the stream of eternal holiness and the pure wine which has no likeness. This is the command of JAMAL EL QUEDAM (The beauty of the ancient) to thee.

348. Concerning what thou hast asked about the (beginning of the) creation (its) end, assembling, resurrection, path, paradise and fire, know verily that all are true and that there is no doubt about them, and he who is faithful and has clear insight can see with his inward and outward eyes all these ranks and stations in every time, because, such an one will be, in any time, neither prevented from the bounty, nor excluded from what he wishes.

349. If thou soarest unto the heaven of goodly bounty, thou shalt see the sign of God manifested in all manner of things brought into existence in every time, whether of the past or the future; because, verily, the bounty of God hath never been nor ever will be specialized in any one thing.

350. The explanation of what God intended by the (words) assembling, resurrection, paradise, fire, etc., which are mentioned in the divine Tablets, is found only and especially at the time of the Manifestation; for example, at the time of the Manifestation the tongue of God utters the Word, and through the Word, which comes forth from His mouth, the paradise, fire, assembling, resurrection, path and all that thou hast asked, and that which thou hast not, will be disclosed and manifested.

351. Every soul who sincerely accepts the Word of God, hath verily passed through the (right) path and succeeded in approaching the paradise of (God's) pleasure, and hath assembled with those who are near to God, -- the chosen ones.

352. He, in the presence of God, will be considered as one of the inhabitants of the Paradise and of the confirmed ones of the Supreme Kingdom; and every soul that rejects is in fire and considered as one of those who are in relationship with denial and Sejjin (Hades) and assembled in the shadow of the polytheists.

353. That which has (just) been mentioned, represents all these stations which in the time of the Manifestation appear through the Word.

354. But the souls who succeed in attaining the pleasure of God and believing in His cause, will gain the reward of their deeds in the world to come, after their spirits leave their bodies; because all seen things in their world are not ready (nor able) to bear more than that (which has been given to them).

355. Though the worlds of God are circulating around this world, yet for each soul in any of these worlds (there is) a fixed and pre-ordained command.

356. Do not think (or imagine) that anything mentioned in the Books of God is false and foolish; verily God is exalted above all that.

357. I swear by the sun of the horizon of the meanings, that there are for ever and ever many divine paradises which have no equal nor comparisons.

358. In (this) the first life the meaning of paradise is pleasing God, and entering His Cause!

359. But after departing from this world the faithful ones will enter into paradises which have no likeness, and enjoy winning graces which are beyond comprehension: verily those paradises are the fruits of their deeds which they have accomplished in this world.

360. Dost thou not see that if any one of God's creatures serves the other, or performs work for him, he receives his reward and compensation for it? Then how can it be said that the All-generous commandeth His creatures (to do according to) His ordinances and after that excludeth them from His Mercy?

361. Praised is He, and praised is He above that; exalted is He, and exalted is He above what the creatures imagine about Him!

362. In this day, all those ranks (asked about) are witnessed; therefore, blessed is the soul who victoriously succeedeth in attaining the Paradise of Abha, which is, was and ever will be supreme of all paradises.

363. If purified ears and matured souls shall be found, then continually will be mentioned that which is from the wonderful bounty of God; that all may be purified and emptied of all that they perceived, understood or witnessed; and advance toward the highest aspect.

364. But of what benefit is this! since through all the training of the point of the Bayan (the souls of all beside Him be a sacrifice for Him!), these creatures have not progressed from the seed to the first station of the embryo; therefore, when will they reach the condition of the body? And beside all these there are several stations which have not been mentioned. Woe upon those who changed the grace of God that was bestowed upon them, so that by their being in existence, the heaven of meanings was prevented from mentioning them (the stations), and their conditions!

365. Thus ponder carefully upon the conditions of these creatures and be one of their witnesses.

366. The paradise and fire in the apparent life, were and will ever be, the acceptance and the rejection; and after the ascension of the spirit, there are paradises which have no equal and also fire which has no likeness, which are the fruit of the deeds of the advancer and the opposer, who will be in such condition; but no soul understood or ever will understand these stations save God.

367. And for the faithful one (the believer) many stations were created, above what was heard; this is from the wonderful gifts of God, which are prepared in the Paradise of everlasting majesty. In the same way stations were created for the denier, of eternal and everlasting torment beyond what was heard.

368. Hereby we bear witness, that the path is lifted up in truth, the balance is laid in Justice, the manifestation assembled, the hidden issues disclosed, the clarion pealed, the trumpet sounded, the fire burst forth, the paradise approached nearer, the proclaimer announced, the heavens rolled together as a scroll, the ground leveled, the breeze of God wafted, the Spirit of God sent, the beauteous damsels adorned, the youths beautified, the mansions assured, the securities of the upper apartments (of Paradise) inlaid with precious stones, the waters overflowed, the fruits hung low, the fruits plucked, the texts revealed, the deeds of the deniers effaced, the deeds of the advancers confirmed, the Tablet which kept in Heaven manifested in truth, the written Tablet pronounced with authority, and the Desired One of all existence, the beloved of all creatures, the worshipped of those on earth and in heaven, hath been manifested in the temple of a Youth, with the tongue of everything declares, "Verily, blessed is God, the creator of the creatures."

369. O my servant! O Joseph! hear the tones of God, and do not compare this day with any other day, neither the wonderful sweet words of God with any other words; look to the apparent matters with thine own eye, and do not follow any one in knowing the great and brilliant Orb.

370. In this day, the beloved of God must not hesitate or delay an instant in teaching the Cause of the manifestation; and reconciling words to the religion of majestic oneness; because, verily, in this day, to the soul who is the cause of guidance to another soul the recompense of a martyr in the way of God will be assuredly recorded by the pen of the Cause for his deed.

371. This is from the bounty of God unto thee. Do according to what thou hast been commanded and do not be of those who tarry.

372. And El-Baha is upon thee and upon those who are with thee, if thou art steadfast in this sublime and most exalted Cause.

TABLET OF THE MANIFESTATION

373. In the name of God! The Most Holy, the All-knowing! The Mighty!

374. O thou who art gazing toward the direction of God and submerged in His Nearness and Good-pleasure!

375. Know thou that, verily, the "Manifestation" is not composed of the four elements (earth, fire, air and water), nay, rather, He is the Mystery of Oneness, of the Ancient Identity, the Eternal Essence and the Unknowable Reality, and that, verily, He can never be known by any other save Himself. Therefore, one can never realize that He hath appeared from any of the four elements, or from any of the substances mentioned by the tongues of philosophers, or from any of the four expressions of nature, such as heat, cold, dry and wet, inasmuch as all these are created by His command and will, which has ever been and shall ever be separate and apart from all else; even as He is now, in truth, on the throne of excellence and in revealed verses unto thee, which are creative in kindling the fire of Love within thy heart.

376. Is there anything endowed with utterance in the world that may be able to speak with Him? Or any revealer to arise with Him in His Cause? Or any existing to claim the existence for himself? No, by thy Lord, the clement! All are evanescent and as nothingness! Were one to be known by any beside Him, it would never be proven to have its essence sanctified from any similitude, its identity purified from likeness and its singleness from any created appearance.

377. He is a sea upon which no one can sail, inasmuch as all that thou mayest see in heaven and earth is created by His Word.

378. By Myself, the True One! Were His servants to know Him as He is to be known, they would all sever themselves from everything, and would make themselves subject to Him, their King, and the sultans would abandon their crowns and hasten toward His direction in the path of His good-pleasure; but since He was hidden from them, they have fixed their gaze upon others beside, and are flying with the wings of eagles, in the sky of their superstitions and imaginations.

379. Testify thou with thine essence, then with thyself, and then with thy tongue, that, verily, there is no God but He! No other save Himself can know Him, and no one can ever approach Him! Verily, He is not a Manifestation in Himself, but rather He is a Manifestation in His Identity, and this is what We have mentioned to thee in the Divine Mystery, and in the Eternal Essence.

380. As to the bodies, verily, they are as thrones for His Manifestation, of which no one is informed save Himself. These bodies, although they have appeared in the world of creation, in the temple in which ye have been informed of them (Moses, Jesus, etc.), yet were ye to gaze upon them with the eye of reality and innate consciousness, ye would testify that although they are created from the elements, yet they are sanctified from them to such an extent that there is no similitude between them.

381. Consider the diamond -- can the stone be compared to it? Thus hath appeared in the Bayan, from the presence of thy Lord, the mighty, the powerful, the potentate! Were they not to be their temples, the bodies of His servants would not have been created. Wert thou minutely to consider, thou wouldst find that, verily, all in heaven and earth are created from their outward temples, and that all of the worlds of thy Lord seek help from the appearance of the Manifestation of God, the protector, the self-subsistent!

382. In every world, He appears according to the capacity of that world. For example, in the world of spirits He manifests Himself to them and appears unto them with the signs of Spirit. So, likewise, in bodies, in the world of names and attributes; and in the worlds which are not known to any save God. All of these worlds have their position from this Manifestation. He appears unto them in His form, so that He, their Lord, may direct them, and draw them nearer to the seat of His Command, and cause them to attain to that which was ordained for them. As His Reality is not known, so likewise all that is related to Him is not known, except to a certain degree.

383. Think over thine own identity. Would it not consist in the expression and order of the five senses? Otherwise the limbs would become inactive; the eye would never see, the ear would never hear, the tongue would never speak, the hand would never grasp and the form would never move, -- although He sways and rules over all, for God has made the use of all dependent upon Him. Yet He sees through the eye, hears through the ear, and speaks by the tongue. Wert thou to reflect upon this, thou wouldst find even this to be His Guidance in such manner that His dignity is not defective through these attachments and instruments.

384. Consider a goldsmith; verily, he makes a ring, and although he is its maker, yet he adorns his finger with it. Likewise God the Exalted, appears in the clothing of the creatures. This is through His favor, so that His servants may not flee from Him, but that they may approach Him and rest in His Presence, hear His wonderful melodies and be benefited by that which proceeds from His mouth, and by that which He reveals unto them from the heaven of His Will. There is wisdom in this. Wert thou to reflect upon it with the duration of God, thou wouldst discover at every moment that which thou hadst not found before.

385. Verily, were God the exalted to appear in His (proper) grade and form, and in a manner befitting His Station, no one could ever approach Him or endure to be near Him.

386. For example, consider the throne, the seat and the chair. All of these are made by certain of His creatures, through the confirmation which descends upon them from the heavens of His grace and the clouds of His bounty. He establishes Himself upon them. Before He is seated no one knows them, or considers them important, for they find them simply articles made by their own hands; but when He is established upon them every relation is cut from them and they become the Throne of the Merciful God, and the realities of all things that are created in heaven revolve around them. Then only the most discerning, the most perceiving of the perceiving, can realize their value.

387. Every one who is endowed with a clear insight will behold that They (the Manifestations) were created before the creation of heaven and earth, and that this has ever been the Throne of the Merciful, and will forever be as it was; that there is no relation, connection, similarity or reference between that Throne and all else save it, and that all things testify with their inmost tongue; "Verily, these (bodies) are the Thrones of the Merciful One." They have no like in creation, nor any equal in the world of emanation. From their elements all have appeared in such wise that thou wilt find that, verily, from their Fire the fire hath appeared in the universe and hath spoken in the Blessed Branch of Unity, in the lofty Sinai of Moses the Interlocutor, and that from their Waters thou findest every soul living and immortal. So, likewise, after this manner, consider its other elements; but with manifest certainty. This was the mention of the place whereon He was established. How much above this, then, will be the station of His Chair, and that upon which He stands? (The prophets.) All that which We have revealed and mentioned unto thee in this Tablet is according to the language of the people of creation; otherwise, by the One in the grasp of whose power are all things, verily, We have utterances concerning this station such as are not befitting to mention in these days, during which the people have differed, and have cast the Lord of Lords behind them, and have made an idol by the hands of lust, and have circled around it and become of those who are attached to it.

388. Blessed art thou for that which God hath desired for thee, because thou hast walked in the path of His good-pleasure until thou hast presented thyself before His Face, the shining, the radiant!

389. His Manifestation for His creatures has ever been through His creatures, just as He manifested Himself unto thee in truth, and delivered thee from the depths of the suggestions of those who have denied God and have striven with Himself, and at every moment have taken for themselves other gods than God, and are of the people of oppression and error in the Manifest Book of Might. Wert thou to be submerged in the sea of power and might thou wouldst surely know, verily, God, who is wonderful to make even one of these things made by Him, to be the maker of all that which He desires. There is no God but He, the Powerful, the Mighty! Every power is in this, wert thou to reflect! Every grace is in it, wert thou of those who perceive! I beg of God to manifest His Cause in all countries, and that the servants may attain such a position that He may explain to them that which He desires, without veiling or concealment; that He may teach them the wonders of His knowledge and provide them with the fruits of the tree of His grace and beneficence, and that all may become affluent through His affluence, and that all may become powerful through His power, the impregnable, the high and inaccessible!

390. By the One, through whose command all are moved, had I found the people as We created them, I would have opened a door of doors of mercy and inner significances, so that they would behold all the mysteries with their eyes, and subdue all lands through the names of their Lord. But thou beholdest the creatures, and hearest that which proceeds from their mouths; therefore the bounty is restrained, except so many of its drops as thou hast discovered. Verily, thy Lord witnesseth and is well informed thereof. Were We to manifest Ourselves more than that which We have manifested, dogs and deniers would surround Us.

391. Thus hath the Cock of the Throne crowed and the Dove cooed. Beware, that thou mayest be of the thankful. Praise be unto God, the Lord of the creatures!

DISCOURSE OF THE TEMPLE

392. This is the Sura of the Temple which God has made the mirror of His Names between the earth and heaven and the sign of His remembrances among the people of the world.

393. He is the Wonderful, the Most Glorious!

Glory be to Him who hath caused the signs to descend to those who perceive!

Glory be to Him who hath caused the signs to descend to those

who understand!

Glory be to Him who guideth whomsoever He wisheth to His path! Say, verily, it is the path of God to those who are in heaven and on earth: Blessed are they who hasten toward it.

Glory be to Him who hath caused signs to descend to those who know!

Glory be to Him who speaketh from the might of command, and who is not known to any save his noble servants.

Glory be to Him who elevateth whom He willeth to the heaven of bounty, and bringeth down that which He pleaseth to a predetermined measure.

Blessed is He who doeth what He pleaseth by a command on His part; verily He is the True One, the knower of secrets and unseen things.

Blessed is He who giveth by inspiration to whom He willeth that which He wisheth through His hidden and irresistible command.

Blessed is He who assisteth whom He pleaseth by the hosts of the unseen; verily He is the doer of that which He willeth, and He is the Mighty, the Self-existing!

Blessed is He who strengtheneth whom He pleaseth by the dominion of His Power, and confirmeth whom He wisheth to accomplish what He willeth; Blessed are they who know!

Blessed is He who hath ordained to everything a measure decreed in a hidden Tablet!

Blessed is He who hath caused to descend upon His servant that by reason of which all the hearts and minds will be enlightened.

Blessed is He who hath cause to descend upon His servant, that kind of calamity, whereby the hearts of those who rested inside the awnings of eternity, were burned (with anguish); then also the hearts of those who are near!

Blessed is He who hath caused to descend upon His servant, from the cloud of fate, the arrows of disaster -- and still He findeth Me in supreme patience.

Blessed is He who hath ordained to His servant that which was not ordained to any other one of His servants: Verily He is the One, the Mighty, the Self-subsistent.

Blessed is He who hath caused to descend upon His servant, from the clouds of the detestation of those who closed their eyes and feigned to take no notice, the spears of the irreversible decree -- and still He sees Him offering great thanks.

Blessed is He who hath cause to descend upon His servant that which equals the weight of the earth and the heaven, for which We indeed praise Him; and of this no one is cognizant save those who understand.

Glory be to Him who hath placed His Beauty under the claws of the rancour of the immoral; verily We are contented with that, and no one can comprehend this save the discerning.

Glory be to Him who hath entrusted el-Huseyn[1] amongst the factions of the enemies while at all times, the spears of hatred and ill-treatment were brought upon His body; verily We thank Him for all He hath decreed upon His servant, the sad, the distressed.

[1 Bahá'u'lláh.]

394. But when I saw myself at the culmination of calamity, I heard, from above my head, the most wonderful and melodious voice, and when I turned I witnessed a Maiden of the celebration of the Name of my Lord, suspended in the air on a level with my head. I saw her, that she was indeed rejoicing within herself as though the embroidered garment of pleasure was manifesting itself upon her face, and the brightness of the Merciful was apparent upon her cheeks, and between the earth and heaven she was uttering a call, by which all the hearts and minds will be drawn, and at the same time, gladdening all the limbs of my internal and external being, with glad-tidings that made my soul rejoice, and those of the noble servants. Then, with her finger, she pointed to my head, and addressed all those in heaven and earth, saying: "By God, This is indeed the Beloved of the universe, but ye do not understand! This is the Beauty of God among you, and His Dominion within you, if ye are of those who know! This is the Mystery of God, His Treasure, the Command of God, and His Glory, to those who are in the Kingdom of power and creation -- were ye of those who reason! This is the One whose meeting will be longed for by all those who dwell in the everlasting spiritual world, and who have taken a station for themselves in the tents of El-Abha -- while ye yourselves are turned away from His Beauty!

"O people of the Bayan! Should ye not assist Him, God will assist Him by the hosts of earth and heaven and those of the Unseen, through His Command which is 'Be' and it is! And He will send forth by His Will certain people who are unknown to any one but Himself, the Protector, the Self-existent, and purify them from the stain or surmise and passion, and elevate them to the rank of sanctity, and by them He will cause to appear the traces of the Glory of His Kingdom on earth: thus was it decreed on the part of God, the Mighty, the Beloved!"

395. O people of the Bayan; do ye deny the One for whose meeting ye were created, and still ye are of those who sit in your place and rejoice? Do ye object to Him, the one hair of whose head is, before God, better than all there is in heaven and earth -- and still do ye scoff at Him?

396. O people of the Bayan! Show forth that which ye have, that I may know by what proof ye have believed in the manifestation of the command of God in the past, and today by what evidence do ye magnify yourselves?

397. By the One who hath created Me from the Light of His Beauty, I have never found among the neglectful, one of such negligence, or among the ignorant, one of such ignorance, as ye are.

398. Ye take as an evidence of your belief in God, the Tablets which ye have in your possession, but when the signs came down and the Lamp gave light, ye denied the One through whose Pen all matters were decreed in a preserved Tablet. Do ye read the signs and deny their originator and revealer? Thus hath God seized your sight as a punishment for your actions -- were ye of those who perceive! Do ye write the verses at even-tide and dawn, and from the One who caused them to descend ye conceal yourselves? And today the Supreme Assembly will see you in the mischief of your deeds and disavow you wilst ye are of those who do not hear -- and the one will ask, and then another: "What do these ignorant people say, and in what vale do they rest? Do they close their eyes, while yet they see?" By God, O people, the inhabitants of the Cities of Names became perplexed by your actions, and still in the barren valley ye are bewildered, and do not perceive.

399. O Thou Supreme Pen! Hear the voice of Thy Lord from the divine Lote-Tree in the brilliant spot of unity, that thou mayest find thyself in exhilaration and cheerfulness by the melodious voice of Thy Lord, the Merciful, and be sanctified from all sorrows through the strong fragrance which was diffused from the region of My Name, the Pardoner; then, from this Temple, send the Temples of Unity to speak in the Kingdom of Creation, of their Lord, the Supreme, the Most Glorious, and be of those who obtain light by the lights of their Lord. Verily We have ordained this Temple the beginning of the existence of the new creation, that each one may become convinced that I am indeed able to do what I wish, by merely saying, "Be" and it is. By the shadow of each letter of the letters of this Temple, We will send forth people whose number is not known to any save God, the Protector, the Self-existent; and from it (the Temple) God shall create certain people who will not be veiled by the illusions of those who acted wrongfully against God, and they will drink, at all times, the pure water of life: Verily, are not they of those who are successful?

400. They are those servants who have stations themselves in the shadow of the mercy of their Lord, and were not prevented by the preventors; and in their faces the brightness of the Merciful is manifested, and from their hearts the mention of My hidden and Mighty Name is heard: they are those whose lips when opened in praising their Lord, all, whosoever is in earth and heaven, will praise with them -- though there are but few people who do hear -- and when they mention their Creator, all things will mention with them the same: Thus God hath preferred them to all creation, but indeed the people do not know. They move around the command of God just as the shadow moveth around the sun.

401. Open your eyes, O people of the Bayan, that ye may witness! -- and by the movement of these people all things will move, and by their quiescence all things will rest -- were ye of those who believe: By them the people of unity have come to the Koblat of the Horizons (The Manifestation) and calmness and forbearance became manifest amongst the good, and through them the earth was stationed, and the clouds gave out rain, and the table of knowledge was descended from the heaven of bounty -- were ye of those who understand: These people are the keepers of the command of God on earth, protecting its beauty against the dust of surmise and suspicion; they do not fear for themselves, but will sacrifice themselves in the Cause of God, for the hope of meeting the Beloved who hath appeared by this Name, the Mighty, the Able, the Precious, the Holy.

402. O Thou this Temple, arise by Thyself with an affair, whereby the contingent beings will arise; then assist Thy God with that which we have given Thee of power and might! Beware not to fear in a day whereupon all things do fear. Be the Manifestation of My Name, the Protector, the Self-existent.

403. Render Thy Lord victorious by that which is within Thy Power, and do not look to the creatures and that which comes from their mouths, save as to the voice of an insect in an endless and boundless valley. Drink the pure water of life in My Name, the Merciful, then give to drink to those who are near (to God) of the people of this rank, that which will make them cut themselves from the Names, and cause them to enter into this blessed and extended shadow.

404. O this Temple, We have assembled by Thee all the things, and that which was created in the earth and heaven, and asked them of that by reason of which We administered the oath upon them in the beginning of eternity: Lo! We found the majority of them possessed of dull tongues and glazed eyes, and the minority of bright faces and voluble tongues -- and out of these, We have sent forth a creation of what was and is: thus hath God kept their faces aloof from turning to the polytheists, and made them dwell in the shadow of the Lote Tree of Himself; and thus He hath brought down upon them a calmness and strengthened them with the hosts of the seen and the unseen.

405. O Thou, the Eye of this Temple! Look not to the heaven and what is therein, nor to the earth and whatsoever is thereupon; verily We created Thee for My Beauty -- Lo, this is It! Look as it pleaseth Thee and prevent not Thine eye from the Beauty of Thy Lord, the Precious, the Beloved. Through Thee We shall send forth Iron Eyes and everseeing sight whereby they shall see the signs of their Creator, and turn away their eyes from that which the worldly wise have comprehended. Through Thee We give the power of sight to whomsoever We please, and seize those who were prevented from this bounty. Verily, are they not drinking from the cups of imagination and they know not?

406. O Thou, that faculty of Hearing! Purify Thyself from the cry of every forsaken crier; then hear the voice of Thy Lord. Verily He revealeth unto Thee from the direction of the Throne, that indeed there is no God but Me, the Precious, the Powerful, the Protector, the Self-existent. Through Thee We shall send forth purified Ears that will listen to the Word of God and to that which became manifest from the dawningplace of the Revelation, Thy Lord, the Merciful; verily do thy not find them melodious, the songstresses from this blessed and laudible place?

407. O Thou, the Tongue of this Temple! Verily, We have created Thee in My Name, the Merciful, and taught Thee that which was stored in the Bayan (the revelation) and made Thee to speak for the sake of My great commemoration in the contingent world: Therefore do Thou utter this commemoration (precious and wonderful), and fear thou not from the manifestation of the Satan. Verily for this Thou wast created by My Command, the Protector, the Self-existent. By Thee We made the tongue utter the revelation of that which was, and by My Dominion We utter of that which is. By Thee We send forth speaking tongues that move with praise in the Supreme Assembly, and amongst the people of creation.

408. Thus have the signs descended, and the matter been decreed on the part of the King of Names and Attributes. Verily thy Lord is the True One and the knower of all the unseen. Verily nothing can prevent them (tongues) from praising their Creator; and by them all things will rise for the commemoration of the King of Names -- verily there is no God but He, the Able, the Mighty, the Beloved.

409. The tongues of the commemorators never speak unless reinforced by this Tongue, from this station -- but there are few of the people who know. Every one is able to praise his Lord and utter His remembrance, but some of the people understand and remember and some remember but do not understand.

410. By God, there is no escape today for you and no refuge for any one save from the Mercy of God on the part of His Bounty -- verily He is the Forgiving, the Generous. Say, O people! Set aside that which ye have; then enter into the shadow of thy Lord, the Merciful. This is better for you than that which ye have done or do -- fear God and deprive not yourselves from the fragrances of the days of the King of the Names and Attributes and change not the Word of God, nor transpose its meaning -- fear God and be of those who are devout. Say, O people! This is the hand of God which has been above your hands -- were ye of those who reason.

411. Through It We have ordained the good for the heaven and earth in such a manner that no good becomes manifest unless it is produced from IT -- thus have We made IT the source and the store of good to all that which has been and will be. Say, all that has flowed in the tablets of the rivers of demonstration and explanation was connected with this Most Great Sea -- were ye of those who perceive: And that which was detailed in the books was traced to this Supreme Word which shone from the Mouth of the Will of El-Abha (the Most Glorious) in this manifestation whereby the mouths of the seen and the unseen were wreathed in smiles. God shall send forth from the sleeves of might the Hands of power and victory, and certain people to assist this Servant, and to cleanse the earth from the impurity of every abandoned polytheist, and they shall arise in favor of this matter, and open the countries in My Name, the Powerful, the Self-existent, and enter their boundaries, and their threats shall overtake all the servants; this is from the strength of God: Verily His strength is great in favor of justice.

412. Verily He is the encompasser of whosoever is in earth and heaven, and causeth to descend that which He pleaseth to a predetermined measure. Should anyone of those people rise up and confront whatsoever is created in the universe, he would certainly be the conquerer through the victory of Myself. This is from My power, but My people do not know; this is from My dominion, but My creatures do not understand; this is from My command but My servants do not perceive; this is from My victory, but mankind is not grateful, save those whose eyes God has illumined by the light of the knowledge of Himself, and whose hearts He hath made the stores of inspiration, and whose souls the carriers of His command; these are the people who from the garment of His Name, will inhale the fragrances of the Merciful, and at the signs of God they are continually rejoicing, and those people who denied and associated others with God, will have the wrath of God upon them, and to the fire be dragged and in its strata they shall show forth their grief; thus do We classify the signs and explain the truth with evident proofs, hoping that the people will ponder over the traces of their Lord.

413. Say, verily, the fates of all things were ordained in this Temple, the treasured, the illustrious, and in IT was stored the science of earth and heaven, and the science of that which was and is, and by the fingers of the skill of thy Lord, was written in this book which the learned were unable to comprehend. He hath created in IT the temples which were not known to any save God -- were ye of those who believe.

414. Blessed is the one who reads it and ponders over it and is of those who understand. Say, nothing is seen in My temple, but the Temple of God, and in My beauty, but His Beauty, and in My being but His Being, and in Myself but Himself, and in My movement but His Movement, and in My acquiescence but His Acquiescence, and in My pen but His Pen, the Precious, the Praiseworthy.

415. Say, there hath not been in My soul but the truth and in Myself nothing could be seen but God. Beware that ye mention not the two signs -- all the particles in Myself speak, "verily there is no God but Me, the One, the Single, the Precious, the Beloved" -- everlastingly in the spiritual world I was uttering "Verily I am God and there is no God but Me, the Protector, the Self-existent," and in the Kingdom of Names I everlastingly utter, "Verily, I am God, there is no God but Me, the Precious, the Beloved."

416. Say, Verily the Lordship is my Name and for it I have created manifestations in the Kingdom; verily We have been free from them -- were ye to bear witness: And the Divinity is my Name, and for it we have made places of rising to encompass all servants and make them worshippers of God -- were ye to believe: And thus know all the Names (Prophets) -- were ye to know.

417. Say, the fecundation of bounty has been wafted over all things in this day and everything has generated and brought forth its own kind, but verily the majority of the people have turned away from it -- the trees bring forth the beautiful fruit, -- the seas, the brilliant jewels, -- man, knowledge and science, -- the universe, the transfiguration of the Merciful -- and the earth, that which no one comprehendeth, save the True One, the knower of secrets and unseen things.

418. Everything shall bring forth its own species. Blessed is the God who is the sender of this bounty, which surrounds all things that have appeared, and all that which is still hidden; thus have we created the beings of this day unequaled, but the majority of mankind do not perceive. Say, if the bounty of God cannot be known as it is, how would it be possible then to know Himself, the Protector, the Self-existent?

419. Say, verily, We have caused the signs to descend after nine conditions, each of which is a proof of the dominion of God, the Protector, the Self-existent, -- any one of these condition is sufficient to convince whosoever is in heaven and earth, but the majority of the people are heedless. Had We willed We would have revealed the signs after other conditions, whose number could not be reckoned. Say, O people, fear God and do not move your false tongues about that which God doth not like, -- be ashamed before the one who formed you through a drop of water as ye do know. Say, verily, We have created whosoever is in the heaven and the earth, after the nature of God. And he who advanceth to this Face will appear in the condition wherein he was created, and he who secludeth himself, will be secluded from this surrounding and hidden bounty. Verily, We did not prevent anything from attaining this bounty, but We created all things equal according to their kind, and propounded to them the fidelity of Our love by a word on Our part; and he who remembereth will escape and believe and be of those who will be saved from the terror of the Day, and he who turneth away will deny God, the Protector, the Self-existent. By the Word, We separated the servants and classified them, verily We are the Separators. Say, the Word of God is not likened unto the words of His creatures; verily it is the king of words, as His Soul is the king of souls, and His Command is the protector over that which was and is.

420. Say, O people, we ask a word from you by the Most Great Truth -- and we will take God as a witness between us, verily He is the Beloved, the Beneficent; -- present yourselves before the Throne of God, then let your speech be unprejudiced and be ye of those who are just. Was God the powerful over His matter, or were ye of those who are powerful? Was He the unconstrained in Himself, as ye say, "verily He doeth that which He pleaseth, nor is asked concerning that which He wisheth," or, are ye yourselves the unconstrained, and say this word merely be tradition, in the same manner as was said by your fathers, in the times of the messengers? Although He was unconstrained in Himself, He hath shown the manifestation of his command by signs, which are unequaled by anything either in heaven or on the earth, -- and he hath appeared after a condition the like of which hath not appeared in creation -- just as that of which ye have seen and heard when the Light of the horizons shone forth from the regions of Iraq (Baghdad) with evident dominion. All things return to the signs and these are the signs of God, the King, the Protector, the Precious, the Mighty! Beside these He hath appeared with a Command whereto all the contingent beings have confessed its authority and no one denied this save the iniquitous infidel.

421. For the Day of God is He Himself, who hath appeared with the truth and will never be followed by the night, or limited by the remembrance, were ye of those who know.

422. O Temple of Holiness! Verily We have made Thy heart the store of knowledge of that which was and is and the rising place of Our science which We have ordained to the people of the earth and heaven that the beings should be filled abundantly through Thee, and by the wonders of Thy sciences, would attain the knowledge of God, the Able, the Supreme, the Great. Verily the science which is attributed to Myself was not known to any one, nor will it be known by any soul, neither could it be endured by any one of the world. Should We produce but one word of it all the souls would be disturbed, the supports of all things be destroyed and the feet of the accomplished deviate. We have in Our possession a science of which, should We convey but one word to the beings, every one would be made to believe in the Manifestation of God, and His Knowledge, and be acquainted with the secrets of all sciences, and attain a position whereby they would find themselves able to dispense with the sciences of both the ancients and moderns.

423. We have also other sciences of which if We speak but a single letter the people will not be able to hear its mention. Thus we have informed you of the Science of God, the Knower, the Informed. Had We found vessels We would have laid in them the treasures of Knowledge and would have taught them that of which one letter will encompass the whole world.

424. O Heart of this Temple! Verily we have made Thee the rising-place of My science and the manifestation of My wisdom to whosoever is in heaven and on earth. We have made the sciences to appear from Thee and to Thee shall we return them; then they will be sent forth from thee for another occasion as a promise on Our part, -- verily We have been the doers. We shall raise up from Thee people of wonderful sciences and powerful arts and will show forth from them that of which the heart of no servant could ever conceive: Thus we give to whomsoever We please that which We please and take from the one whom We desire that which We have given him, and govern by Our command that which We will. Verily should We, by the sun of Our Providence reveal Ourself upon the mirror of the existing beings in one hour, and take away from them the lights of Our revelation in another hour, -- We are indeed able, -- and no one dare ask "Why?" or "How?" Verily We are the doers of that which We please and will not be questioned as to that We have done, and no one doubts this save the doubting infidel.

425. Say, Our power cannot be hindered and Our authority shall never be annulled; We elevate whom We please to the glory of might and power; then bring him back, should We will, to the lowest of the low. Do ye think, O people of the earth, if We were to elevate any one to the divine Lote Tree, that My Power and dominion could be prevented from controlling him? No, by Myself, but rather should We please, We will bring him again to the dust in an instant. Look at the tree. We plant it in the garden and water it by the water of Our Providence; and when it becomes of great stature, puts forth green leaves and bears the best fruits, We then send upon it the sweeping wind of command, uproot it and leave it upon the surface of the earth; thus have We been doing and thus will We do with everything -- this is from the wonders of Our laws before and after in all things, were ye of those who see. No one can see the wisdom of this save God, the Powerful, the Precious, the Wise! Do ye deny, O people, that which ye see? Woe unto you, O assembly of abnegation: And the One who doth not change is He Himself, the Merciful, the Clement, were ye of those who reflect. Beside Him every one changeth by the will on His part and He is the Almighty, the Precious, the Wise.

426. Should We desire to show forth from an atom, suns without beginning and without end, We are indeed able and We can make them all appear in a moment by My command. Should We please to produce from a drop of water the seas of the heaven and earth and from a letter the science of what was and is, we are indeed able -- verily it is an easy matter.

427. Thus I have been able from the first which has no beginning to the last which has no end; but My creatures became heedless of My power and turned away from My dominion and disputed Me, the Knower and the Wise. Nothing can move between the heaven and earth without My permission and no soul can ascend to the Kingdom without My Command; but My creatures veiled themselves from My power and authority -- and were of those who are negligent. Say, nothing can be seen in My manifestation but the manifestation of God -- nor in My power but the power of God, were ye of those who know! Say, the maxim of My creatures is likened unto that of the leaves of a tree -- they appear and feel themselves independent, but of their root they are neglectful. Thus We propounded a proverb unto Our servants, the wise, perhaps they will elevate themselves from the vegetable degree and attain the station of accomplishment in this confirmed and valid matter. Say, they are likened unto a whale in the water; verily the water is its source of life but it indeed does not know that the source of its life is from the Presence of the Precious, the Wise; it is veiled from it to such an extent that if asked about the water and its qualities, it does not know.

428. In like manner in these days do ye see those who deny and associate others with God and adhere to one Name of the Names, but turn away from the One who created these Names; verily we testify that they are of the people of fire. They ask the Sun of that which the shadow hath said, and the Truth of that which the preachers uttered; -- were ye of those who bear witness. Say, O people! The sun hath nothing in itself but its effulgence and that which appears from it, and all things beside it are illuminated by its light. Fear God and be not of those who are ignorant. Some of them asked about the light. Say, open thine eyes that thou mayest see the effulgence surrounding the horizons; verily it could be seen by the naked eye -- this is a light which hath shone and appeared from the horizon of the dawn of knowledge with evident brightness. Do ye ask the Jews whether the Spirit (Christ) was of a truth from God? Or the idols, whether Muhammad was a Prophet (Messenger)? Or the people of the Qur'an concerning the Reminder (the Báb) of God, the Supreme, the Great?

429. Say, O people, set aside that which is in your possession (religious doctrines) at the appearance of this Manifestation and take what ye have been commanded. This is the command of God unto you, -- verily He is the best of commanders. By My Beauty, in saying these words it was My aim only to bring the servants nearer to God, the Precious, the Praiseworthy. Beware not to do with Me that which ye have done with My precursor (the Báb) and when the signs of God are descended upon you from the region of My Munificence, do not say that they were not descended upon El-Fitrat, verily El-Fitrat was created by My Words and revolves around Me, were ye of those who believe. Blessed is He who hath found the fragrances of the garment of knowledge from the revelation of His Lord the Merciful; verily they were spread over the universe and by them the contingent world was perfumed. Blessed is the one who scenteth its fragrance and advanceth to God with an enlightened heart.

430. O ye assembly of divines! Should ye shun the wine and what resembles it of that which was forbidden you in the Book, it is not a thing to glory over at all, for in practising such habits you will lose your dignity before the people, your affairs will be changed and your shame become manifested; but the glory is in your submissiveness to the word of the truth, and in cutting yourselves secretly and openly from everything besides God, the Powerful, the Able. Blessed is the learned who doth not allow science to intervene as a veil between him and the Known, and when the Self-existent cometh, he advanceth unto Him with a bright face -- verily he is of the divines, -- by whose wit the people of paradise will be exalted, and by whose lamp whosoever is in heaven and earth will be illuminated. Verily he is one of the heirs of the Prophets and he who sees him hath seen the truth, and he who advanceth towards him hath advanced to God, the Mighty, the Wise.

431. O ye dawning places of science, beware not to be changed in yourselves; because of such a change, most of the servants change; verily this is an oppression on your part upon yourselves -- to this will bear witness every informed knower. Ye are likened unto a spring which when changed, all the river branching out from it will be changed; fear God and be of those who are pious.

432. And this is man, when his heart becomes corrupted all the other limbs will be corrupted; so also the tree, -- if the roots are corrupted, all the branches, twigs, leaves and fruits will follow the same process: Thus We have propounded proverbs that ye will not veil yourselves by that which ye have, from what was ordained unto you on the part of the Precious, the Generous. Verily should We take a handful of dust and embroider it with the embroidered garment of the Names, -- We are indeed able and this is a bounty of My part upon it and not according to its deserts. Thus hath it descended of a truth from the presence of the abode of the Omniscient.

433. The voice of the Merciful was raised, and from behind it the voice of Satan also. Blessed is the one who heareth the voice of God, and turneth to the direction of the Throne, the noble and holy outlook. He who hath in his heart less than a mustard seed of love for anything beside Me, verily he cannot enter My Kingdom, and My proof of this is that whereby the face of the Book of Existence is adorned, -- were ye of those who know.

434. Say, this day is the day whereon the Most Great Bounty has appeared, and nothing, either in the supremest heaven or in the lowest earth, but utters in My mention and sings in the praise of Myself -- were ye of those who hear. O Temple of the Manifestation! Blow thou the horn in My Name: Then, O Temple of the Secrets! Breath thou into the fife in commemoration of thy Lord, the Unconstrained: Then, O Maid of Paradise! Come out of the chambers of the Garden and say to the inhabitants of the universe, "By God, He hath appeared, the Beloved of the world, the Intended of the knowers, the Worshipped of whosoever is in the heaven and the earth and the Adored of the ancients and moderns. Beware of hesitating to accept this Beauty, after the Ruler of Might, Power and Glory hath appeared. Verily, He is the truth and everything besides Him on the part of His servants is annihilated and lost at the appearance of His lights. Hasten to the river of bounty and be of the impatient, and he who hesitates for an instant, God will frustrate his plans and bring him back to the station of overwhelming grief and constraint. Thus how terrible is the residence of those who hesitate!"

TABLET OF AHMAD

435. O My servants! The Ancient Beauty commands: Hasten to the shadow of immortality, nearness and mercy, from the shadow of desire, remoteness and heedlessness. Be ye resigned like unto the earth, so that the fragrant, sacred, multicolored myrtles of My Knowledge may grow in the soil of existence. Be ye ablaze like unto fire, so that ye may consume thick veils and quicken and immortalize cold and veiled bodies through the heat of the divine love. Be ye pure like unto air, so that ye may enter the sacred abode of My Friendship.

436. O servants! If ye be informed of the wonders of My generosity and grace which I have deposited in yourselves, ye will certainly be cut from all directions, and, seeking to know your own selves, which is identical with knowing Myself, will find yourselves independent of all else save Me, and will see the ocean of My providence and the deep of My beneficence in yourselves, with your outward and inward eye, as manifest and clear as the sun shining from the name of Abha.

437. Do not waste this most wonderful, most holy station through the promptings of fancy and desire and through the falsehood of superstition and blindness. Ye are in likeness as a bird, which, with all joy and fragrance, soars in the utmost security in the cheerful air of the Praised One; then in the imaginary hope of grains, it inclines toward the mud and water of the earth, and, with all eagerness, besmears itself with mud and mire; and when it attempts to re-ascend it finds itself unable and a captive, for as much as wings besmeared with water and clay are not capable of flight. At that time, that bird of the exalted heaven finds itself a dweller in the mortal earth.

438. Now, O servants, do not besmear your wings with the mire of heedlessness and imagination and the earth of animosity and rancor, that ye may not be deprived and prevented from soaring in the sacred heaven of knowledge.

439. O servants, if ye are possessors of insight, enter the city of the seeing; if ye are of the people of hearing, step into the land of the hearing; and if ye are possessors of heart, choose an abode in the fortress of the assured ones; so that in these dark days ye may not be prevented from witnessing the lights of the Beauty of Abha. For this year is the year of the most mighty purification and the most great tests.

440. O servants! Inscribe the exhortations of the Spirit with the pen of resignation and the ink of submission and assurance upon the tablet of the heart and turn thereto in every instant, lest ye neglect a single letter thereof, and advance to the true God with all exertion, turning away from all else save Him. For this is the root of the leaf of command grown upon the Divine Tree!

441. This world is a show without reality, and is a non-existence adorned in the form of existence. Do not attach your hearts thereto. Do not sever yourselves from the Creator and be not of those who are heedless!

442. Truly, I say, the world is like unto a mirage which has the show of water. The thirsty make abundant efforts in their search, but, when reaching it, remain deprived and portionless. Or, it is like unto the image of a loved one which is destitute of life and soul. When the lover reaches it, he finds it of no worth and value, and finds no gain save great pain and despondency.

443. O servants! If in these visible days and this present world matters appear from the realm of decree contrary to your wish, be ye not depressed, for happy and divine days shall come and spiritual worlds of holiness shall become manifest. In all those days and worlds, for you a portion is ordained, a sustenance is determined and a food is established. Ye shall certainly attain to all these, were ye to exchange the garment of mortality for the garment of immortality and enter the station of the Paradise of Abha, which is the everlasting abode of glorious, sacred souls. All things are a proof of your existence, if ye emerge from the gloomy dust of non-existence. Be not grieved at the hardships of these numbered days, and be not dejected if your outward bodies are destroyed in the path of the Beloved One, for every destruction is followed by a construction and a paradise of rest is concealed in every hardship.

SOUL AND SPIRIT

444. Note that the soul, which is common to all the creatures of God, comes into existence after the amalgamations of the matter and their attainment to the degree of maturity; as in the case of the semen, which, after its development into that state which was ordained for it, God then will manifest in it the soul which was therein secluded; verily, thy Lord doeth what He pleaseth and commandeth that which He willeth. As to the soul, which is the one intended, verily, it is sent forth by the Word of God, and it is that which, when kindled by the force of the love of its Lord, will not be quenched, neither by the waters of rain, nor by the seas of the world. It is indeed that kindled fire which is burning in the human Lote Tree, uttering, "Verily, there is no God but He," and he who heareth its voice is of those who are successful. On leaving the body, God will send it forth after the best form and cause it to enter into a high heaven. Verily, thy Lord is powerful over all things. Know also that the life of man is from the Spirit, and to turn the spirit in one direction, beside the other direction, is indeed from the soul. Reflect upon this which We have expounded unto thee, in order that thou mayest know the Soul of God, who hath come from the dawningplace of grace with manifest authority. Know also that the soul hath two wings. If it flieth in the air of love and the consent of God it will be attributed to the Merciful, but if it flieth in the air of lust it will be attributed to Satan. May God protect us and you against it! O assembly of knowers! And if it is kindled by the fire of the love of God it will be the tranquil and pleasing soul, but if it be kindled by the love of lust, it is the passionate soul. Thus have We given unto thee full details that thou mayest be of those who reflect.

445. O Supreme Pen! Mention to him who hath turned to his Lord El Abha, that which will make him independent of the world. Say that the spirit, the mind, the soul, the hearing and the sight are one; but differ by the differentiation of the causes, as in the case of man, to wit: Ye see that whereby man understands, moves, speaks, hears and sees, all of which are through the power of his God in him, but each one in itself differing by the difference of the causes; verily, this is indeed the truth. For example, if all these faculties are turned to the cause of hearing, then the effects of hearing and its results become manifest. And so if they are turned to the cause of sight, another trace and another result will appear. Think of this, that thou mayest reach the intended goal and find thyself independent of that which is mentioned by the people, and be of those who are confident. And thus if turned unto the brain, the head, etc., the manifestations of mind and soul will appear. Verily, thy Lord is the powerful over that which He wisheth. We have expounded all this in the Tablet which We caused to descend in reply to the one who inquired about the explanation of the separate letters (alphabetical characters) as mentioned in the Qur'an. Peruse them that thou mayest know that which was revealed from the might of God, the Precious, the Praiseworthy. We have accordingly used abbreviations in this Tablet. We ask God to enable thee to know from this abbreviation that which could not be accomplished by deliberation and memory, and to make thee to drink from this cup that which is in the seas. Verily, thy Lord is the Benefactor and Owner of the most solid might.

446. But concerning that which ye asked about the spirit and its everlastingness after its ascension: Know that it will ascend at the time of its departure until it enters the presence of God in a form which throughout all centuries and times and throughout all circumstances and events of the world will remain unchanged, but will be everlasting as the perpetuity of the Kingdom of God, His Sovereignty, His Power and His Might, and from it will appear the traces of God, His qualities, providences and favors.

447. The Pen cannot move at the mentioning of this station as it is in its supremacy and exaltation. The hand of the divine Bounty will cause the spirit to enter into a station which cannot be comprehended by expression, nor be explained by all the creatures of existence. Blessing be upon the spirit who departs from the body purified from the doubts and superstitions of the nations. Verily it moves in the atmosphere of God's desire and enters into the supreme paradise. All the angels of the supreme paradise attend and surround it, and it will have fellowship with all the Prophets of God and His saints, and speak with them and tell them what happened to it in the Cause of God, the Lord of the universe.

448. If any one could realize what hath been assigned in the Kingdom of God, the Lord of the and the dust, he would immediately yearn with a great longing for that immovable, exalted, holy and most glorious station.

449. O Abdul Wahal, now listen in the Persian language. My Baha is upon thee. As you asked about the immortality of the spirit, this Wronged One beareth witness to its eternality; and as to your question about its form, it cannot be described and is not needful to be expressed, but only something need be known. Prophets and Messengers came only to guide the creatures to the straight path of God, and in order that people might be trained. Then at the time of their ascension, with a perfect holiness and separation, and having been cut off from the things of this world, they repair to the Supreme Station. By the Self of God, the rays of those Spirits are the cause of the development of the people and the station of the nations. These are the leaven of existence and the greatest cause of the appearances of divinity and the works of the universe. By them the clouds will shower and the plants of the earth spring up. Not one thing of all the things is without cause, reason and beginning.

450. The greatest cause is that the Spirits above us were and are forever equal, and the difference between this earthly kingdom and the other is like the difference between the embryonic world and this world: though, after ascension, it (the spirit) will enter the presence of God in a form suited for eternality and the Kingdom. And this eternality is the eternality of time, not the essential which has reason, but the eternality of the essential has no cause; this is only to God. Blessed are the wise. If you ponder carefully over the actions of the Prophets you will bear witness that there are other worlds besides this. The learned men of the world confess and bear witness to that which has been revealed in the Holy Books, as it has been revealed by the Supreme Pen in the Lawh-el-Hekmat (Tablet of Wisdom).

451. Even the naturalists who are simply holding to laws, confessed and wrote that the Prophets were wise men and they said they spoke of the stations of paradise and hell, bliss and torment as a means of educating the people. Now consider well that these wise men held that these Holy Ones -- in any time they were, are, or will be found -- are the foremost of all.

452. Some of those holy Prophets are known to be the wise men and the Messengers of God. Now, all of them, if they believe that the worlds of God are only this world, -- would not put themselves in the hand of the enemies and endure such hardships and difficulties as are beyond comparison. If any one with a pure heart and clear intelligence thinks about that which has been revealed from the Supreme Pen, at once with tongue of honesty he will say that now the truth is evident. But what you asked about the resurrection was quite sufficiently revealed in the Kitáb-i-Iqan.[1] Blessing be upon the wise.

[1 Book of Ighan (Chapter One).]
THE SUN OF THE SOUL

453. You asked concerning mankind (other than the prophets and saints) whether, after apparent death, they will remain, or perish, and if we say they will remain, then, if the person has insanity or other form of illness, will his feelings and perception cease; and as death is the destruction of the material composition and elements, then how can it be after death the form of personality and feeling will be understood, conceived or apprehended, as the material combination has disintegrated?

454. You know that the spirit is permanent and steadfast in its station and the feebleness of the sick person is due to preventing causes. Yet in fact the feebleness will never approach the spirit. For example, when you look at the lighted lamp you find it shining and radiating, but if there is something before it, then the light will be prevented, yet in its sphere it is radiating, but by the means of prevention, its light was kept from shining forth. In the same way with the person, while he is in the diseased condition the manifestation of the power and might of the spirit will be prevented and concealed on account of the means of prevention; but after the spirit leaves the body, it will appear with such power, might and superiority that all ordinary comparison is impossible. The choice, pure and holy spirits are and will be in perfect might and joy. For example, if a lighted lamp is put under an iron lantern its light will never come forth, yet it is shining just the same. Look toward the sun when it is behind the cloud, shining and gleaming in its rank, but owing to the cloud its illumination seems weak. Now suppose that this sun is the human spirit and all other things are body, and that by its light and rays, all the body is lighted and illuminated. This is so when no means of prevention will be found to veil the light. Now the appearance of the sun seems very weak behind the veil when the cloud exists; though the land is illuminated by the light of the sun, yet this light is always weak; but after the cloud passes away, the illuminations are again manifested. In the two cases the sun was the same in its rank; likewise the sun of the souls, which is named, mentioned as, and ever will be called, the spirit.

455. And again look to the weakness of the fruit which is in the tree before it comes forth. It is in the tree in such a very weak condition that it cannot be seen, and if any one cuts the tree into pieces, he will never find the minute atom of the fruit, nor the form; but after it comes forth from the tree it will appear with a wonderful, beautiful embroidery and irresistible power, as is seen in the fruit of all trees. Some fruit ripen after they are plucked from the tree.

456. Now numerous examples have been mentioned that thou mayest understand what is desired. Compare it with what thou hast asked from God, thy Lord, and the Lord of the creatures.

457. God, exalted is His mention, is able to manifest and explain all the boundless sciences, in one of the examples mentioned among the people.

458. The Hand of Might is opened for stating every example, and for every word the Hand of Protection is raised, and no one can know that save him whom God willeth. And when the seal of the attar vessel is broken off by the Hand of Might, then the fragrance will be perceived.

459. The command is in the grasp of the Hand of God. He bestows and He withholds; He causeth blindness and He openeth the eyes; He doeth as He willeth and commandeth as He wisheth.

TO THE PEOPLE OF BAHA

460. In the Name of God, the One! Say, O friends! The former lying caused the succeeding Beloved [1] to be hanged and martyred by the bullet of opposition. Meditate upon the lying, unfaithful, perfidious souls who were appearing among the people with the pretence of righteousness, faithfulness, devotion and abstinence from what is unlawful, until ye be guarded and saved from the terror of this greater Day.

[1 The Báb.]

461. One of these has mentioned Jabulka and another gave reference to Jabulsa and another lying one put in the minds of the people an imaginary temple and fixed that on the throne of superstition. This unfair one mentioned Nahia Mocaddassah (the holy direction) and another unreasonable one attributed to him many (of his own) utterances. Therefore these false and unpleasant affairs became the cause of killing the King of the City of Unity through complete opposition.

462. If the Hand of Godly Power will take away all the veils (of hallucination) you will witness new affairs and hear new, wonderful utterances. Now He speaks one Word, so that it may, perchance, be a fence betwixt the right and the wrong; and the Word is as follows: "Sanctify your ears from what those people say who attribute themselves to the Bayan and deny its Revealer, its King and sender"; as all these veiled souls are merely following the former (veiled) souls. Blessing be upon the eye which looks and perceives. Verily, it is from the most powerful and strongest souls mentioned in the presence of God.

463. Now hear what My Forerunner[1] announced before, and His speech is the truth. "The one who is one year old in the Day of His (Bahá'u'lláh's) manifestation, is greater than all those of the Bayan." Because of the providence and kindness, these expressions flowed from the pen of the Chosen. Now be watchful and say: "Praise be unto Thee, O God of the creatures!" The party of the Shiites who count themselves the saved and the favored ones, and content their souls that they are the greatest of all the creatures, copied some saying which were continuously handed down that any one who prophesies that the Promised One will be born is an infidel and has no religious faith. So these sayings have been the cause of martyrdom of a great number who were without censure or guilt, until Nukta'olla (the First Point, -- the Báb), (many the souls of all be a ransom to Him!) was born from the lumbar vertebrae of a well-known person in Faars, and He declared Himself as the Ghaim (the Promised One among the Shiites). Immediately those who followed the superstitions and hallucinations were lost. And the Cause appeared to all the creatures like the light of the sun. Yet that party of neglect and rejection deviated and stood steadfast in purpose to kill the Essence of Existence.

[1 The Báb.]

464. O people of Baha! The Possessor of the names says: "Meditate upon these events that ye may really break the idols of superstitions and imaginations; so that ye may not be engulfed by the new hallucinations to which those of the Bayan who are now avoiders are clinging. Stand steadfast for spreading the Cause with the Godly power and might, and defend the servants from the oppositions of the polytheists, and from the superstitions of the erring and neglected souls, and meditate upon the hidden mysteries."

465. Up to the time of the Manifestations, the people of the Furkan (Qur'an), that is to say, the party of the Shiites, did not understand the Day of God, nor the way of the Manifestation. They seemed to be entirely excluded from the ocean of knowledge and prevented from the lights of the sun of realities. The Cause of God appeared and spread in a way directly opposite to what they perceived and clung to, through their evil thoughts and superstitions; and these simple souls who count themselves among all as the most pious and ascetic of the creatures, stood with (awful) oppression in such a way that the Supreme Concourse and the inhabitants of the cities of the names and the worldly kingdom were all stunned.

466. Hereby the Supreme Pen pronounced, as a favor from Him, that ye may know what hath been hidden from you, and observe what was hidden behind the veil, and the deeds of those who wandered in the wilderness of superstitions and hallucinations and decided upon the sentence (of killing) the One who came by the truth from the presence of God, the Almighty, and the Omnipresent.

467. O drinker of the pure, sealed wine! The Name of Omnipresence says: "Meditate on the people of the party which counts itself forgiven and saved, that during the appearance of the trial (test) they became of the deeply wicked, transgressive, denying and rejected party; and they were mentioned and recorded in the Godly Book by the Supreme Pen as the appearance of denial. God willing, all the people of Baha who are mentioned in the Omnipotence of the names as the people of the Red Ark, must appear with such rectitude and uprightness as is suited for the greatest Cause and blessed Day. This day is the day of serving and standing steadfast. If a child will stand uprightly in this Cause, he will be more powerful than all the followers of the Bayan, with the witness of God and the witness of Him who appeared before and announced to the people the great news."

468. In the Tablets which were revealed in Iraq and Ardisherr (the land of mystery, or Adrianople) and Sijan Orzan, the greatest prison of Acca, We have said to all friends and made announcement about the appearance of the croakers (Nakazeen) and the birds of night and the book of the Sejjien (books written against the Cause) and the tablets of fire, that they may stand steadfast in such a way that all the creatures and what they have could not falsify these fixed and established records; and they must be like the mountains, not the leaves which are shaken by the wind and are turned with the slightest breeze. In the same way the All-knowing taught you, and the Knower, the Announced, caused you to know and guided you to the right path.

469. Exert your intelligence and with perfect humbleness and submissiveness beg of the Powerful and the Almighty that He may strengthen you in what is adorned by His graciousness; and to make the circumstance favorable to you in the deeds which shall be mentioned of you through the eternity of the Kingdom, in the Book of God everlastingly.

470. O beloved! In this Day the door of heaven was opened by the key of the Name of God, and the ocean of liberality is manifested and rolling before all faces, and the sun of providence is shining and gleaming. Do not exclude yourselves; and do not destroy your most precious time by being influenced by the speech of this or that person. Confirm the back of energy! Do your best in training the people of the world. Do not consider that the Cause of God is the cause of opposition, hatred and wrath. The Tongue of Greatness says that what is intended by that which was revealed from the heaven of the Will in this holy and supreme Manifestation is uniting the people in love and friendship towards all.

471. The people of Baha who have drunk of the pure wine of reality must associate with all the world with the perfect spirit of joy and fragrance; and remind them of that which is for the benefit of all. This is the command of the Wronged One to His saints and sincere ones.

472. The creatures were created through love, and all are commanded to live in friendship and unity. Now look to this carefully and mention this blessed word which hath shone forth from the horizon of the mouth of the King of Unity.

473. Do not allow the opportunity to fall from your grasp; and spend not your time uselessly. I swear by the ocean of Godly knowledge that a moment in these days is more excellent than past centuries and ages; to this beareth witness your Lord, the Chooser, the Generous.

474. God willing, may ye burn up the curtains of prevention by the fire of the love of the most Merciful and illumine the hearts by the light of His Face. This Day is the day of this confirmed blessed Word which the Tongue of Unity has uttered before, "Everything is perishable but His Face."

475. This Day is the Day of God and God alone is speaking in it; and none should be mentioned save Him.

476. Where are the purified eyes of clear insight? And where are the withdrawn and illuminated hearts? This Day is the day of eyes, ears and hearts. Beg of God that ye may possess these three, that ye may be withdrawn from the veils and sanctified. Because a thine veil -- the thinnest -- prevents the eye from seeing, the ears from hearing, the heart from understanding.

477. Ponder carefully on this Supreme Pen: "O Children of Knowledge! The physical eye will be prevented from seeing the world and what is in it by a very thin lid; then what will be the consequence if the veil of avariciousness covers the eye of the heart?"

478. "I was in My Ancient Essence and My Everlasting Being; I foreknew My love in thee; therefore I created thee and laid upon thee My likeness and manifested to thee My Beauty."

479. O people of Baha! Ye are in homes and the Wronged One is in the greatest prison. While He is immersed in the ocean of trials He mentions every one of you with verses and utterances; that if one letter of these words shines forth in the beings of existence, the word of "Thou art the Beloved" will appear in all in such a way that all may see and read.

480. Do not throw from your hands this boundless bounty. And do not be neglectful regarding what happened to this Wronged One and you in the Cause of God. Understand your rank and protect your stations by the Name of God, because the polytheists and repudiating ones and the perfidious ones appeared with the clothes of unity, advancement and truthfulness and they spent the zeal of their envy in misleading the people.

481. Verily, your Lord the most Merciful says the truth and announces to you the bounty and guideth you to the right path.

482. Leave the ways of the people and count that the paths of the negligent ones are the lost and destroyed paths, and say: verily, He never walks in your paths and never does as ye have done. He hath already appeared and manifested His right path and taught all His true way.

483. Blessing be upon the soul who hastened to the ocean of the mercy of His Lord; and the ear which heard the cry of the Supreme Pen; and the eye which saw His wonderful verses and the tongue which pronounced His most beautiful praise.

484. Say: Verily, be merciful to yourselves and do not follow those who renounced God and His texts, and repudiated His demonstrations and His proofs and stood steadfast in their avoidance with professed opposition.

485. Verily, He (Bahá'u'lláh) in the greatest imprisonment called the kings and the servants to the Greatest Name, who was hidden in the Knowledge of God and mentioned in the Books of the Messengers of God.

486. O Beloved! All of you are mentioned in the Books of God always. If some of the saints of God do not succeed in receiving each a special Tablet, they must know confessedly and certainly that their names, advancement and nearness, according to their stations, are mentioned and recorded in the Book from the Supreme Pen.

487. Now beg of God assistance that ye may succeed by that which will be the cause and purpose of your mention everlastingly. Verily He seeth and heareth and He is the Learned, the All-knowing.

488. The world is in an evanescent condition, and after a time those who are upon the earth will go to the graves.

489. By Him who caused all else to pronounce the praise of Himself, the world and what is witnessed therein, to the one who has clear insight, will never be equal to one word of the Words of God; because it is forever and ever transitory and evanescent; but the Word of God is eternal and everlasting, as the eternality of the names and qualities.

490. No wise one will, for the sake of a day or two, give up the everlasting Grace. I say the truth, -- the spirit was and is always desiring to purport of the paradise of disclosement and meeting; but the hallucinations and desires which do not appease, preclude it from the kingdom of nearness.

491. Ye must burn up the veils with the fire of certainty and with the light of faith illuminate the hearts and minds. Exert your intelligence that ye may drink from the Kawther of certainty which is ever flowing from the right side of the Godly Throne. The one who will gain this is of the people of eternity mentioned on the Red Page. Praise be to God, the providence of God and His benevolence guide the advanced ones to the right path and cause them to succeed in gaining the greatest donation and greatest gift. Understand the station of yourselves and in every case be awakened, because the misguiders were and are in ambush for the faithful guides. Verily, your Lord, the Merciful, is the All-knowing, the All-wise!

492. Is there (seen) any truthful seeker who is excluded from the the bounties of the Generous? Or any advancer who desires with perfect righteousness the extreme Place, and was barred from it? No, by the Self of God! If some of the Unitarians (those who believe in the unity of God), the near ones and the sincere do not succeed apparently to what they desire, this is owing to the mystery of the highest wisdom of God. So they must not be saddened, because for everything there is a special fixed time, and when that arrives, it appears in truth from the presence of God, the Lord of the worlds. Be rejoiced, O saints of God and His friends, that My Supreme Pen mentioned you in the night in which the Tongue of Greatness declared, "Verily there is no God but He, the Assister, the Single, the Generous, the Praiseworthy."

493. Blessing be upon him who succeeds in gaining the great uprightness! Verily he is from those of the supreme Paradise in the Book of God, the Possessor of the names, the Cleaner of heaven, who appeared with the truth, with evident authority. Beware that the veils of the names deprive ye not from their King, Revealer and Creator, -- cling to the robe of the Providence of thy Lord, the most Merciful and adhere to His brilliant train.

He who lives according to what was ordained for him, the Supreme Concourse and those of the supreme Paradise and those who are dwelling under the dome of greatness, will pray for him, by a command from God, the dearest and the praiseworthy.

494. So the Wronged One mentioned you, while in the imprisonment of the negligent ones, and taught you what brings you near in every case to God, the powerful, omnipotent, the dearest, the unique. Verily, We command all the wisdom and clear explanation in the Cause of their Lord, the All-merciful, as We commanded them before. Verily He is the Adviser, the All-faithful. Now here is a Word which We revealed in several Tablets. It is commanded that He who believes in God during this Manifestation, must adhere to it, and be of the confirmed ones, and We prohibit all from what displeases God. And We ordered for them that which will rejoice the hearts of the nations.

495. Verily, He is the Compassionate, the Generous. "Associate, O My friends, with all the people of religions with joy and fragrance. Beware that ye make not the Word of God the cause of oppositions or contrast, or for the purpose of causing hatred among you. Say: be sincerely pious toward God, O people of the earth, and be not found among the negligent ones."

496. Verily He commands you that from which He may find the fragrance of the spirit, if ye are of the wise. El-Baha is upon you and upon those with you and upon those who love you and serve you and hear from you what was written from the Supreme Pen in this Cause, the assured, the manifested, the perspicuous.

THE MOST GREAT INFALLIBILITY

497. This is the Epistle of God, the Protector, the Self-subsistent!

He is God! Exalted is His state, in wisdom and utterance! Praise be unto God who is single in grandeur, power and beauty, is One in glory, potency and majesty, and who is sanctified above being comprehended by reflection, or having any peer or equal. His right path hath verily been made clear by the most eloquent utterance and speech. Verily He is the independent, the almighty!

498. When He purposed a new creation He sent forth the manifest and luminous Point from the horizon of desire, and the Point went round through every sign, under every form, until it reached the ultimate station, by a command from the presence of God, the Lord of mankind. Verily it (the Point) is the center of the Circle of Names, the end of the appearances of "letters" in the Kingdom of Emanation. Through it appeared that which indicates the most concealed Mystery, the adorned allegory, the manifest One who is expressive of the Greatest Name in the brilliant Tablet and in the holy, blessed White Epistle.

499. And when the Point was united with the second letter which is manifest in the beginning of the "Messani," the spheres of utterance and significances revolved, the eternal light of God shone forth and stood high upon the heaven of demonstration, and two orbs of light were produced there from. Glorified is the Merciful One who cannot be referred to by any allusion, or expressed by any expression, or known by any explication or described by any traces. Verily He is the Commander, the Bestower -- in the Origin and Return!

500. And He appointed unto them (i.e., those two orbs) protectors and guardians out of the hosts of power and might. Verily He is the protector, the mighty, the unconstrained!

501. Praise be to God who manifested the Point and sent forth from it the knowledge of what was and is; who made it (the Point) the herald of His Name, the precursor to His most great manifestation, by which the nerves of nations have quivered with fear and the Light has risen from the horizon of the world. Verily it is that Point which God hath made to be a sea of light for the sincere among His servants and a ball of fire for the deniers among His creatures and the impious among his people -- i.e., those who have changed God's favors, rejected the bread of heaven in their hypocrisy and led their friends to an unhappy dwelling. They are such men who manifested forth hypocrisy in the world and violated the Covenant in the Day wherein the temple of pre-existence is established upon the most great throne. The herald is crying from the "right side of the sacred valley" (saying): O concourse of the Bayan! Fear the clement One! This is the One of whom Muhammad, the Messenger of God, made mention; and before him the Spirit (Christ), and before him the Interlocutor (Moses)! This is the Point of the Bayan who calleth out before the Throne, saying: In Truth, ye have been created for the remembrance of this most great message and this most firm path, which was hidden in the minds of the Prophets, concealed within the breasts of the chosen ones, and written by the Supreme Pen in the Tablets of your Lord, the King of Names!

502. Say: Die in your wrath, O ye people of discord! He hath indeed appeared, from whose knowledge naught is concealed, and He because of whom the face of knowledge smiles (with joy) hath come, and by whom the kingdom of utterance is adorned! Every advancer toward God, the King of religions, hath advanced. By Him every sitting one hath risen up and those lying down have hastened to the mount of assurance. This is the Day which God hath made to be a grace unto the pious, a punishment unto the wicked, a mercy unto those who advance and a wrath unto those who deny and turn away! Verily he hath appeared with a power from His presence and hath revealed that which naught in His heaven and earth can equal! Fear the clement One, O people of the Bayan! and commit not what was wrought by the people of El-Forkan (Qur'an) who professed faith during nights and days, but when the Lord of men came, they denied and disbelieved, until they condemned Him in such injustice, whereat the "Mother-Book" lamented in the (Day of) Return. Remember; then look at their deeds and words, their grades and stations, and at that which proceeded from them when the speaker of the mount spoke, the trumpet was sounded and all in the heavens and earth were stunned -- except a number of the "letters" of the Face.

503. O concourse of the Bayan! Abandon your superstitions and imaginations! Then gaze with the eye of justice unto the horizon of the Manifestation unto that which hath appeared and hath inflicted upon Him. He is the One who hath accepted all calamities for the sake of the declaration of His command and the promotion of His Word. He hath been once imprisoned in Ta (Tihran), once in Mein (Mazarandan) and then again in Ta, for the sake of the cause of God, the Creator of heaven; during which He hath been in chains and shackles, in longing for the Command of God, the Mighty, the Gracious!

504. O concourse of the Bayan! Have ye forgotten My Commandments and that which hath proceeded from My pen and hath been uttered by My tongue? Have ye preferred your suspicions before My certainty and your desires before My way? Have you forsaken the precepts of God and His commemoration and abandoned the ordinances of God and His commands? Fear God! Leave superstitions unto their manifestors, and suppositions unto their sources, and doubts unto their originators. Then advance with shining faces and brilliant hearts toward that horizon from which the Sun of Assurance hath shone, by a command from the presence of God, the King of religions.

505. Praise be to God! who hath made the "Most Great Infallibility" a cuirass for the temple of His command, in the kingdom of emanation; and hath decreed for none else any portion from this lofty grade and supreme station! Verily, this (i.e., the Most Great Infallibility) is a mantle spun by the fingers of power for His own exalted self. Verily, this does not become any one except Him who is established upon the Throne of "He doeth whatsoever He willeth." Whosoever acknowledges and confesses that which is written at this moment by the Supreme Pen is verily of the people of unity and of the followers of singleness, in the Book of God, the King of origin and return.

506. And when Our Words reached this point, the fragrance of knowledge wafted and the orb of oneness shone forth from the horizon of the heaven of utterance. Blessed is whosoever is attracted by the voice to the lofty apex and furthermost end and learned from the sound of My Supreme Pen that which is desired by the Lord of this world and the world to come! Verily, he who does not drink from Our sealed choice wine, the seal of which We have broken by Our Name, the self-subsistent, is verily one who has not attained to the lights of Oneness or known the purpose of the Books of God, the Lord of the heaven and earth, the King of the next world and the present one; and such an one is accounted of the polytheists in the Books of God, the knower, the omniscient.

507. O thou honorable questioner! We testify that, verily, thou hast adhered to abundant patience in the days wherein the Pen was withheld from flowing and the Tongue from utterance in mention of the "Most Great Infallibility" and the most mighty sign, which thou hast asked this oppressed one to remove for thee its veils and coverings and to explain unto thee its mystery, its grade, its station, its position, its rank, its exaltation and its loftiness.

508. By the life of God! Were We to expose the pearls of argument as concealed in the shells of the sea of knowledge and assurance and send forth the faces of significances hidden in the chambers of utterance, in the paradise of knowledge, the clamor of the (religious) doctors would be raised from every direction, and thou wouldst find the people of God in the claws of the wolves who have disbelieved in God, in the origin and return. We did, therefore, restrain the Pen for a long space of time, as a wisdom from the presence of the clement One, and to the intent of protecting Our friends from those who have exchanged the benefit of God for their infidelity and entitled their people to the abode of perdition.

509. O thou gazing questioner and O thou whom the Supreme Concourse have attracted unto the exalted Word! For the birds of the realm of My kingdom and for the doves of the garden of My wisdom, there are tunes and melodies, of which none is informed save God, the King of the world of dominion and the empyrean realm. Were there to appear even less than a needle's eye thereof, the unjust will say that which was not said by the former communities and will commit that which was wrought by none, in all ages and centuries. They have indeed denied the grace of God and His argument, the proof of God and His signs; they have, themselves, erred and have also led the people astray, while they perceive not! They have adopted for themselves imaginations as lords in spite of God, and they understand not! They have abandoned the most great sea, hastening to the pool, and they comprehend not! They follow their own desires, while turning away from God, the protector, the self-subsistent!

510. Say: In Truth, the clement One hath come with power and might and through Him the (people of all the) religions have trembled with fear, and the nightingale of utterance hath warbled on the highest branch of knowledge (to wit): He hath indeed appeared who has hidden in the (divine) knowledge and recorded in the Book! Say: This is the Day wherein the Speaker of the Mount is established upon the throne of manifestation, and the people have resurrected before God, the Lord of the creatures! This is the Day the earth hath revealed her news and uncovered her treasures, and the seas their pearls, the Sadrat its fruits, the sun its effulgence, the moons their lights, the heaven its stars, the "hour" its tokens, the resurrection its majesty, the pend their traces and the spirits their arcana. Blessed is whosoever knoweth Him, and woe unto those who denied and turned away from Him! I beg of God to enable His servants to return. Verily He is the lenient, the forgiver, the merciful!

511. O thou who art advancing toward the supreme horizon and drinking My sealed choice wine, from the hands of bestowal! Know thou, verily, there are numerous meanings and divers stations for "Infallibility." In one sense, the name "Infallibility" is true of one whom God hath guarded against sin, transgression and unbelief, infidelity, polytheism, and the like. But "The Most Great Infallibility" is applied only to One whose station is sanctified above commands and prohibitions and purified form sin and forgetfulness. Verily He is a light which is not followed by darkness and a rectitude which is proof against error. If He declares water to be wine, or heaven to be earth, or light to be fire, it is true and there is no doubt therein; and no one has the right to oppose Him, or to say "why" or "wherefore"; and he who disputes Him is, verily, of the opposers in the Book of God, the Lord of the creatures! "Verily no account shall be demanded of Him for what He shall do; but an account shall be demanded of all for all they shall do."

512. Verily He hath come from the heaven of the unseen, and with Him the standard of "He doeth whatsoever He willeth." and the hosts of power and authority. As to all else save Him: It is incumbent upon them to cling unto that which He hath commanded -- of laws and ordinances; and if one departs from them -- even to the extent of a single hair's breadth -- his deed will all go for nought.

513. Consider, then remember, when Muhammad, the Messenger of God, came, He said, and His saying is truth: "And (it is a duty) toward God (incumbent on people), to go to visit the House (of Mecca)." The same was the case with prayer, fasting and the ordinances which shone forth from the horizon of the Book of God, the master of the world and the educator of nations. It was incumbent upon all to follow Him in that which was commanded by God; and whosoever denied Him disbelieved in God, in His verses, in His messengers and in His Books. Verily if He declareth a virtue to be an error, or infidelity to be faith, it is a truth from His presence. This (the Manifestation's) is a Station wherein no error or sin is found or spoken of.

514. Consider the blessed, revealed Verse by which the pilgrimage of the "House" was made obligatory for all. And it was incumbent upon those who arose after Him in the Cause, to practice that whereunto they were commanded in the Book. No one has a right to depart from the ordinances of God and His precepts, and whosoever departs therefrom is verily of the transgressors, in the Book of God, the Lord of the great throne.

515. O thou who art gazing toward the horizon of the Cause! Know thou verily the desire of God is never restricted to the limits of the servants; verily He doth not walk in accord with their ways; it is incumbent upon all to hold to His right path. Verily if He declares the right to be left, or the south to be the north, it is true and there is no doubt therein. Verily He is to be praised in His deeds and to be obeyed in His command. He hath no associate in His behest and no helper in His power; He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and commandeth whatsoever He desireth!

516. Then know thou! All else save Him are but created through a Word from His presence; they have no motion nor quiescence except through His command and permission.

517. O thou who art soaring in the atmosphere of love and affection and gazing toward the lights of the face of thy Lord, the King of Origination! Thank thou God, for He hath unfolded unto thee that which was hidden and concealed in the (divine) knowledge; so that all may know that, verily, in the station of "the Most Mighty Infallibility" He hath taken to Himself no associate nor counsellor. Verily, He is the dawningplace of commands and ordinances and the source of knowledge and wisdom. All else save Him are subjects and under the command, while He is the ruler, the commander, the knower, the omniscient!

518. As to thee: When thou art attracted by the fragrances of the verses of the manifestation and overcome by the pure (wine of the) Kawther from the hands of the bestowal of thy Lord, the King of the Day of Resurrection, say:

519. "O my God! O my God! Praise be unto Thee, for Thou hast directed me unto Thyself, guided me unto Thy horizon, made clear unto me Thy path, manifested unto me Thy proof, and caused me to advance toward Thee while most of Thy servants turned away from Thee such as divine and religious doctors and those who followed them without any evidence on Thy part or argument from Thy presence. Grace be unto Thee, O Thou God of Names, and praise be unto Thee, O Thou creator of heaven! for Thou hast caused me to drink Thy sealed choice wine in Thy Name, the self-subsistent, to draw nigh unto Thee, and to know the day-spring of Thy utterance, the dawningplace of Thy verses, the source of Thy commands and behests and the fount of Thy wisdom and favors.

"Blessed is the land which is honored by Thy footsteps, and upon which the throne of Thy grandeur is established, and in which the fragrance of Thy garment is being diffused! By Thy might, by Thy power, by Thy potency and authority! I wish not the eye except to behold Thy beauty, and I desire not the ear except to hear Thy voice and verses.

"O my God! O my God! Deprive not the eyes from that for which Thou hast created them and the faces from turning unto Thy horizon, standing before the door of Thy grandeur, being present before Thy throne and humble before the effulgences of the lights of the sun of Thy grace! O my Lord! I am the one whose heart, innermost parts, limbs and whose outward and inward tongue have testified to Thy oneness and singleness; and that, verily, thou art God; there is no God but Thee! Thou hast indeed created men to know Thee and to serve Thy Cause, whereby their stations may be exalted in Thy earth and their souls be uplifted through that which Thou hast revealed in Thy epistles, books and tablets. But when Thou made Thyself manifest and revealed Thy verses, they turned away from Thee, denied Thee and disbelieved that which Thou hast shown forth by Thy power and Thy potency. And they arose to persecute Thee, to quench Thy light and to extinguish the fire of Thy Sadrat; and they went so far in oppression as to desire to shed Thy blood and violate Thy honor. Likewise, he whom Thou didst train by the hands of Thy providence and didst protect from the evil of the rebels among Thy creatures and the oppressors among Thy servants, he who was (employed) to write down Thy verses before Thy Throne -- alas! alas! for that which he wrought in Thy days; in such wise that he violated Thy Covenant and Testament, denied Thy verses, arose in opposition and committed that whereby the denizens of Thy Kingdom lamented! And when he was disappointed in himself and discovered the odor of loss, he cried and said that whereat the favored among Thy chosen ones and the dwellers of the pavilions of Thy glory were astonished!

"Thou beholdest me, O my God, like unto a fish moving in anguish upon the earth! Deliver me; then have pity on me, O Thou Deliverer! O Thou in whose hand are the reins of all men and women among mankind!

"Whenever I reflect upon my great sins and immense transgressions, despair overtakes me from all sides; and whenever I reflect upon the sea of Thy bestowal, the heaven of Thy bounty and upon the sun of Thy grace, I find the fragrance of hope from the right and the left, from the north and the south, as if all things rejoice me with the rains of the clouds of the heaven of Thy mercy. O Thou support of the sincere ones and Thou Desire of the favored ones! By Thy might! Thy gifts and Thy favors and the appearances of Thy grace and providence have emboldened me; otherwise, how could a non-existent one speak of Him upon whose presence through a word the whole existence has appeared! and how could a lost one describe Him of whom it is proved by argument that, 'Verily He cannot be described by description or spoken of by words; He has ever been sanctified beyond the comprehension of His creatures and purified above the knowledge of His servants!'

"O my God! Thou beholdest a dead one before Thy Face, deprive him not from the cup of life in Thy bounty and beneficence; and a sick one before Thy throne, withhold him not from the sea of Thy healing. I beg of Thee to strengthen me under all circumstances to commemorate and praise Thee and to serve Thy Cause; while I know that whatever appears from a servant is restricted to the limits of himself and is not worthy of Thy presence nor befitteth the court of Thy might and grandeur.

"By Thy might! Were it not for to praise Thee my tongue were of no benefit to me, and were it not for to serve Thee my being were of no use to me. And I wish not the eye but to behold the lights of Thy supreme horizon, and I desire not the ear except to hear Thy sweet voice.

"Alas! Alas! O my Lord, my support, my hope! I know not whether Thou hast ordained for me that whereby my eye may be consoled, my breast dilated and my heart rejoiced, or that Thine immutable decree hath prevented me from presenting myself before Thy throne, O Thou king of pre-existence and ruler of nations!

"By Thy might, Thy power, Thy grandeur, Thy dominion! The gloom of remoteness hath smitten me: Where is the light of Thy nearness? O Thou object of the knowing! And the awfulness of separation hath stunned me: Where is the radiance of Thy union? O Thou beloved of the sincere!

"Thou beholdest, O my God, that which hath befallen me in Thy path, on the part of those who have denied Thy truth, violated Thy Covenant, disputed Thy verses and rejected Thy benefit after its appearance and Thy Word after its revelation and Thy proof after its completion!

"O my Lord! The tongue of my tongue, the heart of my heart, the soul of my soul, and my inward and outward being all testify to Thy oneness and singleness, to Thy power and authority, to Thy grandeur and dominion, and to Thy might and exaltation and sovereignty, and to that, verily, Thou art God. There is no God but Thee. Thou hast been everlastingly a treasury concealed from eyes and comprehension and wilt be never-endingly even as Thou hast been from all eternity. Neither hath the power of the world weakened Thee, nor the potency of nations threatened Thee. Thou art He who hath opened the door of knowledge before the face of Thy servants, so that they may know the day-spring of Thy revelation, the dawningplace of Thy verses, the heaven of Thy manifestation, the sun of Thy beauty; and (Thou art He) who hath promised all in the earth, in Thy Books, Epistles and Scriptures, concerning the Manifestation of Thyself and the removal of the veils of glory from Thy face. This Thou didst reveal unto Thy Beloved One (Muhammad) by whom the orb of the command dawned from the horizon of Hijaz and the light of truth dawned among the servants, in Thy Words, 'The Day whereon mankind shall arise before the Lord of the creatures.' (Qur'an). And before him (Muhammad) Thou didst announce this unto the Interlocutor (Moses) to 'lead forth Thy people from darkness into light and to remind them of the days of God' (Qur'an). And, again, Thou didst speak of this (Day) unto the Spirit (Christ) and unto all Thy former and latter Prophets and Messengers. Were there to proceed from the treasuries of Thy Supreme Pen all that Thou hast revealed in the mention of this most great remembrance and this Thy mighty message, all the denizens of the city of knowledge and wisdom would be stunned, except whomsoever Thou hast delivered through Thy potency and protected through Thy bounty and grace.

"I testify that verily thou hast fulfilled Thy Covenant and sent forth Him whose Manifestation was announced by Thy prophets, Thy chosen ones and Thy servants. Verily He hath come from the horizon of might and power with the banners of Thy signs, and with the standards of Thy evidences, and He hath arisen before the faces through Thy power and potency and summoned all men unto the exalted apex and supreme horizon in such wise that the injustice of the learned and the majesty of princes have not withheld Him. He hath arisen in the most mighty steadfastness and spoken in the loftiest voice (saying), 'The giver of gifts hath indeed come, riding on the cloud; advance, O ye people of the earth, with shining faces and illumined hearts!' Blessed is whosoever attains to Thy meeting, drinks the choice wine of union from the hands of Thy bestowal, discovers the fragrance of Thy verses, speaks in Thy praise, soars in Thy atmosphere, and is overcome by the attraction of Thy utterance, and whom Thou hast caused to enter Thy supreme paradise -- the station of revelation and vision -- before the throne of Thy grandeur!

"O my Lord! I beg of Thee, by the 'Most Great Infallibility' which Thou hast made to be a horizon for Thy Manifestation, and by Thy exalted Word by which the creation was created and the command was made manifest, and by this Name whereby the Names lamented and the nerves of the knowing ones trembled with fear, to make me so severed from all else save Thee that I may not move except by Thy desire, nor speak except by Thy will and hear naught but Thy commemoration and praise.

"Praise be unto Thee, O my God, and thanks be unto Thee, O my hope, for that Thou hast made clear unto me Thy right path, revealed unto me Thy great message, and assisted me to advance toward the day-spring of Thy revelation and the source of Thy command after Thy servants and creatures have denied Him!

"I beg of Thee, O Thou king of the kingdom of immortality! by the sound of Thy supreme pen, and by the fire ablaze and in the service of Thy friends. Then assist Thy servants, O my God, in that by reason of which Thy Cause will be elevated, and to practice what Thou hast revealed in Thy Book. Verily, Thou art the powerful, and the protector of all that Thou willest and in Thy grasp are the reins of all things! There is no God but Thee, the potent, the knower, the wise!"

520. O thou Jabeel! We have indeed shown unto thee the sea and its waves, the sun and its effulgence, the heaven and its stars and the shells and their pearls. Thank thou God for this most great favor and for this beneficence which hath pervaded the whole world.

521. O thou who art turning toward the light of the Face!

Superstitions have indeed encompassed the denizens of the earth and have prevented them from turning unto the horizon of certainty and its effulgence, radiances and lights. Through fanices they are withheld from the self-subsistent One; they speak after their desires and perceive not. Some among them say: "Have the Verses been revealed?" Say: Yea, by the Lord of heavens! "Hath the 'Hour' arrived?" Yea, -- nay: It hath already gone by -- by the Manifestor of Evident Signs! The "Infallible" hath indeed come, and the True One hath become manifest with proof and argument! The "Sahirah" hath become manifest and people are in dread and agitation! The "earthquakes" have indeed come and the multitudes have lamented in fear of God, the powerful, the mighty! Say: "The stunning sound" (of the trumpet) is sounded and the Day belongs to God, the wise, the unconstrained! And they say: "Hath the 'Catastrophe' been fulfilled?" Say: Aye, by the Lord of Lords! "Hath the Resurrection been set up?" Yea -- nay, even the self-subsistent One (hath arisen) in the kingdom of signs! "Are the people found 'prostrated'?" Yea, by my Lord, the supreme, the Abha! "Have the tree-trunks been 'uprooted'?" Nay, even the mountains are pulled down -- by the King of attributes! Then another says: "Where is the 'Paradise' and the 'Hell'?" Say, the former is My Meeting and the latter is thyself, O thou doubting polytheist! They say: "Verily, we do not see the 'Balance.'" Say: Aye, by my Lord, the clement, none shall see it except the possessors of insight! They say: "Have the stars fallen?" Say: Aye (they did, when the pre-existent One was in the Land of Mystery (Adrianople)! Be ye therefore admonished, O possessors of sight! All the signs indeed become manifest when We stretched out the hand of power from the bosom of grandeur and omnipotence! The Crier hath indeed called out, for the (Day of) "Promise" hath come, and the dwellers of the (Sinaitic) Mount are stunned in the desert of suspension (of sojourn) because of the Majesty of thy Lord, the king of origination! Then they say: "Hath the trumpet been sounded?" Say: Yea, by the king of manifestation! (It did) when He was seated upon the throne of His Name, the clement! The gloomy darkness hath been illuminated through the dawn of the mercy of thy Lord, the dawningplace of lights. The breeze of the merciful one hath indeed been wafted, and the souls are refreshed in the graves of bodies. Thus hath the matter been decreed on the part of God, the mighty, the bestower!

522. Those who disbelieved said: "When did the heaven cleave asunder?" Say: When ye were in the tombs of heedlessness and error. Some other one among the infidels wipes his eyes and gazes at the right and left. Say: Verily, thou hast become blind, and, in this Day, there is no refuge for thee. Still other say: "Have the souls been resurrected?" Say: Aye, by my Lord; when ye were (asleep) in the beds of superstitions! Others say: "Hath the Book been revealed through 'a creative power'?" Say, verily, even it (i. e. "creative power") is astonished thereat! Be ye warned, O ye spiritually minded! Again, some say: "Have the blind been restored to sight?" Say; Yea, by the One who rides upon the cloud! Paradise is indeed adorned with the roses of significances, and hell is ablaze with the fire of the wicked! Say: The Light hath indeed risen from the horizon of manifestation, and the regions are illumined, since the king of the Day of the Covenant hath come. Those who have doubted are indeed in loss, but they have gained who advanced with the light of conviction toward the dawningplace of assurance!

523. Blessed art thou, O thou gazer! for that We have revealed unto thee this Tablet, by which souls fly (with joy)! Guard it; then read it. By My Life, it is the door of the mercy of thy Lord! Blessed is whosoever reads it at morn and eve!

THE LAW OF LOVE

524. Say: O friend! Sleep with your face turned to the Friend, and rest in bed in the thought of the loved One. From flowers inhale the fragrance of the beloved One, and in every fire see the light of the desired One. I swear by the life of the Friend, that if thou smellest the garment of Joseph and enterest the Egypt of the love of God, thou wilt become the mother of all the chosen ones! Then exert thyself in love with thy soul and enter the abode of the beloved One with thy heart. Abandon grief for the world to its people and give no heed to the limited days of this world; be seated on the immortal, everlasting throne, be clad in a divine raiment, drink the wine of love from the cup of the beloved One, become ablaze with the light of love, and sew the robe of love! This is that matter which shall never change! Know thou, therefore, that in every age and dispensation all Divine Ordinances are changed and transformed according to the requirements of the time, except the law of love, which, like unto a fountain, flows always and is never overtaken by change. This is of the wonderful mysteries which God has mentioned for His servants! Verily, He is the merciful, the compassionate!

THE TABLET OF THE VIRGIN

525. O My Namesake: Listen to My Call from around My Throne, so that it may summon thee to a Sea which has no boundary and to whose depths no diver has reached. Verily, thy Lord is knowing and generous. Verily, We desired to bestow Our Favor upon thee by mentioning that which We have seen, so that thou mayest realize that We have Worlds within this world, and offer thanks to thy Lord, the All-knowing.

Verily, if He wished He could make the rays of the sun manifest from an atom, and the waves of the sea from a drop. He hath power, as He hath set forth in detail: the knowledge of what was and what will be, out of a point.

Verily, We were seated on the Throne when a luminous Virgin clad in the finest white robe entered. She became like the full moon rising from the horizon of heaven. Exalted be God, her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

When she opened her mouth heaven and earth were illumined as though the Essence of Eternity reflected upon her its light. Exalted be God, her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

She smiled and bent like the stem of a reed in the presence of the Merciful One. Exalted be He who made her manifest. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

Then she walked and moved about without any intention or will upon her part as if the needle of love were attracted by the magnet of the Beauty that shone in front of her. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

She walked while Glory was in attendance upon her and the Kingdom of Beauty was heralded in front of her, praising her matchless beauty, her winning ways and symmetry of form. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

Then We beheld jet-black hair hanging over her white throat, as though day and night embraced each other in this most glorious Station and highest Existence. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

When We observed her face, We found a point hidden under a veil, belonging to unity, shining forth from the horizon of her brow, as though through it the Tablets of the Love of the Merciful in the contingent world, and the volumes of the Lovers in all horizons, were fully explained. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

There was another point upon her breast which spoke of that point. Exalted be the Lord of the Hidden and the Manifest who created her. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

The Temple of God arose and began to walk, and she walked behind, listening to, shaken and attracted by, the Verses of her Lord. Blessed is He who created her. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

Then her joy, her delight and her enthusiasm increased to such a degree that she was changed and swooned. When she recovered her senses she drew near and said: "May my soul be a sacrifice to Thy imprisonment, O Secret of the unseen in the kingdom of creation!" No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

She remained looking at the dawningplace of the Throne like one intoxicated and bewildered, until she place her hand about the neck of her Lord and drew Him to her. As she drew nearer We took from her what was revealed in the treasured Red Epistle by My most exalted Pen. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

Then she bowed her head and rested her face upon her two fingers, as though a new moon had come into conjunction with a full moon. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.

At this point she cried and said: "May the whole existence be a sacrifice to Thy afflictions, O King of heaven and earth! How long wilt Thou entrust Thyself to these people in the city of Acca? Go to Thy other Kingdoms, to the stations of that to which the eyes of the people of names have never turned!" Whereupon We smiled.

Learn from this sweet narrative that which We intend to describe of the hidden Secret which is manifest and yet most concealed, O people of wisdom among the companions of My Red Ark. This narrative coincides with the day which is the anniversary of the birth of My Herald, who spoke eloquently of Me and of My Sovereignty, and informed the people of the heaven of My intention, the sea of My will, and the sun of My manifestation. We honored it with another day in which was manifested the Concealed Essence, the treasured Secret, and the preserved Mystery, the One through whom the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Names were shaken with bewilderment and those that are in heaven and earth are stunned, except those whom We secured with Our own authority and power. I am powerful in whatsoever I wish. There is no God but Me, the Knowing, the Wise.

Blessed is he who has inhaled from the fragrance of God in this day which is the dawningpoint of manifestation and the dayspring of My Name, the Forgiver, and in which the fragrance wafted, the spirit moved, the attraction raised up those who were in their graves, and Mount Sinai cried out: "The Kingdom belongeth to God, the Wise!" and in which ever seeker obtained his desire, every man, knowing God, attained blessings, and every traveler in the way of God found the divine Right Path.

THE HOLY MARINER
526. He is the Gracious, the Well-Beloved!
O Holy Mariner!

Bid thine Ark of Eternity appear before the Celestial Concourse,

Launch it upon the Ancient Sea in His Name, the most wondrous,

And let the angelic spirits enter, in the name of God, the Most High,

Unmoor it then that it may sail upon the Ocean of Glory,

Haply the dwellers therein may attain the Retreats of Nearness in the Everlasting Realm;

Having reached the Sacred Strand, the shore of the Crimson Seas,

Bid them issue forth and attain this ethereal, invisible Station,

A station wherein the Lord hath in the Flame of His Beauty appeared within the deathless Tree;

Wherein the embodiments of His Cause cleansed themselves of self and passion,

Around which the glory of Moses doth circle with the Everlasting Hosts;

Wherein the Hand of God was drawn forth from His Bosom of Grandeur;

Wherein the Ark of the Cause remaineth motionless, even though to its dwellers be declared all Divine Attributes.

O Mariner! Teach them that are within the Ark that which we have taught thee behind the mystic Veil,

Perchance they may not tarry in the Sacred and Snow-white Spot,

But may soar upon the Wings of the Spirit unto that station which the Lord hath exalted above all mention in the worlds below;

May wing through space even as the Favored Birds in the Realm of Eternal Reunion;

May know the mysteries hidden in the Sea of Light.

They passed the grades of worldly limitations and reached that of the Divine Unity, the Centre of Heavenly Guidance;

They have desired to ascend unto that state which the Lord hath ordained to be above their stations

Whereupon the Burning Meteor cast them out from them that abide in the Kingdom of His Presence,

And they heard the Voice of Grandeur raised from behind the Unseen Pavilion upon the Height of Glory,

"O Guardian Angels! Return them to their abodes in the world below,

Inasmuch as they have purposed to rise to that sphere which the wings of the Celestial Dove have never attained,

Whereon the Ship of Fancy standeth still, Which the minds of them that comprehend cannot grasp!"

Thereupon the Maid of Heaven looked out from her exalted chamber,

And with her brow signed to the Celestial Concourse,

Flooding with the light of her countenance the heaven and the earth;

And as the Radiance of her Beauty shone upon the people of dust,

And all beings were shaken in their mortal graves,

She then raised the call which no ear through all eternity hath ever heard,

And thus proclaimed: "By the Lord! He whose heart hath not the fragrance of the love of the Exalted and glorious Arabian Youth,

Can in no-wise ascend unto the Glory of the Highest Heaven!"

Thereupon she summoned unto herself one maiden from her handmaidens

And commanded her: "Descend into space from the Mansions of Eternity

And turn thou unto that which they have concealed in the inmost of their hearts,

Shouldest thou inhale the Perfume of the Robe from the Youth that hath been hidden within the Tabernacle of Light by reason of that which the hands of the wicked have wrought,

Raise a cry within thyself that all the inmates of the chambers of Paradise that are the embodiments of the Eternal Wealth may understand and hearken;

That they may all come down from their everlasting chambers,

And kiss their hands and feet for having soared to the heights of faithfulness,

Perchance they may find from their Robes the fragrance of the Beloved One!"

Thereupon the countenance of the favored damsel beamed above the Celestial Chambers even as the light that shineth from the Face of the Youth above his mortal Temple;

She then descended with such an adorning as to illumine the heavens and all that is therein;

She bestirred herself and perfumed all things in the Land of Holiness and Grandeur.

When she reached that plane she rose to her full height in the mid-most heart of creation

and sought to inhale their fragrance at a time that knoweth neither beginning nor end.

She found not in them that which she did desire, and this, verily, is but one of His wondrous tales!

She then cried aloud, wailed and repaired to her own station within her most lofty Mansion.

And then gave utterance to one Mystic Word, whispered privily by her honeyed Tongue,

And raised the Call amidst the Celestial Concourse and the Immortal Maids of Heaven:

"By the Lord! I found not from these idle claimants the Breeze of Faithfulness!

By the Lord! The Youth hath remained lone and forlorn in the land of exile in the hands of the ungodly!"

She then uttered within herself such a cry that the Celestial Concourse did shriek and tremble,

And she fell upon the dust and gave up the Spirit. It seemeth she was called and hearkened unto Him that summoned her into the Realm on High.

Glorified be He that created her out of the Essence of Love in the midmost heart of His exalted Paradise!

(Up to this point between each line is the refrain: "Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!")

Thereupon the Maids of Heaven hastened forth from their chambers, upon whose countenance the eye of no dweller in the Highest Paradise had ever gazed,

Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!

They all gathered around her, and lo! they found her body fallen upon the dust.

Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!

And as they beheld her state and comprehended a word of the Tale told by the Youth, they bared their heads, rent their garments asunder, beat upon their faces, forgot their joy, shed tears and smote with their hands upon their cheeks, and this is verily one of the mysterious, grievous afflictions!

Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!
CHAPTER SIX
THE COVENANT AND TESTAMENT OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH

527. In His Name who shines forth from the Horizon of Might! Verily, the Tongue of the Ancient gives glad tidings to those who are in the world concerning the appearance of the Greatest Name, and who takes His Covenant among the nations.

Verily, He[1] is Myself; the Shining-Place of My Identity; the East of My Cause; the Heaven of My Bounty; the Sea of My Will; the Lamp of My Guidance; the Path of My Justice; the Standard of My Love.

[1 Bahá'u'lláh.]

The one who hath turned to Him who turned to My Face and is illumined through the lights of My Beauty; hath acknowledge My Oneness and confessed My Singleness.

The one who hath denied Him hath been deprived of the Salsibil of My Love, of the Kawther of My Grace, the cup of My Mercy and the Wine by which the sincere ones have been attracted and the monotheists have taken flight in the air of My Compassion, which no one hath know except him whom I have taught the matter revealed in My Hidden Tablet.

TABLET OF THE BRANCH
528. He is Eternal in His Abha Horizon!

Verily, the Cause of God hath come upon the Clouds of Utterances and the polytheists are in this Day in great torment! Verily, the Hosts of Revelation have descended with Banner of Inspiration from the Heaven of the Tablet of the Name of God, the Powerful, the Mighty! At this time the monotheists all rejoice in the victory of God and His Dominion, and the deniers will then be in manifest perplexity.

O ye people! Do ye flee from the Mercy of God after It hath encompassed the existent things created between the heavens and earths? Beware lest ye prefer your own selves before the Mercy of God, and deprive not yourselves thereof! Verily, whosoever turneth away therefrom will be in great loss. Verily Mercy is like unto Verses which has descended from the one heaven, and from them the monotheists drink the choice Wine of Life, whilst the polytheists drink from the fiery water; and when the Verses of God are read unto them, the fire of hatred is enkindled within their breasts. Thus have they preferred their own selves before the Mercy of God, and are of those who are heedless.

Enter, O people, beneath the shelter of the Word! Then drink therefrom the choice wine of Inner Significances and Utterances; for therein is hidden the Kawther of the Glorious One -- and it hath appeared from the horizon of the Will of your Lord, the Merciful, with wonderful lights.

529. Say: Verily, the Branch[1] of Command hath sprung forth from this Root which God hath firmly planted in the ground of the Will, the Limb of which hath been elevated to a station which encompasses all existence. Therefore, exalted be He for this Creation, the Lofty, the Blessed, the Inaccessible, the Mighty!

[1 Abdu'l-Bahá.]

O ye people! Draw nigh unto It, and taste the fruits of Its Knowledge and Wisdom on the part of the Mighty, the Knowing One. Whosoever will not taste thereof shall be deprived of the Bounty, even though he hath partaken of all that is in the earth -- were ye of those who know.

Say: Verily, a Word hath gone forth in favor from the Most Great Tablet and God hath adorned It with the Mantle of Himself, and made It Sovereign over all in the earth and a Sign of His Grandeur and Omnipotence among the creatures; in order that, through It, the people shall praise their Lord, the Mighty, the Powerful, the Wise; and that, through It, they shall glorify their Creator and sanctify the Self of God which standeth within all things. Verily, this is naught but a Revelation on the part of the Wise, the Ancient One!

Say: O people, praise ye God, for the Manifestation of It (the Branch), for verily It is the Most Great Favor upon you and the Most Perfect Blessing for you; and through Him (Abdu'l-Bahá) every mouldering bone is quickened. Whosoever turns to Him hath surely turned unto God, and whosoever turneth away from Him hath turned away from My Beauty, denied My Proof, and is of those who transgress. Verily, He is the Remembrance of God amongst you, and His Trust within you, and His Manifestation unto you and His Appearance among the servants who are nigh. Thus have I been commanded to convey to you the Message of God, your Creator; and I have delivered to you that of which I was commanded. Whereupon, thereto testifieth God, then His Angels, then His Messengers, and then His Holy Servants.

Inhale the fragrances of the Ridvan from His Roses and be not of those who are deprived. Appreciate the Bounty of God upon you and be not veiled therefrom -- and, verily, We have sent Him forth in the temple of man. Thus praise ye the Lord, the Originator of whatsoever He willeth through His wise and inviolable Command!

Verily, those who withhold themselves from the Shelter of the Branch are indeed lost in the wilderness of perplexity; and are consumed by the heat of self-desire, and are of those who perish.

530. Hasten, O people unto the Shelter of God, in order that He may protect you from the heat of the Day whereon none shall find for himself any refuge or shelter whatsoever except beneath the Shelter of His Name, the Clement, the Forgiving! Clothe yourselves, O people, with the garment of Assurance, in order that He may protect you from the dart of doubts and superstitions, and that ye may be of those who are assured in those days wherein none shall ever be assured and no one shall be firmly established in the Cause, except by severing himself from all that is possessed by the people and turning unto the Holy and Radiant Outlook.

O ye people! Do ye take unto yourselves the Jept (idol) as a helper other than God, and do ye seek the Taghoot (idol) as a Lord besides your Lord the Almighty, the Omnipotent? Forsake, O people, their mention, then hold the Chalice of Life in the Name of your Lord, the Merciful. Verily, by God, the existent world is quickened through a drop thereof, were ye of those who know.

Say: In that Day there is no refuge for any one save the Command of God, and no salvation for any soul but God. Verily, this is the truth and there is naught after truth but manifest error.

531. Verily, God hath made it incumbent upon every soul to deliver His Cause according to his ability. Thus hath the Command been recorded by the Finger of Might and Power upon the Tablet of Majesty and Greatness.

Whosoever quickens one soul in this Cause is like unto one who quickeneth all the servants and the Lord shall bring him forth in the Day of Resurrection into the Ridvan of Oneness, adorned with the Mantle of Himself, the Protector, the Mighty, the Generous! Thus will ye assist your Lord, and naught else save this shall ever be mentioned in this Day before God, your Lord, and the Lord of your forefathers.

As to thee, O servant, hearken unto the admonition given unto thee in the Tablet; then seek the Grace of thy Lord at all times. Then spread the Tablet among those who believe in God and in His Verses; so that they may follow that which is contained therein, and be of those who are praiseworthy.

Say: O people, cause no corruption in the earth and dispute not with men; for, verily, this is not worthy of those who have chosen in the shelter of their Lord a station which shall indeed remain secure.

If ye find one athirst, give him to drink from the Chalice of Kawtha and Tasneed; and if ye find one endowed with an attentive ear, read unto him the Verses of God, the Mighty, the Merciful, the Compassionate! Unloose the tongue with excellent utterance, then admonish the people if ye find them advancing unto the sanctuary of God; otherwise abandon them unto themselves and forsake them in the abyss of hell. Beware lest ye scatter the pearls of Inner Significance before every barren, dumb one. Verily, the blind are deprived of witnessing the Lights and are unable to distinguish between the stone and the holy, precious pearl.

Verily, wert thou to read the most mighty, wonderful Verses to the stone for a thousand years, will it understand, or will they take any effect therein? No! by thy Lord, the Merciful, the Clement! If thou readest all the Verses of God unto the deaf, will he hear a single letter? No! Verily, by the Beauty, the Mighty, the Ancient!

Thus have We delivered unto thee some of the jewels of Wisdom and Utterance, in order that thou mayest gaze unto the direction of thy Lord and be severed from all the creatures. May the Spirit and Glory rest upon thee, and upon those who dwell upon the plain of Holiness and who remain in the Cause of their Lord in manifest steadfastness!

KITAB-I-'AHD
The Book of the Covenant

532. Although the Supreme Horizon is devoid of the vanities of the world, yet in the Treasury of Trust and Resignation, We have placed a priceless and unequalled inheritance for the heirs. We have not placed (therein) a treasure, neither have we added to the pain.

533. By God! In wealth fear is concealed and peril is hidden. Behold and then reflect upon that which the Merciful One hath revealed in the Qur'an: "Woe unto every maligner and backbiter who heapeth up riches and counteth them over." There is no continuance in the riches of this world. That which is subject to mortality and undergoeth a change hath never been and is not worth regarding. But as is well-known, the purpose of this Oppressed One in enduring these adversities and calamities, the revelation of the Verses and the manifestation of the Proofs, hath been to quench the fire of hatred and animosity, so that perchance the horizons of the minds of the people of this world may shine with the light of concord and attain the real tranquillity. The sun of this explanation is shining and arising from the horizon of the Divine Tablet; all must look toward it.

534. O people of the world! I enjoin you to that which is the means of the elevation of your station. Hold to the virtue of God and grasp the hem of that which is just. Verily, I say, the tongue is for mentioning that which is good; pollute it not with evil speech. God hath forgiven you that which is past; hereafter you must all speak that which is befitting. Avoid execration, reviling and that which is aggravating to man.

The station of man is high. A short while since, this exalted Word was revealed from the Repository of the Pen of Abha: "This is a great and blessed Day, but that which hath been hidden in man is and shall be disclosed." The station of man is great if he holds to Reality and Truth, and if he be firm and steadfast in the Commands. The true man appeareth before the Merciful One like unto the heavens; his sight and hearing are the sun and moon; his bright and shining qualities are the stars; his station is the highest one; his traces are the educators of existence. Every believer who hath found the Perfume of the Garment in this Day and turneth with a pure heart toward the Supreme Horizon, he is mentioned as one of the followers of Baha upon the Red Page.

Take the Chalice of My Favor in My Name; then drink from it to My Remembrance, the Beloved, the New!

535. O people of the world! The Creed of God is for love and union; make it not the cause of discord and disunion. In the sight of the men of discernment and those who are holding to the Manifestation, that which is the means of preservation and the cause of the ease and tranquillity of the servants is revealed from the Supreme Pen; but the ignorant of the earth who are fostered in ambition and lust are heedless of the matured Wisdom of the True Wise One and are speaking and working in imaginations and fancies.

536. O saints of God and His faithful ones! Kings are the appearances of power and the daysprings of the might and wealth of the True One. Pray in their behalf, for the government of the earth is ordained to those souls; but the hearts He hath appointed for Himself.

537. He hath forbidden dispute and strife with an absolute prohibition in the Book (Kitáb-el-Aqdas). This is the command of God in this Greatest Manifestation, and He hath preserved it from any order of annulment and hath adorned it with the ornament of confirmation. Verily, He is the All-Knowing and the All-Wise!

538. It is incumbent upon all to aid those souls who are the day-spring of authority and the dawning-points of command, and who are adorned with the ornaments of equity and justice. Blessings be upon the princes and learned ones in Baha. These are My Trusted ones amongst My servants; these are the rising-points of My Commandments amongst My creatures. Upon them be My Glory, My Mercy and My Grace which have surrounded all existence!

539. It is revealed in the Kitáb-el-Aqdas concerning this, that which from the Horizons of its Words the Lights of the Divine Bounties gleam, rise and are resplendent.

540. O My Branches! In this Existent Being the greatest strength and the most perfect power is hidden and concealed; look towards It and gaze in the direction of Its union and not at Its seeming differences. This is the Testament of God that the Branches, Twigs, and Relations must each and every one look to the Greatest Branch.[1] Reflect upon that which is revealed in My Book, the Aqdas: "When the Ocean of My Presence hath disappeared and the Book of Origin is achieved to the end, turn your faces towards Him whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Pre-Existent Root." The aim of this blessed verse hath been the Greatest Branch. We have likewise elucidated the Command as a favor from before Us; and I am the Generous, the All-Giving!

[1 Abdu'l-Bahá.]

541. Verily, God hath ordained the station of the Greater Branch after the station of the former. Verily, He is the Ordainer, the Wise. We have surely chosen the Greater after the Greatest as a Command from the All-Knowing, the Omniscient!

542. The love of the Branches is incumbent upon all, but God hath not ordained to them any right over the property of the people.

543. O My Branches, My Twigs and My Relations! We enjoin you to the virtue of God, to follow that which is just and benefiting, and that by which your station will be exalted. Truly, I say, piety is the greatest commander for the assistance of the Divine Religion, and the hosts that befit this Commander have been and are good, pure, and pleasing qualities and deeds.

544. Say: O servants, make not the course of order to be the cause of confusion, and make not the reason of union to be the occasion of discord! It is hoped that the people of Baha will look towards the blessed Word: "Say, all are from the Presence of God"; and this exalted Word resembles water for extinguishing the fire of hatred and animosity which is deposited in all minds and hearts. The different creeds will attain the light of real union through this simple Word. Verily, He sayeth the Truth and guideth in the Path, and He is the Powerful, the Mighty, and the Wonderful!

545. Respect and regard for the Branches is incumbent upon all for the honoring of the Religion and the exaltation of the Word; and this Command hath been both previously and afterwards recorded and mentioned in the Books of God. Blessed is he who attaineth to that which hath been commanded from the Presence of the Command, the Pre-Existent!

Respect is enjoined also for the ladies of the Household of God, and the Twigs and Relations. I enjoin you to the service of the nations and to the pacification of the world.

546. From the Kingdom of the Revelation of the Aim of the people of the world, is revealed that which is the Cause of the Life of the world and the Salvation of the nations. Hearken to the admonitions of the Supreme Pen with the true (inner) ear. To this beareth witness My Book, the Mighty, the Wonderful!

FROM KITAB-EL-Aqdas

547. When the Ocean of My Presence hath disappeared and the Book of Origin is achieved to the end, turn your faces towards Him[1] whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Pre-Existent Root.

[1 Abdu'l-Bahá.]

O people of the world! If the Dove soareth from the Tree of Praise to the extreme Concealment turn for what ye do not understand in the Book to the Branch who is extended from this True Root.

548. He who claimeth a Cause (a Revelation) before the end of a full thousand years, he is lying and false apostle. We ask God that He, verily, may strengthen such a one to go back (to the Path); if he repenteth, verily, God is the Forgiver.

PART TWO
THE COVENANT OF GOD

549. Bring them together again, O Lord, by the Power of Thy Covenant, and gather their dispersion by the Might of Thy Promise, and unite their hearts by the dominion of Thy Love! Cause them to love one another so as to sacrifice their spirits, expend their money and give up their desires for each other's sake!

O Lord, make to descend upon them quietness and tranquillity! Shower upon them the clouds of Thy Mercy in full abundance, and make them to characterize themselves with the characteristics of the spiritual!

O Lord, hold us firm in Thy noble command, and bestow upon us Thy Gifts through Thy bounty, grace and beneficence!

Verily, Thou art the Generous, the Merciful, and the Benevolent.

CHAPTER SEVEN
THE CAUSE OF GOD
PRAYER OF THE COVENANT

550. My God! My God! I ask Thee to forgive everything save my servitude to Thy Supreme Threshold, and I declare myself innocent of any proclamation or praise, save my adoration for Thy Merciful Presence. I deprive myself of every adornment, save that of humiliation and contrition and evanescence before Thy Oneness. I flee from every station save that of arrival in the court of Thy Divine Eternity. By Thy Power, verily, the sweetness of servitude is the food of my spirit; with the fragrance of servitude my breast will be dilated, my being refreshed, my heart delighted, my eyes brightened, my nostrils perfumed, and in it is the healing of my disease, the allaying of my burning thirst, the soothing of my pain.

Immerse me, O my God, in this most bounteous, rolling Ocean; give me to drink of this sweet, abundant Water; cause me to enter this Gateway of Righteousness; ordain me for this praiseworthy Station; cause me to obtain this Cup which is overflowing with the living water; light in the crystal of my heart this Lamp which is giving forth its illuminating, brilliant radiance; and strengthen me for the service of Thy Cause, O my Lord, the Forgiver! Accept my servitude in the court of Thy Holy Oneness, O Thou, the Manifestor of Mount Sinai. Assist me to abide in its conditions, O Thou, the Authority of Manifestation. Aid me to assist Thy Cause in the eastern and western parts of the earth, O Thou the Possessor of the Day of Resurrection. I ask Thee, by Thy written Book, dispersed writings -- by Thy Hidden Mystery, and Thy firm proclamations -- to cause me to be steadfast in servitude to Thee, O my Lord, the Forgiver! Verily, Thou art the powerful over that which Thou wishest; and verily, Thou art the Merciful, the Compassionate.

O Thou, who art calling by the Testament, in the Pivot of the horizons! This servant, according to the clear statements in the Book of Aqdas, and the unambiguous texts of the Holy Book, is the Commentator and the Interpreter, of the Books of God. All the faithful ones, who are assured and firm in the Testament and Covenant of God, must neither overreach the clear explanation of this servant, nor the unambiguous interpretation of this slave. If any one overreaches, he follows his own suppositions. This servant gives the real meaning, and the meaning of the real also. The mystery of mysteries of these texts, words and lines, is servitude to the Holy Presence of the Beauty of Abha, and effacement, evanescence and perfect dispersion before the Blessed Threshold. This is my brilliant diadem, and my glorious crown. With this, I will be glorified in the Heavenly Kingdom, and the kingdom of this world. And with it, I will approach unto the Beauty among the nearest ones to God, and no one is allowed to interpret other than this, and this is the perspicuous truth.

O thou, who art proclaiming the mention of God! The indicated Commentator is the Interpreter of the Words, and this servant is aside from praise, qualities, names, characteristics, virtues, peculiarities, eulogies and honors; but my name, being, reality and personality is servitude to the Beauty of Abha, and I am not worthy to be considered as having the shadow of arising.

As the Manifestation said: "Plant this Branch in the earth of the hearts, and make it Holy from shadow and arising."

THE DAY OF GOD

551. Do you know in what Day you are living? Do you realize in what Dispensation you are alive? Have you not heard in the Holy Scriptures that at the consummation of the ages there shall appear a Day which is the Sun of all the past Days? This is the Day in which the Lord of Hosts has come down from heaven on the clouds of glory! This is the Day in which the inhabitants of all the world shall enter under the shelter of the Word of God.

This is the Day whose real sovereign is His Highness the Almighty. This is the Day when the East and the West shall embrace each other like unto two lovers. This is the Day in which war and contention shall be forgotten. This is the Day in which nations and governments will enter into an eternal bond of amity and conciliation. This Century is the fulfillment of the Promised Century.

This Day is the dawn of the appearances of the traces of the glorious vision of the past prophets and sages.

Now is the dawn; ere long the effulgent Sun shall rise and station itself in the meridian of its majesty. Then you shall observe the effects of the Sun. Then you shall behold what heavenly illumination has become manifest. Then you shall comprehend that these are the infinite bestowals of God! Then you shall see that this world has become another world. Then you shall perceive that the Teachings of God have universally spread.

Rest ye assured that this darkness shall be dispelled and these impenetrable clouds which have darkened the horizon shall be scattered, and the Sun of Reality shall appear in its full splendor. Its rays shall melt the icebergs of hatred and differences which have transformed the moving sea of humanity into hard frozen immensity. The vices of the world of nature shall be changed into praiseworthy attributes, and the lights of the excellences of the Divine realm shall appear.

The principles of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh, like unto the spirit, shall penetrate the dead body of the world, and the Love of God, like unto an artery, shall beat through the heart of the five continents.

The East shall become illumined, the West perfumed, and the children of men shall enter beneath the all-embracing canopy of the oneness of the world of humanity.

In this Day the rest of the people are asleep. Praise be to God that you are awakened! They are all uninformed, but praise be to God you are informed of the mysteries of God! Thank ye God that in this arena you have preceded others. I hope that each one of you may become a pillar of the palace of the oneness of the world of humanity. May each one of you become a luminous star of this heaven, thus lighting the path of those who are seeking the goal of human perfection.

Paris, France
March 10, 1913.
BAHÁ'U'LLÁH

552. In the divine Holy Books there are unmistakable prophecies giving the Glad Tidings of a certain Day in which the promised One of all the Books would appear, a radiant Dispensation be established, the banner of the Most Great Peace and reconciliation be hoisted, and the oneness of the world of humanity proclaimed. Among the various nations and peoples of the world no enmity or hatred would remain. All heart were to be connected one with another. These things are recorded in the Taurat or Old Testament, in the Gospel, in the Qur'an, in the Zend Avesta, in the Books of Buddha and in the Book of Confucius. In brief, all the Holy Books contain these Glad Tidings. In all of them it is announced that after the world has been surrounded by darkness, then radiance shall appear. For just as the night, when it becomes excessively dark, precedes the dawn of a new day, so likewise when the darkness of religious apathy and heedlessness overtakes the world, when human souls become negligent of God, when materialistic ideas overshadow idealism and spirituality, when nations become submerged in the world of matter and forget God -- at such a time as this shall the Divine Sun shine forth and the Radiant Morn appear.

553. Consider to what a remarkable extent the spirituality of people has been overcome by materialism, so that spiritual susceptibility seems to have vanished, Divine civilization does not exist, and guidance and knowledge of God no longer remain. All are submerged in the sea of materialism. Although some attend churches and temples for worship and devotion, it is in accordance with the traditions and imitations of their fathers and not for the investigation of Reality. For it is evident that they have not found the Reality and are not engaged in adoration of It. They are holding to certain imitations which have descended to them from their fathers and ancestors. They have become accustomed to passing a certain length of time in temple worship and conforming to imitations and ceremonies. The proof of this is that the son of every Jewish father becomes a Jew and not a Christian; the son of every Muhammadan becomes a follower of Islam; the son of every Christian proves to be a Christian; the son of every Zoroastrian is a Zoroastrian, etc., etc. Therefore religious faith and belief is merely a remnant of blind imitations which have descended through fathers and ancestors. Because this man's father was a Jew, he considers himself a Jew; not that he has investigated the Reality and proved satisfactorily to himself that Judaism is right; nay, rather he is aware that his forefathers have followed this course, therefore he has held to it himself.

The purpose of this is to explain that the darkness of imitations encompasses the world. Every nation is holding to its traditional religious forms. The Light of Reality is obscured. Were these various nations to investigate the Reality, there is no doubt they would attain to It. As Reality is One, all nations would then become as one nation. But so long as they adhere to various imitations and are deprived of the Reality, strife and warfare still continue and rancor and sedition prevail. But if they investigate the Reality, neither enmity nor rancor will remain and they will attain to the utmost concord among themselves.

554. During the years when the darkness of heedlessness was most intense in the Orient and the people were so submerged in imitations that nations were thirsting for each other's blood, considering one another as contaminated and refusing mutual association -- at such a time as this His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh appeared. He arose in the Orient, uprooting the very foundations of superstition and brought the dawn of the Light of Reality. Various nations became united, because all desired the Reality. Inasmuch as they investigated the Reality of religion they found that all men are the servants of God, all are the posterity of Adam, all are children of one household, and that the foundations of all the Prophets are one. For inasmuch as the teachings of the Prophets are Reality, their foundations are one. The enmity and strife of nations are therefore due to religious imitations and not to the Reality which underlies the teachings of the Prophets. Through Bahá'u'lláh the nations and peoples grew to understand and comprehend this. Therefore hearts became united and lives were cemented together. After centuries of hatred and bitterness the Christian, Jew, Zoroastrian, Muhammadan and Buddhist arose for amity; all of them in the utmost love and unity. They became welded and cemented because they had all arrived at Reality.

555. The Divine Prophets are conjoined in the utmost state of love. Each former one has given the glad tidings of His successor's coming, and each later one has sanctioned the one who preceded Him. They were in the utmost unity, but their nations were in strife. For instance, Moses gave the message of the glad tidings of Christ and Christ confirmed the Prophethood of Moses. Therefore between Moses and Jesus there is no variation and conflict. They are in the utmost unity. But between the Jew and the Christian there is conflict. Now therefore if the Christian and Jewish people investigate the Reality underlying their Prophets' teachings they will become kind in their attitude toward each other and associate in the utmost love, for Reality is one and not dual or multiple. If this investigation of Reality becomes universal, all the divergent nations will ratify all the Divine Prophets and all will confirm all the Holy Books. No strife or rancor will remain and all of us will become united. Then will we associate together in the utmost love. We will become as fathers and sons, as brothers and sisters living together in the utmost unity, love and happiness, for this century is the Century of Light. It is not like former centuries. Former centuries were epochs of oppression. Now human intellects have developed and human intelligence has increased. Each soul is investigating the Reality. This is not a time when we shall wage war and be hostile toward each other. We are living at a time when we should enjoy the utmost friendship.

556. Fifty years ago, His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh sent epistles to all the kings and nations of the world, at a time when there was no mention of Universal Peace. One of these epistles was sent by Him to the President of the American Democracy. In these communications He summoned all to International Peace and the oneness of the human world. He summoned all to the fundamentals of the teachings of all the Prophets. Some of the European kings were haughty. Among them was Napoleon Bonaparte III. Bahá'u'lláh wrote a second epistle to him, which was published thirty years ago. The context is this: "O Napoleon! thou hast indeed become haughty. Thou hast become proud. Thou hast forgotten God. Thou dost imagine that this majesty is permanent for thee -- this dominion is abiding for thee. A letter We have sent unto thee for acceptance with thy greatest love; but instead thou hast shown haughtiness. Therefore God shall uproot this edifice of thy sovereignty; thy country shall flee away from thee. Thou shalt find humiliation hastening after thee because thou didst not arise for that which was enjoined upon thee -- whereas that which was a duty incumbent upon thee was the cause of life to the world. The punishment of God shall soon be dealt out to thee."

This epistle was revealed in the year 1869, and after one year the foundations of the Napoleonic sovereignty were utterly destroyed.

557. Among these epistles (Tablets) was a very lengthy one to the Shah of Persia. It was printed and spread broadcast throughout all the countries of the world. This epistle was revealed in the year 1870. In it He admonished the Shah of Persia to be kind to all his subjects -- summoning him to justice -- counselling him to make no distinction among the religions -- with Jew, Christian, Muhammadan, Zoroastrian, was he to deal equally and the oppressions prevalent in his country were to be removed. The Jews were greatly oppressed in Persia.

Bahá'u'lláh especially recommended justice for them, saying that all people are the servants of God, and in the eye of the Government they should be of equal estimate, the Government should be just to all. ... "If justice is not dealt out, if these oppressions are not removed and if thou dost not obey God, the foundations of thy Government will be razed and thou shalt become evanescent -- become as nothing. Thou shouldst gather all the learned men, and then summon Me. I shall be present there. I will then advance proofs and evidences of My validity. I will manifest My proof, and anything that you may ask. I am ready. But if no attention is paid to this Book, thou, like unto the kings who became non-existent, shalt likewise become non-existent." The Shah did not answer this Tablet of the Blessed Perfection. Then God destroyed the foundations of his sovereignty.

558. Amongst those to whom He wrote was the Sultan of Turkey. In it He arraigned him, saying: "Verily, thou didst incarcerate and make Me a prisoner. Dost thou imagine that imprisonment is a loss to Me -- that imprisonment is a humiliation for Me? This imprisonment is a glory for Me because it is in the pathway of God. I have not committed a crime. It is for the sake of God that I have received this ordeal. Therefore I am very happy. I am exceedingly joyous. But thou must wait: God will send thee a punishment -- thou shalt receive retribution. Ere long thou shalt observe how ordeals shall descend upon thee like rain, and thou shalt become non-existent." And even so it was.

559. Likewise He sent messages to the other kings and crowned heads of the earth, summoning all of them to love, equity, international peace and the oneness of mankind, in order that all mankind might become unified and agreed; that strife, warfare and sedition might pass away; that bitterness and enmity might cease, and all might become united and agreed and arise to serve the One God.

Now I have spoken. If you have anything to say, let it be heard. You have listened most attentively. ... I will add a little more.

560. In brief, two kings arose against Bahá'u'lláh -- the Shah of Persia and the Sultan of Turkey. They imprisoned His Holiness in the fortress of Akka in order to extinguish His Light and exterminate His Cause. But Bahá'u'lláh while in prison wrote them letters of severe arraignment. He declared that imprisonment was no obstacle to Him. He said: "This imprisonment will prove to be the means of the promotion of My Cause. This imprisonment will be the incentive for the spreading of My Teachings. No harm shall come to Me because I have sacrificed My life, sacrificed My blood, sacrificed My possessions -- all have I sacrificed, and for Me this imprisonment is no loss." And just as He declared, so it came to pass. In prison He hoisted His banner, and His Cause was spread throughout the world. It has reached America. Now in all parts of the world the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh is spread broadcast. You go to Asia and wherever you travel you will find Baha'is. You go to Africa, Europe, there you will find the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. In America it is but just beginning to grow and spread.

These two kings could not do anything to withstand Bahá'u'lláh, but through Him God was able to destroy both sovereignties. I, too, was in prison. God removed the chains from my neck and placed them around the neck of Abdul Hamid. It was done suddenly -- not in a long time -- in a moment as it were. The same hour that the Young Turks declared liberty, the Committee of Union and Progress set me free. They lifted the chains from my neck and threw them around the neck of Abdul Hamid. That which he did to me was inflicted on him. Now the position is precisely reversed. His days are spent in prison just as I passed the days in prison at Akka, with this difference: that I was happy in imprisonment. I was in the utmost elation, because I was not a criminal. They had imprisoned me in the Path of God.

New York City
July 5, 1912.
THE LIGHT OF TRUTH

561. O noble friends, seekers after God! Praise be to God! Today the light of Truth is shining upon the world in its abundance; the breezes of the heavenly garden are blowing throughout all regions; the call of the Kingdom is heard in all lands, and the breath of the Holy Spirit is felt in all hearts that are faithful. The Spirit of God is giving eternal life. In this wonderful age the East is enlightened, the West is fragrant, and everywhere the soul inhales the holy perfume. The sea of the unity of mankind is lifting up its waves with joy, for there is real communication between the hearts and minds of men. The banner of the Holy Spirit is uplifted, and men see it, and are assured with the knowledge that this is a new day.

This is a new cycle of human power. All the horizons of the world are luminous, and the world will become indeed as a garden and a paradise. It is the hour of unity of the sons of men and of the drawing together of all races and all classes. You are loosed from ancient superstitions which have kept men ignorant, destroying the foundations of true humanity.

The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War shall cease between nations, and by the will of God the Most Great Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men will live as brothers.

In the days of old an instinct for warfare was developed in the struggle with wild animals; this is no longer necessary; nay, rather, cooperation and mutual understanding are seen to produce the greatest welfare of mankind. Enmity is now the result of prejudice only.

In the "Hidden Words" Bahá'u'lláh says, "Justice is to be loved above all." Praise be to God, in this country the standard of justice has been raised; a great effort is being made to give all souls an equal and a true place. This is the desire of all noble natures; this is today the teaching for the East and for the West; therefore the East and the West will understand each other and reverence each other, and embrace like long-parted lovers who have found each other.

There is one God; mankind is one; the foundations of religion are one. Let us worship Him, and give praise for all His great Prophets and Messengers who have manifested His brightness and glory.

The blessing of the Eternal One be with you in all its richness, that each soul according to his measure may take freely of Him.

Amen.
City Temple, London
September 10, 1911.
THE PRINCIPLES OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH

562. Every age requires a central impetus or movement. In this age, the boundaries of terrestrial things have extended; minds have taken on a broader range of vision; realities have been unfolded and the secrets of being have been brought into the realm of visibility. What is the spirit of this age, what is its focal point? It is the establishment of Universal Peace, the establishment of the knowledge that humanity is one family. Think on the conditions in this world of humanity. Nations have become like unto armed camps waiting to be ignited by the combustion of war.

563. Whereas in reality God has created man for love's sake. God has endowed man with creation so that he may illumine the world with the flame of brotherhood and express the utmost state of unity and accord. This state would express God's good pleasure; this would be the prosperity of the world of humanity. A thousand times, alas! this glorious century has been besmeared with war and strife, hatred and rancor. Bloodthirsty wolves are tearing the sheep of God. Destruction is more widespread than in all the ages of the past.

We hear on every side praises of the wonders of this cycle, its achievements, its refinements, its genius; calling the past the age of mediaeval horror. What mediaeval age held the horror of a Krupp gun, a Mauser rifle or a shrapnel shell that kills a whole camp? On the sea we have the submarine and the dreadnaught.

If you compare the past with this age, impartial judgment will call this the age of human fratricide.

564. All the religions are revealed for the sake of good fellowship. The fundamentals, the foundations, of all are fellowship, unity and love. The heavenly books were revealed and divine love bestowed to bring about peace. What has man made of religion? He has made it the cause of bloodshed and strife; enmity and hatred. Religion was destined to be a remedy for the sickness of humanity; an illumination for the darkness of uncertainty. Have we then forgotten the divine teachings, cast aside the heavenly books, created imaginary thoughts and illusions and made them the basis of rancor and strife? The Bible commands the practice of peace and justice. God desires love. In the Gospel we find the golden statement that man should be expressive of love even unto his enemy; he should be expressive of love to his ill-wishers; he should be expressive of love to all his fellowmen. He must have an eye to pardon: he must have an eye to benevolence. All the divine books invite men to these teachings. All the divine prophets suffered that man might realize these teachings. Consider what His Holiness Christ endured, how many vicissitudes he underwent, every day tasting a new poison, finally sacrificing his own life, so that the tent of love and concord might be raised over the world of humanity so that this dark world might be invested with divine light. Alas! that all the travail of these holy souls and sanctified prophets should be wasted. The world of humanity is in a stupor of sleep and it cannot grasp the realities. The horizons of the minds are still beclouded and the hearts are occupied with phantasmal longings. We seem never to think of the reason of creation; never to strive to proclaim those principles which enlighten humanity. In the sea of materialism we are sinking and of the Kingdom of God we know nothing. We are not living in accord with those precious teachings of God.

565. Nearly sixty years ago when the horizon of the Orient was in a state of the utmost gloom, warfare existed and there was enmity between the various creeds; darkness brooded over the children of men and foul clouds of ignorance hid the sky -- at such a time His Highness Bahá'u'lláh arose from the horizon of Persia like unto a shining sun. He boldly proclaimed peace, writing to the kings of the earth and calling upon them to arise and assist in the hoisting of this banner. In order to bring peace out of the chaos, he established certain precepts or principles:

Investigation of Truth

566. The first principle Bahá'u'lláh urged was the independent investigation of truth. "Each individual," he said, "is following the faith of his ancestors who themselves are lost in the maze of tradition. Reality is steeped in dogmas and doctrines. If each investigate for himself, he will find that Reality is one; does not admit of multiplicity; is not divisible. All will find the same foundation and all will be at peace."

The Oneness of Mankind

567. The second principles of Bahá'u'lláh proclaims the oneness of the human race. He states that humanity constitutes the sheep of God. God is the real shepherd. When this shepherd is compassionate and kind, why should the sheep quarrel amongst themselves? Addressing all humanity, Bahá'u'lláh says, "Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch. All the nations, peoples and tongues are the branches, leaves, blossoms and fruits of this great tree of humanity." God created all; protects all; provides for all and is kind to all; why should you be unkind? If God had not loved humanity he would not have created it. Creation presupposes love. God is the real father; all are his children. All the creatures are equal in this one family of God save whosoever is more kind, more compassionate -- he is nearer to God.

International Peace

568. The third principles of the religion of Bahá'u'lláh is in regard to international peace. There must be peace between the fatherlands; peace between the religions. In this period of evolution the world of humanity is in danger. Every war is against the good pleasure of the Lord of mankind. Man is the edifice of God. War destroys the divine edifice. Peace is the stay of life; war the cause of death. If an active, actual peace is brought about the human world will attain to the utmost serenity and composure. Wolves will be transformed into lambs; devils into angels and terrors into divine splendors in less than the twinkling of an eye.

Religion must Conform to Science and Reason

569. The fourth principle declares that religion must be in conformity to science and reason. If a religion does not agree with the postulates of science nor accord with the regulations of reason it is a bundle of superstitions; a phantasm of the brain. Science and religion are realities, and if that religion to which we adhere be a reality it must needs conform to the fundamental reality of all things.

Prejudice must be Forever Banished

570. The fifth principle of Bahá'u'lláh is this: that religious, racial, political and patriotic prejudice are the destroyers of human society. As long as these prejudices last the world of humanity will not attain to poise and perfection. As long as these threatening clouds are in the sky of humanity, the sun of reality cannot dawn.

Equality of Sexes

571. The sixth principle of Bahá'u'lláh regards the equality of men and women. The male and female of the human kingdom are equal before God. God is no respecter of gender. Whosoever practices more faith, whosoever practices more humanitarianism is nearer to God; but between the male and female there is no innate difference because they share in common all the faculties. The world of humanity has two wings, one the male; the other the female. When both wings are reinforced with the same impulse the bird will be enabled to wing its flight heavenward to the summit of progress. Woman must be given the same opportunities as man for perfecting herself in the attainments of learning, science and arts. God has created the man and the woman equal, why should she be deprived of exercising the fullest opportunities afforded by life? Why should we ever raise the question of superiority and inferiority? In the animal kingdom the male and female enjoy suffrage and in the vegetable kingdom the plants all enjoy equal suffrage. In the human kingdom, which claims to be the realm of brotherhood and solidarity, why should we raise this question?

The Social Plan

572. The seventh teaching suggests a plan whereby all the individual members may enjoy the utmost comfort and welfare. The degrees of society must be preserved. The farmer will continue to till the soil, the artist pursue his art, the banker to finance the nation. An army has need of its general, captain, and private soldiers. The degrees varying with the pursuits are essential. But in this Bahá'í plan there is no class hatred. Each is to be protected and each individual member of the body politic is to live in the greatest comfort and happiness. Work is to be provided for all and there will be no needy ones seen in the streets.

The Parliament of Man

573. The eighth principle declares that there must needs be established the parliament of man or court of last appeals for international questions. The members of this arbitral court of justice will be representatives of all the nations. In each nation the members must be ratified by the government and the king or ruler, and this international parliament will be under the protection of the world of humanity. In it all international difficulties will be settled.

Universal Education

574. The ninth admonition is in regard to education. All the children must be educated so that there will not remain one single individual without an education. In cases of inability on the part of the parents through sickness, death, etc., the state must educate the child. In addition to this widespread education, each child must be taught a profession or trade so that each individual member of the body politic will be enabled to earn his own living and at the same time serve the community. Work done in the spirit of service is worship. From this universal system of education misunderstandings will be expelled from amongst the children of men.

Universal Language

575. The tenth principles is the establishment of a universal language so that we shall not have to acquire so many languages in the future. In the schools they will study two, the mother tongue and the international auxiliary language. The use of an international auxiliary language will become a great means of dispelling the differences between nations.

576. There are many other teachings. I have given you but a few. Praise be to God! that day by day we are advancing and every day we see some new blessing descending. Let all of us render thanksgiving to our generous Lord that He may bless our eyes with sight and give unto our hearts understanding. May we become resuscitated with the breath of the Holy Spirit. May we be enabled to leave behind the world of matter in beholding the bounties of God. The divine table is spread, the heavenly illumination is all-encircling; eternal life is provided for all; divine food is prepared for all! Therefore let us practice the divine essence of love and love each other from our very hearts and souls so that the East and West shall embrace each other and realize that all are the sheep of God. God is the good shepherd -- then shall we gather under the tabernacle of His mercy!

Clifton, England
January 16, 1913.
THE COVENANT

577. In the world of existence there are various bonds which unite the hearts, but none of these bonds is efficient. For instance, the first and foremost bond is the family bond, but this bond is not effective, for how often it happens that in some families divergence and difference obtains. A patriotic bond may be the means of amity and fellowship; but the oneness of nativity will not suffice, for if we examine history we shall find that the inhabitants of the same fatherland have often waged war against each other. In civil strife how often they have shed each others' blood; how often they have pillaged each others' property! Hence, it becomes evident that oneness of nativity is not sufficient. Another means of amity is the racial oneness. How often we have seen that men of the same race have engaged in the severest strife. They have spilled each other's blood; they have laid their country waste -- which proves that the oneness of race is not oneness in reality. Among the bonds of unity is the political bond. How often we find that certain governments have been politically bound together, amongst them obtaining a political intercourse and oneness which afterwards was subjected to change and these governments arose against each other on the field of battle. Thus the oneness of politics is not sufficient.

That which is the cause of perfect unity and amity in the world of existence is the oneness of Reality. If Reality enters the arena, the fundamental reality can conserve the states, and that Reality -- the oneness of humanity -- is a oneness which can only come into being through the efficacy of the Holy Spirit, for the efficacy of the Holy Spirit is like unto the spirit in the body; it dispells all differences and ushers all beneath the same solidarity and unity. Regard how numerous are the parts and members of the human organism, but the oneness of the spirit animating it keeps its various parts and elements together in perfect co-ordination and solidarity. It brings such a unity into the organism that were each member to be subjected to any injury or were it to become diseased, all the other members would sympathetically suffer, due to the existence of their perfect unity. Hence, it becomes evident that the oneness of Reality -- perfect amity amongst mankind -- cannot be accomplished save through the power of the Holy Spirit, for the world of humanity is likened to the body and the Holy Spirit is likened to the animating power of the body; just as the human spirit is the cause of the cohesion of the various parts of the human organism, likewise the Holy Spirit is the cause of the unity and amity of all mankind.

Hence we must strive in order that the power of the Holy Spirit may become effective throughout all humanity, in order that it may confer a new life upon the body politic, that all of the body politic may be ushered beneath the shelter of the same Word. Then the world of humanity shall become the angelic world, the ethereal darkness shall pass away and celestial illumination shall take its place; the defects of the human world shall be erased and the Divine virtues shall become resplendent; and this is unobtainable save through the power of the Holy Spirit. Hence, the greatest need of the world of humanity today is to receive the efficacy of the Holy Spirit. Until the Holy Spirit becomes effective, interpenetrating the hearts and spirits, and until perfect, reasonable faith shall obtain in the minds of men, it is impossible for the social body to be inspired with security and confidence. Nay, on the contrary, day by day enmity and strife shall increase among men and the differences and divergences of the nations shall augment; day by day additions to armies and navies of the world shall be made, and great is the fear of the great pandemic war, the war unparalleled in history; for armaments which heretofore have been so limited are now becoming amplified on a grand scale. It is becoming severe, drawing nigh unto the degree that men shall war upon the seas, war upon the plains, nay, rather, shall war in the very atmosphere; and such conditions of warfare never obtained in bygone days. The dangers of war grow equally with the growth of armaments.

578. Therefore we must endeavor that the Holy Spirit shall peacefully influence the minds and hearts; that the bounties of God shall surround; that all the Divine effulgences shall become successive, in order that human souls may advance, minds expand in liberalism, souls become more holy and the world of humanity be rid of this great danger.

For this, His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh endured all the hardships, ordeals and vicissitudes of life, sacrificing His very being, sacrificing His comfort, forfeiting His possessions, forfeiting His estates, forfeiting His honor -- all that pertains to human existence -- not for one year, nay, rather for fifty years. For fifty years He bore hardships, endured ordeals; was cast into prison; was banished from His home; was subjected to severities and four times exiled. He was first exiled from Persia to Baghdad; then from Baghdad to Constantinople; thereafter from Constantinople to Roumelia, and from Roumelia was He exiled to the Great Prison, Acca, the great fortress of Acca, where He passed the remainder of His life. Every day a new exposure to danger and every day a new ordeal, until in the dungeon He winged His way to the very Heaven: that is to say, returned unto His Lord. The purpose of enduring all these ordeals and difficulties was no other than the illumination of the human world, that this earthly world might become heavenly; that the realm of the Kingdom might become a reality; that the individual members of humanity might advance, minds progress, the efficacy of the Holy Spirit become greater in penetration and thereby the happiness of the human world be assured. For all He desired composure and ease, and He exercised love and kindness towards all nations regardless of distinction. And He addressed humanity, saying: "O ye humankind! verily ye are all the leaves of one tree; ye are all the fruits of one tree; ye are all one. Hence associate with each other in amity; love one another; abandon the prejudices of race; forget forever this gloomy darkness of ignorance, for the Century of Light, the Sun of Reality, hath appeared. Now is the time for affiliation and now is the period for unification. For six thousand years ye have been contending and warring. It is sufficient! Now is the time for unity. Ye should abandon selfish purposes, and know ye for a certainty that all mankind are the servants of one God and all are to be mutually bound."

579. And inasmuch as in the past there have been caused great differences and divergences, and denominations have been created, every man with a new idea attributing it to God, therefore He desired that among Bahá'ís no difference should occur. Wherefore with His pen He wrote the Book of His Covenant, addressing all Bahá'ís and all His relations, saying: "Verily, I have appointed a person who is the Center of My Covenant. All must obey Him; all must turn to him; he is the expounder of My Book and he is informed of My purposes. All must turn to him. Whatsoever he says is true, for verily, he knoweth the texts of My Book. Other than he, none knoweth the Book." And this He said because among the Bahá'ís there is not to take place any difference; all are to be unified and agreed. Also He said in His prayer: "O God, whosoever violateth My Covenant, humiliate him. Verily, whosoever violateth My Covenant, him, O God, efface and destroy." In all His Tablets, among which is the Tablet of the Branch, He has elucidated the various qualities or characteristics of that (appointed) person; He has expounded the potency and power of that person, so that no one with a new desire shall say, "I understand this from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh," for He appointed the Center or Expounder of the Book. He said: "Verily, he is the appointed one; other than he, none is," so that no sects or prejudices might be formed, and lest every man with a new thought arise and create a party. It is as though a king should appoint a governor general. Whosoever obeys that governor general has obeyed the king. Whosoever has denied the governor general has denied the king. Thus whosoever obeys the Center of the Covenant appointed by Bahá'u'lláh, has obeyed Bahá'u'lláh; and whosoever disobeys him has disobeyed Bahá'u'lláh.

The matter does not concern the personality of the Center of the Covenant, precisely as in the case of the governor general of a king: it is the king who is obeyed in obeying the governor general; it is the king who is disobeyed in disobeying the governor general.

580. Therefore, you must read the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh. You must read the Tablet of the Branch. You must regard that which He has clearly stated. Beware! beware! lest any one declare his own ideas or create a party round about himself. Beware! beware! you should not heed such a person, according to the explicit Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh. His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh shuns such souls, and for the conservation of the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh I have expounded the matter for you, so that you may be informed lest any souls shall deceive you, lest any souls shall cause suspicion among you. You must love all people, though if any soul casts you into doubt, you must know that Bahá'u'lláh is quit of him. Any one who works for unity, who works for amity, is a servant of Bahá'u'lláh and Bahá'u'lláh is his Help and his Assistance. ...

5338 Kenmore Avenue, Chicago
September 16, 1912.
ABDUL BAHA

581. The Holy, Divine Manifestations are unique and peerless. They are the archetypes of celestial and spiritual virtues in their own age and cycle. They stand on the summit of the Mount of Vision and they foreshadow the perfections of evolving humanity.

For example: during the dispensation of His Holiness Moses -- peace be upon Him! -- there was not a single human soul similar or like unto Him. He surpassed all the Holy Souls who came after Him, even the hosts of the prophets of Israel. In a similar manner all the people who lived during the cycle of His Holiness Christ -- may my life be a sacrifice to Him! -- were under His spiritual authority. They had no will of their own. He was the Sun and others were the lamps. He was unique and peerless, the center and the focal point of the mighty forces. Every one else was under His shadow. He was the Orb and the others were the stars. Every one caught the rays of Light from Him, and was enkindled through his Fire. In a like manner was the epoch of His Holiness the Báb -- may the life of aught else be a ransom to Him! -- and He was matchless and without peer. All the rivers received their strength from that great sea.

582. Finally during the cycle of the Blessed Perfection -- may my life be a sacrifice to His believers! -- all are beneath His shadow. He is the unique and peerless One until the next Manifestation. It is not definite, however, that this will be 1000 years; it may be 2000 or 10,000 or 20,000 years; but it is definite that for the coming 1000 years that shall appear no Manifestation -- for 1000 years there shall arise no Sun. All the appearances will be beneath the shadow of the Most Great Appearance: they will be as stars of guidance. All of them shall gather around this Fountain of Life; all of them will become illumined with the rays of this Sun; all of them will receive a share and a portion from this great Sea; all of them will become vivified with this soul-imparting breeze; all will be under the downpour of this rain. The aim is this: His Holiness the Báb gave the glad tidings concerning the appearance of the Manifestation of God, and His Holiness, the Blessed Perfection, was the Promised One of all the nations and religions. The Báb was the Morning Star heralding the glorious Dawn of the Sun of Reality. Now all of us are under Its shadow and receive the refulgent bestowals from It.

583. I am Abdu'l-Bahá, and no more. I am not pleased with whosoever praises me with any other title. I am the Servant at the Threshold of the Blessed Perfection, and I hope that this Servitude of mine will become acceptable. Whosoever mentions any other name save this will not please me at all. Abdu'l-Bahá, and no more. No person must praise me except by this name: "Abdu'l-Bahá."

584. The Blessed Perfection and the Báb are unique and peerless in this Dispensation and until the next Manifestation. The belief, the opinion and the thoughts of all believers must revolve around this common Center. This oneness of belief must become fully realized so that in the future they may arise no differences. His Holiness the Báb was the Morn of Guidance. The Blessed Perfection was the Desired One of all the religions and nations, and all of us are under the Blessed Shadow, non-existent and evanescent. All of us are the servants of this Holy Threshold.

All of us are the thralls, humble and lowly. All of us receive the Light from that Sun of Reality. There is no other mention, no other quality, no other appellation for us save this. I am Abdu'l-Bahá. The believers must be satisfied with this explanation so that I may be pleased with them. All of the friends must be united on this matter. Praise be to God! that up to this time, through the favor and providence of the Blessed Perfection, no other title or word save Abdu'l-Bahá has appeared either from my tongue or pen. I hope that all the believers will walk in my footsteps so that I may become satisfied with all of them. Our highest aspiration must be this: that we may become confirmed to render some slight service in the Path of God. There is no greater station than this.

585. After the Departure of the Blessed Perfection and until the Appearance of the next Manifestation there is no other station save the Station of Servitude, pure and absolute. Not a servitude liable to interpretation; but an unconditional and unqualified servitude. This is the real fact. Whosoever expresses any other interpretation, I will not be pleased with you. This is my advice to you. This is my counsel to you. This is my desire. This is my good pleasure. This is my last request from all the believers of God! The balsam of my wound is servitude at the Holy Threshold. My Sadrat-el-Montaha is servitude at the Holy Threshold! My highest destination is servitude at the Holy Threshold! My supreme Paradise is servitude at the Holy Threshold! The most shining Crown is servitude at the Holy Threshold!

What diadem is more glorious than servitude at the Holy Threshold?

I hope that all of us will become assisted in this servitude. I hope each one of us will become confirmed in absolute humility and meekness at the Holy Threshold. This is the Delectable Paradise of the righteous ones! This is the zenith of the hope of the favored ones!

MIRZA AHMAD SOHRAB, Diary Notes
January 17, 1914.
HISTORY OF THE CAUSE

586. Tonight I wish to tell you something of the history of the Bahá'í Revelation.

The Blessed Perfection Bahá'u'lláh belonged to the royal family of Persia. From earliest childhood he was distinguished among his relatives and friends. They said, "This child has extraordinary power." In wisdom, intelligence and as a source of new knowledge he was advanced beyond his age and superior to his surroundings. All who knew him were astonished at his precocity. It was usual for them to say, "Such a child will not live" for it is commonly believed that precocious children do not reach maturity. During the period of youth the Blessed Perfection did not enter school. He was not willing to be taught. This fact is well established among the Persians of Tihran. Nevertheless he was capable of solving difficult problems of all who came to him. In whatever meeting, scientific assembly or theological discussion he was found, he became the authority of explanation upon intricate and abstruse questions presented.

Until his father passed away Bahá'u'lláh did not seek position or political station notwithstanding his connection with the government. This occasioned surprise and comment. It was frequently said "How is it that a young man of such keen intelligence and subtle perception does not seek lucrative appointments? As a matter of fact every position is open to him." This is an historical statement fully attested by the people of Persia.

He was most generous, giving abundantly to the poor. None who came to him were turned away. The doors of his house were open to all. He always had many guests. This unbounded generosity was conducive to greater astonishment from the fact that he sought neither position nor prominence. In commenting upon this his friends said he would become impoverished, for his expenses were many and his wealth becoming more and more limited. "Why is he not thinking of his own affairs?" they inquired of each other; but some who were wise declared "This personage is connected with another world; he has something sublime within him that is not evident now; the day is coming when it will be manifested." In truth the Blessed perfection was a refuge for every weak one, a shelter for every fearing one, kind to every indigent one, lenient and loving to all creatures.

587. He became well-known in regard to these qualities before His Holiness the Báb appeared. Then Bahá'u'lláh declared the Báb's mission to be true and promulgated his teachings. The Báb announced that the greater manifestation would take place after him and called the promise one "Him whom God would manifest," saying that nine years later the reality of his own mission would become apparent. In his writing he stated that in the ninth year his expected one would be known; in the ninth year they would attain to all glory and felicity; in the ninth year they would advance rapidly. Between Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb there was communication privately. The Báb wrote a letter containing three hundred and sixty derivatives of the root "Baha." The Báb was martyred in Tabriz, and Bahá'u'lláh, exiled into Iraq-Arabi in 1852, announced himself in Baghdad. For the Persian government had decided that as long as he remained in Persia the peace of the country would be disturbed; therefore he was exiled in the expectation that Persia would become quiet. His banishment, however, produced the opposite effect. New tumult arose and the mention of his greatness and influence spread everywhere throughout the country. The proclamation of his manifestation and mission was made in Baghdad. He called his friends together there and spoke to them of God. Afterward he left the city and went alone into the mountains of Kurdistan where he made his abode in caves and grottoes. A part of this time he lived in the city of Sulimaniyye. Two years passed during which neither his friends nor family knew just where he was.

588. Although solitary, secluded and unknown in his retirement, the report spread throughout Kurdistan that this was a most remarkable and learned personage gifted with a wonderful power of attraction. In a short time Kurdistan was magnetized with his love. During this period Bahá'u'lláh lived in poverty. His garments were those of the poor and needy. His food was that of the indigent and lowly. An atmosphere of majesty haloed him as the sun at midday. Everywhere he was greatly revered and beloved.

After two year he returned to Baghdad. Friends he had known in Sulimaniyye came to visit him. They found him in his accustomed environment of ease and affluence and were astonished at the appointments of one who had lived in seclusion under such frugal conditions in Kurdistan.

589. The Persian government believed the banishment of the Blessed Perfection from Persia would be the extermination of his cause in that country. These rulers now realized that it spread more rapidly. His prestige increased, his teachings became more widely circulated. The chiefs of Persia then used their influence to have Bahá'u'lláh exiled from Baghdad. He was summoned to Constantinople by the Turkish authorities. While in Constantinople he ignored every restriction, especially the hostility of ministers of state and clergy. The official representatives of Persia again brought their influence to bear upon the Turkish authorities and succeeded in having Bahá'u'lláh banished from Constantinople to Adrianople, the object being to keep him as far away as possible from Persia and render his communication with that country more difficult. Nevertheless the cause still spread and strengthened.

590. Finally they consulted together and said, "We have banished Bahá'u'lláh from place to place but each time he is exiled his cause is more widely extended, his proclamation increases in power and day by day his lamp is becoming brighter. This is due to the fact that we have exiled him to large cities and populous centers. Therefore we will send him to a penal colony as a prisoner so that all may know he is the associate of murderers, robbers and criminals; in a short time he and his followers will perish." The Sultan of Turkey than banished him to the prison of Akka in Syria.

591. When Bahá'u'lláh arrived at Akka, through the power of God he was able to hoist his banner. His light at first had been a star; now it became a mighty sun and the illumination of his cause expanded from the east to the west. Inside prison walls he wrote epistles to all the kings and rulers of nations summoning them to arbitration and Universal Peace. Some of the kings received his words with disdain and contempt. One of these was the Sultan of the Ottoman kingdom. Napoleon III of France did not reply. A second epistle was addressed to him. It stated "I have written you an epistle before this, summoning you to the cause of God but you are of the heedless. You have proclaimed that you were the defender of the oppressed; now it hath become evident that you are not. Nor are you kind to your own suffering and oppressed people. Your actions are contrary to your own interests and your kingly pride must fall. Because of your arrogance God shortly will destroy your sovereignty. France will flee away from you and you will be overwhelmed by a great conquest. There will lamentation and mourning, women bemoaning the loss of their sons." This arraignment of Napoleon III was published and spread.

Read it and consider: One prisoner, single and solitary, without assistant or defender, a foreigner and stranger imprisoned in the fortress of Akka writing such letters to the Emperor of France and Sultan of Turkey. Reflect upon this, how Bahá'u'lláh upraised the standard of his cause in prison. Refer to history. It is without parallel. No such thing has happened before that time nor since; a prisoner and an exile advancing his cause and spreading his teachings broadcast so that eventually he became powerful enough to conquer the very King who banished him.

592. His cause spread more and more. The Blessed Perfection was a prisoner twenty-five years. During all this time he was subjected to the indignities and revilement of the people. He was persecuted, mocked and put in chains. In Persia his properties were pillaged and his possessions confiscated. First, banishment from Persia to Baghdad; then to Constantinople; then to Adrianople; finally from Roumelia to the prison fortress of Akka.

During his lifetime he was intensely active. His energy was unlimited. Scarcely one night passed in restful sleep. He bore these ordeals, suffered these calamities and difficulties in order that a manifestation of selflessness and service might become apparent in the world of humanity; that the "Most Great Peace" should become a reality; that human souls might appear as the angels of heaven; that heavenly miracles would be wrought among men; that human faith should be strengthened and perfected; that the precious, priceless bestowal of God -- the human mind -- might be developed to its fullest capacity in the temple of the body; and man become the reflection and likeness of God, even as it hath been revealed in the Bible: "We shall create man in our own image."

593. Briefly; the Blessed Perfection bore all these ordeals and calamities in order that our hearts might become enkindled and radiant, our spirits be glorified, our faults become virtues, our ignorance transformed into knowledge; in order that we might attain the real fruits of humanity and acquire heavenly graces; although pilgrims upon earth we might travel the road of the heavenly kingdom; although needy and poor we might receive the treasures of life eternal. For this has he borne these difficulties and sorrows.

Trust all to God. The lights of God are resplendent. The blessed Epistles are spreading. The blessed teachings are promulgated throughout the East and the West. Soon you will see that the heavenly Words have established the oneness of the world of humanity. The banner of the "Most Great Peace" has been unfurled and the "great community" is appearing.

273 West 90th Street,
New York City
April 18, 1912.
SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

594. Today someone asked a question regarding the existence of God. What are the proofs through which one can establish the existence of God?

People are divided into two sections, one which is satisfied with the knowledge of the attributes of divinity, and the other which strives to establish the existence of divinity, and be informed of the fundamental principles of divine philosophy.

Therefore today I will speak to you of the proofs which establish scientifically the existence of God.

595. I will not quote to you the scriptural proofs from the Old and the New Testament or the Qur'an, for you are more or less familiar with those ideas. Consequently I will deal with this subject from an intellectual standpoint. As it is an abstruse subject I request you to give your utmost attention.

596. When we look upon all forms of phenomena we observe that they are the results of composition. For example, certain single atoms are brought together through the inherent law of elective affinity existing between these various particles, the result of which is the human being. A number of primordial atoms have gone into the make-up of a plant, the result of which is the flower.

Again looking into the mineral kingdom we observe that this law of cohesion is working in the same manner in that kingdom, for we see that many atoms go into the composition of a piece of stone which through purification may reach to the state of a mirror.

In short, the existence of life depends upon the composition and decomposition of phenomena. When the particles of a given composition are disintegrated this may be called non-existence, but the original simple atoms will go back to their primary elements and are ever existent.

For instance, the body of man being the resultant factor of the composition of these atoms, when this body becomes the subject of decomposition we call that death, but those atoms of which the body of man was composed, being simple and primordial, are indestructible. Consequently it is proved that the existence of phenomena depends upon composition and their mortality upon decomposition.

This is a scientific principle; science approves of it, because it is not a matter of belief. There is a great difference between theories upheld by belief, and facts which are substantiated by science.

Beliefs are the susceptibilities of conscience, but scientific facts are the deductions of reason and inexorable logic.

Therefore it is logically proven that the existence of phenomena depends upon composition, and their destruction upon disintegration.

Now going back to our subject and the facts upheld by materialists. They state that inasmuch as it is proven and upheld by science that the life of phenomena depends upon composition and their destruction upon disintegration, then where comes in the need or necessity of a Creator -- the self-subsistent Lord?

For if we see with our own eyes that these infinite beings go through myriads of compositions and in every composition appearing under a certain form showing certain characteristics virtues, then we are independent of any divine maker.

597. This is the argument of the materialists. On the other hand those who are informed of divine philosophy answer in the following terms:

Composition is of three kinds.
1. Accidental composition.
2. Involuntary composition.
3. Voluntary composition.

There is no fourth kind of composition. Composition is restricted to these three categories.

If we say that composition is accidental, this is philosophically a false theory, because then we have to believe in an effect without a cause, and philosophically no effect is conceivable without a cause. We cannot think of an effect without some primal cause, and composition being an effect, there must naturally be a cause behind it.

As to the second composition i.e., the voluntary composition. Involuntary composition means that each element has within it as an inherent function this power of composition. For example, certain elements have flowed towards each other, and as an inherent necessity of their being they are composed. That is, it is the imminent need of these elements to enter into composition.

For example, the inherent quality of fire is burning or heat. Heat is an original property of fire.

Humidity is the inherent nature of water. You cannot conceive of H2O, which is the chemical form of water, without having humidity connected, for that is its inherent quality, inseparable and indivisible.

Now as long as it is the inherent necessity of these elements to be composed, there should not be any decomposition. While we observe that after each composite organism, there is a process of decomposition we learn that the composition of the organisms of life is neither accidental nor involuntary. Then what have we as a form of composition? It is the third, that is the voluntary composition. And that means that the infinite forms of organisms are composed through a superior will, the eternal will, the will of the living and self-subsistent Lord.

This is a rational proof, that the Will of the Creator is effected through the process of composition.

Ponder over this carefully. When you comprehend the significance of this subject you will then be able to convey it to others. The more you think over this the greater will be your comprehension.

Thank God that He has given you such a power through which you can comprehend these divine mysteries. Reflect deeply, ponder carefully, think minutely, and then the doors of knowledge shall be opened unto you.

Paris, France
February 9, 1913.
THE NEED OF THE PERFECT MASTER

598. Those who are uninformed of the world of reality, who do not comprehend the existent beings, who do not perceive the realities of things, who do not discover the real mysteries of the existent objects, and who have but a superficial grasp of things -- such persons are but embodiments of pure ignorance. They believe only in that which they have learned from their fathers and ancestors. They of themselves have no hearing, no sight, no reason, no intellect; they rely upon tradition. They follow after the thoughts of their father and forebears. Such persons imagine that the dominion of God is an accidental dominion or kingdom.

For instance, they imagine that this world of existence was created but six or seven thousand years ago -- as though God did not reign before this period of seven thousand years, had no creation before this, had no world before this. They think that Divinity is accidental, for to them Divinity is dependent upon existent things, while, as a matter of fact, as long as there has been a God, He has had a creation. As long as there has been light, there have been recipients of that light, for the light does not have a manifestation unless there are those who perceive and appreciate it. The world of divinity presupposes creation, presupposes recipients of bounty, presupposes the existence of worlds.

No Divinity can be conceived as separate from creation, for otherwise it would be like imagining an empire without a people. A king must needs have a kingdom, must needs have an army, must needs have subjects. Is it possible to be a king and have no country, no army, no subjects? This is an absurdity. Were we to say that there was a time when there was no country, no army, and no subjects, how then could there be a king, a ruler? For a king must needs have a country, an army and subjects.

Consequently, just as the reality of Divinity has no beginning, -- that is, God has ever been the Creator, God has ever been the Provider, God has ever been a Quickener, God has been a Bestower -- so there never has been a time when the attributes of God have not had expression. The sun is the sun because of its rays, because of its heat. Were we to conceive of there ever having been a time when there was a sun and yet it had no heat, no light -- that would imply and prove that there had been no sun at all, and that it became the sun afterward. So, likewise, were we to say that there was a time when God had no creation, had no created beings, had no recipients of His bounties, that His names and attributes had not been manifest -- this would mean a thorough denial of the Divinity, for it would mean that Divinity is accidental. To put it still more clearly, if we think that fifty thousand years ago -- or one hundred thousand years ago -- there was no creation, that there were no worlds, no human beings, no animals -- this thought of ours would mean that previous to fifty thousand years ago there was no Divinity. For were we to say that there was a time when there was a king but there were no subjects, no army, no country for him to rule over, it would be assuming that there was a time when there was no king, and that the king is accidental. So just as the reality of Divinity is without a beginning, so is creation without a beginning. This is as clear as the sun. When we contemplate this machinery of power and perceive this infinite space and its numerous worlds, then it will easily become clear to us that the lifetime of this great creation is more than six thousand years -- nay, it is very ancient.

599. But we read in Genesis, in the Old Testament, that the lifetime of creation is but six thousand years. Now this has a meaning. This is not to be taken literally. For instance, it is said in the Old Testament, in the first day such and such a thing was created, -- in the first day! Then the narrative shows that the sun was not year created! How could we conceive a day if there were no sun created? For the day depends upon the existence of the sun. While no creation of the sun was yet made, how then was the first day realized? Therefore, these things have significances other than literal.

600. To be brief: my purpose is to say that the kingdom of God, the divine sovereignty, is an ancient sovereignty. It is not an accidental sovereignty, and that sovereignty presupposes the presence of subjects, of an army, of a country; for otherwise, the state of dominion, authority and kingdom cannot be conceived of. So, were one to imagine that the Creator is accidental, while the divine bounty is ever flowing, and the rays of the Sun of Truth are continuously shining. No cessation is possible to the Divine Bounty, just as no cessation is possible to the rays of the sun. This is clear and obvious.

Thus there have been many holy Manifestations of God. One thousand years ago, two hundred thousand years ago, one million years ago, the bounty of God was flowing, the radiance of God was shining, the dominion of God was reigning.

601. Why do these holy Manifestations of God become manifest? What is the wisdom of their coming? What is the result obtained through them? It is clear that human personality is endowed with two aspects. One is the aspect of its being the image of God, and the other is the satanic aspect; and the human reality stands between these two aspects -- the divine and the satanic. It is manifest that beyond this body man is endowed with another reality, which reality is in the world of exemplars, and which is the heavenly body of man. At the time of speech man says: "I said," "I saw." Who is this "I"? It is obvious that this "I" is different from this body. It is clear that when man is thinking, it is as though he were consulting with some other person. Whom is he consulting with? It is evident that it is another reality or one aside from this body with whom he enters into consultation, when he thinks of himself, saying, "Shall I do this work or not?" "What shall be the fruit of my doing this?" Or when he asks the other reality, "What is the harm of this work if I do it?" And then that reality is man communicates to him its opinion concerning the point at issue. Therefore that reality in man is obviously and clearly other than this body, with which man enters into consultation and whose opinion man seeks.

Many a time man makes his mind up positively about a thing; for instance, he makes up his mind and determines to undertake a journey. Then, he begins to think, that is, he consults his inner reality, and finally concludes that he will give up his journey. Why is it? How is it he gave up his original purpose? Thus it is evident that there is a reality in him and he consults that reality, and that reality expresses to him the harm which such a journey would cause. Therefore the man minds that reality and gives up the plan of the journey.

602. Furthermore, in the world of dreams man sees things. He travels in the East, he travels in the West, although his body is stationary. His body is here, yet it is that reality in him which makes the journey to the West while the body sleeps. There is no doubt that a reality is there other than the outward, physical reality. For instance, a person is dead, is buried in the ground. We see him in the world of dreams, we speak with him. While that person's body is interred in the ground, who then is the person whom you see in your dreams, talk to, and who also speaks to you? Therefore, this again proves that there is another reality, different from this physical one which dies and is buried. Thus it is evident that in man there is a reality other than this physical one which is not his body. For instance, the body becomes weak, but that reality is in its normal state of existence. This body becomes strengthened, but that reality in man is in its normal state, unchangeable. For instance, the body of man may lose one arm, but the reality of man, which is not visible, loses nothing and is in its own normal state. This body goes to sleep, becomes as one dead, but that reality in that body which is asleep is moving about, is comprehending things, is expressing them, is discovering the realities of things.

Consequently, it is known that in man there is a reality other than this material one which is called body, and that reality which is other than this physical one is called the heavenly body of man; and we call that body the ethereal form which corresponds to this body. It is that reality which discovers the inner meaning of things; otherwise, this body of man does not discover anything. That reality grasps the mysteries of existence. It discovers scientific facts. It discovers technical points. It discovers electricity, telegraphy, the telephone, and so on, discovering all the arts -- and yet the reality which makes all these discoveries is other than this body, for, were it this body, then the animal would likewise be able to make these scientific and wonderful discoveries, for the animal shares with man all physical limitation and physical powers. What then is that power which discovers the realities of things which is not to be found in the animal? There is no doubt that it is the inner reality of man; and that reality comprehends all things, throws light upon the inner mysteries of existence, discovers the Kingdom, grasps the mysteries of God, and distinguishes man from the brute. That reality penetrates the inner core of beings; and it is evident that man is endowed with that reality and there is no doubt therein.

603. This human reality stands between two grades, between the world of the animal and the world of Divinity. Were the animal in man to become predominant, man would become even lower than the brute. Were the heavenly powers in man to become predominant, man would become the most superior being in the world of existence. For instance, consider in man there is rancor, in man there is struggle for existence; in the nature of man there is propensity for warfare; innate in man there is love of self; in him there is jealousy, and so on with all the other imperfections and thus, in a word, all the imperfections found in the animal are to be found in man. For instance, in the animal there is ferocity; there is also ferocity in man. In the animal there is what is called hypocrisy or slyness, like unto that in the fox; and in the animal there is greed -- and there is ignorance. So there are all these in man. In the animal there are injustice and tyranny; so likewise are they in man. The reality of man, therefore, is clad, you might say, in its outer form in the garment of the animal, in the garment of the world of nature, of the world of darkness; that is the world of imperfection, that is the world of infinite baseness.

604. On the other hand, we find that there is justice in man,

there is sincerity in man, faithfulness, knowledge, wisdom, light, and that there is mercy and pity in man; that there is in him intellect, comprehension, the power to grasp the reality of things, the ability to discover the reality of existence. All these great perfections are to be found in man. Consequently, we say that man is a reality which stands between light and darkness, that he has three aspects, three phases; one is the human aspect, one is the divine, heavenly aspect, and one is the natural, or animal aspect. The animal or natural aspect is darkness. The heavenly aspect is light in light.

605. Now to return to the point: The holy Manifestations of God come into the world in order to effect the disappearance of the physical, the animal, dark aspect of man, so that the darkness in him may be dispelled, his imperfections be eradicated, his spiritual, heavenly phase may become manifest, his God-like aspect may become paramount and his perfections may become visible; his innate great power may become known, and that all the virtues of the world of humanity potential within him may come to life. Thus these holy Manifestations of God are the educators and trainers of the world of existence and they are the teachers of the world of humanity. These holy Manifestations of God liberate men from the world of darkness and nature. They deliver him from gloom, from error, from hideousness, from ignorance, from imperfections, and likewise from all the evil qualities. Then they cause him to be clad in the garment of perfection and high virtues. Men are ignorant; the Manifestations of God make them wise. They are animalistic; the Manifestations make them human. They are ferocious; the Manifestations cause them to become kingdoms of light. They are unjust; the Manifestations cause them to be just. Man is selfish; they cause him to be severed from self and desire. Men are haughty; the Manifestations cause them to become meek and amiable. They are earthly; the Manifestations cause them to become heavenly. They are material; they cause them to become divine. They are immature children; the Manifestations cause them to become mature. Men are poor; they cause them to become wealthy. They are base; they cause them to become noble. Men are mean; and they cause them to become lofty.

To be brief: these holy Manifestations liberate the world of humanity from the imperfections which beset it and cause men to appear in the garment of heavenly perfections. Were it not for the coming of these holy Manifestations of God, all men would be found on the plane of the animal. They would be similar to ignorant individuals who have never seen a school, who have never had a trainer. For such individuals will undoubtedly remain ignorant.

606. Leave these mountains, these hills, to the world of nature and they will remain a jungle, and you will not fine any fruitful tree among them. But a true gardener changes this forest and jungle into a garden, training its trees into fruitful ones, and causing numerous kinds of flowers and myrtles to grow therein. In the same way these holy Manifestations of God are the ideal gardeners. The world of existence is but a jungle of confusion. The state of nature is confusion such as that of a jungle, producing fruitless, useless trees. As the holy Manifestations of God are the ideal gardeners, they, therefore, train these human trees and cause them to become fruitful and bestow upon them freshness and verdancy in order that they may grow day by day and produce every kind of pure fruit, and thus become the cause of adorning the world of being and continue flourishing and in the utmost purity.

Consequently, we cannot say that the divine bounty has ceased, that the glory of the Divinity is exhausted, or the Sun of Truth has sunk down into eternal sunset -- in that sunset which is not followed by a dawn, into that darkness which is not followed by light, into that death which is not followed by life, into that error which is not followed by truth! Is it conceivable that the Sun of Truth should sink into an eternal sunset? No, the sun was created in order that it may shed light upon the world, and train all existing things. How then can the Sun set forever? For this would mean the cessation of the divine bounty, and the divine bounty is ceaseless; it is continuous. Its Sun is ever shining; its cloud is ever producing rain; its breezes are ever blowing; its bounties are all-comprehending; its gift is ever perfect. Consequently, we must always anticipate and always be hopeful and pray to God to send unto us his holy Manifestation in the most perfect might, with divine, penetrative power, with the Divine Word, so that these diving Manifestations may be distinguished above all other beings in every respect, in every phase; in the same way as the sun is distinguished above the stars.

607. Although the stars are scintillating, yet the sun is superior to them in luminosity. Likewise these holy, divine Manifestations are and must always be distinguished above all other beings in every attribute of glory and perfection, in order that it may be proven that the Manifestation is the true teacher, that he is the real trainer, that he is the Sun of Truth, that he is endowed with a great light, and in order that it may be proven that he is endowed with a heavenly aspect. For, otherwise, it is not possible for us to train any one human individual, and after training him to believe that he is the holy, divine Manifestation. The holy, divine Manifestation must be endowed with divine knowledge and not be one instructed in school learning. He must be the educator and not the educated. The holy Manifestations of God must be perfect and not imperfect. They must be great and not weak and impotent. They must be wealthy and not indigent. In a word, the holy Manifestation of God must be in every great aspect distinguished above all else in order that he may be able to train the human body politic, in order that he may have power to eliminate the darkness, cause the advancing of the world of humanity from one plane to a higher one, be able through the penetrative power of his word to promote and spread broadcast the Universal Peace among men, bring about the unification of men and religions through a divine power, harmonize all sects and branches and convert all nativities and regions into one nativity and fatherland.

Thus it is our hope that the bounties of God will encompass us all and the gifts of the divine will become manifest, the lights of the Sun of Truth will illumine our eyes and inspire our hearts and convey to our souls cheerful glad-tidings of God and cause our thoughts to become lofty, and our efforts to become productive of glorious results. In a word, it is my hope that we may attain to that which is the summit of human aspirations and wishes.

Theosophical Society
New York City
December 4, 1912.
THE GREAT MASTER

608. As to the coming of the Great Master. His appearance is dependent upon the realization of certain conditions. Investigate the reality, and in whomsoever those conditions are fulfilled, know ye of a certainty that He is the Great Master.

First. The Great Master will be the educator of the world of humanity.

Second. His teachings must be universal and confer illumination upon mankind.

Third. His knowledge must be innate and spontaneous, and not acquired knowledge.

Fourth. He must answer the questions of all the sages, solve all the difficult problems of humanity, and be able to withstand all the persecutions and sufferings heaped upon Him.

Fifth. He must be a joy-bringer and the herald of the Kingdom of happiness.

Sixth. His knowledge must be infinite and His wisdom all-comprehensive.

Eighth. Sorrows and tribulations must no vex Him. His courage and conviction must be godlike. Day by day He must become firmer and more zealous.

Ninth. He must be the establisher of universal civilization, the unifier of religions, the standard-bearer of universal peace and the embodiment of all the highest and noblest virtues of the world of humanity.

Wherever you find these conditions realized in a human temple, turn to Him for guidance and illumination.

Theosophical Society
Budha Pesth
April 12, 1913.
GOD AND THE UNIVERSE

609. God is Love and Peace. God it Truth. God is Omniscience. God is without beginning and without end. God is uncreated and uncreating, yet the Source, the Causeless Cause. God is pure Essence, and cannot be said to be anywhere or in any place.

God is infinite; and as terms are finite, the nature of God cannot be expressed in terms, but as man desires to express God in some way, he calls God "Love" and "Truth," because these are the highest things he knows. Life is eternal; so man, in order to express God's infinity, calls God "Life." But these things in themselves are not God. God is the Source of all, and all things that are, are mirrors reflecting His Glory.

But while God does not create, the first principle of God, Love, is the creative principle. Love is an outpour from God, and is pure spirit. It is one aspect of the Logos, the Holy Spirit. It is the immediate cause of the laws which govern nature, the endless verities of nature which science has uncovered. In brief, it is Divine Law and a Manifestation of God. This Manifestation of God is active, creative, spiritual. It reflects the positive aspect of God.

There is another Manifestation of God which is characterized by passivity, quiescence, inactivity. In itself it is without creative power. It reflects the negative aspect of God. This Manifestation is matter.

Matter, reflecting the negative aspect of God, is self-existent, eternal, and fills all space. Spirit, flowing out from God, permeates all matter. This spirit, Love, reflecting the positive and active aspect of God, impresses its nature upon the atoms and elements. By its power they are attracted to each other under certain ordered relations, and thus, uniting and continuing to unite, give birth to worlds and systems of worlds. The same laws working under developed conditions bring into existence living beings. Spirit is the life of the form, and the form is shaped by the spirit. The evolution of life and form proceeds hand in hand. The powers of spirit are evolved by the experiences of the form, and the plasticity of the matter of the form is developed by the activity of the spirit. Working up through the mineral and vegetable kingdoms, sense-perception is reached in the animal, and the perfection of form is attained in man.

610. The forms or bodies of component parts, infinite in variety, which in the course of evolution spirit builds as the vehicles of its expression, are, because of the instability of matter, subject to dissolution. As they disappear, others are built following the same patterns, carrying on the characteristics of each.

611. Sense-perception gives rise to desire, desire to will, will to action, and action again to sense-perception. This chain ever repeats itself, and so the powers of thought, memory, reason, and the emotional capacities are evolved in spirit. These power and capacities of spirit, expressed in individual human beings, constitute human characters.

Through these successive evolutionary steps, spirit develops characters having Divine attributes. The positive, creative aspect of God is reflect in the them. Individuality is derived from expression in individual form. Self-consciousness accompanies individualised character, and the being thus endowed has the potentiality of rising to the knowledge of God.

Characters inspired by the universal human spirit continue in lines of specific developing types, as did species in the vegetable and animal kingdoms.

612. Similar types recur again and again, but without a continuing individual life from one human being to another. This recurrence may be likened to that of the seasons. Spring, summer, autumn and winter return in succession, each season the counterpart of the like season in the previous year -- the same yet not the same. So flower and fruits come this year from like seed or from the same bush or tree as those of last year, each in the line of succession of its kind, the same in essence, but differing in substance.

613. In the latter case the power which causes the seed to rot in the ground and a new growth to spring from it, or in the bush or tree to put forth again leaves and fruit, is the power of the Spirit, the active aspect of God as Life.

614. So in the case of man. Life is eternal, but the individual human consciousness is not inherently so. It can only gain immortality by uniting with the pure Divine Essence. This union man may reach by a pure life and love for God and his fellow men.

615. When in the course of evolution the stage of thought and reason has been reached, the human mind acts as a mirror reflecting the glory of God.

The face of nature is illumined, the grass, the stones, the hills and valleys shine; but they shine not of themselves, but because they reflect the rays of the sun. It is the sun which shines. In the same way, our minds reflect God. Those who live thinking good thoughts, doing good deeds, and with love in their hearts -- the minds of these become ever clearer, reflecting more and more perfectly the love of God, while the minds of those who live in ignorance and desire are clouded and obscured, and give forth His light but meagrely.

A stone reflects but slightly the rays of the sun; but if a mirror be held up, though it be small, the whole of the sun will be reflected in it, because the mirror is clear and bright. Just so it is with the minds of men and the Sun of Reality. The great Masters and Teachers so purified their minds by the love of God and of men that they became like polished mirrors, reflecting faithfully the Glory of God.

Abbias Effendi, His Life and Teachings, by Myron H. Phelps, pp. 153-157.

TABLET TO INDIA

616. His Highness the Merciful One hath cause the appearance of the splendors of love and affinity in the world of humanity, so that the individuals of mankind might be perfectly united and the rays of unity be revealed amongst the children of men. Hence He sent forth the holy Manifestations, inspired their hearts with the contexts of the heavenly books and instituted divine religions, in order that these sanctified personages, these revealed books, these religions of God might become the means of unity and accord, love and good fellowship in the human world.

Should be study the divine religions with the perception of truth, we would then conclude that their underlying principle is the One Reality. All the religions of God are the reality. Reality does not admit multiplicity and division. But alas! that the fundamental reality is laid aside and forgotten, and a catalogue of creeds, dogmas and rites have taken its place which are the basis of differences, the cause of hatred and prejudice, and the establishment of the religion of God is totally forgotten and neglected.

617. When this impenetrable gloom -- that is, the gloom of the traditions of ancestors -- surrounded the world, and the pristine light of the divine religions was changed into the darkness of the ideas of men, then the true morn dawned and the Sun of Reality (Bahá'u'lláh) arose from the horizon of Persia, reflecting in the mirror of the world of humanity the effulgence of the heavenly unity. Thus he destroyed the foundations of the structure of blind dogmas and man-made creeds and rituals which are the result of ignorant prejudices. It is owing to this fact that this light is spreading with the greatest rapidity in all the countries of the world. The influence of these divine teachings in the heart of the world is like the influence of the spirit over the bodies.

618. Consequently, through the breaths of this divine spirit, the followers of the different religions in Persia have rent asunder the veil of superstitions, are freed from the effect of unenlightened doctrines, and have attained to the Beloved of Reality. These antagonistic faiths are united with the bond of perfect love and amity. For this reason great meetings are organized, in which are represented Muhammadans, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Turks, Arabs, Parsees, Persians, Kurds, English, French and Americans, who associate and mingle with each other as brothers. Like the sheep of God they are grazing in the pastures of truth under the protecting staff of the heavenly Shepherd.

619. Should you reflect with the insight of reality, you will observe that these antiquated and superannuated dogmas have ever been the cause of massacre and carnage among the nations and peoples.

620. As this is the cycle of sciences, there must needs be new teachings, a new revelation is required and a new life wanted. The minds and hearts refute the veracity of ancient opinions. New ideas are called for and new principles are urgently demanded which may fill the requirements of this age, be as the spirit of this century and as the life of this period.

621. Search, labor, investigate, work and show extraordinary effort, so that the center of the light of Reality, like unto the witness of love, may become revealed in the assemblages of mankind.

622. There is a power in this Cause, a mysterious power, far, far, far away from the ken of men and angels. That invisible power is the source of all these outward activities. It moves the hearts. It rends the mountains. It administers the complicated affairs of the Cause. It inspires the friends. It dashes into a thousand pieces all the forces of opposition. It creates new spiritual worlds. This is a mystery of the Kingdom of Abha.

Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, Diary Notes, July 7, 1914.
GENERAL TABLET

623. O ye spiritual friends of Abdu'l-Bahá! "Perfume Thou the East! Illumine Thou the West! Bestow Thou light to the North! Grant Thou life to the South!"

This verse hath been revealed from the lips of the Center of the Covenant one year after the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh. But the violators (not understanding its spiritual purport) wondered and derided. Praise be to God! that now its signs have become manifest, its power evident, and its proofs plain. Thanks be unto Him! that the East and the West are stirred into cheerfulness, and through the Holy Fragrances all directions are perfumed.

624. The Blessed Perfection, in a clear text, hath promised us in the Book: "Verily I behold you from the Horizon of Abha, and will make victorious whosoever will arise in the service of My Cause with the hosts of the Supreme Concourse and the cohorts of the favored angels!" Praise be to God! that this victory and confirmation became visible and manifest and hath shone forth from the horizon of the world like unto the sun.

625. Therefore, O ye friends of God! Show ye forth an earnest endeavor and display ye a resolute effort, so that ye may become assisted in the adoration of the Ancient Beauty and the Manifest Light; to be the cause of spreading the light of the Sun of Truth; to infuse into the dead, antiquated body of the world a new spirit; to cast in the fields of hearts pure seeds; to arise in the service of the Cause; to speak with eloquent tongues; to become candles of guidance in the assemblage of the world; to become shining stars in the horizon of the existent being; to become merciful birds in the rose-garden of oneness; to sing the melodies of reality and significances; to spend every breath of your lives in the most great Cause; and to devote the period of your existence to the service of this conspicuous Light; so that in the end ye may be freed from loss and failure and attain to the inexhaustible treasury of the Kingdom. For the life of man is wholly subject to danger and impermanency. A person cannot put his assurance even in one moment's continuity. Notwithstanding this, the nations of the world, deceived by the mirage of superstition, imagine themselves secure in the heavenly path. Alas! Alas! Former communities, in bygone ages, entertained the same perishing thoughts; but by one of those periodical fluctuations they were all hidden under the ground and affiliated with deprivation and loss, except those souls who had become pure evanescence and had arisen with great self-abnegation in the path of God. Such souls shine forth as brilliant stars from the Horizon on Ancient Glory, and the results which emanated from their lives in succeeding ages and cycles are the proofs that this statement is true. Therefore, do ye not rest, neither day nor night; seek ye not for composure; talk ye of the mystery of servitude, and seek ye the path of thralldom; so that through the promised confirmations ye may become assisted from the Kingdom of Oneness.

826. O ye friends! Dense and gloomy clouds have covered the horizon of the world, and the darkness of hatred, malignity, persecution, tyranny, and the greatest cruelty is spreading. All the people are drunk with the wine of heedlessness; and blood-thirstiness and rapaciousness are considered the noblest excellencies of the world of men.

627. His Highness the Almighty hath chosen the friends from among the concourse of men and hath specialized them with the most eminent guidance and the highest gift; so that we may with souls and heart exert ourselves, sacrifice our lives, be engaged in the guidance of the people and the training of souls; so that the wild beasts may become the gazelles of the meadows of unity; the wolves may become the lambs of God; the bloodthirsty ones the heavenly angels; the fire of malice be extinguished and the flame of safety in the Blessed Tabernacle bestow illumination; the odor of the nether realm of infidelity be dispelled and the fragrances of the rose-garden of faithfulness be diffused into all parts; the weak draw light from the Universal Reason and evil souls seek to be purified with the holy and divine Breath. There are needed manifestors for this gift; farmers for this field; gardeners for this rose-garden; fishers for this sea; luminous stars for this heaven; spiritual physicians for these sick ones, and loving guides for these wanderers; so that they may bestow a share to those who are deprived, grant a portion to those who are portionless, give unmeasured treasure to the indigent ones, and show forth the power of proof to those who seek.

628. Glory be unto Thee, O my God! I supplicate unto Thee, O Thou my Helper! I invoke Thee, O Thou my Refuge! My agonies I declare unto Thee, O Thou my Physician, and entreat Thee with all my heart, my soul and my spirit, saying:

O my God! O my God! Verily, the gloomy night hath fallen upon all religions and the clouds of ignorance have extended over all parts; the people are immersed in the darkness of surmise and the tyrants are sunk in the depths of brutality and lawlessness; the red glare of the burning fire is flashing forth from the nether world; roaring, ominous voices are rising from the cruel, destructive and terrible armaments; every region is crying out with its dumb secret tongue: "Nothing that I possess hath benefited me, and power and strength are taken away from me!" Verily, O my God, the lamps of guidance are extinguished; the fire of animosity is enkindled; wrath and antipathy are spread abroad, and provocation and maliciousness are disseminated upon the face of the earth.

Yet I see only Thy wronged followers who are crying at the tops of their voices, summoning the people:

"Hasten ye toward affinity!
"Hasten ye toward faithfulness!
"Hasten ye toward generosity!
"Hasten ye toward guidance!
"Hasten ye toward union!
"Hasten ye to behold the Light of the World!
"Hasten ye toward love and prosperity!
"Hasten ye toward the law of disarmament!
"Hasten ye toward harmony and stability!

"Hasten ye toward cooperation and mutual help in the path of guidance!"

Verily, these wronged ones do sacrifice themselves with infinite joy and happiness for the sake of the people, with all their soul and spirit, in every region. Verily, Thou beholdest them weeping at the misfortunes of every one of Thy creatures and grieved at the distress of Thy children; they are kind to all people and pained at the sight of the calamities of the inhabitants of the world. O my Lord! make the wings of prosperity to grow upon their shoulders, so that they may ever soar toward the apex of their aspirations; strengthen their loins in the service of Thy people, and confirm them in the servitude and adoration of the threshold of Thy Holiness.

Verily, Thou art the Merciful! Thou art the Clement, and there is no God but Thee, the Powerful, the Compassionate and the Ancient

Volume 2, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá
THE STATION OF WOMAN

629. The function of the sun as a luminary is to reveal the realities of objects. All that which is potential within the earth, is revealed or unfolded by the heat and light of the sun. That which is hidden within the tree, through that luminary is brought forth and exposed to view. Therefore we can say that a function of the sun is the revelation of things mysterious, and things hidden within the substance of the earth. Inasmuch as this is the century of light, the Sun of Reality has gloriously revealed itself to all humanity. One of the great things which was hidden in the realm of existence was the potential capability or capacity of womankind. Through the light of the Sun of Reality in this age of illumination, the might and capacity of womankind has become manifest to the extent that the equality of man and woman is now an established fact. In past ages, woman was wronged and oppressed. Alas! most especially was this the case in Asia and in Africa and in Australia. In these three continents women were most greatly oppressed; so much so that in certain parts of Asia women were not considered as members or parts of humankind. They considered woman as an inferior people, or race, or kind. There is a certain people, known as the Nosyrians, who held to this belief for a long period, namely, that woman was the manifestation of the evil spirit or Satan, and that man alone was the manifestation of the Merciful One, or the Lord. At last this century of light arrived. In this age the realities of things have been exposed.

Many mysterious things became revealed, and among them was this very subject. So that outside of Europe and America, even in the Orient today it is a well-known fact, if not well practised, that woman is equal to man. There have appeared women who have been verily the signs of guidance, might and power! Some have been notable poets. Some philosophic minds. Some brave and courageous. Among the brave were those who exhibited their valor and courage on the battlefield. And the poetesses have left their poetical works, which are masterpieces of poetry. To the latter class belongs Qurratu'l-Ayn, who was a Baha'i. She was the one who discomfited all the learned men of Persia. In whatsoever meeting she entered, the learned were silent. She was so well versed in the philosophy and science of the times that the learned men always considered her first. And her courage was unparalleled, to the extent that she withstood her enemies until she was killed. She withstood a king and monarch, the Shah of Persia, who was a most despotic man, a despot who through his decree could kill a thousand men each day. There was not a day during which he did not kill many people. This woman, singly and alone, was capable of withstanding such a monarch until her last breath, and then she offered her life -- sacrificed it.

Consider what mysteries have been revealed! All this has been due to the effulgence of the Sun of Reality, which in this century and this age has become gloriously manifested. Man must impartially investigate reality. He must not be prejudiced. What is the difference between man and woman? Both are human. In all functions and powers they are co-partners. At most it has been this: that woman has not had the opportunities which man has so long enjoyed, especially education. She has not had military tactics. If she cannot go on the battlefield and kill, is that a shortcoming? Suppose she has not used a gun, nor worked the cannon, if we present a cannon to a woman and ask her to fire it and she should fail, is that an imperfection? At most we can say such is a compliment or praise to her, that in hardness of heart she is inferior to man! If we say to womankind: come along and kill people, they will say: I cannot do it. Now that is not a shortcoming! But be it known that if women had been trained according to military tactics, I believe that they could kill as many, too. But God forbid that women learn military tactics! May they never make up their minds to use the gun. Because that is not a glory. Home-making and joy-creating and comfort-bringing are truly glories of mankind. Man should not glory in this, that he can kill. Man should glory in this, that he can love. When we study the realm of existence and consider the various kingdoms other than the human kingdom, we discover that male and female are not the distinction of gender peculiar to man. Nay, rather in all created beings there is this distinction of kind. Among the animals there is the male and the female, but is there any distinction of superiority made between them? In plant life or the vegetable kingdom we find likewise the masculine and feminine, but there is no distinction whatsoever between the male and the female. And if we should impartially investigate the matter, perchance we may find that the female is preferable or superior to the male, because in the vegetable kingdom there are some trees the female order of which is fruitful, whereas the male is fruitless. For example, the male fig tree is fruitless, whereas the female fig tree is fruitful. The male palm tree is valueless, whereas the female date tree is fruitful.

Now, when we find that in the other kingdoms, among the existing things in the animal and the vegetable, there is no distinction between the male and the female, is it becoming of man to make such a distinction? The male type of the animals does not glory in its being male and at all superior to the female. In fact, an equality is manifested. Is it meet that man, so superior as a creature, should deprive himself of this equality which the animals enjoy? The male animals do not exercise this attitude. They declare that they are equal with the female. In all rights they consider themselves equal. How is it possible that man, the most reasonable and the most noble, should consider himself superior? Whereas, in fact, they are all the servants of one God and all are considered in His estimation as human; and when we find that the word, "man" is used as a generic name it applies to all creatures, especially humankind; for example, in the Bible the statement is made that "man is created after our own image and likeness" -- that does not mean that the female was not created. You may be interested to know that in Persian and Arabic there are two distinct words which in English are translated as "man." In Persian and Arabic there is this distinction, and when the word "man" is used in one sense it means both man and woman, and the pronoun is referable to both, whereas there is also a word which distinguishes the male and female. We use the word "man" as applicable to the male alone, whereas it does not at all. We use the word "man" in English as applicable to both. In the Hebrew it is the same.

That which God has not created, that distinction which He has not made, we must not observe. It is a superstition. The thing to be considered, however, is this: that woman must be more highly educated. They must have equal opportunities with men. There must be no distinction whatever between their education. And until this reality, namely the equality between the male and the female of the human kingdom, is fully established, is fully realized, the highest attainment for society is not rendered possible. Suppose woman is inferior to man in a certain degree -- even if that be the case, it ought not to be considered, because this very distinction is going to create discord and trouble. They will say: well, if woman is inferior, then she is not to be qualified with all the qualities man has.

In brief, man thinks himself superior, and the ambition of women may wax cold, saying that we will not attempt to attain because it is impossible from the very nature of creation. Their love of progress would decrease. They would become helpless. On the contrary, we must declare that the capacity of woman is greater. When one attempts to educate a person, one should inspire him with hope and ambition so his capacity for progress may increase. He should not be told that he is inferior or weaker in qualities. If you tell a pupil in school that his intelligence is less than that of the other pupils, it is a very great obstacle to his advancement. On the contrary, he must be encouraged to advance, saying: you are most capable, and if you endeavor you will reach the highest pitch -- and that is the way it should be.

In short, my hope is that in the five continents, where this is not fully established, it may be established and the banner of equality raised. And let it be known once more that until woman and man realize this equality, progress is impossible. The world of humanity consists of two division, of two parts. One part or member is woman, the other is man. Until the two are equal in strength, the oneness of humanity cannot be realized. And the happiness of mankind will not be a reality. God willing, this is to be so.

Federation of Women's Clubs La Salle Hotel, Chicago May 2, 1912.

THE "MOST GREAT PEACE"

630. When we glance at history, we find that from the beginning up to the present day strife and warfare have prevailed among men. It has either been religious warfare, a warfare of races, or a war among the nations. All these wars have arisen from the ignorance of humanity, because of misunderstandings, and through the lack of the education of human kind.

631. Let us first touch upon religious warfare. It is self-evident that the Divine Prophets have appeared for no other purpose than to establish love and amity among humanity, for they were the shepherds and not the wolves. The shepherd comes forth to gather together his flock. He has not come to scatter his flock and to create strife among them. Every Divine Shepherd has gathered together a certain flock which formerly had been scattered. Among the Shepherds was His Holiness Moses. He assembled the various tribes of Israel and united them; afterward He took them over to the Holy Land. At a time when the Tribes of Israel were scattered and dispersed He was able to unite them, to assemble them together, and cause their development along degrees of human progress. By Him their degradation was transformed into glory, their poverty changed into wealth. Their vices were replaced by virtues until they reached such a zenith that the Solomonic Sovereignty was made possible, and the fame of their glory reached the East and the West. Hence it is evident that His Holiness Moses was a Divine Shepherd for He united the scattered tribes of Israel and gathered them together.

When the Messianic Star dawned, He declared, "I shall gather together the scattered tribes or flocks of Moses." He not only united the flock of Israel, nay rather, He was confirmed in bringing together the Chaldeans, Egyptians, Syrians, Ancient Assyrians and Phoenicians. These people were in a state of the utmost rancor; they were thirsty for the blood of each other; attacking one another with the ferocity of animals. But His Holiness Jesus Christ united them, assembled and cemented them together, established a bond of love among them so that strife, rancor and warfare were banished. Therefore it is evident that the Divine religions are meant to create a bond of love among humanity, and to bind the people together for no other purpose than amity. Divine religion is not a cause for discord and disagreement. If religion be the cause of discord and difference, then no religion is preferable, for religion is meant to be life to the body politic. If it be the cause of death to humanity, then its non-existence is preferable. Therefore, in this day religion is to be sought, for religious teachings may well be likened to remedies. If a remedy be productive of worse symptoms, the lack or absence of the remedy is preferable.

632. At a time when the Arabian tribes and nomadic people were in the utmost state of division, thirsty for the blood of each other, living in the deserts under lawless conditions, strife rampant among them, not a single soul enjoying composure, no tribe at ease; -- at such a critical time Muhammad appeared. He gathered them together and reconciled them toward each other, united and cause them to agree, so that no strife and warfare remained. The Arabian nation immediately advanced until their sovereignty progressed and extended as far west as Sprain and Andalusia. From these premises we may conclude that the foundation of the divine religions is for peace and not for strife, warfare and shedding of blood. Inasmuch as the foundation of the religions of God is one reality, which is love and amity, these warfares and dissensions are caused by imitations which creep in afterwards. Religion is a reality, and reality is one. The fundamentals of the religions of God are one in Reality. There is no difference in the fundamentals. The difference is caused by the imitations which arise later, and inasmuch as imitations differ, strife, discord and quarreling take place. If the religions of this time should forsake imitations and seek the fundamentals, all of them would agree and strife and discord would pass away -- for Reality is one and not multiple.

633. As to racial wars, these are caused by purely imaginary racial differences. For humanity is one in kind, it is one race, it is one progeny, inhabiting the same globe, and in the original genesis no difference obtains. God has created all humanity. God has not originally created Frenchmen, Englishmen, Americans, Germans, Italians or Spaniards. There is no difference as regards creation and kind; all belong to one household; all are the leaves of one tree; all are the fruits of one branch; all are the flowers of the same garden; all are the waves of the same sea.

634. Let us glance at the animal kingdom. We find the animals do not observe any distinction. If you gather together the sheep of the East and those of the West, they would mix quite harmoniously. The Oriental sheep would not look surprised and strange, saying: "You belong to the Occident; whereas I belong to the Orient." They would live together in the utmost accord. They would gather together and enjoy the same pasture. There is no racial difference among them. If the birds of the East and the birds of the West were together, they would be found in a state of the utmost unity and amity. There would not be any distinctions observed. We find virtues in the animal. Is it becoming of man to be deprived of those virtues? The animal does not observe those imaginary distinctions. Is it becoming for man to observe them? Man is reasonable, has the manifestation of the Divine bestowals, the perceptive faculty, adoration, memory; and with all these Divine bestowals, shall he allow these racial ideas to change him; -- one saying, "I am a German"; another, "I am a Frenchman"; a third, "I am an Englishman"? Through these superstitions shall he wage war? Is this becoming? God forbid! It is not necessary at all. If the animal does not condescend to observe such lowering thoughts, shall man be willing to stoop to this level? Why should he fetter himself with such groundless imaginations and superstitions? They are purely imaginary.

635. As to war which has been caused by nativity; -- the idea that this is an Eastern nativity, the other is a Western, this is Northern and that is Southern; this is likewise purely imaginary. The globe of this earth is one globe, and it is the nativity of all humanity; therefore, the human race should not observe any of these distinctions which are conducive to war. We have come from the East. Praise be to God! we find the American continent prosperous, its climate most delightful, its weather salubrious, the inhabitants possessed of courteous manners and the United States government a fair government. Is it becoming for us to entertain anything but love for them, saying, "This land does not belong to us, this is not our nativity and because it is not our nativity it shall not be acceptable?" This would be utter ignorance to which man must not condescend. Man must investigate realities and the reality is this: that all humanity is one in kind, that this earth is one globe and therefore one home. Hence it is proved that the factors and causes of warfare are entirely false. Grant this.


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