Tag Archives: Bahaullah

The nine pointed star found on an algae? Very interesting!

Here below you can read the article published in the Journal of Cell Science, 16:3, page 552 Cambridge University Press, 1974-12; it was written by T. Cavalier-Smith and called Nine-Pointed star in microscopic images of the algae Chlamydomonas. We found it here. Enjoy!

These images are cross-section views of the flagella of the algae chlamydomonas. These are magnified by an electron microscope 120,000 times. They have a remarkable similarity to the 9-pointed star symbolic of the Bahá’í Faith, and further the tip of each star appears like the Arabic letter , familiar to Bahá’ís from the ringstone symbol.



Image one
click for larger image

Image two
click for larger image

Entire page
click for larger image

Legend, from page 552:

  1. Transverse section through the distal part of the transitional region. That part of the annular connexion lying between the outer doublets and the membrane is not homogeneous but contains densities placed in pairs (arrows) opposite each doublet outer projection. x120,000
  2. Transverse section through the proximal part of the transitional region’s basal cylindar. Doublet outer projections and paired densities are present, and B-tubules knobs can be seen clearly in places (arrows). The flagellar surface coat is very well preserved. x120,000

This article and evidence makes me think of this part of a Bahá’í prayer written by Bahá’u’lláh:

Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! My tongue, both the tongue of my body and the tongue of my heart, my limbs and members, every pulsating vein within me, every hair of my head, all proclaim that Thou art God, and that there is none other God beside Thee.


Work is worship and mendicity and sloth are not permitted. Baha’i Writings.

I was thinking today about the possibility of just sitting back, relaxing and doing nothing and this is what came to mind! I had read about this and continue to read year after year and I thought I would share some insights of what I get from the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith.

Firstly, Bahá’u’lláh (Messenger of God, Founder of the Bahá’í Faith) continually stressed the importace of education for all. Back then, men and women were not considered equal and if preference was to be given to only one child in the home, it would be the male. He came and said that if it had to come down to making a decision between male or female, it should be the females since they are the first educators of the world! Furthermore, in His incredible generosity, God has allowed many different ways to worship Him, work being one of them. Here is a relevant quote by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that includes these two points:

The education of each child is compulsory…. In addition to this wide-spread education each child must be taught a profession, art, or trade, so that every member of the community will be enabled to earn his own livelihood. Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship….

In addition, Shoghi Effendi explained that “Bahá’u’lláh further states that mendicity should not only be discouraged but entirely wiped out from the face of society. It is the duty of those who are in charge of the organization of society to give every individual the opportunity of acquiring the necessary talent in some kind of profession, and also the means of utilizing such a talent, both for its own sake and for the sake of earning the means of his livelihood. Every individual, no matter how handicapped and limited he may be, is under the obligation of engaging in some work or profession, for work, especially when performed in the spirit of service, is according to Bahá’u’lláh, a form of worship. It has not only a utilitarian purpose, but has a value in itself, because it draws us nearer to God, and enables to better grasp His purpose for us in this world.”

This is my understanding: if we think about work done in “the spirit of service”, we cannot limit ourselves to think only about professions such as medicine and education. For example, an artisan is worshipping God as she makes a vase in the same way a surgeon is worshipping God as he performs surgery on a patient so long as those acts are done to the fullest of their capacity and with the intention of bringing forth the attributes of God such as beauty and might. We must use our work and our talents -whatever they may be- to serve humanity. To sit around and beg in this day and age is not acceptable.

It is enjoined upon every one of you to engage in some form of occupation, such as crafts, trades and the like. We have graciously exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship unto God, the True One. Ponder ye in your hearts the grace and the blessings of God and render thanks unto Him at eventide and at dawn. Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others.

From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh.


This Christmas let’s think about His Holiness Jesus Christ.

He really was the essence of love and mercy. Jesus Christ was a Messenger of God that Bahá’ís believe in and recognize His station. Bahá’u’lláh as well as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá have spoke and wrote extensively about Jesus and His station and exalted personage. Here are just a few quotes from the Bahá’í Writings I would like to share.

When the Messianic star of Jesus Christ dawned, he declared he had come to gather together the lost tribes or scattered sheep of Moses. He not only shepherded the flock of Israel, but brought together people of Chaldea, Egypt, Syria, ancient Assyria and Phoenicia. These people were in a state of utmost hostility, thirsting for the blood of each other with the ferocity of animals; but His Holiness Jesus Christ brought them together, cemented and united them in his cause and established such a bond of love among them that enmity and warfare were abandoned. It is evident therefore that the divine teachings are intended to create a bond of unity in the human world and establish the foundations of love and fellowship among mankind. Divine religion is not a cause for discord and disagreement. If religion becomes the source of antagonism and strife, the absence of religion is to be preferred. Religion is meant to be the quickening life of the body politic; if it be the cause of death to humanity, its nonexistence would be a blessing and benefit to man. Therefore in this day the divine teachings must be sought, for they are the remedies for the present conditions of the world of humanity.      –  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

This quote is from a talk given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “You must be thankful to God that you are poor, for Jesus Christ has said, “Blessed are the poor.” He never said, “Blessed are the rich.” He said, too, that the Kingdom is for the poor and that it is easier for a camel to enter a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter God’s Kingdom. Therefore, you must be thankful to God that although in this world you are indigent, yet the treasures of God are within your reach; and although in the material realm you are poor, yet in the Kingdom of God you are precious. Jesus Himself was poor. He did not belong to the rich. He passed His time in the desert, traveling among the poor, and lived upon the herbs of the field. He had no place to lay His head, no home. He was exposed in the open to heat, cold and frost—to inclement weather of all kinds—yet He chose this rather than riches. If riches were considered a glory, the Prophet Moses would have chosen them; Jesus would have been a rich man. When Jesus Christ appeared, it was the poor who first accepted Him, not the rich. Therefore, you are the disciples of Jesus Christ; you are His comrades, for He outwardly was poor, not rich.”

In another talk, He said:

You must follow the example and footprints of Jesus Christ. Read the Gospels. Jesus Christ was mercy itself, was love itself. He even prayed in behalf of His executioners—for those who crucified Him—saying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” If they knew what they were doing, they would not have done it. Consider how kind Jesus Christ was, that even upon the cross He prayed for His oppressors. We must follow His example. We must emulate the Prophets of God. We must follow Jesus Christ. We must free ourselves from all these imitations which are the source of darkness in the world.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá further explains that “His Holiness Jesus Christ was an educator of humanity. His teachings were altruistic; his bestowal universal. He taught mankind by the power of the Holy Spirit and not through human agency, for the human power is limited whereas the divine power is illimitable and infinite. The influence and accomplishment of Christ will attest this. Galen, the Greek physician and philosopher, who lived in the second century A.D., wrote a treatise upon the civilization of nations. He was not a Christian but he has borne testimony that religious beliefs exercise an extraordinary effect upon the problems of civilization. In substance he says, “There are certain people among us, followers of Jesus the Nazarene who was killed in Jerusalem. These people are truly imbued with moral principles which are the envy of philosophers. They believe in God and fear Him. They have hopes in His favors, therefore they shun all unworthy deeds and actions and incline to praiseworthy ethics and morals. Day and night they strive that their deeds may be commendable and that they may contribute to the welfare of humanity; therefore each one of them is virtually a philosopher, for these people have attained unto that which is the essence and purport of philosophy. These people have praiseworthy morals even though they may be illiterate.””

Let us think of Him and focus on the spiritual essence of Christmas during these holidays. The more you read bout Him and all of God’s Messengers, the more your love for Them will grow. Guaranteed.

All Manifestations of God -like the name suggest, come from God. They are one in essence and the same in spirit. We tried to make that evident in our Manifestations ring and our 9 Messengers of God necklace.

 


A beautiful prayer from the Bahá’í Writings

Create in me a pure heart, O my God, and renew a tranquil conscience within me, O my Hope! Through the spirit of power confirm Thou me in Thy Cause, O my Best-Beloved, and by the light of Thy glory reveal unto me Thy path, O Thou the Goal of my desire! Through the power of Thy transcendent might lift me up unto the heaven of Thy holiness, O Source of my being, and by the breezes of Thine eternity gladden me, O Thou Who art my God! Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquillity on me, O my Companion, and let the riches of Thine ancient countenance deliver me from all except Thee, O my Master, and let the tidings of the revelation of Thine incorruptible Essence bring me joy, O Thou Who art the most manifest of the manifest and the most hidden of the hidden!

Bahá’u’lláh


Why as a Bahá’í I don’t celebrate Christmas the traditional way?

To me, the answer is very simple but once again, let’s go back in history and my beliefs a little.

Baha’is believe in something called “progressive revelation”. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:

Religion is the outer expression of the divine reality. Therefore it must be living, vitalized, moving and progressive. If it be without motion and non-progressive it is without the divine life; it is dead. The divine institutes are continuously active and evolutionary; therefore the revelation of them must be progressive and continuous.

Religion is ONE and progressive. All Messengers of God have come from God and come praising the Last and the Next. They do not come to humanity and dismiss what has already been revealed; they rather come and exalt the position of the previous Messenger and His Teachings and Laws and build upon the spiritual laws (those that don’t change like killing is forbidden and God is one) and add more that are appropriate for our time and age as well as bringing to us changes to those social laws we are so in need of. Imagine we still lived by “an eye for an eye”!! There would probably be nobody standing! Therefore, the social laws are required to change according to the needs of the time.

Let’s think of this in a simpler way using the analogy of the school and its teachers. Think of the teachers as the Messengers of God and the students, humanity. All teachers have gone to school and university and are all endowed with the knowledge to teach everyone from grade 1 to the end. However, a teacher cannot teach year 8 maths to a 2nd grader! Imagine the confusion! Humanity is ever-advancing and so is our capacity of understanding. To state that one teacher is better than the other or that one teacher knows more or is superior is completely wrong.

“The Bahá’í worships not the human personality of Bahá’u’lláh, but the Glory of God manifest through that personality. He reverences Christ and Muḥammad and all God’s former Messengers to mankind, but he recognizes Bahá’u’lláh as the bearer of God’s Message for the new age in which we live, as the Great World teacher Who has come to carry on and consummate the work of His predecessors.” -J.E. Esslemont

And the reason I don’t have parties during Christmas is NOT because I don’t believe in Jesus Christ (I do) but because if I was to celebrate His birth then I would have to do the same for all the Messengers of God from the past! And that’s just too much partying if you ask me…


How to keep calm and show love to others under all circumstances?

Lately I have been faced with some difficulties.
I usually tend to have a very easy and peaceful life thanks to all the wonderful people around me so I am not that used to being in these situations.
It is easy to be happy and show love to everyone around you when life is easy and you don’t have any worries but when the road gets rocky, that is when most of us show our not-so-pleasant side. How do we refrain from hurtful comments and actions we are most likely to regret?
How did the early believers in Baha’u’llah (and for that matter, the early believers in all the previous Dispensations) manage to show love and compassion to everyone despite their attacks and aggression towards them? I cannot begin to imagine the spiritual state in which these blessed souls tread the Earth in order to be able to do this. I turn then to the Baha’i Writings which are the source of joy, happiness and guidance in my life and search for messages that can lead me to love everyone despite what their feelings toward me are.
After some reading, these quotes really stuck with me:

…the oneness of the world of humanity shall be realized, accepted and established. When we reflect upon this blessed principle, it will become evident and manifest that it is the healing remedy for all human conditions. All mankind are the servants of the glorious God, our Creator. He has created all. Assuredly He must have loved them equally; otherwise, He would not have created them. He protects all. Assuredly He loves His creatures; otherwise, He would not protect them. He provides for all, proving His love for all without distinction or preference. He manifests His perfect goodness and loving-kindness toward all. He does not punish us for our sins and shortcomings, and we are all immersed in the ocean of His infinite mercy. Inasmuch as God is clement and loving to His children, lenient and merciful toward our shortcomings, why should we be unkind and unforgiving toward each other? As He loves humanity without distinction or preference, why should we not love all? Can we conceive of a plan and policy superior to the divine purpose? Manifestly, we cannot. Therefore, we must strive to do the will of the glorious Lord and emulate His policy of loving all mankind. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Easy then: God=loves us all, I love God, therefore: I love all because I love God.


Alcohol and the Baha’is…why did Baha’u’llah forbid the consumption of alcohol to His followers?

This is a very interesting topic to me. I was raised in Latin America where, as in most parts of the world unfortunately, large amount of youth find that fun is only achievable through alcohol consumption.
As a teenager, being a Bahá’í represented a challenge in regards to abstaining from following the crowd and participating in drinking alcohol. It wasn’t an easy task but thanks to the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith, I had the will power and answers when asked why I didn’t drink and why I thought that a “little” bit of alcohol does matter.

Bahá’ís are told not to drink…it is one of the laws we try to follow. It is not only limited to the consumption of alcohol but anything that affects the mind which also includes drugs. It might seem difficult to some of us to explain the reasons behind it if we are not familiar with the Writings but there are very good medical and spiritual reasons why we are told not to. For example, alcohol kills the only cells that do not regenerate (those in your brain), it damages your perception and your mind which differentiate us from animals (free will), and it damages the liver- among other parts of our bodies. And well, that’s not even mentioning the implications it has on our actions and the lives of others! ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains that the reason for prohibiting the use of alcoholic drinks is because “alcohol leadeth the mind astray and causeth the weakening of the body.”

I have chosen some quotes from that can perhaps bring you the insight and guidance it has brought me. In one of His Tablets, Bahá’u’lláh states:

Beware lest ye exchange the Wine of God for your own wine, for it will stupefy your minds, and turn your faces away from the Countenance of God, the All-Glorious, the Peerless, the Inaccessible. Approach it not, for it hath been forbidden unto you by the behest of God, the Exalted, the Almighty.

And in regards to drugs and heavier substances than alcohol, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has written:

Regarding hashish you have pointed out that some Persians have become habituated to its use. Gracious God! This is the worst of all intoxicants, and its prohibition is explicitly revealed. Its use causeth the disintegration of thought and the complete torpor of the soul. How could anyone seek the fruit of the infernal tree, and by partaking of it, be led to exemplify the qualities of a monster? How could one use this forbidden drug, and thus deprive himself of the blessings of the All-Merciful? Alcohol consumeth the mind and causeth man to commit acts of absurdity, but this opium, this foul fruit of the infernal tree, and this wicked hashish extinguish the mind, freeze the spirit, petrify the soul, waste the body and leave man frustrated and lost.

There is a picture and article here on the damage alcohol consumption has on your brain if you are interested. Not a very glamorous activity now, is it?