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Introduction to Reform Bahai Faith, A Talk Presented to the Troy Interfaith Group
YouTube, 26 minutes


Attend a Fireside







Whosoever wisheth, let him advance, and whosoever wisheth, let him deny; verily God is independent of him and of that which he may see and witness.

God, singly and alone, abideth in His Place which is Holy above space and time, mention and utterance, sign, description and definition, height and depth.

God hath been and is everlastingly hidden in His Own Essence and will be eternally concealed from eyes and sight in His Identity. Nay, there hath not ever been nor will be any connection or relation between the created beings and His word. Therefore God caused brilliant Essences of Sanctity to appear from the holy worlds of the Spirit, in human bodies, walking among mankind; in accordance with His abundant mercy. These Mirrors of Sanctity fully express that Sun of Existence and Essence of Desire. Their knowledge expresses His knowledge, their power His power, their dominion His dominion, their beauty His beauty, and their manifestation His Manifestation. Therefore whosoever is favored by these shining and glorious lights and hath attained to these luminous, radiant Suns of Truth during every Manifestation, hath attained the Meeting of God, and entered the city of eternal life. This station is assigned only to His Prophets and Holy Ones, because no greater and mightier than they have appeared in the realm of existence. Consequently, by meeting these Holy Lights, the “Meeting of God” is attained; through their Knowledge, the Knowledge of God, and by their Countenance the Countenance of God. This Meeting can never be realized by any except in the Resurrection Day, which is the Self of God arisen in His Universal Manifestation.

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 Countenance 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.

The Day of the Return to God hath come; arise from your seats, and praise and glorify your Lord, the Omniscient, the Wise. He who findeth Life in this Day shall never die, and he who dieth in this Day, shall never find Life.

This is the meaning of that “resurrection” recorded in all the Books, and which Day hath been announced to all. Consider, is there any day to be imagined greater, mightier and more excellent than this Day, that man should turn away from it and deprive himself of its bounties, pouring like the spring rain from the presence of the Merciful?

O my brother, understand then the meaning of resurrection, and purify thine ears from the sayings of rejected people. Shouldst thou step a little way into the worlds of Severance, thou wilt testify that no day greater than this Day, and no resurrection mightier than this Resurrection can be imagined, and that one deed in this Day is equivalent to deeds performed during a hundred thousand years.

The Pillar of God is being erected and hath become manifest by His providence and command. The time of former things is past and a new time has been produced, and all things are made new by the desire of God. But only a new eye can perceive and a new mind can comprehend this Station. The Beginning and the End bore allusion to One Blessed Word, and that hath come and is manifest. That Word is the Soul of the Divine Books and Epistles, which hath forever been and will be forevermore. That Word is the key to the Most Great Divine Treasure and to the Supreme Hidden Mystery which hath ever been concealed behind the veil of preservation. That Word is the same Alpha and Omega prophesied of by John. Verily He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden.

Although the purpose of learning is the attainment and knowledge of this station, yet all are occupied with outward learnings and desist from them not even for a moment; closing their eyes to the essence of Knowledge and the knowable. It seems as if they had not drunk one drop from the ocean of Divine Knowledge nor attained a sprinkling of the cloud of the Merciful Bounty. But We have consumed the greatest veil, with the saying: “Knowledge is the greatest veil.”

But O my brother, when a seeker intends to turn the step of search and journeying into the path of the Knowledge of the King of Pre-existence, he must first cleanse and purify his heart—which is the place of the appearance and emanation of the splendor of the hidden mysteries of Divinity, and he must cleanse and refine his breast—which is the throne for the accession and establishment of the love of the Eternal Beloved—from the gloomy dusts of acquired learning and from the allusions of satanic appearances. He must likewise sanctify his heart from attachment to water and clay—in such manner that no trace of love or hatred may remain in the heart, lest that love may cause him to incline toward a direction without guide, or that hatred prevent him from the direction of reality. He should at all times trust in God, and turn away from the creatures; be severed and detached from the world of dust and united with the Lord of Lords.

When the lamp of search, effort, longing, fervor, love, rapture, attraction and devotion is enkindled in the heart, and the breeze of love blows forth from the direction of Unity, the darkness of error, doubt and uncertainty will be dispelled and the lights of Knowledge and Assurance will encompass all the pillars of existence. Then the ideal Herald will dawn as the true morn from the Divine City, with spiritual glad tidings, and awaken the heart, soul and spirit from the sleep of negligence, with the trumpet of Knowledge. Then the favors and confirmations of the eternal Holy Spirit will impart such a new life that one will find himself the possessor of a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind, and will direct his attention to the clear, universal signs and to the hidden individual secrets. With the new eye of God he will see a door open in every atom for attainment to the stations of positive Knowledge, certain Truth, and evident Light; and will perceive in all things the mysteries of the splendor of Oneness and the traces of the Manifestation of Eternity.

What shall we mention of the signs, tokens, appearances and splendors ordained in that Divine City, by the command of the King of Names and Attributes! The mystery of the fire of Moses is revealed in its wonderful tulips, and the breath of the Holy Spirit of Jesus emanates from its fragrances of holiness. It bestows wealth without gold and grants immortality without death. Those who earnestly endeavor in the way of God, after severance from all else, will become so attached to that City that they will not abandon it for an instant. This City is the Revelation of God, renewed every one thousand years, more or less. For instance, in the age of Moses, it was the Pentatuch; in the time of Jesus, the Gospel; in the day of Mohamet the Messenger of God, the Qur’an; and in the Day of Him whom God shall send forth, His Book, which is the return of all the books and their Guardian.

Consider how great is the value and how paramount the importance of the Revelations in which God hath completed His perfect argument, consummate proof, dominant power and penetrating will. To the people they are everlasting proof, fixed argument and shining light from the presence of that Ideal King. No excellence equals them and nothing precedes them. They are the firm thread, the strong rope, the most secure handle and the inextinguishable light. Through them flows the river of the Divine Knowledge, and bursts the fire of the consummate Wisdom of the Eternal. This is a fire from which two effects proceed at the same time: it creates the heat of love within the people of faith, and produces the cold of heedlessness within the people of hatred. The proof of the sun is its light which shines forth and encompasses the world; and the argument of the shower is its bounty which renews the world with a fresh mantle. Yea! The blind realize no effect in the sun but heat, and a barren soil knoweth no bounty from the vernal mercy.
Dost thou think thy body a small thing when within it is enclosed the universe?

Cleanse the people with the water of the inner significances which We have deposited in the signs. By My Life, it is indeed the Water of Life which the Merciful One hath sent down from the Heaven of Grace for the life of the people of the world!

I testify that verily there is no God save He! and He who hath come is verily the Hidden Mystery, the Concealed Secret, the Most Great Book for the nations, and the Heaven of Beneficence to the world. He is the Mighty Sign among mankind, and the Dawning Place of the Highest Attributes in the world of emanation. Through Him hath appeared that which was concealed from all eternity and was hidden from men of discernment, Verily, He is the One whose Manifestation was announced by the Books of God in former and latter times. Whosoever acknowledges Him, His signs and His evidences hath verily acknowledged that which the Tongue of Grandeur hath uttered before the creation of heaven and earth, and before the appearance of the Kingdom of Names. Through Him the sea of knowledge hath moved among mankind, and the running water of Wisdom hath flowed from God, the King of Days. Joy unto him who, in this Day, casts away that which is possessed by the people, and holds fast to that which is commanded on the part of God, the King of Names and the Creator.

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!
Seeking to know your own selves, which is identical with knowing Myself, you will become independent of all save Me, and you will see the Ocean of My Providence and the Deep of My Beneficence in yourselves with the outward and inward eye as manifest and clear as the sun shining from the Name of Abha. 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; for every destruction is followed by a construction, and a Paradise of Rest is concealed in every hardship.

Consider the people, their states and conditions! They have been anxiously awaiting, days and nights, for the One whom they were promised in the Book of God; but when the exact time had come, and the banner of the Appearance grew manifest, they turned away from God, the Mighty, the Exalted. But we announce to thee the good news of the appearance of God, of His Dominion, Might and Potency, that thou mayest rejoice and be of the thankful. Beware not to let the affairs of men trouble thee, nor the illusions of those who have rejected, as a falsehood to frighten thee, the belief of the Origin and Return. Thou art from God, and unto God shalt thou return!

O Son of Spirit! I have created thee rich. Why dost thou make thyself poor? Noble have I made thee. Why dost thou degrade thyself? Of the essence of Knowledge have I manifested thee. Why searchest for another than Me? From the clay of Love I have kneaded thee. Why seekest thou another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, Powerful, Mighty and Supreme.

Oh ye people of the world! The virtue of this Most Great Manifestation is that We have removed from the Book whatever was the cause of difference, corruption and discord, and recorded therein that which leads to unity, harmony and agreement. God manifested Himself to teach the people the truth, sincerity, religion, faith, submission, reconciliation, compassion, courtesy, piety; and to teach them how to adorn themselves with the garments of good qualities and holy deeds.

Be a lamp in darkness, a comforter in troubles, a sea to the thirsty, a refuge to the afflicted, a helper, an assistant and a succor to the oppressed. In actions and deeds be virtuous and pious. To the stranger be a home; to the sick a remedy; to him who asks for help a stronghold; to the blind be sight; to him who goes astray a pathway; to the face of truth, beauty; to the temple of faithfulness an embroidered garment; to the house of characters and manners a throne; to the body of the world a spirit; to the hosts of justice a banner; to the horizon of good a light; to the fertile and rich ground, dew; to the sea of science an ark; to the heaven of generosity a star; to the head of wisdom a diadem; to the forehead of time a white light; and to the tree of humility, fruitfulness.

This is that matter which shall never change. Know that in every age and dispensation all divine ordinances are changed, 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.

Render God victorious by wisdom. Glory be upon the people of Glory!


From The Universal Principles of the Reform Bahai Faith. 2008. Baha'u'llah & Abdul-Baha. Available from the Reform Bahai Press.