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Old 08-10-2018, 10:26 AM   #1
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Someone, a member of my near relatives, asked my brother to do something for him tomorrow. He asked my brother because he is a bit too lazy to do it himself, and my brother is too kind at times (with which I disagree with). Then my brother himself has to go to work tomorrow so he asked me if I could do that for him. To do that, I had to go out to some offices, and I have a private class tomorrow so I said "maybe I cannot" and I added that I hate it when lazy people put their burden on other people.

Afterwards I felt bad. I thought maybe I had to sacrifice my time and my private class to help my brother and that relative. I naturally dislike to do things that gives space to people to be lazier. In my view, even in helping others, we must consider things logically, to see if we are really the one who must help.

There is a Buddhist story about a very kind boy living in a monastery with other boys and their master.the other boys were too lazy, so the kind boy would often wash their dirty dishes for them and would think of it as a kind help. once the master said, "you no more have the permission to wash their dishes for them. your kindness is not helping them. each person must do his own jobs."

now, that story is always in my mind. I often wonder to what extent we have to help others.I read a passage by Adib Taherzadeh in which he says we must sacrifice our time for the Cause of God. now maybe, if I had canceled my class to help the lazy person and take the burden off my brother's shoulder, the kindness could become a help for the Cause of God.

I would like to know your ideas. This matter is something I often think about; the extend to which we have to help others. I would be thankful also if you can show me parts of Scripture about this subject because I could not find anything myself.

Last edited by maryamr; 08-10-2018 at 10:29 AM.
 
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:39 AM   #2
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To put it simply, I'd say that being helpful is not the same as being a doormat.

Best,

from

gnat
 
Old 08-10-2018, 10:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by gnat View Post
To put it simply, I'd say that being helpful is not the same as being a doormat.

Best,

from

gnat
very true. but how can you recognize the thin line between the two?
 
Old 08-10-2018, 12:08 PM   #4
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very true. but how can you recognize the thin line between the two?
Through experience. It takes about a thousand years, but then you're a real expert.

gnat
 
Old 08-10-2018, 12:16 PM   #5
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
very true. but how can you recognize the thin line between the two?
That is the million dollar question maryamr

These are our choices. On the one hand we have Baha'u'llah saying not to deny his servants if they ask anything from us and on the other hand we can not feed lazy attitudes and must impart justice.

The question I ask myself is what would Abdul'baha do. Mostly that then brings up your question.

Can I offer a thought.

If you do this for your Brother, you are not doing it for the wrong reason as you are supporting his kind heart. The time to do the task will be made possible and your intent for the day will not be compromised.

I wish you all the best. Regards Tony
 
Old 08-10-2018, 10:51 PM   #6
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That is the million dollar question maryamr

These are our choices. On the one hand we have Baha'u'llah saying not to deny his servants if they ask anything from us and on the other hand we can not feed lazy attitudes and must impart justice.

The question I ask myself is what would Abdul'baha do. Mostly that then brings up your question.

Can I offer a thought.

If you do this for your Brother, you are not doing it for the wrong reason as you are supporting his kind heart. The time to do the task will be made possible and your intent for the day will not be compromised.

I wish you all the best. Regards Tony
very helpful answer Tony, thank you.

Yes, I finally did that only for my brother's sake. But I also called that relative and told him that he has to do his personal jobs himself. (cannot let a lazy person escape!)

But something you said, which I had often thought about in the past. You said:"Baha'u'llah saying not to deny his servants if they ask anything from us ." Now what does Bahaullah mean? first of all, who are His servants? Baha'is or everyone? second, Bahaullah says to not give money to beggars because somehow it causes laziness in the society. So maybe even in case of helping His servants, there are some exceptions?
 
Old 08-10-2018, 10:52 PM   #7
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Through experience. It takes about a thousand years, but then you're a real expert.

gnat
Then you must be an ancient gnat, I dare say!
 
Old 08-11-2018, 06:57 PM   #8
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very helpful answer Tony, thank you.

Yes, I finally did that only for my brother's sake. But I also called that relative and told him that he has to do his personal jobs himself. (cannot let a lazy person escape!)

But something you said, which I had often thought about in the past. You said:"Baha'u'llah saying not to deny his servants if they ask anything from us ." Now what does Bahaullah mean? first of all, who are His servants? Baha'is or everyone? second, Bahaullah says to not give money to beggars because somehow it causes laziness in the society. So maybe even in case of helping His servants, there are some exceptions?
Well done with both decisions

I find I must continually study the life stories of Abdul'baha to get some idea how to implement all this advice in my life.

Personally I would see all Servants of Baha'u'llah as the Human family and I agree our assistance must be done with justice in mind. "O SON OF MAN! Deny not My servant should he ask anything from thee, for his face is My face; be then abashed before Me."

Abdul'baha refused to give a carriage driver the exorbitant fee requested and only paid the going rate. He gave no tip because the taxi driver tried to swindle the money and added, had he not done this, He would have received a good tip.

"...Economic justice, even in small matters, was important to the Master. Once in Egypt ‘Abdu’l-Bahá obtained a carriage in order that He might offer a ride to an important Pasha, who was to be His luncheon guest. When they reached their destination, the driver asked an exorbitant fee. The Master was fully aware of this and refused to pay the full amount. The driver, big and rough, grabbed His sash and ‘jerked Him back and forth‘, demanding his unfair price. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá remained firm and the man eventually let go. The Master paid what He actually owed him and informed him that had he been honest, he would have received a handsome tip instead of only the fare. He then walked away.
Shoghi Effendi, His grandson, was present when this happened. He later admitted to being very embarrassed that this should have happened in front of the Pasha. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, on the other hand, was evidently ‘not at all upset‘, but simply determined not to be cheated..." (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 109)

In England Abdul'baha would hand out coins at a homeless shelter. To each he knew what to give and because of that some got no money, but got a talk about not being lazy.

Each day in some way we get to make these choices and in the end we must let our heart guide and not our material interests. This, I think is our greatest test. I know where I live, many opportunities happen each day to implement this request of Baha'u'llah.

You might like this link to quotes - Bahá’à Quotes

Regards Tony
 
Old 08-11-2018, 10:24 PM   #9
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such a beautiful story. I had not read it before. it would be very kind of you if you can sometimes post more of such stories here. I really feel the lack of some artistic work around the faith. You know, I mean for example when I first saw a movie about Jesus Christ, it made me cry, and from then on I watched that movie every time. it was very well made, and had good actors. Then the movie "The Message" came about the life of Mohammad with very good actors like Antony Quinn, and it gained a world wide fame.
There are also many more movies about Islam and Christianity, even Judaism and Zoroastrian. Such movies have always helped me to put myself in the condition of being near to the Messengers and to decide better what they would do in different conditions.
now, regarding the Baha'i faith, I haven't yet seen a good and strong movie about the Bab or Baha'ullah or even Abdul Baha. yes, there are a few movies, but they are no way nearly as good as the best religious movies of the world.
I hope one day, more movie producers, more writers and more singers would decide to introduce the Baha'i faith to the world through their art. Without art, it is almost impossible.
 
Old 08-12-2018, 12:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
such a beautiful story. I had not read it before. it would be very kind of you if you can sometimes post more of such stories here. I really feel the lack of some artistic work around the faith. You know, I mean for example when I first saw a movie about Jesus Christ, it made me cry, and from then on I watched that movie every time. it was very well made, and had good actors. Then the movie "The Message" came about the life of Mohammad with very good actors like Antony Quinn, and it gained a world wide fame.
There are also many more movies about Islam and Christianity, even Judaism and Zoroastrian. Such movies have always helped me to put myself in the condition of being near to the Messengers and to decide better what they would do in different conditions.
now, regarding the Baha'i faith, I haven't yet seen a good and strong movie about the Bab or Baha'ullah or even Abdul Baha. yes, there are a few movies, but they are no way nearly as good as the best religious movies of the world.
I hope one day, more movie producers, more writers and more singers would decide to introduce the Baha'i faith to the world through their art. Without art, it is almost impossible.
The above link I posted also has a link with many Baha'i Stories, I hope you can get this link as it has many many good stories - Bahá’à Stories

The new Movie the Gate has just been made. It is a documentary type film for 1hr duration. It was good quality and filming. Unfortunately it would not be available for you to watch - https://thegatefilm.com/

I have to watch it again, as it was not what I expected and it left me wanting more story told.

Yes we could do with a great production, even if it was about one of the followers as to get around the issue of not portraying the Messenger of God.

Stay happy and well maryamr, Regards Tony
 
Old 08-13-2018, 04:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
The above link I posted also has a link with many Baha'i Stories, I hope you can get this link as it has many many good stories - Bahá’à Stories

The new Movie the Gate has just been made. It is a documentary type film for 1hr duration. It was good quality and filming. Unfortunately it would not be available for you to watch - https://thegatefilm.com/

I have to watch it again, as it was not what I expected and it left me wanting more story told.

Yes we could do with a great production, even if it was about one of the followers as to get around the issue of not portraying the Messenger of God.

Stay happy and well maryamr, Regards Tony
thank you Tony,
I just opened the site with many stories and it is amazing. I have also watched the movie "The Gate" a few months ago. it was not bad, but in fact we need really more than that. of course the faith is still young, but I hope we can witness more movies, songs and even paintings around the faith.
 
Old 08-13-2018, 12:30 PM   #12
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A very important aspect in the faith, is purity of intentions:

"Were anyone to wash the feet of all mankind, and were he to worship God in the forests, valleys, and mountains, upon high hills and lofty peaks, to leave no rock or tree, no clod of earth, but was a witness to his worship—yet, should the fragrance of My good pleasure not be inhaled from him, his works would never be acceptable unto God." Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 36

So a "good deed" such as helping someone with a complaint in one's heart, is not a good deed at all, at least in the sight of God. This leads to two alternatives, in my opinion, that we must decided between for ourselves.

1. Do not do a good deed at all, if we cannot do so with a sincere desire to do it and only for the pleasure of God, expecting no reward or acknowledgement but only as an act of love.

2. Even knowing that our impure intentions render our good deeds unacceptable to God, do it anyway, with the intent of one day having a pure intention for something that we cannot do sincerely in the moment. Perhaps practice makes perfect and one day we might attain good intentions in greater number and in more things.

I personally vacillate between these two things. For example, consider the requirements and words of the long obligatory prayer. There is a requisite condition stated before reciting, and there are some powerful and lofty words that I admit in all honesty often do not agree with my inward condition and it makes me feel...unworthy or perhaps insincere to say parts of it at certain times of my life. So I do it anyway, hoping that with practice my inner state, outward action and the words of the prayer will someday coincide perfectly and that it will become acceptable.

I know sometimes I don't want to help people. I make excuses not to. But I think I should try and overcome such thinking. If helping and serving is a blessing, as our writings say, then I am never harming myself to do so, while laziness is not really a virtue. We can always think about what true help means, however, since, enabling someone to not grow or to not become self-sufficient and learn the value of service and experience the bounties of becoming a helper themselves, is in reality not an assistance to anyone. But perhaps sometimes a man must be given a fish, when he is starving, before he will have the strength and capacity of mind to learn to fish.

Cheers
 
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