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Old 07-09-2014, 01:10 PM   #201
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They took a taxi to the train station, where the taxi driver demanded more than the usual fare. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ignored him, saying, “A man may give $1000 without minding it, but he should not yield even a dollar to the person who wishes to take it wrongfully, for such wrongful behavior flouts justice and disrupts the order of the world.
(Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 190)
 
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:13 PM   #202
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I did not know what it would be to be a father, and I could not find anything that would explain, but I have mz answer. A father is, a father does not just what it does. It is. Alwazs is or never was.
 
Old 07-09-2014, 01:14 PM   #203
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I|m not a father, im afraid i could. Its not much to see and not much father at all
 
Old 07-09-2014, 01:16 PM   #204
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But I know now, what it is. It is just not what I thought it would be. Actuallz its easz....and not much to think about or to worrz... we worrz because we lie to the good we have to share
 
Old 07-09-2014, 10:17 PM   #205
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Wow!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlinkeyBill View Post
The word “eliminate” was often on his lips; he would eliminate non-essentials, get rid quickly of secondary matters, push away the trivial debris of life. He used carry this process of elimination into his newspaper. He knew exactly which pages of The Times had the news he wanted to look at - the leaders, the world news, and above all, the editorials - and he would scan these quickly and then proceed to rip out with his fingers the articles he wanted to look at or read carefully and throw the rest away - he had eliminated it! It does not require much acumen to understand that this, aside from being efficient, was the reflection of a very deeply tired-out mind, trying to push away so many burdens. Even an extra piece of paper had become a burden.
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 200)

Wow!! This is actually a confirmation as I am trying hard to eliminate the trivia in my own life. So this encourages me. There is so much garbage being thrown at us - through the media, advertisement, sales, garbage garbage garbage. We don't need to buy it, store it, or keep it. Its just so much clutter.

Abdul Baha said: "When the most important work is at hand, let go of the important work."
 
Old 07-10-2014, 01:09 AM   #206
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so he knows, when the time comes, and he knows it in preview as so he know it in time.

And they all have been feared for that.
 
Old 07-10-2014, 01:10 AM   #207
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faster than lie, it does it in real time and space what is not done in time else
 
Old 07-10-2014, 01:10 AM   #208
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no matter how hard you hit the clock
 
Old 07-10-2014, 01:11 AM   #209
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and the only reason that is to fear that is the no reason
 
Old 07-10-2014, 01:13 AM   #210
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why do you fear whom you been loved why do you despise what is loved by the same you say you love?
 
Old 07-10-2014, 04:05 PM   #211
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Soon after the arrival of Bahá’u’lláh and His party in ‘Akka the Governor visited the barracks for inspection. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, accompanied by a few believers, went to see him. But the Governor was discourteous and spoke to them in a provocative manner. He threatened to cut the supply of bread if one of the prisoners went missing and then ordered them back to their room. One of the Master’s attendants could not bear to remain silent after such insulting treatment. He retorted with rage and hurled back at the Governor some offensive remarks. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá immediately chastened His attendant by slapping him hard in the face in front of the Governor and ordering him to return to his room. This action by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá not only defused a dangerous situation but also opened the eyes of the Governor to the existence of a real leader among the prisoners, a leader who would act with authority and justice. Due to this action the Governor’s attitude towards ‘Abdu’l-Bahá changed. He realized that, contrary to the wild rumours circulating in ‘Akka at the time, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His family were from a noble background, and not criminals as he had been led to believe. The Governor therefore began to act in a more humane way towards the prisoners. He eventually agreed to substitute the allotted ration of bread with a sum of money and allowed a small party of the prisoners, escorted by guards, to visit the markets of ‘Akka daily to buy their provisions.
(Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 47)
 
Old 07-15-2014, 11:29 AM   #212
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In the time of Bahá’u’lláh no one could gaze on His face, no one could look into His
eyes. As a mercy, He would at times turn side-on – glance away from the friends so
that they could see the radiance of His Countenance. They could see the love that
radiated from that Blessed face. Some of the pilgrims have recounted their meeting
‘Abdu’l-Bahá. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would look into their eyes with such love. [Note: there
are several such stories in Memories of Nine Years in Akka] When looking into their eyes He saw all their misdeeds, all their weaknesses, all their imperfections. Some pilgrims
would faint or go into a daze but eventually they came to and heard ‘Abdu’l-Bahá still
talking to them. They looked into His face and the love was just the same. You see,
even though ‘Abdu’l-Bahá could see all their imperfections, He still loved them the
same; His love did not change as a result of knowing everything about them; He loved
them despite what He saw. His eyes shone with infinite love.
We need to learn to love humanity in the same way. Bahá’u’lláh says the face is the
mirror of the soul – especially the eyes. When the sun shines it shines on everything,
it is not discriminatory. We must learn to love all humanity with infinite love -
‘Abdu’l-Bahá calls is “incarnate light” in the Tablets of the Divine Plan.

Recollection of a Pilgrim Talk – Mr. Hooper Dunbar
Friday 5th March 2010
 
Old 07-15-2014, 09:46 PM   #213
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Smile

You know Abdu'l-Bahá traveled in Europe after He had been released from prison, and he traveled in America too, to propagate the Faith of His Father. One of the greatest and cruelest enemies, one of the princes of Persia, was in Europe at the same time as Abdu'l-Bahá. One day he went to Abdu'l-Bahá and said, "I have come to ask you one question. Look at me, my hat is covered with diamonds, my garments have all sorts of jewels, and yet when I walk in the streets, nobody looks at me or pays any attention to me. And yet, when you walk in the streets and you have the simplest garment in the world, everyone makes way for you. They come to you. There are always hundreds of people at your door. I want to know why."

Abdu'l-Bahá knew him and knew that because of him many of the Bahá'ís had been put to death. Therefore he told him, "Your Highness, will you sit down a little and I will tell you a story." The prince sat down. The name of that prince was Zillu's Sultán, the son of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh. The Master said: "Once a wise man passed the square of a certain town and found one of the richest people of that town gloomy and sad, brooding over his sorrows in the corner of the square. He went to him and asked, `What is the matter with you?' He answered, `I have enough money to be the greatest merchant in this town, but I am not satisfied. I want to be greater than that.' The wise man said, `For instance, what would you like to be?' The merchant replied, `I want to be the governor of this town.' The wise man said, `If I make you the governor of this province, not the town, but the whole province, will you be satisfied? Please search your heart and give me the true answer.' The man pondered and then said: `Honestly, I will not be satisfied. I want to be a minister.' `I will make you a Minister, but give me another honest answer, will you be satisfied?' After that, he wanted to be King of the country, and the wise man said, `I will make you the king, will you then be happy and satisfied? Do you want anything beyond that?' The man replied, `After that there is nothing.' `Abdu'l-Bahá then said to the prince, "Your Highness, I am that nothing."
 
Old 07-16-2014, 08:35 AM   #214
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Thank you Thomas.

Yes, oh to be more like that nothing.

Loving regards
 
Old 07-16-2014, 10:18 PM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlinkeyBill View Post
Thank you Thomas.

Yes, oh to be more like that nothing.

Loving regards
Yes thank you Thomas - Bill Please may it be

Yes I know what I am asking for well maybe....

God Bless and Regards Tony
 
Old 07-17-2014, 08:51 AM   #216
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Yes thank you Thomas - Bill Please may it be

Yes I know what I am asking for well maybe....

God Bless and Regards Tony
You abide in my love and my prayers dear friend.
Pray it may be for both of us, weak individuals, who strive.
 
Old 07-26-2014, 02:05 PM   #217
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‘Abdu’l-Bahá was released from prison in 1908 because of the revolt of the Young Turks against the Ottoman Emperor ‘Abdu’l-Hamid. Almost immediately, Western believers began petitioning Him to visit their countries. The Americans, in particular, were eager for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to visit their shores, but he made it plain that he would not visit there until the Bahá’í community was united.
(Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in their Midst, p. 4)
 
Old 07-31-2014, 08:53 AM   #218
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‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, ‘… all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer.’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 151)
 
Old 07-31-2014, 10:24 PM   #219
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‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, ‘… all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer.’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 151)
Bill - What a bounty we have in this life, where work done in the spirit of service is Worship!

I wish you all well for a few weeks as I will be away and not back to the 25/08/2014! God Bless and Regards Tony
 
Old 08-01-2014, 08:13 AM   #220
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In 1914 The Christian Commonwealth carried words of praise for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: ‘It is wonderful to see the venerable figure of the revered Bahá’í leader passing through the narrow streets of this ancient town [Akká], where he lived for forty years as a political prisoner, and to note the deep respect with which he is saluted by the Turkish officials and the officers of the garrison from the governor downward, who visit him constantly and listen with the deepest attention to his words. “The Master” does not teach in Syria as he did in the West, but he goes about doing good, and Mohammedans and Christians alike share his benefactions. From sunrise often until midnight he works, in spite of broken health, never sparing himself if there is a wrong to be righted or a suffering to be relieved. To Christians who regard ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with impartial and sympathetic eyes, this wonderful selfless life cannot fail to recall that life whose tragic termination on Calvary the whole Christian world recalls…’
(Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
 
Old 08-02-2014, 10:18 AM   #221
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At one time a high official in the federal government of the United States questioned ‘Abdu’l-Bahá about the best way to serve his people and his government. The Master had a ready answer: ‘You can best serve your country … if you strive, in your capacity as a citizen of the world, to assist in the eventual application of the principle of federalism underlying the government of your own country to the relationships now existing between the peoples and nations of the world.’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 115)
 
Old 08-07-2014, 11:08 AM   #222
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There are many stories about beloved Grace Robarts Ober who, for so very many years, dedicated every moment of her life to the service of our glorious Cause. And this experience, she felt, was the ‘first small step’ - to use her words, that set her feet on the path. Grace had been introduced to the Cause by that early dedicated soul, Lua Getzinger, and Grace had, at once, recognized Bahá’u’lláh and become a Bahá’í. Not long afterward, Lua came to Grace and told her that very soon ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was to arrive in New York and she, Lua, had been asked by Him to go to Chicago and prepare a place there in which he might stay when he arrived in that city. Would Grace like to go to Chicago with Lua and help with this preparation? Of course Grace would! So, together, they went to Chicago from Los Angeles, found a suitable apartment, prepared it and, eventually, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá came to live in it. When His stay in Chicago was nearly over, suddenly one morning Grace realized what it would mean to go back to the dead stuffiness of her former life and leave this clear and radiant glory in which she‘d been living while she helped Lua keep house for the Master. So she went to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and begged that, when he returned to New York, she might help with that household too, as she had been privileged to do in Chicago. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá looked at her very searchingly and said, “Greece (His loving nickname for Grace) Greece, are you SURE you wish to serve ME?” Grace said, with great enthusiasm, “Oh, YES! More than anything else in the world!” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá made no answer but walked away. The next morning this scene was repeated. On the third morning, Grace, frantic at the realization that this was the last morning before He was leaving to go farther West, went to Him a third time - and this time He became very stern. Are you VERY SURE you wish to SERVE ME? Grace was startled at the sternness but she didn’t waver. “YES I am VERY SURE.” So then he nodded. “Very well go, settle up your affairs, and we will meet in New York.” Jubilant and radiant, Grace settled up her ‘affairs’ - which consisted of subletting a cottage she had taken at Greenacre for the summer and doing a few other things. Then, with wings on her feet, she went to New York. Lua was already there and together they prepared for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s return. The day came. Many Bahá’ís had gone to meet Him, though Lua and Grace had remained at the house to welcome Him. The door opened, He came in. He welcomed Lua warmly, glanced at Grace as at a complete stranger, and turned away. Grace was appalled, shocked. Hadn’t He recognized her? Had He forgotten her? Had she misunderstood the permission to come to New York? Or had she displeased Him and was this punishment? Whatever it was, it continued with no let-up. During all the days that followed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá never showed by word or glance that He recognized her in any way - except to put her to work. Whenever she relaxed at all throughout any day, word would come at once, through Lua, setting her to work harder at some new task. She worked in that household until long after midnight - cleaning, cooking, scrubbing, and then she would rise at five in the morning to begin all over again. She worked as she had never worked before in all her life and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ignored her completely. If they ever chanced to meet he would draw aside His robe for her to pass and his glance would go through her as if she were not there. At last came the day when the movies of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were to be taken over in Brooklyn at the home of Howard MacNutt. And Grace thought, wearily, “at least I will be included in THIS since EVERYONE in the household is to go.” But, an hour before the several carloads of people were scheduled to leave, Lua came to Grace to say that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá felt that someone should remain at the house to welcome two ladies who were expected that morning, and Grace was to be the one to stay behind. So when the cars left - Grace stood at the top of the flight of brownstone steps and watched them all roll away. Then, she turned and went into the empty house. For a moment she stood there, fighting the feeling of desolation and abandonment and loneliness, and then she thought of the white roses that had been delivered that morning, as they were daily, for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s room. The one bright spot in these dreadful days for Grace had been that she was the one to arrange these roses each morning. So, with the long florists’ box in her arms, she climbed up to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s room at the top of the house, where He had wished to be. She reached the top of the third flight - and found the door not only closed, but locked against her. And always before it had stood wide open! This, for Grace, was the last straw. Overwhelmed by all the hurt and bewilderment of all these days, she sank down on the floor and wept
with the fallen roses scattered around her. At last, the sobs faded, her tears spent themselves, and, exhausted, she gathered up the roses and went back downstairs. The expected ladies had not arrived, nor did they ever arrive. But Grace - it was now past noon – was hungry. So, she went down to the kitchen to get something to eat. And in that house that fed, each day, so many dozens of people, there was nothing to eat but one egg and a small piece of leftover bread in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s bread-box.
(this bread was especially baked for Him by a Persian believer who had begged to come on this journey just so he might cook ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s food). So Grace boiled her one egg and put her small portion of bread on a plate. Putting the egg in an egg cup, she chipped the shell - and the egg, as bad as an egg can get, exploded in her face. She cleaned up the mess and returned to her bit of leftover bread. And, as she crumbled the bread, eating it crumb by crumb she realized, suddenly, exactly what she was doing - she was, blessedly, eating the crumbs of the bread of life from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s table. She began to eat even more slowly as the spirit of prayer came to possess her. Not long after this the household returned from Brooklyn - and that evening Lua came to Grace and said, “The Master has asked me to tell you that He knows you wept.” And this was the first time it had occurred to Grace that all this dreadful experience might have a reason, a pattern. And - if this were true she must find out what the reason could be. So she went up to her room to pray about it. To pray for illumination and wisdom and the selflessness to understand. And as she prayed she heard a small voice saying ‘Are you as happy scrubbing the garbage pails as you are arranging the roses?’ And she suddenly realized what the spirit of true service was. It was to rise to selfless joy in offering the service, no matter what form that service might take. And as this truth swept over her, suffusing her, illuminating her, the door opened, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá walked into the room. His arms were outstretched; His dear face was glorified. “Welcome!” He cried to Grace, “Welcome to the Kingdom!” And he held her close, embracing her deeply. And never did He withdraw Himself from her again.
(Reginald Grant Barrow, Mother’s Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 17-19)
 
Old 08-13-2014, 11:29 AM   #223
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Service to God, to Bahá’u’lláh, to family, to friends and enemies, indeed to all mankind – this was the pattern of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life. He wished only to be the Servant of God and man. To serve – rather than being demeaning and unfulfilling – was honour, joy and fulfilment. This motivated His entire day from Dawn to after midnight. He used to say, ‘Nothing is too much trouble when one loves, and there is always time.’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 104)
 
Old 08-15-2014, 10:24 AM   #224
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We were too moved to answer and again there was silence. And in that silence some realization came to me of the sacrifice of these Holy Ones, who accept with joy all privation, all suffering to lead us in the way of freedom – to imbue mankind with that love which will make us brothers – to purify, then unite the hearts. How great must be their love for us – how their hearts must bleed over us – that they can joyously court such suffering! A great enough love indeed to enkindle the whole world from one heart! How else save “with heart and life” could we respond to such love? One day he said to me: “The child does not realize the love of the parent, but when it becomes mature, it knows.” “Can the creature,” I asked, “ever realize the love of the Creator? “Yes, if not in this world, then in the next – as a sleeping one awakens.”

Star of the West, Vol. 2, No. 13, p. 9, November 23, 1911
WITH ABDUL-BAHA IN SWITZERLAND.
LETTER FROM MISS JULIET THOMPSON.
 
Old 08-18-2014, 09:58 AM   #225
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The Master went to the public park, which He greatly enjoyed. Walking by a lake, He saw the remains of the few marble pillars left by the 1906 earthquake. Looking at them, He said, “The world and its condition will change to such a degree and the Bahá’í Cause will prevail to such an extent that nothing but a remnant – like these pillars – will remain of the previous order.” (Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 215)
 
Old 08-23-2014, 07:59 AM   #226
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A question was asked on the forum once concerning the food the Master would eat. Here is one recipe, note there is meat, even though the Master predicted the day would come when we will not eat meat.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s recipe for pilau:
Lamb-cut in very small pieces-cutting away all fat, bone, gristle. Put butter in frying pan and when it bubbles, stir in the meat and continue to stir constantly until the meat is done. Season with salt. Raisins-look them over and wash them. Cook with equal amount of Syrian pine nuts-in another frying pan in same manner as lamb-in butter-stir nuts and raisins constantly. When ready to serve, mix most of nuts and raisins with the meat, using more meat than nuts and raisins. Place this mixture in the center of a serving platter and arrange a border of cooked rice around it, using the remaining nuts and raisins as decoration, according to taste.
(Julia M Grundy, Ten Days in the Light of Akka)
 
Old 08-25-2014, 10:17 AM   #227
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Which brings to mind the story told me of a newly declared believer, radiant and eager to serve. He wrote ‘Abdu’l-Bahá asking what he should do. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told him to study the Teachings. Eighteen years later the man wrote again to the Master saying that for several hours each day for the eighteen years he had studied the Teachings and what should he do now? Promptly ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote and told him to go and study the Teachings. This was an East Indian Bahá’í where, now, the Faith is truly roaring.
(Reginald Grant Barrow, Mother’s Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 39)
 
Old 09-02-2014, 09:42 AM   #228
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The King and the Gardener – a story told by ‘Abdu’l-Baha
A great king, walking in his garden one day, noticed a man, about ninety years old, planting some trees. The king asked what he was doing and the old man answered that he was planting date trees.

"How long before they will bear fruit?”, asked the king.

"Twenty years."

"But you will not live to enjoy the fruit; why then should you plant these trees?"

The old man answered, "The last generation planted trees that bore fruit for my benefit; so it is now my duty to plant for the benefit of the next generation."

The king was pleased at this answer so gave the man a piece of money. The gardener fell on his knees and thanked him. The king asked, "Why do you kneel before me?"

"Because, your majesty, not only have I had the pleasure, or gift, of planting these trees, but they have already borne fruit, since you give me this money."
 
Old 09-05-2014, 04:03 PM   #229
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God's Will

The Master knew that God was at the helm. He needed only to move as His Captain wished. He put His affairs in God’s hand and avoided the frustrations and the frenzy most mortals experience. An example of this was when the military commanders of Jerusalem and Damascus came to visit Him. Invited to the Holy City of Jerusalem, ‘His answer to them was, “Inshallah” (If God is willing).’ He was virtually never hurried, never harried. His plans were based upon ‘God willing’ – words He often used.
(Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 162)
 
Old 09-05-2014, 04:22 PM   #230
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One story I really like but can't find anywhere (and it may be of Baha'ullah, not Abdul-Baha) is that he once went for a walk with a man who was a sadistic hunter, and after he defied Abdul-Baha, every shot he made missed. If someone could find an exact text, that would be great.
 
Old 09-08-2014, 10:52 AM   #231
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Sorry dear friend I do not know of this story, but there are other stories similar.
 
Old 09-08-2014, 10:54 AM   #232
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‘Abdu’l-Baha tells the story of His prison life at the request of a reporter in Paris
(‘Abdu’l-Baha entered. With one impulse we arose, paying unconscious homage to the majesty of the station of servitude. Surely there can be no greater station than this! Instantly one felt an intangible something that stamped him as one apart. Try as one would it could not be defined. All that was tangible was the dome-like head with its patriarchal beard and eyes that suggested eternity. After greeting us he waved us to our seats and inquired if there were any questions we would like to ask. When informed that my editor had sent me to ascertain if he would speak of his prison life, ‘Abdu’l-Baha began at once to tell his story in a simple, impersonal way)

“At nine years of age, I was banished with my father, Baha’u’llah, on His journey of exile to Baghdad, Arabia; seventy of His followers accompanying us. This decree of exile after persistent persecution was intended to effectively stamp out of Persia what the authorities considered a dangerous movement. Baha’u’llah, His family and followers were driven from place to place.

When I was about twenty-five years old, we were moved from Constantinople to Adrianople and from there went with a guard of soldiers to the fortressed city of Acca where we were imprisoned and closely guarded.

There was no communication whatever with the outside world. Each loaf of bread was cut open by the guard to see that it contained no message. All who believed in the universal precepts of Baha’u’llah, children, men and women, were imprisoned with us. At one time there were one hundred and fifty of us together in two rooms and no one was allowed to leave the place except four people who went to the bazaar to market each morning under guard.

Acca was a fever-ridden town in Palestine. It was said that a bird attempting to fly over it would drop dead. The food was poor and insufficient, the water was drawn from a fever-infected well and the climate and conditions were such that even the natives of the town fell ill. Many soldiers succumbed and eight out of ten of our guards died. During the intense heat of that first summer, malaria, typhoid, and dysentery attacked the prisoners, so that all the men, women and children were sick at one time. There were no doctors, no medicine, no proper food and no medical treatment of any kind. I used to make broth for the people and as I had much practice, I made good broth, (said ‘Abdu’l-Baha, laughingly).

After two years of the strictest confinement, permission was granted me to find a house, so that we could live outside the prison walls but still within the fortifications. Many believers came from Persia to join us, but were not allowed to do so. Nine years passed. Sometimes we were better off and sometimes very much worse. It depended on the governor, who if he happened to be a kind and lenient ruler, would grant us permission to leave the fortification and would allow the people free access to visit the house; but when the governor was more rigorous, extra guards were place around us and often pilgrims who had come from afar were turned away.

One year before Abdu’l-Hamid was dethroned, he sent an extremely overbearing, treacherous and insulting committee of investigation. The chairman was one of the governer's staff, Arif Bey, and with him were three army commanders of varying rank.

Immediately upon his arrival, Arif Bey proceeded to try to get proof strong enough to denounce me to the Sultan and warrant sending me to Fezan, or throwing me into the sea. Fezan is a caravan station on the boundary of Tripoli, where there are no houses and no water. It is a month's journey by camel route from Acca.

The committee, after denouncing me in their report, sent word that they wanted to see me, but I declined. I assured them that I had no desire to meet them. This infuriated them and when they sent for me again I sent this word back: 'I know your purpose. You wish to incriminate me. Very well, write in your report just what you like; send me a copy with instructions as to what you want me to write, and I will seal it myself and give it to you.'

A ship came into port reputed to be the one that was to take me to Fezan or drop me into the sea. The people used to stand on the wall of the city and look at this ship; but Arif Bey, rising in supreme wrath, declared that he would return to Constantinople and bring back an order from the Sultan to have me hanged at the gate of Acca.

About this time another ship appeared in the harbor, an Italian vessel sent by order of the Italian consul. On it I was to escape by night. The friends implored me to go, but I sent this message to the captain: 'The Báb did not run away; Baha’u’llah did not run away; I shall not run away' -- so the ship sailed away after waiting three days and three nights.

It was while the Sultan's committee of investigation was homeward bound that the first historic shell was dropped into Abdu’l-Hamid's camp and the first gun of freedom was into the home of despotism. That was God's gun, (said Abdul Baha, with one of his wonderful smiles.)

When the committee reached Constantinople they had more urgent things to think of. The capital was in a state of uproar and rebellion and the committee, as members of the government staff, were delegated to investigate the insurrection. Meanwhile the people established a constitutional government and Abdu’l-Hamid was deposed.

With the advent of the Young Turk's supremacy, realized through the Society of Union and Progress, in 1898, all the political and religious prisoners of the Ottoman Empire were freed. Events took the chains from my neck and placed them about Hamid's. ‘Abdu’l-Baha came out of prison and Abdu’l-Hamid went in!

(What became of the committee? was asked).

Arif Bey, was shot with three bullets; the general was exiled; the next in rank died suddenly and the third ran away to Cairo where he sought and received help from some of the friends there.

(We are glad you are free, I said.)

(Again the wondrous smile.) Freedom is not a matter of place. It is a condition. I was thankful for the prison and the lack of liberty was very pleasing to me, for those days were passed in the path of service under the utmost difficulties and trials, bearing fruits and results.

Unless one accepts dire vicissitudes he will not attain. To me prison is freedom; troubles rest me; incarceration is an open court; death is life and to be despised is honor. Therefore, I was happy all that time in prison. When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed freedom, for self is the greater prison. When this release takes place, one can never be imprisoned. They used to put my feet in stocks so, (and he put out his feet before him to illustrate and laughed as though it were a joke he enjoyed.)

I would say to the guard 'You cannot imprison me, for here I have light and air and bread and water. There will come a time when my body will be in the ground and I shall have neither light nor air nor food nor water, but even then I shall not be imprisoned.' The afflictions which come to humanity sometimes tend to center the consciousness upon the limitations. This is a veritable prison. Release comes by making of the will a door through which the confirmations of the spirit come.

(What do you mean by the confirmations of the spirit? I asked.)

The confirmations of the spirit are all those powers and gifts with which some are born and which men sometimes call genius, but for which others have to strive with infinite pains. They come to that man or woman who accepts his life with radiant acquiescence.”

(Radiant acquiescence -- that was the quality with which we were suddenly seemed inspired as Abdul Baha bade us good-bye.) (‘Abdu'l-Baha, quoted by Isabel Chamberlain (d. 1939), who compiled the book, ‘Abdu’l-Baha on Divine Philosophy’, consisting of talks delivered in Paris.)
 
Old 09-08-2014, 11:16 AM   #233
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the hunter

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
One story I really like but can't find anywhere (and it may be of Baha'ullah, not Abdul-Baha) is that he once went for a walk with a man who was a sadistic hunter, and after he defied Abdul-Baha, every shot he made missed. If someone could find an exact text, that would be great.
I do recall the story. Possibly, it was in the collection of stories of a book compiled by Hand of the Cause Mr Furutan. I cannot check, however, as I gave the book to a daughter some time back.
 
Old 09-15-2014, 02:14 PM   #234
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‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in appearance, was a man of medium height though to all who met Him, He gave the impression of such majesty that He seemed much taller. His beard was flowing and white; His head covering, whether a turban or tarboosh, was white also. But, meeting Him, none of these details were even noticed. It was only the spirit one felt and the outpouring love. Love filled Him and flowed out from Him to bathe and encompass everyone in His presence. He was, as we all know, the Mystery of God. His Station is unique. There has been no one like Him in any past religious era, nor will there ever be such in the future. Bahá’u’lláh had bestowed upon Him the assurance of God’s guidance in His explanations of anything in the Teachings that needed clarifying for the believers and, when He was but ten years old, His Father, Bahá’u’lláh, addressed Him and referred to Him as ‘the Master.’ He was the perfect Exemplar of the Bahá’í Teachings: He lived by prayer and wished only to be known as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the servant of the servants. He made no mistakes. Yet, with all this, He needed, as we all need, the constant attitude of prayer to renew and revivify Him, and, urging us ever upward. His constant adjuration was, “Do as I do. Be as I am.
(Reginald Grant Barrow, Mother’s Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 36)

Today humanity is increasingly concerned – and rightly so – with ‘the quality of life‘. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was absorbed with both its spiritual and its physical dimensions: He knew that as the quality of man’s spiritual life improves, his physical life would improve also – the other world reflects the inner man. He was fully aware that we are indeed on a ’spiritual journey from self to God‘. He wanted all people to be aware of this vital fact also – then they could truly arise to their real potential, both in this world and in the next.
(Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 134)
 
Old 09-19-2014, 03:36 PM   #235
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In the 1970’s I met Inez Greeven. She went on Pilgrimage during the days of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in 1920 and again in 1921. She told me that during her Pilgrimage the Master asked her, “Where is your husband?” She said, “This was the one thing I did not want Him to ask me about. I answered, “Well, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, he is not here.”
“Yes, I can see that he is not here. Where is your husband?”
I told Him, “‘Abdu’l-Bahá, he left me for another woman.”
“Yes, I know,” He replied. “And because you have forgiven him, God has forgiven him.”
At the time, she was Inez Cook. She later met and married Max Greeven, a wonderful Bahá’í, of whom Shoghi Effendi thought highly. You can read about them in “Dear Co-Worker: Messages from Shoghi Effendi to the Benelux Countries”. You can also read about Inez’ first Pilgrimage here: Storytelling in the Baha'i Faith: Abdu'l-Baha's Use of Storytelling and Storytelling in the Baha'i Faith (Brent Poirier)
 
Old 09-19-2014, 07:41 PM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlinkeyBill View Post
The word “eliminate” was often on his lips; he would eliminate non-essentials, get rid quickly of secondary matters, push away the trivial debris of life. He used carry this process of elimination into his newspaper. He knew exactly which pages of The Times had the news he wanted to look at - the leaders, the world news, and above all, the editorials - and he would scan these quickly and then proceed to rip out with his fingers the articles he wanted to look at or read carefully and throw the rest away - he had eliminated it! It does not require much acumen to understand that this, aside from being efficient, was the reflection of a very deeply tired-out mind, trying to push away so many burdens. Even an extra piece of paper had become a burden.
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 200)
Definitely a good idea in this age of information overload.
 
Old 09-28-2014, 01:18 PM   #237
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The Master’s life was centered on God, not on Himself. To do God’s will, to be His servant, were his concerns. He disliked photographs of Himself, permitting them only to satisfy His friends. ‘But to have a picture of oneself,’ He said, ‘is to emphasize the personality, which is merely the lamp, and is quite unimportant. The light burning within the lamp has the only real significance.’
(Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
When Bahá’u’lláh lived at Bahji – and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at Akka – the Master would visit His Father once a week. He liked to do this on foot and when asked why He did not ride to Bahji He responded by asking, ‘…who am I that I should ride where the Lord Christ walked?’ However, His Father requested Him to ride, so in order to comply the Master rode out of Akka, but when He sighted Bahá’u’lláh’s Mansion, He dismounted. Bahá’u’lláh used to watch for His approach from His second-floor window and as soon as He saw Him coming. He would joyously tell His family to go out to meet Him.
(Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
 
Old 10-05-2014, 12:22 PM   #238
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Although not a story of the Master, this was his teaching, and he was the exemplar of submission to God.

Mable Ives, after she married Howard Colby Ives (my father) became known to many who loved her as Rizwanea. For very many years, after they were married, my father and Rizwanea traveled and taught the Faith. It was their entire life. They traveled through the New England states, through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, New York and many many more - always teaching, always leaving an established Assembly behind them. It was a gypsy life. It meant that never once, during all the years, did they really have a home; no place where they might be surrounded by their own things, where they might put down roots. Always they lived surrounded by strange and alien furniture, by the bare wall and arid atmosphere of barren hotels, boarding houses, and cubbyholes where they might sleep while, during their waking hours, they earned their living and taught their beloved Faith. At last, after many years, with her health failing, Rizwanea felt she could endure no more. She had come to the end. She must have a home. She needed it with every atom of her being - needed it as a bird needs to make a nest in the springtime or as anyone, weary and spent, needs to rest in the sun. At this time they – she and my father were living in a particularly difficult situation. It was a furnished room and the landlady was constantly complaining of everything they did. They used too many lights, they took too many showers using up too much water, and the clacking of Father’s typewriter was driving her crazy. So, one morning, Rizwanea told Father how she felt: She had come to the end; she could endure no more; she was unable to go one step farther. They had a long period of consultation, and at the end, Father told her that, of course, he would do as she wished, but would she, in turn, do one thing for him? Would she wait just one more day before making a truly final decision - and would she spend this day in prayer? She agreed. So after Father had left her to go out and attend to his business details, she kept her promise. She began to pray. And as she prayed, it came to her just what, in its depth and beauty, submission, detachment, and servitude really meant. And it came to her that submission - true and complete submission to the Will of God - was the first basic step. So she began to pray for submission - she prayed and prayed, and finally, submission came to her - but with it came the realization
that submission was not enough. Well, then, what was enough? What should she pray for now? And she remembered that Bahá’u’lláh had written that we must be grateful for the circumstances to which we were submitting. Grateful? Grateful for this horrid little room? Grateful for the beastly, complaining landlady? Well, all right - if Bahá’u’lláh said so she, Rizwanea, would be grateful. But it wasn’t easy. She was pacing the room, thinking, praying, fighting and now she went to the window to stare out into the street.
‘Teach me to be grateful! Teach me to be submissive! I will be grateful! I will be submissive! She clenched her small fists. She fought and she suffered. And, finally, the first warm touch and then the warmer flow of submissive gratitude surged over her. But, the next moment, she realized that even this was not enough. Not enough? When she‘d fought so hard and she was so tired. What then was left? What should she pray for next?
And it came to her that now she must pray for love. love for her nerve-wracking circumstances; love for her harsh landlady; love for the whole situation that had led to the crisis - the blessed crisis that had forced her to learn this lesson. So, now, Rizwanea prayed that she might love that she might be filled with love that she might be able to pour out this love. And her prayers were answered. When Father returned to her, it was to meet a radiant woman – a woman filled with the glory of complete submission to the Will of God - a woman rich with the glory of gratitude for tests - a woman overflowing with the clear crystal waters of the love of God. And, for many years more, she poured out these waters for the glory of the Cause she loved so well.
(Reginald Grant Barrow, Mother’s Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 14-15)
 
Old 10-05-2014, 12:56 PM   #239
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Bill #238 - Beautiful dear friend, a moment in life that we all strive for.

May God Grant that moment to all Humanity, that we all become servants to our Lord!

God Bless and Regards Tony
 
Old 10-10-2014, 02:17 PM   #240
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This is part of the account Howard Colby Ives wrote of that first memorable meeting with the Master: I could not speak. We both sat perfectly silent for what seemed a long while, and gradually a great peace came to me. Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá placed His hand upon my breast saying that it was the heart that speaks. Again silence: a long, heart-enthralling silence. No word further was spoken, and all the time I was with Him not one single sound came from me. But no word was necessary from me to Him. I knew that, even then, and how I thanked God it was so.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 109)
 
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