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Old 11-04-2017, 11:35 AM   #1
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Anniversary of passing of Shoghi Effendi

Early this morning, I was giving thought to the anniversary of the passing of Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Cause of God. Today marks the sixtieth anniversary of his passing (November 4, 1957 - November 4, 2017). In memory and honor of the “glorious lineage” of this “chosen branch”, Shoghi Effendi - the Guardian of the Cause of God, I offer some words to ponder from the Will and Testament of ‘Abdul-Baha, from Baha’u’llah, and from Shoghi Effendi in reference to the “Branch” which is the origin of the institution of the Guardianship of the Cause of God. Shoghi Effendi insisted that his person was not be exalted, but rather that one should exalt the rank and vital role of the institution of the Guardianship. He also referred over and again to the Universal House of Justice as having an exalted role and as being a “no less essential institution” than the Guardianship.

Referring to Shoghi Effendi, ‘Abdu'l-Bahá wrote in the opening pages of Part 1 of His Will and Testament: “Salutation and praise, blessing and glory rest upon that primal branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree, grown out, blest, tender, verdant and flourishing from the Twin Holy Trees” . . . “the Light that after my passing shineth from the Dayspring of Divine Guidance--for behold! he is the blest and sacred bough that hath branched out from the Twin Holy Trees. Well is it with him that seeketh the shelter of his shade that shadoweth all mankind.”

There is a striking parallel between ‘Abdu'l-Bahá’s words cited above and Baha’u’llah’s words recorded years earlier in His Súriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch) where He reveals, "There hath branched from the Sadratu'l-Muntahá this sacred and glorious Being, this Branch of Holiness; well is it with him that hath sought His shelter and abideth beneath His shadow. Verily the Limb of the Law of God hath sprung forth from this Root which God hath firmly implanted in the Ground of His Will, and Whose Branch hath been so uplifted as to encompass the whole of creation. . . . They who deprive themselves of the shadow of the Branch, are lost in the wilderness worldly desires, and are of those who will assuredly perish." (cited in ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’, by Shoghi Effendi; ‘The World Order of Baha’u’llah’, pp. 134-135)

There is also an interesting parallel between Baha’u’llah’s words quoted above; “They who deprive themselves of the shadow of the Branch, are lost in the wilderness worldly desires, and are of those who will assuredly perish" and the Guardian’s words “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as `Abdu'l-Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. . . . Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn.” (‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’; ‘The World Order of Baha’u’llah’, p. 148)

Much more could be written on this topic, but the point is, ‘Abdul-Baha’s Will and Testament makes it very clear that the “primal” and “chosen branch” of the Guardianship had its origins partly in that “mighty Stock" and that “Ancient Root” referred to by Baha’u’llah in His Kitab-i-Aqdas and partly in the exalted linage of the family of the Bab.

-LR
 
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:37 PM   #2
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" O ye the faithful loved ones of Abdu'l-Baha'! It is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi, the twig that hath been branched from and the fruit given forth by the two hallowed and Divine Lote- Trees, that no dust off despondency and sorrow may stain his radiant nature, that day by day he may wax greater in happiness, in joy and spirituality, and may grow to become even as a fruitful tree.

For he is, after 'Abdu'l-Baha, the Guardian of the Cause of God, the Afnan', the Hands of the Cause and the beloved of the Lord must obey him and turn into him. He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turneth away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One. Beware lest anyone falsely interpret these words, and like unto them that have broken the Covenant after the Day of Ascension(of Baha'u'llah) advance a pretext , raise the standard of revolt, wax stubborn and open wide the door of false interpretation. To none is given the right to put forth his own opinion or express his particular conviction. All must seek guidance and turn into the Center of the Cause and the House of Justice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in grievous error."

Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, pp. 53-54
 
Old 11-05-2017, 04:22 AM   #3
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And he has even forbidden us to celebrate his anniversaries. It feels sad, although one can understand it. He just didn't want to be celebrated in the same way as the Founding Figures of our Faith.

gnat
 
Old 11-05-2017, 06:03 AM   #4
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Gnat commented:
Quote:
And he has even forbidden us to celebrate his anniversaries. It feels sad, although one can understand it. He just didn't want to be celebrated in the same way as the Founding Figures of our Faith.
Thank you Gnat. You are correct. As I had said above, "Shoghi Effendi insisted that his person was not to be exalted . . . " To further reinforce your brief comment I will add the following:


"No Guardian of the Faith, I feel it my solemn duty to place on record, can ever claim to be the perfect exemplar of the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh or the stainless mirror that reflects His light. Though overshadowed by the unfailing, the unerring protection of Bahá'u'lláh and of the Báb, and however much he may share with `Abdu'l-Bahá the right and obligation to interpret the Bahá'í teachings, he remains essentially human and cannot, if he wishes to remain faithful to his trust, arrogate to himself, under any pretense whatsoever, the rights, the privileges and prerogatives which Bahá'u'lláh has chosen to confer upon His Son. In the light of this truth to pray to the Guardian of the Faith, to address him as lord and master, to designate him as his holiness, to seek his benediction, to celebrate his birthday, or to commemorate any event associated with his life would be tantamount to a departure from those established truths that are enshrined within our beloved Faith. The fact that the Guardian has been specifically endowed with such power as he may need to reveal the purport and disclose the implications of the utterances of Bahá'u'lláh and of `Abdu'l-Bahá does not necessarily confer upon him a station co-equal with those Whose words he is called upon to interpret. He can exercise that right and discharge this obligation and yet remain infinitely inferior to both of them in rank and different in nature." (Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh; The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 151)

In the “Notes at Haifa, May 12, 1932” recorded by Keith Ransom-Kehler and Lorol Schopflocher, Lorol comments to Shoghi Effendi that “there are those who pray to you.” Shoghi Effendi reportedly responded, “This is absolutely heretical. Such things are not permissible. It is wrong to address me as Lord or Master, or Thee or Thine. I had to send a very abrupt cable to the friends in Bombay to prevent them from celebrating my birthday. If this starts now there will be no end to it. The first Guardian's birthday, the first Guardian's death, the tenth Guardian's accession. They would have 400 Guardian's celebrations in 365 days. Nor must they refer to me as His Holiness. These things have no place in our Faith, they savour of popishness.”

-LR

Last edited by Larry Roofener; 11-05-2017 at 06:08 AM.
 
Old 11-06-2017, 02:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
And he has even forbidden us to celebrate his anniversaries. It feels sad, although one can understand it. He just didn't want to be celebrated in the same way as the Founding Figures of our Faith.
In light of the expectation that there would be a line of Guardians after him it is understandable as well as out of his humility. But I think remembrance is not the same as celebrating. As long as we don't start to have annual devotionals on the 4th of November and even invite friends to it we are not in danger to violate the Guardian's command.
 
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