Comforter and Prince of Truth

Feb 2019
197
Chicago
#21
Venu, you have provided a lot to digest here.
To say that Christ needed to go away so that the Holy Spirit can come to the Apostles is still an odd thing to say, but that's because it is not due to a limitation of the Holy Spirit, which was always present.
I was not suggesting that the Holy Spirit has a limitation. I was referring to the limitations of the human mind that was attached to the physical form of Jesus. The human mind is only good enough to ensure our survival. It cannot perceive anything of the Holy Spirit which is why in all true religions there is emphasis on meditation that helps people rise above the limitations of the mind and commune with Holy Spirit. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within you. God speaking through Bahaullah said "Thy heart is my Home" and "The temple of being is my throne". How many of us can perceive the Kingdom of God is within us or feel God in our hearts and if we can't, what is the reason. It is the human nature that is responsible for limiting our perception of God within us and the apostles of Jesus being human did suffer from human limitations and imperfections. Jesus was aware. He told Peter that he would disown him 3 times before the rooster crowed and he did so out of fear of the authorities which was quite human. He said one of his 12 disciples would let him down and Judas did. In fact all his apostles abandoned him at the time of crucifixion but Jesus came back to them out of love and loyalty and helped them become saintly souls. I find that aspect of Jesus very touching.

When statements appear in scripture which are paradoxical, it can lead us to see the deeper meanings. One thing we can see is that the Word of God is not gone forever when one Manifestation, in this case, Christ, is taken away.
I agree. St. Francis of Assisi who was born 11 centuries after Jesus performed many miracles like Jesus and proved the truth of Jesus's words in John 14:12.

Your understanding of the Second Coming of Christ is very interesting.
Jesus did not say he will come on a second mission to preach. In fact no prophet of God ever came back in the same physical form to preach again. Jesus humbly called himself the son of man. There are several passages in the gospels where he called himself the son of man, Matthew 8:20 for example. But people that recognized his spiritual stature called him the Son of God (Christ), Matthew 27:54 for example. We say Jesus the Christ because Jesus became the Christ or Son of God both of which mean the same and are essentially titles with deep esoteric meaning. Jesus did not preach from the day he was born. It took him 30 years to start preaching because it takes time to grow spiritually and transform oneself from son of man to Son of God (Christ). Luke 2:52 says "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" and Jesus taught that anyone can receive the Holy Ghost and become a Son of God (Christ) and do the same works that he did. Just pay close attention to these two passages

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name - John 1:12

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" - John 14:12

Son of God refers to Divine Intelligence or Divine Consciousness or Christ Consciousness that is centered in the human being at the spiritual eye located between the eye brows. When this eye is opened by the grace of Holy Spirit (spiritual baptism) which is possible through meditation, the physical body no longer appears physical but as a mass of light coming out of Holy Spirit. Jesus said: "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light". - Matthew 6:22
A person who has reached his state of consciousness is called Son of God or Christ and this is the esoteric meaning of the second coming of Christ.

Isn't it true that the literal meaning of Krishna in Sanskrit is "dark"?
Yes, the literal meaning of Krishna in Sanskrit is "dark" but Sanskrit is a very rich language and a word can have multiple meanings. The esoteric meaning of Krishna refers to one who has attained the state of Kutastha Chaitanya or Christ Consciousness. Kutastha means "that which remains unchanged" and Chaitanya means Consciousness. Christ Consciousness which is the Divine Intelligence always remains unchanged while permeating all creation just like the light that passes through various colored crystal balls may appear different but it's essential nature is unchanged.
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
#22
I use my logical mind and if something does not comport with my logical mind I generally reject it. As I said, it makes no sense that a disembodied Holy Spirit could do the things it says in John 14, 15 and 16, things I believe Baha’u’llah did or things that will happen because of His Revelation.
I understand the teachings of Jesus may not make sense to you and that you are willing to dismiss the historical facts in the gospels like Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead as mere stories even though Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi found the gospels to be quite credible.

I do not understand why the history of the Baha’i Faith (or any religion) would have anything to do with whether it was the Truth from God. Humans are fallible and they make mistakes and they have two natures, a selfish material nature and a noble material nature. These individuals that betrayed Jesus and Baha’u’llah chose their selfish nature.
You said the Holy Spirit had 2000 years to accomplish what it was supposed but it did not. So I was giving examples of how human nature can prevent the Holy Spirit from manifesting itself and doing its works.

So maybe Shoghi Effendi could make mistakes, or maybe not. How accurate do you think Bhagavad-Gita is? Can you prove everything in it is the Truth from God?
If anyone is interested to find out the accuracy of the Bhagavad-Gita, they are welcome to meditate on the spiritual truths in that scripture and validate their accuracy intuitively. You must understand that as a human being all your experiences happen within your own consciousness and so are spiritual experiences. What I perceive intuitively cannot be proved to another person and I have no such need to begin with. In fact the spiritual truths in any scripture of any religion cannot be proved to others. They can only be realized in one's consciousness which is why Hindus consider religion to be a very personal spiritual path to God. It has got nothing to do with converting others or proving anything to others but it has everything to do with transforming one's human nature in to divine nature. The Hindu scriptures simply assert the spiritual truths. People are free to verify them within their own consciousness or completely reject them consistent with the freedom God has given them. There is not one passage in the Bhagavad-Gita that threatens Hell Fire or eternal damnation for people who reject Krishna or his teachings in the Bhagavad-Gita. The Hell Fire/eternal damnation thingy or converting others thingy is from religions that originate outside of India.
 
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Jul 2017
442
Olympia, WA, USA
#23
I understand the teachings of Jesus may not make sense to you and that you are willing to dismiss the historical facts in the gospels like Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead as mere stories even though Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi found the gospels to be quite credible.
If what was in the gospels was historical facts, they would be considered historical facts by historians and everyone would be a Christian. I consider them stories with deep spiritual meanings. There is no reason why spiritual writings need to be interpreted literally. But everyone has free will so they are free to believe whatever they want to.

In studying the Bible Bahá'ís must bear two principles in mind. The first is that many passages in Sacred Scriptures are intended to be taken metaphorically, not literally, and some of the paradoxes and apparent contradictions which appear are intended to indicate this. The second is the fact that the text of the early Scriptures, such as the Bible, is not wholly authentic.
(28 May 1984 to an individual believer)​
...The Bahá'ís believe that God's Revelation is under His care and protection and that the essence, or essential elements, of what His Manifestations intended to convey has been recorded and preserved in Their Holy Books. However, as the sayings of the ancient Prophets were written down some time later, we cannot categorically state, as we do in the case of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, that the words and phrases attributed to Them are Their exact words.
(9 August 1984 to an individual believer)​
You said the Holy Spirit had 2000 years to accomplish what it was supposed but it did not. So I was giving examples of how human nature can prevent the Holy Spirit from manifesting itself and doing its works.
Yes, to have any effect, the Holy Spirit requires the cooperation of human mind and surrender of human will to divine will as you said.
How successful do you think that has been among the Christians?
If anyone is interested to find out the accuracy of the Bhagavad-Gita, they are welcome to meditate on the spiritual truths in that scripture and validate their accuracy intuitively. You must understand that as a human being all your experiences happen within your own consciousness and so are spiritual experiences. What I perceive intuitively cannot be proved to another person and I have no such need to begin with. In fact the spiritual truths in any scripture of any religion cannot be proved to others. They can only be realized in one's consciousness which is why Hindus consider religion to be a very personal spiritual path to God. It has got nothing to do with converting others or proving anything to others but it has everything to do with transforming one's human nature in to divine nature. The Hindu scriptures simply assert the spiritual truths. People are free to verify them within their own consciousness or completely reject them consistent with the freedom God has given them. There is not one passage in the Bhagavad-Gita that threatens Hell Fire or eternal damnation for people who reject Krishna or his teachings in the Bhagavad-Gita. The Hell Fire/eternal damnation thingy or converting others thingy is from religions that originate outside of India.
As a human being all your experiences happen within your own consciousness and so are YOUR spiritual experiences. What YOU perceive intuitively cannot be proved to another person; it is true to you but it is not objective truth.

I propose that there is such a thing as reality as defined by God and we either discover it or fail to do so. Reality is not about what "works" for any of us on a personal level. It is about what God has created and established through His Messengers.

The spiritual truths of all true religions are eternal so I have no problem believeing in them as long as they do not contradict the Revelation of Baha'u'llah which I consider the gold standard, that closest to God's Truth we can approach. But that is just MY belief.
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
#24
If what was in the gospels was historical facts, they would be considered historical facts by historians and everyone would be a Christian. I consider them stories with deep spiritual meanings. There is no reason why spiritual writings need to be interpreted literally. But everyone has free will so they are free to believe whatever they want to
Well, Jesus riding a donkey to the Jewish temple or Jesus throwing out the money changers from the Jewish temple do not have spiritual meanings. They are simply historical facts recorded in the gospels. Some historical facts like baptism of Jesus in the water and resurrection of Jesus from his tomb may have a spiritual significance also but nevertheless they are historical facts. You are taking the position that simply because some historical facts have spiritual significance, all historical facts have spiritual significance. That's like saying that just because some people practice Yoga, all people practice Yoga. That's so bizarre.

Whether or not everyone is a Christian has got nothing to do with the number of historical facts in the gospels. By the same logic, one can suggest that if everything in Bahaullah's writings is true, everyone would be Bahai. Since everyone is not Bahai, it follows everything in Bahaullah's writings is not true. Enjoy your logic!

In studying the Bible Bahá'ís must bear two principles in mind. The first is that many passages in Sacred Scriptures are intended to be taken metaphorically, not literally, and some of the paradoxes and apparent contradictions which appear are intended to indicate this.
Read carefully. Pay attention to the part I emphasized above. "Many passages" does not translate to "all passages" but that is how you are translating it.

..The Bahá'ís believe that God's Revelation is under His care and protection and that the essence, or essential elements, of what His Manifestations intended to convey has been recorded and preserved in Their Holy Books. However, as the sayings of the ancient Prophets were written down some time later, we cannot categorically state, as we do in the case of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, that the words and phrases attributed to Them are Their exact words.
The words of Bahaullah or Jesus won't make any sense to you however well they may have been preserved if you have not refined your consciousness and developed attunement with them. Let's take these words of Bahullah from the Hidden words

O Son of Man!
Upon the tree of effulgent glory I have hung for thee the choicest fruits, wherefore hast thou turned away and contented thyself with that which is less good? Return then unto that which is better for thee in the realm on high.
The Hidden Words | Bahá’í Reference Library

Can you explain what Bahullah means by "tree of effulgent glory" or "choicest fruits".
Can you explain why the son of man would turn way from the "tree of effulgent glory" and satisfy himself with something inferior?

In the tablet of the Deathless Youth, Bahaullah says in the first line

"When the gates of Paradise swung wide and the Holy Youth came forth, lo! in His hand was a serpent plain!"

Can you explain why the Holy Youth was holding a serpent of all creatures. Why not a rabbit or a sparrow? What does the serpent mean?

Yes, to have any effect, the Holy Spirit requires the cooperation of human mind and surrender of human will to divine will as you said.
How successful do you think that has been among the Christians?
If Christians haven't been successful in receiving the Holy Spirit, it no way invalidates the truths relating to the Holy Spirit. It is like saying that if you refuse to put gasoline (petrol) in your car, gasoline itself has no inherent energy associated with it.

As a human being all your experiences happen within your own consciousness and so are YOUR spiritual experiences. What YOU perceive intuitively cannot be proved to another person; it is true to you but it is not objective truth.
Everything that is expressed through physical means and everything of this world is relative. An object that weights 60 pounds on earth will weigh 10 pounds on moon. Night time for a person in America is day time for another person in India. Peanuts can cause severe allergy and death in one person where as they can nourish the body and promote health in another person. Bahaullah could be a great avatar for a Hindu whereas he could be a false prophet for a Muslim. Religious truths or spiritual truths cannot be verified objectively or absolutely because they are relative and subjective when expressed through physical medium of language and perceived through the physical senses and the mind attached to those senses. This truth was acknowledged by Shoghi Effendi when he said "“The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá’u’lláh, the followers of His Faith firmly believe, is that Religious truth is not absolute but relative...."

So how do you propose that spiritual truths be verified objectively. Can you capture God in a test tube for everyone to see and verify objectively?

Since religious truth is relative as Shoghi Effendi said, Hindus make religion a personal business. So I am not interested in proving the truths in the Bhagavad-Gita to anyone one because my religion is between me and God. How do I care if you reject the entire Bhagavad-Gita.

I propose that there is such a thing as reality as defined by God and we either discover it or fail to do so.
Since you cannot objectively prove that God exists, does it imply that God does not exist and should you even continue to talk about God.

Reality is not about what "works" for any of us on a personal level. It is about what God has created and established through His Messengers.
Here is what Bahaullah said in the Hidden Words

O Son of Being!
With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding. Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof.

God, speaking through Bahaullah is asking you to be content with the "essence of My light" he has placed within you and not seek anything else.
 
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Jul 2017
442
Olympia, WA, USA
#25
Well, Jesus riding a donkey to the Jewish temple or Jesus throwing out the money changers from the Jewish temple do not have spiritual meanings. They are simply historical facts recorded in the gospels. Some historical facts like baptism of Jesus in the water and resurrection of Jesus from his tomb may have a spiritual significance also but nevertheless they are historical facts. You are taking the position that simply because some historical facts have spiritual significance, all historical facts have spiritual significance. That's like saying that just because some people practice Yoga, all people practice Yoga. That's so bizarre.
My position is not that because some historical facts have spiritual significance, all historical facts have spiritual significance. My position is that everything in the Bible is not historical facts. Some of it might be accurate history, but all of it is not accurate history and since there is no way for me to know which is which I am not going to accept it as history. I am more prone to believe scholars than believers because they have done the research.

Historicity of the Bible

Jesus rising from the dead is not a historical fact because it cannot be proven. The only so-called witnesses were in the story; there were no outside witnesses that could corroborate the story. It was just a story people told about Jesus by people who probably had an agenda. Maybe you should listen to some atheists because they have a better understanding of the Bible than most believers who are completely brainwashed by their need to believe.

The position I am taking is that there is no verifiable evidence that everything that is recorded in the Bible happened as recorded, so I am not going to believe it as if it was factual. As an atheist on another forum said, a story is not proof of a story; that is a circular argument. In short, if there is nothing OUTSIDE of the Bible to verify that the stories are true I am not going to believe them. Maybe some of it happened and some of it didn’t but there is now no way to know. If everything in the Bible could be verified to have happened it would be history that would be widely accepted, not a religion.

I am not saying that everything in the Bible is untrue. It is a general rendering of the history of the human race. I am saying that I do not believe all the details, and the details do not even matter, it is the spiritual evolution of humanity that is depicted. What Jesus did with money changers might have happened but even it didn’t happen it still has spiritual significance because it is about Jesus and what He did in a given circumstance. I suggest you read the following.

The Heart of the Gospel is a book that was written by a Christian clergyman who resigned his orders after 40 years to become a Baha’i. It explains how the Bible fits into history.
Whether or not everyone is a Christian has got nothing to do with the number of historical facts in the gospels. By the same logic, one can suggest that if everything in Bahaullah's writings is true, everyone would be Bahai. Since everyone is not Bahai, it follows everything in Bahaullah's writings is not true. Enjoy your logic!
You are right, whether everyone is a Christian has nothing to do with what is in the Bible, but they are not historical facts unless they have been corroborated by a historian, and they have not been. That is why only a certain number of people believe them and they are called Christians. Apparently there are others besides Christians who believe them but not many because if they believed that the Bible was the inerrant truth they would “probably” be a Christian.

The belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the worst thing that has ever happened to humanity, only second to the belief in original sin, which is the worst thing. The belief in the bodily resurrection is despicable because it goes along with the belief in the bodily ascension, so it has 60% of people in the United States believing that Jesus will return from heaven on a cloud someday, so they don’t have to DO anything but wait for Jesus to return and FIX everything that is wrong in society and the world. Jesus will even wave a magic wand and fix climate change. Do you even understand how dangerous such a belief is? It is no wonder why this country is such a mess, with superstitious beliefs like that.

There is no way I will ever believe that everything recorded in the gospels are historical facts and there is no way you are going to believe they aren’t, because apparently you believe that. Yet there is no verifiable proof of any of it, so it cannot be factual. That is why it is called a belief. Just because some stories said Jesus rose from the grave does not make that a fact. To me, that is logic, pure and simple.

Since I believe in the Baha’i Faith and in the Covenant, I do not believe that the resurrection was a bodily one. I have chosen to be a Baha’i, not a Christian. The two religions cannot be reconciled. The teachings of Jesus are all truth but that doctrines of Christianity are false. The bodily resurrection is one of those false doctrines.

Question.—What is the meaning of Christ’s resurrection after three days?
Answer.—The resurrections of the Divine Manifestations are not of the body. All Their states, Their conditions, Their acts, the things They have established, Their teachings, Their expressions, Their parables and Their instructions have a spiritual and divine signification, and have no connection with material things......
Therefore, we say that the meaning of Christ’s resurrection is as follows: the disciples were troubled and agitated after the martyrdom of Christ. The Reality of Christ, which signifies His teachings, His bounties, His perfections and His spiritual power, was hidden and concealed for two or three days after His martyrdom, and was not resplendent and manifest. No, rather it was lost, for the believers were few in number and were troubled and agitated. The Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body; and when after three days the disciples became assured and steadfast, and began to serve the Cause of Christ, and resolved to spread the divine teachings, putting His counsels into practice, and arising to serve Him, the Reality of Christ became resplendent and His bounty appeared; His religion found life; His teachings and His admonitions became evident and visible. In other words, the Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body until the life and the bounty of the Holy Spirit surrounded it.
Such is the meaning of the resurrection of Christ, and this was a true resurrection. But as the clergy have neither understood the meaning of the Gospels nor comprehended the symbols, therefore, it has been said that religion is in contradiction to science, and science in opposition to religion, as, for example, this subject of the ascension of Christ with an elemental body to the visible heaven is contrary to the science of mathematics. But when the truth of this subject becomes clear, and the symbol is explained, science in no way contradicts it; but, on the contrary, science and the intelligence affirm it.” Some Answered Questions, pp. 104-105
The words of Bahaullah or Jesus won't make any sense to you however well they may have been preserved if you have not refined your consciousness and developed attunement with them. Let's take these words of Bahullah from the Hidden words

O Son of Man!
Upon the tree of effulgent glory I have hung for thee the choicest fruits, wherefore hast thou turned away and contented thyself with that which is less good? Return then unto that which is better for thee in the realm on high.
The Hidden Words | Bahá’í Reference Library

Can you explain what Bahullah means by "tree of effulgent glory" or "choicest fruits".
Can you explain why the son of man would turn way from the "tree of effulgent glory" and satisfy himself with something inferior?

In the tablet of the Deathless Youth, Bahaullah says in the first line

"When the gates of Paradise swung wide and the Holy Youth came forth, lo! in His hand was a serpent plain!"

Can you explain why the Holy Youth was holding a serpent of all creatures. Why not a rabbit or a sparrow? What does the serpent mean?
Apparently you think you know what all these passages mean and that is important to you. Are you implying that I have not refined my consciousness and developed attunement with the words of Baha’u’llah if I do not understand what these mean? I really do not care what they mean because I do not have the time to analyze everything Baha’u’llah wrote and determine its esoteric meaning and I do not think it is a necessary in order to be a Baha’i. I am more interested in the big picture of what it means to be a Baha’i.

Regarding meanings, I remind you what Baha’u’llah said about the Word of God, which is plain and clear, not esoteric or symbolic:

“Know assuredly that just as thou firmly believest that the Word of God, exalted be His glory, endureth for ever, thou must, likewise, believe with undoubting faith that its meaning can never be exhausted. They who are its appointed interpreters, they whose hearts are the repositories of its secrets, are, however, the only ones who can comprehend its manifold wisdom. Whoso, while reading the Sacred Scriptures, is tempted to choose therefrom whatever may suit him with which to challenge the authority of the Representative of God among men, is, indeed, as one dead, though to outward seeming he may walk and converse with his neighbors, and share with them their food and their drink.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 175-176
If Christians haven't been successful in receiving the Holy Spirit, it no way invalidates the truths relating to the Holy Spirit. It is like saying that if you refuse to put gasoline (petrol) in your car, gasoline itself has no inherent energy associated with it.
I never said that it invalidates the truths of the Holy Spirit. The context of this conversation was whether the Holy Spirit living inside of people could do what it says in John 14, 15 and 16: Teach you all things, Call to remembrance what Jesus said, Testify of Jesus, Glorify Jesus, receive of Jesus, and shew it unto you, Guide you into all truth, Speak what He hears and shew you things to come, Reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
Everything that is expressed through physical means and everything of this world is relative. An object that weights 60 pounds on earth will weigh 10 pounds on moon. Night time for a person in America is day time for another person in India. Peanuts can cause severe allergy and death in one person where as they can nourish the body and promote health in another person. Bahaullah could be a great avatar for a Hindu whereas he could be a false prophet for a Muslim. Religious truths or spiritual truths cannot be verified objectively or absolutely because they are relative and subjective when expressed through physical medium of language and perceived through the physical senses and the mind attached to those senses. This truth was acknowledged by Shoghi Effendi when he said "“The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá’u’lláh, the followers of His Faith firmly believe, is that Religious truth is not absolute but relative...."
With all due respect, I disagree with that. Logically speaking, Baha’u’llah was either (a) a false prophet, or (b) a true Prophet (Manifestation of God). It has to be one or the other, there is no gray area. What people believe has absolutely nothing to do with what is true. God either sent Baha’u’llah as His Messenger or He did not, period. It is not relative, it is absolute.

What is relative is the Truth that is revealed in every age; it is relative truth because we can never have absolute truth since only God has absolute truth. So what is revealed by Manifestations of God is relative to what humans can understand at the time of revelation and during the religious dispensation for which it was revealed.

“Oh, would that the world could believe Me! Were all the things that lie enshrined within the heart of Bahá, and which the Lord, His God, the Lord of all names, hath taught Him, to be unveiled to mankind, every man on earth would be dumbfounded.
How great the multitude of truths which the garment of words can never contain! How vast the number of such verities as no expression can adequately describe, whose significance can never be unfolded, and to which not even the remotest allusions can be made! How manifold are the truths which must remain unuttered until the appointed time is come! Even as it hath been said: “Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.
Of these truths some can be disclosed only to the extent of the capacity of the repositories of the light of Our knowledge, and the recipients of Our hidden grace.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 176
So how do you propose that spiritual truths be verified objectively. Can you capture God in a test tube for everyone to see and verify objectively?
I do not propose that spiritual truths be verified objectively, but that does not mean that there is not an objective truth. God either exists or not. Baha’u’llah was either a Manifestation of God or not.
Since religious truth is relative as Shoghi Effendi said, Hindus make religion a personal business. So I am not interested in proving the truths in the Bhagavad-Gita to anyone one because my religion is between me and God. How do I care if you reject the entire Bhagavad-Gita.
Likewise, I am not interested in proving the truths in the Baha’i Faith to anyone, but not because my religion is between me and God, but rather because Baha’u’llah wrote that the faith of no man can be conditioned by anyone except himself. As such we are enjoined to independently investigate the truth and make our own decision what to believe, so it is not my job to convince anyone.
Since you cannot objectively prove that God exists, does it imply that God does not exist and should you even continue to talk about God.
No, absolutely not. The Essence of God is unknowable, and God is not an objective reality, so a logical person accepts that God can exist yet we cannot ever prove that.
Here is what Bahaullah said in the Hidden Words

O Son of Being!
With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding. Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof.

God, speaking through Bahaullah is asking you to be content with the "essence of My light" he has placed within you and not seek anything else.
On a personal level, this is true, if all we care about is our own relationship with God, we only seek that. Such is the path of a mystic. But just because the Baha’i Faith is a mystical religion does not mean that is ALL it is.

The Baha’i Faith is not Hinduism or Buddhism or Christianity. We have been enjoined to uplift all of humanity, not just ourselves.

“The Purpose of the one true God, exalted be His glory, in revealing Himself unto men is to lay bare those gems that lie hidden within the mine of their true and inmost selves. That the divers communions of the earth, and the manifold systems of religious belief, should never be allowed to foster the feelings of animosity among men, is, in this Day, of the essence of the Faith of God and His Religion. These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source, and are the rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated......
The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 287-288

The Baha’is have been enjoined by Baha’u’llah to build the Kingdom of God on earth. The old world order is being rolled up and it is the job of the Baha’is and anyone else who wants to help to build the New World Order. We cannot do that if we sit around fighting about which religion is right. The spiritual teachings of all religions are true but only the Revelation of Baha’u’llah has what is necessary to build the Kingdom of God on earth, as it was prophesied in the Bible.

“This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favors have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness. It behoveth them to cleave to whatsoever will, in this Day, be conducive to the exaltation of their stations, and to the promotion of their best interests. Happy are those whom the all-glorious Pen was moved to remember, and blessed are those men whose names, by virtue of Our inscrutable decree, We have preferred to conceal.
Beseech ye the one true God to grant that all men may be graciously assisted to fulfil that which is acceptable in Our sight. Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead. Verily, thy Lord speaketh the truth, and is the Knower of things unseen.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 6-7
 
Jun 2014
1,081
Wisconsin
#26
On the topic of "Prince of this World", this is in reference to John 12:31, which reads "Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out."

This verse and the surrounding verses speak of Jesus' death and resurrection. The conventional interpretation is, thus, the Devil is the "Prince of this World" who is cast out via resurrection.

Shoghi Effendi appears to have mistakenly read it as referring to Jesus' death, as him being the "prince of this world" who was "cast out" via crucifixion. This interpretation probably brought about since John 12:32 continues with "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Thus with one sentence talking about someone being cast out and the very next sentence talking about Jesus being lifted from the world, one could easily make a connection that the two verses were speaking about the same thing.

(Some other Baha'is might take umbrage at how I used the word "mistakenly" to describe Shoghi Effendi's read of this verse. I think it is important to keep in mind that Shoghi, by his own words, only possesses Isma (Infallibility) in regards to his interpretation of the Baha'i writings. We are given divine no guarantee of his accuracy in regards to the interpretation of the Bible, and as such it is possible for him to be in error or mistaken about a piece of Bible terminology. Given the widespread understanding of John 12:31, I'd think this interpretation was simply an misunderstanding.)
 
Sep 2010
4,522
Earth
#27
On the topic of "Prince of this World", this is in reference to John 12:31, which reads "Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out."

This verse and the surrounding verses speak of Jesus' death and resurrection. The conventional interpretation is, thus, the Devil is the "Prince of this World" who is cast out via resurrection.

Shoghi Effendi appears to have mistakenly read it as referring to Jesus' death, as him being the "prince of this world" who was "cast out" via crucifixion. This interpretation probably brought about since John 12:32 continues with "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Thus with one sentence talking about someone being cast out and the very next sentence talking about Jesus being lifted from the world, one could easily make a connection that the two verses were speaking about the same thing.

(Some other Baha'is might take umbrage at how I used the word "mistakenly" to describe Shoghi Effendi's read of this verse. I think it is important to keep in mind that Shoghi, by his own words, only possesses Isma (Infallibility) in regards to his interpretation of the Baha'i writings. We are given divine no guarantee of his accuracy in regards to the interpretation of the Bible, and as such it is possible for him to be in error or mistaken about a piece of Bible terminology. Given the widespread understanding of John 12:31, I'd think this interpretation was simply an misunderstanding.)
You are right in that I will go with Shoghi Effendi all the way.

Funny, or not so, this is the 2nd time today on two different Forums I have seen a Baha'i saying Shoghi Effendi may be mistaken. If it is in Official Writings, this can not be the case. It means we are yet to understand, or at least not yet to understand submission.

Thus before considering and then suggesting it is a mistake, one could ask for an explanation from the World Centre and in that way an answer would ensure there is "no Grey area" of faith.

You know that is only offered with Love 😊

The other way is to put it our there and ask other thoughts, we could ask what do others think this passage means?

Regards Tony
 
Mar 2013
570
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#28
There can be confusion regarding the terms “Prince of Peace” and “Prince of this world” as found in the Gospels and in the Baha’i teachings. This topic was discussed in another thread on this forum, and member Traveller posted this link to an article on Baha’i Teachings, which provides background and context. Please read the article, but my understanding is that it shows that the term “Prince of this world” was used in two separate contexts in the Bible, one context, in John 14:26-30 refers to the coming of the Comforter, and the Holy Spirit. The other context, as in John 12:31, refers to Satan. When Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi mention the Prince of the world, they are referring to John 14:30, not 12:31.

With regard to your original question Trailblazer: here is the opinion from a columnist at Baha'i Teaching: Baha’u’llah as the Prince of Peace

(I'll need to check it against the other verses to get my head around it )

-T
 
Likes: tonyfish58
Sep 2010
4,522
Earth
#29
On the topic of "Prince of this World", this is in reference to John 12:31, which reads "Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out."

This verse and the surrounding verses speak of Jesus' death and resurrection. The conventional interpretation is, thus, the Devil is the "Prince of this World" who is cast out via resurrection.

Shoghi Effendi appears to have mistakenly read it as referring to Jesus' death, as him being the "prince of this world" who was "cast out" via crucifixion. This interpretation probably brought about since John 12:32 continues with "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Thus with one sentence talking about someone being cast out and the very next sentence talking about Jesus being lifted from the world, one could easily make a connection that the two verses were speaking about the same thing.

(Some other Baha'is might take umbrage at how I used the word "mistakenly" to describe Shoghi Effendi's read of this verse. I think it is important to keep in mind that Shoghi, by his own words, only possesses Isma (Infallibility) in regards to his interpretation of the Baha'i writings. We are given divine no guarantee of his accuracy in regards to the interpretation of the Bible, and as such it is possible for him to be in error or mistaken about a piece of Bible terminology. Given the widespread understanding of John 12:31, I'd think this interpretation was simply an misunderstanding.)
You are right in that I will go with Shoghi Effendi all the way.

Funny, or not so, this is the 2nd time today on two different Forums I have seen a Baha'i saying Shoghi Effendi may be mistaken. If it is in Official Writings, this can not be the case. It means we are yet to understand, or at least not yet to understand submission.

Thus before considering and then suggesting it is a mistake, one could ask for an explanation from the World Centre and in that way an answer would ensure there is "no Grey area" of faith.

You know that is only offered with Love 😊

The other way is to put it our there and ask other thoughts, we could ask what do others think this passage means?

Regards Tony
This may be helpful as it is also a post where people have questioned how and where He got His reference to this topic.

"Concerning Hindu prophecies of the coming of Bahá'u'lláh and the relationship of the Hindu and Bahá'í Faiths, nothing authentic and specific is available at the World Centre, apart from the Guardian's statement in God Passes By that 'To Him the Bhagavad-Gita of the Hindus had referred as the "Most Great Spirit," the "Tenth Avatar", the "Immaculate Manifestation of the Krishna"', (p. 95); and a brief reference to Bahá'u'lláh as 'to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna . . .' (p. 94). Bahá'í teachings on progressive revelation do, of course, bear on the relationship of these Faiths. In a letter written on behalf of the beloved Guardian it is also written that 'We cannot be sure of the authenticity of the scriptures of Buddha and Krishna . . . ' (November 25, 1950); and in reply to a question as to whether Brahma is 'to be considered as referring to absolute diety' and Krishna 'as the Prophet of the Hindu Religion', his secretary wrote '. . . such matters, as no reference occurs to them in the Teachings, are left for students of history and religion to resolve and clarify.' (April 14, 1941)"

(From a letter dated September 1, 1977 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

Regards Tony
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
#30
With all due respect, I disagree with that. Logically speaking, Baha’u’llah was either (a) a false prophet, or (b) a true Prophet (Manifestation of God). It has to be one or the other, there is no gray area. What people believe has absolutely nothing to do with what is true. God either sent Baha’u’llah as His Messenger or He did not, period. It is not relative, it is absolute.
I think both of us agree that spiritual truths are perceived in our own consciousness. Just to be sure, let me explain that with an example. If you pray to God deeply and as a result experience peace in your consciousness, the experience would be true to you but no one can objectively verify it. Likewise, if I read Bahaullah's writings and experience a certain spiritual vibration within my consciousness, no one can objectively verify it. Because of my experience, I may conclude that Bahaullah is a great avatar but a Muslim who may believe that there will be no prophets after Mohammed may conclude that Bahaullah is a false prophet. Even an unbiased scientist that is not conditioned by religious dogma, will never be able to objectively prove that Bahaullah is a manifestation of God. He may at best say Bahaullah appears to be a good man or a great leader. So the truth about Bahaullah is relative.

I do not propose that spiritual truths be verified objectively, but that does not mean that there is not an objective truth. God either exists or not. Baha’u’llah was either a Manifestation of God or not.
You asked "How accurate do you think Bhagavad-Gita is? Can you prove everything in it is the Truth from God?". If you can prove that everything in Bahaullah's writings is the Truth from God, then perhaps I can do the same with the Bhagavad-Gita. But it would be impossible for you to objectively prove that everything in Bahaullah's writings is the Truth from God or that Bahaullah is a manifestation of God.

The Baha’i Faith is not Hinduism or Buddhism or Christianity. We have been enjoined to uplift all of humanity, not just ourselves.
Humanity is a collection of human beings and each human being will have to uplift himself through spiritual effort. Spiritual growth cannot be induced from outside. It can only come from the inside. Even Jesus or Bahaullah could not uplift everyone. Judas treacherously let down Jesus. You may dismiss it as a story but Bahaullah also had his Judas in his son Mirza Muhammad `Alí that Abdul Baha had to expel from the Bahai faith. How is it that Bahaullah could not uplift Mirza Muhammad `Alí? God has given everyone freedom and people misuse it under the influence of human nature. There is not much Bahaullah or any of his followers can do if people choose to immerse themselves in worldly pursuits and pleasures and neglect spiritual growth.

The Baha’is have been enjoined by Baha’u’llah to build the Kingdom of God on earth
When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For you see, the kingdom of God is within you - Luke 17:20-21

Bahaullah would not contradict Jesus. The kingdom of God is not a physical kingdom.
 

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