Comforter and Prince of Truth

Jul 2017
456
Olympia, WA, USA
Thanks for the clarification. You seem to assert your beliefs as the truth or reality. At least that's the impression I always got from your posts. Now that you have said you believe something to be reality and you could be right or wrong about it, I understand why we had a disagreement. Coming from a Hindu background, I never thought anyone could "believe something to be reality" because to the Hindu, reality is through realization only and never through belief. Anything I believe is just that - it is a belief not supported by realization of the truth.
You are not alone in perceiving what I say as an assertion that my beliefs are the truth or reality. The nonbelievers I post to on another forum also perceive what I say that way. The reason they perceive it that way is because I so strongly BELIEVE that my beliefs are the truth and thus reality, and that is why my verbiage comes across that way. It drives some people bonkers, but I always try to explain to them why I say what I say.

I could be right or wrong because I cannot prove what I believe is the truth from God because I cannot prove that Baha’u’llah was a Manifestation of God.

Can you explain what you mean by: “reality is through realization only and never through belief. Anything I believe is just that - it is a belief not supported by realization of the truth.” Does that mean that whatever you realize you consider to be the truth? What do you mean by truth? Do you think you can know the truth about God by realization (however you attain that)?

I also came to a realization that what I believe is true by a process of investigating the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, but I am guessing that what you mean by realization is different from what I mean. I realized that the Baha’i Faith was true before I did much investigation, I just intuitively knew it was the truth, which is why I became a Baha’i two weeks after I heard about it. Only much later did I do a lot of investigation, which simply confirmed what I had already known.

Speaking of realization, I do not know what your destination is, but if we end up at the same or a similar destination, I do not know why it matters how we get there.

Beliefs can guide us in the right direction but beliefs do not make anyone a good person, which was the topic of one of the very first threads I started in a primarily atheist form I used to post on. However, if atheists do not believe in God (that God exists), how can they know and worship God, as it says in the Baha’i Short Obligatory Prayer? They can still love their neighbor, but they cannot love a God they do not believe exists

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.​

I think beliefs are important in the sense that we know what the truth (reality) is. For example, as a Baha’i I have a certain belief about the afterlife and that guides my every step in this life because I consider the afterlife the real life whereas this life is just an illusion by comparison. I live in constant awareness of that. If people believed what Baha’is do about the afterlife, I think they would live very differently.

“O My servants! There shineth nothing else in Mine heart except the unfading light of the Morn of Divine guidance, and out of My mouth proceedeth naught but the essence of truth, which the Lord your God hath revealed. Follow not, therefore, your earthly desires, and violate not the Covenant of God, nor break your pledge to Him. With firm determination, with the whole affection of your heart, and with the full force of your words, turn ye unto Him, and walk not in the ways of the foolish. The world is but a show, vain and empty, a mere nothing, bearing the semblance of reality. Set not your affections upon it. Break not the bond that uniteth you with your Creator, and be not of those that have erred and strayed from His ways. Verily I say, the world is like the vapor in a desert, which the thirstydreameth to be water and striveth after it with all his might, until when he cometh unto it, he findeth it to be mere illusion. It may, moreover, be likened unto the lifeless image of the beloved whom the lover hath sought and found, in the end, after long search and to his utmost regret, to be such as cannot “fatten nor appease his hunger.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 328-329
Since we had quite a bit of discussion on subjective reality, objective reality and reality, I wanted to share some scientific information on how an observer can change reality by doing nothing more than simply observing.

In a study reported in the February 26 issue of Nature (Vol. 391, pp. 871-874), researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have now conducted a highly controlled experiment demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. The experiment revealed that the greater the amount of "watching," the greater the observer's influence on what actually takes place.

When a quantum "observer" is watching Quantum mechanics states that particles can also behave as waves. This can be true for electrons at the submicron level, i.e., at distances measuring less than one micron, or one thousandth of a millimeter. When behaving as waves, they can simultaneously pass through several openings in a barrier and then meet again at the other side of the barrier. This "meeting" is known as interference.

Strange as it may sound, interference can only occur when no one is watching. Once an observer begins to watch the particles going through the openings, the picture changes dramatically: if a particle can be seen going through one opening, then it's clear it didn't go through another. In other words, when under observation, electrons are being "forced" to behave like particles and not like waves. Thus the mere act of observation affects the experimental findings.

Source: Quantum Theory Demonstrated: Observation Affects Reality
Thanks for sharing that link. I find science very interesting although I do not have an aptitude for science. I also find Quantum mechanics very fascinating; years ago I had a friend on a forum who was a Hindu and she was into physics and afterlife research. We had a lot of beliefs in common (I use that word loosely) but unfortunately she left that forum because she could no longer tolerate all the insults from atheists about her supernatural beliefs.
So if the observer can change reality by an act of observation, what is reality then? Is reality something that is not observed or observable? The answer is a resounding YES according to Hindu scriptures which state that the world is an illusion and reality cannot be known through the senses. Hence the need for meditation to realize the Truth (reality) by rising above the senses.
I always read posts one line at a time, I never read a whole post before I respond, because I want to focus on every thought and I do not want to bias my responseby something someone might say later in their post.

It is interesting that your scriptures state that the world is an illusion and reality cannot be known through the senses, as that is closely aligned with that passage above, which is one of my favorites.

The importance of meditation is stressed in the Baha’i Writings and most Baha’is meditate. Shoghi Effendi said there is not one right way to meditate. And now I recall my Hindu friend from that forum who taught transcendental meditation and she used to tell me how important it is to meditate. I have always been resistant to it and I know it is because I do not consider myself important. These feelings of course come from my childhood upbringing.

I know this world is an illusion and I know what reality is from what Baha’u’llah wrote, which I meditate upon.
Thanks for sharing that. I spoke the same truth in another way when I said to realize the stature of any manifestation of God like Vyasa or Ramakrishna Paramahansa one will have to meditate on their teachings. I am not suggesting you do that but to comment on their stature without even studying their teachings is not appropriate in my opinion.
I have been thinking about this a lot, since I ride my bike to work and I have a lot of time to think since it is a long ride. I think what you mean by manifestation of God is different from what I mean. Abdu’l-Baha said that there are three kinds of divine Prophets. He said “One kind are the universal Manifestations, which are even as the sun. Through Their advent the world of existence is renewed, a new cycle is inaugurated, a new religion is revealed, souls are quickened to a new life, and East and West are flooded with light. These Souls are the universal Manifestations of God and have been sent forth to the entire world and the generality of mankind.”
The Three Kinds of Prophets

There are only a numbered few men who meet those criteria. And they are not just men. Here is how Baha’u’llah describes a Manifestation of God:

“And since there can be no tie of direct intercourse to bind the one true God with His creation, and no resemblance whatever can exist between the transient and the Eternal, the contingent and the Absolute, He hath ordained that in every age and dispensation a pure and stainless Soul be made manifest in the kingdoms of earth and heaven. Unto this subtle, this mysterious and ethereal Being He hath assigned a twofold nature; the physical, pertaining to the world of matter, and the spiritual, which is born of the substance of God Himself. He hath, moreover, conferred upon Him a double station. The first station, which is related to His innermost reality, representeth Him as One Whose voice is the voice of God Himself.......The second station is the human station, exemplified by the following verses: “I am but a man like you.” “Say, praise be to my Lord! Am I more than a man, an apostle?” These Essences of Detachment, these resplendent Realities are the channels of God’s all-pervasive grace. Led by the light of unfailing guidance, and invested with supreme sovereignty, They are commissioned to use the inspiration of Their words, the effusions of Their infallible grace and the sanctifying breeze of Their Revelation for the cleansing of every longing heart and receptive spirit from the dross and dust of earthly cares and limitations. Then, and only then, will the Trust of God, latent in the reality of man, emerge, as resplendent as the rising Orb of Divine Revelation, from behind the veil of concealment, and implant the ensign of its revealed glory upon the summits of men’s hearts.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 66-67

Do you think that Vyasa or Ramakrishna Paramahansa were invested with supreme sovereignty, that they were channels of God’s all-pervasive grace, or that they have a spiritual nature which is born of the substance of God Himself? Did they lay claim to any of these? Did they claim to be Manifestations of God? Did they claim to have received a direct Revelation from God?

If they were simply great spiritual teachers I have no problem with that, there have been many great spiritual teachers who were under the shadow of the Manifestations of God.
Truth (God) is absolute but truth of this world is relative.
I FULLY agree with that statement above.
If they are not necessary for the present age, God would have allowed them to perish.
God does not work that way. God allows humans to act according to their own free will, so God is not going to do anything to interfere. These older religions will not perish until which time humans freely choose to relinquish them and become Baha’is.
Instead, I perceive that God is constantly sending new avatars and prophets to nourish the ancient religions like Hinduism.
I do not believe that God has sent any universal Manifestations who brought a new Revelation since Baha’u’llah. I do not know what you mean by avatars, but logically speaking (and that is how I think), why would we need more than what Baha’u’llah revealed? Why would God want to nourish an ancient religion, if God has revealed a new religion? It just does not make any sense. If God kept nourishing the older religions, how could His new religion ever get off the ground? Why would God reveal a new religion if He did not want it to get off the ground?
That's not what Baha’u’llah taught. I guess, by your logic oneness of mankind means there has to be one race on this planet. So you are going to pick one race as the winner and wish for the destruction of all the other races.
That is not what “oneness of mankind” means. It means that all races are equal and in that sense we are all one people regardless of race.
You are wanting a zero sum game. The gain of the Bahai has to come at the expense of other religions.
Yes it does, if we are talking about numbers.
If the other religions are not destroyed, the Bahai faith will not grow. I know you used the word "relinquish" instead of "destroy" but it is just a matter of semantics. Whether you say "the fetus was aborted "or "the pregnancy was terminated" they mean the same thing.
No, it is NOT the same thing. Relinquish means people voluntarilychoose to change their religious affiliation and destroy means someone else forces them to change their religious affiliation. The latter is radical Islam. If a woman has a miscarriage and the fetus is thereby aborted that is not the same thing as a woman choosing to terminate a pregnancy and going for an abortion.

I understand that you want to hang onto your religion, just like everyone else, but you have to realize that if everyone does that the Baha’i Faithcan never grow. This is matter of math.
I am not reading his words that way. You have bought in to Shoghi Effendi's agenda which has deviated from Baha’u’llah's message. Admit it.
How do you interpret this passage? “The day is approaching when God will have exalted His Cause and magnified His testimony in the eyes of all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth.”

“His Cause” is the Cause of Baha’u’llah. All you have to do is do a search for the word Cause in Gleanings to know that for a fact. Why would God exalt the Cause of Baha’u’llah and magnify His testimony if God did not want everyone to be a Baha’i?

And here you go... Here is Baha’u’llah telling everyone to embrace His Cause:

“The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System—the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.
Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause—a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it—verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures.”

Baha’u’llah also wrote about His Faith:

“It behoveth him to fix his gaze upon the fundamentals of His Faith, and to labor diligently for its propagation. Wholly for the sake of God he should proclaim His Message, and with that same spirit accept whatever response his words may evoke in his hearer. He who shall accept and believe, shall receive his reward; and he who shall turn away, shall receive none other than his own punishment.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 339

If Shoghi Effendi deviated from what Baha’u’llah wrote he broke the Covenant. That is a serious accusation. If you think that Shoghi Effendi did that, I think you had better take this up with some other Baha’is who know more than I do. I have only been back in the Baha’i Faith for a few years and I have not read all the Baha’i Writings.
That shows how poor your knowledge of religions is. Apparently you never understood that religions contain eternal truths which is why Jesus said "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away". The Sanskrit name for Hinduism is Sanatana Dharma which translates to "A way of life based on Eternal truths". A car deteriorates with time and becomes useless eventually but something that is eternal never deteriorates with time. So your analogy of the car is quite absurd and reflects your profound ignorance.
You should not call people ignorant, especially before you even know what they know.

I was not TALKING about the eternal spiritual truths, I was talking about the practical part of religion, the new teachings and laws and the new message Baha’u’llah brought, the unity of mankind. As I have said more than once, the spiritual truths will never cease to be applicable.

It is not true that I have a poor knowledge of religions and how they are all related. It is the adherents to the older religions that are basically clueless because they do not understand that spiritual truth is the SAME in all the great religions. In the following passage “the Law of God” is referring to religions.

“the Law of God is divided into two parts. One is the fundamental basis which comprises all spiritual things—that is to say, it refers to the spiritual virtues and divine qualities; this does not change nor alter: it is the Holy of Holies, which is the essence of the Law of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muḥammad, the Báb, and Bahá’u’lláh, and which lasts and is established in all the prophetic cycles. It will never be abrogated, for it is spiritual and not material truth; it is faith, knowledge, certitude, justice, piety, righteousness, trustworthiness, love of God, benevolence, purity, detachment, humility, meekness, patience and constancy. It shows mercy to the poor, defends the oppressed, gives to the wretched and uplifts the fallen......
These divine qualities, these eternal commandments, will never be abolished; nay, they will last and remain established for ever and ever. These virtues of humanity will be renewed in each of the different cycles; for at the end of every cycle the spiritual Law of God—that is to say, the human virtues—disappears, and only the form subsists.

The second part of the Religion of God, which refers to the material world, and which comprises fasting, prayer, forms of worship, marriage and divorce, the abolition of slavery, legal processes, transactions, indemnities for murder, violence, theft and injuries—this part of the Law of God, which refers to material things, is modified and altered in each prophetic cycle in accordance with the necessities of the times.” Some Answered Questions, pp. 47-48
I add to that that the primary message that the new religion brings is also modified in accordance with the necessities of the times. The Unity of Mankind is the message for this age.

The old car is a good analogy, because the older religions are not going to get humanity where it needs to go, because their messages are not suited for this age in history. Baha’u’llah said that, not Shoghi Effendi. Baha’u’llah was the Divine and infallible Physician, and He is not too happy in this passage.

“The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.
We can well perceive how the whole human race is encompassed with great, with incalculable afflictions. We see it languishing on its bed of sickness, sore-tried and disillusioned. They that are intoxicated by self-conceit have interposed themselves between it and the Divine and infallible Physician. Witness how they have entangled all men, themselves included, in the mesh of their devices. They can neither discover the cause of the disease, nor have they any knowledge of the remedy. They have conceived the straight to be crooked, and have imagined their friend an enemy.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 213
And the funny part is that on one hand you admit you have not studied other religions but on the other had you declare they are not good enough for this age.
I do not need to study the older religions in order to know that are not sufficient for the problems humanity faces in this new age. All I have to do is read a few passages like the one I just cited above, straight from the mouth of Baha’u’llah.
If the Bahai faith is so good, why do you have Abdul Baha disagreeing with his brother Muhammend Ali and expelling him from the faith and why do you have Shoghi Effendi expelling his own parents from the faith. By the time of Shoghi Effendi, all male members of Baha’u’llah's family have been expelled. So Shoghi Effendi could not find even one male member of Baha’u’llah's family loyal to the faith. Really? I do not know the truth but as an outsider, the impression I get which could be wrong is that Shoghi Effendi was making sure no one would threaten his position or the Bahai faith wasn't good enough to keep even the family members of Baha’u’llah in its fold. Too bad either way. How did someone like Shoghi Effendi who described the anticipated world government as the "world's future super-state" with the Bahá'í Faith as the "State Religion of an independent and Sovereign Power, fail to name the next Guardian before he died or at least leave proper instructions in case of his untimely death?
If you really want to know the truth about the history of the Baha’i Faith, I suggested you read the book on the covenant: The Covenant of Baha'u'llah
Then you should not be commenting on Vyasa, especially in a demeaning way.
Why do you keep accusing me of this? For me to say “I do not believe” Vyasa was a Manifestation of God is not demeaning him.
That's a gross mischaracterization of position. The only thing in Baha’u’llah writings that I have a trouble accepting is his prediction that there will be no prophet for the next 1000 years. But I am thinking, perhaps the prediction was for his lineage which right now consists of the Bab and Baha’u’llah but I have to read his words in the proper context. Could you share a link to the tablet.
That is not entirely true. You also have trouble accepting that what He said about the older religions being corrupted and that eventually there will be only one religion.

I do not know what Tablet this comes from, but here is the link to Gleanings:
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 346
I said: Maybe someday I will focus more on myself but for now I am doing what Baha’u’llah has enjoined:

You said: Yeah, you want to save others before you save yourself. That's like the blind leading the blind. Good luck with that.
Oh, for crying out loud. I do not want to save anyone, including myself. I just want to do what Baha’u’llah has enjoined me to do, proclaim His message.

And now you are calling me blind. I am not blind just because I have chosen to follow a different path than you have chosen. I am a Baha’i and you are a Hindu. The message of Baha’u’llah is not the same as the Hindu message.

In case you do not know it, the Baha’u’llah said to prefer your brother to yourself, so He upped the ante from the days of Jesus when the message was to love your brother as yourself.
I said: Do you see any of the older religions that are addressing the problems we have in this new age?

You said: Yes, I do.
What are they doing about the problems?
I said: Nearness to God is not going to address the social and environmental problems we have in the world today

You said: Yes it will because when you love God, you will love His creation and care for it out of that love.
Good luck getting everyone to love God with the older religions. If that was going to work, it has had plenty of time to work. But it hasn’t worked. People love themselves and their food and drink and their sex and their material world diversions. God is at the bottom of their list if they even believe in God.

However, loving God is not enough. There needs to be an organized program for change, and that is what Baha’u’llah brought, the blueprint plan for building a New World Order, known by the Christians as the Kingdom of God on earth.

“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.”
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
Can you explain what you mean by: “reality is through realization only and never through belief. Anything I believe is just that - it is a belief not supported by realization of the truth.”
Let's say I am a middle school student and my physics teacher tells me that my weight will change depending on the location my body is weighed in. I refuse to believe it because I think it is a strange and unusual claim or I believe it because I think my teacher knows better. In either case I am just believing in one thing or the other. In the first case I believe my weight will not change with location and in the second case I believe it will change with location. And in either case I have no realization of the truth or reality through actual experience. But if I become an astronaut and go to the Moon and weigh my body there, I will realize through experience (not belief) that my body will weigh only a sixth of what it weighs on Earth.

This scientific way of realizing a truth is possible in spiritual domain also. For example in many religious traditions, spiritually advanced souls often times assert that God is love, peace, bliss and joy. Should we blindly believe them or adamantly refuse to believe them? Or is there a way to validate their assertions through our own experience? These assertions can be verified personally. For example, if you seat yourself correctly in a quiet place, detach your mind from external concerns which is not easy, focus your attention at the point between eye brows and chant AUM correctly a number of times (varies from person to person depending on the purity of their consciousness), you can feel peace and joy in your own being. The reason AUM has this effect on your body and mind is because AUM is the vibration through which the human mind and body have been created and by chanting it correctly you are harmonizing the energy patterns in your mind that have been disturbed by restless thoughts and various kinds of feelings and emotions generated in the heart. The AUM of the Hindu scriptures became Ameen of the Arabs and Amen of the Europeans. The Bible refers to it as the WORD (and Holy Spirit) and Quran as ALM. Bahaullah in his commentary on the Disconnected letters of the Quran also said that God created everything out of ALM. According to rules of Arabic grammar when L falls between a vowel and consonant, it is pronounces as U. So ALM is actually pronounced as AUM. Those who try this experiment sincerely can realize Holy Spirit (AUM) manifesting in their own being as peace and joy and at that point it won't be a mere belief that God is peace and joy.

Does that mean that whatever you realize you consider to be the truth?
When you realize a spiritual truth like I described above, it becomes a part of your being. There is nothing to consider.

What do you mean by truth?
That varies from person to person. What is truth for one person may not be the truth for another because in a world of relativity there are no absolutes. To me personally, anything that leads me to God is truth and anything that leads me away from God is falsehood and I prefer to validate the truth/falsehood within my own consciousness. As I said before we always experience life within our own being, never outside. Even if a bird is sitting on a tree, we actually see the bird in our own mind, never on the tree. That may sound strange but I gave you scientific reasoning for it earlier.

Do you think you can know the truth about God by realization (however you attain that)?
Yes, I think so.

Speaking of realization, I do not know what your destination is, but if we end up at the same or a similar destination, I do not know why it matters how we get there.
There are many ways to God and each religion could offer at least one way to God. We are free to choose the religion that suits us the best. Religion is just like a vehicle that takes us to God but often times people get so identified with their religion that they want their religion to reign supreme over all other religions. It is called spiritual ego and it destroys humility in the best case and promotes disharmony and violence in the worst case. Lack of humility translates to lack of love and with that comes the spiritual downfall of man. Live and let live promotes peace, harmony and good will. Religious supremacy that is so characteristic of middle eastern religions never promoted peace and harmony.

Beliefs can guide us in the right direction
Not in all cases. Some of the worst crimes have been committed by people promoting their religious beliefs. It is inevitable that belief systems will create conflicts. If you believe God is the Father and I believe God is the Mother, there is no way to reconcile those beliefs and if we each gather several thousand followers because of our belief systems that we want to promote, it is only a matter of time before these belief systems clash with each other as they compete for more followers. And for all that we know God may be Spirit without a gender which can play the role of Father and Mother just like water which is a liquid can become ice (solid) and water vapor (gas).

I think beliefs are important in the sense that we know what the truth (reality) is. For example, as a Baha’i I have a certain belief about the afterlife and that guides my every step in this life because I consider the afterlife the real life whereas this life is just an illusion by comparison.
And after your death, if you find out that the afterlife is nothing like it was promised, you have no way of contacting the Bahai UHJ in Israel and address your problem.

It is interesting that your scriptures state that the world is an illusion and reality cannot be known through the senses, as that is closely aligned with that passage above, which is one of my favorites.
Thanks for sharing these words of Bahaullah "The world is but a show, vain and empty, a mere nothing, bearing the semblance of reality. Set not your affections upon it. Break not the bond that uniteth you with your Creator, and be not of those that have erred and strayed from His ways. Verily I say, the world is like the vapor in a desert, which the thirstydreameth to be water and striveth after it with all his might, until when he cometh unto it, he findeth it to be mere illusion."

Compare the above words of Bahaullah with a similar assertion from a Hindu avatar who goes in to a greater detail

The entire universe is God's cosmic motion picture - Paramahansa Yogananda

What is matter? Nothing but a particular rate of vibration of God's cosmic energy. No form in the universe is really solid. That which appears so is merely a compact or gross vibration of His energy. The scientifically indisputable truth that matter is in reality a concentrate of energy. Man thinks of his mortal form as solid flesh and bone. That is a concrete delusion. The body is an amalgam of countless infinitesimal subatomic particles; these particles are made up of finer-than-atomic lifetronic energy and ultimately of thoughtrons, sparks of consciousness whose source is Cosmic Consciousness. Everything existing in nature is energy in a more or less compact stage of vibration, exhibiting weight according to its mass or distinguishing gravitation. The seemingly solid body is itself a nonmaterial electromagnetic wave made up ultimately of underlying astral lifetrons, which in turn are made of Cosmic Consciousness. God has ingeniously condensed His consciousness into lifetrons, lifetrons into electrons and protons, these subatomic particles into atoms, and atoms into molecules and cells—all of which live by radiations from the Cosmic Source. An actor on the movie screen seems so real; but he is nothing but radiation divided into light and shadow issuing from the projection booth. Man should realize the ethereal nature of his being—made of light and consciousness, divine and indestructible, projected on the screen of time and space by the creative Cosmic Beam of God. - Paramahansa Yogananda

In order to give individuality and independence to Its thought images, Spirit had to employ a cosmic deception, a universal mental magic. Spirit overspread and permeated Its creative desire with cosmic delusion, a grand magical measurer described in Hindu scriptures as maya (from the Sanskrit root ma, "to measure"). Delusion divides, measures out, the Undefined Infinite into finite forms and forces. The working of cosmic delusion on these individualizations is called avidya, individual illusion or ignorance, which imparts a specious reality to their existence as separate from Spirit - - Paramahansa Yogananda

Through the power of maya, cosmic illusion, the Creator has caused the manifestations of matter to appear so distinct and specific that to the human mind they seem unrelated in any way to Spirit. The ancient Vedic scriptures declare that the physical world operates under one fundamental law of maya, the principle of relativity and duality. God, the Sole Life, is an Absolute Unity; He cannot appear as the separate and diverse manifestations of a creation except under a false or unreal veil. That cosmic illusion is maya. Every great scientific discovery of modern times has served as a confirmation of this simple pronouncement of the rishis (Hindu avatars). Newton's Law of Motion is a law of maya: "To every action there is always an equal and contrary reaction; the mutual actions of any two bodies are always equal and oppositely directed." Action and reaction are thus exactly equal. "To have a single force is impossible. There must be, and always is, a pair of forces equal and opposite." - Paramahansa Yogananda

Do you think that Vyasa or Ramakrishna Paramahansa were invested with supreme sovereignty, that they were channels of God’s all-pervasive grace, or that they have a spiritual nature which is born of the substance of God Himself? Did they lay claim to any of these? Did they claim to be Manifestations of God? Did they claim to have received a direct Revelation from God?
I will post a story about Ramakrishna Paramahansa in which he made some claims about himself and you can make up your mind. But such claims are not of real value. The real value is in the teachings and the kind of individuals these teachings make of man. Ramakrishna Paramahansa's chief disciple was Swami Vivekananda and many of Ramakrishna Paramahansa's disciples were like the apostles of Jesus in spiritual stature.

I do not believe that God has sent any universal Manifestations who brought a new Revelation since Baha’u’llah. I do not know what you mean by avatars, but logically speaking (and that is how I think), why would we need more than what Baha’u’llah revealed?
Bahaullah did not reveal everything. There have been times when Bahaullah wanted some of his Tablets to be destroyed because he said people were not ready for those truths. The Ode of the Dove is a good example. It was originally 2000 verses long but now it is only 128 verses. At other times, he was constrained by the persecution of Muslims in freely expressing the truths he knew. He certainly did not teach any techniques of Yoga and meditation that work directly with life force. That spiritual path called Raja Yoga is missing from Bahaullah's Four Valleys but is found in the Hindu scriptures along with the four paths corresponding to the Four Valleys.

No, it is NOT the same thing. Relinquish means people voluntarily choose to change their religious affiliation and destroy means someone else forces them to change their religious affiliation.
It is a matter of semantics. The end result for the older religion is the same - it ceases to exist.

If a woman has a miscarriage and the fetus is thereby aborted that is not the same thing as a woman choosing to terminate a pregnancy and going for an abortion.
The end result for the child in the womb is the same - it is dead.

It sounds like you would like to see all the non-Bahai voluntarily relinquish their religions and embrace Bahai faith and the end result is the death of non-Bahai religions.

I understand that you want to hang onto your religion, just like everyone else, but you have to realize that if everyone does that the Baha’i Faith can never grow.
The Bahai faith can grow organically like Hinduism has grown. There is no concept of formal conversion in Hinduism. You are either born in to Hinduism or if you are non-Hindu that likes Hinduism, you can use your free will given by God to practice Hinduism if you so choose but you are never going to be converted. The greatness of a religion is not dependent on the number of followers. It is dependent on the kind of people it produces. Remember a tree is known by its fruit. During the second world war when all the Christian majority countries in Europe abandoned the fundamental teachings of Jesus, it was millions of Hindus in India that demonstrated through their peaceful struggle for independence under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi that the teachings of Jesus are very much practical. There has not been any other country in the recorded history of mankind which has been able to accomplish such a feat. And you want Hindus to embrace the Bahai faith - a religion in which it's leaders like Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi could not resolve disagreements with family members in the spirit of brotherhood and instead decided to use force and expel them from the faith. No, I think Hindus are better off in Hinduism instead of embracing a faith in which even the family members including wives and children of the founder did not have a place.

How do you interpret this passage? “The day is approaching when God will have exalted His Cause and magnified His testimony in the eyes of all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth.”
"exalted His Cause and magnified His testimony" does not translate to everyone has to become Bahai. It could mean that there is something good in Bahaullah's teachings and those who find it suited for their personality and needs can embrace it and so God is offering it to mankind.

And here you go... Here is Baha’u’llah telling everyone to embrace His Cause:


“The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System—the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.

Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause—a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it—verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 136
I do not see the word "everyone" anywhere in the quote. You are seeing what you want to see.

The old car is a good analogy, because the older religions are not going to get humanity where it needs to go, because their messages are not suited for this age in history.
The older religions like Hinduism are constantly being revived for this age by today's avatars. Since you have not studied today's avatars, I think you have come to the wrong conclusion. That's understandable. So your dream that everyone will or should become Bahai will be a pipe dream.

I do not need to study the older religions in order to know that are not sufficient for the problems humanity faces in this new age. All I have to do is read a few passages like the one I just cited above, straight from the mouth of Baha’u’llah.
That's how fanatical Christians and Muslims also speak. Fanatical Christians used these words of Jesus to destroy entire civilizations in South America.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" - John 14:6

Jesus is clearly saying that you cannot have salvation except through him. Muslims will quote from Mohammed's last sermon to say he was the final prophet. And you have your own rat's tail that you are clinging to.


Why do you keep accusing me of this? For me to say “I do not believe” Vyasa was a Manifestation of God is not demeaning him.
If I were in your place, I would have said "I am not sure if Vyasa was a Manifestation of God".

That is not entirely true. You also have trouble accepting that what He said about the older religions being corrupted and that eventually there will be only one religion.
I always said that every religion including the Bahai faith are corrupted in practice. Bahaullah never said there will be only one religion eventually. Shoghi Effendi borrowed ideas from the Caliphate model of Islam and dreamed of one religion, one government etc. But that's his dream which will never come true.

What are they doing about the problems?
You will know if you study them.

Good luck getting everyone to love God with the older religions. If that was going to work, it has had plenty of time to work. But it hasn’t worked.
By that standards, the Bahai faith hasn't worked either. It has broken up in to 12 different groups while professing to promote unity and brotherhood
 
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Feb 2019
197
Chicago
Incidents from the life of Ramakrishna Paramahansa

In the following incidents, Master refers to Ramakrishna Paramahansa (Sri Ramakrishna). Master does not mean he owned slaves. It means has has attained mastery over his human nature and manifested divine nature. Naren or Narendra refers to pre-monastic name of Swami Vivekananda. Samadhi means a spiritual ecstasy in which union with God is experienced.

The first meeting at Dakshineswar between the Master and Narendra was momentous. Sri Ramakrishna recognized instantaneously his future messenger. Narendra, careless about his clothes and general appearance, was so unlike the other young men who had accompanied him to the temple. His eyes were impressive, partly indrawn, indicating a meditative mood. He sang a few songs, and as usual poured into them his whole soul. His first song was this:

Let us go back once more, O mind, to our proper home!
Here in this foreign land of earth Why should we wander aimlessly in stranger's guise?
These living beings round about, And the five elements, Are strangers to you, all of them; none are your own.
Why do you so forget yourself, In love with strangers, foolish mind?
Why do you so forget your own?
Mount the path of truth, O mind!
Unflaggingly climb, With love as the lamp to light your way.
As your provision on the journey, take with you The virtues, hidden carefully;
For, like two highwaymen, Greed and delusion wait to rob you of your wealth.
And keep beside you constantly, As guards to shelter you from harm, Calmness of mind and self-control.
Companionship with holy men will be for you A welcome rest-house by the road;
There rest your weary limbs awhile, asking your way, If ever you should be in doubt, Of him who watches there.
If anything along the path should cause you fear, Then loudly shout the name of God;
For He is ruler of that road, And even Death must bow to Him.

When the singing was over, Sri Ramakrishna suddenly grasped Narendra's hand and took him into the northern porch. To Narendra's utter amazement, the Master said with tears streaming down his cheeks: 'Ah! you have come so late. How unkind of you to keep me waiting so long! My ears are almost seared listening to the cheap talk of worldly people. Oh, how I have been yearning to unburden my mind to one who will understand my thought!' Then with folded hands he said: 'Lord! I know you are the ancient sage Nara — the Incarnation of Narayana — born on earth to remove the miseries of mankind.' The rationalist Naren regarded these words as the meaningless jargon of an insane person. He was further dismayed when Sri Ramakrishna presently brought from his room some sweets and fed him with his own hands. But the Master nevertheless extracted from him a promise to visit Dakshineswar again.

They returned to the room and Naren asked the Master, 'Sir, have you seen God?' Without a moment's hesitation the reply was given: 'Yes, I have seen God. I see Him as I see you here, only more clearly. God can be seen. One can talk to him. But who cares for God? People shed torrents of tears for their wives, children, wealth, and property, but who weeps for the vision of God? If one cries sincerely for God, one can surely see Him.' Narendra was astounded. For the first time, he was face to face with a man who asserted that he had seen God. For the first time, in fact, he was hearing that God could be seen. He could feel that Ramakrishna's words were uttered from the depths of an inner experience. They could not be doubted. Still he could not reconcile these words with Ramakrishna's strange conduct, which he had witnessed only a few minutes before. What puzzled Narendra further was Ramakrishna's normal behaviour in the presence of others.

The young man returned to Calcutta bewildered, but yet with a feeling of inner peace. During his second visit to the Master, Narendra had an even stranger experience. After a minute or two Sri Ramakrishna drew near him in an ecstatic mood, muttered some words, fixed his eyes on him, and placed his right foot on Naren's body. At this touch Naren saw, with eyes open, the walls, the room, the temple garden — nay, the whole world — vanishing, and even himself disappearing into a void. He felt sure that he was facing death. He cried in consternation: 'What are you doing to me? I have my parents, brothers, and sisters at home.' The Master laughed and stroked Naren's chest, restoring him to his normal mood. He said, 'All right, everything will happen in due time.' Narendra, completely puzzled, felt that Ramakrishna had cast a hypnotic spell upon him. But how could that have been? Did he not pride himself in the possession of an iron will? He felt disgusted that he should have been unable to resist the influence of a madman.

Nonetheless he felt a great inner attraction for Sri Ramakrishna. On his third visit Naren fared no better, though he tried his utmost to be on guard. Sri Ramakrishna took him to a neighbouring garden and, in a state of trance, touched him. Completely overwhelmed, Naren lost consciousness. Sri Ramakrishna, referring later to this incident, said that after putting Naren into a state of unconsciousness, he had asked him many questions about his past, his mission in the world, and the duration of his present life. The answer had only confirmed what he himself had thought about these matters. Ramakrishna told his other disciples that Naren had attained perfection even before this birth; that he was an adept in meditation; and that the day Naren recognized his true self, he would give up the body by an act of will, through yoga. Often he was heard to say that Naren was one of the Saptarshis, or Seven Sages, who live in the realm of the Absolute. He narrated to them a vision he had had regarding the disciple's spiritual heritage.

Absorbed, one day, in samadhi, Ramakrishna had found that his mind was soaring high, going beyond the physical universe of the sun, moon, and stars, and passing into the subtle region of ideas. As it continued to ascend, it crossed the luminous barrier separating the phenomenal universe from the Absolute, entering finally the transcendental realm. There Ramakrishna saw seven venerable sages absorbed in meditation. And as he was admiring their unique spirituality he saw a portion of the undifferentiated Absolute (Spirit) become congealed, as it were, and take the form of a Divine Child. Gently clasping the neck of one of the sages with His soft arms, the Child whispered something in his ear, and at this magic touch the sage awoke from meditation. He fixed his half-open eyes upon the wondrous Child, who said in great joy: 'I am going down to earth. Won't you come with me?' With a benign look the sage expressed assent and returned into deep spiritual ecstasy. Ramakrishna was amazed to observe that a tiny portion of the sage, however, descended to earth, taking the form of light, which struck the house in Calcutta where Narendra's family lived, and when he saw Narendra for the first time, he at once recognized him as the incarnation of the sage. He also admitted that the Divine Child who brought about the descent of the rishi was none other than himself.
 
Jul 2017
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Kettering, Ohio USA
The Bahai faith can grow organically like Hinduism has grown. There is no concept of formal conversion in Hinduism. You are either born in to Hinduism or if you are non-Hindu that likes Hinduism, you can use your free will given by God to practice Hinduism if you so choose but you are never going to be converted. The greatness of a religion is not dependent on the number of followers. It is dependent on the kind of people it produces. Remember a tree is known by its fruit. During the second world war when all the Christian majority countries in Europe abandoned the fundamental teachings of Jesus, it was millions of Hindus in India that demonstrated through their peaceful struggle for independence under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi that the teachings of Jesus are very much practical. There has not been any other country in the recorded history of mankind which has been able to accomplish such a feat. And you want Hindus to embrace the Bahai faith - a religion in which it's leaders like Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi could not resolve disagreements with family members in the spirit of brotherhood and instead decided to use force and expel them from the faith. No, I think Hindus are better off in Hinduism instead of embracing a faith in which even the family members including wives and children of the founder did not have a place.
Breaking the covenant is not having a different opinion. It is seeking leadership over the Baha'is. There an only be one leader, and that one designated by Baha'u'llah or Abdu'l-Baha is it. This is a way of unifying our religion. Those who broke the covenant are just small splinter groups that will eventually disappear.
Also being born into a religion and staying there automatically is a poor way to go. There should be the independent search of truth. If being born into HInduism is the only way of being a Hindu, that obviates the search for truth and joining whatever religion you want to.
 
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"exalted His Cause and magnified His testimony" does not translate to everyone has to become Bahai. It could mean that there is something good in Bahaullah's teachings and those who find it suited for their personality and needs can embrace it and so God is offering it to mankind.
Religion shouldn't be like going to the supermarket and taking whatever is suited to your personality. It involves the search for truth though of course the individual will get out of that religion whatever they need.
 
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I always said that every religion including the Bahai faith are corrupted in practice. Bahaullah never said there will be only one religion eventually. Shoghi Effendi borrowed ideas from the Caliphate model of Islam and dreamed of one religion, one government etc. But that's his dream which will never come true.
Shoghi Effendi is the designated interpreter of Baha'u'llah's Writings so Baha'is believe whatever Shoghi says interpreting Baha'u'llah is true.
 
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Feb 2019
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Breaking the covenant is not having a different opinion. It is seeking leadership over the Baha'is. There an only be one leader, and that one designated by Baha'u'llah or Abdu'l-Baha is it. This is a way of unifying our religion. Those who broke the covenant are just small splinter groups that will eventually disappear.
Since the authority of the Guardian is like that of a dictator and the Guardian is not infallible in all his actions, it is possible in theory that anyone that disagrees strongly can be branded a covenant breaker. In am not saying that is what has happened but it could have happened with Shoghi Effendi's actions. I find it interesting that no male member of Bahaullah's family including Shoghi Effendi's own father could follow the covenant to Shoghi Effendi's satisfaction. I do not come to hasty conclusions, so I will leave it there.

Also being born into a religion and staying there automatically is a poor way to go.
Quite clearly you don't understand why you are born in to a particular religion or to a particular couple or in a particular geographic location or with a particular gender or on a particular date. These are not accidents. God does not work like an irrational fellow acting on whims and fancies. You don't understand why some people are born with diseases and while others are born healthy; why some are born in rich families while others in poor families; why some live long lives while others die young; while some people turn out to be evil characters while others are noble. If you cannot explain these seemingly unfair actions of God, what is poor is your own understanding of how God operates. Having said that, one can use his/her freewill to improve a personal situation. So if a non-Hindu is not happy with his/her religion and is attracted to Hinduism, as I said before he/she can practice it in their life of their own volition. But the reason there is no formal conversion in Hinduism is that life's events are determined by the law of karma and if an individual is born in to a certain religion, it is more likely that God working through the law of karma has determined that religion to be suited for the individual in question. And to honor God's will for that individual, Hindus try not to convert others. But Hindus also recognize that God has given free will to everyone and people are free to embrace any religion they want to. For that reason, there is no prohibition of non-Hindus practicing Hinduism.

There should be the independent search of truth. If being born into HInduism is the only way of being a Hindu, that obviates the search for truth and joining whatever religion you want to.
As I said above any non-Hindu is free to practice Hinduism in their life out of their free will. The spiritual qualities one manifests in their life determines whether or not a person is Hindu. There is not an official conversion ceremony or an identity card. They are not needed. There are many Westerners from a Christian background that follow the teachings of Hinduism. Here is one example in the person of David Frawley (seated front left)

 
Last edited:
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Chicago
Religion shouldn't be like going to the supermarket and taking whatever is suited to your personality. It involves the search for truth though of course the individual will get out of that religion whatever they need.
You should preach that to Bahaullah who authored the Four Valleys which are four different spiritual paths and taught that people can choose any of the four paths for their spiritual progress. There are many religions in the world and each of them offers at least one valid path to God. We are free to choose whichever religions suits our personality. "There has to be only one religion for everyone" thingy is a mainstream Islamic belief that Shoghi Effendi seems to have borrowed and presented to the world in his own terms in The World order of Baha'u'llah. The similarities are striking between Islam and Bahai faith in this regard. Islam did not succeed in imposing itself on everyone and neither will the Bahai faith.
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
Shoghi Effendi is the designated interpreter of Baha'u'llah's Writings so Baha'is believe whatever Shoghi says interpreting Baha'u'llah is true.
There should be the independent search of truth.
Just look at the contradictions between your comments above.

If you believe whatever Shoghi Effendi says, that is obviously not an independent search for truth. Your double standards are quite obvious. Since when has belief meant independent search for truth. Did all the people who believed that earth was flat and died with that belief ever independently search for truth about the earth's shape?
 
Jul 2017
302
Kettering, Ohio USA
Just look at the contradictions between your comments above.

If you believe whatever Shoghi Effendi says, that is obviously not an independent search for truth. Your double standards are quite obvious. Since when has belief meant independent search for truth. Did all the people who believed that earth was flat and died with that belief ever independently search for truth about the earth's shape?
I investigated Baha'u'llah independently, and Shoghi Effendi comes with that.
 
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