Faith

Jul 2017
456
Olympia, WA, USA
I am not sure Abdul Baha had the same understanding of the Trinity that Bahaullah, Jesus and Krishna had. But that would be a topic for another discussion. God descending in to us is not meant in a physical sense but it is meant spiritually. The truth is that the quality of love is the most important quality for God since God created human beings to experience their love. The heart is the seat of love but unfortunately due to human nature it is occupied by negative qualities like anger, ego, greed, fear, pride, lust, selfishness etc. As a person cleanses his heart of these negative qualities, spiritual qualities like kindness, compassion, fearlessness, charity, service will start manifesting and eventually love will be perfected as human love is transformed in to divine love. At this point a human being would manifest attributes of God and that is what is meant by God descending in to us.
According to Baha’u’llah, humans have the potential to manifest all the attributes of God, since we have them, and that is no different than saying that we are made in the image of God:

“Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is a direct evidence of the revelation within it of the attributes and names of God, inasmuch as within every atom are enshrined the signs that bear eloquent testimony to the revelation of that Most Great Light. Methinks, but for the potency of that revelation, no being could ever exist. How resplendent the luminaries of knowledge that shine in an atom, and how vast the oceans of wisdom that surge within a drop! To a supreme degree is this true of man, who, among all created things, hath been invested with the robe of such gifts, and hath been singled out for the glory of such distinction. For in him are potentially revealed all the attributes and names of God to a degree that no other created being hath excelled or surpassed.All these names and attributes are applicable to him. Even as He hath said: “Man is My mystery, and I am his mystery.” Manifold are the verses that have been repeatedly revealed in all the Heavenly Books and the Holy Scriptures, expressive of this most subtle and lofty theme. Even as He hath revealed: “We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves.” Again He saith: “And also in your own selves: will ye not, then, behold the signs of God?” And yet again He revealeth: “And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves.” In this connection, He Who is the eternal King—may the souls of all that dwell within the mystic Tabernacle be a sacrifice unto Him—hath spoken: “He hath known God who hath known himself.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 177-178

However, that is not the same as saying that God (or even the Holy Spirit as Christians believe) is literally Living Inside of our body. That is what Abdu’l-Baha meant and what he was clarifying in the following passage:

Question.—What is the Holy Spirit?
Answer.—The Holy Spirit is the Bounty of God and the luminous rays which emanate from the Manifestations; for the focus of the rays of the Sun of Reality was Christ, and from this glorious focus, which is the Reality of Christ, the Bounty of God reflected upon the other mirrors which were the reality of the Apostles. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles signifies that the glorious divine bounties reflected and appeared in their reality. Moreover, entrance and exit, descent and ascent, are characteristics of bodies and not of spirits—that is to say, sensible realities enter and come forth, but intellectual subtleties and mental realities, such as intelligence, love, knowledge, imagination and thought, do not enter, nor come forth, nor descend, but rather they have direct connection.
For example, knowledge, which is a state attained to by the intelligence, is an intellectual condition; and entering and coming out of the mind are imaginary conditions; but the mind is connected with the acquisition of knowledge, like images reflected in a mirror.
Therefore, as it is evident and clear that the intellectual realities do not enter and descend, and it is absolutely impossible that the Holy Spirit should ascend and descend, enter, come out or penetrate, it can only be that the Holy Spirit appears in splendor, as the sun appears in the mirror. Some Answered Questions, p. 108
Regarding the translation of the Tablet of the Maiden by Juan Cole, I am open to the possibility that there may be some errors but I am not completely certain there are. Generally speaking, when mystical truths expressed by a mystic in rich language like Arabic are translated by an ordinary person from another culture in to another language there could be some errors due to misunderstanding. It takes a mystic to understand a mystic. Often times, there are multiple meanings to a word some of which are very esoteric. A well developed intuitive ability is required to glean the correct meaning intended by the author. I am not sure Juan Cole has that ability.
And that is probably the reason why the UHJ did not accept Cole’s translation as authoritative, but rather as provisional. However, since it is posted on the internet, anyone can read it, and non-Baha’is do not know the difference between provisional and authoritative. As such, it has the potential to give people a false impression of Baha’u’llah, especially if they do not understand mystical language.
Having said that, even if we assume there were no errors in Juan Cole's translation, I would not rush to the conclusion that there was something wrong with Bahaullah for authoring Tablet of the Maiden given that the highest wisdom permeates his teachings. His words have a spiritual potency that can only come from a true manifestation of God.
I might be remembering this wrong, but as I recall, the Tablet of the Maiden was one of the Tablets that Baha’u’llah had ordered to be tossed into the Tigris River, saying something to the effect that humanity was not deserving of it and/or was not ready to hear it; although that command was disobeyed I think it has significance.
There is no one way to God. One person's way might be very strange to another. Of the several ways that Hindus discovered to God, the Tantric way that involves sexual intercourse as a spiritual practice is a valid one but a very difficult one. The 19th century Hindu avatar Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa was once asked by one of his disciples about the Trantic way to God. He said that it was a legitimate way but an extremely difficult one. He added that he preferred to approach God as his Mother for he found that easier. His was a relationship of child and Mother but God can also be treated as a Father, Spouse (Divine Lover), Child or a Friend. I believe Bahaullah in some of his Tablets considered God as a Divine Lover and gave the form of a beautiful Houri to God. It is not unusual for Sufis to do so and we should not be surprised if Bahaullah did something similar in the company of Sufis.
I agree that there is no one way to God. I do not see sexual intercourse as a spiritual practice but that’s just my perspective. I see it as a physical act that is designed for either pleasure or procreation. To try to raise a physical act to a spiritual level is a stretch. Moreover, if it was “a way to God” Baha’u’llah would have enjoined us to use it. Instead, He enjoins just the opposite as a way to God, to deny self and our worldly desires.

“Say: Deliver your souls, O people, from the bondage of self, and purify them from all attachment to anything besides Me. Remembrance of Me cleanseth all things from defilement, could ye but perceive it. Say: Were all created things to be entirely divested of the veil of worldly vanity and desire, the Hand of God would in this Day clothe them, one and all, with the robe “He doeth whatsoever He willeth in the kingdom of creation,” that thereby the sign of His sovereignty might be manifested in all things. Exalted then be He, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Almighty, the Supreme Protector, the All-Glorious, the Most Powerful.”

I don’t like to sound like a fundamentalist, but I believe that Baha’is need to be following what Baha’u’llah and His appointed interpreters revealed; if we follow the traditions of religions of the past which have been corrupted by man, we have the potential to be led astray, because in many ways they contradict what Baha’u’llah revealed.

It seems odd to me that anyone would relate to God as a person, be it a mother, father, spouse, child or friend. God is not a human being. I do not understand why people would try to relate to Him that way. I like the way Muslims relate to God directly, as it is depicted in this video.

Top Ten Reasons Why Jesus is Not God

I love this video and I think every Christian should watch it. It is good for Baha’is to watch too because it explains how similar our beliefs are to Islam on many things.

The problem I have with giving the form of “a beautiful Houri” to God is that it is incongruent with other Writings of Baha’u’llah...

“Say: He is not to be numbered with the people of Bahá who followeth his mundane desires, or fixeth his heart on things of the earth. He is My true follower who, if he come to a valley of pure gold, will pass straight through it aloof as a cloud, and will neither turn back, nor pause. Such a man is, assuredly, of Me. From his garment the Concourse on high can inhale the fragrance of sanctity…. And if he met the fairest and most comely of women, he would not feel his heart seduced by the least shadow of desire for her beauty. Such an one, indeed, is the creation of spotless chastity. Thus instructeth you the Pen of the Ancient of Days, as bidden by your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 117-118
The average man wishes to enjoy the material objects of the world. Tantra bids him enjoy these, but at the same time discover in them the presence of God. Mystical rites are prescribed by which, slowly, the sense-objects become spiritualized and sense attraction is transformed into a love of God. So the very "bonds" of man are turned into "releasers". The very poison that kills is transmuted into the elixir of life. Outward renunciation is not necessary. Thus the aim of Tantra is to sublimate bhoga, or enjoyment into yoga, or union with Consciousness.
Source: Tantra
The Guardian wrote that the proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this very purpose that the institution of marriage has been established. But just because something is a “right” does not mean that it is a spiritual act. I have had this discussion with Baha’is in the past, and many Baha’is do not agree with me. However, they have no Writings to back up their position, whereas I do. One Baha’i I have known for many years who has his own forum put it very succinctly and he gave me permission to post what he wrote.

“Our spiritual nature cannot be developed except by “dying to self” and “living in God.” God has given us a dual nature: one material and one spiritual. Sex is part of the material nature, however much it may be able to play a role in a truly loving relationship. It is not what we are, even though people insist that it is.... God is calling us to struggle against our lower nature and to become who we truly are: not material beings, not sexual beings, but spiritual beings who are in control of the physical side of our nature and who can thus find true happiness living in conformity with His will. Although not scriptural, there is a possible explanation of why He has made it so hard that I ran across long ago in a Baha'i children's book: Because if it were too easy, it wouldn't be worth anything. Or put another way, because only by being challenged can we really prove our love for God.”

Sure, people enjoy sex so I can understand why sense attraction and sexual pleasure might be transformed into a love of God, for these bounties come from God. The conundrum is why God would create an instinct this powerful and then enjoin us to be detached from it. I think my Baha’i friend had it right -- because only by being challenged can we really prove our love for God.”

Baha’u’llah is asking us to transcend what the average man wishes. Baha’u’llah does not bid us enjoy the material objects of the world. That is the opposite of what Baha’u’llah has enjoined us to do, and according to Baha’u’llah, renunciation is necessary.

“I sorrow not for the burden of My imprisonment. Neither do I grieve over My abasement, or the tribulation I suffer at the hands of Mine enemies. By My life! They are My glory, a glory wherewith God hath adorned His own Self. Would that ye know it!
The shame I was made to bear hath uncovered the glory with which the whole of creation had been invested, and through the cruelties I have endured, the Day Star of Justice hath manifested itself, and shed its splendor upon men.
My sorrows are for those who have involved themselves in their corrupt passions, and claim to be associated with the Faith of God, the Gracious, the All-Praised.
It behoveth the people of Bahá to die to the world and all that is therein, to be so detached from all earthly things that the inmates of Paradise may inhale from their garment the sweet smelling savor of sanctity, that all the peoples of the earth may recognize in their faces the brightness of the All-Merciful, and that through them may be spread abroad the signs and tokens of God, the Almighty, the All-Wise. They that have tarnished the fair name of the Cause of God, by following the things of the flesh—these are in palpable error!” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 100-101

“Suffer not the habitation wherein dwelleth My undying love for thee to be destroyed through the tyranny of covetous desires, and overcloud not the beauty of the heavenly Youth with the dust of self and passion.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 323

It is for our own benefit that Baha’u’llah revealed what He did about self and passion, which is no different from what is in the New Testament. As Baha’is we know that there is no physical body in the spiritual world, so it makes sense to detach from things of the flesh before we die.

“Thou hast asked Me concerning the nature of the soul. Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel. It is the first among all created things to declare the excellence of its Creator, the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him. If it be faithful to God, it will reflect His light, and will, eventually, return unto Him. If it fail, however, in its allegiance to its Creator, it will become a victim to self and passion, and will, in the end, sink in their depths.”
The multiple wives of Mohammed and Bahaullah could be a different topic for discussion. I am not convinced the multiple marriages were out of personal needs like physical or emotional.
I sure hope not, because if I found out that is what they were for I could no longer be a Baha’i.
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
And that is probably the reason why the UHJ did not accept Cole’s translation as authoritative, but rather as provisional. However, since it is posted on the internet, anyone can read it, and non-Baha’is do not know the difference between provisional and authoritative. As such, it has the potential to give people a false impression of Baha’u’llah, especially if they do not understand mystical language.
There are many people who are blind to spiritual truths given by prophets from religions other than their own. There is not much we can do about it. Even if Juan Cole's translation did not exist, there will be millions of Muslims who believe Bahaullah is no prophet of God. What can you do about it?

I agree that there is no one way to God. I do not see sexual intercourse as a spiritual practice but that’s just my perspective. I see it as a physical act that is designed for either pleasure or procreation. To try to raise a physical act to a spiritual level is a stretch.
Whether or not an action - physical or mental - is spiritual is dependent upon the intent and motivation behind the act. If you perform a charitable act for the needy out of love and selfless service, it becomes a spiritual action even though it is physical in nature and it will be unspiritual if you perform it for egotistic reasons - that seeking personal recognition or fame or glory. All religions place great importance on charity and helping the needy. Following religious laws is mostly a physical act but is still considered spiritual because the intent is to discipline the body and mind and become receptive to God's love and wisdom. This is actually one of the paths in The Four Valleys. Any action can be spiritualized if performed to please God.

Moreover, if it was “a way to God” Baha’u’llah would have enjoined us to use it. Instead, He enjoins just the opposite as a way to God, to deny self and our worldly desires.
I don't think Bahaullah taught Raja Yoga meditation techniques that teach people how to withdraw their life force (prana or chi) from the senses and muscles, interiorize their consciousness in the spine and brain and experience the resulting joy and peace of meditation. There are millions of Hindus, Buddhists and Westerners that are progressing spiritually and becoming better people through such spiritual practices. Just because a particular path is not found in Bahaullah's teachings does not necessarily make it invalid.

I don’t like to sound like a fundamentalist, but I believe that Baha’is need to be following what Baha’u’llah and His appointed interpreters revealed; if we follow the traditions of religions of the past which have been corrupted by man, we have the potential to be led astray, because in many ways they contradict what Baha’u’llah revealed
Bahaullah said that you have to independently investigate the truth. While it is true that religions can get corrupted with the passage of time, it is also true that religions can be "resurrected" by manifestations of God (avatars) that keep incarnating from time to time. I do not think it is appropriate to paint all religions of the past to have been corrupted without having spent the time to investigate them. Speaking about Hinduism, it is not a religion. It is an eternal way of life that has produced thousands of prophets like Bahaullah and each of them has given a valid path to God. Some of the most recent ones that are still alive are Ammachi (amma.org |), Jaggi Vasudev (Homepage) and Sri Sri Ravishankar (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - Official Website). You don't have to take my word for it. Just spend a few hours investigating any of these three prophets and you will know where the real corruption of religion is. Jaggi Vasudev has several video on YouTube. Listen to a couple of his talks and I am sure you will find them very scientific and logical. The 19th century avatar Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa I referred to earlier was a spiritual giant. He explored each of the world's great religions and found that he could have the vision of God by following any one of their paths. He had visions of Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed.

It seems odd to me that anyone would relate to God as a person, be it a mother, father, spouse, child or friend. God is not a human being. I do not understand why people would try to relate to Him that way. I like the way Muslims relate to God directly, as it is depicted in this video.
I understand it is odd to you and that's the point I made earlier - one person's path could be very strange to another. Have you read the story of Moses and the Shepherd in which Moses hits the Shepherd for praying to God in a very personal way that Moses found offensive but God immediately admonishes Moses and asks him not to interfere in a business that was between the Shepherd and God. I will post it for you. Muslims pray to formless God which is fine but God being omnipotent can take a form. In fact every human being is a "form" of God because all human beings have come from God and you can find God within the human being. In Mathnaviyi-i-Mubarak, Bahaullah says "When you sense for sure the spirit's mystery – that there is nothing anywhere but God". Those words capture the greatest truth man can realize. He is saying God is everywhere but it is a mystery man has not understood.

I love this video and I think every Christian should watch it. It is good for Baha’is to watch too because it explains how similar our beliefs are to Islam on many things.

The problem I have with giving the form of “a beautiful Houri” to God is that it is incongruent with other Writings of Baha’u’llah...
What good are beliefs that are not verifiable. When you believe in something, you are basically saying that you have formed a concrete opinion about something you do not really know. You will try to know only when you realize that you do not know. But if you embrace a set of beliefs, you will never search for truth because you won't feel the need for it. Bahaullah was born in to a Muslim family but he ended up being a mystic like the Sufis. The Bahai faith has some similarities with Islam with regards to rituals and religious laws but that's all the shell of religion. The real core of religion is mysticism and as a mystic Bahaullah have the form of a beautiful Houri to God which would be blasphemous in Islam, Christianity and Judaism but not in Hinduism or Sufism.
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
Moses and the Shepherd - Rumi

On the path Moses came upon a shepherd
His prayers with his God he overheard.
Where are you so your needs I can serve
Mend your shoes, your hair comb, curl & curve.
Wash your clothes, kill your lice, pick your nits
Bring you milk, while your Majesty just sits.
Kiss your lovely hands, and rub your tiny feet
When it is time to sleep, sweep your room, make it neat.
For you I will sacrifice all my goats
Thinking of you I shout and sing my notes.

The shepherd is this manner went on and on
Moses asked, who do you talk to my son?
Said to the only One who gave me birth
Did the same with the skies and this earth.
Said Moses, poor man, you just ruined your luck
Not yet found God, infidel, you are stuck.
You blaspheme, you babble such idle talk
Gag yourself, inside your mouth stick a sock.
Of your blasphemy, the whole world now stinks
Piety in mire and muck now sinks.
Sandals and leggings are what you deserve
Wanting all these for the One, you have some nerve.
If at once you do not hold your tongue
Fire and brimstone will burn so strong
If there is no fire, then whence the smoke?
Soul is blackened and spirit is broke.
Did you know that God himself will be the Judge?
Your belief and insolence will make him grudge.
Mindless friendship is no more than enmity
God has such servant for as long as eternity.
Who do you think you address? Uncle or aunt?
For Glorious One, body and need don't count.
He who drinks milk needs to be growing up
Shoes are but for the feet that need to walk or hop.
If you speak of these, say for creatures
What God said, he is me, I, his features.
He who thus speaks, will roll in disease
As well as he, I too have lost my ease.
He who has lost hearing as well as sight
This disease is much worse, with endless fright.
If you call him Fatima, a woman's name
Though in creation, they are both the same
Will seek vengeance with blood, and will blame
Although compassionate, kind and perhaps tame.
Fatima, for a woman is only praise
For a man, spear wound, set ablaze.
Arms and legs our features define and paint
Yet for Almighty God, pollute and taint.
What the Almighty deserves is only praise
Parent & child, he will give birth and raze.
Whatever has a body, birth must own
And what is born, on this side is thrown.
Everything in existence in this world
Is caused and no doubt will unfold.

Said, Moses, you have now cut my tongue
I repent, cause you have made my soul wrong.
Rent his own shirt, steamed and sighed
Unto the arid desert fled and cried.

God's voice came to Moses at that time
Separating our lovers is a crime.
You have come with the purpose to join & heal
Not sever and differences reveal.
Keep away with all your might from making part
Creatures begrudge each other and depart.
To each I have given a unique face
And a way to express and embrace.
For him all my praise , for you the blame
For him all sweetness, poison your game.
We transcend cleanliness and things vile
Tardiness, agility, foolishness, guile.
I do not profit from what I demand
For their own goodness comes every command.
Hindis in their own tongue God will praise
Sindis in prayer their arms will raise.
I do not become cleansed from counting beads
Rosary clears and lightens their needs.
We do not hear complaints of their ordeal
We look inside & see what their souls reveal.
We observe and can see the humble heart
Although much arrogance tongue may impart.
Since the heart is the essence, to transform
It's motive, to give birth to shape and form.
How many words, adjectives and metaphors
I want fire, burn with fire, burn in scores.
Fire of Love sets your heart and soul ablaze
Every thought and every word scorch, erase.
Moses, although proper and nice may be some
Others with soul on fire may have come.
The lovers, with each breath once again burn
In a ruined city, you can't tax and earn.
If his word is wrong, do not say that he lies
Washing the martyr's blood, purpose defies.
This blood, every water will exceed
This sin supersedes every good deed.
Inside the Kaaba, which way to face?
Footwear for the diver has no place.
Guidance of he drunkards do not seek
Of mending shirts to renders don't speak.
Nation of Love is other than religion
For Lovers, God is nation, faith and region.
Without love, those ruby lips are just a fad
In the ocean of sorrows love ain't sad.

In Moses' head God then planted the seed
Of hidden secrets that no mind could breed
With many stories, his heart would feed
That sound and sight and sense easily exceed.
Any more explanation is just insane
Giving more information will be in vain.
If I say, it will uproot every mind
If I write, pen after pen it will grind.

When Moses heard the Lord's harsh reprimand
Ran after the old shepherd over the sand.
Footprints of the shepherd he would trace
Dust and wind of the desert gladly brace.
Agitated steps of one like he
Apart from other prints one can see.
One step, just like a rook, straight and long
Another, just like a knight, aside flung.
Sometimes will rise up, like a tall wave
Other times, like a crawling fish behave
Sometimes writes of his state upon the sand
Like a fortune-teller, opening his hand.
Finally Moses found him, ended his search
With good tidings for shepherd to rest and perch.
Seek no ceremony, system or rule
To deny your aching heart will be cruel.
Your blasphemy is faith, light of the soul
You are saved, and the world is in control.
You are exempt from the rules of the Lord
Opening your heart and soul, you can afford.

Said, Moses this too, I have passed by
I drown in bloody tears that I cry.
I've long passed that intoxicant tree
Hundred thousand years back, was set free.
I cracked my whip and my horse returned
Made this great dome that fate overturned.
Keeper of worldly secrets is the divine
I hail the very hands that made mine.
Yet now, my state defies speech
nay, not mine, it's out of reach.
The image in the mirror that you see
Is your own reflection, and not me.
The breath that all breathers inhale
Is worthy of the lungs, yet souls fail.
If you praise or say thanks in loud cries
Like the old shepherd, you will see your demise.
Even if all your praises are better
Compared to God's mercy, they won't matter.
Say no more, cause when the veil is pulled aside
Whatever they thought was, will not abide.
God accepts you praises from his grace
Permits you to pray, while a stone you face.
His prayers with blood are entwined
Your praise, impure images have defined.
Blood may be vile, yet in water dissolves
But impurities of soul, nothing resolves.
This can be cleaned only by god's grace
Else remains inside the man of disgrace.
In prostration I wish you turned your face
Understood meaning of divine grace.
How can I praise when my soul I taint?
Unless I punish evil with the goodness of a saint.
This earth, just like God, is kind and meek
Absorbs every dirt, yet flowers peak.
Till it covers evils in its mud
Instead, it yields flowers that bud.
Infidel surrendered his life in trust
Became worthless, descended lower than dust.
His essence flower and fruit did not yield
Gave up evil to earth, and his goodness shield.
Said I've gone backwards, in going away

I envy dirt and dust, the price I pay
I wish I'd never risen from clay
Like clay, with seeds I'd rather play.
This journey my soul has tested and tried
What gains this journey brought to my side?
He desires to return to the clay
he who sees no benefits coming his way.
To turn back, is nothing but his greed
To go forth, can only stem from his need.
Each plant that is seeking to reach its height
Increase, vitality, growth its right.
Whenever it turns around towards the earth
Will face draught, disease, even dearth.
And when your soul is looking above
It can only increase in its love;
If you look towards the earth for your wage
You're a bird that is trapped inside a cage.
 
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Jul 2017
456
Olympia, WA, USA
There are many people who are blind to spiritual truths given by prophets from religions other than their own. There is not much we can do about it. Even if Juan Cole's translation did not exist, there will be millions of Muslims who believe Bahaullah is no prophet of God. What can you do about it?
Not only millions of Muslims, but many more millions of Christians, as well as Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. Obviously, there is nothing anyone can do about it, as people have to make their own choices. Only a few people are going to see it. Most people won’t.

I do not hold out any hope that people will recognize Baha’u’llah, but nevertheless I have to proclaim His Faith because that is what I have been enjoined to do by Baha’u’llah. I just made my final appearance on a Christian forum today as I was told I was no longer welcome. The forum owner was polite about it though. The heat got to hot when I used the words of Jesus to refute their utterly false Christian doctrines. No problem though, as I am glad to be out of there because I consider it toxic given the bulk of the posters believe that anyone who does not believe their brand of Christianity is going to a Lake of Fire. It was not a waste of my time because I can use those posts for another forum and I learned something from researching those verses.

Very often I post the following explanation as to why people do not recognize Baha’u’llah so I have several variations of it saved in a Word document. Below is the latest variation I posted to an atheist who told me he would expect everyone to find the evidence for Baha’u’llah to be convincing IF Baha’u’llah was really a Messenger of God.

I said: I cannot even begin to imagine why you would think that EVERYONE would find the same evidence convincing.​
Everyone will not find the evidence for Baha’u’llah convincing because everyone has a different childhood upbringing, heredity, education, and adult experiences. That is essentially why humans will never view the same evidence in the same way.​
The Baha’i Faith is the new religion at the narrow gate. Below are the primary reasons why most people do not find the evidence for the new religion convincing.​
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
The religion at the narrow gate is the religion God wants us to find and follow, and it is the gate that leads to eternal life. But it is not that easy for most people to find this gate because most people are steeped in religious tradition or attached to what they already believe. If they do not have a religion, most people are suspicious of the new religion and the new Messenger. If they are atheists they do not like the idea of Messengers of God or they think they are all phonies. If they are irreligious they have become fatigued by the already established religions and thus just find it more annoying that a new one has popped up.​
It is difficult to get through the narrow gate because one has to be willing to give up all their preconceived ideas, have an open mind, and think for themselves. Most people do not normally embark upon such a journey. They go through the wide gate, the easy one to get through – their own religious tradition or their own preconceived ideas about God or no god. They follow the broad road that is easiest for them to travel.​
Whether or not an action - physical or mental - is spiritual is dependent upon the intent and motivation behind the act. If you perform a charitable act for the needy out of love and selfless service, it becomes a spiritual action even though it is physical in nature and it will be unspiritual if you perform it for egotistic reasons - that seeking personal recognition or fame or glory. All religions place great importance on charity and helping the needy. Following religious laws is mostly a physical act but is still considered spiritual because the intent is to discipline the body and mind and become receptive to God's love and wisdom. This is actually one of the paths in The Four Valleys. Any action can be spiritualized if performed to please God.
I can understand that perspective. It is all about the intent and the motivation behind it. That was explained in this book entitled Heaven and Hell which pointed out it is not what we do that will get us to heaven, it is the motivation behind it; was it selfless or was it for God and others? That is the deciding factor. Of course, Baha’is do not believe that heaven is a geographical location but there might be different levels or spheres as is described in this book.
I don't think Bahaullah taught Raja Yoga meditation techniques that teach people how to withdraw their life force (prana or chi) from the senses and muscles, interiorize their consciousness in the spine and brain and experience the resulting joy and peace of meditation. There are millions of Hindus, Buddhists and Westerners that are progressing spiritually and becoming better people through such spiritual practices. Just because a particular path is not found in Bahaullah's teachings does not necessarily make it invalid.
That is true, all kinds of spiritual practices can be very valuable and help people progress spiritually, and it was not Baha’u’llah’s mission to teach particular meditation techniques.

Only if a practice goes against what Baha’u’llah has written could be problematic for a Baha’i. I for one do not want to mess with any practices that *I have interpreted* to be in opposition to what He wrote, but I do not know any such meditation techniques. Most Baha’is have meditation techniques, but I am an exception because I do not desire to get close to God. The reason is a rather long story I do not care to discuss in a public forum.
Bahaullah said that you have to independently investigate the truth. While it is true that religions can get corrupted with the passage of time, it is also true that religions can be "resurrected" by manifestations of God (avatars) that keep incarnating from time to time. I do not think it is appropriate to paint all religions of the past to have been corrupted without having spent the time to investigate them. Speaking about Hinduism, it is not a religion. It is an eternal way of life that has produced thousands of prophets like Bahaullah and each of them has given a valid path to God. Some of the most recent ones that are still alive are Ammachi (amma.org |), Jaggi Vasudev (Homepage) and Sri Sri Ravishankar (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - Official Website). You don't have to take my word for it. Just spend a few hours investigating any of these three prophets and you will know where the real corruption of religion is. Jaggi Vasudev has several video on YouTube. Listen to a couple of his talks and I am sure you will find them very scientific and logical. The 19th century avatar Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa I referred to earlier was a spiritual giant. He explored each of the world's great religions and found that he could have the vision of God by following any one of their paths. He had visions of Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed.
Of course there are degrees of corruption, and some religions have been more corrupted than others. That does not mean that they are no longer useful, but it is just a comparison to the Baha’i Faith, which has been protected from corruption given how it was revealed and that we have the UHJ to oversee handling of the original scriptures.

I do not believe that there are thousands of prophets like Baha’u’llah or Jesus Christ. It is important to have an understanding of the Baha’i viewpoint on prophets.

Question: How many kinds of divine Prophets are there?
Answer: There are three kinds of divine Prophets. 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.
Another kind of Prophets are followers and promulgators, not leaders and law-givers, but they are nonetheless the recipients of the hidden inspirations of God. Yet another kind are Prophets Whose prophethood has been limited to a particular locality. But the universal Manifestations are all-encompassing: They are like the root, and all others are as the branches; they are like the sun, and all others are as the moon and the stars.

The Baha’i belief is that only the universal Manifestations received a direct revelation from God. I cannot say if any of the others you mentioned were inspired by God or not, but Baha’u’llah wrote that there can be no more Prophets that will get a direct revelation from God before the year 2852, which is 1000 years from when He first received His Revelation in the Black Pit Prison:

“Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 346
I understand it is odd to you and that's the point I made earlier - one person's path could be very strange to another. Have you read the story of Moses and the Shepherd in which Moses hits the Shepherd for praying to God in a very personal way that Moses found offensive but God immediately admonishes Moses and asks him not to interfere in a business that was between the Shepherd and God. I will post it for you. Muslims pray to formless God which is fine but God being omnipotent can take a form. In fact every human being is a "form" of God because all human beings have come from God and you can find God within the human being. In Mathnaviyi-i-Mubarak, Bahaullah says "When you sense for sure the spirit's mystery – that there is nothing anywhere but God". Those words capture the greatest truth man can realize. He is saying God is everywhere but it is a mystery man has not understood.
I only said it seemed odd to me, but I understand that everyone is different and we all have to make our own way. The way I relate to God would no doubt be very odd to most people, and it is not something I am proud of. As I recall, Baha’is are told that we can relate to God directly, as Muslims do, or go through Baha’u’llah. Many people have to think of a person they can relate to.

I do not think that just because God is omnipotent that means God can “do anything”.” That was pointed out in that video, God cannot do what is not within His nature to do, and that is why God cannot become a man (the man Jesus). I also do not believe that God is actually within human beings because that is pantheism. That does not mean God is not omnipresent, but that is different than saying God is inside of us or that we are mini-gods. Baha’u’llah warms about this:

“And now concerning thy reference to the existence of two Gods. Beware, beware, lest thou be led to join partners with the Lord, thy God. He is, and hath from everlasting been, one and alone, without peer or equal, eternal in the past, eternal in the future, detached from all things, ever-abiding, unchangeable, and self-subsisting. He hath assigned no associate unto Himself in His Kingdom, no counsellor to counsel Him, none to compare unto Him, none to rival His glory.”
What good are beliefs that are not verifiable. When you believe in something, you are basically saying that you have formed a concrete opinion about something you do not really know.
Now you are sounding like a lot of atheists I post to. Beliefs cannot be verified as facts but we can still know they are true, and that knowing is an inner sense of certitude, not something we can prove to anyone else. The thing is that any belief can be wrong since it cannot be proven to be true. That is where faith enters in.
You will try to know only when you realize that you do not know. But if you embrace a set of beliefs, you will never search for truth because you won't feel the need for it.
But since you cannot ever know if a religion is the truth in the sense of proving it trying to know is an exercise in futility. So you can keep searching and hoping to find the truth when that truth is right in front of you.

“What does it mean to investigate reality? It means that man must forget all hearsay and examine truth himself, for he does not know whether statements he hears are in accordance with reality or not. Wherever he finds truth or reality, he must hold to it, forsaking, discarding all else; for outside of reality there is naught but superstition and imagination.” – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 62.

Just because you embrace a set of beliefs does not mean you cannot continue searching and discovering more truth, in and out of that belief system, as truth is all around us. However, there is one Reality.

“The first principle Baha’u’llah urged was the independent investigation of truth. “Each individual,” He said, “is following the faith of his ancestors who themselves are lost in the maze of tradition. Reality is steeped in dogmas and doctrines. If each investigate for himself, he will find that Reality is one; does not admit of multiplicity; is not divisible. All will find the same foundation and all will be at peace.” – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 3, p. 5.

It makes sense to me that it is revealed by God to a Manifestation of God, which is why I believe in Baha’u’llah, since His Revelation makes the most sense to me. That same spiritual reality can be found in all the world’s great religions, but I find all I really need and more than I can even handle in the Revelation of Baha’u’llah. I get confused enough by what I have so I don’t need to be getting any more confused by looking at older religions.
Bahaullah was born in to a Muslim family but he ended up being a mystic like the Sufis. The Bahai faith has some similarities with Islam with regards to rituals and religious laws but that's all the shell of religion. The real core of religion is mysticism and as a mystic Bahaullah have the form of a beautiful Houri to God which would be blasphemous in Islam, Christianity and Judaism but not in Hinduism or Sufism.
It is a Baha’i belief that the core of every religion is its mystical component.

Why do you suppose that the form of a beautiful Houri to God would be blasphemous in Islam, Christianity and Judaism but not in Hinduism or Sufism? That seems odd to me because all the religions you listed are also Abrahamic religions, thus from the same line of religion as the Baha’i Faith.
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
I do not believe that there are thousands of prophets like Baha’u’llah or Jesus Christ. It is important to have an understanding of the Baha’i viewpoint on prophets.
I suggest that you study the long history of Hinduism before you make comment like that. Even Bahaullah relied on the time lines in the Book of Juk (Yoga Vashista or Jug Bashisht in Persian which is a Hindu treatise on Yoga) when discussing the age of human civilization.

The Baha’i belief is that only the universal Manifestations received a direct revelation from God. I cannot say if any of the others you mentioned were inspired by God or not, but Baha’u’llah wrote that there can be no more Prophets that will get a direct revelation from God before the year 2852, which is 1000 years from when He first received His Revelation in the Black Pit Prison:


“Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 346
The words being attributed to Bahaullah in the above quote have such a negative vibration that I am convinced they are not his own. This kind of stuff gets introduced in to the teachings when the focus shifts to retaining the followers or increasing their numbers through fear and threats. You see something similar in Prophet Mohammed's farewell message in which he claims to be the last prophet and that no new religion would be born after Islam. If that is true, then it would imply Bahaullah is not a true prophet and the Bahai faith is not a true religion. Check these questionable claims that Mohammed supposedly made in his farewell message as claimed in mainstream Islam:

"O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow these you will never go astray."

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon: A Final Admonition

This kind of nonsense works on those who do not have independent thinking. The best way to increase numbers of the faithful is by helping people personally experience God and feel the peace and love in their consciousness. Hinduism produced so many true prophets both after Mohammed and Bahaullah. If you put Mohammed and Bahaullah in one room, they will most likely chuckle at this nonsense.

I do not think that just because God is omnipotent that means God can “do anything”.” That was pointed out in that video, God cannot do what is not within His nature to do, and that is why God cannot become a man (the man Jesus). I also do not believe that God is actually within human beings because that is pantheism. That does not mean God is not omnipresent, but that is different than saying God is inside of us or that we are mini-gods. Baha’u’llah warms about this:


“And now concerning thy reference to the existence of two Gods. Beware, beware, lest thou be led to join partners with the Lord, thy God. He is, and hath from everlasting been, one and alone, without peer or equal, eternal in the past, eternal in the future, detached from all things, ever-abiding, unchangeable, and self-subsisting. He hath assigned no associate unto Himself in His Kingdom, no counsellor to counsel Him, none to compare unto Him, none to rival His glory.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 192
Can you really put limits on what God can do. The cosmos would be a fairly chaotic place if God cannot operate without the permission of human beings. The truth is that just as an ocean can manifest itself on the surface edges as waves, God has manifested Himself as human beings and also as the physical cosmos which is why Bahaullah said that there is nothing anywhere but God but is a mystery of Spirit that man has not cracked. If creation and human beings are not part of God, how did God make them. With what material and where did the material come from? Who made that material? The physical cosmos manifested out of God just like an iceberg manifests out of the ocean but it still is in the ocean. So you can say, the ocean is in the iceberg and the iceberg is in the ocean. Likewise, the cosmos is in God and God is in the cosmos. Bahaullah says the same thing in his commentary on the Disconnected letters of the Quran.

Now you are sounding like a lot of atheists I post to. Beliefs cannot be verified as facts but we can still know they are true, and that knowing is an inner sense of certitude, not something we can prove to anyone else. The thing is that any belief can be wrong since it cannot be proven to be true. That is where faith enters in.
Millions of Christians believe that Jesus is the only way and everyone that does not follow him will burn in hell for eternity. Millions of Muslims believe that Islam is the perfect religion and Mohammed the final prophet, that Muslim men get to enjoy sense pleasures in the paradise with eternal virgins. How true are these beliefs and can they be verified regardless of how strong the faith is? When a muslim man dies, his body remains on earth. How is it possible to enjoy sense pleasures in heaven with virgins without a physical body. You can logically disprove these beliefs.

Why do you suppose that the form of a beautiful Houri to God would be blasphemous in Islam, Christianity and Judaism but not in Hinduism or Sufism?
Islam, Christianity and Judaism are against giving any kind of physical form to God. So they would find Bahaullah's mysticism blasphemous. Hinduism teaches that eventhough God is essentially formless, God can take a form and so God does not find it objectionable when people represent Him in a any form that is dear to them if it increases their love for Him.
 
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Jul 2017
456
Olympia, WA, USA
I suggest that you study the long history of Hinduism before you make comment like that. Even Bahaullah relied on the time lines in the Book of Juk (Yoga Vashista or Jug Bashisht in Persian which is a Hindu treatise on Yoga) when discussing the age of human civilization.
Apparently you are aware of some of Baha’u’llah’s Writings that I have not read. Who do you think these Prophets were?
The words being attributed to Bahaullah in the above quote have such a negative vibration that I am convinced they are not his own. This kind of stuff gets introduced in to the teachings when the focus shifts to retaining the followers or increasing their numbers through fear and threats. You see something similar in Prophet Mohammed's farewell message in which he claims to be the last prophet and that no new religion would be born after Islam. If that is true, then it would imply Bahaullah is not a true prophet and the Bahai faith is not a true religion. Check these questionable claims that Mohammed supposedly made in his farewell message as claimed in mainstream Islam:

"O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow these you will never go astray."

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon: A Final Admonition
So apparently what you are saying is that you think that what is in Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh are not the Writings of Baha’u’llah? That is a serious accusation because it means that the Baha’i Faith has been corrupted. Anyone else on this forum care to chime in on this?

Those are questionable claims but obviously Muslims have a personal motive for making them. How could anyone know that what you quoted as Muhammad’s Last Sermon is actually the Words of Muhammad? How do I know it has not been mistranslated and the meaning changed? If Baha’u’llah’s Writings in English are not translations of His original Tablets the Baha’i Faith comes tumbling down like a house of cards.

Maybe you just like the idea of Prophets and do not like the “idea” that there can be no more prophets until 2852 AD.
This kind of nonsense works on those who do not have independent thinking. The best way to increase numbers of the faithful is by helping people personally experience God and feel the peace and love in their consciousness. Hinduism produced so many true prophets both after Mohammed and Bahaullah. If you put Mohammed and Bahaullah in one room, they will most likely chuckle at this nonsense.
There is nothing funny about the fact that Baha’u’llah was the return of Christ, who was the Greatest Prophet who ever lived, before Baha’u’llah came. There is nothing funny about the fact that Baha’u’llah fulfills all the prophecies for the Messiah of all the great religions. There is no need for any other Prophet in this age. Baha’u’llah revealed over 15,000 Tablets.

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world and it has been changed by so many men since it was originally revealed. As such, it is no longer a religion of God, it is a religion of man. Anyone can call themselves a Prophet of God, but is there any evidence to back up such a claim?

The primary mission of Baha’u’llah was not to help people personally experience God and feel the peace and love in their consciousness. That was closer to the mission of Jesus, but those days are now ended. We are living in a new age now. Our own personal relationship with God is important but it is selfish to think only of ourselves.

And now here is the non-mystical side of the Baha’i Faith, the practical side:

“Wert thou to consider, for but a little while, the outward works and doings of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, thou wouldst fall down upon the ground, and exclaim: O Thou Who art the Lord of Lords! I testify that Thou art the Lord of all creation, and the Educator of all beings, visible and invisible. I bear witness that Thy power hath encompassed the entire universe, and that the hosts of the earth can never dismay Thee, nor can the dominion of all peoples and nations deter Thee from executing Thy purpose. I confess that Thou hast no desire except the regeneration of the whole world, and the establishment of the unity of its peoples, and the salvation of all them that dwell therein.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 243


“…His mission is to proclaim that the ages of the infancy and of the childhood of the human race are past, that the convulsions associated with the present stage of its adolescence are slowly and painfully preparing it to attain the stage of manhood, and are heralding the approach of that Age of Ages when swords will be beaten into plowshares, when the Kingdom promised by Jesus Christ will have been established, and the peace of the planet definitely and permanently ensured. Nor does Bahá’u’lláh claim finality for His own Revelation, but rather stipulates that a fuller measure of the truth He has been commissioned by the Almighty to vouchsafe to humanity, at so critical a juncture in its fortunes, must needs be disclosed at future stages in the constant and limitless evolution of mankind.” The Promised Day Is Come, vi

“The Faith which this order serves, safeguards and promotes is … essentially supernatural, supranational, entirely non-political, non-partisan, and diametrically opposed to any policy or school of thought that seeks to exalt any particular race, class or nation. It is free from any form of ecclesiasticism, has neither priesthood nor rituals, and is supported exclusively by voluntary contributions made by its avowed adherents. Though loyal to their respective governments, though imbued with the love of their own country, and anxious to promote at all times, its best interests, the followers of the Bahá’í Faith, nevertheless, viewing mankind as one entity, and profoundly attached to its vital interests, will not hesitate to subordinate every particular interest, be it personal, regional or national, to the over-riding interests of the generality of mankind, knowing full well that in a world of interdependent peoples and nations the advantage of the part is best to be reached by the advantage of the whole, and that no lasting result can be achieved by any of the component parts if the general interests of the entity itself are neglected….” The Promised Day Is Come, vi - vii

“One of the great events,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has, in His “Some Answered Questions,” affirmed, “which is to occur in the Day of the manifestation of that Incomparable Branch [Bahá’u’lláh] is the hoisting of the Standard of God among all nations. By this is meant that all nations and kindreds will be gathered together under the shadow of this Divine Banner, which is no other than the Lordly Branch itself, and will become a single nation. Religious and sectarian antagonism, the hostility of races and peoples, and differences among nations, will be eliminated. All men will adhere to one religion, will have one common faith, will be blended into one race, and become a single people. All will dwell in one common fatherland, which is the planet itself.” The Promised Day Is Come, p. 121
Can you really put limits on what God can do. The cosmos would be a fairly chaotic place if God cannot operate without the permission of human beings. The truth is that just as an ocean can manifest itself on the surface edges as waves, God has manifested Himself as human beings and also as the physical cosmos which is why Bahaullah said that there is nothing anywhere but God but is a mystery of Spirit that man has not cracked. If creation and human beings are not part of God, how did God make them. With what material and where did the material come from? Who made that material? The physical cosmos manifested out of God just like an iceberg manifests out of the ocean but it still is in the ocean. So you can say, the ocean is in the iceberg and the iceberg is in the ocean. Likewise, the cosmos is in God and God is in the cosmos. Bahaullah says the same thing in his commentary on the Disconnected letters of the Quran.
Obviously, God does not need the permission of human beings for anything He does. I believe that human beings can manifest the attributes if God because we are made in the image of God, but I do not believe that God has manifested Himself as human beings, except for the Manifestations of God (Prophets) who God chose as vehicles to receive and carry His message and who perfectly reflect God’s will and purpose.

I am not aware of Baha’u’llah’s commentary on the Disconnected letters of the Quran.
Millions of Christians believe that Jesus is the only way and everyone that does not follow him will burn in hell for eternity. Millions of Muslims believe that Islam is the perfect religion and Mohammed the final prophet, that Muslim men get to enjoy sense pleasures in the paradise with eternal virgins. How true are these beliefs and can they be verified regardless of how strong the faith is? When a muslim man dies, his body remains on earth. How is it possible to enjoy sense pleasures in heaven with virgins without a physical body. You can logically disprove these beliefs.
These beliefs cannot be verified, they can only be believed. A person should use their logical mind to determine what they are to believe and base their life and afterlife upon. I find the Baha’i Faith entirely logical and that is the primary reason I believe it. I have no mushy gushy feelings about Baha’u’llah or about God.

That said, most people are going to believe what they want to believe because it feels good.
Islam, Christianity and Judaism are against giving any kind of physical form to God. So they would find Bahaullah's mysticism blasphemous. Hinduism teaches that eventhough God is essentially formless, God can take a form and so God does not find it objectionable when people represent Him in a any form that is dear to them if it increases their love for Him.
I would not say that Christianity is against giving any kind of physical form to God, since most Christians believe that Jesus is God incarnate. So I guess Hindus are a little like Christians.

I do not believe that God needs to be loved. God wants us to love Him but only for our own benefit.

“Consider the mercy of God and His gifts. He enjoineth upon you that which shall profit you, though He Himself can well dispense with all creatures.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 140


“Your Lord, the God of mercy, can well dispense with all creatures. Nothing whatever can either increase or diminish the things He doth possess. If ye believe, to your own behoof will ye believe; and if ye believe not, ye yourselves will suffer.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 148

“The one true God, exalted be His glory, hath wished nothing for Himself.The allegiance of mankind profiteth Him not, neither doth its perversity harm Him. The Bird of the Realm of Utterance voiceth continually this call: “All things have I willed for thee, and thee, too, for thine own sake.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 260

“Regard thou the one true God as One Who is apart from, and immeasurably exalted above, all created things. The whole universe reflecteth His glory, while He is Himself independent of, and transcendeth His creatures. This is the true meaning of Divine unity. He Who is the Eternal Truth is the one Power Who exerciseth undisputed sovereignty over the world of being, Whose image is reflected in the mirror of the entire creation. All existence is dependent upon Him, and from Him is derived the source of the sustenance of all things. This is what is meant by Divine unity; this is its fundamental principle.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 166
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
Apparently you are aware of some of Baha’u’llah’s Writings that I have not read. Who do you think these Prophets were?
There are too many of them to list here. In a tablet (published in Gleanings, section LXXXVII) Bahá'u'lláh discussed the absence of records about history before Adam. Here he refers to the Jug-Basisht (Book of Juk), which is the Persian translation of the Yoga Vasistha, a Hindu treatise on Yoga.

"To anyone that hath read the book of Júk it is clear and evident how much the accounts given by the various books have differed - Bahaullah"
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh | Bahá’í Reference Library

So apparently what you are saying is that you think that what is in Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh are not the Writings of Baha’u’llah? That is a serious accusation because it means that the Baha’i Faith has been corrupted. Anyone else on this forum care to chime in on this?
A mystic like Bahaullah that was in love with God would never threaten and frighten people using the kind of language that is being attributed to him. He would only draw people to God with reason and love. Why would Bahaullah make a questionable claim like that when there have been true prophets of God in different parts of the world after Bahaullah's death. Have you studied the life and teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahansa or Swami Sivananda or Paramahansa Yogananda who were true prophets that were sent by God after Bahaullah much before the expiry of the 1000 year period you are referring to. Without studying their life and teachings you should not be saying that Hinduism is permanently corrupted or cannot be revived. What is the significance of the 1000 year period you have referred to? It sounds like a nice number someone came up with. Why not 789 years or 987 years? All the available evidence in non-Bahai religions proves that the words being attributed to Bahaullah cannot be his own.

Those are questionable claims but obviously Muslims have a personal motive for making them. How could anyone know that what you quoted as Muhammad’s Last Sermon is actually the Words of Muhammad? How do I know it has not been mistranslated and the meaning changed?
I feel the same way about the words being attributed to Bahaullah given the intense negative vibration, accusatory language, threats and coercion associated with those words. You have to go by evidence. Read the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahansa or Swami Sivananda or Paramahansa Yogananda. Look at the kind of disciples they have produced. Pray to Bahaullah and ask him if these prophets are false prophets and then you will know the truth. Right now you just have a belief that is not supported by facts just like Muslims have a belief about Mohammed being the last prophet which is also not supported by facts.

Maybe you just like the idea of Prophets and do not like the “idea” that there can be no more prophets until 2852 AD.
The facts are not dependent upon my likes and dislikes. Please investigate the facts relating to other prophets that came after Bahaullah through independent research. Do not just blindly believe in something handed out to you. That does not make you any different from the average muslim who believes that Mohammed was the last prophet or the average Christian who believes that Jesus is the only way.

There is nothing funny about the fact that Baha’u’llah was the return of Christ, who was the Greatest Prophet who ever lived, before Baha’u’llah came.
Where does Bahaullah say that his soul is the same as that of Jesus?

There is nothing funny about the fact that Baha’u’llah fulfills all the prophecies for the Messiah of all the great religions.
Where does Bahaullah claim that he was the Kalki avatar that Hindus believe would be the 10th avatar of Vishnu?

There is no need for any other Prophet in this age.
What about people whose spiritual needs require Raja Yoga meditation techniques that Bahaullah never taught. If a person's nature is such that he prefers to silently meditate on God using Yoga and other scientific meditation techniques not found in Bahaullah teachings, would not God respond to the spiritual needs of such people. It sounds like you want to determine what is good for everyone or declare that the Bahai faith is good for everyone else in this age. How is that different from Muslims and Christians claiming that their religion is good for everyone else?

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world and it has been changed by so many men since it was originally revealed. As such, it is no longer a religion of God, it is a religion of man.
You are making such comments without actually examining the facts. In practice all religions including Hinduism get corrupted but the most important Hindu scriptures which are the Vedas, Upanishads and Gita have never been corrupted. Additionally, in every century Hinduism produced great prophets who kept the religion well and alive. No religion and civilization will survive for so long to become the world's oldest religion and civilization if it was permanently corrupted. The Biblical story of Abraham’s plea to the Lord that the city of Sodom be spared if ten righteous men could be found therein, and the divine reply: “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake,” gains new meaning in the light of India’s escape from the oblivion of Babylon, Egypt and other mighty nations who were once her contemporaries. The Lord’s answer clearly shows that a land lives, not by its material achievements, but in its masterpieces of man.

Anyone can call themselves a Prophet of God, but is there any evidence to back up such a claim?
The same argument can be made about Bahaullah, Mohammed and Jesus. What evidence can you provide to back up the claim that Bahaullah is true prophet?

The primary mission of Baha’u’llah was not to help people personally experience God and feel the peace and love in their consciousness. That was closer to the mission of Jesus, but those days are now ended. We are living in a new age now. Our own personal relationship with God is important but it is selfish to think only of ourselves.
If you are not peaceful inside, you will not be peaceful outside. If you do not feel the love inside of yourself, you will not be able to extend that love to others outside of yourself. You cannot be outside what you are not inside. You cannot practice true brotherhood with others unless you experience through personal realization that other people are your brothers. When you realize you are a child of God - not just intellectually understand it - then you will simultaneously realize that other people are also children of God and from that realization will flow true brotherhood. In other words, true brotherhood is only possible under the Fatherhood of God. Without realizing you are a child of God (that is God is your Father or realizing Fatherhood of God), any attempts to promote brotherhood will invariably results in disagreements, divisions and conflicts. You don't see disciples of Jesus or Buddha fighting among themselves but the disciples of Mohammed fought among themselves. That's because Jesus and Buddha emphasized on experiencing love, compassion, kindness within and above all realizing that God is our common Father first whereas with Mohammed, there was a quite a bit of zeal in spreading the religion and uniting all the Arab tribes under the banner of Islam but as soon as Mohammed died, the Muslim community split in to Shia and Sunni with Aisha (Mohammed's wife) and Ali (Mohammed's son-in-law and cousin) fighting each other at the Battle of Basra in which over 10,000 muslims were killed. The Bahai faith did better but it wasn't without problems. Both the second and third wives of Bahaullah were expelled from the faith for being covenant breakers. Abdul Baha had to expel his own brother from the faith for being a covenant breaker. And by the time of Shogi Effendi all the male members of Bahaullah's family have been expelled from the faith and the faith was left without a Guardian. This is what will happen when people do not realize their oneness with God and as a consequence do not realize their brotherhood with fellow men. All the talk of brotherhood will not get us anywhere if we do not experience love and peace within through union with God, our common Father. Every prophet of God has taught brotherhood of man but not one was able to accomplish universal brotherhood simply because not all people can embrace and sincerely follow the teachings of prophets and no true prophet will force unwilling people to follow their teachings because God has given them freedom to lead their lives the way they want.

I do not believe that God has manifested Himself as human beings, except for the Manifestations of God (Prophets) who God chose as vehicles to receive and carry His message and who perfectly reflect God’s will and purpose.

I am not aware of Baha’u’llah’s commentary on the Disconnected letters of the Quran.
Please read Bahaullah's Mathnavi-i-Mubarak and his commentary on the Disconnected letters of the Quran and also his acknowledgement of the reality of Trinity in the Gems of Divine Mysteries. And then we can have a more meaningful discussion.

These beliefs cannot be verified, they can only be believed. A person should use their logical mind to determine what they are to believe and base their life and afterlife upon. I find the Baha’i Faith entirely logical and that is the primary reason I believe it.
Why is it logical to believe that there will not be another true prophet until 2852 AD? What about the spiritual needs of people whose mentalities are suited for Yoga and meditation involving withdrawal of life force and interiorization of consciousness?

I do not believe that God needs to be loved. God wants us to love Him but only for our own benefit.
Bahaullah like the Hindu prophets taught that God created us so we can know Him and love Him. The Hindu scriptures teach that the Spirit wasn't satisfied being alone. So it manifested creation from its energy (consciousness) using will power and thought process. So everything is part of God and God is in everything. That's a truth Bahaullah also stated in Mathnavi-i-Mubarak. And of all the creatures only man can know God and love God. The Spirit of God is sleeping in rocks and minerals. It is dreaming in plants. It is awake in animals and birds. In man, it is not only awake but can know God, love God and realize it's oneness with God.

"Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him—a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation.… Upon the inmost reality of each and every created thing He hath shed the light of one of His names, and made it a recipient of the glory of one of His attributes. Upon the reality of man, however, He hath focused the radiance of all of His names and attributes, and made it a mirror of His own Self. Alone of all created things man hath been singled out for so great a favor, so enduring a bounty." - Bahaullah


Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh | Bahá’í Reference Library
 
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Jul 2017
302
Kettering, Ohio USA
A mystic like Bahaullah that was in love with God would never threaten and frighten people using the kind of language that is being attributed to him. He would only draw people to God with reason and love. Why would Bahaullah make a questionable claim like that when there have been true prophets of God in different parts of the world after Bahaullah's death. Have you studied the life and teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahansa or Swami Sivananda or Paramahansa Yogananda who were true prophets that were sent by God after Bahaullah much before the expiry of the 1000 year period you are referring to. Without studying their life and teachings you should not be saying that Hinduism is permanently corrupted or cannot be revived. What is the significance of the 1000 year period you have referred to? It sounds like a nice number someone came up with. Why not 789 years or 987 years? All the available evidence in non-Bahai religions proves that the words being attributed to Bahaullah cannot be his own.

They are not prophets but that does not mean that they were not inspired by God in some ways. We can still listen to them.

Within Hinduism only Krishna was a prophet and even there He was so long ago we don't know what He actually said. Don't et me wrong, I think the Bhagavad Gita is very good.
 
Feb 2019
197
Chicago
A mystic like Bahaullah that was in love with God would never threaten and frighten people using the kind of language that is being attributed to him. He would only draw people to God with reason and love. Why would Bahaullah make a questionable claim like that when there have been true prophets of God in different parts of the world after Bahaullah's death. Have you studied the life and teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahansa or Swami Sivananda or Paramahansa Yogananda who were true prophets that were sent by God after Bahaullah much before the expiry of the 1000 year period you are referring to. Without studying their life and teachings you should not be saying that Hinduism is permanently corrupted or cannot be revived. What is the significance of the 1000 year period you have referred to? It sounds like a nice number someone came up with. Why not 789 years or 987 years? All the available evidence in non-Bahai religions proves that the words being attributed to Bahaullah cannot be his own.

They are not prophets but that does not mean that they were not inspired by God in some ways. We can still listen to them.

Within Hinduism only Krishna was a prophet and even there He was so long ago we don't know what He actually said. Don't et me wrong, I think the Bhagavad Gita is very good.

What is the criteria you are using to declare that the Hindu prophets I named are not prophets. Will you evaluate the Hindu prophets by the same criteria that you are using to evaluate Bahaullah? This is the same fundamentalism I see in mainstream Islam which states that there can be no prophets after Mohammed. The Bahai faith has placed a 1000 year restriction for the appearance of the next prophet without any rational basis.

Where did you get this idea that in Hinduism only Krishna was a prophet? Hinduism produced thousands of prophets like Bahaullah, Jesus and Mohammed. If you do not know what Krishna taught, it does not mean the rest of the world does not know. What it means is that you are ignorant of the life and teachings of Krishna. His most important teachings are the Bhagavad Gita which has been uncorrupted for over 5000 years. You will never find two versions of the Gita and that's miracle in itself given that the Muslims during their rule over India did everything they can to destroy Hinduism.
 
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