Faith

Feb 2019
220
Chicago
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?
Here is some evidence of corruption of Bahaullah teachings arising from Abdul Baha's lack of insight in to spiritual truths. Abdul Baha comes across as a saintly soul but he wasn't a manifestation of God like Jesus, Krishna and Bahaullah were. For Bahaullah, Trinity was a reality. For example, in verse 45 of the Ode of the Dove, Bahaullah says "The wave within Me stilled the ocean's surf; the Holy Ghost stirred at My rapture's lights". Quite clearly, if Holy Ghost is a fictitious concept, Bahaullah would not refer to it as reality in his mystical poem. Let me quote Bahaullah from the Gems of Divine Mysteries. He is acknowledging Trinity as a divine reality where as Abdul Baha dismissed it as a falsity.

Here are Bahaullah's words:

“Through the power of God and His might, I shall now relate certain passages revealed in the Books of old, and mention some of the signs heralding the appearance of the Manifestations of God in the sanctified persons of His chosen Ones, that thou mayest recognize the Dayspring of this everlasting morn and behold this Fire that blazeth in the Tree which is neither of the East nor of the West. Perchance thine eyes may be opened upon attaining the presence of thy Lord and thy heart partake of the blessings concealed within these hidden treasuries..................

And in the fourth Gospel, according to John, it is recorded: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness.”9 And elsewhere He saith: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”10 And: “But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you…”11 And yet again: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”12 And: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.13

Such is the text of the verses revealed in the past. By Him besides Whom there is none other God, I have chosen to be brief, for were I to recount all the words that have been sent down unto the Prophets of God from the realm of His supernal glory and the kingdom of His sovereign might, all the pages and tablets of the world would not suffice to exhaust My theme. References similar to those mentioned, nay even more sublime and exalted, have been made in all the Books and Scriptures of old. Should it be My wish to recount all that hath been revealed in the past, I would most certainly be able to do so by virtue of that which God hath bestowed upon Me of the wonders of His knowledge and power. I have, however, contented Myself with that which was mentioned, lest thou become wearied in thy journey or feel inclined to turn back, or lest thou be overtaken by sadness and sorrow and overcome with despondency, trouble and fatigue.

Be fair in thy judgement and reflect upon these exalted utterances. Inquire, then, of those who lay claim to knowledge without a proof or testimony from God, and who remain heedless of these days wherein the Orb of knowledge and wisdom hath dawned above the horizon of Divinity, rendering unto each his due and assigning unto all their rank and measure, as to what they can say concerning these allusions. Verily, their meaning hath bewildered the minds of men, and that which they conceal of the consummate wisdom and latent knowledge of God even the most sanctified souls have been powerless to uncover.” - Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries.

After quoting the verse relating to Holy Ghost, Bahaullah says "such is the text of the verses revealed in the past". So that verse is a divine revelation, not a man made fictitious concept as Abdul Baha says.

And now let's check out what Abdul Baha says:

The question of the Trinity, since the time of His Holiness Christ until now, is the belief of the Christians, and to the present time all the learned among them are perplexed and confounded. All have confessed that the question is beyond the grasp of reason, for three cannot become one, nor one three. To unite these is impossible; it is either one or three.............Thus considered, Trinity is made a necessity, although the falsity of Trinity is evident. - Abdul Baha

Bahá'í Reference Library - Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, Pages 512-514
 
Jul 2017
302
Kettering, Ohio USA
I'm afraid we'll just have to disagree. The Bhagavad Gita was written thousands of H ealso said that reincarnation is not a literal realityyears after Krishnas death according to scholars. I think we should consider the views of scholars.

In your post to trailblazer you said that 'Abdu'l- Baha was not a prophet. On this we agree, but Baha'u'llah said that Abdu'l-Baha was the infallible interpreter of Baha'u'llahs Writings. If you don't agree with Abdu'l-Baha then you disagree with the Baha'i Faith. Also Baha'u'llah was the author of the passage that says there will be no more Prophets before 1000 years, there is no doubt about it. Also 'Abdu'l_Baha said that pantheism is a false understanding. Abdu'l-Baha also said that reincarnation is a false idea if taken literally.

Give up. You will never convince us. The Baha'i Faith is incompatible with some of your ideas. You have forced your ideas on some of Baha'u'llah';s texts, and ignored other places where He disagrees with you.
 
Sep 2010
4,589
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
Here is some evidence of corruption of Bahaullah teachings arising from Abdul Baha's lack of insight in to spiritual truths
You are free to see that as you wish to.

As a Baha'i we accept the Covenant of Baha'u'llah that gave full authority to Abdul'baha to explain the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. As such the Writings of Abdul'baha are also seen as scripture with the full authority Baha'u'llah, as are the Writings of Shoghi Effendi.

Thus if a Baha'i sees conflict between any writings, they would first look for what Abdul,baha might have said, then what Shoghi Effendi may have offered and then if the Universal House of Justice had addressed the issue. If not, we could ask for clarity from the Universal House of Justice.

Regards Tony
 
Mar 2015
231
Bend area, Oregon
Venu,

And these too, are the words of Bahá'u'lláh speaking of `Abdu'l-Bahá. By them, may the Divine Intelligence grant you "insight in to (the) spiritual truths" of this Faith as you continue your study of it.

"There hath branched from the Sadratu'l-Muntahá this sacred and glorious Being, this Branch of Holiness; well is it with him that hath sought His shelter and abideth beneath His shadow. Verily the Limb of the Law of God hath sprung forth from this Root which God hath firmly implanted in the Ground of His Will, and Whose Branch hath been so uplifted as to encompass the whole of creation. Magnified be He, therefore, for this sublime, this blessed, this mighty, this exalted Handiwork!... A Word hath, as a token of Our grace, gone forth from the Most Great Tablet--a Word which God hath adorned with the ornament of His own Self, and made it sovereign over the earth and all that is therein, and a sign of His greatness and power among its people ...Render thanks unto God, O people, for His appearance; for verily He is the most great Favor unto you, the most perfect bounty upon you; and through Him every mouldering bone is quickened. Whoso turneth towards Him hath turned towards God, and whoso turneth away from Him hath turned away from My beauty, hath repudiated My Proof, and transgressed against Me. He is the Trust of God amongst you, His charge within you, His manifestation unto you and His appearance among His favored servants... We have sent Him down in the form of a human temple. Blest and sanctified be God Who createth whatsoever He willeth through His inviolable, His infallible decree. They who deprive themselves of the shadow of the Branch, are lost in the wilderness of error, are consumed by the heat of worldly desires, and are of those who will assuredly perish." (Súriy-i-Ghusn; Tablet of the Branch)

“The Will of the divine Testator is this: It is incumbent upon the Aghsán, the Afnán and My Kindred to turn, one and all, their faces towards the Most Mighty Branch. Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: ‘When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.’ The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch [‘Abdu’l-Bahá]. . . .” (Kitáb-i-`Ahd; Book of My Covenant)

Take care.

LR
 
Feb 2019
220
Chicago
I'm afraid we'll just have to disagree. The Bhagavad Gita was written thousands of H ealso said that reincarnation is not a literal realityyears after Krishnas death according to scholars. I think we should consider the views of scholars.
Which scholars are your referring to? Why would you want to ignore the teachings of prophets and buy the arguments of scholars. Here are prophets and manifestations of God from Jewish, Christian and Hindu scriptures speaking in support of reincarnation and karma and I would humbly suggest you show me one process (I don't need two) that God created which is not cyclic.

The souls must reenter the absolute substance whence they have emerged. But to accomplish this, they must develop all the perfections, the germ of which is planted in them; and if they have not fulfilled this condition during one life, they must commence another, a third, and so forth, until they have acquired the condition which fits them for reunion with God. (Zohar, Vol. II:99)

The Christian Bible has references to law of karma and reincarnation in the following verses. There were many more but the Second Council of Constantinople deleted them from the Bible.

...for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap - Galatians 6:7

....for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword - Matthew 26:52

“Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? - John 9:2

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out - Revelation 3:12

What it means is that if you overcome your karma, you will permanently become part of God (reunited) and will not go out in to the world again (reincarnate)

The most sacred Hindu scripture is quite clear about it.

Just as the embodied soul passes from childhood to youth to old age, it also passes from one body to another. The undaunted person therefore is not deluded.- Bhagavad-Gita 2:13

As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones - Bhagavad-Gita 2:22

What I observe in God's creation is that every process that He created is cyclic. The motion of the Moon around the Earth, the motion of Earth around the Sun, water on earth evaporating to form clouds which return the water to the earth through rain, the circulation of blood in the body, the beating of the heart, the inhalation and exhalation process, man alternating between sleep and wakeful states are all cyclic. In fact, you can observe as long as you want, but you will never find a process that God created which is not cyclic. The fundamental unit of life is not the human body but the cell. One cell has all the information needed to clone a human being. Everyday, within the human body some cells die which are consumed by white blood cells and new cells are born. That is a cyclic process within the human body just as some new stars and planets are born everyday while other are mysteriously disappearing in the cosmos. The human body is like the microcosmic cosmos constantly reincarnating new cells. The proof of birth and death being a cyclic process is right within the human body in the birth and death of cells and this smaller cyclic process is contained with the larger cyclic process of the soul making a new body for itself when it's current body becomes too old or diseased. This is similar to the smaller cyclic process of the Moon's motion around the Earth being part of the larger cyclic process of Earth's motion around the Sun.

In your post to trailblazer you said that 'Abdu'l- Baha was not a prophet. On this we agree, but Baha'u'llah said that Abdu'l-Baha was the infallible interpreter of Baha'u'llahs Writings.
I understand what you are saying but the available evidence I provided wherein Abdul Baha dismisses Trinity as falsity while Bahaullah acknowledges as a divine reality shows that Abdul Baha did not have the same insights in to spiritual truths that Bahaullah had. I am going by evidence, not your understanding of what Bahaullah said of Abdul Baha.

Also Baha'u'llah was the author of the passage that says there will be no more Prophets before 1000 years, there is no doubt about it.
You don't seem to realize that a true prophet would never use the kind of language being attributed to Bahaullah. You just sound like a Muslim who confidently asserts that Mohammed said there would be no prophets after him. Since the Bahai faith originated out of Islam, is it possible the Bahai borrowed some teachings and practices from mainstream Islam. For example, the prayer rituals are very similar to Islam.

Also 'Abdu'l_Baha said that pantheism is a false understanding.
Abdul Baha is contradicting the truths Bahaullah expressed in his mystical writings like Mathnavi-i-Mubarak. Contemplate on the words of Bahaullah where he says there is nothing anywhere but God which means God is everywhere. If you really understand Bahaullah, explain to me without borrowing my "ideas" what reunion in reunion means and why both absence and reunion are blasphemy as Bahaullah is saying. Let me see how well you understand your religion.

Know this, O youth! His House resides in hearts
and was not raised upon mere stone and clay
And when His light has bathed and cleansed your heart
your heart becomes His seat – it's His Sinai!

Within you He has placed His light, in trust;
Strive hard to make it become manifest!


Then in yourself, my sweet, seek union with Him
and you'll no longer feel the Friend's absence



You are yourself the storehouse of God's treasure,
yet heedless, you chase after this and that


Until His attributes appear in you,
know yourself as lost, in separation

When you sense for sure the spirit's mystery –
that there is nothing anywhere but God


then wash away in spirit's stream the mire
that you may see the Pure One's emanations

that you may see reunion in reunion
that you may see your heart with Beauty shine

Such union never will be contradicted
such union never ends in separation

If you've an ear for fatherly advice,
both are blasphemy: reunion, absence! - Mathnaviyi-i-Mubarak


Abdu'l-Baha also said that reincarnation is a false idea if taken literally.
He is again contradicting manifestations of God from non-Bahai religions and embracing a belief coming from mainstream Islam. Bahaullah to my knowledge was silent on the topic of reincarnation perhaps because he was living among Muslims that were already persecuting him but he has said somethings which seem to support reincarnation. Check out the text highlighted below. Bahaullah is saying that if the soul is not faithful to God, it will become a victim to self and passion. Any reference to self and passion implies an incarnation - that is birth in a physical form. I suspect many folks here will disagree with me which is fine but I would humbly ask for a logical explanation. I think we need to consider that since God has has give us free will, we can use it to evolve spiritually and grow closer to God and manifest His divine qualities in our lives or we can reject God and promote evil. What happens to the people who belong to the latter category. If someone is addicted to wine and sex and dies without overcoming that addiction, how does the soul overcome the desire for wine and sex without a physical body. It cannot help but reincarnate and become a victim to self and passion as Bahaullah says.

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 to 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. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, LXXXII, pp. 158-59

Give up. You will never convince us.
I am content in my experiences and understanding born of such experiences. I have no need to convince anyone of anything.

You have forced your ideas on some of Baha'u'llah';s texts, and ignored other places where He disagrees with you.
Not true. But why don't you explain the Bahai perspective of Bahaullah referring to Holy Ghost in the Ode of the Dove while Abdul Baha dismisses Trinity, of which Holy Ghost is a member, as falsity. Explain why Bahaullah in the Tablet of the Deathless Youth describes the Bab as coming out of the gates of heaven with a serpent in his hands. Why a serpent of all creatures. Why not a pigeon or a rabbit?

 
Feb 2019
220
Chicago
You are free to see that as you wish to.

As a Baha'i we accept the Covenant of Baha'u'llah that gave full authority to Abdul'baha to explain the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. As such the Writings of Abdul'baha are also seen as scripture with the full authority Baha'u'llah, as are the Writings of Shoghi Effendi.

Thus if a Baha'i sees conflict between any writings, they would first look for what Abdul,baha might have said, then what Shoghi Effendi may have offered and then if the Universal House of Justice had addressed the issue. If not, we could ask for clarity from the Universal House of Justice.

Regards Tony
Thank you for explaining your approach. Do you know if anyone asked the Universal House of Justice to explain the contradictions between the teachings of Abdul Baha and Bahaullah over the Trinity and can you share the response of the Universal House of Justice.

Also, the resurrection of Jesus was both spiritual and physical. It is not clear to my why Abdul Baha would deny the physical resurrection of Jesus. My suspicion is that Abdul Baha is embracing the mainstream Islamic belief in this regard. But the Apostles of Jesus all of whom matured in to men of great spiritual stature testified that the resurrection of Jesus was physical as well as spiritual. Abdul Baha did not live during the time of Jesus. So how on earth can he be so confident that Jesus did not physically resurrect himself. Why would anyone take Abdul Baha's word over that of the Apostles of Jesus who personally experienced his physical and spiritual resurrection.
 
Feb 2019
220
Chicago
Venu,

And these too, are the words of Bahá'u'lláh speaking of `Abdu'l-Bahá. By them, may the Divine Intelligence grant you "insight in to (the) spiritual truths" of this Faith as you continue your study of it.

"There hath branched from the Sadratu'l-Muntahá this sacred and glorious Being, this Branch of Holiness; well is it with him that hath sought His shelter and abideth beneath His shadow. Verily the Limb of the Law of God hath sprung forth from this Root which God hath firmly implanted in the Ground of His Will, and Whose Branch hath been so uplifted as to encompass the whole of creation. Magnified be He, therefore, for this sublime, this blessed, this mighty, this exalted Handiwork!... A Word hath, as a token of Our grace, gone forth from the Most Great Tablet--a Word which God hath adorned with the ornament of His own Self, and made it sovereign over the earth and all that is therein, and a sign of His greatness and power among its people ...Render thanks unto God, O people, for His appearance; for verily He is the most great Favor unto you, the most perfect bounty upon you; and through Him every mouldering bone is quickened. Whoso turneth towards Him hath turned towards God, and whoso turneth away from Him hath turned away from My beauty, hath repudiated My Proof, and transgressed against Me. He is the Trust of God amongst you, His charge within you, His manifestation unto you and His appearance among His favored servants... We have sent Him down in the form of a human temple. Blest and sanctified be God Who createth whatsoever He willeth through His inviolable, His infallible decree. They who deprive themselves of the shadow of the Branch, are lost in the wilderness of error, are consumed by the heat of worldly desires, and are of those who will assuredly perish." (Súriy-i-Ghusn; Tablet of the Branch)

“The Will of the divine Testator is this: It is incumbent upon the Aghsán, the Afnán and My Kindred to turn, one and all, their faces towards the Most Mighty Branch. Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: ‘When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.’ The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch [‘Abdu’l-Bahá]. . . .” (Kitáb-i-`Ahd; Book of My Covenant)

Take care.

LR
Thanks Larry. I definitely see Abdul Baha as a saintly soul. But when I read his writings, I don't find the same spiritual vibration that I find in Bahaullah's mysticism. That's probably because Abdul Baha was not a manifestation of God. On the question of Trinity, Abdul Baha not only contradicts Bahaullah but also Jesus and Krishna. I think Abdul Baha was influenced by mainstream Islam on some important issues like Trinity, resurrection of Jesus and reincarnation. That's the reality I see from indisputable evidence.
 

Jcc

Mar 2013
577
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
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.
There is nothing in the Baha’i teachings that says Krishna is the only Prophet of Hinduism. On the contrary, Baha’u’llah made it clear that God has never left us without guidance, so there have been prophets in each region going back as long as humans have existed. So Ram, Manu and countless other Avatars or Buddhas in South Asia, prophets in the Middle East prior to Adam, among Native Americans and in sub-Saharan Africa, etc. I think we are in agreement on this point.
 
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Jcc

Mar 2013
577
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Thank you for explaining your approach. Do you know if anyone asked the Universal House of Justice to explain the contradictions between the teachings of Abdul Baha and Bahaullah over the Trinity and can you share the response of the Universal House of Justice.

Also, the resurrection of Jesus was both spiritual and physical. It is not clear to my why Abdul Baha would deny the physical resurrection of Jesus. My suspicion is that Abdul Baha is embracing the mainstream Islamic belief in this regard. But the Apostles of Jesus all of whom matured in to men of great spiritual stature testified that the resurrection of Jesus was physical as well as spiritual. Abdul Baha did not live during the time of Jesus. So how on earth can he be so confident that Jesus did not physically resurrect himself. Why would anyone take Abdul Baha's word over that of the Apostles of Jesus who personally experienced his physical and spiritual resurrection.
I don’t believe there is any contradiction between Abdu’l-Baha’s statements about the Trinity and the teachings of Baha’u’llah, nor any contradiction with Christian scripture. It is a recognized fact that the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible. The term was created by the early Church as a means of explaining the relationship between Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. It is actually a good way of explaining that relationship, but not the only way, so the problem comes when it is taken as a dogma and people are discouraged from considering other perspectives. The reality of the Divine is far greater than any explanation that people can give, so being open to many perspective is closer to the truth than insisting that only one is correct.

With regard to the Resurrection of Jesus as being a physical resurrection of the body, it is true that the Christian Church has the doctrine that it is physical, and the Church understands the accounts of the Apostles to support that. But if you actually read the Gospel accounts carefully and without prejudice, it clearly does not describe the restoration of a physical body to normal functionality. Jesus appears inside a locked room without opening the door. Jesus said to Thomas to put his hand in Jesus side, then Thomas believed. But, read carefully, Thomas didn’t actually touch Jesus. In the end, he believed without any physical contact. And what sort of a physical resurrection is it when the same wounds that caused Jesus’ death are still there? Did He even have a heartbeat? If the resurrection is spiritual, then a body that is restored to physical health is not needed, rather, the wounds that appear are a reminder to us of what Jesus suffered on the cross, and His sacrifice.

The point I am getting at here is that the Apostles described various accounts of seeing Jesus after His resurrection, but they are really quite ambiguous as to what sort of resurrection it was. The Church Fathers who selected the documents which eventually became the New Testament did not suppress that ambiguity, it is there for those who read and meditate about it. I fully agree that the Apostles were men of great spiritual stature, and this is reinforced if you look at the diversity of perspectives shown, between Paul, Peter, James, and John, as well as the Gospel writers. I am afraid that later on the Church became too rigid in establishing doctrines and lost some of the spirit of Jesus.
 
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Sep 2018
88
usa
in verse 45 of the Ode of the Dove, Bahaullah says "The wave within Me stilled the ocean's surf; the Holy Ghost stirred at My rapture's lights"
i might be wrong,
it seems to me that the beautiful woman (who i believe is god) is replying to bahaullah in this part.
if iam correct, the holy ghost (which i believe is the primal will) is being "stirred" by the lights of god's rapture.
therefore, the holy ghost is separate from god itself.

i could be wrong lol