Sitting cross-legged

Jan 2011
67
Detroit, MI USA
#1
Just a quick question. When the Kitab-i-Aqdas says to seat yourselves cross-legged—men and women alike does it mean in a chair or on the floor?

Thank you.
 
Mar 2015
187
Bend area, Oregon
#2
od19g6be:

I offer this is information for your consideration.

1536. The Correct Position for "Sitting" During Obligatory Prayers
"…one of the believers asked the Guardian a question about the correct position for sitting. From the context it seems clear that this question is related to the medium Prayer, but this is not explicitly stated. The Guardian's reply states that sitting on a chair is permissible, but to sit on the floor is preferable and more fitting."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, April 1, 1982: Notes on Obligatory Prayers and Ablutions, a compilation of the Universal House of Justice and found in the “Lights of Guidance: A Baha’i Reference File” compilation by Helen Hornby)

It appears that when directed to sit during one's prayers, cross legged or otherwise, that sitting on the floor "is preferable and more fitting".

LR
 
Jan 2011
67
Detroit, MI USA
#3
od19g6be:

I offer this is information for your consideration.

1536. The Correct Position for "Sitting" During Obligatory Prayers
"…one of the believers asked the Guardian a question about the correct position for sitting. From the context it seems clear that this question is related to the medium Prayer, but this is not explicitly stated. The Guardian's reply states that sitting on a chair is permissible, but to sit on the floor is preferable and more fitting."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, April 1, 1982: Notes on Obligatory Prayers and Ablutions, a compilation of the Universal House of Justice and found in the “Lights of Guidance: A Baha’i Reference File” compilation by Helen Hornby)

It appears that when directed to sit during one's prayers, cross legged or otherwise, that sitting on the floor "is preferable and more fitting".

LR
So on the floor do we sit with our "legs-folded" our do we sit with one leg over the other?
 
Mar 2013
519
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#5
From what the Guardian said, there does not appear to be a rule about exactly how to sit during prayer. It may depend on our physical limitations. For some people, cross-legged is comfortable, for others sitting with legs folded back is the natural position after having bowed the forehead to the ground from a kneeling position as in the long obligatory prayer. For people who have less flexibility and maybe painful knees, any way you can sit comfortably is fine.
 
Mar 2015
187
Bend area, Oregon
#6
Perhaps the greater consideration should be, why are we directed to assume this seated cross legged position, or for that matter, assume the position of any other prescribed genuflection during a prescribed prayer, or the recitation of the Greatest Name, Alláh-u-Abhá , 95 times.

Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Cause of God and interpreter of the words of God, has explained that the prescribed genuflections are “a physical symbol of an inner reality, just as the plant stretches out to the sunlight - from which it receives its life and growth - so we turn our hearts to the Manifestation of God, Baha’u’llah, when we pray; . . .” (24 June 1949 to an individual believer; The Importance of Prayer, Meditation and the Devotional Attitude: A Compilation Prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice March 1980, revised July 1990, No. 58)

From this brief explanation we better understand that the genuflections prescribed by Baha’u’llah create in us improved receptivity that we might better “(t)urn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting." (Arabic Hidden Words, No. 13). Baha’u’llah also explained: “God hath revealed, that “We are closer to man than his life-vein.”; and that we should “(m)editate on what the poet hath written: “Wonder not, if my Best-Beloved be closer to me than mine own self; wonder at this, that I, despite such nearness, should still be so far from Him.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 185). He also revealed: “This most great, this fathomless and surging Ocean is near, astonishingly near, unto you. Behold it is closer to you than your life-vein! Swift as the twinkling of an eye ye can, if ye but wish it, reach and partake of this imperishable favor, this God-given grace, this incorruptible gift, this most potent and unspeakably glorious bounty." (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 326)

Along with our focus on the outer or physical positions we assume during the prescribed prayers, let us also consider the the spiritual purpose behind them.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. -LR
 

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