Who was `Abdu'l-Bahá, and why did He come to the West?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 17, 1912 Back in NYC

New York: taking stock, making plans
Mahmud writes: "Many friends came to visit Him and when their numbers increased, the Master went into the assembly room and gave a lengthy talk that began with a description of the Lake Mohonk conference. He said that the influence and practice of peace and the unity of nations could only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit.
     When He was tired during these days He would often go alone in the afternoon to the park near Riverside Drive. He explained: `When I sleep on the grass, I obtain relief from exhaustion and am freed from cares. If I am not alone, I will talk and perspire and will not become relaxed and free of cares.' As always, people were continually coming and going both day and night. Everyone was anxious to see Him and He spoke to them continuously. It was impossible for Him to get any rest except when He went out alone."

Can you imagine the Master sleeping on the grass in a park? 

Our band of "extras" in Riverside Park
Rob Stockman comments (in his  new book): "When `Abdu'l-Bahá returned to New York City, it was a good time to evaluate future plans. He had arrived in America with invitations to three large and important gatherings: the Persian-American Educational Society in Washington, the Bahai Temple Unity convention in Chicago, and the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration. All three were now discharged. Newspaper coverage had been extensive—over one hundred articles nation wide—and very positive. Several important invitations had subsequently come in and been discharged as well. Major speaking engagements were already set in Boston and a promise had been extended to Montclair. He had tentatively planned to visit Boston, Montreal, and San Francisco by June, then head back across the Atlantic (Telegram from `Abdu'l-Bahá to the Allen family, Berkeley, California, May 1, 1912, quoted on Brown, Memories of `Abdu'l-Bahá, 33). The Bahá'ís on the West Coast were begging `Abdu'l-Bahá to visit them—a few had made it to Chicago and New York—but He now realized how far away it was and how exhausting the trip might be. He also saw the great capacity and great need of the Bahá'í community of greater New York City and what He could do to consolidate the Bahá'í Faith in that area. Hence He accepted an invitation to speak in Philadelphia in early June, but made no other plans to travel beyond greater New York (Ahmad Sohrab to Agnes Parsons, May 22, 1912, Parsons Papers). It was to be His base of operations for the next two months."

No comments:

Post a Comment