New York: Divine Education and Morals; Mírzá `Alí-Akbar Nakhjavání; "heavenly melodies"
Mahmud reports: "In the morning, a group of the friends gathered in the Master's residence. He spoke to them about the Unity Club's children's event, explaining divine education and morals. He then went to Mrs Newton's home in Brooklyn. The servants of Abdu'l-Bahá were also invited to accompany Him for lunch at the home of Mrs Newton and Mrs Rivers.
Today a new guest came from the East to see the Master and to be in His presence, Mírzá `Alí-Akbar Nakhjavání. At the table the Master asked him about conditions in the East. `Abdu'l-Bahá gave a brief discourse at the table:
Nothing in the world of existence is greater than such gatherings as these because they have been called solely for the love of God. Observe with what love people from the East are seated at the same table with people from the West. Such love and unity were previously impossible. The power of Bahá'u'lláh has created an affinity in these hearts and has drawn these souls under the canopy of one Word. No family ever gathers with such love and associates with such happiness and joy. It is through the divine power and through the potency of the Word of God that we are assembled here with such gladness and delight. We are turned towards the Abhá Kingdom and like the plants of the flower garden we are swayed by the breezes of His kindness and favor. Today is a day which shall never be forgotten, for we are under the shadow of the Blessed Beauty. Our hearts are joyous with His glad tidings; we breathe the fragrant breezes of the Abhá Kingdom; our ears are delighted with the divine summons, and our spirits are alive through heavenly bounties. Such a day shall never be forgotten.
In the afternoon, after a short ride in the large public park of Brooklyn, `Abdu'l-Bahá returned to New York. A group of people had assembled at His residence to see Him. Saying that He wanted to be alone for awhile, He went to a small garden by the bank of the river near His residence. After a few minutes He returned and spoke to the friends of the heavenly melodies."
Mírzá `Alí-Akbar Nakhjavání is the father of `Alí Nakhjavání and is the middle man standing in the group pictured at top of blog, with the Master at Green Acre! We will hear more about him when we get to Dublin.
(Does any one want to offer any information on him?)
This day, and all others associated with the travels of `Abdu'l-Bahá, will not be forgotten, as we can re-live them in some ways and breathe in the fragrance of His movement, His words, His impact. However, I think we will all understand and "experience" this differently.
As far as "heavenly melodies," we can only conjecture what He heard today as He walked alone in the garden. Certainly there are references to the importance of music, from His own Holy Writ:
". . . Set to music the verses and the divine words so that they may be sung with soul-stirring melody in the Assemblies and gatherings, and that the hearts of the listeners may become tumultuous and rise towards the Kingdom of Abha in supplication and prayer."
"A wonderful song giveth wings to the spirit and filleth the heart with exaltation."
"Try, if thou canst, to use spiritual melodies, songs and tunes, and to bring the earthly music into harmony with the celestial melody. Then thou wilt notice what a great influence music hath and what heavenly joy and life it conferreth. Strike up such a melody and tune as to cause the nightingales of divine mysteries to be filled with joy and ecstasy."(See compilation on Music: http://bahai-library.com/compilations/music.html#II)
Surely there are melodies and sights and colors beyond earthly ones. I once had the experience of a dose of these in a vision. I was in a hotel room in London and woke from an incredibly powerful dream vision in which I saw amazing colors beyond the earthly spectrum and heard sounds that were astonishingly beautiful. A group of us stood on a hill above the ocean. Into our hands were placed pages reflecting the Revelation. As the colors and sounds receded, we were told to disperse and share with the world what was on our pages. There was a horse (in Jungian psychology the symbol for the unconscious of humankind) drowning in the ocean. I wadded in to save the horse, but a man reached out to hurt me. I ran up to a house and stood next to a friend who was (actually) then in Haifa. When the man followed me, he looked at our faces. His hateful grimace changed. He knelt and asked to be made aware of the spiritual mysteries. I awoke from this dream shaking, put on white clothes, and went out to the grave of the Guardian instead of going sightseeing with my family. I met some people to teach on that journey.
Hearing the melodies of the "kingdom" was such a gift I can never forget it! Imagine the Master having access to those sounds by simply communing. Perhaps if we listen very closely we can tune in to what He heard.