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

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 10, 1912 Sacrifice what you love . . .

Dublin, NH, day 17 of 23; contentment in poverty; divine dawning points
Mahmud writes, "In the morning the Master explained and illustrated some of the verses from Bahá'u'lláh for the friends who had come from the surrounding area to see Him. The explanations ended with the statement that contentment in poverty is better than happiness in wealth but happiness in poverty is more praiseworthy than mere contentment. Above all is the rich man who, having sacrificed, emerges pure from tests and trials and becomes the cause of tranquillity to mankind. Gratitude is the cause of multiple blessings but the apex of gratitude is sacrifice. The station of sacrifice is the highest of all. For this reason it is said, `You will never attain unto righteousness until ye sacrifice that which ye love.' The Master then narrated a story:
At the time of his death a king longed for the station of a poor man, saying, `Would that I were a poor man so that I would neither have practiced oppression nor have had any regrets at the time of death.' A poor man heard this, and said, `Praise be to God that at the hour of death kings desire to be poor. We poor people at the hour of death have no desire to be kings.'
Conversation of this kind continued for some time.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá addressed a meeting and spoke on the principles of the Cause, emphasizing universal peace among the nations. After the meeting a person in the audience said: `The Bahá'ís do not believe in any one person but believe in the good teachings of all the Prophets and religions.' The implication of his statement was that believing in the Manifestation of God was of no consequence. But note the Master's reply to this remark:
The basic principles of all religions are the same and the Sun of Truth is one, yet every day it appears from a different dawning point. Hence, the Bahá'ís believe in the fundamental truth of all the religions and turn to the Sun of Truth. From whatever dawning point it may appear they turn toward it. At one time, it appeared from the dawning point of Moses, then from that of Jesus and again from that of Muhammad. But if all had looked only at the dawning points, they would have remained veiled like the Jews when the Sun of Truth appeared from another place. Today the Bahá'ís look at the Sun of Truth and not at the dawning point. From whatever place it may appear, they turn to it. You have rightly understood that the Bahá'ís do not believe in a person; rather they believe in the truth which shines from the divine dawning points."

Agnes describes how the Master enjoyed the distant eastern hills.  He wrote in her visitors' book and gave her some photographs of Himself. The talk was beautiful--as usual. He stayed at the Wilcox Inn. She mentions several people visiting. . . .

The days in Dublin will soon come to an end. Green Acre is next!  I wish I could be there! But right now I am in Montreal, enjoying the Association for Baha'i Studies conference!
Sacrifice what you love--how hard! What a mystery the spiritual life is. Well, I've been forced to sacrifice going to Green Acre this year--one of the hardest things of my life. And I haven't felt any joy from it, either. Hm. What is sacrifice?  Will have to work on that. 

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