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

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 1912 The soul dances . . .

Dublin, NH, day 20 of 23; music; "The soul dances on hearing the Word of the Beloved"; speaking from the spirit
Mahmud writes: "Because some of the people who met `Abdu'l-Bahá today were musicians, He gave an explanation of the science of music:
Music is produced by vibrations of air which affect the tympanum of the ear. Although music or an ordinary pleasing voice is of the physical realm, yet it has an effect upon the spirit. In the same manner, freshness and purity of the air, the atmosphere, the scenery and sweet fragrances impart joy, spirituality and comfort to the heart. Even though these are physical phenomena they have a great spiritual influence.
He then narrated stories of the great masters of music, gave an account of the famous Rúdakí and read his famous poem which had caused Amír Nasir Samani to change his course from Herat to Bokhara:

The Júy-i-Múliyán we call to mind
We long for those dear friends long left behind.
The sands of Oxus, toilsome though they be,
Beneath my feet were soft as silk to me.
The Master ended His explanations with beautiful songs and these verses:

From whence comes this minstrel
Who sings the name of my Beloved,
That I lay down this life and soul
For a message from my Loved One?

To hear the message from the City of the Beloved
Resuscitates the heart.
The soul dances
On hearing the Word of the Beloved.
In the afternoon the Master spoke on the immortality of the soul and the teachings of the new Manifestation. Afterwards, many were eager to see Him alone. He said to them:
My desire is greater than yours. Some of the disciples went to Rumelia and said, `We had a desire to see you so we have come from Jerusalem to this place.' Now, behold what a desire I had to see you, that I traveled from the East to the West!
(There are some notes from Mahmud's diary that I should add when I can. . . .)
Agnes writes: "Mrs. Boyle of Washington was with  `Abdu'l-Bahá this morning. He drove here with His guest Mrs. Champney and the child of the other guests, Mr. and Mrs. Allston. This was about 4. He went at once to the drawing room to rest, I arranging the silk cushions for Him on the long sofa near the door. Mrs. Champney was with me for some time in the “bird cage” when  `Abdu'l-Bahá joined us. Then we walked to the play house where He watched the children slide down the sliding board, and later see-saw.
 [She then lists various people who were there. “I tried to take down the English, but it was quite hopeless. I could not keep up. I wish we had a stenographer. It was very beautiful. Again He was asked to give proofs of Immortality, and He spoke of true brotherhood.
    Later, in the dining room He answered questions of the missionary. . . .
    Jeffrey Boy was again in His arms this afternoon. At dinner he said: ‘I want Max [Jeffrey’s pet pony that pulled a small cart] to have some honor, the horses had had it all. Won’t Abdu'l-Baha drive some time with Max in the cart?’
     A Quaker lady said to me, ‘He was speaking from the Spirit this afternoon.’”

Don’t you wish we had a picture of Jeffrey and Max with his cart?  And that we had the opportunity to follow up with the Quaker lady, inviting her to a devotional meeting or study circle? And that we could hear Him speaking from the Spirit!

I just got back from Montreal. What a trip! We showed parts of our film at the Association for Baha'i Studies conference. 

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