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

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 1912 Riding the rails to see 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Green Acre; a new people; infinite love; Sarah in a state of rapture; Fred Mortensen . . . the Feast                  
Fred Mortensen is next to his lawyer, 
Albert Hall (right) Minneapolis

Fred Mortensen
Mahmud writes: "Among the friends visiting the Master was Fred Mortensen, a youth who, prior to embracing the Cause, had been a fugitive from justice but was now very humble and tranquil. Despairing of seeing the Master, who had not made known His plans to visit the West, he traveled from Minneapolis to visit Him. Because he could not afford to pay the price of a ticket from Minneapolis to Green Acre, he had ridden the rods under the train and in this way reached Chicago and Green Acre. He explained everything about his journey to the Master, who then told him, `You are my guest.' Each day the Master bestowed kindness upon him and a few days later He gave him money to pay for his journey home. Unknown to anyone, the Master paid for many such expenses. Twice He sent a speaker from New York to Chicago and adjacent cities and on each occasion, although the person was rich, `Abdu'l-Bahá gave him more than enough money to defray the expenses of his journey. In addition, He liberally contributed to the poor and to the churches [in which He spoke] in every city. [See also Fred's own account.]
 After speaking with the friends, He went to Miss Farmer's temporary residence [in Portsmouth]. When she saw `Abdu'l-Bahá, she fell into such a state of rapture that every heart was moved. After comforting her and the others, at Dr LeRoy's request He went to see places of historic interest, including a yard where battleships were being built [the Navy Yard in Kittery]. This activity did not please the Master. On His return He said:
While the Manifestations of God are still alive, the people do not appreciate their value, they curse and execrate them; but after their ascension they worship them. Such is the case with these tent-dwellers who live outside Green Acre. Even Columbus and some ancient philosophers like Socrates were made to suffer but after a time the people took pride in praising them.
This afternoon, under the Persian pines and cypresses of that lovely plain, three hundred people heard `Abdu'l-Bahá draw a picture of the vista of everlasting life, its spiritual stations and eternal blessings. He then went to the `Bahá'í House' where we were all His guests. Following His walk after supper, the Master stood at the front hall of the house and spoke. People were even standing in the street to listen to Him. He spoke so beautifully about the relationship of the East and the West that passersby stopped to hear what He had to say.
People on porch of Staples, where the Feast was held. Note Japanese lanterns
(used to decorate the road when Abdu'l-Baha arrived). 
In the evening there was musical entertainment and dancing in the hall of the Inn. `Abdu'l-Bahá said, `Such gatherings and practices are the cause of the corruption of morals.' He also said this evening, `My thoughts are wholly absorbed by this journey. I can think of nothing else because the outcome of this journey is so great. Up to now in the Cause of the Blessed Beauty a development as great as this has not occurred.'"

The OUTCOME of the journey!  How we are living part of that now!  Blessings upon blessings! 

I am reminded of a special reference to Green Acre On July 1, from a talk in New York:
"I desire to make manifest among the friends in America a new light that they may become a new people, that a new foundation may be established and complete harmony be realized; for the foundation of Baha'u'llah is love.  When you go to Green Acre, you must have infinite love for each other, each preferring the other before himself.  The people must be so attracted to you that they will exclaim, "What happiness exists among you!" and will see in your faces the lights of the Kingdom; then in wonderment they will turn to you and seek the cause of your happiness.  You must give the message through action and deed, not alone by word.  Word must be conjoined with deed.  You must love your friend better than yourself; yes, be willing to sacrifice yourself.  The Cause of Baha'u'llah has not yet appeared in this country.  I desire that you be ready to sacrifice everything for each other, even life itself; then I will know that the Cause of Baha'u'llah has been established.  I will pray for you that you may become the cause of upraising the lights of God.  May everyone point to you and ask, "Why are these people so happy?"  I want you to be happy in Green Acre, to laugh, smile and rejoice in order that others may be made happy by you.  I will pray for you.  (`Abdu'l-Bahá,  The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 218)

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