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

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 1912 Overcome with admiration

Palo Alto: Leland Stanford Junior University; people overcome with admiration, enchanted

in Palo Alto
Mahmud writes: "Today was one of the most significant days. At the invitation of Dr David Starr Jordan, `Abdu'l-Bahá went to Leland Stanford Junior University in Palo Alto. The teachings of the Cause of God were given to a large, illustrious audience at this important educational center. Apart from some 1,800 students and 180 professors from the university, many civic leaders and prominent people from the area were also assembled in the auditorium; its satellite rooms and hallways were full and many people were standing outside the entrance as well.
The president stood and made his introductory remarks:
It is our privilege to have with us, through the kindness and courtesy of our Persian friends, one of the great religious teachers of the world, one of the natural successors of the old Hebrew prophets. He is said sometimes to be the founder of a new religion. He has upward of three millions of people following along the lines in which He leads. It is not exactly a new religion, however. The religion of brotherhood, of good will, of friendship between men and nations is as old as good thinking and good living may be. It may be said in some sense to be the oldest of religions . . . I have now the pleasure, the great honor of presenting to you `Abdu'l-Bahá.
The Master then spoke about the unity of all phenomena, man's predominance over nature, universal peace and divine civilization in such a way that the entire audience was overcome with admiration. The applause shook the building to its very foundation. The president closed this memorable occasion with these remarks:
We are all under very great obligation to `Abdu'l-Bahá for this illuminating expression of the brotherhood of man and the value of international peace. I think we can best show our appreciation by simply a rising vote of thanks.
The audience immediately rose and showed their respect by clapping and stomping their feet.
The Master had lunch with Dr Jordan at his home. Later that evening the Master spoke at the Unitarian Church of Palo Alto. His theme was the reality of divinity. The people were told the mysteries of the Kingdom and learned of spiritual matters. `Abdu'l-Bahá then went to the home of Mrs Isabel Merriman for dinner. The group present at the table was honored to be in His presence and were enchanted by His words."

Overcome, chanting, rising, stomping feet--can we grasp the crowd at this event?  Lua writes to Agnes that they gave the college yell! 

Charleen Maghzi has compiled all of the various facts about the Master's visit to California and says that on the 8th He spoke at Stanford, had lunch with the president, Dr. David Starr Jordan, spoke at the Unitarian Church, and spent the night as a guest of Mrs. Merriman at her daughter's home in Palo Alto.

Dr. Jordan (or a reporter in the Palo Altan--I don't think it's clear) said, "'Abdu'l-Baha will surely unite the East and the West; for He treads the mystic way with practical feet."

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