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

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 28, 1912

Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl

Dublin: Day 4 of 23; the sanctity of God; innate knowledge

Mahmud writes: "After prayers the Master revealed several Tablets. A lengthy one was addressed to Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl (may my life be a sacrifice to him). The Master's affection and love for him was such that when Mr MacNutt presented Him with a picture of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl, He took it at once and kissed it with such love and warmth that all saw how dear he was to the Master.
The Master sat in the drawing room and spoke to Mr Harmon about the sanctity of God, who is beyond emanation and appearance, ascent and descent, ingress and egress, and about the reflection of His attributes on the mirrors of the hearts of the Manifestations. His talk was brief but comprehensive and impressive. He also explained the meanings of the holy books and discussed the saying that `everything is contained in everything', that is, every atom of creation passes through infinite forms and every molecule is transformed and passes through everything else. He then said:
The Theosophists are educating a boy in the schools of Europe and say that he will become the promised one of all nations. How ignorant this is! God must select the Promised One, not men. The lamp that men ignite will be put out; but the Lamp of God is ever bright. He who is educated by men is always dependent on men. How can he give eternal prosperity? It is as if a person wishes to make a sun out of oil and wick.
`Abdu'l-Bahá was asked about the conditions in Turkey. He replied, `Do not expect good news from that spot. But we have nothing to do with political affairs. Our work concerns spirituality, the knowledge of God and the acquisition of spiritual bounties.'
A group of prominent persons came to see Him in the afternoon at Mrs Parsons's home. The subjects concerned telepathy, the immortality of the spirit and related subjects. The guests were so impressed that they attended every meeting. After each day's meeting Mr and Mrs Parsons come with their carriage to take the Master out riding with them. Today He said He would rather go for a walk and instead sent some of these servants for a ride.
This evening Mr Harmon read to the Master passages from a book he had written on Theosophy and Buddhist teachings. He showed Him the illustrations he had drawn. He had illustrated truth as a circle, with God at its center, and divided the circle into seven segments representing the world of creation. The Master listened to him with love and patience while at the same time removing his superstitions with quotations from philosophers and sages in such a way that Mr Harmon was astonished. The Master explained the seven segments so beautifully that he cried, `Oh, your explanations have opened the doors of understanding before me!' The Master then said, `I have had no education. I have not even been to elementary school. These people know it.' Mr Harmon said, `I feel that whatever you say comes from innate knowledge.'"

I wish we knew whom these prominent people were.

 Mr. W.W. Harmon was "a theosophist who, after `Abdu'l-Bahá's visit, circulated esoteric interpretations of Bahá'u'lláh's writings that became a source of controversy in the American Baha'i community" (Agnes Parsons' Diary, 148). He will figure in tomorrow's entry, too.

Agnes writes about `Abdu'l-Bahá's looking over the provisions and saying there was too much; He felt there would be waste because they could not eat it all.  He insisted on paying His way while in the United States, despite numerous offers of money from wealthy Baha'is.

She said He sent over Mirza Valli Ollah Khan with a bottle of rose water for her husband to take in water before breakfast. That afternoon after five, she says, `Abdu'l-Bahá came with Dr. Fareed--and all the Persians following. Mrs. Edward Frothingham, Mr. & Mrs. Markham, Mr. Laurence Adler, Mr. Stewart Montgomery, and Mr. W. W. Harmon (who was staying with `Abdu'l-Bahá) heard Him speak.  Perhaps these are the "prominent" people Mahmud refers to.  Later, after walking for a time, `Abdu'l-Bahá took a drive around the lake with her, with Mr. Harmon sitting in the front. "He was very joyous, spoke English to us and enjoyed everything, I simply radiating happiness," she says (79–80).

How can we radiate more happiness? By being closer to Him, as she was! 

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