Nine Lamps ... One Light

Spiritual Enlightenment: Proclaiming the Oneness of Humanity and Presenting the Blueprint for the Establishment of Peace on Earth ... One Heart at a Time.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

He Granteth A Hundred Thousand Hopes...A Prayer for Those in Need

Dear Friends,

Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite passages that I often turn to in times of need, in times of struggle, in times of seemingly insurmountable odds. Maybe I have shared it with you before.

But perhaps, like me, this is a time that you need such loving words, such reassurance that He is able to assist you with all an instance.

It is a passage by Abdu'l-Baha, the son of Baha'u'llah, Prophet Founder of the Baha'i Faith.

It reads:

O thou who art turning thy face towards God! Close thine eyes to all things else, and open them to the realm of the All-Glorious. Ask whatsoever thou wishest of Him alone; seek whatsoever thou seekest from Him alone. With a look He granteth a hundred thousand hopes, with a glance He healeth a hundred thousand incurable ills, with a nod He layeth balm on every wound, with a glimpse He freeth the hearts from the shackles of grief. He doeth as He doeth, and what recourse have we? He carrieth out His Will, He ordaineth what He pleaseth. Then better for thee to bow down thy head in submission, and put thy trust in the All-Merciful Lord.

And right below that passage was another one which I thought would be particularly on topic with the theme of this blog proclaiming the oneness and unity of all mankind.

It reads:

O thou who dost search after truth! Thy letter of 13 December 1920 hath come.

From the days of Adam until today, the religions of God have been made manifest, one following the other, and each one of them fulfilled its due function, revived mankind, and provided education and enlightenment. They freed the people from the darkness of the world of nature and ushered them into the brightness of the Kingdom. As each succeeding Faith and Law became revealed it remained for some centuries a richly fruitful tree and to it was committed the happiness of humankind. However, as the centuries rolled by, it aged, it flourished no more and put 52 forth no fruit, wherefore was it then made young again.

The religion of God is one religion, but it must ever be renewed. Moses, for example, was sent forth to man and He established a Law, and the Children of Israel, through that Mosaic Law, were delivered out of their ignorance and came into the light; they were lifted up from their abjectness and attained to a glory that fadeth not. Still, as the long years wore on, that radiance passed by, that splendour set, that bright day turned to night; and once that night grew triply dark, the star of the Messiah dawned, so that again a glory lit the world.

Our meaning is this: the religion of God is one, and it is the educator of humankind, but still, it needs must be made new. When thou dost plant a tree, its height increaseth day by day. It putteth forth blossoms and leaves and luscious fruits. But after a long time, it doth grow old, yielding no fruitage any more. Then doth the Husbandman of Truth take up the seed from that same tree, and plant it in a pure soil; and lo, there standeth the first tree, even as it was before.

Note thou carefully that in this world of being, all things must ever be made new. Look at the material world about thee, see how it hath now been renewed. The thoughts have changed, the ways of life have been revised, the sciences and arts show a new vigour, discoveries and inventions are new, perceptions are new. How then could such a vital power as religion -- the guarantor of mankind's great advances, the very means of attaining everlasting life, the fosterer of infinite excellence, the light of both worlds -- not be made new? This would be incompatible with the grace and loving-kindness of the Lord.

Religion, moreover, is not a series of beliefs, a set of customs; religion is the teachings of the Lord God, teachings which constitute the very life of humankind, which urge high thoughts upon the mind, refine the character, and lay the groundwork for man's everlasting honour.

Note thou: could these fevers in the world of the mind, these fires of war and hate, of resentment and malice among the nations, this aggression of peoples against peoples, which have destroyed the tranquillity of the whole world ever be made to abate, except through the living waters of the teachings of God? No, never!

And this is clear: a power above and beyond the powers of nature must needs be brought to bear, to change this black darkness into light, and these hatreds and resentments, grudges and spites, these endless wrangles and wars, into fellowship and love amongst all the peoples of the earth. This power is none other than the breathings of the Holy Spirit and the mighty inflow of the Word of God."

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha)

Monday, January 01, 2007

How to attain the utmost joy in the New Year!

Well the Gregorian New Year is finally upon us.

Here is what my good book turned to the first thing when I awakened this morning. This passage is something I pray I will remember every day this year:

"Obligatory prayer and supplications are the very water of life. They are the cause of existence, of the refinement of souls, and of their attainment to the utmost joy. Exercise the greatest care in this regard, and encourage others to recite the obligatory prayers and supplications."


Wow. Could this simple act of performing your daily obligatory prayer lead to the refinement of your soul, the attainment of the utmost joy? If you are planning to make a new start this year, why not try daily prayer and see where you are by 1 January 2008.

Here’s a site I put together on obligatory prayer sometime last year:

On a purely personal note, losing weight this year is one of my goals/resolutions, and the small passage above uses some words – albeit in a different context -- that speak to several of the necessary things I know I need to implement in order to reach that goal.

  1. It mentions water. I need to drink an ounce for each pound of my body weight every day.

  2. It mentions exercise. I need to make it a daily habit to walk more.

  3. It mentions encouragement. I need to give more to others if I am to receive it.

  4. It mentions joy. Hallelujah! For joy gives us wings to do all things through obedience to His command.

If all goes well and I manage to drop at least a pound every week, then by the Bahá'í New Year (which takes place on 21 March), I will be 11 or 12 pounds lighter.

Ok…gotta go out and find me some black eyed peas and collard greens to bring in this New Year right. Oh, you probably don’t believe in that old legend that insists you gotta eat these two foods on New Year’s Day if you want to have a financially prosperous year. No, I do not really believe it either, but…I ain’t taking no chances this year. Last year was a wipe out…

Be at peace

Be unified

Be loving

Be happy.

Well, this is Lo and I gotta go ‘cause I’m runnin’ for my life.