Sunday, 17 July 2016

RIDHVAN MESSAGE 2016

RIDHVAN MESSAGE 
2016

This last Baha'i year has seen many great advancements in the Cause--even as the inner reality of the soul outwardly supports the physical body (and upon the souls departure the body separates back into parts)--all the outward progress and developments in our spiritual community are due to the power of the Covenant now alive in the hearts, minds and souls of the faithful! 

This year has seen the great opening of our Persian language Baha'i Center under the provisions of the Covenant; the blossoming of the European and African branches of our school, and those teachers and guides who have been deepening their Roots in those lands in order to secure integration within the greater communities of those nations through humanitarian employment and occupations. Due to the firmness of the Covenant in the Americas and India--these two sister communities have been able to evolve in tandem--shifting the activity of the people upon the maturing foundation of democratic and spiritual elections. This is the most important and most significant development in the Baha'i Faith since the days of the Great Dividing in 1960! 

For example--if it be thought about with deep insight--it is clearly seen that the throne-line of King David has been well established and under the protection of God from the time of David and Solomon up through the days of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha down to the present time. For almost 3000 years God has protected and established this throne-line and family lineage within the world! But it will also be seen that the world has been troubled all throughout this same time period. That wars have ensued. That poverty, disease, racism, and ignorance and other unnatural divisions have prevailed. That religious fanaticism and scientistic atheism have both served to obscure clear proofs and real faith--and the peoples personal experience with God had been cut off like dark clouds that fill the sky cutting those huddled upon God's great green earth off from the clear light of the Resplendant Shining Sun from on high. Now all this has changed! It is the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Kitab-i-Aqdas: "the Mystery of the Reversal of the sign of the Sovereign!" The flag of the Covenant-breakers has been pulled down in all lands and climes; and the world-wide banner and standard of the Covenant has been valiantly hoisted and upraised all throughout the world! 

"He is God! O thou who art attracted by the rays of the light emanating from the dawning place of mysteries! Hasten to attain true salvation; hasten towards the shining light; hasten towards eternal joy; hasten towards the wondrous grace; hasten towards the mighty Covenant. Verily the hearts of the heedless have been shaken by the convulsions of frequent calamities, by great tests and difficulties, and the horizons of their lives have been darkened by thick clouds of wickedness and rebellion. Thus the water of certitude dried up and in its place the boding waters of idle fancies and vain imaginings welled forth. Doubts and illusions spread, as they abandoned the authorized Centre of the Covenant [every single provision of the sacred Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha] and the solid edifice of the Faith of God, and followed instead every rash and heedless one, the speakers who hear not, and the guides who see not. 

"Do they think that they shall be left alone to their own devices? Nay! When the nightingale sings in the eternal paradise, and the dove of holiness warbles its melody in the groves of the realm of grandeur, and the rays of confirmation beam forth from the midmost heart of heaven, and the lamps of oneness shine brightly within the hearts of His chosen ones, and the way is prepared, and the path made straight, and the trumpet of ecstasy is sounded, and the bugle of eternal life is blown, and the hosts of the Abha Kingdom rush forth, and the angels of the Supreme Concourse spur on their chargers, and the standards of the Covenant are hoisted, and the sails of fidelity and harmony are unfurled-on that Day shalt thou see the steadfast ones abiding in the highest heaven, dwelling beneath His all-embracing shadow, occupying a glorious station, and partaking of His conspicuous favors, while the heedless shall be seen enshrouded in a black smoke, reduced to the seat of abasement, and fallen prey to distress, loss and sorrow, until the Day whereon they shall be raised again to life." ('Abdu'l-Baha) 

And what is this reversal? It is the coming forth of the rod of iron, the spiritual heirs of the Covenant of Baha'u'llah to receive their inheritance of His Kingdom! They are those that the Master--'Abdu'l-Baha--calls The Learned! Those that Baha'u'llah Himself has designated The Learned in the Book of the Covenant, the Kitab-i-'Ahd. 

"The state is, moreover, based upon two potent forces, the legislative and the executive. The focal center of the executive power is the government, while that of the legislative isthe learned—and if this latter great support and pillar should prove defective, how is it conceivable that the state should stand?"('Abdu'l-Baha, Secret of Divine Civilization) 

"It is incumbent upon everyone to aid those daysprings of authority and sources of command who are adorned with the raiment of equity and justice. Blessed are the rulers and learned in el-Baha! They verily are My trustees amongst My servants and the manifestations of My commandments amidst My people. Upon them rest My glory, My blessings and My grace which have pervaded the world of being. In this connection the utterances revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas (the Most Holy Book) are such that from the horizon of their words the light of divine grace shineth luminous and resplendant." (Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-'Ahd) 

All throughout the world everyone loves God. Everywhere we go we here the people praising God and thanking God. But God for the most part is not known. Why? If you had a choice to be either known or to be loved--which would you choose for yourself? That everywhere people talk well of you and sing your praises and shower you with love and affection--but no one really knows you; or that people do know you but are not interested or hate you? Most people would choose to be loved over being known--and apparently that is what God does too! 

The Learned therefore are those people who now only have that same deep abiding love of God as most people, but who are also knowledgeable in God as well. They know God through their own direct and immediate experience of God; and from this they have deepened in a lifetime of wisdom and understanding. This direct and immediate knowing of God, and the growth of wisdom and understanding--The Learning of the Learned--does not come upon a person accidentally. No. It comes upon a person when they turn to God and say "yes" of their own free volition. In this manner they enter into a Covenant with God--the everlasting Covenant--and through the welcomed tests, trials, tribulations, and hassles of this world--they overcome! They overcome the world. They overcome themselves! They overcome the dark. And an eternal fire and light is ignited within them that shall last through all this world and the all the worlds of the next, the writings tell us, as long as God Himself shall last--we shall last in everlasting life in eternal paradise. Such is the promise of God. But first we have to say "yes." 

"Whoso maketh efforts for Us in Our ways we shall assuredly guide them!" (Baha'u'llah, Iqan) 

Thus those who say “yes” become transformed from the image of the animal (two eyes, two ears, mouth, nose, arms and legs) into the image of God: the spiritual qualities and attributes, love, justice, generosity, concord, fidelity, harmony, loving-kindness, compassion, knowledgeable, empathy, humility, strength, valor, etc. This is the learned. The path of the believers. The path of the firmness in this covenant. For they both know and love. They have been guided out of objective and subjective faith--into living discerning faith. Their eyes are open and they see. Their minds are ready and they know. They have overcome the personal. They have overcome the social. In this way they are liberated to gather once again--and form their true Baha'i Councils under the Provisions of the Covenant and develop of their own volition and freedoms--independent of all save God--wonderful and vibrant community life! 

And this is the difference of what is taking place now! For 3000 years God has guarded and protected the throne-line of King David--but only now since 1844 and 2001 (through a 149 years dynamic program that is still currently ongoing) has God raised up His people into the light, dispelled the clouds of darkness, open the gates of the doors of heaven, sounded the trumpet announcing the great day, and called forth to all people that the Kingdom is come now upon the earth as it is in heaven. All have been invited to this heavenly banquet and not only as guests but as fellow heirs of the Kingdom, men and women both! heirs of iron--symbolical of the spiritual, the intellectual and the magnetic--to receive their promised share in both this world and the next! 

This has never happened before in the history of the world. That all the people should be raised up to inherit. That as the active body of the learned they can elect their chosen representatives and form the international, national and local councils (the current form of the houses of justice) in all their lands and various cultures. That diversity should preserved, and individuality respected. But that this diversity and individuality only flourishes and thrives within the commonweal of the Great community collective of an all-merciful and mighty God: His Kingdom--that prevails in both this world and the next. 

Though the Jewish throne-line of this Kingdom (of David and Solomon, of Bostanai, Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha) has been preserved for so long, it is only until now that all the people have slowly awoken out of the false religious forms and refuted the hoaxes perpetrated by the usurpers of the various faiths--and are NOW aroused into action and life to form, this new way upon the earth, and have this legislative parliament established for themselves in the Kingdom as God has promised aforetime: 

"The state is, moreover, based upon two potent forces, the legislative and the executive. The focal center of the executive power [the Davidic Kingship] is the government, while that of the legislative is the learned—and if this latter great support and pillar should prove defective, how is it conceivable that the state should stand?"('Abdu'l-Baha, Secret of Divine Civilization) 

"It is incumbent upon everyone to aid those daysprings of authority and sources of command who are adorned with the raiment of equity and justice. Blessed are the rulers and learned in el-Baha! They verily are My trustees amongst My servants and the manifestations of My commandments amidst My people. Upon them rest My glory, My blessings and My grace which have pervaded the world of being. In this connection the utterances revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas (the Most Holy Book) are such that from the horizon of their words the light of divine grace shineth luminous and resplendant." (Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-'Ahd) 

My prayers are with you all this coming Ridvan Season! 

Blessing to ALL on this Great Holy Day! 

I remain yours, 

your servant, 
 
Neal. 
(GUARDIAN OF THE BAHA’I FAITH)

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