Having lived near the shores the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, and both sides of the Atlantic Ocean with ancestors engaged in shipbuilding, the ocean is a powerful metaphor in my life. As I am working on one of the largest marine paintings I have ever done I am immersed in waves, wind and sails. I am collecting this selection of Sacred Writings from the Baha’i Faith on the theme of the Ocean.
“Indeed, the laws of God are like unto the ocean and the children of men as fish, did they but know it. However, in observing them one must exercise tact and wisdom… Since most people are feeble and far-removed from the purpose of God, therefore one must observe tact and prudence under all conditions, so that nothing might happen that could cause disturbance and dissension or raise clamour among the heedless. Verily, His bounty hath surpassed the whole universe and His bestowals encompassed all that dwell on earth. One must guide mankind to the ocean of true understanding in a spirit of love and tolerance.”
“Quaff then, O My brother, from the living waters that We have caused to flow in the oceans of these words. Methinks the seas of grandeur are surging within them, and the gems of divine virtue are shining within and upon them. Divest then thyself of that which debarreth thee from this fathomless crimson sea, and to the cry of “In the name of God and by His grace!” immerse thyself therein. Let the fear of no one dismay thee. Trust in the Lord, thy God, for He is sufficient unto whosoever trusteth in Him. He, verily, shall protect thee, and in Him shalt thou abide in safety.” Gems of Divine Mysteries (Javáhiru’l-Asrár)
“Having, in this journey, immersed himself in the ocean of immortality, rid his heart from attachment to aught save Him, and attained unto the loftiest heights of everlasting life, the seeker will see no annihilation either for himself or for any other soul. He will quaff from the cup of immortality, tread in its land, soar in its atmosphere, consort with them that are its embodiments, partake of the imperishable and incorruptible fruits of the tree of eternity, and be forever accounted, in the lofty heights of immortality, amongst the denizens of the everlasting realm.”Gems of Divine Mysteries (Javáhiru’l-Asrár)
“Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths.” Bahá’u’lláh. Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh “The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the…” http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/PB/pb-63.html
“Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer to the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.” Bahá’u’lláh Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
“I am the Sun of Wisdom and the Ocean of Knowledge. I cheer the faint and revive the dead. I am the guiding Light that illumineth the way. I am the royal Falcon on the arm of the Almighty. I unfold the drooping wings of every broken bird and start it on its flight.” Bahá’u’lláh Tabernacle of Unity
“This is the Day whereon the Ocean of God’s mercy hath been manifested unto men, the Day in which the Day Star of His loving-kindness hath shed its radiance upon them, the Day in which the clouds of His bountiful favor have overshadowed the whole of mankind. Now is the time to cheer and refresh the down-cast through the invigorating breeze of love and fellowship, and the living waters of friendliness and charity.” Bahá’u’lláh
“Most of the people in Persia are steeped in deception and idle fancy. How great the difference between the condition of these people and the station of such valiant souls as have passed beyond the sea of names and pitched their tents upon the shores of the ocean of detachment. Indeed none but a few of the existing generation hath yet earned the merit of hearkening unto the warblings of the doves of the all-highest Paradise. ‘Few of My servants are truly thankful.’2 People for the most part delight in superstitions. They regard a single drop of the sea of delusion as preferable to an ocean of certitude. By holding fast unto names they deprive themselves of the inner reality and by clinging to vain imaginings they are kept back from the Dayspring of heavenly signs. God grant you may be graciously aided under all conditions to shatter the idols of superstition and to tear away the veils of the imaginations of men. Authority lieth in the grasp of God, the Fountainhead of revelation and inspiration and the Lord of the Day of Resurrection.” Bahá’u’lláh http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/TB/tb-7.html
Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá
- “Thou canst take unto thyself a husband and at the same time serve the Cause of God.” Section 64
- “Marriage for the mass of people is a physical bond…” Section 84
- “As for the question regarding marriage…” Section 85
- “Bahá’í marriage is the commitment of the two parties one to the other, and their mutual attachment of mind and heart. Section 86
- “O thou memento of him who died for the Blessed Beauty!…”Section 87
“O YE two believers in God! The Lord, peerless is He, hath made woman and man to abide with each other in the closest companionship, and to be even as a single soul. They are two helpmates, two intimate friends, who should be concerned about the welfare of each other. If they live thus, they will pass through this world with perfect contentment, bliss, and peace of heart, and become the object of divine grace and favor in the Kingdom of heaven. But if they do other than this, they will live out their lives in great bitterness, longing at every moment for death, and will be shamefaced in the heavenly realm. Strive, then, to abide, heart and soul, with each other as two doves in the nest, for this is to be blessed in both worlds.” Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá Section 92
Glory be unto Thee, O my God! Verily, this Thy servant and this Thy maidservant have gathered under the shadow of Thy mercy and are united through Thy favour and generosity. O Lord! Confirm them in Thy servitude and assist them in Thy service. Suffer them to become the signs of Thy name in Thy world and protect them through Thy bestowals which are inexhaustible in this world and the world to come. O Lord! They are supplicating the kingdom of Thy mercifulness and invoking the realm of Thy singleness. Verily, they are married in obedience to Thy command. Cause them to become the signs of harmony and unity until the end of time. Verily, Thou art the Omnipotent and the Almighty! (`Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 45-6)
Baha’i Marriage Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Section Only)
Author: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Source: US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1976 edition Pages: 449
“Bahá’u’lláh has urged marriage upon all people as the natural and rightful way of life. He has also, however, placed strong emphasis on its spiritual nature, which, while in no way precluding a normal physical life, is the most essential aspect of marriage. That two people should live their lives in love and harmony is of far greater importance than that theyshould be consumed with passion for each other. The one is a great rock of strength on which to lean in time of need; the other a purely temporary thing which may at any time die out.” Lights of Guidance, no. 1268, pp. 378-9.
NB. The Marriage Tablet, beginning “The bond that unite hearts most perfectly is loyalty…” This is not a tablet at all, but is an unauthenticated record by Ahmad Sohrab of a talk by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The friends may use it, but it should be made clear that this is not Bahá’í scripture.
He is God! O peerless Lord! In Thine almighty wisdom Thou hast enjoined marriage upon the peoples, that the generations of men may succeed one another in this contingent world, and that ever, so long as the world shall last, they may busy themselves at the Threshold of Thy oneness with servitude and worship, with salutation, adoration and praise. “I have not created spirits and men, but that they should worship me.” 1 Wherefore, wed Thou in the heaven of Thy mercy these two birds of the nest of Thy love, and make them the means of attracting perpetual grace; that from the union of these two seas of love a wave of tenderness may surge and cast the pearls of pure and goodly issue on the shore of life. “He hath let loose the two seas, that they meet each other: Between them is a barrier which they overpass not. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will ye deny? From each He bringeth up greater and lesser pearls.” 2
O Thou kind Lord! Make Thou this marriage to bring forth coral and pearls. Thou art verily the All Powerful, the Most Great, the Ever Forgiving. —‘Abdu’lBahá
And when He [God] desired to manifest grace and beneficence to men, and to set the world in order, He revealed observances and created laws; among them He established the law of marriage, made it as a fortress for wellbeing and salvation, and enjoined it upon us in that which was sent down out of the heaven of sanctity in His Most Holy Book. He saith, great is His glory: “Enter into wedlock, O people, that ye may bring forth one who will make mention of Me amid My servants. This is My bidding unto you; hold fast to it as an assistance to yourselves.” (Bahá’u’lláh: Bahá’í Prayers (US 2002), p. 118)
“Bahá’í marriage is the commitment of the two parties one to the other, and their mutual attachment of mind and heart. Each must, however, exercise the utmost care to become thoroughly acquainted with the character of the other, that the binding covenant between them may be a tie that will endure forever. Their purpose must be this: to become loving companions and comrades and at one with each other for time and eternity….The true marriage of Bahá’ís is this, that husband and wife should be united both physically and spiritually, that they may ever improve the spiritual life of each other, and may enjoy everlasting unity throughout all the worlds of God.” (‘Abdu’lBahá: Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l Bahá, p. 118)
Shareable Baha’i Resources
The following are compilations in process…
- The oneness of religion
- A spiritual solution to economic problems
- International auxiliary language
- Religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge
- The elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth
- The establishment of a global commonwealth of nations
The Virtues Project by The Virtues Project by Linda Kavelin Popov and Dan Popov lists assertiveness, caring, cleanliness, compassion, confidence, consideration, courage, courtesy, creativity, detachment, determination, enthusiasm, excellence, faithfulness, flexibility, forgiveness, friendliness, generosity, gentleness, gratitude, helpfulness, honesty, honor, humility, idealism, joyfulness, justice, kindness, love, loyalty, mercy, moderation, modesty, obedience, orderliness, patience, peacefulness, prayerfulness, purposefulness, reliability, respect, responsibility, reverence, self-discipline, service, steadfastness, tact, thankfulness, tolerance, trust, trustworthiness, truthfulness, unity,
Living the Life
- The Dawn-Breakers: Nabíl’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá’í Revelation
- Timeline to the Baghdad Period
- A selected timeline of events related to Baha’i history
Heroes and heroines
Baha’i Faith in Alberta
From the Baha’i International Community
- The Bahá’í Concept of God
- The Purpose of Life
“I rejoice to hear that thou takest pains with thine art, for in this wonderful new age, art is worship. The more thou strivest to perfect it, the closer wilt thou come to God. What bestowal could be greater than this, that one’s art should be even as the act of worshipping the Lord? That is to say, when thy fingers grasp the paint brush, it is as if thou wert at prayer in the Temple.” Abdu’l-Bahá
Talk presented at:
97 Cadogan Gardens, London,
December 26th, 1912
‘Should Prayer take the form of action?’
‘Abdu’l-Bahá. “Yes: In the Bahá’í Cause arts, sciences and all crafts are (counted as) worship. The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his 177 heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá. [1912-12-26] 1972).”
Sacred writings by Bahá’u’lláh, Abdu’l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi entitled “Arts and Crafts” by was compiled and published as part of the Compilation of Compilations, Volume 1, pages 1-8 in 1991.
Examples from “Arts and Crafts”
Blessed are those who have fixed their gaze on the realm of glory and have followed the commandments of the Lord of Names. Blessed is he who in the days of God will engage in handicrafts. This is a bounty from God, for in this Most Great Dispensation it is acceptable in the sight of God for man to occupy himself in a trade which relieveth him of depending upon charity. The craft of every craftsman is regarded as worship. (Bahá’u’lláh from a Tablet – translated from the Persian)
One of the names of God is the Fashioner. He loveth craftsmanship. Therefore any of His servants who manifesteth this attribute is acceptable in the sight of this Wronged One. Craftsmanship is a book among the books of divine sciences, and a treasure among the treasures of His heavenly wisdom. This is a knowledge with meaning, for some of the sciences are brought forth by words and come to an end with words. (Bahá’u’lláh from a Tablet – translated from the Persian)
God grant that thou wilt exert thine utmost to acquire perfections, as well as proficiency in a craft. (Bahá’u’lláh from a Tablet – translated from the Persian)
The one true God, exalted be He, loveth to witness handiworks of high craftsmanship produced by His loved ones. Blessed art thou, for what thy skill hath produced hath reached the presence of thy Lord, the Exiled, the Wronged. Please God every one of His friends may be enabled to acquire one of the crafts, and be confirmed in adhering to what hath been ordained in the Book of God, the All- Glorious, the All-Wise. (Bahá’u’lláh from a Tablet – translated from the Persian and Arabic)
More postings from this blog on creativity:
Under construction This is a personal shareable research tool. Please visit the official Baha’i websites for comprehensive information. The Baha’i calendar is a cycle of 19 months and the Baha’i month is a cycle of 19 days. 19 x 19 is 361 days. Ayyám Al Há forms the four or five intercalary days between the last and the first months that fill out the 365 or 366 days of the solar year.
Today is ‘Idál, عدال, Justice, Wednesday in the month of Baha بهاء Splendour glory, light, excellence), in the year 172 BE, in the Vahid Alif meaning A in the Kull-i-Shay?
The Bahá’í week starts on Saturday, and ends on Friday. Like Judaism and Islam, days begin at sunset on the previous solar day and end at sunset of the present solar day. Bahá’í writings indicate that Friday is to be kept as a day of rest. The practice of keeping Friday as a day of rest is currently not observed in all countries; for example, in the UK, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís confirmed it does not currently keep this practice.
|Arabic Name||Arabic Script||English Translation||Day of the Week|
Cycle of nineteen days See Baha’i Feasts
Cycle of nineteen months
Cycle of nineteen years
Cycle of nineteen Vahid
“The Báb has, in His writings revealed in Arabic, divided the years following the date of His Revelation, into cycles of nineteen years each. Each cycle of nineteen years is called Váhid. Nineteen cycles constitute a period called Kull-i-Shay. The numerical value of the word “Váhid” is nineteen. It signifies unity, and is symbolic of the unity of God. The numerical value of the “Kull-i-Shay” is 361, and literally means “all things. The numerical value of the “Kull-i-Shay” is 361, and literally means “all things.” In the table below are given the first 361 years of the Bahá’í Era (Bolhuis 1999).”
This is a section of Bolhuis’ Chart of the first 361 years (19*19) of the Bahá’í Era
Bolhuis, Arjen. 1999. The First Kull-i-Shay’ of the Bahá’í Era
Praise be to Thee, O Lord my God! I beseech Thee by this Revelation whereby darkness hath been turned into light, through which the Frequented Fane hath been built, and the Written Tablet revealed, and the Outspread Roll uncovered, to send down upon me and upon them who are in my company that which will enable us to soar into the heavens of Thy transcendent glory, and will wash us from the stain of such doubts as have hindered the suspicious from entering into the tabernacle of Thy unity.
I am the one, O my Lord, who hath held fast the cord of Thy loving-kindness, and clung to the hem of Thy mercy and favors. Do Thou ordain for me and for my loved ones the good of this world and of the world to come. Supply them, then, with the Hidden Gift Thou didst ordain for the choicest among Thy creatures.
These are, O my Lord, the days in which Thou hast bidden Thy servants to observe the fast. Blessed is he that observeth the fast wholly for Thy sake and with absolute detachment from all things except Thee. Assist me and assist them, O my Lord, to obey Thee and to keep Thy precepts. Thou, verily, hast power to do what Thou choosest.
There is no God but Thee, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. All praise be to God, the Lord of all worlds. Baha’u’llah
“– VII –“Bahá’í Prayers: A Selection of Prayers Revealed by Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1991 edition Pages: 268
This is, O my God, the first of the days on which Thou hast bidden Thy loved ones to observe the Fast. I ask of Thee by Thy Self and by him who hath fasted out of love for Thee and for Thy good-pleasure—and not out of self and desire, nor out of fear of Thy wrath—and by Thy most excellent names and august attributes, to purify Thy servants from the love of aught except Thee and to draw them nigh unto the Dawning-Place of the lights of Thy countenance and the Seat of the throne of Thy oneness. Illumine their hearts, O my God, with the light of Thy knowledge and brighten their faces with the rays of the Daystar that shineth from the horizon of Thy Will. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. No God is there but Thee, the All-Glorious, Whose help is implored by all men.
Assist them, O my God, to render Thee victorious and to exalt Thy Word. Suffer them, then, to become as hands of Thy Cause amongst Thy servants, and make them to be revealers of Thy religion and Thy signs amongst mankind, in such wise that the whole world may be filled with Thy remembrance and praise and with Thy proofs and evidences. Thou art, verily, the All-Bounteous, the Most Exalted, the Powerful, the Mighty, and the Merciful.
This YouTube video entitled “Baha’i Ayyam-i-Ha Prayer – Intercalary Days – My God, my Fire and my Light!” was uploaded by
ShadenaChi on 13 Feb 2012.
- Baha’i International Community. “What Bahá’ís Believe: The Life of the Spirit. Fasting
- Research Department of the Universal House of Justice. 27 Sepetember 2000. “The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting” PDF in The American Baha’i, 31:7, pages 3-6. A compilation of Wrtings by Bahá’u’lláh and Abdu’l-Bahá
- Warwick Bahá’í Bookshop. 2012. The Bahá’í Fast: Warwick Leaflets via Baha’i Library Online
- Walbridge, John. 1996. “Fasting.” in Sacred Acts, Sacred Space, Sacred Time .Baha’i Studies. Volume 1. Oxford: George Ronald.
- Wilson, Rainn. 03/05/2013. “The Baha’i Fast.. Slowly.”