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Arising to Serve Ruhi Institute Book 2

Arising to Serve Ruhi Institute Book 2

To the Collaborators

para 1: “The units of the Ruhi Institute aim, in their entirety, at achieving three overall objectives: providing insights into spiritual matters, imparting knowledge about the Faith, and helping to develop skills for specific acts of service. A given unit may, of course, place emphasis on one or another of these three objectives. The units of Book 1 basically seek to help the students gain insights into certain spiritual matters. Book 2 is largely concerned with skills and abilities for specific acts of service (para 1, page 2, Book 2).”

para 2: “The basic concept underlying all the units of the Ruhi Institute, irrespective of the particular emphasis of each, is that of “walking a path of service”. Those who enter the program of the Institute set out on a path of personal spiritual growth of service to others. The various courses assist them by presenting to them the relevant concepts, by focusing them on the development of their own spiritual qualities and their attitudes, and equipping them with the skills and abilities they need to trace their own path of service. This path necessarily begins with very simple acts of service, which then grow in complexity as the capacities of the participants increase ((para 2, page 2, Book 2).”

para 3: “The first act of service is introduced in the second unit of this book, “Deepening Themes”, which is designed to help the students develop the capability of making periodic visits to the homes of newly enrolled believers and sharing with them a number of themes- the Eternal Covenant of God, the life of Baha’u’llan, love and unity in the Baha’i community, Baha’i meetings and the Nineteen Day feast, the significance of contributing to the Fund, teaching the Cause. Each theme is followed by a series of questions and exercises. Some of these are aimed at enhancing the students’ understanding of the theme itself. Others designated to help them develop the skills of how to present the content to the families they visit. Yet another set of exercises is concerned with the spiritual qualities and attitudes which should adorn this act of service (para 3, page 2, Book 2).”

para 4: “For most of the students, this unit will provide the first opportunity to study these particular themes at any depth. It is important to note that the knowledge they are acquiring is gained in the context of sharing it with others. It is hoped that this will set the stage for a life in which personal growth and service to others are seen as an integrated whole, and not as separate and sometimes conflicting ends (para 4, page 2, Book 2).”

para 5: “As with all the courses of the Ruhi Institute, if there are many students in the class, the tutor should divide them into small groups. The units they have studied before basically consisted of short quotations, followed by questions and exercises that helped them to gain insights into the quotations. In this unit, the deepening themes are presented in relatively long passages with quotations inserted throughout. After the first reading of a given theme, some of the participants will probably have retained little, and it will be necessary for them to go back and read the ideas in their own words. Having done this, the students then move on to the exercises that follow, which will help them gain further insights into the quotations and think about presenting the theme as an act of service to others (para 5, page 2, Book 2).”

para 6 “Of course, in order to develop the necessary skills and abilities, it is not enough for the participants to simply study the themes in this unit and complete the corresponding exercises. Opportunities need to be created for them to put the skills they are acquiring into practice. What would be most desirable is for them to visit…in the company of a more experienced friend, the homes of nearby families for this purpose.”

—page 8—

Section 1. Number 6. p. 8. Book 2.

“O wayfarer in the path of God! Take thou thy portion of the ocean of His grace, and deprive not thyself of the things that lie hidden in its depths. Be thou of them that have partaken of its treasures. A dewdrop out of this ocean would, if shed upon all that are in the heavens and on the earth, suffice to enrich them with the bounty of God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. With the hands of renunciation draw forth from its life-giving waters, and sprinkle therewith all created things, that they may be cleansed from all man-made limitations and may approach the mighty seat of God, this hallowed and resplendent Spot (Bahá’u’lláh. “CXXIX: O wayfarer in the path of God!” Trans. Shoghi Effendi. Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1990. p. 280).”

Section 2, para 2, p. 8, Book 2, Unit 1

“O My servants! Deprive not yourselves of the unfading and resplendent Light that shineth within the Lamp of Divine glory. Let the flame of the love of God burn brightly within your radiant hearts. Feed it with the oil of Divine guidance, and protect it within the shelter of your constancy. Guard it within the globe of trust and detachment from all else but 326 God, so that the evil whisperings of the ungodly may not extinguish its light. O My servants! My holy, My divinely ordained Revelation may be likened unto an ocean in whose depths are concealed innumerable pearls of great price, of surpassing luster. It is the duty of every seeker to bestir himself and strive to attain the shores of this ocean, so that he may, in proportion to the eagerness of his search and the efforts he hath exerted, partake of such benefits as have been pre-ordained in God’s irrevocable and hidden Tablets. If no one be willing to direct his steps towards its shores, if every one should fail to arise and find Him, can such a failure be said to have robbed this ocean of its power or to have lessened, to any degree, its treasures? How vain, how contemptible, are the imaginations which your hearts have devised, and are still devising! O My servants! The one true God is My witness! This most great, this fathomless and surging Ocean is near, astonishingly near, unto you. Behold it is closer to you than your life-vein! Swift as the twinkling of an eye ye can, if ye but wish it, reach and partake of this imperishable favor, this God-given grace, this incorruptible gift, this most potent and unspeakably glorious bounty (Bahá’u’lláh. “CLIII: O banished and faithful friend!” Trans. Shoghi Effendi. Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1990. p. 326-7).”

Section 3. pp. 9-10.

“Knowing that Baha’u’llah’s Revelation is like an ocean in whose depths lie pearls of great value, we each exert the utmost effort to partake of its benefits and to help others reach its shores. But how far a journey is it to the shores of this ocean? Baha’u’llah says,”

“The one true God is My witness! This most great, this fathomless and surging Ocean is near, astonishingly near, unto you. Behold it is closer to you than your life-vein! Swift as the twinkling of an eye ye can, if ye but wish it, reach and partake of this imperishable favor, this God-given grace, this incorruptible gift, this most potent and unspeakably glorious bounty(Bahá’u’lláh. “CLIII: O banished and faithful friend!” Trans. Shoghi Effendi. Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1990. p.326).”

The Joy of Teaching. Section 4. p. 10.

The Word of God may be likened unto a sapling, whose roots have been implanted in the hearts of men. It is incumbent upon you to foster its growth through the living waters of wisdom, of sanctified and holy words, so that its root may become firmly fixed and its branches may spread out as high as the heavens and beyond.(XLIII: O Afnán, O thou that hast branched from… Trans. Shoghi Effendi. Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1990. p.346).”

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