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May 25, 2015 in Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, Compilations, Holy Days, Manifestations of God, Stories, Time of Bahaullah, Video | Tags: Ascension of Bahaullah, Bahai Holy Day, Commemorating Holy Day, Holy Day, Holy Day Program | Comments closed
In commemorating the Ascension of the Blessed Beauty, perhaps one of the following suggestions for readings would be helpful for preparations of a worthy commemoration of this Holy Day.
A full program and pictorial video on the Ascension of the Blessed Beauty with pictures from Bahji with selected quotes from the Writings.
A series of stories told by those who had the honour of being in the Presence of the Blessed Beauty that show the Greatness of His Personage (Story nr 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 or download all the stories in one file)
Selected extracts from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh on the Sufferings He endured and the Purpose of His Sufferings (download Sufferings of the Blessed Beauty or view in text format below).
The Sufferings of Bahá’u’lláh
The Black Pit
Nevertheless, they apprehended Us, and from Níyávarán, which was then the residence of His Majesty, conducted Us, on foot and in chains, with bared head and bare feet, to the dungeon of Ṭihrán. A brutal man, accompanying Us on horseback, snatched off Our hat, whilst We were being hurried along by a troop of executioners and officials. We were consigned for four months to a place foul beyond comparison. As to the dungeon in which this Wronged One and others similarly wronged were confined, a dark and narrow pit were preferable. Upon Our arrival We were first conducted along a pitch-black corridor, from whence We descended three steep flights of stairs to the place of confinement assigned to Us. The dungeon was wrapped in thick darkness, and Our fellow prisoners numbered nearly a hundred and fifty souls: thieves, assassins and highwaymen. Though crowded, it had no other outlet than the passage by which We entered. No pen can depict that place, nor any tongue describe its loathsome smell. Most of these men had neither clothes nor bedding to lie on. God alone knoweth what befell Us in that most foul-smelling and gloomy place! (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf p. 20)
Final year in Baghdad
“I saw the Prophets and the Messengers gather and seat themselves around Me, moaning, weeping and loudly lamenting. Amazed, I inquired of them the reason, whereupon their lamentation and weeping waxed greater, and they said unto me: ‘We weep for Thee, O Most Great Mystery, O Tabernacle of Immortality!’ They wept with such a weeping that I too wept with them. Thereupon the Concourse on high addressed Me saying: ‘…Erelong shalt Thou behold with Thine own eyes what no Prophet hath beheld…. Be patient, be patient.’… They continued addressing Me the whole night until the approach of dawn.” (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By p. 147)
Arrival to Akka
Know thou that upon Our arrival at this Spot, We chose to designate it as the ‘Most Great Prison.’ Though previously subjected in another land (Tihrán) to chains and fetters, We yet refused to call it by that name. Say: Ponder thereon, O ye endued with understanding!” (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By p. 185)
Most of Our companions now lie sick in this prison, and none knoweth what befell Us, except God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing. In the days following Our arrival, two of these servants hastened to the realms above. For an entire day the guards insisted that, until they were paid for the shrouds and burial, those blessed bodies could not be removed, although no one had requested any help from them. At that time we were devoid of earthly means, and pleaded that they leave the matter unto us and allow those present to carry the bodies, but they refused. Finally, a carpet was taken to the bazaar to be sold, and the sum obtained was delivered to the guards. Later, it was learned that they had merely dug a shallow grave into which they had placed both blessed bodies, although they had taken twice the amount required for shrouds and burial. (The Summons of the Lord of Hosts p. 172)
Beyond Comprehension of Man
Recall thou to mind My sorrows, My cares and anxieties, My woes and trials, the state of My captivity, the tears that I have shed, the bitterness of Mine anguish, and now My imprisonment in this far-off land. …. Couldst thou be told what hath befallen the Ancient Beauty, thou wouldst flee into the wilderness, and weep with a great weeping. In thy grief, thou wouldst smite thyself on the head, and cry out as one stung by the sting of the adder. Be thou grateful to God, that We have refused to divulge unto thee the secrets of those unsearchable decrees that have been sent down unto Us from the heaven of the Will of thy Lord, the Most Powerful, the Almighty.
By the righteousness of God! Every morning I arose from My bed, I discovered the hosts of countless afflictions massed behind My door; and every night when I lay down, lo! My heart was torn with agony at what it had suffered from the fiendish cruelty of its foes. With every piece of bread the Ancient Beauty breaketh is coupled the assault of a fresh affliction, and with every drop He drinketh is mixed the bitterness of the most woeful of trials. He is preceded in every step He taketh by an army of unforeseen calamities, while in His rear follow legions of agonizing sorrows. (Gleanings nr 62)
The Purpose of His Sufferings
The shame I was made to bear hath uncovered the glory with which the whole of creation had been invested, and through the cruelties I have endured, the Day Star of Justice hath manifested itself, and shed its splendor upon men. …
It behoveth the people of Bahá to die to the world and all that is therein, to be so detached from all earthly things that the inmates of Paradise may inhale from their garment the sweet smelling savor of sanctity, that all the peoples of the earth may recognize in their faces the brightness of the All-Merciful, and that through them may be spread abroad the signs and tokens of God, the Almighty, the All-Wise. They that have tarnished the fair name of the Cause of God, by following the things of the flesh—these are in palpable error! (Gleanings nr. 46)
That which hath touched this Wronged One is beyond compare or equal. We have borne it all with the utmost willingness and resignation, so that the souls of men may be edified, and the Word of God be exalted. (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf p. 76)
This Wronged One, rid of all attachment to the world, hath striven with utmost endeavour to quench the fire of animosity and hatred which burneth fiercely in the hearts of the peoples of the earth. It behoveth every just and fair-minded person to render thanks unto God—exalted be His glory—and to arise to promote this pre-eminent Cause, that fire may turn into light, and hatred may give way to fellowship and love. I swear by the righteousness of God! This is the sole purpose of this Wronged One. Indeed in proclaiming this momentous Cause and in demonstrating its Truth We have endured manifold sufferings, hardships and tribulations. Thou thyself wouldst bear witness unto that which We have mentioned, couldst thou but speak with fairness. Verily God speaketh the truth and leadeth the Way. He is the Powerful, the Mighty, the Gracious. (Tablets of Bahaullah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas p. 44)
The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole world may attain unto true liberty. He hath drained to its dregs the cup of sorrow, that all the peoples of the earth may attain unto abiding joy, and be filled with gladness. This is of the mercy of your Lord, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful. We have accepted to be abased, O believers in the Unity of God, that ye may be exalted, and have suffered 100 manifold afflictions, that ye might prosper and flourish. He Who hath come to build anew the whole world, behold, how they that have joined partners with God have forced Him to dwell within the most desolate of cities! (Gleanings nr. 45)
Say: We have accepted to be tried by ills and troubles, that ye may sanctify yourselves from all earthly defilements. Why, then, refuse ye to ponder Our purpose in your hearts? By the righteousness of God! Whoso will reflect upon the tribulations We have suffered, his soul will assuredly melt away with sorrow. Thy Lord Himself beareth witness to the truth of My words. We have sustained the weight of all calamities to sanctify you from all earthly corruption, and ye are yet indifferent. (Gleanings nr. 141)
May 27, 2014 in Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, Holy Days, Manifestations of God, Time of Bahaullah, Video | Tags: 29th of May, Ascension of Bahaullah, Bahai Holy Day, Bahaullah, Holy Days, Passing of Bahaullah | Comments closed
On the 29th of May, the Bahais commemorates the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh. Oftentimes, as part of the commemoration, programs are made with extracts from the Writings. Here you can find both a program and a slideshow for commemorating this Holy Day.
The program begins with the story of Bahá’u’lláh indicating weeks before His Ascension that it was soon time. Then the focus shifts to the sufferings of Bahá’u’lláh, His Majestic Figure, His Ascension and finally, His last wish for us and mankind. The slideshow follows the same pattern.
Hopefully, these will contribute for a more spiritual commemoration.