Friday, September 25, 2009

September 25th in Baha'i History

1912 –Abdul- Baha gave a Talk at Second Divine Science Church Denver

1912-Abdul-Baha was in Denver

After the meeting the Master took a walk. His heart was filled with joy as He said:

Did you see what a fire was set aglow in the hearts? A person must first be happy and attracted himself to be in a position to transform others. He himself must be impressed in order to impress others. You must act in a way that will make me happy, then you will see what will happen.

To one who visited Him at the hotel, He remarked:

I have come to your city and found tall buildings and advancement in material civilization. Now I will lead you to my own city which is the world above. Its administration is the oneness of humanity, its law is international peace, its palaces are ever shining with the lights of the Kingdom, its season is always spring, its trees are ever green, its fruits are fresh and sweet, its sun is ever ascending, its moon is always full, its stars are ever brilliant and its planets are ever circling. That is our city and the Founder is Bahá'u'lláh. We have enjoyed the pleasures of this city and now I invite you to that city. I hope that you will accept this invitation.

To another He said:

Man must take flight from the cage of the body and become pure spirit, for the body is a cage which causes difficulties for man and makes him the captive of nature and involves him in all types of misfortunes. But when a person discards all his physical habits, he is freed from all fetters. As physical powers attract the world of nature, so spiritual powers must break these chains. This condition is not realized by thought alone. The powers of nature are ever alert to allure man. The eye is fascinated by beautiful scenery; the ear is entranced by music; the heart is attracted by delights and human passions. A man may be rich but still he wants more because he is attracted by the world of nature; he has means of livelihood yet he desires more. Therefore, the spiritual powers must dominate so that he may be freed from these fetters and attain salvation. Man is like a bird in a cage. A bird cannot attain freedom merely by knowing that in the free world there are pure breezes, spacious skies, beautiful gardens, pleasant parks and fountains; rather, the bird must find a power to break the cage and soar into the wide firmament.

He then narrated a story about detachment:

The Persian friends travel mostly on foot. They sleep whenever they get tired. They rest wherever they see a shady tree. Once a person came to an Amír. The Amír wished to present him with a gift and with insistence gave him a robe. Later, when he became tired, he lay down under a tree in the forest with the robe folded under his head. But he could not sleep as he repeatedly imagined that a thief was crouching nearby to take away the robe. At last he rose, threw the robe away and said, `As long as this robe is with me, I shall not find rest. To find rest I must give it up.' How long will you desire a robe for your body? Release your body that you may have no need for a robe.

In brief, the Master's talk that afternoon was to say farewell to the friends, to encourage them in their endeavors to diffuse the fragrances of God and to explain issues related to teaching. They were all set ablaze by His words.

1933 - The Guardian has also read with deep interest all the enclosed papers. He is firmly convinced that through perseverance and concerted action the cause of Peace will eventually triumph over all the dark forces which threaten the welfare and progress of the world today. But such purely human attempts are undoubtedly ineffective unless inspired and guided by the power of faith. Without the assistance of God, as given through the message of Bahá'u'lláh, peace can never be safely and adequately established. To disregard the Bahá'í solution for world peace is to build on foundations of sand. To accept and apply it is to make peace not a mere dream, or an ideal, but a living reality. This is the point which the Guardian wishes you to develop, to emphasize again and again, and to support by convincing arguments. The Bahá'í peace programme is, indeed, not only one way of attaining that goal. It is not even relatively the best. It is, in the last resort, the sole effective instrument for the establishment of the reign of peace in this world. This attitude does not involve any total repudiation of other solutions offered by various philanthropists. It merely shows their inadequacy compared to the Divine Plan for the unification of the world. We cannot escape the truth that nothing mundane can in the last resort be enduring, unless supported and sustained through the power of God.

(25 September 1933 to an individual believer) (The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 192)

1975 - Release of a Compilation of Prayers and Tablets for Children and Youth
We are very happy to send you the enclosed selection of prayers revealed by Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá for children, together with some Tablets of the Master intended for children and youth, translated into English
[ The compilation was published under the title Let Thy breeze refresh them ... by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust of the United Kingdom (1976) and under the title Bahá'í Prayers and Tablets for the Young by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust of the United States (1978).]
The raising of children in the Faith of God and the spiritualization of their lives from their earliest years is of prime importance in the life of the Bahá'í community, and the firm establishment of activities to promote these aims is one of the vital goals of the Five Year Plan.
The Universal House of Justice (Messages 1963 to 1986, p.320)

1994 -Bahá'ís Killed in South Africa

Here is a press release from the National Spiritual Assembly of South Africa dated 26 September 1994.
Deeply shocked and with hearts filled with grave sorrow the Bahá'í community of South Africa learnt of the inhuman incident that happened to two members of the Bahá'í community in Umtata, Transkei, at around 7:30pm, on Sunday 25 September 1994.
In the evening of Sunday 25th September 1994, Mr. Esfandiar Bassari and his wife Mrs. Forough Bassari went to the Bahá'í Centre situated at 11 Deans Lane, Umtata, to assist with the physical arrangements and hospitality, needed for some of the Bahá'ís who had come from Mdantsane and other villages in Transkei to participate in a religious activity. According to the eyewitnesses who were present at the Centre at the time the couple spent a short while at the Centre and after finishing their part of responsibility left the Centre at around 7:30pm. An eyewitness reports that as the victims were getting into their car two men rushed from a corner and shot both the husband and wife. It was too dark to see what kind of firearm the suspects were carrying. The suspects were then seen driving off in Mr. and Mrs. Bassari's car. Mr. Bassari was shot three times in the chest area and two in the right arm, and Mrs. Bassari was shot once in the abdominal area. The victims were taken to the hospital immediately. Mr. Bassari passed away within a few minutes and Mrs. Bassari is presently under intensive care. The motives surrounding this shocking incidence are yet unknown.
Mr. and Mrs. Bassari arrived in Transkei from Canada with their youngest son, Faraz in 1989. Mr. Bassari, born in Iran, and a Canadian citizen, was a principal hydro-geologist working with the Department of Agriculture and Forestry in Umtata. The three children are presently in North America.
The Bahá'í Faith is an independant world religion with adherents in virtually every country. The Bahá'í world community is a cross section of humanity, including almost all nationalities, races, classes and religious backgrounds, working towards establishing peace and unity in the world.

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