China, China, Chinaward
Subject: Re: China, China, China
Date sent: Thu, 05 Nov 2009 18:14:57 +0100
Regarding this much-quoted text:
“China, China, China, Chinaward the Cause of Baha’u'llah must march! Where is that holy sanctified Baha’i to become the teacher of China! China has most great capability. The Chinese people are most simple hearted and truth seeking. The Baha’i teacher of the Chinese people must first be imbued with their spirit; know their sacred literature; study their national customs and speak to them from their own standpoint, and their own terminologies. He must entertain no thought of his own, but ever think of their spiritual welfare. In China one can teach many souls and train and educate such divine personages each one of whom may become the bright candle of the world of humanity. Truly, I say they are free from. deceit and hypocrisies and are prompted with ideal motives.
“Had I been feeling well, I would have taken a journey to China myself! China is the country of the future. I hope the right kind of teacher will be inspired to go to that vast empire to lay the foundation of the Kingdom of God, to promote the principles of divine civilization, to unfurl the banner of the Cause of Baha’u'llah, and to invite the people to the Banquet of the Lord!”
– Star of the West Vol. 21, p. 261
I was asked:
> Any idea where I can find it in the original language it was
It’s a pilgrim’s note, from the Diary of Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, April 3 1917, when Abdu’l-Baha was in Palestine (the tablets of the Divine Plan are from February that year). The text is slightly different to the edited version in Star of the West.
Because of the war, there are unlikely to have been European visitors, but there may be other Persian reports of these words: the date would be 14 Farvadin 1296 or 10 jumada-2 1335AH (give or take a day or two). It may also be possible to find Sohrab’s Persian notes in his diary, but these would still not make it an authentic text, since diary notes were (generally) not checked and corrected by Abdu’l-Baha.
The text as published in “I heard him say” (1937, page 112) reads:
China, china, China — China-ward the Cause of Baha’U'Llah must march. Where is the illumined Bahai who is to carry the Message to China?
China has most great capacity. Its people are true-hearted and truth-seeking. Their teacher must be imbued with their spirit. he must know their sacred literature and have studied their national customs. so that he may speak from their standpoint and in their own terminology. He must entertain no thought other than on the spiritual welfare of that people. Such a teacher in China would train countless divine personages — each one becoming a bright candle of the world of humanity.
China is the country of the future. In truth, I say that its men and women are free from deceit and hypocrisy, and are possessed of ideal natures. I would that I myself could have undertaken the journey to China; but, let us hope that the right person will be inspired to travel to that vast empire to promote the principles of Divine Civilization, to unfurl the banner of the Cause of Baha’U'Llah and to invite the people to the Banquet of the Lord.
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