Posts Tagged ‘Star of the West’
Posted by Sen on September 4, 2016
In the older editions of Some Answered Questions (pp 65-66 in the 1985 edition), Abdu’l-Baha says,
In the same way, Israel, scattered all over the world, was not reassembled in the Holy Land in the Christian cycle; but in the beginning of the cycle of Baha’u’llah this divine promise, as is clearly stated in all the Books of the Prophets, has begun to be manifest.
You can see that from all the parts of the world tribes of Jews are coming to the Holy Land; they live in villages and lands which they make their own, and day by day they are increasing to such an extent that all Palestine will become their home.
The question was asked, is this a fulfilled prophecy of the Master, or is it yet to be fulfilled? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai, Bahai Faith, Shoghi Effendi, Some Answered Questions, Star of the West, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 18 Comments »
Posted by Sen on February 27, 2011
A Bahai friend asked about Abdu’l-Baha’s reference to America as a “democracy,” in the talk he gave to the Orient-Occident-Unity Conference in Washington on 20 April 1912. In the course of researching it, I found a short prayer by Abdu’l-Baha for East-West unity, which I have translated, and also discovered that a much loved and quoted reference to the future of America, known as the “prayer for America,” is not authentic.
The context of this query was a discussion of whether the United States is a republic, or a democracy. The question appears to depend largely on definitions: if a republic is a state with an elected head of state and a government answerable to the people, and a democracy is a state with a government chosen in free and fair elections, with freedom of speech and protection of individual and minority rights under the rule of law, the United States would appear to aspire to be a democratic republic, at the intersection of these two terms.
Be that as it may, I was asked about the term “American democracy” in the talk Abdu’l-Baha gave at the Orient-Occident-Unity Conference. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Political science | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, pilgrim's notes, political theology, Shoghi Effendi, Star of the West, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 8 Comments »
Posted by Sen on February 10, 2011
from Remey, 'Observations' 1908
This talk by Abdu’l-Baha, given in Chicago, was published in Star of the West volume 3, No. 3, page 30, dated April 28, 1912. This is puzzling, since the talk was not given until two days later! That issue of Star of the West reports talks dated up to May 5 1912, so presumably the “April 28” number was actually printed sometime in May. The talk has been republished in Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 69, but the editor of Promulgation has nipped and tucked here and there, taking out some of the wrinkles, adding some explanations, and removing Abdu’l-Baha’s humourous references to green and blue people. A friend has asked for the unvarnished text, so I am posting it here. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, pilgrim's notes, Star of the West, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 7 Comments »
Posted by Sen on January 13, 2011
This posting is about a story, according to which New York is the city of the Covenant because that is where Abdu’l-Baha announced the Bahai Covenant in the West, on June 19, 1912. The words of the important talk by Abdu’l-Baha, which has been called the ‘announcement,’ have been preserved in a surprisingly reliable form. As it is not published in sources such as Promulgation, I have reproduced it below. Reliable as it is, the text and the stories around this announcement, raise some questions: what exactly was newly announced, or revealed? Who named New York the city of the Covenant, when, and why? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, History | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, covenant, Shoghi Effendi, Star of the West, Will and Testament, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 2 Comments »
Posted by Sen on May 13, 2010
One of the friends asked for the Persian text of the well-known prayer that begins, “O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand….”
I had to disappoint him: there is no Persian original for this. It comes from the Diary of Mirza Ahmad Sohrab for May 9, 1914. He would write his diary in Persian, and later translate parts of it into English and distribute the translations. In this case, his handwritten English translation has survived in manuscript (a friend has a copy), and contains this prayer, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Devotions | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai lore, Bahai prayers, pilgrim's notes, Star of the West, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 4 Comments »
Posted by Sen on May 9, 2010
This letter from Abdu’l-Baha to Thornton Chase was published in Star of the West, and has been picked up in the Bahai-library project that is republishing these tablets. After answering a question about Baha’u’llah’s Arabic Hidden Word 13, Abdu’l-Baha discusses pantheism, incarnation, gnosticism, and reincarnation. Direct references to theosophy in Abdu’l-Baha’s writings are rare, but there are a considerable number of talks by Abdu’l-Baha addressed to theosophists, five of which have the status of Bahai scripture since they are backed by Persian notes: those given on 29 May (or 30 May), 24 July, and 4 December 1912 and on 9 January and 14 February 1913. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, Star of the West, theosophy, Thornton Chase, عبدالبهاء | 1 Comment »
Posted by Sen on February 21, 2010
Abdu’l-Baha’s “last tablet to America” was published in Star of the West and Bahai World Faith. It is a long tablet, and of some historical and doctrinal importance. It deals primarily with the importance of the Bahais shunning “any person in whom they perceive the emanation of hatred for the glorious Beauty of Abha” or “violators” — Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Aqdas and Law, Bahai Writings, Community, Defence of the Faith | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai, Bahai Faith, covenant-breaker, covenant-breaking, Star of the West, بهائی, عبدالبهاء | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sen on December 20, 2009
A friend asked about the ‘days of marriage’ which Abdu’l-Baha referred to in a letter to Alwyn Baker in late 1920. That led me to two letters from Abdu’l-Baha, one of them translated by Shoghi Effendi and available only in an edited form, the other not available in English in Ocean and the other search engines, and containing some remarks on philosophy, evolution and the eternity of creation. And, in the end, I also found out about the ‘days of marriage.’ Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Community, History | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Alwyn Baker, Bahai community, Chicago reading room, eternity of creation, evolution, philosophy, Shoghi Effendi, Star of the West, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sen on May 4, 2009
The Bahai Encyclopaedia Project has begun to put up a selection of online articles. As of today, there are 21 articles online, so it is just a small beginning. Two are classified under “teachings and laws,” but one of these is misfiled: it is on the Letters of the Living and belongs in the history category. That leaves one article on the Bahai teachings, the one entitled ‘children.’
Looking down this article, I was surprised to see that even where better sources are easily available, it draws extensively on The Promulgation of Universal Peace, which is not an authentic source. In a footnote to the footnotes the Encyclopaedia editors even list Promulgation of Universal Peace among ‘scripture and other authoritative texts.’ The author and editor are clearly not aware of source-critical issues, which is not a promising start for such a project.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Community | Tagged: Bahai Encyclopaedia, Bahai scholarship, Bahai Studies, Howard MacNutt, Joseph Hannen, new paradigm, pilgrim's notes, Promulgation of Universal Peace, source criticism, Star of the West, بهائیت | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sen on April 26, 2009
One of the friends said:
… an elderly lady once told me that Shoghi Effendi had said that the earth would “fall off its axis and spin wildly for three days”… well, I’ve searched and searched for anything even close…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Community, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Ahmad Sohrab, Apocalypticism, Bahai Faith, Bahai lore, causes of World War I, militarism, polar shift, Ruth Moffet, Star of the West, survivalism, World War 1, WWI, بهائی, بهائیت | 2 Comments »
Posted by Sen on February 28, 2009
We had a potluck for yummy-ha, with pecan pie. It was followed by imaginative and effective musical devotions: first all learning to sing a simple prayer with variants, and then all humming that tune while some short readings were read slooowly, the spoken phrases matching the musical phrases.
Since the potluck took place at the day and home which regularly hosts a Ruhi circle, the devotions flowed straight on to a Ruhi session, Book 1 Chapter 2, on Prayer. The first words of the chapter are “Abdu’l-Baha says that prayer is conversation with God.” No source was given. This part of the Ruhi book raises a lot of questions, and questions are always good.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Community, Devotions, Theology | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, Bahai Faith, Bahai lore, Devotions, Esslemont, Laura Barney, Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, Mirza Sohrab's Diary, phatic, pilgrim's notes, prayer, Ruhi book 1, Star of the West, Tablet of Tarazat, The Divine Art of Living | 2 Comments »
Posted by Sen on February 6, 2009
Amended April 3, 2011
The Bahai community has a tendency to get carried away with its enthusiasms for prophecies that supposedly give an insight into the immediate future. I’ve discussed one of these in Century’s end, about the expectation that “unity of nations” would be achieved by the year 2000. The story this time goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the Bahais were waiting for cataclysms to strike in 1917, followed by a world at peace in which “all nations shall be as one faith.”
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Community, Defence of the Faith, Theology | Tagged: 1335 days, 1917, Abdu'l-Baha, Alma Knobloch, Armageddon, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, Bahai Faith, Bahai prophecies, Barstow Collection, Corinne True, Daniel 12:11, Daniel 12:12, EG Browne, Esselmont, failed prophecy, Fanny Knobloch, Fred Mortensen, George Latimer, Hotel Sacramento, Howard MacNutt, Jean Masson, Kheiralla, Most Great Peace, North Shore Review, pilgrim's notes, qarn, Quran 3:4, Randall, San Francisco Bulletin, Shoghi Effendi, Some Answered Questions, source criticism, Stanford University, Star of the West, textual criticism, World War I, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 9 Comments »