Thornton Chase, the First Western Baha'i, in his Study
Copyright © 2010 Baha'i National Archives, Wilmete, Used With Permission

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Qualities of Baha'u'llah as Teacher




God testifieth and beareth Us witness that We have, at all times, been busied with the propagation of this Cause. . . We had no other purpose except to edify the souls of men, and to exalt the blessed Word. (Baha'u'llah)

I thought it would be interesting to see what characteristics Baha'u'llah exhibited as a teacher of the Faith.  The following phrases mostly describe His promotion of the Faith of the Bab.  
His qualities are here presented in four categories:  Propagation, Protection, Enthusiasm, and the Energy that Characterized His Activities.

The following quotes are all from Shoghi Effendi and from Nabil

TEACHING

~ fearless

~ persuasively expounded its truths

~ persuasive eloquence

~ magnetic eloquence

~ instantly acclaimed its truth, and arose to champion its cause

~ won to its support a large number of the officials and notables

~ won to its support . . . His own associates and relatives

~ was able to foster its growth, elucidate its principles, reinforce its ethical foundations, fulfill its urgent requirements

~ spreading, with ... enthusiasm and ability ... the teachings

~ By His magnetic eloquence, by the purity of His life, by the dignity of His bearing, by the unanswerable logic of His argument, and by the many evidences of His loving-kindness, Bahá'u'lláh had won the hearts of the people . . . had stirred their souls, and had enrolled them under the standard of the Faith.

PROTECTION

safeguarding the interests of His Faith

was able to . . .  avert some of the immediate dangers threatening it 

at all times vigilant, ready and indefatigable in His exertions to preserve the integrity of that Faith. . . and to confound its antagonists

ENCOURAGEMENT

reviving the zeal of its grief-stricken followers, and . . . organizing the forces of its scattered and bewildered adherents.



THE ENERGY THAT CHARACTERIZED HIS EXERTIONS

~ endowed with inexhaustible energy

~ indefatigable in His exertions
 
~ strenuous efforts
 
~ uncontrollable enthusiasm

_______________

REFERENCES FOR THE ABOVE QUOTATIONS

The phrases above are all found in the following passages, which are in no particular order:

God testifieth and beareth Us witness that We have, at all times, been busied with the propagation of this Cause. Neither chains nor bonds, stocks nor imprisonment, have succeeded in withholding Us from revealing Our Self. In that land We forbad all mischief, and all unseemly and unholy deeds. Day and night We sent forth Our Tablets in every direction. We had no other purpose except to edify the souls of men, and to exalt the blessed Word.
(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 166)


instantly acclaimed its truth, and arose to champion its cause.
(God Passes By, p. 66)

He it was Who, in the hey-day of His life, flinging aside every consideration of earthly fame, wealth and position, careless of danger, and risking the obloquy of His caste, arose to identify Himself, first in Tihran and later in His native province of Mazindaran, with the cause of an obscure and proscribed sect; won to its support a large number of the officials and notables of Nur, not excluding His own associates and relatives; fearlessly and persuasively expounded its truths to the disciples of the illustrious mujtahid, Mulla Muhammad; enlisted under its banner the mujtahid's appointed representatives; secured, in consequence of this act, the unreserved loyalty of a considerable number of ecclesiastical dignitaries, government officers, peasants and traders; and succeeded in challenging, in the course of a memorable interview, the mujtahid himself
(God Passes By, p. 67)

was able to foster its growth, elucidate its principles, reinforce its ethical foundations, fulfill its urgent requirements, avert some of the immediate dangers threatening it and participate effectually in its rise and consolidation
(God Passes By, p. 67)

spreading, with that same enthusiasm and ability that had distinguished His earlier exertions in Mazindaran, the teachings of His departed Leader, in safeguarding the interests of His Faith, in reviving the zeal of its grief-stricken followers, and in organizing the forces of its scattered and bewildered adherents.
(God Passes By, p. 69)

Afire from the very beginning with an uncontrollable enthusiasm for the Cause He had espoused; conspicuously fearless in His advocacy of the rights of the downtrodden; in the full bloom of youth; immensely resourceful; matchless in His eloquence; endowed with inexhaustible energy and penetrating judgment; possessed of the riches, and enjoying, in full measure, the esteem, power and prestige associated with an enviably high and noble position, and yet contemptuous of all earthly pomp, rewards, vanities and possessions; closely associated, on the one hand, through His regular correspondence with the Author of the Faith He had risen to champion, and intimately acquainted, on the other, with the hopes and fears, the plans and activities of its leading exponents; at one time advancing openly and assuming a position of acknowledged leadership in the forefront of the forces struggling for that Faith's emancipation, at another deliberately drawing back with consummate discretion in order to remedy, with greater efficacy, an awkward or dangerous situation; at all times vigilant, ready and indefatigable in His exertions to preserve the integrity of that Faith, to resolve its problems, to plead its cause, to galvanize its followers, and to confound its antagonists, Bahá'u'lláh,
(God Passes By, p. 69)

With persuasive eloquence He pleaded the cause of the new Revelation, and directed their attention to the immeasurable benefits which it was destined to confer upon their country. Those who heard Him marvelled at the keen interest which a man of His position and age evinced for truths which primarily concerned the divines and theologians of Islam. They felt powerless to challenge the soundness of His arguments or to belittle the Cause which He so ably expounded. They admired the loftiness of His enthusiasm and the profundity of His thoughts, and were deeply impressed by His detachment and self-effacement.
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 112)

Those who attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh and heard Him expound the Message proclaimed by the Báb were so much impressed by the earnestness of His appeal that they forthwith arose to disseminate that same Message among the people of Nur and to extol the virtues of its distinguished Promoter.
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 114)

"I am come to Nur," Bahá'u'lláh replied, "solely for the purpose of proclaiming the Cause of God. I cherish no other intention. If I were told that at a distance of a hundred leagues a seeker yearned for the Truth and was unable to meet Me, I would, gladly and unhesitatingly, hasten to his abode, and would Myself satisfy his hunger. Mulla Muhammad, I am told, lives in Sa'adat-Abad, a village not far distant from this place. It is My purpose to visit him and deliver to him the Message of God."
    Desirous of giving effect to His words, Bahá'u'lláh, accompanied by a number of His companions, proceeded immediately to that village.
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 116)

Mulla Muhammad most ceremoniously received Him. "I have not come to this place," Bahá'u'lláh observed, "to pay you an official or formal visit. My purpose is to enlighten you regarding a new and wondrous Message, divinely inspired and fulfilling the promise given to Islam. Whosoever has inclined his ear to this Message has felt its irresistible power, and has been transformed by the potency of its grace. Tell Me whatsoever perplexes your mind, or hinders you from recognising the Truth."
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 117)

Bahá'u'lláh's visit to Nur had produced the most far-reaching results, and had lent a remarkable impetus to the spread of the new-born Revelation. By His magnetic eloquence, by the purity of His life, by the dignity of His bearing, by the unanswerable logic of His argument, and by the many evidences of His loving-kindness, Bahá'u'lláh had won the hearts of the people of Nur, had stirred their souls, and had enrolled them under the standard of the Faith. Such was the effect of words and deeds, as He went about preaching the Cause and revealing its glory to His countrymen in Nur, that the very stones and trees of that district seemed to have been quickened by the waves of spiritual power which emanated from His person. All things seemed to be endowed with a new and more abundant life, all things seemed to be proclaiming aloud: "Behold, the Beauty of God has been made manifest! Arise, for He has come in all His glory."
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 118)


Afire from the very beginning with an uncontrollable enthusiasm for the Cause He had espoused; conspicuously fearless in His advocacy of the rights of the downtrodden; in the full bloom of youth; immensely resourceful; matchless in His eloquence; endowed with inexhaustible energy and penetrating judgment; possessed of the riches, and enjoying, in full measure, the esteem, power and prestige associated with an enviably high and noble position, and yet contemptuous of all earthly pomp, rewards, vanities and possessions; closely associated, on the one hand, through His regular correspondence with the Author of the Faith He had risen to champion, and intimately acquainted, on the other, with the hopes and fears, the plans and activities of its leading exponents; at one time advancing openly and assuming a position of acknowledged leadership in the forefront of the forces struggling for that Faith's emancipation, at another deliberately drawing back with consummate discretion in order to remedy, with greater efficacy, an awkward or dangerous situation; at all times vigilant, ready and indefatigable in His exertions to preserve the integrity of that Faith, to resolve its problems, to plead its cause, to galvanize its followers, and to confound its antagonists
(God Passes By, p. 69)


Who faced unaided the assault of a mob of more than five hundred villagers in Niyala; Who shielded Quddus from the fury of his assailants; Who succeeded in restoring a part of the property which the enemy had plundered and Who insured the protection and safety of the continually harassed and much abused Tahirih.
(God Passes By, p. 68)


"Bahá'u'lláh," 'Abdu'l-Bahá affirmed, "after His return (from Sulaymaniyyih) made such strenuous efforts in educating and training this community, in reforming its manners, in regulating its affairs and in rehabilitating its fortunes, that in a short while all these troubles and mischiefs were quenched, and the utmost peace and tranquillity reigned in men's hearts."
(God Passes By, p. 133)


He it was Who, in the hey-day of His life, flinging aside every consideration of earthly fame, wealth and position, careless of danger, and risking the obloquy of His caste, arose to identify Himself, first in Tihran and later in His native province of Mazindaran, with the cause of an obscure and proscribed sect; won to its support a large number of the officials and notables of Nur, not excluding His own associates and relatives; fearlessly and persuasively expounded its truths to the disciples of the illustrious mujtahid, Mulla Muhammad; enlisted under its banner the mujtahid's appointed representatives; secured, in consequence of this act, the unreserved loyalty of a considerable number of ecclesiastical dignitaries, government officers, peasants and traders; and succeeded in challenging, in the course of a memorable interview, the mujtahid himself
(God Passes By, p. 67)

With persuasive eloquence He pleaded the cause of the new Revelation, and directed their attention to the immeasurable benefits which it was destined to confer upon their country. Those who heard Him marvelled at the keen interest which a man of His position and age evinced for truths which primarily concerned the divines and theologians of Islam. They felt powerless to challenge the soundness of His arguments or to belittle the Cause which He so ably expounded. They admired the loftiness of His enthusiasm and the profundity of His thoughts, and were deeply impressed by His detachment and self-effacement.
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 112)

Those who attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh and heard Him expound the Message proclaimed by the Báb were so much impressed by the earnestness of His appeal that they forthwith arose to disseminate that same Message among the people of Nur and to extol the virtues of its distinguished Promoter.
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 114)

"I am come to Nur," Bahá'u'lláh replied, "solely for the purpose of proclaiming the Cause of God. I cherish no other intention. If I were told that at a distance of a hundred leagues a seeker yearned for the Truth and was unable to meet Me, I would, gladly and unhesitatingly, hasten to his abode, and would Myself satisfy his hunger. Mulla Muhammad, I am told, lives in Sa'adat-Abad, a village not far distant from this place. It is My purpose to visit him and deliver to him the Message of God."
       Desirous of giving effect to His words, Bahá'u'lláh, accompanied by a number of His companions, proceeded immediately to that village.
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 116)

Mulla Muhammad most ceremoniously received Him. "I have not come to this place," Bahá'u'lláh observed, "to pay you an official or formal visit. My purpose is to enlighten you regarding a new and wondrous Message, divinely inspired and fulfilling the promise given to Islam. Whosoever has inclined his ear to this Message has felt its irresistible power, and has been transformed by the potency of its grace. Tell Me whatsoever perplexes your mind, or hinders you from recognising the Truth."
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 117)

Bahá'u'lláh's visit to Nur had produced the most far-reaching results, and had lent a remarkable impetus to the spread of the new-born Revelation. By His magnetic eloquence, by the purity of His life, by the dignity of His bearing, by the unanswerable logic of His argument, and by the many evidences of His loving-kindness, Bahá'u'lláh had won the hearts of the people of Nur, had stirred their souls, and had enrolled them under the standard of the Faith. Such was the effect of words and deeds, as He went about preaching the Cause and revealing its glory to His countrymen in Nur, that the very stones and trees of that district seemed to have been quickened by the waves of spiritual power which emanated from His person. All things seemed to be endowed with a new and more abundant life, all things seemed to be proclaiming aloud: "Behold, the Beauty of God has been made manifest! Arise, for He has come in all His glory."
(The Dawn-Breakers, p. 118)




2 comments:

  1. Brent,
    Thank you so very much for taking time to post these qualities of the Blessed Beauty as a teacher. I just now read them while listening to contemplative music and was deeply moved and inspired to forge ahead with efforts to achieve the goals of my Cluster's IPG.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was the hope in posting them.

    I was very impressed to read how single-handedly, Baha'u'llah propagated, protected, inspired and administered the Community of the Faith of the Bab when that community was at its lowest ebb. As Baha'u'llah wrote in the Tablet of Ishraqat:

    "Upon Our arrival in Iraq We found the Cause of God sunk in deep apathy and the breeze of divine revelation stilled. Most of the believers were faint and dispirited, nay utterly lost and dead."

    These passages show that He performed all of these functions single-handedly:

    ...spreading, with that same enthusiasm and ability that had distinguished His earlier exertions in Mazindaran, the teachings of His departed Leader, in safeguarding the interests of His Faith, in reviving the zeal of its grief-stricken followers, and in organizing the forces of its scattered and bewildered adherents.
    (God Passes By, p. 69)

    ...was able to foster its growth, elucidate its principles, reinforce its ethical foundations, fulfill its urgent requirements, avert some of the immediate dangers threatening it and participate effectually in its rise and consolidation
    (God Passes By, p. 67)

    Brent

    ReplyDelete