Thursday, May 10, 2007
Another World of Bahai
Bahais are followers of Bahaullah, founder of Bahai faith. In Arabic, Bahaullah means light of god.` Bahais believe it is this light (knowledge) which is the final destination of human progression. In other words, we as human beings are continually progressing towards the Absolute through various spiritual realms. Accordingly, man is unable to grasp the essence of god and through this evident world, only few qualities of divine are manifested. Here the role of realized comes to play who reflect divine qualities as a mirror does. He can be a medium through whom/which man is able to understand the Absolute.
"Pass beyond the baser stages of doubt and rise to the exalted heights of certainty. Open the eye of truth, that thou mayest behold the veilless beauty and exclaim: Hallowed be the Lord, the most excellent of all creators," says Bahaullah.
Bahaullah started this faith in 1863 A.D. He taught about peace: world peace and inner peace. Several of his teachings can be found in his writings such as following:
The Hidden Words
Seven Valleys and Four Valleys
Book of Firm Conviction
Letter to the Son of Wolf
Prayer and Meditation
However, his teachings were too revolutionary for prevailing times and the regime. As a result, he was exiled. After his demise, in 1892, his son and later grandson and thousand of followers contributed in making Bahai faith what it is now, a non-sectarian order. Today it has expanded to 233 nations and islands. Bahai teachings have been translated into more than 800 languages. People from all walks of life and religion have embraced this faith. They have respect for other religions and other realized teachers like Buddha, Mahabir, Krishna, Abraham, Christ, Mohammed Zoroaster and so on. Bahaullah is considered to be the latest of great teachers. However, there is no room for priests and other hierarchy. There are no formal methods, rituals, oratories and initiations. Prayer and meditation are their only practice.
The teachings of Bahaullah has placed utmost importance on individual self-reliance. Every human being has the potential to be light of god. He/she is responsible for what he/she is. To a Bahai, freedom or realization is a single act where one is devoid of self-ego, retaining his identity.
"Free thyself from the fetters of this world and
loose thy soul from the prison of the self
seize thy chance for it will come to thee no more."
Prayer and meditation for the Bahais means contemplating and reflecting on the words of the teacher, Bahaullah. The regular practice of single-mindedness of our true identity which is manifested by kind words of the teacher gets a Bahai going. Progressively, that glimpse of realization is strengthened and stabilized. As Bahaullah says:
The temple of being is my throne
Cleanse it of all things
That there I may be established
And there I may abide.