BAHAI THINKING I
Open to all: Bahá'i Tempel in Delhi, India
God has revealed the Master Plan for the humanization of mankind and the unfolding of a universal civilization full of blessings. There is new, redeeming information about the cause, and the solution of the current crisis of mankind, and the glorious meaning of life and death of the individual.
Man witnesses the demise of the world of yesterday and the emergence of the world of tomorrow. Veils may fall from the eyes of those who read metaphors as metaphors. Stars will not fall from the sky; the Earth does not crumble literally, but metaphorically. There will be no breaking news about the end of the world since the cosmos will remain perfectly intact. Instead, mankind finds itself in the eye of a tornado of time that propels it away from the era of the past.
A mysterious time shift has changed the living conditions of mankind. The world of man is unifying in a turbulent process; inner forces batter the last power states. Hidden within that global process is the most challenging phenomenon of all - a theophany of such magnitude as human kind has never experienced before. The Manifestation of God at the heart of our time has come under a name, previously unknown: Bahá'í.
Historically, the phenomenon first appeared in 1844 in Persia (Iran). Its divine power has caused an acceleration in the field of political organization, a multiplication in social complexities, and an explosion in science and technology that outranks by far earlier bursts of human knowledge.
The name "Bahá'í" refers to the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, the new Teacher of mankind.
In the hell of a dungeon in Tehran Bahá'u'lláh was called to be God's Manifestation for the new millennium. By the ways of God, the religion He brought finally reached its bedrock in Akko and on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land,
The Bahá'í Faith is the renewal of the religion of God and reconciles the eternal truths from East and West into one, glorious system of thinking, doing and praying. This youngest of the world's religions forms a spiritual and administrative network around the earth, with the God-given goal of the unity of all, with all, for a new world civilization under a new dome of awareness.
On the last pages of the Book of Revelations, the New Testament concludes that there will be a new heaven and a new earth. "Behold, I make all things new." Bahá'ís believe that this announcement sheds some light on the regal rank of Bahá'u'lláh, the Glory of God returned.
By Shoghi Effendi, the late Guardian of the Bahá'í World Community
The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh ... is that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are complementary, that they differ only in the nonessential aspects of their doctrines, and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society....
...His mission is to proclaim that the ages of the infancy and of the childhood of the human race are past, that the convulsions associated with the present stage of its adolescence are slowly and painfully preparing it to attain the stage of manhood, and are heralding the approach of that Age of Ages when swords will be beaten into ploughshares, when the Kingdom promised by Jesus Christ will have been established, and the peace of the planet definitely and permanently ensured. Nor does Bahá'u'lláh claim finality for His own Revelation, but rather stipulates that a fuller measure of the truth He has been commissioned by the Almighty to vouchsafe to humanity, at so critical a juncture in its fortunes, must needs be disclosed at future stages in the constant and limitless evolution of mankind.
The Bahá'í Faith upholds the unity of God, recognizes the unity of His Prophets, and inculcates the principle of the oneness and wholeness of the entire human race. It proclaims the necessity and the inevitability of the unification of mankind, asserts that it is gradually approaching, and claims that nothing short of the transmuting spirit of God, working through His chosen Mouthpiece in this day, can ultimately succeed in bringing it about. It, moreover, enjoins upon its followers the primary duty of an unfettered search after truth, condemns all manner of prejudice and superstition, declares the purpose of religion to be the promotion of amity and concord, proclaims its essential harmony with science, and recognizes it as the foremost agency for the pacification and the orderly progress of human society....
The Faith which this order serves, safeguards and promotes is ... essentially supernatural, supranational, entirely non-political, non-partisan, and diametrically opposed to any policy or school of thought that seeks to exalt any particular race, class or nation. It is free from any form of ecclesiasticism, has neither priesthood nor rituals, and is supported exclusively by voluntary contributions made by its avowed adherents. Though loyal to their respective governments, though imbued with the love of their own country, and anxious to promote at all times, its best interests, the followers of the Bahá'í Faith, nevertheless, viewing mankind as one entity, and profoundly attached to its vital interests, will not hesitate to subordinate every particular interest, be it personal, regional or national, to the over-riding interests of the generality of mankind, knowing full well that in a world of interdependent peoples and nations the advantage of the part is best to be reached by the advantage of the whole, and that no lasting result can be achieved by any of the component parts if the general interests of the entity itself are neglected...
Extracted from The Promised Day is Come