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Compilation on the Importance of Thankfulness, Gratitude, and Contentment

by Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu’l-Bahá

compiled by Ehsan Bayat.
2004
Ponder ye in your hearts the grace and the blessings of God and render thanks unto Him at eventide and at dawn.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 26)

Render thanks unto God, inasmuch as ye have attained unto your heart's Desire, and been united to Him Who is the Promise of all nations. Guard ye, with the aid of the one true God -- exalted be His glory -- the integrity of the station which ye have attained, and cleave to that which shall promote His Cause. He, verily, enjoineth on you what is right and conducive to the exaltation of man's station. Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Revealer of this wondrous Tablet.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 5)

Seize thou the Chalice of Immortality in the name of thy Lord, the All-Glorious, and give thanks unto Him, inasmuch as He, in token of His mercy unto thee, hath turned thy sorrow into gladness, and transmuted thy grief into blissful joy. He, verily, loveth the spot which hath been made the seat of His throne, which His footsteps have trodden, which hath been honored by His presence, from which He raised His call, and upon which He shed His tears.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 15)

Render thanks unto God, the Eternal Truth, exalted be His glory, inasmuch as ye have attained so wondrous a favor, and been adorned with the ornament of His praise. Appreciate the value of these days, and cleave to whatsoever beseemeth this Revelation. He, verily, is the Counsellor, the Compassionate, the All-Knowing.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 110)

Eat ye, O people, of the good things which God hath allowed you, and deprive not yourselves from His wondrous bounties. Render thanks and praise unto Him, and be of them that are truly thankful.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 276)

Render thanks unto the Almighty, and magnify His name, inasmuch as He hath aided thee to recognize a Cause that hath made the hearts of the inhabitants of the heavens and of the earth to tremble, that hath caused the denizens of the Kingdoms of creation and of Revelation to cry out, and through which the hidden secrets of men's breasts have been searched out and tested.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 291)

Render thanks unto Him Who is the Desire of all worlds for having invested thee with such high honor. Ere long the world and all that is therein shall be as a thing forgotten, and all honor shall belong to the loved ones of thy Lord, the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 305)

Praised be Thou, O my God! How can I thank Thee for having singled me out and chosen me above all Thy servants to reveal Thee, at a time when all had turned away from Thy beauty! I testify, O my God, that if I were given a thousand lives by Thee, and offered them up all in Thy path, I would still have failed to repay the least of the gifts which, by Thy grace, Thou hast bestowed upon me.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh, p. 20)

Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! I yield Thee thanks for having enabled me to recognize the Manifestation of Thyself, and for having severed me from Thine enemies, and laid bare before mine eyes their misdeeds and wicked works in Thy days, and for having rid me of all attachment to them, and caused me to turn wholly towards Thy grace and bountiful favors. I give Thee thanks, also, for having sent down upon me from the clouds of Thy will that which hath so sanctified me from the hints of the infidels and the allusions of the misbelievers that I have fixed my heart firmly on Thee, and fled from such as have denied the light of Thy countenance. Again I thank Thee for having empowered me to be steadfast in Thy love, and to speak forth Thy praise and to extol Thy virtues, and for having given me to drink of the cup of Thy mercy that hath surpassed all things visible and invisible.

Thou art the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, the All-Loving.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh, p. 109)

Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! I yield Thee thanks for that Thou hast made me the target of divers tribulations and the mark of manifold trials, in order that Thy servants may be endued with new life and all Thy creatures may be quickened.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh, p. 146)

I yield Thee thanks, O my God, for that Thou hast offered me up as a sacrifice in Thy path, and made me a target for the arrows of afflictions as a token of Thy love for Thy servants, and singled me out for all manner of tribulation for the regeneration of Thy people.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh, p. 153)



Praise be to Thee, O my God, that Thou hast revealed Thy favors and Thy bounties; and glory be to Thee, O my Beloved, that Thou hast manifested the Day-Star of Thy loving-kindness and Thy tender mercies. I yield Thee such thanks as can direct the steps of the wayward towards the splendors of the morning light of Thy guidance, and enable those who yearn towards Thee to attain the seat of the revelation of the effulgence of Thy beauty. I yield Thee such thanks as can cause the sick to draw nigh unto the waters of Thy healing, and can help those who are far from Thee to approach the living fountain of Thy presence. I yield Thee such thanks as can divest the bodies of Thy servants of the garments of mortality and abasement, and attire them in the robes of Thine eternity and Thy glory, and lead the poor unto the shores of Thy holiness and all sufficient riches. I yield Thee such thanks as can enable the Heavenly Dove to warble forth, upon the branches of the Lote-Tree of Immortality, her song: "Verily, Thou art God. No God is there besides Thee. From eternity Thou hast been exalted above the praise of aught else but Thee, and been high above the description of any one except Thyself." I yield Thee such thanks as can cause the Nightingale of Glory to pour forth its melody in the highest heaven: "Ali (the Bab), in truth, is Thy servant, Whom Thou hast singled out from among Thy Messengers and Thy chosen Ones, and made Him to be the Manifestation of Thyself in all that pertaineth unto Thee, and that concerneth the revelation of Thine attributes and the evidences of Thy names." I yield Thee such thanks as can stir up all things to extol Thee, and to glorify Thine Essence, and can unloose the tongues of all beings to magnify the sovereignty of Thy beauty. I yield Thee such thanks as can fill the heavens and the earth with the signs of Thy transcendent Essence, and assist all created things to enter the Tabernacle of Thy nearness and Thy presence. I yield Thee such thanks as can make every created thing to be a book that shall speak of Thee, and a scroll that shall unfold Thy praise. I yield Thee such thanks as can establish the Manifestations of Thy sovereignty upon the throne of Thy governance, and set up the Exponents of Thy glory upon the seat of Thy Divinity. I yield Thee such thanks as can make the corrupt tree to bring forth good fruit through the holy breaths of Thy favors, and revive the bodies of all beings with the gentle winds of Thy transcendent grace. I yield Thee such thanks as can cause the signs of Thine exalted singleness to be sent down out of the heaven of Thy holy unity. I yield Thee such thanks as can teach all things the realities of Thy knowledge and the essence of Thy wisdom, and will not withhold the wretched creatures from the doors of Thy mercy and Thy bountiful favor. I yield Thee such thanks as can enable all who are in heaven and on earth to dispense with all created things, through the treasuries of Thine all-sufficing riches, and can aid all created things to reach unto the summit of Thine almighty favors. I yield Thee such thanks as can assist the hearts of Thine ardent lovers to soar into the atmosphere of nearness to Thee, and of longing for Thee, and kindle the Light of Lights within the land of Iraq. I yield Thee such thanks as can detach them that are nigh unto Thee from all created things, and draw them to the throne of Thy names and Thine attributes. I yield Thee such thanks as can cause Thee to forgive all sins and trespasses, and to fulfill the needs of the peoples of all religions, and to waft the fragrances of pardon over the entire creation. I yield Thee such thanks as can enable them that recognize Thy unity to scale the heights of Thy love, and cause such as are devoted to Thee to ascend unto the Paradise of Thy presence. I yield Thee such thanks as can satisfy the wants of all such as seek Thee, and realize the aims of them that have recognized Thee. I yield Thee such thanks as can blot out from the hearts of men all suggestions of limitations, and inscribe the signs of Thy unity. I yield Thee such thanks as that with which Thou didst from eternity glorify Thine own Self, and didst exalt it above all peers, rivals, and comparisons, O Thou in Whose hands are the heavens of grace and of bounty, and the kingdoms of glory and of majesty!

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh, p. 330)

It behoveth every just and fair-minded person to render thanks unto God -- exalted be His glory -- and to arise to promote this pre-eminent Cause, that fire may turn into light, and hatred may give way to fellowship and love. I swear by the righteousness of God! This is the sole purpose of this Wronged One. Indeed in proclaiming this momentous Cause and in demonstrating its Truth We have endured manifold sufferings, hardships and tribulations. Thou thyself wouldst bear witness unto that which We have mentioned, couldst thou but speak with fairness. Verily God speaketh the truth and leadeth the Way. He is the Powerful, the Mighty, the Gracious.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 44)

The essence of charity is for the servant to recount the blessings of his Lord, and to render thanks unto Him at all times and under all conditions.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 155)

O MY handmaiden, O My leaf! Render thou thanks unto the Best-Beloved of the world for having attained this boundless grace at a time when the world's learned and most distinguished men have remained deprived thereof. We have designated thee 'a leaf' that thou mayest, like unto leaves, be stirred by the gentle wind of the Will of God -- exalted be His glory -- even as the leaves of the trees are stirred by onrushing winds. Yield thou thanks unto thy Lord by virtue of this brilliant utterance. Wert thou to perceive the sweetness of the title 'O My handmaiden' thou wouldst find thyself detached from all mankind, devoutly engaged day and night in communion with Him Who is the sole Desire of the world.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 254)

Reflect, O people, on the grace and blessings of your Lord, and yield Him thanks at eventide and dawn.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 30)

Yield thanks unto Him with joy and radiance, and follow not such as are remote from the Dawning-place of His nearness. Arise ye, under all conditions, to render service to the Cause, for God will assuredly assist you through the power of His sovereignty which overshadoweth the worlds.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 46)

In the Persian Bayán, the Báb stated: "Well is it with him who fixeth his gaze upon the Order of Bahá'u'lláh, and rendereth thanks unto his Lord. For He will assuredly be made manifest.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 247)

The thoughts thou hast expressed as to the interpretation of the common species of bird that is called in Persian Gunjishk (sparrow) were considered. [1] Thou appearest to be well-grounded in mystic truth. However, on every plane, to every letter a meaning is allotted which relateth to that plane. Indeed, the wayfarer findeth a secret in every name, a mystery in every letter. In one sense, these letters refer to holiness.

[1 The five letters comprising this word in Persian are: G, N, J, SH, K, that is, Gaf, Nun, Jim, Shin, Kaf.]

Kaf or Gaf (K or G) referreth to Kuffi ("free"), that is, "Free thyself from that which thy passion desireth; then advance unto thy Lord."

Nun referreth to Nazzih ("purify"), that is, "Purify thyself from all else save Him, that thou mayest surrender thy life in His love."

Jim is Janib ("draw back"), that is, "Draw back from the threshold of the True One if thou still possessest earthly attributes."

Shin is Ushkur ("thank") -- "Thank thy Lord on His earth that He may bless thee in His heaven; albeit in the world of oneness, this heaven is the same as His earth."

Kaf referreth to Kuffi, that is: "Take off from thyself the wrappings of limitations, that thou mayest come to know what thou hast not known of the states of Sanctity." [1]

      (Bahá'u'lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 41)

Render thanks unto God inasmuch as thou hast attained unto the shores of this Most Great Ocean, and give ear to the very atoms of the earth proclaiming: "This is the Best-Beloved of the worlds!" The dwellers of the earth have wronged Him and failed to recognize the One Whose name they ceaselessly invoke. Lost are such as have remained heedless and have opposed Him for Whose loved ones it would have behoved them to offer up their lives, how much more for His own luminous and resplendent Beauty!

      (Bahá'u'lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 149)

O ye friends of God, be ye thankful that in the Day of the Effulgence ye have turned your faces to the Orb of the regions and beheld the Lights! Ye have received a portion from the rays of Truth and are endowed with a share from the Everlasting Outpouring. Therefore, ye must not rest one minute, but thank Him for this bestowal.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í World Faith - 'Abdu'l-Bahá Section, p. 353)

In these times thanksgiving for the bounty of the Merciful One consists in the illumination of the heart and the feeling of the soul. This is the reality of thanksgiving. But, although offering thanks through speech or writings is approvable, yet, in comparison with that, it is but unreal, for the foundation is spiritual feelings and merciful sentiments. I hope that you may be favored therewith. But the lack of capacity and merit in the Day of Judgment does not prevent one from bounty and generosity, for it is the day of grace and not justice, and to give every one his due is justice. Consequently, do not look upon thy capacity, nay, rather, look upon the infinite grace of the Bounty of Abha whose grace is comprehending and whose bounty is perfect.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í World Faith - 'Abdu'l-Bahá Section, p. 360)

The necessity and the particularity of the assured and believing ones is to be firm in the Cause of God and withstand the hidden and evident tests. Thanks be to God that you are distinguished and made eminent by this blessing. Anybody can be happy in the state of comfort, ease, health, success, pleasure and joy; but if one will be happy and contented in the time of trouble, hardship and prevailing disease, it is the proof of nobility. Thanks be to God that that dear servant of God is extremely patient under the disastrous circumstances, and in the place of complaining gives thanks.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í World Faith - 'Abdu'l-Bahá Section, p. 363)

The truth is that God has endowed man with virtues, powers and ideal faculties of which nature is entirely bereft and by which man is elevated, distinguished and superior. We must thank God for these bestowals, for these powers He has given us, for this crown He has placed upon our heads.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 61)

Tests are benefits from God, for which we should thank Him. Grief and sorrow do not come to us by chance, they are sent to us by the Divine Mercy for our own perfecting.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 50)

Try with all your hearts to be willing channels for God's Bounty. For I say unto you that He has chosen you to be His messengers of love throughout the world, to be His bearers of spiritual gifts to man, to be the means of spreading unity and concord on the earth. Thank God with all your hearts that such a privilege has been given unto you. For a life devoted to praise is not too long in which to thank God for such a favour.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 67)

O ye loved ones of God! Loose your tongues and offer Him thanks; praise ye and glorify the Beauty of the Adored One, for ye have drunk from this purest of chalices, and ye are cheered and set aglow with this wine. Ye have detected the sweet scents of holiness, ye have smelled the musk of faithfulness from Joseph's raiment. Ye have fed on the honey-dew of loyalty from the hands of Him Who is the one alone Beloved, ye have feasted on immortal dishes at the bounteous banquet table of the Lord. This plenty is a special favour bestowed by a loving God, these are blessings and rare gifts deriving from His grace. In the Gospel He saith: 'For many are called, but few are chosen.'[1] That is, to many is it offered, but rare is the soul who is singled out to receive the great bestowal of guidance. 'Such is the bounty of God: to whom He will He giveth it, and of immense bounty is God.'[2]

[1 Matthew 22:14]

[2 Qur'án 57:21]

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 8)

Become ye as the birds who offer Him their thanks, and in the blossoming bowers of life chant ye such melodies as will dazzle the minds of those who know. Raise ye a banner on the highest peaks of the world, a flag of God's favour to ripple and wave in the winds of His grace; plant ye a tree in the field of life, amid the roses of this visible world, that will yield a fruitage fresh and sweet.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 11)

Wherefore, thank ye God for setting upon your heads the crown of glory everlasting, for granting unto you this immeasurable grace.

The time hath come when, as a thank-offering for this bestowal, ye should grow in faith and constancy as day followeth day, and should draw ever nearer to the Lord, your God, becoming magnetized to such a degree, and so aflame, that your holy melodies in praise of the Beloved will reach upward to the Company on high; and that each one of you, even as a nightingale in this rose garden of God, will glorify the Lord of Hosts, and become the teacher of all who dwell on earth.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 18)

Wherefore, O ye beloved of God, offer up thanks that ye have, in the day of the dawning, turned your faces unto the Light of the World and beheld its splendours. Ye have received a share of the light of truth, ye have enjoyed a portion of those blessings that endure forever; and therefore, as a returning of thanks for this bounty, rest ye not for a moment, sit ye not silent, carry to men's ears the glad tidings of the Kingdom, spread far and wide the Word of God.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 33)

Wherefore, O ye loved ones of God, offer up thanks unto Him, since He hath made you the object of such bounties, and the recipients of such gifts. Blessed are ye, glad tidings to you, for this abounding grace.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 82)

Then let you engage in the praise of Bahá'u'lláh, for it is through His grace and succour that ye have become sons and daughters of the Kingdom; it is thanks to Him that ye are now songsters in the meadows of truth, and have soared upward to the heights of the glory that abideth forever. Ye have found your place in the world that dieth not; the breaths of the Holy Spirit have blown upon you; ye have taken on another life, ye have gained access to the Threshold of God.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 175)

Truly, I say unto thee, wert thou to spend all that is on earth, thou couldst not obtain this gift which God hath strengthened thee to take freely. Lo! it is the guidance of God and it is being attracted to the Beauty of El-Baha! Thank God for this gift, which is the most wonderful jewel which is glittering on the crown of great glory and honorable position.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá v2, p. 248)

O friends of the Merciful! -- move your tongues to thank the Loving Lord, and employ yourselves in praising and glorifying the Beauty of the Adored One, for ye were granted the privilege to be exhilarated from this most pure cup, and became full of cheer and attraction from this goblet of wine. Ye have perfumed your nostrils with the fragrances of sanctity, and delighted your senses with the scent of the garment of the Joseph of faithfulness. Ye tasted the honey of devotion from the hand of the Unique Beloved and partook of the eternal table at the feast of the blessing of the Presence of the Unity. This favor is one of the special gifts of the Presence of the Merciful, and this grace and generosity is one of the incomparable gifts of our Loving Lord. This is in accordance with what Christ said: "Many are called, but few chosen." That is to say, there are many who are invited, but those souls who are signalized with the grace and favor of guidance are but very rare. "This is the bounty of God; He will give the same unto whom He pleaseth; and God is endowed with great bounty."

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá v2, p. 371)

If thou dost act according to the commandments and exhortations of God, know thou for a certainty that the luminosity of thy face will day by day increase. Be thou happy and well pleased and arise to offer thanks to God, in order that thanksgiving may conduce to the increase of bounty.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá v2, p. 482)

O ye friends of God, be ye thankful that in the Day of Effulgence ye have turned your faces to the Orb of the regions and beheld the Lights! Ye have received a portion from the rays of Truth and are endowed with a share from the Everlasting Outpouring. Therefore, ye must not rest one minute, but thank Him for this bestowal.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá v3, p. 503)

The grace of God hath chosen thee and distinguished thee for His love, that thou mayest thank Him a thousand times in every moment.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá v3, p. 507)

Thank God that -- praise be to God! -- the glass of thy life and heart hath become bright with the lamp of guidance, and the chalice of hope and desire hath overflowed with the wine of the love of God. This is an attainment and blessing that, if thou give thanks a thousand centuries and cycles, thou wilt not be capable of doing justice. Therefore, in the utmost of joy, gladness, rejoicings and endless happiness thou must open thy tongue in thanksgiving and glorifying the Lord of mercy and become the cause of enlightenment.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá v3, p. 689)

Therefore, you must thank God that He has bestowed upon you the blessing of life and existence in the human kingdom. Strive diligently to acquire virtues befitting your degree and station. Be as lights of the world which cannot be hid and which have no setting in horizons of darkness. Ascend to the zenith of an existence which is never beclouded by the fears and forebodings of nonexistence.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 89)

In the spiritual world the divine bestowals are infinite, for in that realm there is neither separation nor disintegration, which characterize the world of material existence. Spiritual existence is absolute immortality, completeness and unchangeable being. Therefore, we must thank God that He has created for us both material blessings and spiritual bestowals. He has given us material gifts and spiritual graces, outer sight to view the lights of the sun and inner vision by which we may perceive the glory of God.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 90)

Do you realize how much you should thank God for His blessings? If you should thank Him a thousand times with each breath, it would not be sufficient because God has created and trained you. He has protected you from every affliction and prepared every gift and bestowal. Consider what a kind Father He is. He bestows His gift before you ask. We were not in the world of existence, but as soon as we were born, we found everything prepared for our needs and comfort without question on our part. He has given us a kind father and compassionate mother, provided for us two springs of salubrious milk, pure atmosphere, refreshing water, gentle breezes and the sun shining above our heads. In brief, He has supplied all the necessities of life although we did not ask for any of these great gifts. With pure mercy and bounty He has prepared this great table. It is a mercy which precedes asking. There is another kind of mercy, which is realized after questioning and supplication. He has bestowed both upon us -- without asking and with supplication. He has created us in this radiant century, a century longed for and expected by all the sanctified souls in past periods. It is a blessed century; it is a blessed day. The philosophers of history have agreed that this century is equal to one hundred past centuries. This is true from every standpoint. This is the century of science, inventions, discoveries and universal laws. This is the century of the revelation of the mysteries of God. This is the century of the effulgence of the rays of the Sun of Truth. Therefore, you must render thanks and glorification to God that you were born in this age. Furthermore, you have listened to the call of Bahá'u'lláh. Your nostrils are perfumed with the breezes of the paradise of Abha. You have caught glimpses of the light from the horizon of the Orient. You were asleep; you are awakened. Your ears are attentive; your hearts are informed. You have acquired the love of God. You have attained to the knowledge of God. This is the most great bestowal of God. This is the breath of the Holy Spirit, and this consists of faith and assurance. This eternal life is the second birth; this is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God has destined this station for you all. He has prepared this for you. You must appreciate the value of this bounty and engage your time in mentioning and thanking the True One. You must live in the utmost happiness. If any trouble or vicissitude comes into your lives, if your heart is depressed on account of health, livelihood or vocation, let not these things affect you. They should not cause unhappiness, for Bahá'u'lláh has brought you divine happiness. He has prepared heavenly food for you; He has destined eternal bounty for you; He has bestowed everlasting glory upon you. Therefore, these glad tidings should cause you to soar in the atmosphere of joy forever and ever. Render continual thanks unto God so that the confirmations of God may encircle you all.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 187)

Thankfulness is of various kinds. There is a verbal thanksgiving which is confined to a mere utterance of gratitude. This is of no importance because perchance the tongue may give thanks while the heart is unaware of it. Many who offer thanks to God are of this type, their spirits and hearts unconscious of thanksgiving. This is mere usage, just as when we meet, receive a gift and say thank you, speaking the words without significance. One may say thank you a thousand times while the heart remains thankless, ungrateful. Therefore, mere verbal thanksgiving is without effect. But real thankfulness is a cordial giving of thanks from the heart. When man in response to the favors of God manifests susceptibilities of conscience, the heart is happy, the spirit is exhilarated. These spiritual susceptibilities are ideal thanksgiving.

There is a cordial thanksgiving, too, which expresses itself in the deeds and actions of man when his heart is filled with gratitude. For example, God has conferred upon man the gift of guidance, and in thankfulness for this great gift certain deeds must emanate from him. To express his gratitude for the favors of God man must show forth praiseworthy actions. In response to these bestowals he must render good deeds, be self-sacrificing, loving the servants of God, forfeiting even life for them, showing kindness to all the creatures. He must be severed from the world, attracted to the Kingdom of Abha, the face radiant, the tongue eloquent, the ear attentive, striving day and night to attain the good pleasure of God. Whatsoever he wishes to do must be in harmony with the good pleasure of God. He must observe and see what is the will of God and act accordingly. There can be no doubt that such commendable deeds are thankfulness for the favors of God.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 236)

They should manifest gratitude and thankfulness to God, and the best way to thank God is to love one another.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 468)

Praise be to God, the hosts of the Supreme Concourse secure the victory and the power of the Kingdom is ready to assist and to support. Should ye at every instant unloosen the tongue in thanksgiving and gratitude, ye would not be able to discharge yourselves of the obligation of gratitude for these bestowals

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 104)

It behoveth the craftsmen of the world at each moment to offer a thousand tokens of gratitude at the Sacred Threshold, and to exert their highest endeavour and diligently pursue their professions so that their efforts may produce that which will manifest the greatest beauty and perfection before the eyes of all men.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 145)

If we should offer a hundred thousand thanksgivings every moment to the threshold of God for this love which has blended the Orient and Occident, we would fail to express our gratitude sufficiently. If all the powers of earth should seek to bring about this love between East and West, they would prove incapable. If they wished to establish this unity, it would prove impossible. But Bahá'u'lláh has accomplished both through the power of the Holy Spirit, and this bond of unity through love is indissoluble. It shall continue unto time everlasting, and day by day its power shall increase. Erelong it shall enchain the world, and eventually the hearts of all the nations of the world will be brought together by its constraining clasp. The world of humanity shall become the manifestation of the lights of Divinity, and the bestowals of God shall surround all.

      ('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 37)

Were men to discover the motivating purpose of God's Revelation, they would assuredly cast away their fears, and, with hearts filled with gratitude, rejoice with exceeding gladness.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 175)

The virtues and attributes pertaining unto God are all evident and manifest, and have been mentioned and described in all the heavenly Books. Among them are trustworthiness, truthfulness, purity of heart while communing with God, forbearance, resignation to whatever the Almighty hath decreed, contentment with the things His Will hath provided, patience, nay, thankfulness in the midst of tribulation, and complete reliance, in all circumstances, upon Him. These rank, according to the estimate of God, among the highest and most laudable of all acts. All other acts are, and will ever remain, secondary and subordinate unto them

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 290)

Once again We exhort all believers to observe justice and fairness and to show forth love and contentment. They are indeed the people of Baha, the companions of the Crimson Ark. Upon them be the peace of God, the Lord of all Names, the Creator of the heavens.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 134)

The source of all glory is acceptance of whatsoever the Lord hath bestowed, and contentment with that which God hath ordained.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 155)

O QUINTESSENCE OF PASSION!

Put away all covetousness and seek contentment; for the covetous hath ever been deprived, and the contented hath ever been loved and praised.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, The Persian Hidden Words)

And the wayfarer, after traversing the high planes of this supernal journey, entereth THE VALLEY OF CONTENTMENT.

In this Valley he feeleth the winds of divine contentment blowing from the plane of the spirit. He burneth away the veils of want, and with inward and outward eye, perceiveth within and without all things the day of: "God will compensate each one out of His abundance."[1] From sorrow he turneth to bliss, from anguish to joy. His grief and mourning yield to delight and rapture.

[1 Qur'án 4:129.] 30

Although to outward view, the wayfarers in this Valley may dwell upon the dust, yet inwardly they are throned in the heights of mystic meaning; they eat of the endless bounties of inner significances, and drink of the delicate wines of the spirit.

The tongue faileth in describing these three Valleys, and speech falleth short. The pen steppeth not into this region, the ink leaveth only a blot. In these planes, the nightingale of the heart hath other songs and secrets, which make the heart to stir and the soul to clamor, but this mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart, confided only from breast to breast.

Only heart to heart can speak the bliss of mystic knowers;

No messenger can tell it and no missive bear it. [1]

[1 Hafiz: Shamsu'd-Din Muhammad, of Shiraz, died ca. 1389 A.D. One of the greatest of Persian poets.]

I am silent from weakness on many a matter,

For my words could not reckon them and my speech would fall short. [1]

[1 Arabian poem.]

O friend, till thou enter the garden of such mysteries, thou shalt never set lip to the undying wine of this Valley. And shouldst thou taste of it, thou wilt shield thine eyes from all things else, and drink of the wine of contentment; and thou wilt loose thyself from all things else, and bind thyself to Him, and throw thy life down in His path, and cast thy soul away. However, there is no other in this region that thou need forget: "There was God and there was naught beside Him." [1] For on this plane the traveler witnesseth the beauty of the Friend in everything. Even in fire, he seeth the face of the Beloved. He beholdeth in illusion the secret of reality, and readeth from the attributes the riddle of the Essence. For he hath burnt away the veils with his sighing, and unwrapped the shroudings with a single glance; with piercing sight he gazeth on the new creation; with lucid heart he graspeth subtle verities. This is sufficiently attested by: "And we have made thy sight sharp in this day." [2]

[1 Hadith, i.e. action or utterance traditionally attributed to the Prophet Muhammad or to one of the holy Imams.]

[2 From Qur'án 50:21.]

      (Bahá'u'lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 29)

Know also that the soul is endowed with two wings: should it soar in the atmosphere of love and contentment, then it will be related to the All-Merciful. And should it fly in the atmosphere of self and desire, then it will pertain to the Evil One; may God shield and protect us and protect you therefrom, O ye who perceive! Should the soul become ignited with the fire of the love of God, it is called benevolent and pleasing unto God, but should it be consumed with the fire of passion, it is known as the concupiscent soul. Thus have We expounded this subject for thee that thou mayest obtain a clear understanding.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 154)

The source of all good is trust in God, submission unto His command, and contentment in His holy will and pleasure.

      (Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá'í World Faith, p. 140)
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