Tablet to the Zoroastrians (Lawh-i-Dustan-i-Yazdaní)
by Bahá'u'lláhtranslated by Juan Cole
To the Zoroastrians
The beginning of every tale is the name of God.
Friends of God, listen with the ear of the soul to the voice of the one, self-subsistent God, that he might liberate you from the shackles of captivity and the gloom of darkness, and might deliver you into perpetual illumination. Ascent and descent, and motion and stillness, all appeared from the will of the lord of all that was and shall be. The cause of ascent is lightness, and lightness derives from heat. God has thus decreed. The cause of stillness is heaviness and weight, which in turn is caused by cold. God has thus decreed. Since he chose heat, which is the essence of motion and ascent, and the cause of attainment to the goal, he thereby ignited the true fire with the hand of spirituality and dispatched it into the world, so that this divine fire might attract all to the abode of the peerless friend, and might uplift and guide them, by the heat of divine love.
This is the mystery of your book [the Avesta], which was revealed aforetime, and which has until now remained concealed from eyes and hearts. Now, that primal fire has appeared with renewed radiance and unimaginable heat. This fire of God is luminous and manifest independently, without fuel or smoke, so that it might attract away the extra moisture and cold that are the foundations of languor and dejection and the bases of heaviness and sorrow, and might draw the entire creation toward the station of nearness to the All-Merciful. All who drew near were set on fire and attained to the goal. All who remained distant, however, were left behind.
O servant of God: Stay away from the hostile, so that you might come to know the One. The hostile are those who keep you distant from the One. Today is not the day of royal decrees or the regulations of the Zoroastrian priests. In your book [the Avesta] is a saying to this effect: "The Zoroastrian priests in that day shall keep the people distant and prevent them from drawing near." A true dastur priest is someone who has seen the light and hurries to the court of the friend. Such a one is a beneficent priest, and is the essence of illumination in this era.
O servant of God: Any Zoroastrian dastur who keeps you far from the flame_which is the reality of light and the mystery of manifestation_is your enemy. Do not remain distant from the friend at the behest of strangers, nor forsake your confidant because of the words of an enemy.
O servant of God: The day of deeds has arrived. This is not the time for words. The messenger of the lord has appeared, and this is not the era of mere anticipation. Open the eye of your soul, so that you might see the face of the beloved. Stop up the ears of your intellect, that you might hear the murmuring prayer of the divine angel.
O servant of God: The shirt of munificence has been woven and delivered: take it and put it on. Detach your heart from the people and cover your eyes. O wise one, if you hear the counsel of the lord, then free yourself from the shackles of the servants, and behold yourself exalted above all others.
O servant of God: We have sent down droplets from the oceans of generosity, if only they will drink thereof. We have brought forth the murmuring prayers of the pure, if only they will listen with their souls. With the wings of joy, soar into the heavens of divine love. The people may be conceived as dead; associate only with the living. Regard as dead all the people of the world who have not perceived the sweet fragrance of the souls in this dawn. The Self-subsisting calls out in thundering tones, saying, "Joy has come to the world; be not sorrowful! The secret has been revealed; be not melancholy!" If you were to attain to the triumph of this day, you would forsake the world and all that is therein, and hasten to the divine court.
O servant of God: The unfortunate are unaware of this victory, and the sorrowful receive no warmth from this blazing fire.
O servant of God: The tree that we planted with the hand of munificence has given fruit, and the glad-tidings that we gave in the Book have appeared with a sign.
O servant of God: Once, in your dreams, we bestowed our effulgence on you, but you remained unaware. Now, remember the homeland and hasten with all your heart toward the unconstrained Friend.
O servant of God: Say, `O priests of the Zoroastrian faith, gaze with fresh eyes at how the hand of power has appeared from behind the cloud, and look with pure eyes at how the signs of grandeur and greatness have been unveiled and become manifest.'
O servant of God: The sun of the eternal world is shining from the orient of God's will, and the ocean of divine generosity is billowing. Those who have not seen it are bereft, and all who have not attained it are dead. Close your eyes to this world, and open them upon the visage of the peerless friend, and unite with him.
O servant of God: Open your mouth to sing the praises of the lord with an unblemished soul, for he has made mention of you with his gem-scattering pen. Were you to attain to this bestowal, you would discover yourself to be immortal.
O servant of God: Say, `The lord says that anyone who launches persecutions has never desired and shall never desire soundness, nor shall such a one ever acquire the hallmark of uprightness."