Bahá'í Library Online

< <   back to Table of Contents

Chapter 1


"Study the Tablet of the Holy Mariner that ye may know the truth, and consider that the Blessed Beauty hath fully foretold future events. Let them who perceive, take warning!" -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

He is the Gracious, the Well-Beloved! O Holy Mariner! Bid thine ark of  eternity appear before the Celestial Concourse,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Launch it upon the ancient sea, in His Name, the Most Wondrous,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And let the angelic spirits enter, in the Name of God, the Most High.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Unmoor it, then, that it may sail upon the ocean of glory,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Haply the dwellers therein may attain the retreats of nearness in the everlasting realm.

God is revealing to Baha'u'llah, the latest Independent Prophet, telling him to launch his revelation -- to declare his Prophethood to the Babi's (and the world), and reveal to them the path to God in this dispensation.

Bless, O my God, those of the followers of the Bayán as have been numbered with the people of Bahá, who have entered within the Crimson Ark in Thy Name, the Most Exalted, the Most High.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 44

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Having reached the sacred strand, the shore of the crimson seas,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Bid them issue forth and attain this ethereal invisible station,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! A station wherein the Lord hath in the Flame of His Beauty appeared within the deathless tree;

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Wherein the embodiments of His Cause cleansed themselves of self and passion;

The believers are journeying on the ark (a spiritual journey) and reach their destination, arriving at the shore of the crimson seas. At which point they attain the "ethereal invisible station" in which they are cleansed of self and passion -- qualities of a believer at the Seventh Valley.

And further: The stages that mark the wayfarer's journey from the abode of dust to the heavenly homeland are said to be seven. Some have called these Seven Valleys, and others, Seven Cities. And they say that until the wayfarer taketh leave of self, and traverseth these stages, he shall never reach to the ocean of nearness and union, nor drink of the peerless wine.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, p. 4

O My servants! My holy, My divinely ordained Revelation may be likened unto an ocean in whose depths are concealed innumerable pearls of great price, of surpassing luster. It is the duty of every seeker to bestir himself and strive to attain the shores of this ocean, so that he may, in proportion to the eagerness of his search and the efforts he hath exerted, partake of such benefits as have been pre-ordained in God's irrevocable and hidden Tablets.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 326

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Around which the Glory of Moses doth circle with the everlasting hosts; 

When the qualities of the Ancient of Days stood revealed, Then the qualities of earthly things did Moses burn away.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, p. 36

No sooner did the hosts of true knowledge appear, bearing the standards of Divine utterance, than the tribes of the religions were put to flight, save only those who willed to drink from the stream of everlasting life in a Paradise created by the breath of the All-Glorious.
--Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 46

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Wherein the Hand of God was drawn forth from His bosom of Grandeur;

Say: This is the infallible Balance which the Hand of God is holding, in which all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth are weighed, and their fate determined, if ye be of them that believe and recognize this truth. Say: Through it the poor have been enriched, the learned enlightened, and the seekers enabled to ascend unto the presence of God. Beware, lest ye make it a cause of dissension amongst you. Be ye as firmly settled as the immovable mountain in the Cause of your Lord, the Mighty, the Loving.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Proclamation of Baha'u'llah, p. 119

Put forth, therefore, out of the bosom of Thy glory, O my Lord, the hand of Thine omnipotence, and through it assist Thou Thy loved ones who, though sore-tried in Thy path with such trials as have caused the inmates of the kingdom of Thy Cause to groan, were not deterred from turning towards the horizon of Thy Revelation.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 217

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Wherein the ark of the Cause remaineth motionless even though to its dwellers be declared all divine attributes.

At this time the breeze of God is wafted and the spirit of God hath surrounded. The pen is withheld from motion and the tongue hath ceased utterance. Briefly: In this station the declaration of divinity and the like have appeared from them, while in the station of messengership they have declared prophethood. Likewise in every station they have made a declaration expedient thereto and have attributed all these to themselves; (declarations) concerning the world of command, the world of creation, the worlds of divinity, and the worlds of phenomena. Therefore whatever they may say and claim, including divinity, deity, prophethood, messengership, successorship, imamat or servitude is true and without doubt. Consequently these proven statements should be reflected upon, that no one may be overtaken in the sayings of the Manifestations of the Invisible and Dawning-places of Holiness.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Baha'i scriptures, p. 48

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! O Mariner! Teach them that are within the ark that which we have taught thee behind the mystic veil,

Teach believers what God has revealed to you.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Perchance they may not tarry in the sacred snow-white spot,

Perchance they may not fail to truly apprehend the Revelation of God.

Verily, the wayfarer who journeyeth unto God, unto the Crimson Pillar in the snow-white path, will never reach unto his heavenly goal unless he abandoneth all that men possess: "And if he feareth not God, God will make him to fear all things; whereas all things fear him who feareth God."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, p. 58

The heart must needs therefore be cleansed from the idle sayings of men, and sanctified from every earthly affection, so that it may discover the hidden meaning of divine inspiration, and become the treasury of the mysteries of divine knowledge. Thus hath it been said: "He that treadeth the snow-white Path, and followeth in the footsteps of the Crimson Pillar, shall never attain unto his abode unless his hands are empty of those worldly things cherished by men." This is the prime requisite of whosoever treadeth this path. Ponder thereon, that, with eyes unveiled, thou mayest perceive the truth of these words.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 70

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! But may soar upon the wings of the spirit unto that station which the Lord hath exalted above all mention in the worlds below,

We dare not, in this Day, lift the veil that concealeth the exalted station which every true believer can attain, for the joy which such a revelation must provoke might well cause a few to faint away and die.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 10

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! May wing through space even as the favored birds in the realm of eternal reunion;

Consider those who rejected the Spirit (Jesus) when He came unto them with manifest dominion. How numerous the Pharisees who had secluded themselves in synagogues in His name, lamenting over their separation from Him, and yet when the portals of reunion were flung open and the divine Luminary shone resplendent from the Dayspring of Beauty, they disbelieved in God, the Exalted, the Mighty. They failed to attain His presence, notwithstanding that His advent had been promised them in the Book of Isaiah as well as in the Books of the Prophets and the Messengers.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 9

Methinks that thou hast halted and movest not upon My Tablet. Could the brightness of the Divine Countenance have bewildered thee, or the idle talk of the froward filled thee with grief and paralyzed thy movement? Take heed lest anything deter thee from extolling the greatness of this Day--the Day whereon the Finger of majesty and power hath opened the seal of the Wine of Reunion, and called all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth. Preferrest thou to tarry when the breeze announcing the Day of God hath already breathed over thee, or art thou of them that are shut out as by a veil from Him?
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 28

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! May know the mysteries hidden in the Seas of light.

Qualities of a true seeker on the path of Positive Knowledge (Valley of Knowledge).

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! They passed the grades of worldly limitations and reached that of the divine unity, the center of heavenly guidance.

Reaching "divine unity": the Babis who recognise and follow Baha'u'llah are those who have reached the Valley of Unity (the Fourth Valley) in their spiritual growth, past the last plane of limitation. They are not attached to a particular Manifestation but recognise the oneness and divinity of all Manifestations; thereby, recognise the new Manifestation, who was foretold by the Bab and other Prophets.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! They have desired to ascend unto that state which the Lord hath ordained to be above their stations.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Whereupon the burning meteor cast them out from them that abide in the Kingdom of His Presence,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And they heard the Voice of Grandeur raised from behind the unseen pavilion upon the Height of Glory:

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "O guardian angels! Return them to their abode in the world below,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "Inasmuch as they have purposed to rise to that sphere which the wings of the celestial dove have never attained;

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "Whereupon the ship of fancy standeth still which the minds of them that comprehend cannot grasp."

The six lines above appear to be a reference to Mirza-Yahya's false claim to be Him Whom God will make Manifest, and the minority of Babis who followed him (the Azalis). The "celestial dove" is a reference to the next Independent Prophet (Baha'u'llah) whose station he falsely claimed.

Verily, this is the Point which God hath ordained to be an ocean of light for the sincere among His servants and a flame of fire to the froward amidst His creatures and the impious among His people--they who bartered away the gift of God for unbelief, and the celestial food for hypocrisy, and led their associates to a wretched abode. These are the people who have manifested sedition throughout the world and have violated His Covenant on the Day when the immortal Being mounted His throne and the Crier raised His Voice from the haven of security and peace in the holy Vale.

O followers of the Bayán! Fear ye the All-Merciful. This is the One Who hath been glorified by Muhammad, the Apostle of God, and before Him by the Spirit and yet before Him by the One Who discoursed with God.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 102

... I bear witness, O my God, that through Him Thy most resplendent signs have been uncovered, and Thy mercy hath encompassed the entire creation. But for Him, how could the Celestial Dove have uttered its songs or the Heavenly Nightingale, according to the decree of God, have warbled its melody?
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 295

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Whereupon the maid of heaven looked out from her exalted chamber,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And with her brow signed to the Celestial Concourse,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Flooding with the light of her countenance the heaven and the earth,

Baha'u'llah, the "maid of heaven", unveiling himself and revealing his signs.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And as the radiance of her beauty shone upon the people of dust,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! All beings were shaken in their mortal graves.

"Beings shaken in their mortal graves" refers to those who are "as dead" and are awakened by the revelation of God on the Day of Resurrection.

Blessed the lifeless one who is quickened through My reviving breaths.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 16

The breeze of the All-Merciful hath wafted, and the souls have been quickened in the tombs of their bodies. Thus hath the decree been fulfilled by God, the Mighty, the Beneficent.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 118

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! She then raised the call which no ear through all eternity hath ever heard,

Baha'u'llah declaring a new revelation -- bringing new teachings and laws.

Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He Who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridvan and entered it. Guide, then, the people unto the garden of delight which God hath made the Throne of His Paradise. We have chosen thee to be our most mighty Trumpet, whose blast is to signalize the resurrection of all mankind.

Say: This is the Paradise on whose foliage the wine of utterance hath imprinted the testimony: "He that was hidden from the eyes of men is revealed, girded with sovereignty and power!" This is the Paradise, the rustling of whose leaves proclaims: "O ye that inhabit the heavens and the earth! There hath appeared what hath never previously appeared. He Who, from everlasting, had concealed His Face from the sight of creation is now come." From the whispering breeze that wafteth amidst its branches there cometh the cry: "He Who is the sovereign Lord of all is made manifest. The Kingdom is God's," while from its streaming waters can be heard the murmur: "All eyes are gladdened, for He Whom none hath beheld, Whose secret no one hath discovered, hath lifted the veil of glory, and uncovered the countenance of Beauty."

Within this Paradise, and from the heights of its loftiest chambers, the Maids of Heaven have cried out and shouted: "Rejoice, ye dwellers of the realms above, for the fingers of Him Who is the Ancient of Days are ringing, in the name of the All-Glorious, the Most Great Bell, in the midmost heart of the heavens. The hands of bounty have borne round the cup of everlasting life. Approach, and quaff your fill. Drink with healthy relish, O ye that are the very incarnations of longing, ye who are the embodiments of vehement desire!"
-- Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 31

In the passage above, the Maids of Heaven (plural) also announce the declaration of Baha'u'llah to the dwellers in the invisible realm. In the passage below, the "Moons have diffused their lights, and the Heavens have revealed their stars," can also be interpreted as another reference to this.

Say, this is the Day when the Speaker on Sinai hath mounted the throne of Revelation... ...when the Sun hath shed its radiance and the Moons have diffused their lights, and the Heavens have revealed their stars,...
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 107

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And thus proclaimed: "By the Lord! He whose heart hath not the fragrance of the love of the exalted and glorious Arabian Youth,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "Can in no wise ascend unto the glory of the highest heaven."

The Arabian Youth is the Bab, who was the Imam Mahdi (12th Imam), and a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (like the Holy Imams). He was the forerunner of Baha'u'llah. The Babis who lack the fragrance of the Bab are not true believers, and fail to recognise Baha'u'llah -- they are not acceptable to (have disbelieved in) God.

Beware, beware lest thou behave like unto the people of the Bayan. For indeed they erred grievously, misguided the people, ignored the Covenant of God and His Testament and joined partners with Him, the One, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily they failed to recognize the Point of the Bayan, for had they recognized Him they would not have rejected His manifestation in this luminous and resplendent Being. And since they fixed their eyes on names, therefore when He replaced His Name 'the Most Exalted' by 'the Most Glorious' their eyes were dimmed. They have failed to recognize Him in these days and are reckoned with those that perish.
-- Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 185

(new theme starts)

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Thereupon she summoned unto herself one maiden from her handmaidens,

The "handmaidens" is a symbolic term used to refer to the pre-existent Dependent/Lesser Prophets of Baha'u'llah, one of the two classes of Prophets, who are His [God's] Chosen Ones. Following are a number of references related to this.

Since Thou hast purposed, O my God, to cause all created things to enter
into the tabernacle of Thy transcendent grace and favor, and to waft over the entire creation the fragrances of the raiment of Thy glorious unity, and to look upon all things with the eyes of Thy bounty and Thy oneness, I beseech Thee, therefore, by Thy love, which Thou hast made to be the mainspring of the revelations of Thine eternal holiness, and the flame that gloweth within the hearts of such of Thy creatures as yearn towards Thee, to create, this very moment, for those of Thy people who are wholly devoted to Thee, and for such of Thy loved ones as love Thee, out of the essence of Thy bounty and Thy generosity, and from the inmost spirit of Thy grace and Thy glory, Thy Paradise of transcendent holiness, and to exalt it above everything except Thee, and to sanctify it from aught else save Thyself. Create, moreover, within it, O my God, out of the lights shed by Thy throne, handmaidens who will intone the melodies of Thy wondrous and most sweet invention, that they may magnify Thy name with such words as have not been heard by any of Thy creatures, be they the inmates of Thy heaven or the dwellers of Thine earth, nor been comprehended by any of Thy people. Unlock, then, the gates of this Paradise to the faces of Thy loved ones, that haply they may enter them in Thy name, and by the power of Thy sovereignty, that thereby the sovereign bounties vouchsafed by Thee unto Thy chosen ones and the transcendent gifts granted unto Thy trusted ones be perfected, that they may extol Thy virtues with such melodies as none can either intone or describe, and that none of Thy people may conceive the design of appearing in the guise of any of Thy chosen ones, or of emulating the example of Thy loved ones, and that none may fail to discern between Thy friends and Thine enemies, or to distinguish them that are devoted to Thee from such as stubbornly oppose Thee. Potent art Thou to do what Thou willest, and powerful and supreme art Thou over all things.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 326-327

... For ages and centuries they settled and dwelt in that pleasant and spiritual station, in that divine and holy rose garden, with perfect joy and happiness.

Then the gales of divine tests and the winds of lordly temptation blew from the Sheba of the everlasting Cause. They became distracted by the beauty of the wine server and grew heedless of the immortal countenance, to the extent that they imagined the shadow to be the sun and phantoms to be light. They set out for the ladders of the greatest name so that they might scale those heavens and arrive at that seat and place. When they rose toward it, the divine assayers descended upon them with the sacred touchstone, by the irresistible decree of the lord. When these emissaries did not perceive the scent of the spiritual youth, they forbade entry to all. Afterwards, there occurred what is inscribed upon the guarded tablet
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Holy Mariner from the Persian. (a provisional translation by Juan Cole)

O My servants [believers]! Through the might of God and His power, and
out of the treasury of His knowledge and wisdom, I have brought forth and revealed unto you the pearls that lay concealed in the depths of His everlasting ocean. I have summoned the Maids of Heaven to emerge from behind the veil of concealment, and have clothed them with these words of Mine--words of consummate power and wisdom. I have, moreover, with the hand of divine power, unsealed the choice wine of My Revelation, and have wafted its holy, its hidden, and musk-laden fragrance upon all created things. Who else but yourselves is to be blamed if ye choose to remain unendowed with so great an outpouring of God's transcendent and all-encompassing grace, with so bright a revelation of His resplendent mercy?...
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 327

The handmaiden is a servant to the Maid of Heaven [Baha'u'llah, the Independent Prophet] -- similar to how handmaidens aid the bride at a wedding. At the end of the Hidden Words, Baha'u'llah also refers to himself using the symbolic term, "bride". The same inner meaning is reflected in the following passage from the Hidden Words in which Baha'u'llah refers to His servant (i.e. his Dependent Prophet, who is also the Face of God):


Deny not My servant should he ask anything from thee, for his face is My face; be then abashed before Me.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Thereupon the countenance of the favored damsel beamed above the celestial chambers even as the light that shineth from the face of the Youth above His mortal temple;
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Holy Mariner (taken from further below in the Tablet of the Holy Mariner, in reference to the handmaiden).


O Pen of the Most High! Hearken unto the Call of Thy Lord, raised from the Divine Lote-Tree in the holy and luminous Spot, that the sweet accents of Thy Lord, the All-Merciful, may fill Thy soul with joy and fervour, and that the breezes that waft from My name, the Ever-Forgiving, may dispel Thy cares and sorrows. Raise up, then, from this Temple [i.e. Baha'u'llah, the Independent Prophet], the temples of the Oneness of God [the pre-existent Dependent Prophets of Baha'u'llah summoned to appear on earth by Him], that they may tell out, in the kingdom of creation, the tidings of their Lord, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, and be of them that are illumined by His light.
-- Baha'u'llah, Surih of the Temple, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 7

The Independent Prophet (Baha'u'llah) is the Face of God and receives revelation directly from God. The Dependent/Lesser Prophets (referred to as "handmaidens", "Thy chosen ones", "Maids of Heaven", "assayers", "Temples of the Oneness of God", and so on) are also the Face of God, and receive their revelation from the Independent Prophet (Baha'u'llah) as indicated in reference #3 above from Gleanings CLIII.

All recent major dispensations have had Dependent/Lesser Prophets -- The 12 Imams in era of Muhammad, the 12 Apostles in the era of Christ, and the 12 "minor" Prophets or chiefs in the era of Moses (among: Joshua, Aaron, David, Solomon, Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Samuel, Amos, Hezekiah, Elijah). At the following link the two classes of prophets are explained. Also, Abdu'l-Baha explains (based on the Bible) that there will be 24 Dependent Prophets in the Baha'i era, twice the number in each of the recent major revelations, an aspect of the greatness of the Day of God, whose Universal Manifestation is Baha'u'llah.

In the passages #6, #7 and #8 below: the "angels" (Matthew, 16:27), "the prophets and witnesses" (Quran, 39:69), ".. apostles.. rehearsing to you the Signs of your Lord" (Quran, 39:71), "His messengers will bring glorious and resplendent Tablets from Him" (Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 165); are also references to Dependent Prophets of Baha'u'llah in other Holy Books.

16:27 For the Son of man shall come
in the glory of his Father
[the era of Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God] with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
-- Bible: Matthew.

39:67 No just estimate have they made of God, such as is due to Him: On the Day of Judgment the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the Partners they attribute to Him!

39:68 The Trumpet will (just) be sounded [appearance of the Bab], when all that are in the heavens and on earth will swoon, except such as it will please God (to exempt). Then will a second one be sounded [appearance of Baha'u'llah], when, behold, they will be standing and looking on!

39:69 And the Earth will shine with the Glory of its Lord [the era of Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God]: the Record (of Deeds) will be placed (open); the prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward [the pre-existent Dependent Prophets of Baha'u'llah will be summoned to appear on earth] and a just decision pronounced between them; and they will not be wronged (in the least).

39:70 And to every soul will be paid in full (the fruit) of its Deeds; and (God) knoweth best all that they do.

39:71 The Unbelievers will be led to Hell in crowd: until, when they arrive, there, its gates will be opened. And its keepers will say, "Did not apostles [Dependent Prophets of Baha'u'llah] come to you from among yourselves, rehearsing to you the Signs of your Lord, and warning you of the Meeting of This Day of yours?" The answer will be: "True: but the Decree of Punishment has been proved true against the Unbelievers!"
-- Qur'an: 39 - AZ-ZUMAR

Beware, O concourse of Mirrors, lest on that Day [WHEN the Day-Star of Baha will shine resplendent above the horizon of eternity] titles make you vainglorious. Know ye of a certainty that ye, together with all those who stand above you or below you, have been created for that Day. Fear ye God and commit not that which would grieve His heart, nor be of them that have gone astray. Perchance He will appear invested with the power of Truth while ye are fast asleep on your couches, or His messengers will bring glorious and resplendent Tablets from Him while ye turn away disdainfully from Him, pronounce sentence against Him -- such sentence as ye would never pass on yourselves -- and say, 'This is not from God, the All-Subduing, the Self-Existent'.
-- The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 165

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And commanded her: "Descend into space from the mansions of eternity,

Baha'u'llah summons a Dependent/Lesser Prophet to appear earth. 

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "And turn thou unto that which they have concealed in the inmost of their hearts.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "Shouldst thou inhale the perfume of the robe from the Youth that hath been hidden within the tabernacle of light by reason of that which the hands of the wicked have wrought,

Tabernacle [from]: Any small cell, or like place, in which some holy precious things was deposited or kept. Tabernacle is also a place of worship/holiness. At the following link where Baha'u'llah describes qualities needed to understand the writings (purity, chastity, ..) it ends with the following quotation: "Well is it with the sincere in heart for their share of the light of a mighty Day!" So, what is "hidden in the tabernacle of light" can be interpreted as: knowledge (in the writings) that would be hidden to one except if they are pure (bear the perfume with the fragrance of the Youth); if they are not, they would not grasp it or be aware of its importance.

I swear by the life of Him Who is the Desire of the world! Were a man to ponder in his heart he would, free of all attachment to the world, hasten unto the Most Great Light and would purge and purify himself from the dust of vain imaginings and the smoke of idle fancy. What could have prompted the people of the past to err and by whom were they misled? They still reject the truth and have turned towards their own selfish desires.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 41

Since Thou hast, O my God, established Thyself upon the throne of Thy transcendent unity, and ascended the mercy seat of Thy oneness, it befitteth Thee to blot out from the hearts of all beings whatsoever may keep them back from gaining admittance into the sanctuary of Thy Divine mysteries, and may shut them out from the tabernacle of Thy Divinity, that all hearts may mirror Thy beauty...
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 324

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "Raise a cry within thyself, that all the inmates of the chambers of Paradise, that are the embodiments of the eternal wealth, may understand and hearken;

Reveal yourself that true believers ("[they that are] the embodiments of the eternal wealth") may recognise you. Parallels can be drawn between the line above and Abdu'l-Baha's explanation of the Hidden Words #71 below.

Call ye to mind that covenant ye have entered into with Me upon Mount Paran, situate within the hallowed precincts of Zaman. I have taken to witness the concourse on high and the dwellers in the city of eternity, yet now none do I find faithful unto the covenant. Of a certainty pride and rebellion have effaced it from the hearts, in such wise that no trace thereof remaineth. Yet knowing this, I waited and disclosed it not.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Persian Hidden Words.

Persian no. 71
The "Covenant" mentioned in the Hidden Words is the Covenant and Testament which was entered into by the pen of the Most High in the hallowed precincts of the Paran of the love of God, the summit of timeless time.[10] The "dwellers in the city of eternity" and the "concourse on high" are souls  who are firm in the Covenant.
('Abdu'l-Bahá, from a Tablet to an individual believer -- translated from the Persian)

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "And kiss their hands and feet for having soared to the heights of faithfulness;

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "Perchance they may find from their robes the fragrance of the Beloved One."

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Thereupon the countenance of the favored damsel beamed above the celestial chambers even as the light that shineth from the face of the Youth above His mortal temple;

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! She then descended with such an adorning as to illumine the heavens and all that is therein.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! She bestirred herself and perfumed all things in the lands of holiness and grandeur.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! When she reached that place she rose to her full height in the midmost heart of creation,

The Dependent Prophet declares her/his mission in a manner that is outwardly visible to all -- in the "midmost heart of creation".

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And sought to inhale their fragrance at a time that knoweth neither beginning nor end.

The appearance of Dependent Prophets, at whatever time, an unknown time, is a divine test to believers. The true believers have the fragrance of the Youth while those who fail the test (fail to recognise a Dependent Prophet) do not. For example, a female Prophet could be a test if one has not truly embraced the Baha'i principle of gender equality.

Know thou moreover that in the Day of Revelation were He to pronounce one of the leaves [women] to be the manifestation of all His excellent titles, unto no one is given the right to utter why or wherefore, and should one do so he would be regarded as a disbeliever in God and be numbered with such as have repudiated His Truth.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 185

Ponder this in thine heart, that the sweet gales of divine knowledge, blowing from the meads of mercy, may waft upon thee the fragrance of the Beloved's utterance, and cause thy soul to attain the Ridván of understanding. As the wayward of every age have failed to fathom the deeper import of these weighty and pregnant utterances, and imagined the answer of the Prophets of God to be irrelevant to the questions they asked them, they therefore have attributed ignorance and folly to those Essences of knowledge and understanding.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 149

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! She found not in them that which she did desire, and this, verily, is but one of His wondrous tales.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! She then cried aloud, wailed and repaired to her own station within her most lofty mansion,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And then gave utterance to one mystic word, whispered privily by her honeyed tongue,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And raised the call amidst the Celestial Concourse and the immortal maids of heaven:

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "By the Lord! I found not from these idle claimants the breeze of Faithfulness!

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! "By the Lord! The Youth hath remained lone and forlorn in the land of exile in the hands of the ungodly."

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! She then uttered within herself such a cry that the Celestial Concourse did shriek and tremble,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And she fell upon the dust and gave up the spirit. It seemeth she was called and hearkened unto Him that summoned her unto the Realm on High.

Parallels can be drawn between the 8 lines above and the passage below about the persecution/injustices faced by different Prophets, when viewed from the "station of pure abstraction and essential unity"...

XXXIX. Praise be to Thee, O Lord My God, for the wondrous revelations of Thy inscrutable decree and the manifold woes and trials Thou hast destined for Myself. At one time Thou didst deliver Me into the hands of Nimrod [Abraham]; at another Thou hast allowed Pharaoh's rod to persecute Me [Moses]..... Again I was crucified for having unveiled to men's eyes the hidden gems of Thy glorious unity [Jesus], for having revealed to them the wondrous signs of Thy sovereign and everlasting power. How bitter the humiliations heaped upon Me, in a subsequent age, on the plain of Kárbilá! [Imam Husayn] How lonely did I feel amidst Thy people! To what a state of helplessness I was reduced in that land! Unsatisfied with such indignities, My persecutors decapitated Me, and, carrying aloft My head from land to land paraded it before the gaze of the unbelieving multitude, and deposited it on the seats of the perverse and faithless. In a later age, I was suspended, and My breast was made a target to the darts of the malicious cruelty of My foes. My limbs were riddled with bullets, and My body was torn asunder [The Bab]. Finally, behold how, in this Day, My treacherous enemies have leagued themselves against Me, and are continually plotting to instill the venom of hate and malice into the souls of Thy servants [Baha'u'llah]. With all their might they are scheming to accomplish their purpose.. Grievous as is My plight, O God, My Well-Beloved, I render thanks unto Thee, and My Spirit is grateful for whatsoever hath befallen me in the path of Thy good-pleasure. I am well pleased with that which Thou didst ordain for Me, and welcome, however calamitous, the pains and sorrows I am made to suffer.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 88-90

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Glorified be He that created her out of the essence of love in the midmost heart of his exalted paradise!

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Thereupon the maids of heaven hastened forth from their chambers, upon whose countenances the eye of no dweller in the highest paradise had ever gazed.

Glorified be our Lord, the Most High! They all gathered around her, and lo! they found her body fallen upon the dust;

Glorified be our Lord, the Most High! And as they beheld her state and comprehended a word of the tale told by the Youth, they bared their heads, rent their garments asunder, beat upon their faces, forgot their joy, shed tears and smote with their hands upon their cheeks, and this is verily one of the mysterious grievous afflictions
Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!

-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Holy Mariner.

< <   back to Table of Contents