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TAGS: Lawh-i-Mallahul-Quds (Tablet of the Holy Mariner); Lesser prophets; Maid of Heaven; Words and phrases
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Tablet of the Holy Mariner (Lawh-i-Malláhu'l-Quds):
Study Compilations

by Aziz Mboya

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Chapter 4

Tablet of the Holy Mariner (from the Persian)

He is the Foreigner, the Persian, the Iraqi.

When the passengers on the divine ark had clung to one of the names, with the
permission of the holy mariner in the pre-existent vessel, then did it set sail
upon the sea of names. They traversed the stations of limitation, so that they
might make for the Yemen of the powerful sovereign of oneness, arriving at the
shore of divine unity. Thus might they drink from the chalice of transcendence.
Indeed, by the aid of the lord, that eternal ark set sail upon and plied the
spiritual waters of wisdom.

Then they reached a place where the name, the Still, became dominant over their
course, so that the ship of the spirit was becalmed, unable to move. At that
moment, the impregnable command of the lord descended from the holy and
everlasting heavens. The mariner of eternity was ordered to teach a single
letter of the hidden word to the people of the ark. Thus did they, by the
succor of the Unseen, pass through the valley of psychological bewilderment and
arrive at the great court of spiritual unity, attaining the Mount Qaf of
eternal life and the presence of the lord of souls. When the people of the ship
attained to the word of the spiritual friend, they were immediately filled with
meaning and soared into the sacred sky. By the divine grace and mercy, they
passed beyond the peaks of carnal desire and the deepest levels of negligence
and blindness. At that moment the breezes of paradise wafted upon their bodies
from the sanctuary of the All Merciful. After they soared in the heavens of
divine nearness, they traversed the spiritual stations in the place of safety
and security. Finally, they halted at the homeland of lovers. The inhabitants
of this station arose to serve them and show them kindness. The immortal
attendants and the holy servers poured ruby wine liberally. Intoxication with
the wine of divine knowledge, and the cup of eternal wisdom induced such love
and distraction that they escaped from their own being and that of existing
things. They gave their hearts to the beauty of the friend. 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.

Then, you who dwell upon the plain of divine love and drink the wine of
unceasing forgiveness, do not exchange nearness to the beauty of the friend for
both worlds. Do not prefer the presence of the wine server to meeting him, and
do not give your heart to the intoxicant of ignorance and heedlessness in
preference to his wine of knowledge and wisdom. Lips are for mentioning the
beloved; do not defile them with filthy water. The heart is the home of
everlasting mysteries, do not busy it with perishable things. Seek the water of
life from the fountain of the beauty of the All-Praised, not from the
manifestations of Satan.

Yes, this ephemeral youth here mentions the highest station of the love of the
divine friends. He does so by reference to the wonders of the text of divine
unity and the gems of the wisdom of the self-sufficient sovereign. Thus,
perhaps some might recognize the value of courage and gallantry, and put off
the shirt of negligence and carnal appetites. Perhaps they will visit the
illumined beauty of the pure, radiant and sanctified friend in the land of
love, detachment, amiability and exaltation. Thus would they receive the lights
dawning from the morn of his brow and the effulgence of the perspicuous day, to
at least the extent that they would be enabled to unite their inner and outer
selves. We have passed beyond the loftiness of abstraction, the sublimity of
divine oneness, the ultimate recognition that God is above all attributes, and
the most great sanctification. Now, they must put forth their utmost effort and
give their unswerving attention, so that their inward secrets not be contrary
to their overt behavior, nor their outward deeds at variance with their inner
mysteries. We have traversed the stage of expending the self for others. Arise
to expend justice and fairness upon the souls that pertain to you.

In the end, however, you prefer the cloak of carnal longing and desire to the
robe of divine benediction, and you exchange the song of the nightingale of
immortality for the disagreeable croaking of death that issues from the throats
of the hateful and rebellious. How miserable a trade you make! We are from God
and to him do we return. God willing, we maintain the hope that the immortal
temples of glory shall, through the adornment of holiness and the divine
attributes, appear illumined, gentle, pure and undefiled like the eternal sun.
This is not difficult for God.

- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Holy Mariner from the Persian. (a provisional

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