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TAGS: Ahmad Sohrab; Authenticity; Evil (general); Heaven and hell; Prayer; Purpose of life; Refresh and gladden my spirit; Teachings
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Two page excerpt from the diary, dated May 9 1914, responding to these questions: what should Bahá'ís expect to accomplish; the origin of evil; the purpose of one's life; the Golden Age; what is hell; what are Bahá'u'lláh's objectives.

Historical Context for the Prayer 'O God! Refresh and Gladden My Spirit...':
Extract from the Diary of Ahmad Sohrab

by Ahmad Sohrab


1. PDF (see text below)

2. Text

Pleiades Sylvan Bower, Alhammeh,              
Lake Tiberias, Syria, May 9, 1914.              

Dear Friends:

”What do you expect the Bahai to accomplish in this world?” asked a stranger.

The Beloved one answered:- "The Bahais must be the servants of universal Peace, the workers for the Cause of the Oneness of the world of humanity, the spreaders of heavenly Love amongst the children of man, the promulgators of the principles of the progress of mankind, the dispellers of the clouds of religious, national, patriotic and political prejudices; and the upholders of the inviolable rights of equality between men and women. They must correspond religious ideals with the deductions of science and reason, and discard all such theories which cannot stand the test of intellect and empirical knowledge. This is the work of the Bahais. Dost thou not desire to accomplish this work? Art thou not in favor of it? Dost thou like to enlist in this army? You? Then, come and usher under this tent. Make thou also an effort so that the world of humanity may attain to the highest summit of perfection. Strive that religion may be cleansed from ignorant prejudices. Strive that bias may be removed. Strive that warfare and strife may become non-existent. Strive that love and good-fellowship may replace intolerance and the narrowness of dogmatism. Strive to scatter the seeds of kindness in the hearts. These are the teachings of Baha'o'llah. We are striving in this path. His Holiness Baha'o'llah has opened a great Door of interdependences of all nations before the faces. For example, the strict adherents of the present-day religions consider each other as infidels and contaminating, as apostates in the sight of God and man, as deserving to be thrown to the bottom of Hell and in the Jaws of Satan; but Baha'o'llah, addressing the world of humanity, says:- 'Ye are the leaves of one branch and the fruits of one tree!'

"What is your belief as regards the origin of evil?"

The Blessed One answered: "There is no origin of evil. The origin of evil is non-existent. For example, darkness is evil. It is the absence of light. Whenever there is no light, there is darkness. Consequently it has no existence. Poverty is the absence of wealth. Ignorance is the absence of knowledge. Evil is the absence of good. All evils are non-existent and have no outward forms and shapes. Creation is good. 'And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good!'"

"How can one understand the object of his life?"

The Blessed One answered: "There are two kinds of understandings: objective and subjective. To illustrate; Thou seest this glass of this water, and thou dost comprehend in a objective manner their constituent parts. On the other hand, thou canst not see Love, Intellect, hate, anger, sorrow, but thou dost recognize them in a subjective way through their signs and manifestations. The first is material, the second is spiritual. The first is outward, the second is intuitive. I hope that thou may'st make great advancement in the second kind of understanding. Turn thy face toward God, and say: 'O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit! Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy Hand. Thou art my guide and my Refuge. I will not be sorrowful and grieved any more. I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will worry no more. I will not let trouble harrass me any longer. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God! Thou art kinder to me than myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord!' Beg everything thou desirest from Baha'o'llah. If thou art asking faith, ask of Him. If thou art yearning after knowledge, He will grant it unto thee. If thou art longing for the Love of God, He will bestow it upon thee. He will descend upon thee all His Blessings."

"Is this the Golden Age?"

The Blessed One answered: "This is not only the Golden Age, but the Diamond Age. This is the Century of Lights! This is the Cycle of Love. This is the glorious Dawn of the Sun of Reality."

"What is Hell?"

The Blessed One Said: "Is there a Hell more direfull than Ignorance? A Hell worse than deprivation from the Divine Nearness? A Hell lower than negligence?"

"What are your objects?"

The Blessed One answered. "My objects are the establishment of the Cause of international arbitration, the Promotion of the Oneness of the world of humanity, the conformity of religion with science and reason, the elucidation of the essential unity of the divine religions, the explanation of the continuity of the prophetic revelation, the instruction of mankind in the knowledge of human brotherhood, the inculcation of the primordial oneness of all phenomena, the upraising of the standard of the solidarity of the human race, the creation of a nucleus for bringing about the universal race, the spread of the precepts of spiritual civilization, the teaching of the synthesis of the heavenly philosophy, the readjustment of the economic relations between the capitalists and laborers, so that each individual member of the world of humanity may enjoy the utmost welfare and prosperity, the organization of the Arbitral Court of Justice, in order that all the nations of the world may settle before that Court their international disputes and thus remove all the traces of enmity and hatred, and the upholding of the principles of one auxilliary, universal language. This is my duty! This is my work! These are my objects!"

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