Hidden Word #63; quote from Promulgation of Universal Peace
by / on behalf of Universal House of Justice2010-08-22
22 August 2010
Transmitted by email
Dear Bahá’í Friend,
Your email letters of 15 March 2009 and 23 February 2010, the former requesting clarification on two different versions of Persian Hidden Word no. 63 and the latter on two different versions of a passage from a talk of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, have been received at the Bahá’í World Centre.
With regard to your query of 15 March, which was forwarded to the Research Department for study, the text for the Hidden Word in question appears in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, no. CIV as follows:
O ye peoples of the world! Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity is following you, and that grievous retribution awaiteth you. Think not the deeds ye have committed have been blotted from My sight. By My beauty! All your doings hath My Pen graven with open characters upon tablets of chrysolite.The text in the Hidden Words as presented on the Bahá’í Reference Library Web site reads:
O ye peoples of the world! Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity followeth you, and grievous retribution awaiteth you. Think not that which ye have committed hath been effaced in My sight. By My beauty! All your doings hath My pen graven with open characters upon tablets of chrysolite.After studying the matter, the Research Department has stated the following:
The underlying Persian text is the same in both cases. Shoghi Effendi revised his own translations from time to time, particularly in the case of the Hidden Words, and the translation found in Gleanings closely matches the version published in the 1929 edition of the Hidden Words. This translation was revised a final time in 1954 by Shoghi Effendi, and this is the version of the Hidden Words found on the Bahá’í Reference Library Web site. While this most recent version contains the final revisions by Shoghi Effendi, both this translation and the earlier translation published in Gleanings can be considered authoritative.[Question #2]
In your email letter of 23 February, you have observed that in the 1982 edition of The Promulgation of Universal Peace, which you found on the Web site reference.bahai.org, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is quoted as saying, “let it be offered in such a way that it will not burden the bearer”, whereas this same phrase appears in the 1983 edition of Portals to Freedom, reproduced on the Web site bahai-library.com, as “burden the heart of the hearer.” The correct wording is “burden the hearer”. This has previously been noted and will be considered for future printings. Your drawing our attention to this matter is appreciated.
Department of the Secretariat