Baha’i Writings

 

1.     Spiritual / Relational

 

1.1          Character Development (Virtues)

 

1.1.1                   Character Development - Virtues and the betterment of the world

The betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct....

 

(Bahá'u'lláh, cited in "The Advent of Divine Justice", pp. 24-25)

 

 

1.1.2                   Character Development - Human Station
            O friends! Be not careless of the virtues with which ye have been endowed, neither be neglectful of your high destiny. Suffer not your labors to be wasted through the vain imaginations which certain hearts have devised. Ye are the stars of the heaven of understanding, the breeze that stirreth at the break of day, the soft-flowing waters upon which must depend the very life of all men, the letters inscribed upon His sacred scroll. With the utmost unity, and in a spirit of perfect fellowship, exert yourselves, that ye may be enabled to achieve that which beseemeth this Day of God. Verily I say, strife and dissension, and whatsoever the mind of man abhorreth are entirely unworthy of his station.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 196)

 

 

1.1.3                   Character Development - Inherent Potentialities

The All-Merciful hath conferred upon man the faculty of vision, and endowed him with the power of hearing. Some have described him as the "lesser world," when, in reality, he should be regarded as the "greater world." The potentialities inherent in the station of man, the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality, must all be manifested in this promised Day of God.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 339)

 

 

1.1.4                   Character Development - Guidelines and Standards

            Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.  

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 285)

 

 

1.1.5                   Character Development - Dispute

Dispute not with any one concerning the things of this world and its affairs, for God hath abandoned them to such as have set their affection upon them. Out of the whole world He hath chosen for Himself the hearts of men -- hearts which the hosts of revelation and of utterance can subdue. Thus hath it been ordained by the Fingers of Baha, upon the Tablet of God's irrevocable decree, by the behest of Him Who is the Supreme Ordainer, the All-Knowing.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 279)

 

 

1.1.6                   Character Development - Words and Deeds

            O CHILDREN OF ADAM!

Holy words and pure and goodly deeds ascend unto the heaven of celestial glory. Strive that your deeds may be cleansed from the dust of self and hypocrisy and find favor at the court of glory; for ere long the assayers of mankind shall, in the holy presence of the Adored One, accept naught but absolute virtue and deeds of stainless purity. This is the daystar of wisdom and of divine mystery that hath shone above the horizon of the divine will. Blessed are they that turn thereunto.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words)

 

 

1.1.7                   Character Development - Sublime Station

O people of God! I admonish you to observe courtesy, for above all else it is the prince of virtues. Well is it with him who is illumined with the light of courtesy and is attired with the vesture of uprightness. Whoso is endued with courtesy hath indeed attained a sublime station. It is hoped that this Wronged One and everyone else may be enabled to acquire it, hold fast unto it, observe it, and fix our gaze upon it. This is a binding command which hath streamed forth from the Pen of the Most Great Name.

 

                        (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 88)

 

 

1.1.8       Character Development – Material and Spiritual Powers

Man has two powers, and his development two aspects. One power is connected with the material world and by it he is capable of material advancement. The other power is spiritual and through its development his inner, potential nature is awakened. These powers are like two wings. Both must be developed, for flight is impossible with one wing. Praise be to God! material advancement has been evident in the world but there is need of spiritual advancement in like proportion. We must strive unceasingly and without rest to accomplish the development of the spiritual nature in man, and endeavor with tireless energy to advance humanity toward the nobility of its true and intended station. For the body of man is accidental; it is of no importance. The time of its disintegration  will inevitably come. But the spirit of man is essential and therefore eternal. It is a divine bounty. It is the effulgence of the Sun of Reality and therefore of greater importance than the physical body.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 262)

 

 

1.1.9                   Character Development - Character and Knowledge

Ye must strive with heart and soul that ye may become renowned in character and knowledge.

            (
`Abdu'l-Baha:  Selections from the Writings … , pp.116-117)

 

 

1.1.10                   Character Development - Proof of True Piety

As regards religious zeal and true piety, their touchstone and proof are firmness and steadfastness in noble qualities, virtues, and perfections, which are the greatest blessings of the human race; but not interference with the belief of this one or that one, demolition of edifices, and cutting off of the human race.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, A Traveller's Narrative, p. 90)

 

 

1.1.11                   Character Development - The Advancement of Mind and Spirit

            The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from the petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment. His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. Man is, so to speak, unripe: the heat of the fire of suffering will mature him. Look back to the times past and you will find that the greatest men have suffered most.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 178)

 

 

1.1.12                   Character Development – Spirit and the body

The wisdom of the appearance of the spirit in the body is this: the human spirit is a Divine Trust, and it must traverse all conditions, for its passage and movement through the conditions of existence will be the means of its acquiring perfections. So when a man travels and passes through different regions and numerous countries with system and method, it is certainly a means of his acquiring perfection, for he will see places, scenes and countries, from which he will discover the conditions and states of other nations. He will thus become acquainted with the geography of countries and their wonders and arts; he will familiarize himself with the habits, customs and usages of peoples; he will see the civilization and progress of the epoch; he will become aware of the policy of governments and the power and capacity of each country. It is the same when the human spirit passes through the conditions of existence: it will become the possessor of each degree and station. Even in the condition of the body it will surely acquire perfections.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 200)

 

 

1.1.13                   Character Development - Foundation of all the Virtues

Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues of the world of humanity. Without truthfulness, progress and success in all of the worlds of God are impossible for a soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also become realized.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, p. 459)

 

 

1.1.14                   Character Development Bahá'í Standards

            In brief, let each one of you be as a lamp shining forth with the light of the virtues of the world of humanity. Be trustworthy, sincere, affectionate and replete with chastity. Be illumined, be spiritual, be divine, be glorious, be quickened of God, be a Bahá'í.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 453)