Riḍván 1992

A year charged with happenings of such sacred import is bound to yield consequences of unimaginable potency. The immediate outcome is, however, impossible to predict, nor can it be fruitfully speculated about. Rather should we direct our thoughts to the meaning of the solemn occasions which this year is set apart to memorialize. For the purpose of the Holy Year is not fulfilled by public memorials alone, befitting as they will be. Essential to its purpose is the opportunity it offers for inner reflection on the part of every Bahá’í individual. Indeed, this is a special time for a rendezvous of the soul with the Source of its light and guidance, a time to turn to Bahá’u’lláh, to seek to obtain a deeper appreciation of His purpose, to renew allegiance to Him. This is a time of retreat to one’s innermost being, to the dwelling-place of the Spirit of Bahá, that interior to which He summons us when He says: “Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.” This is a time for recommitment to the Covenant, for rededication to duty, for revitalizing the energy for teaching, the “most meritorious of all deeds.”

As the foremost aid to your reflections and actions, you will doubtless draw upon the insight and inspiration of such of His words as these: “I am the Sun of Wisdom and the Ocean of Knowledge. I cheer the faint and revive the dead. I am the guiding Light that illumineth the way.” “By My Life! Not of Mine own volition have I revealed Myself, but God, of His own choosing, hath manifested Me.” “I have come in the shadows of the clouds of glory, and am invested by God with invincible sovereignty.” “He that hath Me not is bereft of all things. Turn ye away from all that is on earth and seek none else but Me.” “Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.” “The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole world may attain unto true liberty. He hath drained to its dregs the cup of sorrow, that all the peoples of the earth may attain unto abiding joy, and be filled with gladness.”

Whatever our private reflections or response to duty may lead us to do, of one thing we must be sure: that the Name of Him Who is the Lifegiver of the World becomes known throughout the earth among high and low alike. Considering that it is already a whole century since the Blessed Beauty ascended, and given the crushing weight of the ills burdening the peoples of the world, and seeing that a veritable cry of anguish is issuing more loudly from the hearts of those who long for some hope of relief, we, His avowed servants, can neither falter nor fail in this primary and urgent duty. For He, Bahá’u’lláh, is the Supreme Manifestation, the Unifier and Redeemer of all mankind, the Fountainhead of Justice, the immortal Beloved; for, according to His own unerring proclamation, “He Who is the Unconditioned is come, in the clouds of light, that He may quicken all created things with the breezes of His Name, the Most Merciful, and unify the world, and gather all men around this Table which hath been sent down from heaven.” Let us bear His Name with dignity to those who must hear It, offer It as a treasure to those who must receive It, speak It with love to those who must embrace It.

How laudable it would be if, imbued by this desire to blazon abroad His Name, and as a demonstration of our special love for the Abhá Beauty, we could each of us mount a personal campaign of teaching, such that the collective force and results of it throughout the world would bring to a resounding conclusion the sacred exercises of this Holy Year and set the stage for the launching of the impending Three Year Plan at Riḍván 1993!

Finally, it is highly fitting at this time to recall Bahá’u’lláh’s expression in the Most Holy Book of His will for us with regard to the nature of our reactions to His passing: “Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world,” He wrote, “when the day-star of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men. We are with you at all times, and shall strengthen you through the power of truth. We are truly almighty. Whoso hath recognized Me, will arise and serve Me with such determination that the powers of earth and heaven shall be unable to defeat his purpose.” 1

  1. Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1992 – To the Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19920421_001/1#799084651. [return]