September 23, 2017

Happiness from the Baha’i Point of View – by Martha Root

The Baha’i Cause now encircling the world is a movement for unity of religions, universal peace and a universal language. Its founders, the Báb, Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha have brought to humanity a message which transforms for its followers this earth world into a spiritual Rose-Garden.

To present to you some of their thoughts on happiness is the purpose of this compilation of quotations. Asked the intimate goal of a human life ‘Abdu’l-Baha replied that it assuredly was not to eat, nor to sleep, nor to dress, nor to repose on the conch of negligence. Rather it is to find one's way to eternity and understand the divine signs; to receive wisdom from the Lord of Lords and to move steadily forward like a great sea.

Speaking with a group of friends He said:

"To see the joy of divine gladness on your faces is the cause of my happiness for when I see you happy, I am happy also. The divine Messengers come to bring joy to this earth, for this is the planet of tribulation and torment and the mission of the great Masters is to turn men away from these anxieties and to infuse life with infinite joy.”

"When the divine message is understood all troubles will vanish. Shadows disappear when the universal lamp is lighted for whosoever becomes illumined thereby no longer knows grief. He realizes that his stay on this planet is temporary and that life is eternal. When once he has found reality he will no longer retreat into darkness.”

''Reflect on the tribulations the divine Messengers endure in each age -- exile, prison, the cross, decapitation; yet they ever remain tranquil. Behold the apostles of Christ! They had many trials. The friends of Baha’u’llah in Persia have undergone unspeakable calamities. Their possessions were seized and destroyed, their children captured, their lives sacrificed; yet at the hour of martyrdom they danced with joy, for they were completely detached from the life of this world. Trials have never prevented men from knowing the happiness of the beyond. Nay, rather, this is the path.'' 

"…The world needs more happiness and illumination. The star of happiness is in every heart, we must remove the clouds so that it may twinkle radiantly. Happiness is an eternal condition. When it is once established, man will ascend to the supreme heights of bliss. A truly happy man will not be subject to shifting eventualities of time. Like unto an eternal king he will sit upon the throne of fixed realities. He will be impervious to outward, changing circumstances, and through his deeds and actions impart happiness to others. A Baha’i must be happy, for the blessings of God are bestowed upon him.” 

“Every soul must strive to impart to mankind that joy and happiness the nature of which is permanent."

"This is the day of happiness. In no time of any manifestation was there the cause for happiness as now. A happy state brings special blessings. When the mind is depressed the blessings are not received.''

"Laugh and talk, don't Lament and talk. Laugh and speak."

"Laughter is caused by the slackening or relaxation of the nerves. It is an ideal condition and not physical. Laughter is the visible effect of an invisible cause. For example, happiness and misery are super sensuous phenomena. One cannot hear them with his ears or touch them with his hands. Happiness is a spiritual state. But happiness is caused either by looking at a beautiful picture, or witnessing a delectable panorama, or associating with the person whom you love, or listening to a good voice, or solving an intectual problem. All these are the motives of happiness, but the real cause is spiritual."

"What is necessary is divine joy. Divine happiness is the speaker of the heart… The soul of man must be happy no matter where he is. One must attain to that condition of inward beatitude and peace; then onward circumstances will not alter his spiritual calmness and joyfulness."

From 1868 to 1908 ‘Abdu’l-Baha was a prisoner in Acca, Palestine. His teachings of universal peace and brotherhood were too far in advance of His time. But as He said, "Every morning when I awoke I praised God there was another day to serve Him in His prison. Every night I thanked Him that He had permitted me to serve His Kingdom one more day in His prison. I was in a Turkish prison forty years but every day was a day of perfect joy."

''My happiness," He [‘Abdu’l-Baha] said, "comes from the Kingdom of Abha! My joy is from the Delectable Paradise! My health is gained through the rays of the sun of Reality. My spirituality descends from the world of lights. My enkindling is obtained from the Fire of the Love of God. My attraction is vouchsafed from the mainspring of all truths. My life is maintained through the fraternization of all mankind, the progress of the Cause of God and the unity of the friends.''
(Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 5, August 1922)