A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Knowledge

A deeper understanding of the verities of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and a sharper insight into its mysterious unfoldment do not depend necessarily on the degree of one’s intellectual capacity or academic knowledge. Indeed, such knowledge has often become a barrier between man and God.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 1, p. 44)


A divine Mine only can yield the gems of divine knowledge, and the fragrance of the mystic Flower can be inhaled only in the ideal Garden, and the lilies of ancient wisdom can blossom nowhere except in the city of a stainless heart. “In a rich soil, its plants spring forth abundantly by permission of its Lord, and in that soil which is bad, they spring forth but scantily.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 190)


And if, confirmed by the Creator, the lover escapes from the claws of the eagle of love, he will enter THE VALLEY OF KNOWLEDGE and come out of doubt into certitude, and turn from the darkness of illusion to the guiding light of the fear of God. His inner eyes will open and he will privily converse with his Beloved; he will set ajar the gate of truth and piety, and shut the doors of vain imaginings. He in this station is content with the decree of God, and seeth war as peace, and findeth in death the secrets of everlasting life. With inward and outward eyes he witnesseth the mysteries of resurrection in the realms of creation and the souls of men, and with a pure heart apprehendeth the divine wisdom in the endless Manifestations of God. In the ocean he findeth a drop, in a drop he beholdeth the secrets of the sea.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 11-12)


Bahá’u’lláh, in one of His Tablets, displays a fascinating panorama of divine mysteries, recounting in wonderful language the appearance before Him of some of the attributes of God, each one relating in descriptive terms its own distinguishing features. When the attribute of knowledge presented itself, however, it wept aloud, saying that it was the greatest of God’s attributes and the source of all knowledge in the world of humanity; yet, because of it, mankind failed to recognize His Manifestations.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 1, p. 44)


Briefly: One must ponder over the Words of the Sun of Truth, and if they are not understood, they should be submitted to those who are custodians of the depositories of knowledge, in order that they may explain and remove the difficulty. One should not interpret the Holy Words according to his own inclination and desire, proceed to reject and deny …
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 48)


But O my brother, when a seeker intends to turn the step of search and journeying into the path of the knowledge of the King of Pre-existence, he must first cleanse and purify his heart,—which is the place of the appearance and emanation of the splendor of the hidden mysteries of divinity—and he must cleanse and refine his breast—which is the throne for the accession and establishment of the love of the Eternal Beloved—from all the gloomy dusts of acquired learnings and from the allusions of satanic appearances. He must likewise sanctify his heart from attachment to water and clay—that is, from all phantasmal forms and spectral images—in such manner that no trace of love or hatred may remain in the heart, lest that love may cause him to incline toward a direction without guide, or that hatred prevent him from another direction; just as in this day, most are bereft of the immortal Face and of the threshold of meanings, because of these two tendencies, and are grazing shepherdless in the deserts of error and oblivion.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 49)


But having weighed the testimony of God by the standard of their own knowledge, gleaned from the teachings of the leaders of their faith, and found it at variance with their limited understanding, they arose to perpetrate such unseemly acts.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 18)


Fear God and God will give you knowledge.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 3)


He who hath knowledge and power will rather seek out the glory of heaven, and spiritual distinction, and the life that dieth not. And such a one longeth to approach the sacred Threshold of God; for in the tavern of this swiftly-passing world the man of God will not lie drunken, nor will he even for a moment take his ease, nor stain himself with any fondness for this earthly life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 221)


If thou wishest the divine knowledge and recognition, purify thy heart from all beside God, be wholly attracted to the ideal, beloved One; search for and choose Him and apply thyself to rational and authoritative arguments. For arguments are a guide to the path and by this the heart will be turned unto the Sun of Truth. And when the heart is turned unto the Sun, then the eye will be opened and will recognize the Sun through the Sun itself. Then man will be in no need of arguments (or proofs), for the Sun is altogether independent, and absolute independence is in need of nothing, and proofs are one of the things of which absolute independence has no need. Be not like Thomas; be thou like Peter. I hope you will be healed physically, mentally and spiritually.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 383-384)


In every nation thou beholdest unnumbered spiritual leaders who are bereft of true discernment, and among every people thou dost encounter myriads of adherents who are devoid of the same characteristic. Ponder for a while in thy heart, have pity on thyself and turn not aside thine attention from proofs and evidences. However, seek not proofs and evidences after thine idle fancy; but rather base thy proofs upon what God hath appointed. Moreover, know thou that neither being a man of learning nor being a follower is in itself a source of glory. If thou art a man of learning, thy knowledge becometh an honour, and if thou art a follower, thine adherence unto leadership becometh an honour, only when these conform to the good-pleasure of God. And beware lest thou regard as an idle fancy the good-pleasure of God; it is the same as the good-pleasure of His Messenger. Consider the followers of Jesus. They were eagerly seeking the good-pleasure of God, yet none of them attained the good-pleasure of His Apostle which is identical with God’s good-pleasure, except such as embraced His Faith.
(The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 124)


In this day the mysteries of this earth are unfolded and visible before the eyes, and the pages of swiftly appearing newspapers are indeed the mirror of the world; they display the doings and actions of the different nations; they both illustrate them and cause them to be heard. Newspapers are as a mirror which is endowed with hearing, sight and speech; they are a wonderful phenomenon and a great matter. But it behoveth the writers thereof to be sanctified from the prejudice of egotism and desire and to be adorned with the ornament of equity and justice; they must inquire into matters as much as possible, in order that they may be informed of the real facts, and commit the same to writing.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 171)


Is it not astonishing that although man has been created for the knowledge and love of God, for the virtues of the human world, for spirituality, heavenly illumination and life eternal, nevertheless he continues ignorant and negligent of all this? Consider how he seeks knowledge of everything except knowledge of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 64)


It is incumbent upon thee to acquire the various branches of knowledge, and to turn thy face toward the beauty of the Manifest Beauty, that thou mayest be a sign of saving guidance amongst the peoples of the world, and a focal centre of understanding in this sphere from which the wise and their wisdom are shut out, except for those who set foot in the Kingdom of lights and become informed of the veiled and hidden mystery, the well-guarded secret.
(Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 110)


Know thou of a truth that the seeker must, at the beginning of his quest for God, enter the Garden of Search. In this journey it behoveth the wayfarer to detach himself from all save God and to close his eyes to all that is in the heavens and on the earth. There must not linger in his heart either the hate or the love of any soul, to the extent that they would hinder him from attaining the habitation of the celestial Beauty. He must sanctify his soul from the veils of glory and refrain from boasting of such worldly vanities, outward knowledge, or other gifts as God may have bestowed upon him. He must search after the truth to the utmost of his ability and exertion, that God may guide him in the paths of His favour and the ways of His mercy. For He, verily, is the best of helpers unto His servants. He saith, and He verily speaketh the truth: “Whoso maketh efforts for Us, in Our ways shall We assuredly guide him.” And furthermore: “Fear God and God will give you knowledge.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 27-28)


Know verily that Knowledge is of two kinds: Divine and Satanic. The one welleth out from the fountain of divine inspiration; the other is but a reflection of vain and obscure thoughts. The source of the former is God Himself; the motive-force of the latter the whisperings of selfish desire. The one is guided by the principle: “Fear ye God; God will teach you;” the other is but a confirmation of the truth: “Knowledge is the most grievous veil between man and his Creator.” The former bringeth forth the fruit of patience, of longing desire, of true understanding, and love; whilst the latter can yield naught but arrogance, vainglory and conceit. From the sayings of those Masters of holy utterance, Who have expounded the meaning of true knowledge, the odour of these dark teachings, which have obscured the world, can in no wise be detected. The tree of such teachings can yield no result except iniquity and rebellion, and beareth no fruit but hatred and envy. Its fruit is deadly poison; its shadow a consuming fire. How well hath it been said: “Cling unto the robe of the Desire of thy heart, and put thou away all shame; bid the worldlywise be gone, however great their name.” The heart must needs therefore be cleansed from the idle sayings of men, and sanctified from every earthly affection, so that it may discover the hidden meaning of divine inspiration, and become the treasury of the mysteries of divine knowledge. Thus hath it been said: “He that treadeth the snow-white Path, and followeth in the footsteps of the Crimson Pillar, shall never attain unto his abode unless his hands are empty of those worldly things cherished by men.” This is the prime requisite of whosoever treadeth this path. Ponder thereon, that, with eyes unveiled, thou mayest perceive the truth of these words.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 69)


Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 33)


Knowledge is a light which God sheds into the heart of whomsoever He wisheth” confirms this statement.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 48)


Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 26)


Knowledge is not enough; we hope by the Love of God we shall put it into practice. A spiritual universal Force is needed for this. Meetings are good for engendering spiritual force. To know that it is possible to reach a state of perfection, is good; to march forward on the path is better. We know that to help the poor and to be merciful is good and pleases God, but knowledge alone does not feed the starving man, nor can the poor be warmed by knowledge or words in the bitter winter; we must give the practical help of Loving-kindness.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 60-61)


Knowledge is one of the wondrous gifts of God. It is incumbent upon everyone to acquire it. Such arts and material means as are now manifest have been achieved by virtue of His knowledge and wisdom which have been revealed in Epistles and Tablets through His Most Exalted Pen—a Pen out of whose treasury pearls of wisdom and utterance and the arts and crafts of the world are brought to light.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 39)


Knowledge is one point, which the foolish have multiplied.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 183)


Read, in the school of God, the lessons of the spirit, and learn from love’s Teacher the innermost truths. Seek out the secrets of Heaven, and tell of the overflowing grace and favour of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 110)


Should it [the Writings] fail to conform to their standards, they straightway reject it.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 242)


The Peerless Beloved says! The way of freedom is opened. Hasten ye. The fountain of knowledge is gushing, drink ye.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 132)


The essence of understanding is to testify to one’s poverty, and submit to the Will of the Lord, the Sovereign, the Gracious, the All-Powerful.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155-156)


The more often the captain of a ship is in the tempest and difficult sailing the greater his knowledge becomes.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. XIV, No. 2, p. 41)


The one is guided by the principle: “Fear ye God; God will teach you”.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 69)


The quintessence of knowledge, O my Lord, proclaimeth its powerlessness to know Thee, and perplexity, in its very soul, confesseth its bewilderment in the face of the revelations of Thy sovereign might, and remembrance, in its inmost spirit, acknowledgeth its forgetfulness and effacement before the manifestations of Thy signs and the evidences of Thy praise. What, then, can this poor creature hope to achieve, and to what cord must this wretched soul cling?
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 173)


The second of these spiritual standards which apply to the possessor of knowledge is that he should be the defender of his faith. It is obvious that these holy words do not refer exclusively to searching out the implications of the Law, observing the forms of worship, avoiding greater and lesser sins, practicing the religious ordinances, and by all these methods, protecting the Faith. They mean rather that the whole population should be protected in every way; that every effort should be exerted to adopt a combination of all possible measures to raise up the Word of God, increase the number of believers, promote the Faith of God and exalt it and make it victorious over other religions.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 39)


The source of all learning is the knowledge of God, exalted be His Glory, and this cannot be attained save through the knowledge of His Divine Manifestation.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 156)


This does not mean, however, that learning and knowledge are to be condemned. On the contrary, Bahá’u’lláh regarded knowledge as a great gift of God and ordained that religion and science go hand in hand. He enjoined on His followers the study of arts and sciences, advocated compulsory education and praised in glowing terms the exalted station of those truly learned men whose knowledge does not give rise to pride and vainglory. Their knowledge and learning are praiseworthy and meritorious if coupled with the knowledge of God. Such men are exalted by Bahá’u’lláh as the ‘billows of the Most Mighty Ocean’ and the ’stars of the firmament of Glory’ to all that dwell on earth.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 1, p. 44)


This station conferreth the true standard of knowledge, and freeth man from tests. In this realm, to search after knowledge is irrelevant, for He hath said concerning the guidance of travelers on this plane, “Fear God, and God will instruct thee.” And again: “Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Four Valleys, p. 53-54)


Thou didst ask as to acquiring knowledge: read thou the Books and Tablets of God, and the articles written to demonstrate the truth of this Faith. Included among them are the Iqan, which hath been translated into English, the works of Mirza Abu’l-Fadl, and those of some others among the believers. In the days to come a great number of holy Tablets and other sacred writings will be translated, and thou shouldst read these as well. Likewise, ask thou of God that the magnet of His love should draw unto thee the knowledge of Him. Once a soul becometh holy in all things, purified, sanctified, the gates of the knowledge of God will open wide before his eyes.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 190-191)


Through the strengthening power of My Name seize ye the chalice of knowledge, drink then your fill in defiance of the people of the world who have broken the Covenant of God and His Testament, rejected His proofs and clear tokens, and cavilled at His signs which have pervaded all that are in heaven and on earth.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 79)


To achieve this exalted goal man needs to recognize the station of Bahá’u’lláh as the Manifestation of God for this age and then observe His commandments with clear vision, mature reflection and a prayerful attitude. This can be achieved through deepening one’s knowledge of the Faith and in serving His Cause. It is then that the heart will become the recipient of the knowledge of God, and will attain certitude in its faith. It is then that obedience to the teachings of the Faith becomes wholehearted, as the individual grasps the significance of God’s commandments, and comes to understand their wisdom, their excellence and their necessity. It is then that his thoughts, his vision, his aspirations, his words, and his deeds will all be in harmony with the Covenant of God. And it is then that his soul will acquire spiritual qualities and virtues. This is the ultimate outcome of obedience to the Covenant, which will enable the soul to progress in the spiritual worlds of God.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 28)


Truly, I say, whatever lessens ignorance and increases knowledge, that has been, is and shall be accepted by the Creator.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 132)


Verily pure hearts are as clear and brilliant mirrors which imprint the one on the other, and hearts discover the secrets of hearts. Therefore, they (hearts) chant the verses of longing and recite the odes of glorification and praise. Consequently, the recourse is to pages of hearts, not pages filled with written lines.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 120)


We beseech God to strengthen thee with His power, and enable thee to recognize Him Who is the Source of all knowledge, that thou mayest detach thyself from all human learning, for, ‘what would it profit any man to strive after learning when he hath already found and recognized Him Who is the Object of all knowledge?’ Cleave to the Root of Knowledge, and to Him Who is the Fountain thereof, that thou mayest find thyself independent of all who claim to be well versed in human learning, and whose claim no clear proof, nor the testimony of any enlightening book, can support.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 1, p. 33-34)


We have consumed the greatest veil, in the saying, “Learning is the greatest veil,” with the fire of the love of the Friend, and have raised another tent. And we glory in this, that we have burned the “veils of glory,” praise be to God, with the fire of the beauty of the Beloved, and have placed none other than the desired One in the mind and heart. Neither do we adhere to any knowledge but His knowledge, nor cling to anything knowable save the splendor of His lights.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 49)


… the divine standard of knowledge is infallible.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 22)