Sacred Texts
A Pocketful of Meaning
Letter C
· Calf
and lion See Wolf ~ and lamb
· Certitude
City of See City ~ of God
essence of See Essence ~ of faith and certitude
· Changing
of earth See Earth ~ changing of
· Child
and asp See Wolf ~ and lamb
· Children
of men
liberate from ignorance See Manifestation (of God) ~ God’s purpose
light of true understanding See Manifestation (of God) ~ God’s purpose
· Christ
bread from heaven
... by saying He was the bread which came from heaven He meant that the perfections which He showed forth were divine perfections, that the blessings within Him were heavenly gifts and bestowals, that His light was the light of Reality. He said, “If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” That is to say, whosoever assimilates these divine perfections which are within me will never die; whosoever has a share and partakes of these heavenly bounties I embody will find eternal life; he who takes unto himself these divine lights shall find everlasting life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 450-451)
The spiritual truth which Christ wished to convey to them was that the reality of Divinity within Him was like a blessing which had come down from heaven and that he who partook of this blessing should never die. That is to say, bread was the symbol of the perfections which had descended upon Him from God, and he who ate of this bread, or endowed himself with the perfections of Christ, would undoubtedly attain to everlasting life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 459)
... bread signifies the heavenly food and divine perfections. So, “If any man eateth of this bread” means if any man acquires heavenly bounty, receives the divine light, or partakes of Christ’s perfections, he thereby gains everlasting life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 97)
Reflect how clear it is that what Christ meant by the heavenly bread was His spirit, His bounties, His perfections and His teachings; ...
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 98)
dove which descended upon
... the dove which descended upon Christ was not a material dove, but it was a spiritual state, which, that it might be comprehensible, was expressed by a sensible figure.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 85)
from heaven
The meaning is that the divine reality of Christ was from heaven, but the body was born of Mary.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 245)
The reality of Christ was always in heaven and will always be. This is the intention of the text of the Gospel. For while Jesus Christ walked upon the earth, He said, “The Son of Man is in heaven.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 245)
The Spirit of Christ and not the body descended from heaven. ... But the reality of Christ, the Spirit of Christ, the perfections of Christ all came from heaven.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 450)
Verily the heaven into which the Messiah rose up was not this unending sky, rather was His heaven the Kingdom of His beneficent Lord. Even as He Himself hath said, ‘I came down from heaven,’ and again, ‘The Son of Man is in heaven.’ Hence it is clear that His heaven is beyond all directional points; it encircleth all existence, and is raised up for those who worship God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, page 176)
reality of
... the reality of Christ is an unlimited essence.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 443)
Remission of sins
This is the meaning of the words of Christ, “I gave My blood for the life of the world”—that is to say, I have chosen all these troubles, these sufferings, calamities, and even the greatest martyrdom, to attain this object, the remission of sins (that is, the detachment of spirits from the human world, and their attraction to the divine world) in order that souls may arise who will be the very essence of the guidance of mankind, and the manifestations of the perfections of the Supreme Kingdom.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 125)
Resurrection of
... the meaning of Christ’s resurrection is as follows: the disciples were troubled and agitated after the martyrdom of Christ. The Reality of Christ, which signifies His teachings, His bounties, His perfections and His spiritual power, was hidden and concealed for two or three days after His martyrdom, and was not resplendent and manifest. No, rather it was lost, for the believers were few in number and were troubled and agitated. The Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body; and when after three days the disciples became assured and steadfast, and began to serve the Cause of Christ, and resolved to spread the divine teachings, putting His counsels into practice, and arising to serve Him, the Reality of Christ became resplendent and His bounty appeared; His religion found life; His teachings and His admonitions became evident and visible. In other words, the Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body until the life and the bounty of the Holy Spirit surrounded it. ... Such is the meaning of the resurrection of Christ, and this was a true resurrection.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 104)
Sacrifice of
inner meaning
The second meaning of sacrifice is this: Christ was like a seed, and this seed sacrificed its own form so that the tree might grow and develop. Although the form of the seed was destroyed, its reality became apparent in perfect majesty and beauty in the form of a tree.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 121)
outer meaning
The outward meaning is this: Christ’s intention was to represent and promote a Cause which was to educate the human world, to quicken the children of Adam, and to enlighten all mankind; and since to represent such a great Cause—a Cause which was antagonistic to all the people of the world and all the nations and kingdoms—meant that He would be killed and crucified, so Christ in proclaiming His mission sacrificed His life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 120)
Son of God
... as Christ found existence through the Spirit of God, He called Himself the Son of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 63)
the Word See Word
words fountain of life See Fountain ~ teachings of Christ
· Christhood
of Jesus
The Christhood means not the body of Jesus but the perfection of divine virtues manifest in Him.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 155)
· City
Holy See Holy ~ City
of Certitude See below of God
of God
That city is none other than the Word of God revealed in every age and dispensation. In the days of Moses it was the Pentateuch; in the days of Jesus the Gospel; in the days of Muḥammad the Messenger of God the Qur’án; in this day the Bayán; and in the dispensation of Him Whom God will make manifest His own Book—the Book unto which all the Books of former Dispensations must needs be referred, the Book which standeth amongst them all transcendent and supreme.
Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán page 184
of the heart
Wherefore must no stranger be allowed in the city of the heart, that the incomparable Friend may enter His abode. By this is meant the effulgence of His names and attributes, and not His exalted Essence, inasmuch as that peerless King hath ever been, and shall eternally remain, sanctified above ascent and descent.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Summons of the Lord of Hosts, page 109)
Strong, is ‘Akká See Strong City
· Cleaving
of the heaven
By “heaven” is meant the heaven of divine Revelation, which is elevated with every Manifestation, and rent asunder with every subsequent one. By “cloven asunder” is meant that the former Dispensation is superseded and annulled. I swear by God! That this heaven being cloven asunder is, to the discerning, an act mightier than the cleaving of the skies!
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 41)
of vain imaginings
... and the heaven of vain imaginings hath been cleft asunder, ...
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, page 120)
· Clouds
See also Veils
... the changes brought about in every Dispensation constitute the dark clouds that intervene between the eye of man’s understanding and the Divine Luminary which shineth forth from the day spring of the Divine Essence.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 26)
Gradually these heavenly teachings and foundations of reality have been beclouded by human interpretations and dogmatic imitations of ancestral beliefs.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 141)
It is evident that the changes brought about in every Dispensation constitute the dark clouds that intervene between the eye of man’s understanding and the divine Luminary which shineth forth from the dayspring of the divine Essence.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 69)
divine grace
... to pour down, out of the clouds of divine grace, the overflowing rain of His bounty upon all His servants.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, page 260)
See below imitation
human body
Rather, the cloud referred to in the Gospel is the human body, so called because the body is as a veil to man, which, even as a cloud, preventeth him from beholding the Sun of Truth that shineth from the horizon of Christ.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, page 177)
These clouds are imitations and superstitions;
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 62)
..., so human imaginations obscure the Sun of Truth. Consider the radiant glory of the great solar center of our planetary system: how wonderful the sight, how its splendor illumines vision until clouds and mists veil it from the eye. In the same way, the Sun of Truth becomes veiled and hidden by the superstitions and imaginations of human minds.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 78)
Forms and imitations ... are clouds which obscure the Sun of Reality.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 86)
of heaven
These ancient Beings, though delivered from the womb of their mother, have in reality descended from the heaven of the will of God. Though they be dwelling on this earth, yet their true habitations are the retreats of glory in the realms above. Whilst walking amongst mortals, they soar in the heaven of the divine presence. Without feet they tread the path of the spirit, and without wings they rise unto the exalted heights of divine unity. With every fleeting breath they cover the immensity of space, and at every moment traverse the kingdoms of the visible and the invisible. Upon their thrones is written: “Nothing whatsoever keepeth Him from being occupied with any other thing;” and on their seats is inscribed: “Verily, His ways differ every day.” (Qur’án 55:29) They are sent forth through the transcendent power of the Ancient of Days, and are raised up by the exalted will of God, the most mighty King. This is what is meant by the words: “coming in the clouds of heaven.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 62-63)
of tyranny
The thick clouds of tyranny have darkened the face of the earth, and enveloped its peoples.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, page 84)
See above imitation
things contrary to men
By the term “clouds” is meant those things that are contrary to the ways and desires of men. ... These “clouds” signify, in one sense, the annulment of laws, the abrogation of former Dispensations, the repeal of rituals and customs current amongst men, the exalting of the illiterate faithful above the learned opposers of the Faith. In another sense, they mean the appearance of that immortal Beauty in the image of mortal man, with such human limitations as eating and drinking, poverty and riches, glory and abasement, sleeping and waking, and such other things as cast doubt in the minds of men, and cause them to turn away. All such veils are symbolically referred to as “clouds.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 66)
· Creation
eternal | everlasting
As to thy question concerning the origin of creation. Know assuredly that God’s creation hath existed from eternity, and will continue to exist forever. Its beginning hath had no beginning, and its end knoweth no end. His name, the Creator, presupposeth a creation, ...
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 150)
generating impulse See below underlying purpose
of man by God See Man ~ purpose for God creating
origin See above eternal | everlasting
originating purpose
If such be the blessings conferred on all created things, how superior must be the destiny of the true believer, whose existence and life are to be regarded as the originating purpose of all creation.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 141)
underlying purpose
Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him—a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation....
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 65)