A Pocketfull of Meaning
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· Satan
Also known as the Evil One, Evil Spirit, Iblís, the Devil, Prince of Darkness.
The Evil One is he that hindereth the rise and obstructeth the spiritual progress of the children of men.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 94)
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, page 87)
... Satan being a product of human minds and of instinctive human tendencies toward error.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 230)
“..., by which we mean the natural inclinations of the lower nature. This lower nature in man is symbolized as Satan—the evil ego within us, not an evil personality outside.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 287)
... the evil spirit, Satan or whatever is interpreted as evil, refers to the lower nature in man.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 294)
"God has never created an evil spirit; all such ideas and nomenclature are symbols expressing the mere human or earthly nature of man."
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 295)
not to argue/dispute/conflict even with ...
Remember how Adam and the others once dwelt together in Eden. No sooner, however, did a quarrel break out between Adam and Satan than they were, one and all, banished from the Garden, and this was meant as a warning to the human race, a means of telling humankind that dissension—even with the Devil—is the way to bitter loss. This is why, in our illumined age, God teacheth that conflicts and disputes are not allowable, not even with Satan himself.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, page 288)
throne | metropolis of
A world in which naught can be perceived save strife, quarrels and corruption is bound to become the seat of the throne, the very metropolis, of Satan.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, page 177)
· Self-surrender
meaning
By self-surrender and perpetual union with God is meant that men should merge their will wholly in the Will of God, and regard their desires as utter nothingness beside His Purpose.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 337)
station of
The station of absolute self-surrender transcendeth, and will ever remain exalted above, every other station.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 338)
· Sight
blind receiving See Blind ~ receive sight
· Sign
ear, of bounty of God See Ear
· Sin
Sin is the state of man in the world of the baser nature, for in nature exist defects such as injustice, tyranny, hatred, hostility, strife: these are characteristics of the lower plane of nature. These are the sins of the world, the fruits of the tree from which Adam did eat.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, page 177)
· Smoke
denotes
The symbolic term “smoke” denotes grave dissensions, the abrogation and demolition of recognized standards, and the utter destruction of their narrow-minded exponents.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 71)
· Soil
human hearts See Heart(s) ~ soil of
· Soul
Consider the lamp which is hidden under a bushel. Though its light be shining, yet its radiance is concealed from men. Likewise, consider the sun which hath been obscured by the clouds. Observe how its splendor appeareth to have diminished, when in reality the source of that light hath remained unchanged. The soul of man should be likened unto this sun, and all things on earth should be regarded as his body. So long as no external impediment interveneth between them, the body will, in its entirety, continue to reflect the light of the soul, and to be sustained by its power. As soon as, however, a veil interposeth itself between them, the brightness of that light seemeth to lessen.
Consider again the sun when it is completely hidden behind the clouds. Though the earth is still illumined with its light, yet the measure of light which it receiveth is considerably reduced. Not until the clouds have dispersed, can the sun shine again in the plenitude of its glory. Neither the presence of the cloud nor its absence can, in any way, affect the inherent splendor of the sun. The soul of man is the sun by which his body is illumined, and from which it draweth its sustenance, and should be so regarded.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pages 154-155)
continued existence after death See Death ~ soul
essence
Verily I say, the human soul is, in its essence, one of the signs of God, a mystery among His mysteries. It is one of the mighty signs of the Almighty, the harbinger that proclaimeth the reality of all the worlds of God. Within it lieth concealed that which the world is now utterly incapable of apprehending.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 160)
nature of
See also Death ~ soul
Thou hast asked Me concerning the nature of the soul. Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel. It is the first among all created things to declare the excellence of its Creator, the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him. If it be faithful to God, it will reflect His light, and will, eventually, return unto Him. If it fail, however, in its allegiance to its Creator, it will become a victim to self and passion, and will, in the end, sink in their depths.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pages 158-159)
· Source
of justice See Justice
· Sovereignty
earthly
Know, ..., that earthly sovereignty is of no worth, nor will it ever be, in the eyes of God and His chosen Ones.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 115)
meaning of
Nay, by sovereignty is meant that sovereignty which in every dispensation resideth within, and is exercised by, the person of the Manifestation, the Day-star of Truth. That sovereignty is the spiritual ascendancy which He exerciseth to the fullest degree over all that is in heaven and on earth, and which in due time revealeth itself to the world in direct proportion to its capacity and spiritual receptiveness, ...
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 99)
Such is His earthly sovereignty, the evidences of which thou dost on every side behold. This sovereignty must needs be revealed and established either in the lifetime of every Manifestation of God or after His ascension unto His true habitation in the realms above. What thou dost witness today is but a confirmation of this truth. That spiritual ascendency, however, which is primarily intended, resideth within, and revolveth around Them from eternity even unto eternity. It can never for a moment be divorced from Them. Its dominion hath encompassed all that is in heaven and on earth.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 101-102)
... among the signs is that of sovereignty. For Bahá’ís say that the sovereignty of Christ was a heavenly, divine, everlasting sovereignty, not a Napoleonic sovereignty that vanisheth in a short time. For well nigh two thousand years this sovereignty of Christ hath been established, and until now it endureth, and to all eternity that Holy Being will be exalted upon an everlasting throne.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, page 49-50)
· Spirit
baptism with/by See Baptism ~ with spirit and water
divine bounty
... the spirit of divine bounty, ...
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 92)
heavenly
... heavenly water and spirit, which are knowledge and life, ...
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 92)
· Standard
of God, hoisting of
... the hoisting of the Standard of God among all nations. By this is meant that all nations and kindreds will be gathered together under the shadow of this Divine Banner, which is no other than the Lordly Branch itself, and will become a single nation. Religious and sectarian antagonism, the hostility of races and peoples, and differences among nations, will be eliminated. All men will adhere to one religion, will have one common faith, will be blended into one race, and become a single people. All will dwell in one common fatherland, which is the planet itself. Universal peace and concord will be realized between all the nations, and that Incomparable Branch will gather together all Israel, signifying that in this cycle Israel will be gathered in the Holy Land, and that the Jewish people who are scattered to the East and West, South and North, will be assembled together.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 65)
of justice See Justice
· Star(s)
and sun and moon See Sun(s) ~ and moon and stars
appearance in physical heaven See Heaven ~ physical, appearance of star
Manifestations of God
See also Moon(s);   Sun(s)
The term “suns” hath many a time been applied in the writings of the “immaculate Souls” unto the Prophets of God, those luminous Emblems of Detachment. Among those writings are the following words recorded in the “Prayer of Nudbih”: “Whither are gone the resplendent Suns? Whereunto have departed those shining Moons and sparkling Stars?” Thus, it hath become evident that the terms “sun,” “moon,” and “stars” primarily signify the Prophets of God, the saints, and their companions, those Luminaries, the light of Whose knowledge hath shed illumination upon the worlds of the visible and the invisible.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 33)
of understanding and utterance
... the stars of understanding and utterance.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 61)
works of men
... while the works of men, provided they conform to the good-pleasure of God, resemble the stars or the moon...
(The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, page 97)
· Station
of believer(s)
loftiest See Divine Unity ~ essence of belief in
most exalted See Man ~ most exalted station
of self-surrender See Self-surrender
view all things in light of
To transgress the limits of one’s own rank and station is, in no wise, permissible. The integrity of every rank and station must needs be preserved. By this is meant that every created thing should be viewed in the light of the station it hath been ordained to occupy.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 188)
· Strong City
is ‘Akká
Lend an ear unto the song of David. He saith: “Who will bring me into the Strong City?” The Strong City is ‘Akká, ...
(Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, page 144)
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, page 259)
· Sun(s)
and moon
Moreover, in the traditions the terms “sun” and “moon” have been applied to prayer and fasting, even as it is said: “Fasting is illumination, prayer is light.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 37)
It is unquestionable that in every succeeding Revelation the “sun” and “moon” of the teachings, laws, commandments, and prohibitions which have been established in the preceding Dispensation, and which have overshadowed the people of that age, become darkened, that is, are exhausted, and cease to exert their influence.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 38-39)
Revelation of Saint John, chapter 12
See also woman ~ who fled into wilderness;   Revelation ~ of Saint John, chapter 12
And the two luminaries, the sun and the moon, are the two thrones, the Turkish and the Persian, these two being under the rule of the Law of God. The sun is the symbol of the Persian Empire, and the moon, that is, the crescent, of the Turkish.
and moon and stars
In another sense, by these terms is intended the divines of the former Dispensation, who live in the days of the subsequent Revelations, and who hold the reins of religion in their grasp
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 33)
In another sense, by the terms ‘sun’, ‘moon’, and ‘stars’ are meant such laws and teachings as have been established and proclaimed in every Dispensation, such as the laws of prayer and fasting.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 36)
manners, habits, and teachings
See also below divines (clergy)
Inasmuch as every subsequent Revelation hath abolished the manners, habits, and teachings that have been clearly, specifically, and firmly established by the former Dispensation, these have accordingly been symbolically expressed in terms of “sun” and “moon”.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 36)
divines (clergy)
That the term “sun” hath been applied to the leaders of religion is due to their lofty position, their fame, and renown. Such are the universally recognized divines of every age, who speak with authority, and whose fame is securely established. If they be in the likeness of the Sun of Truth, they will surely be accounted as the most exalted of all luminaries; otherwise, they are to be recognized as the focal centres of hellish fire. ... And whosoever is of the element of this “sun” and “moon”, that is, followeth the example of these leaders in setting his face towards falsehood and in turning away from the truth he undoubtedly cometh out of infernal gloom and returneth thereunto.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 34-35)
Hence, it is clear and manifest that by the words “the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven” is intended the waywardness of the divines, and the annulment of laws firmly established by divine Revelation, all of which, in symbolic language, have been foreshadowed by the Manifestation of God.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 38)
fair speech
and truthfulness
Fair speech and truthfulness, by reason of their lofty rank and position, are regarded as a sun shining above the horizon of knowledge.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, page 40)
Manifestations of God
See also Moon(s);   Star(s)
Thus, by the “sun” in one sense is meant those Suns of Truth Who rise from the dayspring of ancient glory, and fill the world with a liberal effusion of grace from on high. These Suns of Truth are the universal Manifestations of God in the worlds of His attributes and names
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 31)
The term “suns” hath many a time been applied in the writings of the “immaculate Souls” unto the Prophets of God, those luminous Emblems of Detachment. Among those writings are the following words recorded in the “Prayer of Nudbih”: “Whither are gone the resplendent Suns? Whereunto have departed those shining Moons and sparkling Stars?” Thus, it hath become evident that the terms “sun,” “moon,” and “stars” primarily signify the Prophets of God, the saints, and their companions, those Luminaries, the light of Whose knowledge hath shed illumination upon the worlds of the visible and the invisible.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 33)
This is the meaning of the sacred verse: “But nay! I swear by the Lord of the Easts and the Wests,” (Qur’án 70:40) inasmuch as the “Suns” referred to have each their own particular rising and setting place.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 40)
He—glorified be His mention—resembleth the sun. Were unnumbered mirrors to be placed before it, each would, according to its capacity, reflect the splendour of that sun, and were none to be placed before it, it would still continue to rise and set, and the mirrors alone would be veiled from its light.
(The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, page 156)
Verily, the sun is but a token from My presence so that the true believers among My servants may discern in its rising the dawning of every Dispensation.
(The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, page 159)
The significance is the reality of Prophethood which is symbolized by the sun, and the holy Manifestations are the dawning places or zodiacal points.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 192)
These holy realities are as reflectors, and the reality of Divinity is as the sun, ...
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 193)
This is the meaning of the Messiah’s words, that the Father is in the Son. Dost thou not see that should a stainless mirror proclaim, ‘Verily is the sun ashine within me, together with all its qualities, tokens and signs’, such an utterance by such a mirror would be neither deceptive nor false? No, by the One Who created It, shaped It, fashioned It, and made It to be an entity conformable to the attributes of the glory within It!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, page 46)
Thus, should the mirrored Sun proclaim, ‘I am the Sun!’ this is but truth; and should It cry, ‘I am not the Sun!’ this is the truth as well.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, page 54)
material
symbol of
The outer sun is a sign or symbol of the inner and ideal Sun of Truth, the Word of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 74)
of knowledge
...the seat of the sun of knowledge ...
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, page 61)
Revelation of God
... the Revelation of God may be likened to the sun. No matter how innumerable its risings, there is but one sun, and upon it depends the life of all things.
(The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, page 105)
rises on evil and on good
Christ declared that the Father “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” The meaning of this declaration is that the mercy of God encircles all mankind, that not a single individual is deprived of the mercy of God, and no soul is denied the resplendent bestowals of God. The whole human race is submerged in the sea of the mercy of the Lord, and we are all the sheep of the one divine Shepherd.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 444)
· Superstition
thorns of See Thorn(s) ~ of superstition
· Sword
separate true from false
His sword was to be a sword of iron. This signified His tongue which should separate the true from the false and by which great sword of attack He would conquer the kingdoms of hearts.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 199)
When Christ appeared, He did possess a sword; but it was the sword of His tongue with which He separated the false from the true.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 292)
two-edged out of mouth
And further He saith: “Out of his mouth goeth a two-edged sword.” Know thou that since the sword is an instrument that divideth and cleaveth asunder, and since there proceedeth from the mouth of the Prophets and the Chosen Ones of God that which separateth the believer from the infidel and the lover from the beloved, this term hath been so employed, and apart from this dividing and separating no other meaning is intended.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, page 56)
· Symbol
hand, of loving-kindness See Hand
of liberty See Liberty ~ symbol of
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