The Kitáb-i-Aqdas
61.How many a man hath secluded himself in the climes of India, denied himself the things that God hath decreed as lawful, imposed upon himself austerities and mortifications   ¶36
These verses constitute the prohibition of monasticism and asceticism. See the Synopsis and Codification, section IV.D.1.y.iii.-iv. In the Words of Paradise Bahá’u’lláh amplifies these provisions.1 He states: “Living in seclusion or practising asceticism is not acceptable in the presence of God,” and He calls upon those involved to “observe that which will cause joy and radiance.” He instructs those who have taken up “their abodes in the caves of the mountains” or who have “repaired to graveyards at night” to abandon these practices, and He enjoins them not to deprive themselves of the “bounties” of this world which have been created by God for humankind. And in the Tablet of Bishárát,2 while acknowledging the “pious deeds” of monks and priests, Bahá’u’lláh calls upon them to “give up the life of seclusion and direct their steps towards the open world and busy themselves with that which will profit themselves and others.” He also grants them leave “to enter into wedlock that they may bring forth one who will make mention of God.”
1 Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh : Kalimát-i-Firdawsí­yyih, p. 71 (tenth leaf)
2 Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh : Bishárát, p. 24 (eighth Glad-Tidings)