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bullet.gif (837 bytes) The Bahá'ís
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Unity in Diversity
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Bahá'u'lláh
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Social and Moral
Teachings
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Spiritual Beliefs of
the Bahá'í Faith
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A System for
Global Governance
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A Century of
Growth and
Expansion
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) New Approaches
to Old Problems
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Towards the New
World Order

Spiritual Beliefs of the Bahá'í Faith

WHAT BAHÁ'U'LLÁH TEACHES ABOUT GOD, RELIGION AND HUMAN NATURE

The coming of new Messengers from God represent pivotal points in history. They release a fresh spiritual impulse, stimulating personal renewal and social advancement. Bahá'u'lláh's revelation, and the spiritual impulse accompanying it, is especially significant because it coincides with the maturation of humanity.

There is only one God, the Creator of the Universe. Throughout history, God has revealed Himself to humanity through a series of divine Messengers--each of whom has founded a great religion. The Messengers have included Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. This succession of divine Teachers reflects a single historic "plan of God" for educating humanity about the Creator and for cultivating the spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities of the race. The goal has been to prepare the way for a single, global and ever-advancing civilization. Knowledge of God's will for humanity in the modern age was revealed just over 100 years ago by Bahá'u'lláh, who is the latest of these divine Messengers.

That is the essence of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings about God, religion and humanity. Bahá'ís often express these beliefs simply by speaking of the oneness of God, the oneness of religion, and the oneness of humankind. Unity is at all times the overarching theme of Bahá'í belief; in theological terms, it manifests itself in the understanding that the sole Creator has a single plan for the one humanity.

Coupled with these ideas is an understanding that human nature is fundamentally spiritual. Although human beings exist on earth in physical bodies, the essential identity of each person is defined by an invisible, rational, and everlasting soul.

"Know thou assuredly that the essence of all the Prophets of God is one and the same..." -- Bahá'u'lláh

The soul animates the body and distinguishes human beings from the animals. It grows and develops only through the individual's relationship with God, as mediated by His Messengers. The relationship is fostered through prayer, knowledge of the scriptures revealed by these Teachers, love for God, moral self-discipline, and service to humanity. This process is what gives meaning to life.

Cultivation of life's spiritual side has several benefits. First, the individual increasingly develops those innate qualities that lie at the foundation of human happiness and social progress. Such qualities include faith, courage, love, compassion, trustworthiness and humility. As these qualities are increasingly manifest, society as a whole advances.

Another effect of spiritual development is alignment with God's will. This growing closer prepares the individual for the afterlife. The soul lives on after the body's death, embarking on a spiritual journey towards God through many "worlds" or planes of existence. Progress on this journey, in traditional terms, is likened to "heaven." If the soul fails to develop, one remains distant from God. This, in traditional Christian or Muslim terms,is "hell."

The coming of new Messengers from God represent pivotal points in history. Each releases a fresh spiritual impulse, stimulating personal renewal and social advancement. Bahá'u'lláh's revelation, and the spiritual impulse accompanying it, is especially significant because it coincides with the maturation of humanity.

Bahá'u'lláh teaches that humanity, as a whole, has today entered a new stage in its collective existence. Like an adolescent entering adulthood, new levels of accomplishment are now possible. Global undertakings, once considered impossible, can now be achieved. Such undertakings include the realization of world peace, the attainment of universal social justice, and the furtherance of a harmonious balance between technology, development, human values and protection of the natural environment. continues continues


"Excerpted from The Bahá'ís, a publication of the Bahá'í International Community."


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Photo from page 32
Bahá'í House of Worship, Sydney, Australia.

Photo from page 33
In May 1992, individuals who made great sacrifices to spread the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh from the 1950s onwards were honored in ceremonies in Haifa. Sacrifice is an essential element in pursuing spiritual growth.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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