In this lesson, we will ask ourselves:
- Who is a MANIFESTATION OF GOD?
- What does it mean to be a Pure Mirror?
- Why do we need MANIFESTATIONS? Why not just have God teach us?
- What is the role of the MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD and Their promise of peace to the world?
First, the meaning of the words MANIFESTATION or to MANIFEST:
- The word “manifest” means to reveal, to bring forth something that was not known before.
For Baha’i, the Manifestations of God are great teachers who come when we need them the most when humanity is at its lowest point. When a new Manifestation comes, new teachings about God, our spiritual life, our social lives, and many blessings are released into the world. Each Manifestation is like a teacher taking us from kindergarten, to grade one, and so on. We call this process a progressive revelation.
All the Manifestations of God have a special message for us and we will explore them in later lessons. (Abraham, Moses, Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and The Bab and Bahaullah)
All the Manifestations of God have laws that stay and some that no longer apply so are not applicable to us anymore.
All the Manifestations of God tell us a little more about God, about how to be better humans and they move us close to world unity and peace.
All the Manifestations of God are pure mirrors reflecting the light of God.
What does being a PURE MIRROR mean?
We use the example of a mirror reflecting light as it helps us understand a little about God and how we are connected.
So here is the example, you may already know this:
God is like the sun, God’s light reaches us, even if we don’t believe it. God’s light and bounties are for everyone. We (our hearts or spirit) are like the mirror and we can reflect the sun. If we are not working on our spiritual qualities, we are like mirrors that have dust and grime on us and can’t reflect the light or the light is very dim.
We are all the same light:- part of God, reflecting God’s attributes like a mirror reflecting the sun.
Suppose we take a well-polished mirror and point it towards the sun. In it, we will see the image of the sun, and the more perfectly polished the mirror, the more perfect the image will be.
Manifestations are pure mirrors. They reflect 100% the light of God.
The Manifestations of God are special Beings Who reveal to humanity the Word and the Will of God. When we listen to Them, we are responding to the Call of God.
Why do we need MANIFESTATIONS? Why does DOES God not teach us directly?
In this world, the sun is the source of all warmth and light, without which life would not exist on the planet. Yet the sun itself does not descend to earth, and if we tried to approach it, we would be totally consumed. God sends His Manifestations like the sun sends rays of light to pure mirrors.
The Manifestations of God are like perfect Mirrors that reflect the Light of God in all its Splendor. And all these Mirrors reflect the same Light. We can learn about God from these pure mirrors, The Manifestations of God.
What is the role of the MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD and Their promise of the coming of peace to the world?
While God is beyond our reach, these perfect Beings come to us from time to time, live among us, give us guidance, and fill us with the energy we need to progress, materially, and spiritually.
We have many Manifestations in the past and will have in the future. God does not leave us without guidance
The way God’s love flows to us is through His Eternal Covenant. According to this Eternal Covenant, God never leaves us alone and without guidance. Whenever humanity moves away from Him and forgets His Teachings, a Manifestation of God appears and makes His Will and Purpose known to us.
Each Manifestation of God is moving us closer to Universal Peace.
The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation.(The Kitáb-i-Aqdas)
To know God and to worship Him is the very purpose of our lives. The lessons in this grade seek to strengthen our understanding that God’s Manifestations are the source of all good and that by knowing them we are able to attain the knowledge of God and draw ever closer to our Creator. As you can see, each phrase of the prayer expresses in a most special way the yearning of the human soul to be close to God. During the several weeks, you will be going through this set, then, you should try to grasp the meaning of these expressions—His face as the object of our adoration, His beauty is our sanctuary, and so on.
WE WILL BE MEMORIZING THE PRAYER BELOW FOR THE NEXT 3 LESSONS
O Thou Whose face is the object of my adoration, Whose beauty is my sanctuary, Whose habitation is my goal, Whose praise is my hope, Whose providence is my companion, Whose love is the cause of my being, Whose mention is my solace, Whose nearness is my desire, Whose presence is my dearest wish and highest aspiration, I entreat Thee not to withhold from me the things Thou didst ordain for the chosen ones among Thy servants. Supply me, then, with the good of this world and of the next.Thou, truly, art the King of all men. There is no God but Thee, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous.Bahá’u’lláh
Would Anyone Like To Say A Prayer?
SEND A POSTCARD
You can send the postcard as an email attachment or send it to your local printing service.
The Most Exalted Station Sung By The Manifolds
Independent of all
These Prophets and chosen Ones of God are the recipients and revealers of all the unchangeable attributes and names of God. They are the mirrors that truly and faithfully reflect the light of GodKitáb-i-Íqán by Bahá’u’lláh
Memorization aids to help learn the quote
- Download the memorization aid from my Google drive here
- Visit THIS website to practice memorizing the quote
- Use the worksheet to record the meaning of words you are not sure of
THERE ARE 6 STORIES TO CHOOSE FROM AND A BONUS STORY FROM BRILLIANT STAR MAGAZINE.
Some of the stories may have a video or resource to help understand the concepts.
There is always the Generic storyboard, story report and comic strip to draw as the story is being told that can be downloaded from the general resources here.
Download all 6 stories in word doc here
You know that every Manifestation of God exhorts us to be truthful and honest. We are to be fair and just in all of our dealings with one another; the Manifestations of God themselves reflect these qualities to the utmost perfection in what they do and what they say. Even before He declared His Mission, the Báb had become widely known for His undeviating fairness. At the age of around fifteen, He had left His home in Shíráz and joined His uncle in business in Búshihr. His uncle was a merchant, and the Báb soon took over the complete management of the trading-house in Búshihr. Often those who were closely associated with Him in those days testified to the purity of His character, to the charm of His manners, and to His high integrity. A certain man once gave Him some goods to sell on his behalf. When the man received the funds for the goods, he was surprised to find that the sum was much greater than what he had expected. He immediately wrote to the Báb, requesting Him to explain the reason and offering to return some of the amount. But the Báb refused to accept it! “What I have sent you is entirely your due,” the Báb replied. You see, there had been a time when the price of the goods had been higher than what the Báb had finally sold them for. So, the Báb, setting the highest standard of honesty and justice, had added some of His own money and sent the man the amount he would have received if the goods had been sold at the peak price.
Although He always acted generously towards all those with whom He had dealings, the Báb refused to do something that would perpetuate dishonesty. Several years later, when He was in Chihríq, His followers bought some honey for Him, but He found the quality inferior and the price too high. He told them to return it, saying that they could surely purchase better quality honey at a lower price. “I who am your example have been a merchant by profession,” He said. “It behooves you in all your transactions to follow in My way. You must neither defraud your neighbor nor allow him to defraud you.”
Forgiveness is an attribute of God, and just as God is patient and merciful with each one of us, we are to forgive one another and overlook the faults of others. In the lives of God’s Manifestations we see how they looked upon all with the eyes of forgiveness, even those who were cruel and unkind to them. Not long after the Báb declared His Mission, He set out for pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina with His companion Quddús. In another lesson, when we study the life of the Báb, we will learn about this pilgrimage. For now, you need to know that He and Quddús embarked on a vessel that took about two months to reach its destination. Also on board the vessel were two brothers from Shíráz. One of them was captivated by the charm and the sublime bearing of the Báb. The other brother, however, was extremely jealous of the Báb because He was treated with such respect by all those who met Him. Day by day this man became more arrogant and rude, not only towards the Báb but towards other passengers as well. At one point the captain of the vessel became so angry that he ordered the man to be seized and thrown into the sea. The Báb stepped forward and encouraged the captain to be patient. But the captain was beside himself and determined to get rid of the troublesome passenger. When the Báb noticed that the sailors were actually about to throw him overboard, He caught hold of him and earnestly requested the captain to pardon the wrongdoer. The captain was astonished. It was, after all, the Báb Who had suffered the most from the cruelty of this rude man. Yet The Báb explained that, since people who behaved in such a manner harmed only themselves, one should be tolerant and forgiving towards them.
Get the worksheet for story 2 here
Bahá’u’lláh was the essence of kindness. In even the smallest of gestures, He reflected the infinite love that God has for every one of His creatures. Perhaps you know that, in the later years of Bahá’u’lláh’s life, His beloved Son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rented the Mansion of Bahjí for His Father. Now, every Friday the believers would gather there to attain the presence of Bahá’u’lláh. They would stay all day, using the lower rooms of the house, while Bahá’u’lláh’s family occupied the upper floor. One of the believers, only a boy of four or five at the time, had a very special encounter there, indeed. At noon, when all the grown-ups were resting during the midday heat, he happened to wander off by himself, making his way to the upper floor of the Mansion, where he entered a large hall. Ambling about, he eventually came to a room in which food was stored. What do you think he saw there? A bag filled with sugar cubes. Without thinking, he took a few and put them in his mouth. Then he took some more and left the storeroom. Back in the hall, he suddenly froze in his tracks. There was Bahá’u’lláh pacing back and forth. He slowly approached the little boy and looked at his hands. And how do you think He treated this boy who had done something naughty? He led the boy towards a large table in the middle of the hall, picked up a plate of candies, and offered him one. “It seems you like sweets,” Bahá’u’lláh said. “Enjoy! Goodbye. And may God protect you.”
In this world where there is so much corruption and greed, where so many people want to take all for themselves, the Manifestations of God have come to establish justice. Justice is most pleasing in the sight of God, and His Manifestations tell us that we should not take what rightfully belongs to others. Even as a youth, Bahá’u’lláh displayed unmatched courage in standing up for what was right. At that time in Persia, taxes were not regulated by law according to each person’s earnings. Corrupt officials, princes and, sometimes, even the king took advantage of people and forced them to pay more than what was fair. Now, one such tax collector, who did not walk in the ways of honesty and justice, came to see Bahá’u’lláh’s father and demanded that he pay a certain amount. The first time this happened, His father paid the official without any protest. But then the tax collector came back a second time, asking for more money, and a third time, asking for still more.
Bahá’u’lláh carefully observed the situation and decided to do something about the unfair behavior of the tax collector. Although he was very young, He rode His horse for two days until He arrived at the capital city, Ṭihrán. There, he went to see the highest officials in the court and presented His father’s case. His presentation was so convincing, His words and arguments so eloquent, that an order was issued to dismiss the unjust tax collector. Everyone was astonished by the fact that, at such a tender age, Bahá’u’lláh was already so tireless a champion of justice.
All the believers who lived while Bahá’u’lláh walked on this earth yearned to meet Him. And there are so many accounts of those who were fortunate enough to enter His presence. One such person has related the following: “The very first time I was privileged to attain the presence of the Blessed Beauty, He was residing in ‘Akká. I was overcome by excitement and timidity when an attendant directed me to enter. At that moment I heard the voice of Bahá’u’lláh bidding me to come. With a profound sense of humility, I went into His presence; after expressing my utter servitude at His threshold, I seated myself. At His request, I was served tea. He then recited some of the sacred writings, after which He stated: ‘Let your acts be a guide unto all mankind, that from your behavior and conduct they may be enabled to recognize the signs and commandments of God.’”
God has given us the capacity to know Him, to love Him, and to carry out His commandments and He sends us His Manifestation to help us in our efforts to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. In the Beauty of the Manifestation of God, we are able to perceive the beauty of God. In His wisdom, we catch the glimpses of the inscrutable Wisdom of the Almighty. They are like a mirror that reflect to us the qualities and attributes of God.
I would like to share with you a story that will give us a glimpse of the great knowledge possessed by the Messengers of God, by sharing a story about Baha’u’llah, the most recent Messenger of God. There are similar stories about each of the Messengers of God, as they all have innate knowledge given to them by God! There are many stories from the time of Baha’u’llah that demonstrate how people were attracted to His knowledge and awed by it. I am going to share with you one such story- and you will need to pay very close attention to the details of the story- because we are going to ask you to act the story out later today. This story is about the visit Baha’u’llah made to Nur, the place He was born in Mazindaran in Persia, soon after He accepted the truth of the Bab’s Revelation.
The Bab was a Messenger of God that came right before Baha’u’llah. He prepared the way for Baha’u’llah’s coming. We will learn more about the lives of the Bab and Baha’u’llah later on this year, but for now, you should know that before Baha’u’llah told the people He was a Messenger of God, He first was a follower of the Bab. In this story, He was teaching the people about the Bab’s Message.
The enthusiasm with which the people of Mazindaran greeted Baha’u’llah was indeed extraordinary. They were spellbound by the eloquence of His speech. The arguments and proofs He set forth, as He announced the dawning of a new Day, convinced them of the greatness of the Cause of the Bab. They admired His enthusiasm and were deeply impressed by His detachment and self-effacement. No one dared oppose Him except His own uncle Aziz, who became jealous of the love and respect Baha’u’llah was receiving from the people.
Alarmed by Baha’u’llah’s success, Aziz decided to seek the assistance of a well-known Mulla of the region, presumably the possessor of great knowledge and defender of the truth of Islam. Mullas are the religious leaders of Islam- the clergy- kind of like ministers in the Christian church. “O viceregent of the Prophet of God!” exclaimed Aziz, talking to the Mulla, “Behold what has befallen the Faith of Islam! A youth, a layman, attired in the garb of nobility, has come to Nur, has invaded the strongholds of orthodoxy, and disrupted the holy Faith of Islam. Arise, and resist his onslaught.” The Mulla did not find in himself the strength to confront Baha’u’llah, so he did his best to quiet Aziz, assured him that he would be protected, and dismissed him. But the Message Baha’u’llah had brought to the region was rapidly spreading, and the Mulla’s students kept pressuring him to visit Baha’u’llah in person and find out for himself the nature of this new Revelation. Still the Mulla did not have the courage to do so. Finally, after much delay, he decided to send two of the most learned and trusted individuals in his company to visit Baha’u’llah and determine the true character of the Message He brought. He promised to everyone that he would accept the judgment of these two trusted souls and would abide by their decision.
When these two emissaries reached the presence of Baha’u’llah, He was in a gathering engaged in revealing a commentary on one of the chapters of the Quran. With great assurance, they entered the meeting and sat down prepared to ask questions and examine the extent of Baha’u’llah’s knowledge. But as they listened to the voice of Baha’u’llah, they were enraptured by the eloquence of His speech and the profound meaning of His statements. Mulla Abbas, one of these two emissaries, was entirely overwhelmed. He arose from his seat, walked back slowly and stood beside the door in an attitude of utter submissiveness. “You behold my condition.,” he told his friend as he trembled with emotion and with eyes full of joyful tears. “I am powerless to question Baha’u’llah. The questions I had planned to ask Him have vanished suddenly from my memory. You are free either to proceed with your inquiry or to return alone to our teacher and inform him of the state in which I find myself. Tell him that Abbas can never again return to him. He can no longer forsake this threshold.” His companion found himself in a similar state. “I have ceased to recognize my teacher,” he replied. “This very moment, I have vowed to God to dedicate the remaining days of my life to the service of Baha’u’llah, my true and only Master.”
So the two emissaries of the famous Mulla never went back to their teacher. The news of their conversion traveled fast. It awakened the people from their sleep. People of all walks of life journeyed to Nur in order to enter the presence of Baha’u’llah and partake of His Divine knowledge. A considerable number of them accepted the new Faith of God. But as you know, this and the many other early successes of the Cause aroused the envy of those who took advantage of the people’s ignorance in order to rule over them. Soon a tremendous wave of persecution arose throughout the entire country, bringing unimaginable sufferings to both the Bab and Baha’u’llah.
ADDITIONAL STORY FROM BRILLIANT STAR MAGAZINE : HERE
Act out the quote from story five.
Some suggested pictures here
Any of the stories can be acted out. Remember we do not portray the Manifestation of God.
CUT APART CARDS
Cut the cards apart and mix them up. How fast you can pair up the correct ones?
Download from supporting the core activities here
BASED ON THE THEME OF SEARCH
Make an I SPY bottle.
- filler like rice, sand, etc I use small styrofoam balls from the dollar store
- items to symbolize search in some way. I got creative. here are some of mine:
- heart – need a pure heart
- googly eyes – as you have to look when you search
- stone – leave no stone unturned
- Paperclip – to hold all your notes together
- Rubberband – need to be flexible in our outlook and keep an open mind
- Penny – you will need funds as you travel far’
- Screw – you may need to build things along the way
- file- for the fingernails that may get broken
- the word friend – for all the friends you will make along the way
- gem – all the hidden gems in you and in others that will be found
- bike – you will need transportation
- magnet – to attract the hearts
- Banner with Bahá’u’lláh’s name to raise up.
as you put each item in, say what it stands for. Close the lid and hot glue(if you think it may get opened and spill. Write a tag with all the items to be found.
BASED ON STORY TWO
If you remember, this story took place on a boat with a rude man. Build your own boat:
BASED ON STORY ONE
Truthfulness and Honesty. Make the card and send it to a friend. Or make this and include it in your notebook/ lap book.
Get Link Here
Match messengers to the symbols
This is an activity sheet
Cut and paste activity
Taken from Australian peace pack
FROM STORY 5
MAKE UP A BOARD GAME THAT HELPS OTHERS RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD BASED ON THE QUOTE FROM THE STORY
“Let your acts be a guide unto all mankind, that from your behavior and conduct they may be enabled to recognize the signs and commandments of God.”
Download the template game here
You should find some suitable time, perhaps at the end of every class period, to help the children review the passage that they are learning by heart in this lesson and one that they memorized in Grade 2:
“The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence.”
Get the memorization aid here