Introducing The Principal Theme
Welcome to Lesson 7 Grade 4
In this class, we will begin to understand Baha’u’llah’s Station by looking at His power to transform souls.
We already know that the Manifestations of God manifest all of God’s names and attributes to humankind. One of the attributes is His infinite love for every human being. Baha’u’llah has told us that God created us out of His love for us. If we were to be deprived of God’s love, even for a moment, we would perish and be no more. God’s love permeates the entire creation. It is because of His all-embracing love that the sun shines, that the plants grow, that animals give birth to their offspring, and that human beings receive blessings with every breath of their lives. Our love for each other, the kindness we give and receive, the tenderness we feel in our heart for so many people, is all but a reflection of God’s love for His creatures. This love is manifested today by Baha’u’llah. And His love has the power to transform us.
The word “transform” means to change from one condition to another. For example, a caterpillar wraps itself in a cocoon and later emerges as a beautiful butterfly. The caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly. After a period of drought, the rains come and transform the barren ground into lush meadows and prairies. Likewise, from Baha’u’llah shine the rays of the Divine love that bring life to the universe. His teachings have the power to transform our souls. Through prayer, the study of His Writings, and constant effort, we can fill our hearts with His love. His Words have the power to enlighten our minds and hearts and create in us the capacity to perform great deeds in service to humankind.
When you think of Baha’u’llah, then, remember always His immense love for you. Regard Him as a most loving Father, Whose teachings and counsels will guide you and make firm your steps. Become dependent on His love. Let His love give you courage so you will not be afraid of change. Let His Words change you and make you grow.
NOTE: In the craft/activity section are 2 video experiments. Watch the videos, or do the experiments here.
- What do Manifestations of God manifest to humanity? (to manifest means to reveal what was not known before)
- Why did God create us?
- What are some of the signs of God’s love?
- What would happen to us if God’s love did not reach us?
- Where does our love for each other come from?
- Who manifests God’s love for humanity today?
- What does the word “transform” mean?
- Can you give a few examples from the physical world of one thing transforming into something else?
- What do Baha’u’llah’s teachings have the power to do?
In this lesson, you are going to memorize a quotation revealed by Bahá’u’lláh in which He confirms what a special time it is in the life of humanity when every eye can see the beauty of His Person and every ear can listen to His words when every heart can find its Beloved.
Let all eyes rejoice, and let every ear be gladdened, for now is the time to gaze on His beauty, now is the time to hearken unto His voice. Proclaim unto every longing lover: ‘Behold, your Well-Beloved hath come among men!’Bahá’u’lláh
Meaning Of Words
Need to know the meaning of some of the words? Use the pdf to record the meanings.
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Paradise – Music Inspired by the Heroes Teaching Conference
Turn Your Faces Sung By Goleta Burriston Master
I’ll Walk the Path
I Have Found Baha’u’llah
Source Of Courage
We Are The People Of Baha
The period of Bahá’u’lláh’s ten-year stay in Baghdád culminated in the Declaration of His Mission in the Garden of Riḍván, which was followed by His departure for Constantinople. The historical episode in this lesson describes some of the circumstances surrounding that momentous Declaration.
You know that during His stay in Baghdád, Bahá’u’lláh revived the fortunes of the Bábí community through His love and wisdom and through the power of His words. The hearts of those near to Him were afire with the love of God, and His companions felt as if they had entered paradise. Though He had not yet made His station known, He revealed volumes and volumes of Divine verses during this period.
One of the volumes Bahá’u’lláh revealed while in Baghdád is called the Book of Certitude, or Kitáb-i-Íqán, in which He explains the nature of God’s Revelation. In that book, He establishes in clear terms the unity of the world’s great religions. The book was revealed in answer to some questions posed to Bahá’u’lláh by Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad, one of the Báb’s uncles.
When he attained the presence of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád in 1862, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad had not yet accepted the Báb as a Manifestation of God, as the Promised Qá’im for Whose advent the people of Persia had long-awaited. Bahá’u’lláh asked him to write down all the questions that perplexed him and which left him in doubt about the Báb’s station. This he promptly did, and in the span of two days and two nights Bahá’u’lláh revealed His lengthy reply. After reading the Book, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad recognized the Báb and became a firm and steadfast believer.
It was also during His stay in Baghdád, while wrapped in meditation, as He walked along the banks of the Tigris, a river which runs through the city, that Bahá’u’lláh revealed the Hidden Words, so cherished by Bahá’ís everywhere today as a guide for their spiritual growth. You already know by heart some of the gems of Divine wisdom contained in this small volume.
Here is the first passage:
“O Son of Spirit! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.”
Can you imagine the joy that filled the hearts of the friends as they listened to these and other verses for the first time?
But the joy of those days was not to last. The enemies of the Cause did not give up their constant scheming. You should know that they had already gone so far as to hire an assassin to kill Bahá’u’lláh. His name was Ridá. Learning where Bahá’u’lláh was going one day, Ridá appeared with a pistol hidden under his cloak, ready to carry out his deadly task. To his surprise, he found that he lacked the courage to proceed when he saw Bahá’u’lláh. So he decided to wait for Him in the street and try once again. But, the minute his eyes fell upon Bahá’u’lláh, he was so overcome with fear that the pistol dropped from his hand. Bahá’u’lláh was with His brother Áqáy-i-Kalím at the time. “Return his gun to him, and show him the way to his home,” said Bahá’u’lláh to Áqáy-i-Kalím. “It seems that he has lost his way.”
Time and again the efforts of His enemies had been thus frustrated. But, some ten years after Bahá’u’lláh’s arrival in Baghdád, they succeeded in arranging another exile. Bahá’u’lláh, of course, knew all this and had already begun to speak of the tests and difficulties that lay ahead. A dream He once related to the friends caused them great distress.
“I saw,” He stated in a Tablet, “the Prophets and the Messengers gather and seat themselves around Me, moaning, weeping and loudly lamenting.”
When Bahá’u’lláh inquired from them as to the cause for such weeping, they responded that they were crying for Him. But, in the dream, the Concourse on high then addressed Bahá’u’lláh saying:
“Erelong shalt Thou behold with Thine own eyes what no Prophet hath beheld. Be patient, be patient.”
The spring of 1863 had just opened when, one day, a messenger brought a communication for Bahá’u’lláh. It was a request that an interview take place between Him and the governor of Baghdád. The governor was supposed to deliver a message from the Prime Minister of the Ottoman Empire to Bahá’u’lláh. But for three months he had, out of his profound respect for Him, put off doing so. The next day Bahá’u’lláh went to meet the governor near his home. Upon arriving at the meeting place, He was presented with a letter from the Prime Minister. It was worded in a courteous manner, inviting Him to travel to the Ottoman capital, Constantinople. You see, the Prime Minister had been convinced by Bahá’u’lláh’s enemies that, because of His growing popularity and influence, He should not remain in Baghdád. A mounted escort was ordered to accompany Him to Constantinople for His protection. Bahá’u’lláh agreed to the request at once but refused to accept the money that the government was offering for His travels. The governor’s representative insisted, saying that the authorities would be offended if He did not accept the money. So Bahá’u’lláh took the sum and immediately distributed it among the poor of the city.
News of Bahá’u’lláh’s exile from Baghdád shook the Bábí community. The friends were overwhelmed with sadness. Gradually, however, they were consoled by Bahá’u’lláh’s kind and comforting words. As a sign of His love, He wrote in His own handwriting a Tablet for each of the friends who lived in the city—every man, woman, and child. Nabíl, the great Bahá’í historian, tells us that in the immediate days before His departure, many of them would gather together in one room, lit only by candles, and would chant aloud the verses and Tablets newly revealed by Bahá’u’lláh. Pondering on His words, they would become completely forgetful of the world, not noticing how time had passed and that night had turned into day.
Close to Baghdád there was a beautiful garden known today as the Garden of Riḍván. At the time it was full of roses. The garden belonged to a prominent man who offered it to Bahá’u’lláh so that He could greet all those wishing to bid Him farewell. On the afternoon of 22 April 1863, Bahá’u’lláh left His house, where crowds had gathered to catch a final glimpse of One Whom they had grown to love and admire. There were people of all ages, from different backgrounds, some notables and officials, others poor and orphaned. All were heartbroken and tearful. Gradually He made His way to the river Tigris, where a boat was waiting to take Him to the other side. It was there that the Garden of Riḍván was located, and He entered the garden in the late afternoon. This was the first stage of the journey that would carry Him to Constantinople. The Bábí community was grief-stricken. What would be the future of this young religion now that Bahá’u’lláh was being exiled once again? The heartbroken Bábís who gathered to bid Bahá’u’lláh farewell did not know what happiness God actually had in store for them.
Bahá’u’lláh stayed in the garden for twelve days. His enemies had tried to strike a fatal blow at the Cause by separating Him from the majority of the believers. God, however, turned the farewell into an occasion of immense gladness. During those memorable days, Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed to the believers present that He was the One promised by the Báb, that He was the Promised of All Ages. The banner of the oneness of humankind was now being raised for everyone to see.
The Declaration of His Mission created new life in the souls of His companions. This was the Day of Days for which the Báb had prepared them. Bahá’u’lláh Himself has said that on that Day “all created things were immersed in the sea of purification”.
Unfortunately, there is little known of the details of the conversations Bahá’u’lláh held with the many visitors He received in the Garden of Riḍván. The historian Nabíl was present on that occasion, and through his brief account, we are able to get but a glimpse of the glory of those days. Nabíl tells us that, at the hour of dawn every day, the gardeners would pick fresh roses and pile them in the center of the floor of Bahá’u’lláh’s tent. The pile was always so high that, when His companions gathered in the tent to drink morning tea, they were unable to see each other across it. Bahá’u’lláh would then give the roses to those present and request that they be delivered, on His behalf, to His friends in the city. All day long, from morning to evening, He would meet with the stream of visitors who kept flowing in from Baghdád. In the evening, a few of the believers took turns watching over His blessed tent. Nabíl stood watch for three nights in a row. “Every time I passed by the couch whereon He lay,” Nabíl says, “I would find Him wakeful.”
On 3 May 1863 Bahá’u’lláh mounted His horse and set out for Constantinople. Today Bahá’ís around the world celebrate this twelve-day period as the Festival of Riḍván, the anniversary of the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh of His world-embracing Mission. It is the holiest and most significant of all Bahá’í festivals.
So many spiritual insights can be gleaned from the above historical episode into the greatness of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation and the significance of this Day. One, for example, is the interplay between crisis and victory in the Cause of God—that every crisis leads to an even greater victory.
What are some of the other insights offered by the episode? And what are some of the attributes of God manifested by Bahá’u’lláh that we glimpsed as we read the stories?
For any of the figures we heard about, use the biography page to write down the information you would like to remember.
- Bahá’u’lláh was exiled to Constantinople, after staying in Baghdád for ten years.
- The Book of Certitude, or Kitáb-i-Íqán, was revealed in Baghdád.
- The Book of Certitude was revealed in 1862 in answer to some questions posed to Bahá’u’lláh by the Báb’s uncle.
- The Book of Certitude was revealed in two days and two nights.
- The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh were revealed in Baghdád.
- Before departing for Constantinople, Bahá’u’lláh spent twelve days in the Garden of Riḍván.
- The Garden of Riḍván was located outside the city of Baghdád.
- In the Garden of Riḍván, Bahá’u’lláh declared His Mission.
- The twelve-day period in April is celebrated by Bahá’ís every year as the Festival of Riḍván.
- The Festival of Riḍván is the holiest and most significant Bahá’í festival.
Use your eloquence and your powers of listening and observation!
Blind Drawing is a team-building activity that can be done in pairs. All you need is pen, paper and something to press on such as a clipboard or book (or you can use a whiteboard marker, a mini whiteboard and an eraser).
The two participants sit back to back. Only one person should have the drawing materials. The other is handed a picture (or draws a picture themselves), and must make sure that the other cannot see it. They describe the picture as carefully as possible while the other person attempts to draw it from the description.
Then they swap roles. You can set a time limit (e.g. 3 – 5 minutes) for each turn to keep things moving and get all the pairs to finish at a similar time.
Everyone can be given a few minutes at the beginning of this activity to make their secret drawing to describe to their partner. These can then be folded in half until it is their turn to describe it.
It can be helpful for the teacher to have a picture prepared beforehand to first describe to the whole class. Each child can be given an A5 piece of paper to try to replicate the picture from the description. It pays for this picture to be relatively simple and somewhat quirky, e.g. an alien with three eyes. Alternatively, it could be an element/scene from the story.
THE RIDVAN GARDEN
You live in the times of Bahá’u’lláh and you heard Bahá’u’lláh is leaving. Your family and friends have gathered to talk about this in your home and then will go to visit Bahá’u’lláh in the Ridvan Garden.
Here are some ideas to discuss:
- How did you hear about or meet Bahá’u’lláh?
- Why is Bahá’u’lláh important to you?
- What have you learned from Bahá’u’lláh?
MAKE A TENT CRAFT
COLOURING PAGES AND RIDVAN GARDEN CRAFT
Let us explore the science of Transformation!
Based on Transforming Souls
We see transformation every day…for example when we bake a cake. This is a chemical reaction where different substances are transformed into a new substance: flour, butter, eggs, etc to cake! We can use this simple science experiment to show the transformation of a substance. Unfortunately, it’s not a cake but very easy to do!
Potential energy into movement: Burlington did this car using an empty wooden thread spool, a washer, rubberband and a chopstick.
Brilliant Star and Dayspring Magazine.
The downloadable PDF contain Stories and activities.
Dayspring Magazine: Issue #66 Ridvan
Brilliant Start Lesson 21
Youtube Tissue Flower
We summon you to God, We remind you of His Day, We announce unto you tidings of your reunion with Him, We draw you nigh unto His court, and send down upon you tokens of His wondrous wisdom . . .”Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh