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STAR OF THE WEST
"We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations; that all nations shall become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men shall be strengthened; that diversity of religion shall cease and differences of race be annulled. So it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come."—BAHA'O'LLAH.
Vol. VIII Nur 1, 73 (June 5, 1917) No. 5
"Teach the Cause! This is a matter that succeeds most miraculously"
Words of Abdul-Baha to Pilgrims
From the Diary of Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, January 30, 1914
NOW that you are returning to your respective homes you must be like unto ignited candles and set aglow the hearts of all the believers; now like unto a company of tuneful birds you must sing every melody. I have done my part, I have sung my songs and have played almost every tune. Now it is your turn. For awhile I must sit silent, ever straining my ears to hear your anthems of praise. I love to listen to your spiritual symphonies and divine harmonies, ever flying upward and filling the world with the soothing music of peace and consolation. God willing, you will fulfill my eager expectations. O! I am sure you will not disappoint me. The confirmations of the Kingdom shall descend upon you, and the Supreme reinforcement shall surround you. Rest ye assured; let your hearts abide in peace. I ever expect to receive cheering news from you. May you become the cause of the happiness of the hearts of the believers. May all the friends become glad, rejoiced and grateful through meeting you and write me that these pilgrims who passed through our cities were enkindled, attracted, eloquent and willing to serve their fellowmen!
In short, God willing, may every one of you, as you leave this Holy Land, become a herald of the Cause, a harbinger of the establishment of the Kingdom. May each one of you shine upon each city through which you pass as a radiant star. This is the Day wherein whomsoever arises to spread the Cause of God, the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse will assist him. Today the magnet of spiritual confirmation is teaching the Cause. Although the threshold of the Blessed Perfection was my heart, my spirit and the happiness of my soul, yet, notwithstanding this, I left everything and traveled around the world proclaiming at the top of my voice the glad tidings of the Kingdom of Abha. No affair today is as confirmed as that of the promulgation of the principles of this Cause. As much as they can the believers of God must occupy their time in conveying the Message. . . . .
Teach the Cause; this is a matter that succeeds, succeeds most miraculously. Praise be to God! You are beneath the protection of the Blessed Perfection, you are environed by his bestowals. What favor do you wish greater than this? When a number of souls are beneath the protecting wings of an important personage they consider themselves very fortunate; now, praise be to God, you are beneath the protection and preservation of the Blessed Perfection. Therefore, how great must be your happiness! As you go out of this room dedicate your lives to teaching the
Cause; gird up the loins of endeavor and put forward extraordinary energy.
When a Cause is confirmed it is evident and manifest from its signs. For example, we say this earth is confirmed. Why? Because, as a result of the downpour of rain and the shining of the sun it is covered with green plants and flowers.
Again I say, teach the Cause! Do not tarry! Fill the goblet of every seeker with the wine of the love of God! . . . .
Green Acre in 1917
SINCE last year's pentecostal outpouring on the quiet hills by the Piscataqua, "The River of Light," the friends of Green Acre have been counting the days until they might return thereto in the summer of 1917.
During the past year Miss Sarah Farmer, the founder of Green Acre, has ascended into the Supreme Concourse. A beautiful Bahai service was held at her home in South Eliot, on the occasion of her passing. Her saintly and luminous spirit will rest over the conferences this summer even more gloriously than during last August for now she is free from the prison-house of the body.
May the new and mighty wave of spiritual power which has this past year swept the Bahai world rise and burst into such splendor at Green Acre this summer that it may illumine the entire continent.
Abdul-Baha has taken great joy in Green Acre and made radiant predictions for its future. Among his first words upon his return to the city of Acca in Palestine from his world journey through Europe and America, were these concerning Green Acre.
"There is a place in America," he said one evening when the friends had assembled to meet him, "called Green Acre. It is customary during the months of summer for people of different creeds and religions to gather there and the leaders of various movements and thoughts to deliver lectures and addresses. Thus they have combined most effectively education and recreation. The significance and usefulness of this unique place lie in the fact that it offers a free and unrestricted platform to the citizens of every nation and the adherents of every religion. Thus every subject is discussed with that full liberty of conscience which is enjoyed in the United States.
"The founder of these conferences wherein every nationality and religion is worthily represented, is Sarah J. Farmer. To her is due all praise and commendation for having thus initiated this wonderful plan which must be carried out to its logical conclusion—a universal platform for all mankind, irrespective of race, religion or nationality.
"As the name, Green Acre, is similar to that of Acca, when I arrived there I was made very happy. I spent one week in that green and delightful Acca. They had a large meeting every evening at which many people gathered, and I spoke to them on spiritual subjects. I met there many cultured and educated people. It is a most beautiful country place. Its water is pure, its air salubrious and its atmosphere is spiritual. There are many pine woods; and under a cluster of fine old trees people gather to hear lectures. Mirza Abul Fazl, when in Green Acre, used to give some of his addresses under these pines, so they are known as the 'Persian pines.' I went there one afternoon; many people had gathered, and I spoke on the Bahai teachings."
While sojourning in Paris, on his return from America en route to Palestine, Abdul-Baha pictured to some friends interested in Green Acre, the ultimate ideals on which as a sure foundation its future should be built.
"In Green Acre you must concentrate your forces around the one all important
fact—the investigation of reality. Expend all your thoughts on this—that the union of opinions and expressions may be obtained . . . . . .
"If the circle of the activities of Green Acre be expanded so that each year the leaders of every religion and thought may associate with each other with perfect love and amity there will be good results.
"The aim of those souls who deliver addresses or who take part in the discussions must be the investigation of reality and not the presentation of dogmas and unprofitable, antiquated theories. The chief objects of Green Acre conferences must be the furtherance of universal peace, investigation of reality, brotherhood, tolerance, sympathy to all mankind, the cultivation of a better understanding between the nations of the world, the elimination of dogmas and superficialities, the illumination of the hearts with the light of truth, mutual assistance and co-operation, social service, the study of the fundamental principles of all the religions and their comparative co-ordination. Green Acre must carry away this palm of victory . . . . .
"Personal ambition must be thrown to the winds and all the available willpower directed towards the realization of the universal objects. If you outline such a practical, universal, all-inclusive programme and then invite me I will come again to Green Acre. Lay such a foundation that the influence of the confederation of religions and sects may permeate to all parts of the world from Green Acre; and Green Acre for the future ages and cycles may become the standard bearer of the oneness of the world of humanity. I will pray for the fulfilment of this truth."
Early last winter the following tablet was received by a believer regarding the service of Green Acre, Abdul-Baha's latest word about the "Green Acca" of America:
"O thou maid-servant of God! Thy letter was received. Thy desire to serve Green Acre is in reality a very important matter. This name (Green Acre) must appear with all its significant meaning, that is Green Acre must become the reflection of the plain of Acca, and attain to the utmost verdancy, greenness and artistic beauty. Its charms and wonder lie in this, that it may become the center of the Bahais and the cry of 'Ya-Baha-El-Abha' be raised from all its direction. I hope that all thy aspirations may become fully realized. Upon thee be greeting and praise."
"Plant thou a tree which may yield sweet fruits throughout all eternity"
(A Recent Tablet from Abdul-Baha to Maria P. Wilson, Malden, Mass.)
O thou my respected hostess!
The days that I was a guest in thy home are ever before my sight. They then include happy days, for they passed away in joy.
Truly, I say, with all thy power thou didst serve us and displayed towards us the utmost kindness. This service appeared through the sincerity of thine intention, thy love for humanity, and thy praiseworthy morals. At present, also, thou art engaged day and night in the service of the Kingdom of God, and art occupied in the promotion of heavenly teachings. Plant thou a tree which may yield sweet fruits throughout all eternity. Scatter thou such pure seeds which may produce various crops in the future ages and cycles, This is made possible through self-sacrifice in the path of God, and complete evanescence in the love of God—so that no trace of self, ego and desires be left behind; thus thou mayest consecrate thyself wholly and entirely to the heavenly Beloved.
Convey on my behalf to each and all the friends—men and women—my loving and yearning greetings.
Upon thee be greeting and praise.
(Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, Haifa, Syria, Oct. 22, 1916.)
STAR OF THE WEST
PUBLISHED NINETEEN TIMES A YEAR
By the BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, 515 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Ill., U. S. A.
Entered as second-class matter April 9, 1911, at the post office at Chicago, Illinois, under the Act of March 3, 1879.
Editorial Staff: ALBERT R. WINDUST — GERTRUDE BUIKEMA — DR. ZIA M. BAGDADI
Honorary Member: MIRZA AHMAD SOHRAB
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Make Money Orders payable to BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, P. O. Box 283, Chicago, Ill., U. S. A.
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Address all communications to BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, P. O. Box 283, Chicago, Ill., U.S.A.
TABLET FROM ABDUL-BAHA.
HE IS GOD!
O thou Star of the West!
Be thou happy! Be thou happy! Shouldst thou continue to remain firm and eternal, ere long, thou shalt become the Star of the East and shalt spread in every country and clime. Thou art the first paper of the Bahais which is organized in the country of America. Although for the present thy subscribers are limited, thy form is small and thy voice weak, yet shouldst thou stand unshakable, become the object of the attention of the friends and the center of the generosity of the leaders of the faith who are firm in the Covenant, in the future thy subscribers will become hosts after hosts like unto the waves of the sea; thy volume will increase, thy arena will become vast and spacious and thy voice and fame will be raised and become world-wide—and at last thou shalt become the first paper of the world of humanity. Yet all these depend upon firmness, firmness, firmness!
(Signed) ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS.
The Promotion of the Teachings of God in Japan
Budget from Agnes B. Alexander, containing Tablets from Abdul-Baha
12 Ichibancho, Kojimachi, Tokyo, Japan, Feb. 9, 1917.
To the STAR OF THE WEST.
Beloved friends:—On the evening of the 7th, great joy came to this home and I hasten to tell you of it that you may all rejoice with us. A wonderful spirit had uplifted me all that day; I felt that when I returned home in the evening I would find a message from Abdul-Baha. I looked for the mail the first thing on returning home and there it was enclosed in a letter from our brother, Mr. Hannen of Washington—a letter for Fukuta San from Mirza Ahmad Sohrab and one for me, embodying in them Tablets from our beloved Abdul-Baha. I cannot tell you of the wonderful peace and joy that has overflowed in my heart ever since. This is the first time since receiving word from Abdul-Baha to come to Japan that any message from him has reached here and Fukuta San is blessed by being the first Japanese in his own land to receive words "from that pen whose greatness, glory and splendor will shine down the ages, long after we have passed away from this earth and the traces of our service in His mighty Cause have appeared in dazzling clearness." These wonderful words were written by a sister many years ago.
At this time the Cause is certainly spreading with great bounds in this land. Our brother, Mr. Kenzo Torikai, who is visiting his native home after an absence of twelve years, has been awake giving the Message wherever he goes. During the past week several Tokyo papers have had articles in reference to the Bahai Movement some of them giving my name and address which has brought many inquiries and many letters. Most of these are in Japanese, so that part of the work falls to Fukuta San and many come or send for the Japanese Bahai book which we keep here. The translation of one letter from a young girl in the north of Japan has touched me very much. One of the young students wrote
(Continued on page 54)
ALL the individuals of humanity are farmers. Every soul sows a certain kind of seed, but at the season of the harvest there will be gathered no result, except from the seeds which are sown by the believers of God. That alone will obtain heavenly blessing. Reflect that His Holiness Christ and His Holiness Mohammed scattered such holy seeds the fruits of which are being gathered till now; but all the other farmers were finally doomed to regret and disappointment.
(See page 56)
The Promotion of the Teachings of God in Japan
(Continued from page 52)
the translation for me and they tell me in the Japanese language it is indeed a most beautiful letter:
My dear Miss Agnes Alexander:
I am a young girl student who lives in the northern and remotest part of this mainland. I was greatly influenced when I read in the Yomiuri Shimbun a few days ago that you are endeavoring to promulgate in Japan the Truth of the great Persian teacher, Baha'o'llah, who teaches the equality of man and woman, racial unity and universal peace, etc., and I am one of the great admirers of your strong and never yielding spirit for the religion.
What noble and wise women there are in your country like you and Miss Stinson* (the aviatrix who is here in Japan now), and I cannot help envying you and her. Especially what glory and pride it is to your nation to have a lady like you who is so noble and godlike-hearted acting day and night to teach our people your new Faith!
I will pray to God at my country town here in Japan that the religion, which you are promulgating may be believed by all the people of this world. If I were in Tokyo, I would like, I am sure, to help you in teaching, even though my power be poor—waiting upon near your knees (this is a Japanese expression). But, alas, I am far from Tokyo and there is no way to study the religion but by the little help of newspapers, so I wish to go to the capital for this purpose without the knowledge of my parents, but I am very sorry I have no money for the journey. I will pray that the religion will be successfully promulgated by you all over the world and I look forward to the day when it will be realized. I will never forget your glorious name as it has taken root in my bosom and also you will never forget me. It seems to me by inspiration that I must assist you in teaching when I come to womanhood. I pray you will do splendidly your calling! Be blest my dear sister! Good-by. Yours truly,
The world is going through great changes and we know not what a day will bring forth, but we can only "be still and know that I am God."
I enclose to you the words of life from our glorious beloved, Abdul-Baha, his words which never fail. Oh! what will they not mean to this country. The light and truth already shines through the clouds and nothing can prevent its shining.
Forever your sister in the Great Cause,
Agnes B. Alexander.
TABLETS FROM ABDUL-BAHA. To the maid-servant of God, Miss Agnes Alexander—Upon her be greeting and praise!
O thou heavenly daughter!
Thy letter through Mr. Hannen received from Japan, likewise the letters
- Miss Katherine Stinson, 19-year-old aviatrix,
made daring flights in Japan and China and where, "For the first time in their lives," she says, "the Chinese and Japanese had to look up to a woman."
Upon her return to the United States, in an interview, she said: "The Japanese are really the most polite people in the world, and the Chinese were just lovely, but I'm certainly glad I'm an American. They make their wives walk ten paces in the rear on all public occasions, and I wouldn't walk behind any man. I want to walk beside him.
"The women in China and Japan are waking up, though. There is a big feminist movement. In Japan a Mrs. Fujisawa, who is one of the leaders of the woman movement there, gave me a check for $2,500 because she was so glad to see a woman do something that no other woman had done in Japan. That was when, clad in a kimono, I made my flight over the city of Tokio. The Japanese were wonderful then. They are intensely interested in aviation, and all the city turned out. They had the aviation field fenced in with slender bamboo rods. The crowd was tremendous and the interest keen, but the Japanese were so polite that not a rod was broken."
In China Miss Stinson made a flight from the grounds of the sacred temple of agriculture over the residence of the president, which was formerly the Chinese imperial palace.—Editors.
of Mr. Fukuta. The contents of both letters imparted exceeding joy, for each word was an eloquent tongue explaining the wonders of the love of God and elucidating the story of the attraction of the heart with the breaths of the holy spirit.
Praise be to God, that thou hast become assisted to promulgate the word of God in Japan. Ere long this circle in Japan will be enlarged, obtaining heavenly blessing.
God says in the glorious Koran: "A seed, growing out of it seven ears and every ear containing one hundred kernels, and God is able to double this for whomsoever He willeth." This verse means this: Whenever the word of truth is proclaimed it is like unto a seed which sown in a pure soil brings forth seven ears and every ear produces one hundred kernels and God says again that for whomsoever he desireth he will double this number, that is: He will make the seven hundred kernels fourteen hundred.
Now I hope that thy call in Japan may be like unto that seed, so that it may obtain heavenly blessing and benediction and the souls be educated and taught the oneness and singleness of God, the truthfulness of the prophets and the usefulness of the divine teachings.
An answer is written to the letters of Mr. Fukuta and forwarded. Present it to him.
Upon thee be greeting and praise!
(Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, Haifa, Syria, Oct. 27, 1916.)
To Mr. Fulsuta San.
O thou who art guided by the Light of Guidance!
Thy first and second letters were received: Praise be to God, that the light of guidance shone forth, the glass of the heart became luminous and the darkness of ignorance dispelled. The Most Great Guidance is a crown, the brilliant gems of which will shine upon all the future ages and cycles. If it is placed on the head of a servant, he will become the object of the envy of the kings; for this is an imperishable crown and an everlasting sovereignty. God says in the great Koran: "He specializes with His mercy whomsoever He desireth."
Praise be to God, that thou hast become specialized with divine favor and bounty. Thou didst become awake, beheld the lights and hearkened unto the melody of the Supreme Concourse. In the glorious Gospel it is said: "Freely ye have received, freely give." That is you have this bestowal; you have paid nothing for it: therefore give it to others without any exchange. Now with a heavenly power, with a lordly gift, with spiritual morals, with god-like deeds and with supreme glad-tidings be thou engaged in the promotion of the teachings of God in Japan. The confirmation of the Kingdom shall encompass you and the cohorts of the realm of might will grant triumph.
Upon thee be greeting and praise!
(Signed) ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS.
(Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, Haifa, Syria, Oct. 28, 1916.)
To Miss Agnes Alexander.
O thou daughter of the kingdom!
Thy letter dated July 15th, 1916, received. Its contents indicated that thou hast organized a meeting in Japan. Consider then what a great favor God has bestowed that such spiritual meetings are being held in Tokyo and such heavenly gifts are being distributed! God says in the Koran: "The example of the people of faith is like unto a field which obtains freshness and verdancy from the rain descending from the clouds, attaining to full fruition and finding the blessing of the Kingdom! There is no doubt that day by day it will grow and develop and in the end the ears of the sheaves will be laden with God's benediction, bringing forth an hundred fold."
Now, ye are the fields of the plain of Reality and are under the protection of the educative rays of the Sun of Truth.
At every ye obtain a new vitality from the rain of divine bestowals and ere long ye will produce full grown seeds which are blessed by the care and attention of the Divine Farmer. There is no doubt that such will be the end.
Convey on my behalf the utmost longing greeting to the friends residing in Tokyo as well as the recently arrived travellers and say to them: All the individuals of humanity are farmers. Every soul sows a certain kind of seed, but at the season of the harvest there will be gathered no result, except from the seeds which are sown by the believers of God. That alone will obtain heavenly blessing. Reflect that His Holiness Christ and His Holiness Mohammed scattered such holy seeds the fruits of which are being gathered till now; but all the other farmers were finally doomed to regret and disappointment.
Upon ye be greeting and praise.
(Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, Haifa, Syria, Oct. 30, 1916.)
DURING the last few months our Persian brother, Ishteal Ebn Kalanter, has been travelling to and fro in the Middle West, speaking with clear, brilliant eloquence before large audiences in Indianapolis, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cincinnati and many other places. Recently he spoke to an audience of 700 in the Unitarian Church of Cincinnati. There was a driving rain but the church was packed to the doors to hear of the glad tidings which Baha'o'llah and Abdul-Baha have brought to this world.
Dr. Zia M. Bagdadi, despite his medical practice, through which he serves all who come to him with true Bahai bounty, has devoted his Sundays to seed-sowing journeys. He has recently spoken in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota and Missouri.
Thus are our eastern brothers sowing the seeds of that new spiritual tree which has arisen in the East "for the healing of the nations."
A Bahai Library
FOR seven years the STAR OF THE WEST has been publishing in its pages addresses and Tablets of Abdul-Baha, and extracts from the glorious writings of Baha'o'llah. These now form a beautiful library of Bahai thought and Bahai news. To make this library easily accessible to the friends of Abdul-Baha the editors of the STAR OF THE WEST are having each year’s numbers attractively bound in separate volumes. These volumes may be had from the Bahai News Service at the price of $2.50 a volume, post-age or expressage additional.
Especial attention is called to Volume II with its picture of Abdul-Baha in Paris and London, and to Volumes III and IV with their accounts of Abdul-Baha's addresses and journeys in America. Volume VII is especially significant because it contains the Five Great Teaching Tablets and the first installments of the remarkable compilation on the "Divine Art of Living."
All the volumes are full of radiant words from the heaven of light. Many of the friends are securing the entire set lest they miss any of the divine sentences which in these last few years have been flooding our western world.