Creature at the Door (LOP VII, Notes 69-75)

Thy call hath awakened me, and Thy grace hath raised me up and led me unto Thee [VII]
69) More about the process of being awakened, raised up and led unto God:

"Be thankful to God for having enabled you to recognize His Cause. Whoever has received this blessing must, prior to his acceptance, have performed some deed which, though he himself was unaware of its character, was ordained by God as a means whereby he has been guided to find and embrace the Truth.”

(Attributed to Baha'u'llah in The Dawn-Breakers, Nabil’s Narrative, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi, p. 586)

Who, otherwise, am I that I should dare to stand at the gate of the city of Thy nearness, or set my face toward the lights that are shining from the heaven of Thy will? [VII]

70) “Who has not, in order to better visualize himself in relation to the Kingdom of God, seen his own soul as a wanderer, weary and hopeful, standing at the Gates of the Heavenly City and longing for admittance?”

(Ruhiyyih Khanum, “The Prayers of Baha’u’llah,” The Baha’i World, Vol. IX, 1940-1944, p. 792) See Note 50.

In stating this question in the prayer, “Who, otherwise am I...?,” one reflects an understanding of one's complete reliance on God's grace.

Perhaps the "lights that are shining from the heaven of Thy will" could be regarded as those of the Celestial City, shining as beacons--for those with spiritual eyes to see them--amidst the darkness of this nether world in this 'black and ruinous age.'

Thou seest, O my Lord, this wretched creature [VII]

71) The word ‘creature,’ which appears twice in the Long Obligatory Prayer, is not an unusual designation in the Baha'i Writings. For example, in one of Baha’u’llah’s most celebrated Tablets, the Suriy-i-Haykal, the word ‘creature’ appears twenty-five times. This passage from that Tablet sheds light on Baha’u’llah’s usage:

“Say: Of all that lieth between heaven and earth, naught can stir except by My leave, and unto My Kingdom none can ascend save at My behest. My creatures, however, have remained veiled from My might and My sovereignty, and are numbered with the heedless. Say: Naught is seen in My revelation but the Revelation of God, and in My might but His Might, could ye but know it. Say: My creatures are even as the leaves of a tree. They proceed from the tree, and depend upon it for their existence, yet remain oblivious of their root and origin. We draw such similitudes for the sake of Our discerning servants that perchance they may transcend a mere plant-like level of existence and attain unto true maturity in this resistless and immovable Cause. Say: My creatures are even as the fish of the deep. Their life dependeth upon the water, and yet they remain unaware of that which, by the grace of an omniscient and omnipotent Lord, sustaineth their very existence. Indeed, their heedlessness is such that were they asked concerning the water and its properties, they would prove entirely ignorant. Thus do We set forth comparisons and similitudes, that perchance the people may turn unto Him Who is the Object of the adoration of the entire creation.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 40) [Emphasis added.]

Photo by Marco Abrar - Baha'

knocking at the door of Thy grace [VII]
72) “For far be it from His greatness and His glory that He should turn away a seeker at His door, cast aside from His Threshold one who hath set his hopes on Him, reject one who hath sought the shelter of His shade, deprive one who hath held fast to the hem of His mercy, or condemn to remoteness the poor one who hath found the river of His riches.”

(Baha'u'llah, speaking in reference to Muhammad, The Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp. 40-41) [Emphasis added.]

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

King James Bible, Matthew 7:7-8)

"Our world is steadily sinking into ruin. We have waxed proud and forgotten our God--as many a people has before us to its soul's undoing--and turned away from Him, disbelieved in Him, followed proudly our own fancies and desires. No Being that was not such a Being as Baha'u'llah depicts would still hold open His door to us! And yet in how many passages...the way back, the way we once trod but have now, for the most part, forgotten, is pointed out to us and words placed in our mouths that are food for our sick hearts and souls...
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, “The Prayers of Baha’u’llah,” The Baha’i World, Vol. IX, 1940-1944, p. 801) [Emphasis added.]

“Thou seest, O my Lord, this wretched creature knocking at the door of Thy grace…”[VII]

(72b) Although the obligatory prayer is not a joke, it appears that the answer to the ‘Knock, knock’ in the Long Obligatory Prayer is not ‘Who’s there?’ It may be ‘Come in!’ I say this because we find this statement in the Medium Obligatory Prayer: “Thou hast, verily,…opened wide the door of Thy grace to all that dwell in heaven…” . [Emphasis added.]

and this evanescent soul

"evanesce: To dissipate like vapor."
"evanescent: Vanishing or apt to vanish : FLEETING"

Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary

"...the attempt of the evanescent to conceive the signs of the Uncreated is as the stirring of the drop before the tumult of Thy billowing oceans. Nay, forbid it, O my God, that I should thus venture to describe Thee, for every similitude and comparison must pertain to what is essentially created by Thee."

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, p. 194)
'Evanescent' often appears in the Baha'i Writings in a positive way, to indicate selflessness. For example:

"He [the teacher] must also be utterly humble and lowly so that others may be edified, and be totally self-effaced and evanescent so that he may teach with the melody of the Concourse on high--otherwise his teaching will have no effect."

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections, p. 270)

Baha'u'llah refers to Himself as "this evanescent Soul." See, for example, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 107 & 172.

the river of everlasting life [VII]

74) In the original Arabic: 'Kawthar' -- a river in paradise from which all the others flow. The term Kawthar appears eight times in The Kitab-i-Iqan. See Note 43.

from the hands of Thy bounty [VII]

75) Bounty in the Long Obligatory Prayer
  • “the All-Bountiful”
  • “Thy Benevolence”
  • “supplieth us with every good thing”
  • “magnify Thy bounty”
  • “hands of Thy bounty”
  • “heaven of Thy bounty”
  • “as becometh Thy bounty”

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