Greater Is God (LOP VII & VIII, Notes 76-78)

Photo by Marco Abrar - Baha'
Thine is the command at all times, O Thou Who art the Lord of all names; mine is resignation and willing submission to Thy will O Creator of the heavens! [VII]

76) We use our will to submit to God’s will – the highest end of free will, the wisest choice.

"...the mesh of divine destiny exceedeth the vastest of mortal conceptions, and the dart of His decree transcendeth the boldest of human designs. None can escape the snares He setteth, and no soul can find release except through submission to His will."

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 251)

"O thou who art turning thy face towards God! Close thine eyes to all things else, and open them to the realm of the All-Glorious. Ask whatsoever thou wishest of Him alone; seek whatsoever thou seekest from Him alone. With a look He granteth a hundred thousand hopes, with a glance He healeth a hundred thousand incurable ills, with a nod He layeth balm on every wound, with a glimpse He freeth the hearts from the shackles of grief. He doeth as He doeth, and what recourse have we? He carrieth out His Will, He ordaineth what He pleaseth. Then better for thee to bow down thy head in submission, and put thy trust in the All-Merciful Lord."

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, #22, p. 51) [Emphasis added.]

"The true worshipper, while praying, should endeavour not so much to ask God to fulfil his wishes and desires, but rather to adjust these and make them conform to the Divine Will. Only through such an attitude can one derive that feeling of inner peace and contentment which the power of prayer alone can confer."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 26 October 1938 to an individual believer)

Let him then raise his hands thrice, and say:

Greater is God than every great one!

77) ‘…an individual believer asked the beloved Guardian the following question: "... the direction to raise the hands thrice and say ‘Greater is God than every great one.' Does this mean after every raising of the hands, or only to be said once, after the three raisings?"

Shoghi Effendi's secretary answered on his behalf as follows:

"The hands should be raised three times and each time the sentence be repeated in conjunction with the act."'

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, 13 February 1975)

Greater is God than every great one! [VIII]

78) One might wonder, “Why emphasize a statement that is so obvious?’ Part of the answer may lie in the importance the Baha’i teachings place against “joining partners” with God; much confusion about the stations of the Holy Spirit, the Manifestation, and the human soul, in relation to God, has thus been avoided.

"Under no circumstances...can we, while repeating the prayers, insert the name Bahá'u'lláh where the word 'God' is used. This would be tantamount to blasphemy."

(Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 59)

God is greater than any conception or designation:

"Far greater art Thou than the Great One men are wont to call Thee, for such a title is but one of Thy names all of which were created by a mere indication of Thy will."

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, XCIII, p. 157)

'The Bahá'í Writings contain many passages that elucidate the nature of the Manifestation and His relationship to God. Bahá'u'lláh underlines the unique and transcendent nature of the Godhead. He explains that "since there can be no tie of direct intercourse to bind the one true God with His creation" God ordains that "in every age and dispensation a pure and stainless Soul be made manifest in the kingdoms of earth and heaven". This "mysterious and ethereal Being", the Manifestation of God, has a human nature which pertains to "the world of matter" and a spiritual nature "born of the substance of God Himself". He is also endowed with a "double station":

'The first station, which is related to His innermost reality, representeth Him as One Whose voice is the voice of God Himself... The second station is the human station, exemplified by the following verses: "I am but a man like you." "Say, praise be to my Lord! Am I more than a man, an apostle?"'

'Bahá'u'lláh also affirms that, in the spiritual realm, there is an "essential unity" between all the Manifestations of God. They all reveal the "Beauty of God", manifest His names and attributes, and give utterance to His Revelation.

'In this regard, He states:

'Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: "I am God", He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His names and His attributes, are made manifest in the world...'

'While the Manifestations reveal the names and attributes of God and are the means by which humanity has access to the knowledge of God and His Revelation, Shoghi Effendi states that the Manifestations should " identified with that invisible Reality, the Essence of Divinity itself". In relation to Bahá'u'lláh, the Guardian wrote that the "human temple that has been the vehicle of so overpowering a Revelation" is not to be identified with the "Reality" of God.'

(The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Notes, pp. 233-34)

Next: "Nearness Is Likeness"

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