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Beyond Forgiveness

We ought to show something more than forgiveness in meeting with the cruelties and strictures of our own lives. To be hurt and to forgive is saintly, but far beyond that is the power to comprehend and not be hurt. This power we may have ‑ acceptance without complaint, and it should become associated with our name ‑ we ought never be known to complain or lament. It is not that we would “make the best of things” but that we may find in everything, even in calamity itself, the germ of enduring wisdom.  (Bahiyyih Khánum, Bahá’í World, vol. 5, p.185)

While this quote is not authoritative, it comes from a source I admire and respect, as Bahiyyih Khánum exemplified every standard she asks us to reach.   For many years I couldn’t even forgive.  The best I could do is to ask God to forgive those who hurt me.  Later, I was able to forgive and let go of all the resentment and hurt I was carrying.  I made a practice of becoming conscious of every resentment and deal with it as it came up and I thought that was good, but in this quote we see that there are several additional things she wants us to consider:

  • to comprehend and not be hurt
  • to be known as someone who accepts without complaint
  • to never be known to complain or lament
  • to find in everything, even in calamity itself, the germ of enduring wisdom

The first and the last have to do with inward adjustments that have to be made.  When I remember that we all have a lower nature and are all sinners, struggling to rise above whatever life has given us, then it’s easier to remember that we are all one.  When I am spiritually strong and remember these things, I can achieve the first and fourth.  The middle two are how we behave in the world.  It seems that it might be possible to complain and lament privately, admitting it to ourselves and taking our complaints to God, asking for Him to transform them so that we can find the germ of enduring wisdom and not be hurt, so that we can face the world with the same radiant acquiescence she was known to have.

Knowing I can strive for something that goes beyond forgiveness, I am grateful!

What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation?  I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!

If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Learning How to Forgive

 

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What the Prayers for Letting Go Teach Us

 

In another blog posting, I’ve shared some of my favorite prayers for letting go.  Now I want to look at what studying these prayers can teach us.  Have a look with me!

We start by learning who we are.

I am: 

  • the son of Thy servant and Thy handmaiden
  • one of Thy servants, who hath believed on Thee and on Thy signs
  • standing before the habitation of Thy mercy
  • circling round God’s Will
  • eagerly awaiting the revelation of the effulgent splendours of the sun of God’s favours
  • poor and needy
  • calling upon Thee
  • ever ready to receive that which is praiseworthy in Thy sight
  • the sign of divine guidance
  • the banner that flutters in the field of sacrifice
  • bewildered by the matchless tokens of Thy Revelation
  • bewildered by the wondrous evidences of Thy dawning forth
  • bewildered by Thy signs and traces that have encompassed both heaven and earth

I have:

  • great humbleness
  • entire devotion
  • been wakened by the sweetness of His voice
  • entered and sought shelter beneath the shadow of the tree of His oneness
  • turned my face in the direction of His loving-kindness
  • set my face towards Him
  • turned my eyes towards the horizon of God’s bounty
  • set myself towards the door of His mercy
  • fixed my heart firmly on God
  • laid hold on the handle of His grace
  • clung to the cord of His tender mercy
  • been set ablaze with the fire of His Cause
  • panted after the fountain of His living waters
  • detached myself from everything but God
  • rid myself from the attributes of the world of existence
  • sanctified myself from the transitory things of this world
  • freed myself from the promptings of the voicers of idle fancies
  • fled from those who have denied the light of His countenance
  • not been hindered by the ungodly from looking upon His face
  • sought to become independent of all that dwell on earth
  • detached myself from my kindred
  • sought no desire, friend, companion, comforter or beloved but God
  • left my home in my longing to meet Him
  • circumambulated the sanctuary of His grandeur
  • shed radiance upon the realm of heart and soul
  • hastened forth unto the kingdom of immortality

I am Grateful that God

  • made known to me He Who is the Day-Spring of His mercy, the Dawning-Place of His grace, and the Repository of His Cause
  • enabled me to recognize His Manifestation
  • caused me to turn wholly towards His grace and bountiful favors
  • sanctified me from the hints of the infidels and the allusions of the misbelievers
  • severed me from His enemies
  • laid bare before my eyes their misdeeds and wicked works
  • rid me of all attachment to them
  • empowered me to be steadfast in His love
  • enabled me to speak forth His praise and extol His virtues
  • gave me to drink of the cup of His mercy
  • woke me up from my sleep
  • stirred me up
  • created in me the desire to perceive what most of His servants have failed to apprehend

I am blessed because I have

  • set myself towards God
  • hasted to attain the Dayspring of the lights of His face
  • turned to the Dawning-Place of His Revelation and the Fountainhead of His inspiration
  • expended in His path what He bestowed upon me through His bounty and favor
  • cast away all  else except Him
  • enjoyed intimate communion with Him
  • rid myself of all attachment to anyone save Him
  • drawn nigh unto the Fire is which He kindled in His land, and heard its roaring
  • for all the troubles which have touched me in His path

 I Ask God For . . . 

Assistance

  • to bestow upon me a portion of His gifts and bounties
  • to make me independent of all things
  • to quaff the living waters of His loving-kindness
  • to send down His calm

Bounties 

  • to deny me not His grace
  • to deprive me not of the immensities of His riches
  • to withhold not from me what He ordained for the chosen among His servants
  • to forgive my sins
  • to exhilarate my heart
  • to ordain for me the good things that are with Him
  • to supply me with all the excellence that can be found on earth
  • to grant me an ampler share of His boundless favors
  • to grant me a portion from His unbounded felicity
  • to open to my face the portals of His bestowals
  • to recognize what He has desired for me
  • to partake of His celestial bestowals
  • to give me to drink from His chalice, tempered at the Camphor Fountain
  • to attain that which is the highest aspiration of the holy ones
  • to be afflicted every moment with a fresh tribulation for love of God and His pleasure
  • that the span of my earthly life could be extended to embrace the lives of the former and the latter generations
  • to reap the benefit of my life in this world and in the next

Detachment

  • to illumine me with the light of detachment so I can utterly forget all else except God
  • to adorn my head with the crown of detachment from anyone and anything but God
  • to dispense with all except God
  • to be occupied only with God
  • for God to be sufficient
  • to break off from me the shackles of this world
  • to make me independent of anything else but God
  • to be wholly carried away from myself
  • to blot out from my heart all idle fancies and vain imaginings
  • to become wholly detached from my inclinations, corrupt and evil desires
  • to free me from the assaults of passion and desire
  • to rend asunder the veils that have hindered me
  • to soar to such heights that nothing would have the power to keep me back
  • to turn away from this mortal world and from those who have set their hearts on it
  • to be satisfied with whatsoever God hast ordained for me

Happiness and Joy 

  • to brighten my face with the lights of Thy bestowals
  • to light my eyes by beholding the signs of God’s all-subduing might
  • to rejoice me with the wine of loving Him
  • to gladden my soul with soul-reviving tidings of great joy
  • to let my heart be dilated with joy through the spirit of confirmation from His kingdom

Mercy

  • to attire my inner and outer being with God’s favors and loving-kindness
  • to confer upon me Thy tender mercy and bestowals
  • to be exalted in both worlds
  • to bless me
  • to do  that which is good
  • to soar into the atmosphere of Thy tender mercy
  • to hasten my passing
  • to yield my  life in Thy path and ascend to Thee, wholly detached from anything else but Thee
  • to wing my flight towards Thee
  • to intercede on my behalf in the presence of the ever-living, sovereign Lord
  • to write down for me the good of this world and of the world to come
  • for my soul to ascend unto the loftiest mansions and pass into the presence of my all-glorious Companion
  • to cast not away this suppliant from the doors of Thy grace, bounty, and gifts
  • to deprive me not of the breezes of Thy tender mercy
  • to shatter not my hopes of attaining the shores of Thy glory
  • to grant that I may be numbered among those who have recognized Thee and acknowledged Thy sovereignty

Nearness 

  • to draw nigh unto God with all my affections
  • to draw me with rapture unto Thy supernal realm
  • to draw me nearer unto the river that is life indeed
  • to be drawn towards Thy throne
  • to drive me not away from Thee
  • to grant that I may lay hold on Thy cord at all times and under all conditions
  • to not be far removed from the shelter of Thy mercy
  • to abide within the precincts of Thy court
  • to enable Me to have communion and close association with the world of immortality
  • to have heavenly power
  • to rest under the shadow of the wings of Thy grace

Obedience

  • to graciously assist me and my kindred to obey Thee
  • to carry out what Thou hast prescribed unto me in Thy Tablets
  • to pour out Thy steadfastness
  • to serve Thy Law
  • to attire me with the robe of righteousness
  • to shun whatsoever may stir up any evil or corrupt desire within me
  • to tread no path except the path of Thy good-pleasure
  • to be wholly dissolved in God’s wish
  • to hold fast to that which pleases God
  • to bedeck my temple with the robe of humility and lowliness before the revelation of Thy laws and Thy commandments

Others 

  • to confer Thy blessings upon the Messengers, the holy ones and the righteous
  • to deprive not Thy grace to all that love Thee
  • to turn not away such as have directed their steps towards Thee
  • to let Thy celestial aid surround those who love Thee
  • to pour forth upon all them that are dear to Thee what will preserve them from fear and trembling
  • to not cast out them that have sought Thee

Protection

  • to keep me safe from whatsoever may be abhorrent unto Thee

Sacrifice

  • to be laid down as a sacrifice for you
  • so my entire being may be a sacrifice for the blood of the chosen ones of God
  • so my life may be offered up for the dust of these martyrs

Service 

  • to arise to serve Thee
  • to be occupied only with Thy Self

Strength 

  • to enrapture my soul with Thy most mighty signs
  • to accept whatever God has bestowed upon me
  • to nourish me from the Table of Thy bounty and the heaven of Thy favor
  • to refresh me with the breathings of Thy holiness
  • to strengthen me through the breaths of the Holy Spirit
  • to quaff my fill from the choice sealed wine
  • to quicken me with the reviving breath of heavenly communion
  • to endow me with the wings of Thy strengthening grace
  • to enable me to soar on wings of detachment and divine aid

Teaching

  • to exalt Thy Word
  • to proclaim Thy Cause
  • to promote Thy Teachings
  • to become a sign of divine guidance
  • to become a standard of the Concourse on high
  • to make me a minaret of Thy love in Thy land
  • to exalt God’s Word amongst His creatures
  • to proclaim His Cause amidst His servants
  • to speak of naught but the mysteries of Thy Cause
  • to spread abroad Thy signs and tokens
  • to raise up souls who will become free and pure
  • to adorn the world of being with a new raiment and a wondrous robe
  • to summon the hosts of wisdom and utterance to my assistance
  • to make me a banner of divine bounty in His dominion
  • to make me a lamp of God’s knowledge among His creatures

Transformation 

  • to be so lengthened that no man on the face of the earth could measure me
  • to give me to quaff Thy choice sealed Wine
  • to take me away from myself
  • to make me entirely devoted to Thy remembrance

Vision 

  • to behold the hosts of divine assistance descending successively upon me
  • to delight my heart with the glory of Thy knowledge
  • to discover the revelations of Thine almighty power
  • to make me able to behold whatsoever Thou hast desired
  • to keep my eyes directed towards the horizon of Thy Revelation
  • to open to my face the portals of Thy grace
  • to remove the veil from my eyes

I’m acknowledging that:

  • There is no God besides Him
  • God is far greater than the Great One men call Him
  • God’s being is inscrutable to all save God
  • All things testify to God’s power, might and sovereignty
  • Within God’s grasp lie the reins of all affairs
  • God is powerful to do what He wills
  • God’s might is equal to all things
  • God is glorified and lauded
  • All the peoples of the world are powerless to resist His force
  • God’s help is sought by all men
  • God’s grace is immense
  • God is invincible in His power and the most skillful in His designs
  • No one else do we invoke but God
  • No one do we beseech but God’s favors
  • God’s is the absolute authority to command
  • God aids whomsoever He wills with whatever He pleases
  • If God was to bestow on one of His creatures what would equal the kingdoms of earth and heaven, it would still not diminish by even as much as an atom the immensity of His dominion

And that

  • God has called me unto Him
  • God has revealed His knowledge unto me
  • God is my Hope and my Beloved, my highest Aim and Desire
  • Unto God I repair for refuge and toward all His signs I set my heart
  • Remoteness from God has well-nigh consumed me
  • Separation from God has melted my heart within me
  • My soul burns with thirst in its ceaseless search after God
  • My sighs proclaim the bitterness of my anguish
  • The tears I shed attest my love for God
  • My eyes expect to gaze on the wonders of His mercy
  • My ears long to hearken unto  His sweet melodies
  • My heart yearns for the living waters of His knowledge
  • God well knows the secrets of my heart and sees whatsoever is of me
  • Whether traveling or at home, and in my occupation or in my work, I place my whole trust in God

And that He is:

  • He Whose help is implored by all men
  • my Beloved
  • my Desire
  • my God
  • my Lord
  • my Master
  • potent to do what He wills
  • the Able
  • the All-Compelling
  • the All-Glorious
  • the All-Knowing
  • the All-Loving
  • the All-Possessing
  • the All-Powerful
  • the All-Sufficing
  • the All-Wise
  • the Almighty
  • the Beloved of every understanding heart
  • the Beneficent
  • the Creator
  • the Desire of such as have near access unto Thee
  • the Ever-Forgiving
  • the Goal of my desire
  • the God of all that are in heaven and all that are on earth
  • the God of glory
  • the God of knowledge and wisdom
  • the God of Mercy
  • the God of power
  • the Hearing
  • the Help in Peril
  • The kind Lord
  • the King of all Kings
  • The King of this world and the Kingdom above
  • the Lord of all created things
  • the Lord of all mankind
  • the Lord of bounty and grace
  • The Lord of dominion and might
  • the Lord of grace abounding
  • The Lord of the Kingdom
  • the Lord of the worlds
  • the Maker of the heavens and of the earth
  • The merciful
  • the Mighty
  • the Most Bountiful
  • the Most Compassionate
  • the Most Exalted
  • the Most Generous
  • the Most Merciful
  • the Omnipotent
  • the Peerless
  • the Possessor of all names and attributes
  • the Possessor of this world and of the next.
  • the Potent
  • the Powerful
  • the Rich
  • the Seeing
  • the Self-Subsisting
  • the Sovereign
  • The Spirit of Purity
  • Thou Who art unsurpassed in Thy mercy

Why is knowing all these names important?

Because, in the short Healing Prayer, we read:

Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Baha’i Prayers, p. 85)

Reciting and meditating on them will bring us healing!

How has this helped you understand the prayers for assistance with tests better?  Post your comments below!

What the Prayers for Letting Go Teach Us

In another blog posting, I’ve shared some of my favorite prayers for letting go.  Now I want to look at what studying these prayers can teach us.  Have a look with me!

We start by learning who we are.

I am: 

  • the son of Thy servant and Thy handmaiden
  • one of Thy servants, who hath believed on Thee and on Thy signs
  • standing before the habitation of Thy mercy
  • circling round God’s Will
  • eagerly awaiting the revelation of the effulgent splendours of the sun of God’s favours
  • poor and needy
  • calling upon Thee
  • ever ready to receive that which is praiseworthy in Thy sight
  • the sign of divine guidance
  • the banner that flutters in the field of sacrifice
  • bewildered by the matchless tokens of Thy Revelation
  • bewildered by the wondrous evidences of Thy dawning forth
  • bewildered by Thy signs and traces that have encompassed both heaven and earth

I have:

  • great humbleness
  • entire devotion
  • been wakened by the sweetness of His voice
  • entered and sought shelter beneath the shadow of the tree of His oneness
  • turned my face in the direction of His loving-kindness
  • set my face towards Him
  • turned my eyes towards the horizon of God’s bounty
  • set myself towards the door of His mercy
  • fixed my heart firmly on God
  • laid hold on the handle of His grace
  • clung to the cord of His tender mercy
  • been set ablaze with the fire of His Cause
  • panted after the fountain of His living waters
  • detached myself from everything but God
  • rid myself from the attributes of the world of existence
  • sanctified myself from the transitory things of this world
  • freed myself from the promptings of the voicers of idle fancies
  • fled from those who have denied the light of His countenance
  • not been hindered by the ungodly from looking upon His face
  • sought to become independent of all that dwell on earth
  • detached myself from my kindred
  • sought no desire, friend, companion, comforter or beloved but God
  • left my home in my longing to meet Him
  • circumambulated the sanctuary of His grandeur
  • shed radiance upon the realm of heart and soul
  • hastened forth unto the kingdom of immortality

I am Grateful that God

  • made known to me He Who is the Day-Spring of His mercy, the Dawning-Place of His grace, and the Repository of His Cause
  • enabled me to recognize His Manifestation
  • caused me to turn wholly towards His grace and bountiful favors
  • sanctified me from the hints of the infidels and the allusions of the misbelievers
  • severed me from His enemies
  • laid bare before my eyes their misdeeds and wicked works
  • rid me of all attachment to them
  • empowered me to be steadfast in His love
  • enabled me to speak forth His praise and extol His virtues
  • gave me to drink of the cup of His mercy
  • woke me up from my sleep
  • stirred me up
  • created in me the desire to perceive what most of His servants have failed to apprehend

I am blessed because I have

  • set myself towards God
  • hasted to attain the Dayspring of the lights of His face
  • turned to the Dawning-Place of His Revelation and the Fountainhead of His inspiration
  • expended in His path what He bestowed upon me through His bounty and favor
  • cast away all  else except Him
  • enjoyed intimate communion with Him
  • rid myself of all attachment to anyone save Him
  • drawn nigh unto the Fire is which He kindled in His land, and heard its roaring
  • for all the troubles which have touched me in His path

 I Ask God For . . . 

Assistance

  • to bestow upon me a portion of His gifts and bounties
  • to make me independent of all things
  • to quaff the living waters of His loving-kindness
  • to send down His calm

Bounties 

  • to deny me not His grace
  • to deprive me not of the immensities of His riches
  • to withhold not from me what He ordained for the chosen among His servants
  • to forgive my sins
  • to exhilarate my heart
  • to ordain for me the good things that are with Him
  • to supply me with all the excellence that can be found on earth
  • to grant me an ampler share of His boundless favors
  • to grant me a portion from His unbounded felicity
  • to open to my face the portals of His bestowals
  • to recognize what He has desired for me
  • to partake of His celestial bestowals
  • to give me to drink from His chalice, tempered at the Camphor Fountain
  • to attain that which is the highest aspiration of the holy ones
  • to be afflicted every moment with a fresh tribulation for love of God and His pleasure
  • that the span of my earthly life could be extended to embrace the lives of the former and the latter generations
  • to reap the benefit of my life in this world and in the next

Detachment

  • to illumine me with the light of detachment so I can utterly forget all else except God
  • to adorn my head with the crown of detachment from anyone and anything but God
  • to dispense with all except God
  • to be occupied only with God
  • for God to be sufficient
  • to break off from me the shackles of this world
  • to make me independent of anything else but God
  • to be wholly carried away from myself
  • to blot out from my heart all idle fancies and vain imaginings
  • to become wholly detached from my inclinations, corrupt and evil desires
  • to free me from the assaults of passion and desire
  • to rend asunder the veils that have hindered me
  • to soar to such heights that nothing would have the power to keep me back
  • to turn away from this mortal world and from those who have set their hearts on it
  • to be satisfied with whatsoever God hast ordained for me

Happiness and Joy 

  • to brighten my face with the lights of Thy bestowals
  • to light my eyes by beholding the signs of God’s all-subduing might
  • to rejoice me with the wine of loving Him
  • to gladden my soul with soul-reviving tidings of great joy
  • to let my heart be dilated with joy through the spirit of confirmation from His kingdom

Mercy

  • to attire my inner and outer being with God’s favors and loving-kindness
  • to confer upon me Thy tender mercy and bestowals
  • to be exalted in both worlds
  • to bless me
  • to do  that which is good
  • to soar into the atmosphere of Thy tender mercy
  • to hasten my passing
  • to yield my  life in Thy path and ascend to Thee, wholly detached from anything else but Thee
  • to wing my flight towards Thee
  • to intercede on my behalf in the presence of the ever-living, sovereign Lord
  • to write down for me the good of this world and of the world to come
  • for my soul to ascend unto the loftiest mansions and pass into the presence of my all-glorious Companion
  • to cast not away this suppliant from the doors of Thy grace, bounty, and gifts
  • to deprive me not of the breezes of Thy tender mercy
  • to shatter not my hopes of attaining the shores of Thy glory
  • to grant that I may be numbered among those who have recognized Thee and acknowledged Thy sovereignty

Nearness 

  • to draw nigh unto God with all my affections
  • to draw me with rapture unto Thy supernal realm
  • to draw me nearer unto the river that is life indeed
  • to be drawn towards Thy throne
  • to drive me not away from Thee
  • to grant that I may lay hold on Thy cord at all times and under all conditions
  • to not be far removed from the shelter of Thy mercy
  • to abide within the precincts of Thy court
  • to enable Me to have communion and close association with the world of immortality
  • to have heavenly power
  • to rest under the shadow of the wings of Thy grace

Obedience

  • to graciously assist me and my kindred to obey Thee
  • to carry out what Thou hast prescribed unto me in Thy Tablets
  • to pour out Thy steadfastness
  • to serve Thy Law
  • to attire me with the robe of righteousness
  • to shun whatsoever may stir up any evil or corrupt desire within me
  • to tread no path except the path of Thy good-pleasure
  • to be wholly dissolved in God’s wish
  • to hold fast to that which pleases God
  • to bedeck my temple with the robe of humility and lowliness before the revelation of Thy laws and Thy commandments

Others 

  • to confer Thy blessings upon the Messengers, the holy ones and the righteous
  • to deprive not Thy grace to all that love Thee
  • to turn not away such as have directed their steps towards Thee
  • to let Thy celestial aid surround those who love Thee
  • to pour forth upon all them that are dear to Thee what will preserve them from fear and trembling
  • to not cast out them that have sought Thee

Protection

  • to keep me safe from whatsoever may be abhorrent unto Thee

Sacrifice

  • to be laid down as a sacrifice for you
  • so my entire being may be a sacrifice for the blood of the chosen ones of God
  • so my life may be offered up for the dust of these martyrs

Service 

  • to arise to serve Thee
  • to be occupied only with Thy Self

Strength 

  • to enrapture my soul with Thy most mighty signs
  • to accept whatever God has bestowed upon me
  • to nourish me from the Table of Thy bounty and the heaven of Thy favor
  • to refresh me with the breathings of Thy holiness
  • to strengthen me through the breaths of the Holy Spirit
  • to quaff my fill from the choice sealed wine
  • to quicken me with the reviving breath of heavenly communion
  • to endow me with the wings of Thy strengthening grace
  • to enable me to soar on wings of detachment and divine aid

Teaching

  • to exalt Thy Word
  • to proclaim Thy Cause
  • to promote Thy Teachings
  • to become a sign of divine guidance
  • to become a standard of the Concourse on high
  • to make me a minaret of Thy love in Thy land
  • to exalt God’s Word amongst His creatures
  • to proclaim His Cause amidst His servants
  • to speak of naught but the mysteries of Thy Cause
  • to spread abroad Thy signs and tokens
  • to raise up souls who will become free and pure
  • to adorn the world of being with a new raiment and a wondrous robe
  • to summon the hosts of wisdom and utterance to my assistance
  • to make me a banner of divine bounty in His dominion
  • to make me a lamp of God’s knowledge among His creatures

Transformation 

  • to be so lengthened that no man on the face of the earth could measure me
  • to give me to quaff Thy choice sealed Wine
  • to take me away from myself
  • to make me entirely devoted to Thy remembrance

Vision 

  • to behold the hosts of divine assistance descending successively upon me
  • to delight my heart with the glory of Thy knowledge
  • to discover the revelations of Thine almighty power
  • to make me able to behold whatsoever Thou hast desired
  • to keep my eyes directed towards the horizon of Thy Revelation
  • to open to my face the portals of Thy grace
  • to remove the veil from my eyes

I’m acknowledging that:

  • There is no God besides Him
  • God is far greater than the Great One men call Him
  • God’s being is inscrutable to all save God
  • All things testify to God’s power, might and sovereignty
  • Within God’s grasp lie the reins of all affairs
  • God is powerful to do what He wills
  • God’s might is equal to all things
  • God is glorified and lauded
  • All the peoples of the world are powerless to resist His force
  • God’s help is sought by all men
  • God’s grace is immense
  • God is invincible in His power and the most skillful in His designs
  • No one else do we invoke but God
  • No one do we beseech but God’s favors
  • God’s is the absolute authority to command
  • God aids whomsoever He wills with whatever He pleases
  • If God was to bestow on one of His creatures what would equal the kingdoms of earth and heaven, it would still not diminish by even as much as an atom the immensity of His dominion

And that

  • God has called me unto Him
  • God has revealed His knowledge unto me
  • God is my Hope and my Beloved, my highest Aim and Desire
  • Unto God I repair for refuge and toward all His signs I set my heart
  • Remoteness from God has well-nigh consumed me
  • Separation from God has melted my heart within me
  • My soul burns with thirst in its ceaseless search after God
  • My sighs proclaim the bitterness of my anguish
  • The tears I shed attest my love for God
  • My eyes expect to gaze on the wonders of His mercy
  • My ears long to hearken unto  His sweet melodies
  • My heart yearns for the living waters of His knowledge
  • God well knows the secrets of my heart and sees whatsoever is of me
  • Whether traveling or at home, and in my occupation or in my work, I place my whole trust in God

And that He is:

  • He Whose help is implored by all men
  • my Beloved
  • my Desire
  • my God
  • my Lord
  • my Master
  • potent to do what He wills
  • the Able
  • the All-Compelling
  • the All-Glorious
  • the All-Knowing
  • the All-Loving
  • the All-Possessing
  • the All-Powerful
  • the All-Sufficing
  • the All-Wise
  • the Almighty
  • the Beloved of every understanding heart
  • the Beneficent
  • the Creator
  • the Desire of such as have near access unto Thee
  • the Ever-Forgiving
  • the Goal of my desire
  • the God of all that are in heaven and all that are on earth
  • the God of glory
  • the God of knowledge and wisdom
  • the God of Mercy
  • the God of power
  • the Hearing
  • the Help in Peril
  • The kind Lord
  • the King of all Kings
  • The King of this world and the Kingdom above
  • the Lord of all created things
  • the Lord of all mankind
  • the Lord of bounty and grace
  • The Lord of dominion and might
  • the Lord of grace abounding
  • The Lord of the Kingdom
  • the Lord of the worlds
  • the Maker of the heavens and of the earth
  • The merciful
  • the Mighty
  • the Most Bountiful
  • the Most Compassionate
  • the Most Exalted
  • the Most Generous
  • the Most Merciful
  • the Omnipotent
  • the Peerless
  • the Possessor of all names and attributes
  • the Possessor of this world and of the next.
  • the Potent
  • the Powerful
  • the Rich
  • the Seeing
  • the Self-Subsisting
  • the Sovereign
  • The Spirit of Purity
  • Thou Who art unsurpassed in Thy mercy

Why is knowing all these names important?

Because, in the short Healing Prayer, we read:

Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Baha’i Prayers, p. 85)

Reciting and meditating on them will bring us healing!

How has this helped you understand the prayers for assistance with tests better?  Post your comments below!

Prayers to Help Us Let Go

 

Say: O God, my God! Thou beholdest me circling round Thy Will with mine eyes turned towards the horizon of Thy bounty, eagerly awaiting the revelation of the effulgent splendours of the sun of Thy favours. I beg of Thee, O Beloved of every understanding heart and the Desire of such as have near access unto Thee, to grant that Thy loved ones may become wholly detached from their own inclinations, holding fast unto that which pleaseth Thee. Attire them, O Lord, with the robe of righteousness and illumine them with the splendours of the light of detachment. Summon then to their assistance the hosts of wisdom and utterance that they may exalt Thy Word amongst Thy creatures and proclaim Thy Cause amidst Thy servants. Verily, potent art Thou to do what Thou willest, and within Thy grasp lie the reins of all affairs. No God is there but Thee, the Mighty, the Ever-Forgiving.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 59)

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Suffer me, O my God, to draw nigh unto Thee, and to abide within the precincts of Thy court, for remoteness from Thee hath well-nigh consumed me. Cause me to rest under the shadow of the wings of Thy grace, for the flame of my separation from Thee hath melted my heart within me. Draw me nearer unto the river that is life indeed, for my soul burneth with thirst in its ceaseless search after Thee. My sighs, O my God, proclaim the bitterness of mine anguish, and the tears I shed attest my love for Thee.

I beseech Thee, by the praise wherewith Thou praisest Thyself and the glory wherewith Thou glorifiest Thine own Essence, to grant that we may be numbered among them that have recognized Thee and acknowledged Thy sovereignty in Thy days. Help us then to quaff, O my God, from the fingers of mercy the living waters of Thy loving-kindness, that we may utterly forget all else except Thee, and be occupied only with Thy Self. Powerful art Thou to do what Thou willest. No God is there beside Thee, the Mighty, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.  Glorified be Thy name, O Thou Who art the King of all Kings!  (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 30)

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Glorified art Thou, O my God! I yield Thee thanks that Thou hast made known unto me Him Who is the Day-Spring of Thy mercy, and the Dawning-Place of Thy grace, and the Repository of Thy Cause. I beseech Thee by Thy Name, through which the faces of them that are nigh unto Thee have turned white, and the hearts of such as are devoted to Thee have winged their flight towards Thee, to grant that I may, at all times and under all conditions, lay hold on Thy cord, and be rid of all attachment to any one except Thee, and may keep mine eyes directed towards the horizon of Thy Revelation, and may carry out what Thou hast prescribed unto me in Thy Tablets.

Attire, O my Lord, both my inner and outer being with the raiment of Thy favors and Thy loving-kindness. Keep me safe, then, from whatsoever may be abhorrent unto Thee, and graciously assist me and my kindred to obey Thee, and to shun whatsoever may stir up any evil or corrupt desire within me. Thou, truly, art the Lord of all mankind, and the Possessor of this world and of the next. No God is there save Thee, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.  (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 225)

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Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! I yield Thee thanks for having enabled me to recognize the Manifestation of Thyself, and for having severed me from Thine enemies, and laid bare before mine eyes their misdeeds and wicked works in Thy days, and for having rid me of all attachment to them, and caused me to turn wholly towards Thy grace and bountiful favors. I give Thee thanks, also, for having sent down upon me from the clouds of Thy will that which hath so sanctified me from the hints of the infidels and the allusions of the misbelievers that I have fixed my heart firmly on Thee, and fled from such as have denied the light of Thy countenance. Again I thank Thee for having empowered me to be steadfast in Thy love, and to speak forth Thy praise and to extol Thy virtues, and for having given me to drink of the cup of Thy mercy that hath surpassed all things visible and invisible. Thou art the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, the All-Loving.  (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 110)

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We render Thee thanks, O our Lord, for all the troubles which have touched us in Thy path. Oh, that the span of my earthly life could be so extended as to embrace the lives of the former and the latter generations, or could even be so lengthened that no man on the face of the earth could measure it, and be afflicted every day and every moment with a fresh tribulation for love of Thee and for Thy pleasure’s sake!

Thou well knowest, however, O my God, that my wish is wholly dissolved in Thy wish, and that Thou hast irrevocably decreed that my soul should ascend unto the loftiest mansions of Thy Kingdom, and pass into the presence of my all-glorious Companion.

Hasten, by Thy grace and bounty, my passing, O my Lord, and pour forth upon all them that are dear to Thee what will preserve them from fear and trembling after me. Powerful art Thou to do whatsoever may please Thee. No God is there except Thee, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise.

Thou seest, O my Lord, how Thy servants have left their homes in their longing to meet Thee, and how they have been hindered by the ungodly from looking upon Thy face, and from circumambulating the sanctuary of Thy grandeur. Pour out Thy steadfastness and send down Thy calm upon them, O my Lord! Thou art, in truth, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate.  (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 17)

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Lauded by Thy name, O my God! I entreat Thee by the fragrances of the Raiment of Thy grace which at Thy bidding and in conformity with Thy desire were diffused throughout the entire creation, and by the Daystar of Thy will that hath shone brightly, through the power of Thy might and of Thy sovereignty, above the horizon of Thy mercy, to blot out from my heart all idle fancies and vain imaginings, that with all my affections I may turn unto Thee, O Thou Lord of all mankind!

I am Thy servant and the son of Thy servant, O my God! I have laid hold on the handle of Thy grace, and clung to the cord of Thy tender mercy. Ordain for me the good things that are with Thee,  and nourish me from the Table Thou didst send down out of the clouds of Thy bounty and the heaven of Thy favor.  Thou, in very truth, art the Lord of the worlds, and the God of all that are in heaven and all that are on earth.  (Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 49)

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Many a chilled heart, O my God, hath been set ablaze with the fire of Thy Cause, and many a slumberer hath been wakened by the sweetness of Thy voice. How many are the strangers who have sought shelter beneath the shadow of the tree of Thy oneness, and how numerous the thirsty ones who have panted after the fountain of Thy living waters in Thy days!

Blessed is he that hath set himself towards Thee, and hasted to attain the Dayspring of the lights of Thy face. Blessed is he who with all his affections hath turned to the Dawning-Place of Thy Revelation and the Fountainhead of Thine inspiration. Blessed is he that hath expended in Thy path what Thou didst bestow upon him through Thy bounty and favor. Blessed is he who, in his sore longing after Thee, hath cast away all  else except Thyself. Blessed is he who hath enjoyed intimate communion with Thee, and rid himself of all attachment to anyone save Thee.

I beseech Thee, O my Lord, by Him Who is Thy Name, Who, through the power of thy sovereignty and might, hath risen above the horizon of His prison, to ordain for everyone what becometh Thee and beseemeth Thine exaltation.  Thy might, in truth, is equal to all things.  (Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 50-51)

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I know not, O my God, what the Fire is which Thou didst kindle in Thy land. Earth can never cloud its splendor, nor water quench its flame. All the peoples of the world are powerless to resist its force. Great is the blessedness of him that hath drawn nigh unto it, and heard its roaring.

Some, O my God, Thou didst, through Thy strengthening grace, enable to approach it, while others Thou didst keep back by reason of what their hands have wrought in Thy days. Whoso hath hasted towards it and attained unto it hath, in his eagerness to gaze on Thy beauty, yielded his  life in Thy path, and ascended unto Thee, wholly detached from aught else except Thyself.

I beseech Thee, O my God, by this Fire which blazeth and rageth in the world of creation, to rend asunder the veils that have hindered me from appearing before the throne of Thy majesty, and from standing at the door of Thy gate. Do Thou ordain for me, O my Lord, every good thing Thou didst send down in Thy Book, and suffer me not to be far removed from the shelter of Thy mercy.  Powerful art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. Thou art, verily, the All-Powerful, the Most Generous.  (Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 51-52)

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Praise be unto Thee, O my God! I am one of Thy servants, who hath believed on Thee and on Thy signs. Thou seest how I have set myself towards the door of Thy mercy, and turned my face in the direction of Thy loving-kindness. I beseech Thee, by Thy most excellent titles and Thy most exalted attributes, to open to my face the portals of Thy bestowals. Aid me, then, to do  that which is good, O Thou Who art the Possessor of all names and attributes!

I am poor, O my Lord, and Thou art the Rich. I have set my face towards Thee, and detached myself from all but Thee. Deprive me not, I implore Thee, of the breezes of Thy tender mercy, and withhold not from me what Thou didst ordain for the chosen among Thy servants.

Remove the veil from mine eyes, O my Lord, that I may recognize what Thou hast desired for Thy creatures, and discover, in all the manifestations of Thy handiwork, the revelations of Thine almighty power. Enrapture my soul, O my Lord, with Thy most mighty signs, and draw me out of the depths of my corrupt and evil desires. Write down, then, for me the good of this world and of the world to come. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. No God is there but Thee, the All-Glorious, Who help is sought by all men.

I yield Thee thanks, O my Lord, that Thou hast wakened me from my sleep, and stirred me up, and created in me the desire to perceive what most of Thy servants have failed to apprehend. Make me able, therefore, O my Lord, to behold, for love of Thee and for the Sake of Thy pleasure,  whatsoever Thou hast desired. Thou art He to the power of Whose might and sovereignty all things testify.  There is none other God but Thee, the Almighty, the Beneficent.  (Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 52-54)

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Magnified be Thy name, O Lord my God! Behold Thou mine eye expectant to gaze on the wonders of Thy mercy, and mine ear longing to hearken unto  Thy sweet melodies, and my heart yearning for the living waters of Thy knowledge. Thou seest Thy handmaiden, O my God, standing before the habitation of Thy mercy, and calling upon Thee by Thy name which Thou hast chosen above all other names and set up over all that are in heaven and on earth. Send down upon her the breaths of Thy mercy, that she may be carried away wholly from herself, and be drawn entirely towards the seat which, resplendent with the glory of Thy face, sheddeth afar the radiance of Thy sovereignty, and is established as Thy throne. Potent art Thou to do what Thou willest. No God is there beside Thee, the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful.

Cast not out, I entreat Thee, O my Lord, them that have sought Thee, and turn not away such as have directed their steps towards Thee, and deprive not of Thy grace all that love Thee. Thou art He, O my Lord, Who hath called Himself the God of Mercy, the Most Compassionate. Have mercy, then, upon Thy handmaiden who hath sought Thy shelter, and set her face towards Thee.  Thou art, verily, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.  (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 147-148)

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Glory to Thee, O my God! One of Thy handmaidens, who hath believed in Thee and in Thy signs, hath entered beneath the shadow of the tree of Thy oneness. Give her to quaff, O my God, by Thy Name, the Manifest and the Hidden, of Thy choice sealed Wine that it may take her away from her own self, and make her to be entirely devoted to Thy remembrance, and wholly detached from any one beside Thee.

Now that Thou hast revealed unto her the knowledge of Thee, O my Lord, deny her not, by Thy bounty, Thy grace; and now that Thou hast called her unto Thyself, drive her not away from Thee, through Thy favor. Supply her, then, with that which excelleth all that can be found on Thine earth.  Thou art, verily, the Most Bountiful, Whose grace is immense.

Wert Thou to bestow on one of Thy creatures what would equal the kingdoms of earth and heaven, it would still not diminish by even as much as an atom the immensity of Thy dominion. 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.  There is no God but Thee, the God of power, the God of glory, the God of knowledge and wisdom.  (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 156-157)

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Lauded be Thy name, O Thou Who art the Goal of my desire! I swear by Thy glory! How great is my wish to attain unto a detachment so complete that were there to appear before me those countenances which are hid within the chambers of chastity, and the beauty of which Thou didst veil from the eyes of the entire creation, and whose faces Thou didst sanctify from the sight of all beings, and were they to unveil themselves in all the glory of the splendors of Thine incomparable beauty, I would refuse to look upon them, and would behold them solely for the purpose of discerning the mysteries of Thy handiwork, which have perplexed the minds of such as have drawn nigh unto Thee, and awed the souls of all them that have recognized Thee. I would, by Thy power and Thy might, soar to such heights that nothing whatsoever would have the power to keep me back from the manifold evidences of Thy transcendent dominion, nor would any earthly scheme shut me out from the manifestations of Thy Divine holiness.  Glorified, immeasurably glorified art Thou, O my God, and my Beloved, and my Master, and my Desire! Shatter not the hopes of this lowly one to attain the shores of Thy glory, and deprive not this wretched creature of the immensities of Thy riches, and cast not away this suppliant from the doors of Thy grace, and Thy bounty, and Thy gifts. Have mercy, then, upon this poor and desolate soul who hath sought no friend but Thee, and no companion except Thee, and no comforter save Thee, and no beloved apart from Thee, nor cherished any desire but Thyself.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 337)

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O my God, my Lord and my Master! I have detached myself from my kindred and have sought through Thee to become independent of all that dwell on earth and ever ready to receive that which is praiseworthy in Thy sight. Bestow on me such good as will make me independent of aught else but Thee, and grant me an ampler share of Thy boundless favors. Verily, Thou art the Lord of grace abounding.  (The Bab, Baha’i Prayers, p. 21)

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In the Name of Thy Lord, the Creator, the Sovereign, the All-Sufficing, the Most Exalted, He Whose help is implored by all men.

Say: O my God! O Thou Who art the Maker of the heavens and of the earth, O Lord of the Kingdom! Thou well knowest the secrets of my heart, while Thy Being is inscrutable to all save Thyself. Thou seest whatsoever is of me, while no one else can do this save Thee. Vouchsafe unto me, through Thy grace, what will enable me to dispense with all except Thee, and destine for me that which will make me independent of everyone else besides Thee. Grant that I may reap the benefit of my life in this world and in the next. Open to my face the portals of Thy grace, and graciously confer upon me Thy tender mercy and bestowals.

O Thou Who art the Lord of grace abounding! Let Thy celestial aid surround those who love Thee, and bestow upon us the gifts and the bounties Thou dost possess. Be Thou sufficient unto us of all things, forgive our sins and have mercy upon us. Thou art Our Lord and the Lord of all created things. No one else do we invoke but Thee, and naught do we beseech but thy favors. Thou art the Lord of bounty and grace, invincible in Thy power and the most skilfull in Thy designs. No god is there but Thee, the All-Possessing, the Most Exalted.  Confer Thy blessings, O my Lord, upon the Messengers, the holy ones and the righteous. Verily, Thou art God, the Peerless, the All-Compelling.  (The Bab, Baha’i Prayers, p. 54-55)

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O Lord! Unto Thee I repair for refuge, and toward all Thy signs I set my heart.  O Lord! Whether traveling or at home, and in my occupation or in my work, I place my whole trust in Thee.  Grant me then Thy sufficing help so as to make  me independent of all things, O Thou Who art unsurpassed in Thy mercy!  Bestow upon me my portion, O Lord, as Thou pleasest, and cause me to be satisfied with whatsoever thou hast ordained for me.  Thine is the absolute authority to command.  (The Bab, Baha’i Prayers, p. 55-56)

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O God, my God! Thou art my Hope and my Beloved, my highest Aim and Desire! With great humbleness and entire devotion I pray to Thee to make me a minaret of Thy love in Thy land, a lamp of Thy knowledge among Thy creatures, and a banner of divine bounty in Thy dominion.

Number me with such of Thy servants as have detached themselves from everything but Thee, have sanctified themselves from the transitory things of this world, and have freed themselves from the promptings of the voicers of idle fancies.

Let my heart be dilated with joy through the spirit of confirmation from Thy kingdom, and brighten my eyes by beholding the hosts of divine assistance descending successively upon me  from the kingdom of Thine omnipotent glory.  Thou art, in truth, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the All-Powerful.  (’Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, p. 56-57)

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O God, my God! Fill up for me the cup of detachment from all things, and in the assembly of Thy splendors and bestowals, rejoice me with the wine of loving Thee. Free me from the assaults of passion and desire, break off from me the shackles of this nether world, draw me with rapture unto Thy supernal realm, and refresh me amongst the handmaids with the breathings of Thy holiness.  O Lord, brighten Thou my face with the lights of Thy bestowals, light Thou mine eyes with beholding the signs of Thine all-subduing might; delight my heart with the glory of Thy knowledge that encompasseth all things, gladden Thou my soul with Thy soul-reviving tidings of great joy, O Thou King of this world and the Kingdom above, O Thou Lord of dominion and might, that I may spread abroad Thy signs and tokens, and proclaim Thy Cause, and promote Thy Teachings, and serve Thy Law and exalt Thy Word.  Thou art, verily, the Powerful, the Ever-Giving, the Able, the Omnipotent.   (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 45)

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O Thou kind Lord! From the horizon of detachment Thou hast manifested souls that, even as the shining moon, shed radiance upon the realm of heart and soul, rid themselves from the attributes of the world of existence and hastened forth unto the kingdom of immortality. With a drop from the ocean of Thy loving kindness Thou didst oft-times moisten the gardens of their hearts until they gained incomparable freshness and beauty. The holy fragrance of Thy divine unity was diffused far and wide, shedding its sweet savours over the entire world, causing the regions of the earth to be redolent with perfume.  Raise up then, O Spirit of Purity, souls who, like those sanctified beings, will become free and pure, Will adorn the world of being with a new raiment and a wondrous robe, will seek no one else but Thee, tread no path except the path of Thy good-pleasure and will speak of naught but the mysteries of Thy Cause. O Thou kind Lord! Grant that this youth may attain unto that which is the highest aspiration of the holy ones. Endow him with the wings of Thy strengthening grace — wings of detachment and divine aid — that he may soar thereby into the atmosphere of Thy tender mercy, be able to partake of Thy celestial bestowals, may become a sign of divine guidance and a standard of the Concourse on high. Thou art the Potent, the Powerful, the Seeing, the Hearing.  (’Abdu’l-Baha, Fire and Light, p. 20)

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May my life be offered up for the dust of these martyrs; may my entire being be a sacrifice for the blood of the chosen ones of God, they who enjoy near access to His exalted Threshold, who are attracted to the summit of transcendent glory, and established upon the seat of truth in the all-glorious Kingdom.  O ye who have suffered martyrdom! O trustees of His Revelation! O distinguished men of virtue! O illustrious and noble ones May my inmost reality, my spirit, my entire being and whatsoever God hath bestowed upon me through His bounty and grace be laid down as a sacrifice for you.  I bear witness that ye are the radiant stars, the gleaming meteors, the resplendent full moons, the brilliant orbs in this wondrous Revelation. Well is it with you, O birds that warble in the gardens of divine unity; blessed are ye, O lions that roar in the forests of detachment; happy are ye. O leviathans that swim in the waters of His oneness. Verily ye are the signs of divine guidance. ye are the banners that flutter in the field of sacrifice.  I beseech God to bless me, through the breezes of holiness wafted from that glorious centre of sacrifice, and to quicken me with the reviving breath of heavenly communion blowing from that blessed region.  I beg you to intercede on my behalf in the presence of the ever-living, sovereign Lord that He may graciously suffer me to quaff my fill from the choice sealed wine, may grant me a portion from the unbounded felicity that ye enjoy and may exhilarate my heart by giving me to drink from your chalice which is tempered at the Camphor Fountain. Verily my Lord is merciful and forgiving. By bestowing the bounty of sacrifice in this realm of existence, He aideth whomsoever He willeth with whatsoever He pleaseth.  And upon you rest the glory of the Most Glorious!  (’Abdu’l-Baha, Fire and Light, p. 30)

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O Lord! Help this daughter of the Kingdom to be exalted in both worlds; cause her to turn away from this mortal world of dust and from those who have set their hearts thereon and enable her to have communion and close association with the world of immortality. Give her heavenly power and strengthen her through the breaths of the Holy Spirit that she may arise to serve Thee. Thou art the Mighty One.   (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Handmaidens of God – Bahá’í Prayers for Women)

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O God, my God! Fill up for me the cup of detachment from all things, and in the assembly of Thy splendours and bestowals, rejoice me with the wine of loving Thee. Free me from the assaults of passion and desire, break off from me the shackles of this nether world, draw me with rapture unto Thy supernal realm, and refresh me amongst the handmaids with the breathings of Thy holiness.  O Lord, brighten Thou my face with the lights of Thy bestowals, light Thou mine eyes with beholding the signs of Thine all-subduing might; delight my heart with the glory of Thy knowledge that encompasseth all things, gladden Thou my soul with Thy soul-reviving tidings of great joy, O Thou King of this world and the Kingdom above, O Thou Lord of dominion and might, that I may spread abroad Thy signs and tokens, and proclaim Thy Cause, and promote Thy Teachings, and serve Thy Law, and exalt Thy Word. Thou art verily the Powerful, the Ever-Giving, the Able, the Omnipotent.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 174)

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O Lord! I am Thy servant and the son of Thy servant and Thy handmaiden. I find myself bewildered by the matchless tokens of Thy Revelation, by the wondrous evidences of Thy dawning forth, and by Thy signs and traces that have encompassed both Thy heaven and Thine earth. I beseech Thee to adorn my head with the crown of detachment, and to bedeck my temple with the robe of humility and lowliness before the revelation of Thy laws and Thy commandments.  (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to the Indian Subcontinent, p. 433)

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How have these prayers helped you?  Post your comments below.

57 Ways to Let Go

In previous articles we looked at detachment, what we need to let go of, and the benefits of doing so, both in this world and now in the next.  Let’s turn our attention to how we do it.  If you want to skip to the end, I’ve provided a list for you.

We detach when we turn our face towards the courts of the Lord:

The essence of detachment is for man to turn his face towards the courts of the Lord, to enter His Presence, behold His Countenance, and stand as witness before Him.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155)

We detach when we recognize and love God:

Whoso hath loved Thee, can never feel attached to his own self, except for the purpose of furthering Thy Cause; and whoso hath recognized Thee can recognize naught else except Thee, and can turn to no one save Thee.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 197)

We detach when we advance towards God:

Pass beyond the narrow retreats of your evil and corrupt desires, and advance into the vast immensity of the realm of God, and abide ye in the meads of sanctity and of detachment, that the fragrance of your deeds may lead the whole of mankind to the ocean of God’s unfading glory.  (Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 31)

We detach when we trust God:

And likewise, He saith: “Say to them that are of a fearful heart: be strong, fear not, behold your God.” This blessed verse is a proof of the greatness of the Revelation, and of the greatness of the Cause, inasmuch as the blast of the trumpet must needs spread confusion throughout the world, and fear and trembling amongst all men.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 147)

That seeker must, at all times, put his trust in God, must renounce the peoples of the earth, must detach himself from the world of dust, and cleave unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 264-265)

We detach when we live in accordance with the teachings of God:

One may be wealthy, yet detached from material things. Man can achieve this if he lives his life in accordance with the teachings of God. In one of His Tablets, Bahá’u’lláh states that the good things of this world and its beautiful products are all the manifestations of the attributes of God. To possess them will not become the cause of attachment to material things, provided the individual does not fix his affections upon them, nor allow himself to be possessed by them, because this world and all that is therein are like unto a passing shadow and transitory.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 22-23)

We detach when we want to turn to the things that belong to God:

Wert thou, for the sake of God, to ponder, though it be but for an hour, upon the things which have occurred in former times and more recently, thou wouldst turn away from the things thou dost possess unto the things which belong unto God, and wouldst become a means for the exaltation of His Word.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 91)

We detach when we seek God’s pleasure and not our own:

If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words 7)

We detach when we are faithful to God:

Therefore, we must be faithful to Him and turn away from our own selfish desires and fancies in order that we may accomplish that which is required of us by our Lord.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 461)

We detach when we expect no help or aid from anyone but God:

It behoveth thee to sever thyself from all desires save thy Lord, the Supreme, expecting no help or aid from anyone in the universe, not even from thy father or children. Resign thyself to God! (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 374-375)

We detach when we supplicate and invoke God and serve His Cause:

Know that nothing will benefit thee in this life save supplication and invocation unto God, service in His vineyard, and, with a heart full of love, be in constant servitude unto Him.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 374-375)

We detach when we put our reliance on the remembrance of God:

Delight not yourselves in the things of the world and its vain ornaments, neither set your hopes on them. Let your reliance be on the remembrance of God, the Most Exalted, the Most Great. He will, erelong, bring to naught all the things ye possess. Let Him be your fear, and forget not His covenant with you, and be not of them that are shut out as by a veil from Him.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 127-128)

We detach when we take firm hold on the precepts of God:

Put away, therefore, the things ye have devised and to which ye cleave, and take firm hold on the precepts of God, that haply ye may attain that which He hath purposed for you, and be of them that pursue a right course. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 127-128)

We detach when we cling to God:

Cleave to the Root of Knowledge, and to Him Who is the Fountain thereof, that thou mayest find thyself independent of all who claim to be well versed in human learning, and whose claim no clear proof, nor the testimony of any enlightening book, can support.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 1, p. 33-34)

We detach when we reflect the love of God on all men:

Our greatest efforts must be directed towards detachment from the things of the world; we must strive to become more spiritual, more luminous, to follow the counsel of the Divine Teaching, to serve the cause of unity and true equality, to be merciful, to reflect the love of the Highest on all men, so that the light of the Spirit shall be apparent in all our deeds, to the end that all humanity shall be united, the stormy sea thereof calmed, and all rough waves disappear from off the surface of life’s ocean henceforth unruffled and peaceful. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 87)

We detach when we stand as witness before God:

The essence of detachment is for man to turn his face towards the courts of the Lord, to enter His Presence, behold His Countenance, and stand as witness before Him.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155)

We detach by cutting ourselves from all desires, attaching our hearts to God and serving his Cause:

I hope that thou wilt cut thyself from all that is in this world; wilt sever thyself from all desires of this transitory world; wilt attach thy heart entirely to the light of truth and wilt, at all times, rise in the service of truth in the rose-garden of God.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 131)

We detach by beseeching God that nothing will tarnish the purity or embitter the sweetness of the grace which flows through us:

Beseech the Lord your God to grant that no earthly entanglements, no worldly affections, no ephemeral pursuits, may tarnish the purity, or embitter the sweetness, of that grace which flows through you.  (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 17)

We detach by doing anything that will deter us from beholding God’s face, or tempting us to follow the promptings of our evil and corrupt inclinations:

Cleanse from your hearts the love of worldly things, from your tongues every remembrance except His remembrance, from your entire being whatsoever may deter you from beholding His face, or may tempt you to follow the promptings of your evil and corrupt inclinations. Let God be your fear, O people, and be ye of them that tread the path of righteousness.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 275)

We detach when we turn to His Messengers:

When the believer turns with true love to the Manifestation of God, he cannot help but leave aside his own interests and desires and seek only the good pleasure of His Lord. Yet in so doing, he will receive heavenly virtues and powers as a by-product of his love for and submission to the Manifestation of God.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 37)

We detach When we turn away from ideas which degrade the human soul:

He must turn away from ideas which degrade the human soul, so that day by day and hour by hour he may advance upward and higher to spiritual perception of the continuity of the human reality.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 265)

We detach when we turn away from idle fancies and vain imaginings:

Make them, then, to quaff from the hand of Thy grace the wine of Thy mercy, that it may assure their hearts, and cause them to turn away from the left hand of idle fancies and vain imaginings to the right hand of confidence and certitude.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 111-112)

Give ear unto the Voice of this trustworthy Counsellor: direct thy steps from the left unto the right, that is turn away from idle fancy unto certitude.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 42)

Tear asunder, O my God, the veil of vain imaginings that hath obscured the vision of Thy people, that all may haste towards Thee, may tread the path of Thy pleasure, and walk in the ways of Thy Faith.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 101)

We detach when we cast away the veils of idle learning that are current amongst men:

Not, however, until thou consumest with the flame of utter detachment those veils of idle learning, that are current amongst men, canst thou behold the resplendent morn of true knowledge.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 67)

We detach when we turn away from satanic promptings:

Man must emulate the merciful God and turn away from satanic promptings in order that universal inclination shall be toward peace, love and unity and the discord of war vanish.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 233)

We detach when we give up the important for the most important:

The Guardian attaches the greatest importance to your work; and is delighted to see that you are carrying on your various projects with so much enthusiasm and devotion. It would be ideal if an offer, such as that made, could be accepted; but as the Cause has so many burdens to bear at this time, we are forced to do as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said—give up the important for the most important.  (Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 116)

We detach through tests and suffering:

The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from the petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment. His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. Man is, so to speak, unripe: the heat of the fire of suffering will mature him. Look back to the times past and you will find that the greatest men have suffered most.’  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 178)

We detach when we pay no attention to mortal riches:

And were they to pass through a valley of pure gold and mines of precious silver, they should regard them as wholly unworthy of their attention.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 59-60)

We detach by using our eyes and ears:

The light of truth hath made thine eyes to see, the voice of God hath made thine ears to hear and the lights emanating from the beauty of the Light of the World both made thine heart attracted and astonished.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 131)

We detach when we stop letting our possessions possess us:

Detachment does not consist in setting fire to one’s house, or becoming bankrupt or throwing one’s fortune out of the window, or even giving away all of one’s possessions. Detachment consists in refraining from letting our possessions possess us. A prosperous merchant who is not absorbed in his business knows severance. A banker whose occupation does not prevent him from serving humanity is severed. A poor man can be attached to a small thing.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 135-136)

We detach when we engage in a profession and are self-supporting:

In one of His Tablets Bahá’u’lláh says that the highest form of detachment in this day is to be occupied with some profession and be self-supporting.  (Universal House of Justice, The Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith)

We detach when we shut our eyes to rest, quietude and the mortal life:

In this day, whatever soul intendeth to raise the voice of the Kingdom, and to draw people under the Tree of Life in the ideal paradise, and to invite them to eternal life, must first be delivered from all attachments, must even shut his eyes to rest, quietude and to the mortal life of this world.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 358)

We detach when we turn away from imitation and following the traces of our forefathers:

It is incumbent on these servants that they cleanse the heart—which is the wellspring of divine treasures—from every marking, and that they turn away from imitation, which is following the traces of their forefathers and sires, and shut the door of friendliness and enmity upon all the people of the earth.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 5)

We detach when we strip ourselves of old beliefs and past customs:

It is incumbent upon you to strip yourselves of every old garment (i. e., old beliefs and past customs). It is incumbent upon you to be severed from this contemptible earthly world. It is incumbent upon you (to seek after) the Kingdom, in this great Day!  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 144)

We detach when we turn away from ancestral imitations and investigate reality:

Likewise, in the wider field if all the existing religious systems will turn away from ancestral imitations and investigate reality, seeking the real meanings of the Holy Books, they will unite and agree upon the same foundation, reality itself. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 198)

We detach when we strip ourselves of the imperfections of the material world:

Man must sever himself from the influences of the world of matter, from the world of nature and its laws; for the material world is the world of corruption and death. It is the world of evil and darkness, of animalism and ferocity, bloodthirstiness, ambition and avarice, of self-worship, egotism and passion; it is the world of nature. Man must strip himself of all these imperfections, must sacrifice these tendencies which are peculiar to the outer and material world of existence.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 451)

We detach when all of our personal and material interests revolve around the Faith:

On the other hand, genuine detachment from earthly things is achieved when the individual makes the Cause of God the pivot of his life, so that all his personal and material interests may revolve around his Faith. In this case, he can benefit from his material possessions without being attached to them. And since the Cause of God is the prime motivating influence in his life, he will never act against the teachings of his Faith.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 22-23)

We detach when we offer up our time, serve in a locality, give up the comforts of home,  go pioneering, teach, be persecuted and even give up our lives:

To offer up one’s time, to labour for the establishment of the Faith in a locality, to give up the comforts of home and to go as a pioneer to foreign lands, to offer up one’s substance for the promotion of the Cause, to be persecuted for one’s faith, and even to give one’s life at the end.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 22-23)

We detach when we use our interests in promoting spiritual pursuits:

This does not mean that he has to forego his personal interests, but rather to use them in promoting his spiritual pursuits, and not to allow earthly things to come between him and God.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 20)

We detach when we rely on prayer:

Verily, I pray God to sanctify thee from the material and thus clothe thee with the garment of holiness and the mantle of purity and send through thee the glad-tidings of thy Lord from the Kingdom of Heaven.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 269)

We detach when we use the Hidden Words:

The Hidden Words can exert a potent influence in freeing man from the fetters of materialism and enabling him to win the battle against his own self.   (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 1, p. 76)

We detach when we seek distinction inthe pursuit of virtue and excellence:

Let them be content with their wages, and seek distinction in truthfulness, straightforwardness, and the pursuit of virtue and excellence . . . To attain to true glory and honour, man should exercise justice and equity, forbear to act in an oppressive manner, render service to his government, and work for the good of his fellow-citizens. Were he to seek after aught else but this he would indeed be in manifest loss.  (From a Tablet – translated from the Persian)

We detach when we we dedicate our lives for His service:

Ours is the duty to strive by day and night to fulfill our own obligations and then trust in His Guidance and never failing Grace. Unity amongst the friends, selflessness in our labors in His Path, detachment from all worldly things, the greatest prudence and caution in every step we take, earnest endeavor to carry out only what is His Holy Will and Pleasure, the constant awareness of His Presence and of the example of His Life, the absolute shunning of whomsoever we feel to be an enemy of the Cause … these, and foremost among them is the need for unity, appear to me as our most vital duties, should we dedicate our lives for His service.  (Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration, p. 16)

We detach when we teach:

Let those whose time, resources and means allow, travel throughout the length and breadth of that vast continent, let them scatter to the most distant regions of the earth and, fired with enthusiasm and detachment, hand on the torch of God’s undying flame to the waiting multitudes of a sadly-stricken world.  (Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration, p. 88)

We detach when we separate ourselves from all thoughts:

Separate thyself from all thoughts, strip thyself from the unclean garment of attachment to this drossful (or earthly) world, arise for the service of thy Lord, the Clement, and be clothed with the robe of assurance (or certainty) so that thou mayest behold the hosts of confirmation from thy Lord arising from all sides.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 650)

We detach when we shun those whose hearts are turned away from God:

Take heed that thou resign not the reins of the affairs of thy state into the hands of others, and repose not thy confidence in ministers unworthy of thy trust, and be not of them that live in heedlessness. Shun them whose hearts are turned away from thee, and place not thy confidence in them, and entrust them not with thine affairs and the affairs of such as profess thy faith. Beware that thou allow not the wolf to become the shepherd of God’s flock, and surrender not the fate of His loved ones to the mercy of the malicious. Expect not that they who violate the ordinances of God will be trustworthy or sincere in the faith they profess. Avoid them, and preserve strict guard over thyself, lest their devices and mischief hurt thee. Turn away from them, and fix thy gaze upon God, thy Lord, the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 233)

We detach when we wash away every trace of pride:

He must exalt himself above any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vain-glory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence and refrain from idle talk.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 264-265)

We detach when we appreciate all things, good and bad:

Therefore we must be happy and pass our time in praises, appreciating all things. But there is something else: detachment. We can appreciate without attaching ourselves to the things of this world. It sometimes happens that if a man loses his fortune he is so disheartened that he dies or becomes insane. While enjoying the things of this world we must remember that one day we shall have to do without them.  Attach not thyself to anything unless in it thou seest the reality of God – this is the first step into the court of eternity. The earth life lasts but a short time, even its benefits are transitory; that which is temporary does not deserve our heart’s attachment.  Material favors sometimes deprive us of spiritual favors and material rest of spiritual rest.   (Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 135)

We detach when we quench the enmity and hatred which smoulders in our hearts:

Now is the moment in which to cleanse thyself with the waters of detachment that have flowed out from the Supreme Pen, and to ponder, wholly for the sake of God, those things which, time and again, have been sent down or manifested, and then to strive, as much as lieth in thee, to quench, through the power of wisdom and the force of thy utterance, the fire of enmity and hatred which smouldereth in the hearts of the peoples of the world.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 12)

We detach when we  lift up our voices and proclaim His Cause:

Arise in the name of Him Who is the Object of all knowledge, and, with absolute detachment from the learning of men, lift up your voices and proclaim His Cause. I swear by the Day Star of Divine Revelation! The very moment ye arise, ye will witness how a flood of Divine knowledge will gush out of your hearts, and will behold the wonders of His heavenly wisdom manifested in all their glory before you. Were ye to taste of the sweetness of the sayings of the All-Merciful, ye would unhesitatingly forsake your selves, and would lay down your lives for the Well-Beloved.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 84)

We detach when we renounce the world and all that is therein:

Whoso followeth his Lord, will renounce the world and all that is therein; how much greater, then, must be the detachment of Him Who holdeth so august a station! Forsake your palaces, and haste ye to gain admittance into His Kingdom. This, indeed, will profit you both in this world and in the next. To this testifieth the Lord of the realm on high, did ye but know it.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 212)

We detach when we stop meddling with the activities of those who are the world’s  outward leaders:

Forbear ye from concerning yourselves with the affairs of this world and all that pertaineth unto it, or from meddling with the activities of those who are its outward leaders.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 241)

We detach when we let the flame of the love of God burn brightly within our radiant hearts:

O My servants! Deprive not yourselves of the unfading and resplendent Light that shineth within the Lamp of Divine glory. Let the flame of the love of God burn brightly within your radiant hearts. Feed it with the oil of Divine guidance, and protect it within the shelter of your constancy. Guard it within the globe of trust and detachment from all else but God, so that the evil whisperings of the ungodly may not extinguish its light.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 325)

We detach when we rid ourselves of all attachment to any one save God:

I give praise to Thee, O my God, that the fragrance of Thy loving-kindness hath enraptured me, and the gentle winds of Thy mercy have inclined me in the direction of Thy bountiful favors. Make me to quaff, O my Lord, from the fingers of Thy bounteousness the living waters which have enabled every one that hath partaken of them to rid himself of all attachment to any one save Thee, and to soar into the atmosphere of detachment from all Thy creatures, and to fix his gaze upon Thy loving providence and Thy manifold gifts.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 240)

We detach when our motives are pure:

Let them perform their services with complete sanctity and detachment, and on no account defile themselves by receiving bribes, harbouring unseemly motives, or engaging in noxious practices. Let them be content with their wages, and seek distinction in truthfulness, straightforwardness, and the pursuit of virtue and excellence; for vanity in riches is worthy of none but the base, and pride in possessions beseemeth only the foolish. (’Abdu’l-Baha, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 344)

. . . all these sacrifices are meritorious in the sight of God and will undoubtedly bring victory to His Cause, provided one’s motives are pure and sincere. That is the essential condition of loyalty and steadfastness in the Covenant of God—purity of motive. Without it one’s deeds are not acceptable by God.   (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 22-23)

We detach when we ponder God’s words:

In like manner, those words that have streamed forth from the source of power and descended from the heaven of glory are innumerable and beyond the ordinary comprehension of man. To them that are possessed of true understanding and insight the Surah of Hud surely sufficeth. Ponder a while those holy words in your heart, and, with utter detachment, strive to grasp their meaning.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 5)

We detach when we don’t depend on circumstances to make us happy:

The people of God have no dependence upon the conditions of this world; they neither become bittered with the bitterness of the cup, nor do they become intoxicated if the cup be sweet.  (Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 501)

We detach when we’re not troubled by current events:

Yet, in spite of being so occupied [with work], if the heart is not chained and tied to this world, and is not troubled by current events, neither hindered by wealth from rendering service to mankind, nor grieved because of poverty, – then this is human perfection.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. 19, No. 7, p. 219)

Here is a checklist you can use when thinking about the things you want to let go.

Our Relationship to God 

  1. turn our face towards the courts of the Lord
  2. recognize and love God
  3. attach our hearts to God
  4. advance towards God
  5. turn to the things that belong to God
  6. live in accordance with the teachings of God
  7. seek God’s pleasure and not our own
  8. trust God
  9. be faithful to God
  10. put our reliance on the remembrance of God
  11. take firm hold on the precepts of God
  12. rid ourselves of all attachment to any one save God
  13. cling to God
  14. stand as witness before God
  15. expect no help or aid from anyone but God
  16. supplicate and invoke God
  17. beseech God that nothing will tarnish the purity or embitter the sweetness of the grace which flows through us
  18. let the flame of the love of God burn brightly within our radiant hearts
  19. reflect the love of God on all men
  20. Stop doing anything that will deter us from beholding God’s face, or tempt us to follow the promptings of our evil and corrupt inclinations
  21. turn to His Messengers

 Imitation

  1. turn away from imitation and following the traces of our forefathers
  2. strip ourselves of old beliefs and past customs
  3. turn away from ancestral imitations and investigate reality
  4. cast away the veils of idle learning that are current amongst men

Possessions

  1. get rid of all desires
  2. ignore mortal riches
  3. stop letting our possessions possess us
  4. strip ourselves of the imperfections of the material world
  5. renounce the world and all that is therein

Prayer and Meditation

  1. rely on prayer
  2. ponder God’s words
  3. use the Hidden Words

Relationships

  1. quench the enmity and hatred which smoulders in our hearts
  2. shun those whose hearts are turned away from God
  3. stop meddling with the activities of those who are the world’s outward leaders

Thoughts

  1. separate ourselves from all thoughts
  2. turn away from idle fancies and vain imaginings
  3. turn away from satanic promptings
  4. turn away from ideas which degrade the human soul
  5. wash away every trace of pride
  6. don’t depend on circumstances to make us happy
  7. be untroubled by current events

 Virtues

  1. seek distinction in the pursuit of virtue and excellence
  2. have pure and sincere motives
  3. appreciate all things, good and bad 

Work, Teach and Serve

  1. engage in a profession and are self-supporting
  2. dedicate our lives for His service
  3. make all of our personal and material interests revolve around the Faith
  4. offer up our time, serve in a locality, give up the comforts of home, go pioneering, teach, be persecuted and even give up our lives
  5. give up the important for the most important
  6. use our interests in promoting spiritual pursuits
  7. teach
  8. lift up our voices and proclaim His Cause

 Other

  1. embrace tests and suffering
  2. use our eyes and ears
  3. shut our eyes to rest, quietude and the mortal life

Conclusion

Detachment doesn’t come easily, however.  It can be painful and time-consuming:

To rid oneself of these attachments is not easy. It can be a painful process and may indeed prove to be a spiritual battle which lasts a lifetime.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 1, p. 76)

It can involve sacrifice:

Becoming detached from the things of this world is often a painful process and involves sacrifice.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 22-23)

And perseverance:

His chief advice to you is perseverance without which, he strongly feels, no success is attainable. The difficulties in your way are undoubtedly manifold and not always easy to overcome. But provided you persevere, and face with courage, full faith and confidence such obstacles you can be sure of attaining the goal you have set yourselves to achieve.  Now is the beginning of your work. And as in the beginning of every task you are bound to meet all sorts of difficulties. The more you strive to overcome these, the greater will be your reward, and the nearer you will get to that glorious success which, as repeatedly promised by Bahá’u’lláh, must needs crown the efforts of all those who, whole-heartedly and with pure detachment, strive to work for the spread and establishment of His Cause.  (Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Bahá’í Community, p. 107)

And patience:

To sever oneself from the Kingdom of Names may prove to be the most difficult task for a Bahá’í, and the struggle may indeed last a lifetime.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 28)

But if we can achieve it, the benefits are many!

How has this helped you better understand this topic?  Post your comments below!

21 Benefits of Detachment

 

In previous articles we’ve looked at detachment or letting go of the things of the material world and some of the potential benefits we can achieve in this world by doing so.  Now we’ll turn our attention to the ways we can benefit from letting go here, when we get to the next world.  If you want to skip ahead to the end, I’ve made a list of them for you.

We want God to glorify us:

The only person who recognized Him and performed pilgrimage with Him is the one round whom revolve eight Vahids, in whom God hath gloried before the Concourse on high by virtue of his absolute detachment and for his being wholly devoted to the Will of God.  (The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 89)

We want to never be forgotten and our progress to be infinite:

Man must attach himself to an infinite reality, so that his glory, his joy, and his progress may be infinite. Only the spirit is real; everything else is as shadow. All bodies are disintegrated in the end; only reality subsists. All physical perfections come to an end; but the divine virtues are infinite. How many kings have flourished in luxury and in a brief moment all has disappeared! Their glory and their honor are forgotten. Where are all these sovereigns now? But those who have been servants of the divine beauty are never forgotten. The result of their works is everywhere visible. What king is there of two thousand years ago whose kingdom has lived in the hearts? But those disciples who were devoted to God – poor people who had neither fortune nor position – are to-day trees bearing fruit. Their banner is raised higher every day.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 137)

We want to quaff the wine of eternal life:

O SON OF PASSION!
Cleanse thyself from the defilement of riches and in perfect peace advance into the realm of poverty; that from the well-spring of detachment thou mayest quaff the wine of immortal life.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words 55)

We want a better condition and station in the next world:

How great the difference between the condition of these people and the station of such valiant souls as have passed beyond the sea of names and pitched their tents upon the shores of the ocean of detachment.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 57)

We want to attain true glory and honour:

To attain to true glory and honour, man should exercise justice and equity, forbear to act in an oppressive manner, render service to his government, and work for the good of his fellow-citizens. Were he to seek after aught else but this he would indeed be in manifest loss.  (’Abdu’l-Baha, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 344)

We want to inhale the holy fragrances diffusing from God’s merciful gardens:

When thou wilt purify and clarify thy spiritual nostrils from every worldly moisture, then thou wilt inhale the holy fragrances diffusing from the merciful gardens of these worlds.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 392)

We want the goodly and bountiful reward God has promised:

We, verily, have decreed in Our Book a goodly and bountiful reward to whosoever will turn away from wickedness and lead a chaste and godly life. He, in truth, is the Great Giver, the All-Bountiful.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 117)

We don’t want to be deprived of perpetual bounty and the fruits of God’s blessed Tree:

For it can clearly be seen that today most of the people have seized upon fleeting baubles and clung to defective goods, and have remained deprived of perpetual bounty and of the fruits of the blessed Tree.  (Shoghi Effendi, Majmu’ih-yi Matbu’ih-yi Alvah-i Mubarakih, ed. Muhyi’d-Din Sabri (Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1978), p. 346-36)

We want to be a seat of God’s revelation:

He hath chosen out of the whole world the hearts of His servants,” He explains, “and made them each a seat for the revelation of His glory. Wherefore, sanctify them from every defilement, that the things for which they were created may be engraven upon them. This indeed is a token of God’s bountiful favor.  (Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 31)

We want God to eternally live in us:

If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own; that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words 7)

We want spirituality and an exalted position:

It is because of this attachment that men have been deprived of essential spirituality and exalted position.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 123)

We want to be born into the light of the world of Divinity:

Material development may be likened to the glass of a lamp, whereas divine virtues and spiritual susceptibilities are the light within the glass. The lamp chimney is worthless without the light; likewise, man in his material condition requires the radiance and vivification of the divine graces and merciful attributes. Without the presence of the Holy Spirit he is lifeless. Although physically and mentally alive, he is spiritually dead. Christ announced, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” meaning that man must be born again. As the babe is born into the light of this physical world, so must the physical and intellectual man be born into the light of the world of Divinity.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 288)

We want to attain a supreme station, the habitation of transcendent holiness and sublimity:

At one time this sublime Word was heard from the Tongue of Him Who is the Possessor of all being and the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below — exalted is the glory of His utterance — : Piety and detachment are even as two most great luminaries of the heaven of teaching. Blessed the one who hath attained unto this supreme station, this habitation of transcendent holiness and sublimity.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 252)

Righteousness and detachment are like unto two most great lights for the heaven of teaching. Blessed is he who attaineth this high station.  (Baha’u’llah, The Individual and Teaching – Raising the Divine Call, p. 3)

We want to quaff the wine of immortal life:

O SON OF PASSION!
Cleanse thyself from the defilement of riches and in perfect peace advance into the realm of poverty; that from the well-spring of detachment thou mayest quaff the wine of immortal life.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words 55)

We want to receive the rich prize promised by God:

Blessed are they that have soared on the wings of detachment and attained the station which, as ordained by God, overshadoweth the entire creation, whom neither the vain imaginations of the learned, nor the multitude of the hosts of the earth have succeeded in deflecting from His Cause. Who is there among you, O people, who will renounce the world, and draw nigh unto God, the Lord of all names? Where is he to be found who, through the power of My name that transcendeth all created things, will cast away the things that men possess, and cling, with all his might, to the things which God, the Knower of the unseen and of the seen, hath bidden him observe? Thus hath His bounty been sent down unto men, His testimony fulfilled, and His proof shone forth above the Horizon of mercy. Rich is the prize that shall be won by him who hath believed and exclaimed: “Lauded art Thou, O Beloved of all worlds! Magnified be Thy name, O Thou the Desire of every understanding heart!”  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 34)

We want to attain God’s presence:

In another Tablet Bahá’u’lláh states that there are three barriers between God and man. He exhorts the believers to pass beyond them so that they may be enabled to attain His presence.   (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 35-36)

We want God’s ultimate grace:

Only he who is severed from the world shall achieve this ultimate grace, he who is a captive of divine love, empty of passion and self, from every aspect true unto his God, humble, lowly, supplicating, in tears, submissive in the presence of the Lord.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 242)

We want to reach the highest and innermost sanctuary of the inner meaning of the Word of God:

Please God, that we avoid the land of denial, and advance into the ocean of acceptance, so that we may perceive, with an eye purged from all conflicting elements, the worlds of unity and diversity, of variation and oneness, of limitation and detachment, and wing our flight unto the highest and innermost sanctuary of the inner meaning of the Word of God.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 160)

Summary

There are many potential benefits from letting go.  Some we’ll receive in this world, and others we’ll see in the next.  Any one of them would be worth letting go for; but the potential combinations are very compelling!  Hope you find some good ones below!

21 Potential Benefits in the Next World

  1. God will glorify us
  2. never be forgotten
  3. progress will be infinite
  4. quaff the wine of eternal life
  5. a better condition and station in the next world
  6. attain true glory and honour
  7. inhale the holy fragrances diffusing from God’s merciful gardens
  8. God’s goodly and bountiful reward
  9. perpetual bounty
  10. the fruits of God’s blessed Tree
  11. a seat of God’s revelation
  12. God will eternally live in us
  13. spirituality
  14. an exalted position
  15. born into the light of the world of Divinity
  16. attain a high station of transcendent holiness and sublimity
  17. quaff the wine of immortal life
  18. recieve the rich prize promised by God
  19. attain God’s presence
  20. God’s ultimate grace
  21. reach the highest and innermost sanctuary of the inner meaning of the Word of God

 Conclusion:

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if ‘Abdu’l-Baha could say this about each of us?

O thou who hast approached toward God!  Verily I have received thy letter and my heart was dilated by the content of thy expression, for it indicated the illumination of thy heart, the spirituality of thy soul, thy detachment from all the grades of this nether world and thy yearning after the effulgences of the Realm of Light.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 447)

Surely we all want these things!  Surely these benefits outweigh the things we think we want to cling to, from the material world!

What’s a change you’re going to make in your life after reading these articles?  Post your comments below!