Posted by: samandal | September 27, 2009

Bahá’u’lláh, II

Díyáfat-i-Mashíyyat, the Feast of Will

In his Súratu’l-Haykal (Chapter of the Temple), Bahá’u’lláh describes his theophanic vision of the Húrí, a spiritual revelation in which he beheld a celestial Maiden: “While engulfed in tribulations I heard a most wondrous, a most sweet voice, calling above My head. Turning My face, I beheld a Maiden—the embodiment of the remembrance of the name of My Lord—suspended in the air before Me. Pointing with her finger unto My head, she addressed all who are in heaven and all who are on earth, saying: ‘By God! This is the Best-Beloved of the worlds, and yet ye comprehend not. This is the Beauty of God amongst you, and the power of His sovereignty within you, could ye but understand. This is the Mystery of God and His Treasure, the Cause of God and His glory unto all who are in the kingdoms of Revelation and of creation, if ye be of them that perceive.’” The Holy Maiden is the Self-Disclosure of God, the embodiment of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Revelation that rested upon Bahá’u’lláh.

“Burst thy cage asunder, and even as the phoenix of love soar into the firmament of holiness. Renounce thyself and, filled with the spirit of mercy, abide in the realm of celestial sanctity.”                                                                                 (Bahá’u’lláh: Persian Hidden Word, number 38)

The appearance of the Holy Maiden forms the visionary core of the Bahá’í revelation. Her presence is infused throughout the corpus of Bahá’í scripture as the Manifestation of God blends her voice with his own. Bahá’u’lláh is the lover, the Maiden his beloved; the divine feminine principle is placed at the very heart of the Bahá’í Covenant. The Holy Maiden is fully divine, yet God is the eternal unity through himself, and the Holy Maiden through God: “See the Countenance Divine! Behold the God-like Maiden!”

Accompanied by his wives, his eldest two children, and his brothers Mírzá Músá and Mírzá Muhammad-Qulí, Bahá’u’lláh arrived in Baghdád on 8 April 1853. Here he was later joined by his half-brother Azal, whose exoteric leadership of the Bábí movement he began to eclipse. Bahá’u’lláh decided to pursue the life of a lone Súfí dervish in the mountains of Kurdistan, and left Baghdád on 10 April 1854, accompanied by a single servant. He lived as a hermit in a cave at Sar-Galú, and later moved to the Khálidiyya Súfí center in Sulaymániyya at the invitation of its leader, Shaykh Ismá‘íl.

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