Days of Remembrance - Selections from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh for Bahá’í Holy Days.

Riḍván- 11 -

﴾ He is the Manifest, the Hidden, the All-Glorious, the All-Knowing, the Ever-Forbearing. ﴿

O Lord my God! Whensoever I attempt to unloose my tongue to extol the wondrous expressions of Thy transcendent oneness, or to open my lips to disclose the mystic gems of Thine incomparable handiwork wherewith Thou hast inspired me, I am compelled to recognize that all things sing Thy praise and glorify Thy remembrance—a remembrance which hath so pervaded the heavens and the earth that all things proclaim, in their very being, the wondrous testimonies of Thine exalted praise and bear witness to the marvellous tokens of Thy transcendent unity. Wherefore am I ashamed, as are all who mention Thee, to approach the exalted heights of Thy remembrance, and am powerless, as are all who extol Thee, to ascend unto the lofty summits of Thy praise.

Glorified, immeasurably glorified, art Thou! So exalted are the wonders of Thy bounty unto Thy creatures that Thou hast made all things to serve as a sign unto the mindful amongst Thy servants and as an admonishment unto the heedless amidst Thy people. Thy glory beareth me witness! They that are endued with true understanding can discern naught in all creation save the wondrous tokens of Thy matchless handiwork, nor behold aught else in the world of being but the hidden gems of Thine all-glorious sovereignty.

I swear by Thy glory, O my Best-Beloved! Whensoever I raise mine eyes to the heavens and witness their loftiness, I recognize naught therein but the wondrous heights of Thy supreme power and sovereign authority. And whensoever I turn my gaze towards Thine earth and observe the potentialities wherewith it hath been endowed, I perceive naught but the peerless signs of Thine immutable nature and abiding constancy. And whensoever, O my God, I behold the sea and its waves, methinks I hear the billowing ocean of Thy wealth and power. In the sun I discern naught but the marvellous splendour of the light of Thy hallowed countenance and presence, and in the wind I sense naught save the stirring breezes of Thy nearness and reunion. In the trees I behold only the revelation of the fruits of Thy wisdom and knowledge, and in their leaves I read but the pages of the books enshrining the mysteries of all that hath been through Thy command or will be through Thy power.

Glorified, then, be Thou, O my God! I am powerless, as are all those who enjoy near access unto Thee, to reckon the least sign of Thy creation, inasmuch as Thou hast made all things to mirror forth the manifestations of Thy handiwork and the revelations of Thy sovereign rule. Such being the bounds of powerlessness and poverty that confine me and all created things, how then can any soul ever hope to approach the portals of the sanctuary of Thy knowledge or conceive the least expectation of attaining the city of Thy transcendent glory? Glorified, immeasurably glorified, art Thou! From everlasting Thou hast been sanctified above the comprehension of Thy creatures, for this comprehension is naught but the product of such idle fancies as pertain to their own selves, while Thou hast remained, in the reality of Thine own Self, exalted above them and all that they possess, and beyond the grasp of all that are in heaven and on earth. There is none other God but Thee, the Almighty, the Incomparable.

Having acknowledged, O my God, with my soul, my tongue, mine essence, and with mine inner and outer being, all my trespasses, whose like mortal eyes have never beheld nor human minds conceived, I implore Thee to pardon me and Thy loved ones for whatsoever we have failed to observe of Thy laws and ordinances. Attire us then with the robe of forgiveness, O my God, in this Day whereon Thou hast assumed the throne of Thy grace and bounty invested with the full glory of Thy names and attributes; the Day whereon the sun of Thy beauty hath dawned above the horizon of Thy grandeur, and the signs of Thy glorious sovereignty have been vouchsafed from the treasury of Thy grace; the Day whereon the sweet savours of reunion have wafted over all who are in Thy heaven and on Thine earth, and the hidden Word hath shone forth from the repository of Thy protection and power.

I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast ordained this Day to stand unequalled amongst all the days of Thy world and unrivalled amidst all that Thou hast fashioned through Thy creative power. This is that primal Day which Thou hast singled out from among all other days, and exalted over all other times, and appointed as the King of Days unto all peoples, inasmuch as Thou didst manifest on this Day the tokens of Thy transcendent power and the evidences of Thy holy unity. Thou hast caused its radiance to surpass the splendour of the sun, the moon, and the stars, and to transcend the brightness of every lofty and glorious, every shining and brilliant light. Nay, Thou hast illumined this Day, O my Best-Beloved, with the very lights of Thine own inaccessible Being and with the full glory of Thine own exalted Essence.

Magnified, then, be this Day whereon Thou hast revealed unto all things the effulgent lights of Thy glorious unity and cast upon all creation the radiance of Thy sovereign and transcendent oneness, the Day whereon Thou hast lifted the veil of concealment from the countenance of Thy beauty; burned away, through Thy gracious favour, the shrouds of idle fancy blinding the eyes of the people; and summoned all to partake of Thy nearness and reunion. Immensely glorified be this Day whereon the oceans of splendour and grace have surged and the rivers of bounty and justice have flowed, a Day whereon Thy bounty hath attained such a degree that every stammering tongue hath celebrated Thy praise, every blind eye hath beheld the lights of Thy beauty, and every deaf ear hath hearkened unto the glorious strains of the Dove of Thy oneness.

On this Day the poor have been enriched through the wonders of Thine incomparable wealth, the abased have been exalted through the manifold revelations of Thy majesty and glory, the sinful have partaken of the wine of Thy forgiveness, the sick have quaffed from the waters of Thy gracious healing, the disconsolate have taken refuge beneath the shade of the tree of Thy hope and bestowal, and the destitute have attained the shores of the sea of Thy grace and favour.

Blind is the eye that faileth, on this Day, to behold Thee seated upon the throne of Thy sovereignty, or to witness Thine undisputed authority over all that Thou hast created to be the exponents of Thy names and attributes! Can any of Thy signs and tokens, O my God, be confounded with those that pertain to Thy creatures? Nay, by Thy glory! Whatsoever proceedeth from Thee and from Thy presence shineth as brightly as the noonday sun in the heaven of Thy justice, whilst all else, even though it be among the treasures of Thy creation or of the quintessence of Thy handiwork, fadeth into utter nothingness. And inasmuch as Thou hast assigned no partner unto Thyself, whatsoever is manifested from Thee hath likewise no peer or equal. And even though Thou hast shed upon all created things the effulgent lights of Thy sublime singleness, and nothing proceedeth from anything except it be manifested from Thee and be created at Thy behest, yet that which appeareth from Thine own Self excelleth and surpasseth all else in Thy heavens and on Thine earth, and thus the tokens of Thy glorious sovereignty are revealed before the eyes of men and Thy testimony is fulfilled before all creation.

Since Thy bounty hath suffused the whole universe and the lights of Thy countenance have illumined all created things, I beseech Thee by this Day, and by the hearts which Thou hast made to be the repositories of Thy knowledge and inspiration and the treasuries of Thy revelation and recognition, to grant that the signs of Thine undisputed ascendancy may shine above the horizon of Thy command, that the showers of Thy surpassing mercy may rain from the heaven of Thy grace, and that the tokens of Thy deliverance may appear through the operation of Thy sovereign Will. Thus may Thy friends be released from the clutches of Thy foes, and Thy loved ones delivered from the hands of the wayward among Thy servants, that they may extol Thee, O Lord, with ringing voices in the supernal realms of Thy names and worship Thee with their entire beings in the kingdom of Thine attributes. And thus may Thy Name be exalted, Thy testimony established, Thy proof vindicated, Thy favour completed, Thy bounty fulfilled, Thy verses promulgated, and Thy signs expounded, in such wise that the entire world may be filled with the light of Thy countenance and all dominion may be Thine alone. No God is there but Thee, the Omnipotent, the Almighty, the All-Powerful, the All-Compelling.

I entreat Thee, moreover, O my God, by Thy Name through which the Bird of the celestial Throne hath warbled in the Realm of the unseen the melodies of Thy transcendent unity, and the Dove of Thy Revelation hath sung forth in the Kingdom of eternity the paeans of Thy sovereign oneness, and the Holy Spirit hath magnified in wondrous tones Thine everlasting glory—I entreat Thee not to withhold from these servants the gentle breezes of the morn of Thy nearness and presence, nor to suffer them to be far removed from the sweet savours of the dawn of Thy reunion and recognition.

Grant, O my God, that this Festival may be a source of blessings for them and for all Thy loved ones. Supply them, then, with all the good Thou didst ordain in the heaven of Thy decree and purpose and in the Tablets of Thy protection and behest. Vanquish, then, O my God, in the course of this year, their enemies through the power of Thy wrath and of Thy resistless might, and ordain for them, O my God, all that I have asked of Thee and all that I have left unasked. Endue them, then, with such constancy in Thy love and in Thy Cause, that they may never break Thy Covenant nor violate Thy Testament to which they pledged themselves ere the creation of the heavens and the earth. Render them victorious through the most wondrous means that lie hid in the treasuries of Thy power and the repositories of Thy might, and grant them, O my God, to attain the Hour Thou didst promise them in Thy latter Resurrection through the appearance of the Manifestation of Thine all-glorious Self—for this in truth is the very object of their existence and the existence of all things, the cause of their creation and the creation of all things. Suffer them then, O my God, to submit to Thy will under all conditions. Verily, Thou art the Lord of grace and bounty, of endless bestowal and unfettered sovereignty. And Thou art verily the Most Exalted, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful.

I beg Thee moreover, O my God, by all the Exponents of Thy names and all the Revealers of Thine attributes, not to number these Thy servants with those who outwardly observe the Festivals associated with the advent of Thy Manifestation, who honour and glorify these days as beseemeth their means and abilities, and yet who remain shut out as by a veil from the One Who is, through His command and decree, the Author of these observances and of all else, for thus will all their works be rendered vain, even though they perceive it not.

I implore Thee, O my God, by the appearance of Him Whom Thou hast manifested in these days through Thy Name “He Who is Invoked”, and by His beauty, and His majesty, and the afflictions He hath been made to suffer, and His divine fragrances, and His sweet accents, and His grandeur, and His might, to grant that the eyes of Thy loved ones may be freed from the veils of ignorance and blindness and from the obscuring mists of doubt and wretchedness. Perchance they may fix their gaze upon the Tree of Thy Revelation and upon that which appeareth thereon of the wondrous leaves of Thine ancient eternity and the precious fruits of Thy holy unity, may take delight in them and in that which they contain of Thy hidden gifts and concealed knowledge, and may rid themselves thereby of attachment to aught else. This, verily, is but perfect grace and unalloyed blessing, and the very essence, origin, and ultimate abode thereof, for within the compass of Thy knowledge there is naught higher than this grace nor sweeter than this blessing. Thou, verily, art the King, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.