Tag Archives: Bahai community Aajax

Bahá’í view on Essential Relationship “The Individual and Society” Saturday Sept 23, 2017

Continuing with our efforts of raising awareness about the Bahá’í Faith and Bahá’u’lláh the founder of the Bahá’í  Faith , Ajax Bahá’í community would like to welcome our neighbors to another event this time focusing on some insights from the Bahá’í Faith . A presentation is planned as a public events on Saturday Sept 23, 2017,  from 2-4 PM, at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room). The program includes a short presentation and viewing of very short documentaries and then an open floor discussion and sharing of thoughts about this essential relationship “The Individual and the Society”.

“The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men.”— Bahá’u’lláh

Realization of the principle of the oneness of humanity is at once the goal and operating principle of Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation. Bahá’u’lláh compared the world of humanity to the human body. Within this organism, millions of cells, diverse in form and function, play their part in maintaining a healthy system. Similarly, harmonious relationships among individuals, communities, and institutions serve to sustain society and allow for the advancement of civilization.

 

The Individual and Society 

We are living today in a unique period in history. As humanity emerges from childhood and approaches its collective maturity, the need for a new understanding of the relationships between the individual, the community, and the institutions of society becomes ever more pressing.

The interdependence of these three protagonists in the advancement of civilization has to be recognized and old paradigms of conflict, in which, for example, institutions demand submission while individuals clamour for freedom, need to be replaced with more profound conceptions of the complementary roles to be played by each in building a better world.

To accept that the individual, the community, and the institutions of society are the protagonists of civilization building, and to act accordingly, opens up great possibilities for human happiness and allows for the creation of environments in which the true powers of the human spirit can be released.

One Human Family 

The conviction that we belong to one human family is at the heart of the Bahá’í Faith. The principle of the oneness of humankind is “the pivot round which all the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revolve”.

Bahá’u’lláh compared the world of humanity to the human body. Within this organism, millions of cells, diverse in form and function, play their part in maintaining a healthy system. The principle that governs the functioning of the body is cooperation. Its various parts do not compete for resources; rather, each cell, from its inception, is linked to a continuous process of giving and receiving.

Acceptance of the oneness of humanity demands that prejudice—whether racial, religious, or gender related—must be totally eliminated.

Public Event Sept 23, 2017, at Ajax Main Library

We are looking forward to seeing you at the event.

(Material referenced from the www. Bahai.org)

“Bahá’í view on The Life of the Spirit and Power of Prayer” Presentation Sunday Aug 20, 2017

 

Continuing with our efforts of raising awareness about the Bahá’í Faith and Bahá’u’lláh, Ajax Bahá’í community would like to welcome our neighbors to another event this time focusing on some insights from the Bahá’í Faith . A presentation is planned as a public events on Sunday Aug 20  from 2-4 PM, at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room). The program includes a short presentation and viewing of very short documentaries and then an open floor discussion and sharing of thoughts about the Bahá’í view on The Life of the Spirit and Power of Prayer.

“Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit…”— Bahá’u’lláh

Baha’u’llah’s Revelation affirms that the purpose of our lives is to know God and to attain His presence. Our true identity is our soul, whose free will and powers of understanding enable us to continually better ourselves and our society. Walking a path of service to God and to humanity gives life meaning and prepares us for the moment the soul separates from the body and continues on its eternal journey towards its Maker. 

The soul has its origin in the spiritual worlds of God. It is exalted above matter and the physical world. The individual has his beginning when the soul, coming from these spiritual worlds, associates itself with the embryo at the time of conception. But this association is not material; the soul does not enter or leave the body and does not occupy physical space. The soul does not belong to the material world, and its association with the body is similar to that of a light with a mirror which reflects it. The light which appears in the mirror is not inside it; it comes from an external source. Similarly, the soul is not in the body; there is a special relationship between it and the body, and together they form a human being.

There is a very special relationship between the soul and the body, which together form a human being. This relationship lasts only the span of a mortal life. When this ceases, each one returns to its origin, the body to the world of dust and the soul to the spiritual worlds of God. Having emanated from the spiritual realms, created in the image and likeness of God, and capable of acquiring divine qualities and heavenly attributes, the soul, after its separation from the body, progresses for all of eternity.

Bahá’u’lláh says:

“And now concerning thy question regarding the soul of man and its survival after death. Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty.”

 Bahá’u’lláh says:

“The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness. Whoso hath recognized the Day Spring of Divine guidance and entered His holy court hath drawn nigh unto God and attained His Presence, a Presence which is the real Paradise, and of which the loftiest mansions of heaven are but a symbol … Whoso hath failed to recognize Him will have condemned himself to the misery of remoteness, a remoteness which is naught but utter nothingness and the essence of the nethermost fire. Such will be his fate, though to outward seeming he may occupy the earth’s loftiest seats and be established upon its most exalted throne.”

Prayer helps us to advance towards God and not lose sight of our special destiny. This is why we should pray constantly that through the love of God our souls may develop and be strengthened, and that we may firmly walk the path of eternal happiness with steadfastness.

From the Baha’i writing we get a deeper appreciation for prayer here are few quotes:

There is nothing sweeter in the world of existence than prayer. Man must live in a state of prayer. The most blessed condition is the condition of prayer and supplication. Prayer is conversation with God. The greatest attainment or the sweetest state is none other than conversation with God. It creates spirituality, creates mindfulness and celestial feelings, begets new attractions of the Kingdom and engenders the susceptibilities of the higher intelligence.”

“In the highest prayer, men pray only for the love of God, not because they fear Him or hell, or hope for bounty or heaven … When a man falls in love with a human being, it is impossible for him to keep from mentioning the name of his beloved. How much more difficult it is to keep from mentioning the Name of God when one has come to love Him. … The spiritual man finds no delight in anything save in commemoration of God.”

“If one friend loves another, is it not natural that he should wish to say so? Though he knows that that friend is aware of his love, does he still not wish to tell him of it? … It is true that God knows the wishes of all hearts; but the impulse to pray is a natural one, springing from man’s love of God.”      Abdu’l-Bahá

Since our purpose is to know God and develop our capacities through the teachings and guidance provided by His Manifestations and Divine educators who appeared at various times in the history of mankind, it becomes our duty to investigate and recognize the Divine Educator of our time. We also need to pray with absolute sincerity for God to show us the right path. Bahá’u’lláh  declared that He is that Manifestation of God, that Divine Educator which was promised in all the scriptures of the past and all prophecies were fulfilled by His coming and his teachings and guidance are the remedy needed so desperately for the world today.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the event.

“Bahá’u’lláh – Promised One of All Ages” Presentation Sunday June 4, 2017

Bahá’u’lláh: The Promised One of All Ages

Continuing with our efforts of raising awareness about the Bahá’í Faith and Bahá’u’lláh, Ajax Bahá’í community would like to welcome our neighbors to another event this time focusing on the person of Bahá’u’lláh. A presentation is planned as a public events on Sunday June 4 from 2-4 PM, at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room). The program includes a short presentation and viewing of very short documentaries and then an open floor discussion and sharing of thoughts about the person of Bahá’u’lláh (The Glory of God), Manifestation of God for our time.

Bahá’u’lláh announced in 1863 that He was God’s Messenger for this age. His teachings and sacred writings are the basis of the Bahá’í Faith. Bahá’u’lláh claimed that His Divine Mission is to bring about the spiritual rebirth and the unity of mankind. He promised that this would lead to the establishment of permanent world peace and to the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Bahá’u’lláh has attracted millions of adherents from every part of the globe; He has provided laws and teachings on how to realize His vision; and His followers are laboring everywhere to bring it about.

Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, Outside Akka, Israel.
Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, Outside Akka, Israel.

Each Messenger builds upon the Messages of Those gone before, leading us to new spiritual heights and bringing social teachings designed for that particular age,  Bahá’u’lláh said:

“For every age requireth a fresh measure of the light of God. Every Divine Revelation hath been sent down in a manner which befitted the circumstances of the age in which it hath appeared.”

“Every one of them is a mirror of God, reflecting naught else but His Self, His Beauty, His Might and Glory, if ye will understand.”

The Hindu scriptures describe it thus:

“Whenever there is a decay of righteousness, then I Myself come forth… for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.”

All the Messengers in the past have promised that a great World Teacher would appear who would bring an age of peace to mankind. Sometimes they refer to this as the return of their own spirit, sometimes it sounds like another person, as in this from the Christian scriptures:

“I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you unto all truth…”

Many smaller tribal religions also have prophecies of a great World Teacher.

To Bahá’í s it is the same spirit, the spirit of God, which animates them all. Bahá’ís believe that Bahá’u’lláh fulfilled all the promises and prophecies of the past when He arose in Persia in the last century and announced His Message to mankind. Bahá’í s believe that the same spirit which was in all the Messengers is in Bahá’u’lláh.

“The Revelation, which from time immemorial, hath been acclaimed as the Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures.”     Bahá’u’lláh

The Bahá’í writings explain the station of Bahá’u’lláh as follows:

“To Israel He was neither more nor less than the incarnation of the ‘Everlasting Father,’ the ‘Lord of Hosts’… to Christendom Christ returned ‘in the glory of the Father’, to Shi’ah Islam the return of the Imam Husayn; to Sunni Islam the descent of the “Spirit of God”; to the Zoroastrians the promised Shah-Bahram; to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Buddhists the fifth Buddha (Maitreya, the Buddha of universal fellowship).”

Public Event June 4, 2017, at Ajax Main Library
Public Event June 4, 2017, at Ajax Main Library

 

The name Bahá’u’lláh means ‘the Glory of God’ or ‘Glory of the Lord’. This title is mentioned in many prophecies: “To Him Isaiah, the greatest of the Jewish prophets, had alluded as the ‘Glory of the Lord’, the ‘Everlasting Father’, the ‘Prince of Peace’, the ‘Wonderful’, the ‘Counsellor’.”

We are looking forward to seeing you at the event.

Community Building Concept – A Baha’i Perspective Presentation April 2, 2017

All across Canada, individuals are engaged in a process to advance their spiritual, social and intellectual development and to contribute to the development of their communities.

The activities at the heart of this process are meetings that

Public Event April 2 2017, at Ajax Main Library
Public Event April 2 2017, at Ajax Main Library

strengthen the devotional character of the community, classes that nurture the tender hearts of children, groups that assist junior youth to navigate through a crucial stage of their lives, and study circles that foster the understanding and application of the Baha’i teachings to individual and collective life.

These activities are offered by Bahá’í communities around the world and they involve people of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of religion, who share a common purpose: to promote the welfare and wellbeing of the whole

“The Path Home” is a documentary film commissioned by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada to honour all those who have helped the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in meeting its noble purpose over the past six years.

 

"The Path Home documentary"
“The Path Home documentary”

 

The reflections in the film touch on spiritual insights that we offer with humility as a small contribution to furthering the processes of truth and reconciliation currently underway in Canada.

(Content from Building community website of Baha’i community of Canada)

“Bahá’í Vision of Society – Oneness of Humanity” Presentation March 18, 2017

This is one more in series of public events that our community is offering this year to our neighbors in Ajax.  The event is on Saturday March 18  from 2-4 PM, at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room). The program includes a short presentation and viewing of very short documentaries and then an open floor discussion and sharing of thoughts on such a profound subject.

A fundamental teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is the oneness of the world of humanity. Addressing mankind He says: “Ye are all leaves of one tree and the fruits of one branch.”

“..In the eyes of the Creator all His children are equal; His goodness is poured forth on all. He does not favor this nation nor that nation, all alike are His creatures. This being so, why should we make divisions, separating one race from another? Why should we create barriers of superstition and tradition bringing discord and hatred among the people?

The only difference between members of the human family is that of degree. Some are like children who are ignorant, and must be educated until they arrive at maturity. Some are like the sick and must be treated with tenderness and care. None are bad or evil! We must not be repelled by these poor children. We must treat them with great kindness, teaching the ignorant and tenderly nursing the sick.

Public Event March 18 2017 at Ajax Main Library
Public Event March 18 2017 at Ajax Main Library

Consider: Unity is necessary to existence. Love is the very cause of life; on the other hand, separation brings death. In the world of material creation, for instance, all things owe their actual life to unity. The elements which compose wood, mineral, or stone, are held together by the law of attraction. If this law should cease for one moment to operate these elements would not hold together, they would fall apart, and the object would in that particular form cease to exist. The law of attraction has brought together certain elements in the form of this beautiful flower, but when that attraction is withdrawn from this centre the flower will decompose, and, as a flower, cease to exist.

So it is with the great body of humanity. The wonderful Law of Attraction, Harmony and Unity, holds together this marvelous Creation.

As with the whole, so with the parts; whether a flower or a human body, when the attracting principle is withdrawn from it, the flower or the man dies. It is therefore clear that attraction, harmony, unity and Love, are the cause of life, whereas repulsion, discord, hatred and separation bring death.

We have seen that whatever brings division into the world of existence causes death. Likewise in the world of the spirit does the same law operate.

Therefore should every servant of the One God be obedient to the law of love, avoiding all hatred, discord, and strife. We find when we observe nature, that the gentler animals group themselves together into flocks and herds, whereas the savage, ferocious creatures, such as the lion, the tiger, and the wolf, live in wild forests, apart from civilization. Two wolves, or two lions, may live amicably together; but a thousand lambs may share the same fold and a large number of deer can form one herd. Two eagles can dwell in the same place, but a thousand doves can gather into one habitation.

Man should, at least, be numbered among the gentler animals; but when he becomes ferocious he is more cruel and malicious than the most savage of the animal creation!

Now Bahá’u’lláh has proclaimed the ‘Unity of the World of Mankind’. All peoples and nations are of one family, the children of one Father, and should be to one another as brothers and sisters! I hope that you will endeavour in your lives to show forth and spread this teaching.

Bahá’u’lláh said that we should love even our enemies and be to them as friends. If all men were obedient to this principle, the greatest unity and understanding would be established in the hearts of mankind.”

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, Pages: 138-140)

 

“Why all religions are one?” A Bahá’í perspective presentation on Feb 25

This is one more in series of public events that our community is offering this year to our neighbors in Ajax.  The event is on Saturday Feb 25 from 2-4 PM, at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room). The program includes a short presentation and viewing of very short documentaries and then an open floor discussion and sharing of thoughts on such a profound subject.

Public event on Saturday Feb 25, 2017 at Ajax Main Library
Public event on Saturday Feb 25, 2017 at Ajax Main Library

Bahá’ís around the world are engaged in raising awareness about this fundamental principle of their belief that all religions are one in reality and all come from the  one source. What humanity desperately needs to find today is that unifying vision of our future society and the nature and purpose of our lives.  Bahá’ís believe that such a vision unfolds in the writings of Bahá’u’lláh.

“He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body.”— Bahá’u’lláh

In every corner of the world,  Bahá’ís shoulder to shoulder with their friends and neighbors inspired by these writings  work together to improve their lives and contribute to the advancement of their communities.

This event is free and open to all.

Showing of Documentary film:“The Bahá’ís”

As part of an on going effort to introduce who Baha’i’s are? how do they contribute to the betterment of their society? and how do they put Baha’ullah’s teaching in to practice  in their daily lives through community building activities?, the Baha’i’s community of Ajax has planned a series of ongoing monthly public events at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room).

The event on Saturday Jan 28 from 2-4 PM,  is a short one hour documentary that asks viewers to consider a different perspective on religion than the one portrayed in the mainstream media. The film follows an intriguing set of individuals as they help to build peaceful, just and unified communities.

Religion is often portrayed in mainstream discourse as having little relevance to the modern world. It is considered naïve, divisive, even dangerous. At best, it’s something to be kept private.

Public event on Saturday Jan 28, 2017 at Ajax Main Library
Public event on Saturday Jan 28, 2017 at Ajax Main Library

However, in villages and cities, on farms and in indigenous populations across the globe, a small but growing number of people are putting into practice spiritual teachings that they believe are not only relevant to the future of our world, but absolutely vital if we are to overcome historic divisions of gender, race, religion and politics.

“The Bahá’ís” is produced in association with Vision TV.

The event is open to all and admission is free.

What is Devotional Gathering?

What is a Devotional Gathering? What should I expect if I am invited to one?

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 A regular gathering of people from all faiths and backgrounds who come together in a locality to share prayers and worship. Often held in homes in a neighborhood. Devotional gatherings are considered an essential practice of the spiritual wellbeing of a community, and follow NO set form or rituals.

Bahá’ís and friends get together, often in their homes, in an atmosphere of joy and peacefulness, to read and meditate on inspiring teachings from the religions of the world. Each gathering has its own character, and may involve music or the arts if the host so chooses, but the underlying purpose is the same: to commune with the sacred and increase the devotional character of our homes and neighborhoods.

Every human being has a longing at the core of his/her heart to commune with its Maker. Collective worship in a diverse setting engenders spiritual susceptibilities, hence a more healthier and  united community.

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  • The purpose is to strengthen the neighborhood by focusing on friendship and unity.

Bahá’ís around the world are engaged in local grass-roots experiments in devotional gatherings. Devotion, prayer, meditation, and reflection lie at the heart of spiritual life. It is the main cornerstone block of community building activity.

There is no set form for such gatherings. There are no dogmas or rituals. These devotional gatherings are open to all and are intended to embrace that attitude of prayer and devotion that is universal to all religions. Music is often a component in the gatherings.

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People are welcome to simply sit, meditate and enjoy the spiritual atmosphere, or participate by reciting some of the readings or prayers. It may include reflection on the readings and normally ends with socialization and refreshments.