The purpose of this website is to offer the essential verities of the Baha’i Faith, pointing to, we hope, a step on a reader’s spiritual quest. We dedicate these pages to a hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Baha’u’llah teaches that all the Divine Religions, those religions brought by a Manifestation of God, are of two parts:
the essential spiritual portion that is the same for all divine religions and unchanging, forever; and the secondary, or mundane, portion which deals with issues of society, wills, laws and ordinances, marriage, etc.
These foundations of the Religion of God, which are spiritual and which are the virtues of humanity, cannot be abrogated; they are irremovable and eternal, and are renewed in the cycle of every Prophet. (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 47)
The spiritual aspect of the Baha’i Faith, in common with all divine religions, begins with an intimate bond between a man and his Creator. Religion, by definition, is that bond:
Religion according to “… popular etymology among the later ancients (Servius, Lactantius, Augustine) and the interpretation of many modern writers connects it with religare ‘to bind fast’ (see rely), via notion of ‘place an obligation on,’ or ‘bond between humans and gods.’”
Before that bond can form, a man needs to become aware of his need for God. This need may not be recognized as a hunger for God, in fact it is more likely to be a distaste for the man’s own spiritual and moral condition. The man may come to hate his Self. This is often the first step to “hungering and thirsting after righteousness.” As the “seeker” comprehends his true unworthiness and his God’s overarching Love and Grace, the seeker will, often, cry out to his Lord, as the Lord and Master of him; thereby entering the bliss of servitude. Naturally, this process can take as many forms as there are seekers. However, without this aspect of the Faith, the Baha’i Faith has no spiritual foundation.
The essence of all religions is the Love of God, and it is the foundation of all the sacred teachings. (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 81)
Many Baha’is will say something to the effect — “That individual aspect is not necessary today, the Faith today focuses on community.” It may be true that the mighty spiritual aspects of the Baha’i Faith — being led and taught by the Spirit of God, the second birth or baptism in the Holy Spirit, etc. – are not emphasized these days, but the communal aspects — world unity, peace, etc. — cannot occur without the Spirit of God operating in the lives of individuals.
Those alone who are baptized by the Divine Spirit will be enabled to bring all peoples into the bond of unity. (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks)