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The observance of holy days occupies a central place in every religion. Through their commemoration, the calendar year becomes the stage on which the signal events associated with the life and ministry of the divine Manifestations of God are annually remembered and honoured. This remembrance has both a personal dimension, providing a time for reflection on the significance of these events, and a social dimension, helping to deepen the identity and foster the cohesion of the community.

The coming of each Manifestation of God brings renewal and revitalization: “old things are passed away” and “all things are become new”.[1] By His authority, former laws are abrogated and the manners and customs of the previous Dispensation are reformed. Through the creative power of Divine Revelation, fresh life is instilled into hearts and souls:

Reflect thou, how, in one hand, He hath, by His mighty grasp, turned the earth of knowledge and understanding, previously unfolded, into a mere handful, and, on the other, spread out a new and highly exalted earth in the hearts of men, thus causing the freshest and loveliest blossoms, and the mightiest and loftiest trees to spring forth from the illumined bosom of man.[2]

This re-creation and revitalization of all things is reflected in the introduction of a new calendar and the designation of new holy days which recast the rhythms of communal life.

The Bahá’í calendar, known as the Badí‘ calendar, was introduced by the Báb and subsequently confirmed by Bahá’u’lláh, Who fixed its commencement at the year of the Báb’s declaration, 1844 (A.H. 1260). As the Bahá’í Era was inaugurated by twin Founders, the Bahá’í Holy Days include events pertaining to the birth, declaration, and passing of both Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb. In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the principal repository of the laws of His Revelation, Bahá’u’lláh designates the two “Most Great Festivals”: Riḍván, “the King of Festivals”, commemorating the declaration of His prophetic mission during a period of twelve days, three of which are observed as Holy Days, and the Declaration of the Báb, the event that initiates the Bahá’í Era. Also named as festivals in that same Book are Naw-Rúz and the anniversaries of the Birth of the Báb and of Bahá’u’lláh. The anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Báb was commemorated as a Holy Day during the lifetime of Bahá’u’lláh, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá added the observance of the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh.

The present volume offers forty-five selections from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh revealed specifically for, or otherwise relating to, these nine Holy Days. The selections represent different revelatory modes, each reflecting facets of the greatness, the preciousness, and the peerless nature of this Day in which all the promises and prophecies of the past have been fulfilled—this sacred Day “whereon God hath made His own Self known and revealed it unto all who are in the heavens and on earth”. Some of the Tablets and excerpts presented in the volume are addressed to the body of Bahá’u’lláh’s followers and are expressed in a celebratory and uplifting tone, occasionally with repeated refrains, while others were revealed to individual believers, sometimes with a mention of the specific circumstances of their revelation or the names of the recipients. Many are among His best-known works and have long been familiar to readers of His Writings in the original languages.

Eight of the selections were previously translated by Shoghi Effendi and published in Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh and Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. A table listing these and other passages translated by Shoghi Effendi can be found at the end of the book. The remainder of the selections are, for the most part, published here for the first time in English. The current translations endeavour to afford a glimpse of the poetic tone of these celebrated Texts, even though they can never convey their full beauty.

It is hoped that this volume will uplift the hearts and souls of the followers of the Blessed Beauty throughout the world and will enrich the gatherings they hold in commemoration of those days that stand apart from all other days through their association with Him and His Herald.

巴孛诞辰

“上帝以唯一者的名义,出生在这个日子,**祂成为自己名号——大能者、博爱者——的先驱!”

此书简,乃我为那个夜晚所宣说。当晚之时,一束圣光点亮诸天与尘世,那光之辉煌惠及整个创造界。

天佑归于祢,那个夜晚啊!因为有了祢,上帝之日就此来临,我已命定这上帝之日成为:名号诸城之居民的救赎之灯、永生竞技场诸盟主的胜利之杯、整个创造界的欢乐与欣喜之源。

无量尊贵属于上帝——诸天的创造者,祂已使这日子宣说该圣名,借此圣名,虚幻之帷幕已撕碎,虚幻之迷雾已驱散,祂的名号——自给自足者——已破晓在笃信之地平线。经由祢,永生的佳酿已经启封,知识和话语之门已在尘世列族众民前敞开,至仁至慈者之微风已吹送至每个地区。所有的荣耀归于那时刻,在那时刻,上帝——那万能者、全知者、全智者——的宝藏显现于世了!

尘世与上天众灵啊!这是那第一个夜晚,上帝已命其为那第二夜晚的征象。在那第二个夜晚降生的祂, 任何赞美都无法恰当称颂、任何属性都无法准确描述。凡沉思这两个夜晚的人,有福了:确然,他将发现两者的外在实在与其内在本质的一致性;他将知晓珍藏于这天启里的神圣隐秘。凭借这一天启,误信之根基已摇动,迷信之偶像已打碎,宣告之旗帜已展开:“除祂之外别无上帝,祂是万能者,尊贵者,无双者,供给者,大能者,不可接近者。”

在这个夜晚,临在之芳香飘洒四溢;末日重聚之大门豁然打开,一切被造物激动呼喊:此王国属于上帝,那所有名号之主,祂已带着统御世界之威权来临!“在这个夜晚,上天众灵在欢庆,赞美他们的主,那尊贵者、至大荣耀者。神圣名号之实在称颂祂——本天启之始与终之王。凭借本天启之威能,众山岳奔赴于祂,那满足一切者、至高无上者;众心灵已转向他们挚爱者的尊容;众叶片已被渴望之微风吹拂,婆娑瑟瑟;众树木已欣然高声回应那无拘无束者的召唤;整个尘世因渴望与那永恒之王重聚而震颤;万物皆因那源自这大能圣名的隐秘圣言而新生。

普施者的夜晚啊!在你那里,我真真切切地见到了经书之母。然而,与其说这确实是一部经书的产生,还不如说这是一个婴孩的降生?非也,我自行见证!这些话言及的乃是名号王国,而上帝已经**这部经书置于万名之上;借此经书,隐匿的圣秘和珍藏的奥秘已显露。非也,以我生命为誓!所提及之一切,皆关乎属性王国,而经书之母超越其上;借此经书,已经出现的“万物非主,唯有上帝”的显示者们,也都超越一切属性王国之上。非也,尽管这些情况已向全人类宣布,而在你主看来,唯有祂的耳朵方能听见。那些忠实确信者,蒙福佑了!

在惊愕失声之下,至高之笔大声呼喊:“祢这万名之上的尊贵者啊!我恳求祢,借祢环绕天地的大能,勿让我来提及祢,因为我本身就是凭祢创造的力量而被创生。所有受造物都无力描述,那么,我又能怎能描述呢? 然而,我凭借祢的荣耀发誓,倘若我宣告祢所启迪我之事,整个创造界就会因欢乐与狂喜而消融;更不用说在这至为璀璨、至为尊贵和超凡绝伦之点,整个创造界在祢宣说之海的巨浪面前,会是何等的茫然无措!主啊,请勿让这颤抖的圣笔来赞美一个如此威严的尊位!请仁慈待我,我的拥有者,我的王啊!然后,在祢尊前,请忽略我的罪过。确然,祢是恩典之主,万能者,永恒宽恕者,至为慷慨者。“

(《九圣日》第12-15页)

巴哈欧拉诞辰

“祂是至圣者、至大者。”

在这个月份,至大圣名诞生了,祂的显现,令人类四肢震颤,上天众灵和名号之城的居民竞相寻找祂的步履之尘,以求福佑。于是,他们赞美上帝,欣喜若狂。上帝作证!正是凭借这个月份,其他月份才得以点亮。在此月,祂——那隐秘者,严守宝藏者——已经显示,已经高声召唤全人类。所有统治权属于这位新生儿,凭借祂,创造界的面庞笑逐颜开,树木摇曳舞动,海洋澎湃汹涌,山岳飞移迁徙,天堂之音恢宏弥散,岩石大声呼喊,万物高声惊呼:“创造界之众灵啊!你们当奔赴你主——仁慈者,悲悯者——的圣颜之破晓地!”

在这个月里,你主,那至仁至慈者的圣颜之光辉,已装饰至福的天堂圣地;天国夜莺在极界圣树上婉转鸣唱;挚爱者的心灵充满喜乐。哎!可众民啊,却多半懵懂无知。那认知、感悟上帝经书——大能者,普世赞美者——中所应许之事的人,蒙福了;那背离上天众灵已瞩目的那唯一者之人,有祸了,祂已打击每一个任性的误信者。

你一旦获此书简,当以甜美的旋律吟诵它,并说:赞美归于祢,我的至仁至慈的主啊,感谢祢在此书简中念记我。借此书简,祢知识衣袍之芳香,飘洒四溢;祢恩典海洋之波浪,汹涌澎湃。我见证:祢有能力行祢喜悦之事。除祢之外别无上帝,祢是大能者,全知者,全智者。

(《马伊迪-阿萨马尼》卷四,第24页)

巴哈欧拉诞辰

“祂是至圣者,至尊者,至大者。”

这个诞辰庆典来临了,祂乃上帝之圣美,万能者,万物驱策者,博爱者,祂已登上宝座。在这个日子里,达到祂尊前的,以及将注视上帝之眼朝向祂——救苦救难者、自给自足者——的人蒙福了。说吧:我们在至大监狱里庆祝这个节日,此刻,尘世之王都起来反对我们。然而,压迫者的统治力量从没能挫败我们,俗世之军也无法**我们胆怯。在此至高威严之境,至仁至善者对此见证。

说吧:尘世众民的喧嚣,会令确信之精华气馁吗?绝对不会,以祂的圣美为誓!祂的圣美倾洒光辉,普照已经存在和未来存在的万物。确然,这正是笼罩整个创造界的主的威权;这正是遍及一切能见与被见的创生物的非凡上帝之力。紧握祂统权大能的绳索,在这黎明时分——黎明的曙光已让所有隐秘展现——提及你的主,那位无拘无束者。因此,在这时日里,亘古常在之舌已开启,精心挑选之佳酿已启封。要谨慎,以防那些不信上帝者的虚妄臆想,让你心绪不宁;甚或他们的虚幻空想,阻止你行走这条已伸展的大道。

巴哈之民啊!当凭超脱之双翼,翱翔于你主——那至仁至善者的爱之苍穹。当如永存书简里所嘱咐,奋起助祂凯旋。注意勿与我仆人中的任何人争执;赐予他们上帝的馨香和圣言,因为,凭借它们的力量,所有人都将转向祂。在此日,仍然无视上帝的,必会在其醉生梦死的欲望中迷失,失去悟觉认知。凡满怀卑微与谦卑,将自己的面庞朝向主的经文之起端的,蒙福了。

你们应当奋起,**民众熟知其主,那大能者,那无拘无束者,已在经书中降下的内容。说吧:你们当敬畏上帝,莫要听从那些虚妄臆想,莫要行走在怀疑与邪恶路途上。你们当以光明之心,转向你们主——那万名拥有者的宝座。确然,凭借真理之力量,祂将佑助你们。除祂之外别无上帝,祂是大能者,至为慷慨者。

当至大圣洋在你们眼前展开,你们还会奔向区区池塘吗?你们当全心转向此洋,莫追随任何不忠的蒙骗者。如此,那只永恒之鸟才在我极界圣树之枝头婉转鸣唱。上帝作证!哪怕是其一段旋律,也足以令上天众灵狂喜,让他们超越名号之城的居民,超越朝朝暮暮围绕在祂王座的众仆。

如此,你主,那至仁至慈者的言辞之甘霖已从上天播撒。人们啊,亲近祂吧!远离那些徒然否认上帝已启示之经文的人,撇弃那些其主显示证据与证言仍不相信的人。

(《九圣日》第45-47页)

巴哈欧拉

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