Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Paragraph 39

The traditions established the fact that in all Dispensations the law of prayer hath constituted a fundamental element of the Revelation of all the Prophets of God -- a law the form and the manner of which hath been adapted to the varying requirements of every age. Inasmuch as every subsequent Revelation hath abolished the manners, habits, and teachings that have been clearly, specifically, and firmly established by the former Dispensation, these have accordingly been symbolically expressed in terms of 'sun' and 'moon'. "That He might prove you, which of you excel in deeds."[1]
[1 Qur'án 67:2.]

Here Baha'u'llah is showing us yet another aspect of the depth of meaning with Sacred Texts. He has already established that one meaning of the terms "sun", "moon" and "stars" are the divines in all the various Faiths. Now He is giving us another definition: that of prayer.

Every religion has some form of prayer, some way for people to commune with their Creator.

But, and here has been the kicker throughout history, they all do it differently. Some stand, some kneel, some raise their hands, others have their hands at their sides. The confusion, though, arises when some feel that the way they pray is the "correct" one. They confuse the form of the prayer for the state of prayer.

Prayer is an inner condition. It is a state of the soul. The way that we get to that state depends upon the individual. And when we achieve that state, when we immerse ourselves in the spirit of the prayer, then it feels as if our entire being is lit up. We feel that warmth and glow, as if our spirit was bathing in sunlight. We are recharged, spiritually, and we are more susceptible to the promptings of the spirit.

This is something that every Messenger of God has helped us learn.

Now, looking at that last line, Baha'u'llah quotes the Qur'an, and it is an interesting quote. It doesn't appear, to us at least, to have any direct bearing on the topic at hand. However, when we look at the next line verse in the Surih of Mulk, it reads, "[And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks?" This is the translation that seemed to really call attention to the idea of singularity in the sky. In other translations it reads, "Canst thou see any rifts", or "can you see any disorder".

When we refer this to the idea of prayer, we begin to see the consistency throughout all faiths. There is no division. They all refer us to prayer.

There are wonderful examples on YouTube about people of one faith praying like those of another. Of course, this is limited to a few sects, such as this Buddhist group (above) praying like Muslims, but still, it shows further consistency and crossover between the different faiths.

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