A new version of the Bahá’í Reference Library is now available. This ‘old version’ of the Bahá’í Reference Library will be replaced at a later date.

The new version of the Bahá’i Reference Library can be accessed here »

Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
Go to printed page GO
Pages 73-74

Search After Truth

Bahá’u’lláh enjoins justice on all His followers and defines it as:—“The freedom of man from superstition and imitation, so that he may discern the Manifestations of God with the eyes of Oneness, and consider all affairs with keen sight.”—Words of Wisdom.
It is necessary that each individual should see and realize for himself the Glory of God manifest in the human temple of Bahá’u’lláh, otherwise the Bahá’í faith would be for him but a name without meaning. The call of the Prophets to mankind has always been that men should open their eyes, not shut them, use their reason, not suppress it. It is clear seeing and free thinking, not servile credulity, that will enable them to penetrate the clouds of prejudice, to shake off the fetters of blind imitation, and attain to the realization of the truth of a new Revelation.
He who would be a Bahá’í needs to be a fearless seeker after truth, but he should not confine his search to the material 74 plane. His spiritual perceptive powers should be awake as well as his physical. He should use all the faculties God has given him for the acquisition of truth, believing nothing without valid and sufficient reason. If his heart is pure, and his mind free from prejudice, the earnest seeker will not fail to recognize the Divine Glory in whatsoever temple it may become manifest. Bahá’u’lláh further declares:—
Man should know his own self, and know those things that lead to loftiness or to baseness, to shame or to honor, to wealth or to poverty.—Tablet of Tarazát.
The source of all learning is the knowledge of God, exalted be His Glory! and this cannot be attained save through the knowledge of His divine Manifestation.—Words of Wisdom.
The Manifestation is the Perfect Man, the great Exemplar for Mankind, the First Fruit of the tree of humanity. Until we know Him we do not know the latent possibilities within ourselves. Christ tells us to consider the lilies how they grow, and declares that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. The lily grows from a very unattractive-looking bulb. If we had never seen a lily in bloom, never gazed on its matchless grace of foliage and flower, how could we know the reality contained in that bulb? We might dissect it most carefully and examine it most minutely, but we should never discover the dormant beauty which the gardener knows how to awaken. So until we have seen the Glory of God revealed in the Manifestation, we can have no idea of the spiritual beauty latent in our own nature and in that of our fellows. By knowing and loving the Manifestation of God and following His teachings we are enabled, little by little, to realize the potential perfections within ourselves; then, and not till then, does the meaning and purpose of life and of the universe become apparent to us.