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The Baha'i Vision For Global Civilisation

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We remember many outstanding people's lives, services, and sacrifices every year. Among them is the prophet of the Baha'i Faith, known as the Bab, which means the gate.

During the six years of his divine mission, the Bab had convinced thousands throughout West Asia that according to the sacred scriptures of all past religions, he had come to prepare the way for the advent of Baha'u'llah, the promised one, who would manifest in 1863 and inaugurate an era of righteousness and peace, the era of the 'planetisation of humankind'.

Even a cursory review of the happenings and events of the past 150 years would convince a sincere seeker that tremendous power is released when a human being sacrifices something for the benefit of humanity motivated by the virtues of the Divine.

A practical example we observe in nature is a seed and the mighty tree. Not until a seed completely disintegrates under the soil can it produce a tree. It is then that an object as insignificant as a seed, by sacrificing itself completely, will be transformed into a mighty tree with branches, fruits and flowers.

The nearly eight-million-strong Baha'i community is acutely aware of the most perilous hour in human history. How should we address the grave civilisational crises? What is our purpose here on earth? Why did the Bab and the thousands who followed him without fear of persecution and death uphold the truth of His message? The history of humankind presents us with many soul-stirring episodes of supreme sacrifice. In like manner, the Bab responded to the organised forces of his enemies in Iran. Whether in the life of the individual or that of society, profound transformation calls for intense suffering.

Whatever our planet's future, Baha'is believe that human beings, the most intelligent of all living creatures, are part of the larger scheme of things as conceived by the Creator. There are five critical elements in the writings of the Bab and Baha'u'llah: (i) the oneness of humankind whereby all the peoples would have to shed their lesser identities and regard themselves as citizens of the world (ii) the rise of the feminine, namely the spread of women power who would successfully banish wars and conflicts (iii) the spiritualisation of technology that would enable individuals, institutions and communities to harness its full potential for the betterment of life on earth (iv) a new pattern of education that would allow for universal accessibility of knowledge, generation of new knowledge and its application for solving the manifold challenges now afflicting the globe (v) the emergence of global governance system whereby individuals serving on a wide range of institutions responsible for managing the affairs of the society, the nation, severally or collectively, would be true servants of humankind. To this end, Baha'is around the globe, in a wide range of settings, are striving, inviting their fellow human beings to build a spiritually and materially prospering world civilisation.

Authored by: Dr AK Merchant
The author is secretary, Baha'i Spiritual Assembly of Delhi NCT

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