-- provisional translation by Ahmad Sohrab
Glory is due unto God, the Discoverer, who, through one shower of the ocean of His Generosity, expanded the firmament of existence, begemmed it with the stars of knowledge and summoned the people to the most high court of perception and understanding!
This shower, which is the Primal Word of the Almighty, is sometimes called the Water of Life, for it quickens the dead souls in the desert of ignorance with the spring of intelligence. Sometimes it is called the First Emanation which appears from the Sun of Wisdom, and when it began to shine the first movement became manifest and known; then phenomena stepped into the arena of existence and these appearances were through the generosity of the Incomparable, the Wise One. He is the Knower, the Giver! He is sanctified and holy above every statement and attribute! The seen and the unseen fail to attain the measure of His understanding. The world of being and whatever has issued from it bears witness to this utterance.
Therefore, it has become known that the First Bestowal of the Almighty is the Word. The receiver and acceptor of it is the understanding. It is the First Instructor in the University of Existence and it is the Primal Emanation of God. Whatever has appeared is through the reflection of Its Light and whatever is manifested is the appearance of Its Wisdom. All the names originate in His Name and the beginnings and endings of all affairs are in His Hand.
You have asked regarding the heavenly Books: The pulse of the universe is in the hand of the skillful Physician. He diagnoses the illness and wisely prescribes the remedy. Every day has its own secret and every tongue a melody. The illness of today has one cure and that of tomorrow another. Look ye upon this day; consider and discuss its needs. One sees that existence is afflicted with innumerable diseases compelling it to lie upon the bed of suffering. Men who are intoxicated with the wine of self-contemplation prevent the wise Physician from reaching it. Thus have they made themselves and the world to suffer. They know not the ailment nor recognize the cure. They take the wrong for the right, the crooked for the straight, the enemy for the friend.
Hearken ye to the melody of this Prisoner! Stand up and proclaim! Perchance those who are asleep may awaken! Say, O ye dead ones! The generous Hand of the Almighty is passing around the Water of Eternal Life. Hasten ye and drink! Whosoever becomes alive in this day shall never die, and whosoever dies in this day can never find Life.
Ye have written regarding the language: Both Persian and Arabic are good, for that which one desires to gain from language is to attain to the meanings of the speaker and this can be accomplished in both. As in this day the Sun of Wisdom has appeared and shone forth from the horizon of Persia, the more you respect this language the better it is.
O Friend! When the Primal Word appeared in these latter days, a number of the heavenly souls heard the Melody of the Beloved and hastened toward it, while others, finding that the deeds of some did not correspond with their words, were prevented from the Splendors of the Sun of Knowledge.
Say, O ye sons of earth! The Pure God proclaims that which in this glorious day shall purify you from the stains of desire and enable you to attain to tranquility in My straight path and My manifest road. To be severed from attachment means to be separated from those things which occasion loss and lessen the grandeur of man. If the people of the world should attain to the Heavenly Utterances they would never be prevented from the Ocean of Divine Generosity.
The heaven of righteousness has no Star, and never shall have one, brighter than this. The first Utterance of the Wise One is this: O ye Sons of Earth! Turn from the night of foreignness to the shining of the Sun of Unity. This is that which shall benefit the people of the world more than aught else.
O Friend! The Tree of the Word has no better Blossom and the Ocean of Wisdom shall never have a brighter Pearl than this: O ye Sons of Intelligence! The thin eyelid prevents the eye from seeing the world and what is contained therein. Then think of the result when the curtain of greed covers the sight of the heart.
Say, O People! The darkness of greed and envy obscures the light of the soul as the cloud prevents the penetration of the sun's rays. Should one listen with the ear of intelligence to this Utterance, he shall spread the wings of freedom and soar with great joy toward the heaven of understanding.
When the world was environed with darkness, the Sea of Generosity was set in motion and Divine Illumination appeared so that the deeds were disclosed. This is the same illumination which is promised in the heavenly books. Should the Almighty desire the hearts of the people of the world, He will purify and sanctify them with the power of the Word, and will pour forth the Light of the Sun of Unity upon the souls to regenerate the world.
O People! The word must be demonstrated by the deed, for the righteous witness of the Word is action. The former without the latter shall not allay the thirst of the needy nor open the doors of sight to the blind.
The Heavenly Wise One proclaimeth: A harsh word is like a sword, but gentle speech is like unto milk. The children of the world attain to knowledge and better themselves through this.
The Tongue of Wisdom says: Whosoever possesses Me not, has nothing. Pass by whatever exists in this world and find Me. I am the Sun of Perception and the Ocean of Science. I revive the withered ones and quicken the dead. I am that Light which illumines the path of Insight. I am the Falcon on the arm of the Almighty; I bear healing in MY wings and teach the knowledge of soaring to the Heaven of Truth.
The Peerless Beloved says: The way of freedom is opened! Hasten ye! The Fountain of Knowledge is gushing! Drink ye! Say, O Friends! The Tabernacle of Oneness is raised; look not upon each other with the eye of strangeness. Ye are all the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch. Truly, I say, whatever lessens ignorance and increases knowledge, that has been, is and shall be accepted by the Creator.
Say, O People! Walk ye under the shade of the Tree of Righteousness; enter ye under the protection of the Tent of Unity. Say, O thou Possessor of Sight! The past is the mirror of the future; look and perceive. Perchance, after the acquirement of knowledge, ye may know the Friend and attain to His good pleasure. Today the best fruit of the Tree of Science and Knowledge is that which benefits mankind and improves his condition.
Say! The tongue is the witness of My Truth; do not pollute it with untruthfulness. The spirit is the treasury of My Mystery; do not deliver it into the hand of greed. It is hoped that in this Dawn the universe shall become illumined with the rays of the sun of understanding and knowledge, so that we may attain to the good pleasure of the Beloved and drink from the Ocean of Divine Recognition.
O Friend! As there were few ears to hear, so for some time the Pen has been silent in its own chamber and to such a degree that silence has preceded utterance. Say, O People! Words are revealed according to capacity, so that the beginners may make progress. The milk must be given according to the measure, so that the babe of the world may enter into the realm of grandeur and be established in the Court of Unity.
O Friend! We have seen the pure ground and cast the seed of knowledge. Now it depends upon the rays of the sun whether it burns up or is caused to grow. Say, today through the greatness of the Peerless, Wise One, the Sun of Knowledge has appeared from behind the covering of the Spirit and all the birds of the meadow of oneness are intoxicated with the wine of Understanding and are commemorating the Name of the Beloved. Happy is the one who finds this and becomes immortal.
- Baha’u’llah (Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 1, March 21, 1910)