Thursday, March 20, 2008

Celebrating Together

Tonight's sunset marks the end of the Baha'i Fast and the celebration of Naw Ruz, the Baha'i New Year. This year, there is a remarkable convergence of religions observing March 21 as a special or holy day. Christians are remembering the crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday; Muslims are celebrating Eid Milad-un-Nabi, the birth of the Prophet; Hindus and Sikhs are celebrating Holi, the festival of colors, Jews are celebrating Purim, and Baha'is are celebrating Naw Ruz, the New Year. Of course, it is also the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, the wonderful season of renewal when the Earth re-awakens yet again.

Because a vast portion of humankind is either solemnly commemorating or joyously celebrating a special spiritual event, it is also very fitting that March 21 also happens to be the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination .

In celebration of the new beginning to the year and also to the cycle of seasons, and in acknowledgment of the common world spiritual heritage being remembered right now, and most importantly, in grateful recognition of our close bonds as a human family and joyous celebration of our diversity, I offer the following selections from the writings of Baha'u'llah as drawn from the statement The Vision of Race Unity: America's Most Challenging Issue :

Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory

O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity has been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch.

The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.


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