The Secret To Discipline

BAHÁ'Í INSPIRED

The quotes

"Discipline of some sort, whether physical, moral or intellectual, is indeed indispensable, and no training can be said to be complete and fruitful if it disregards this element."

(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 152)

"Indeed if the friends could seek, and exert themselves, to become 100 per cent Bahá’ís they would see how greatly their influence over others would be increased, and how rapidly the Cause would spread. The world is seeking not a compromise but the embodiment of a high and shining ideal. The more the friends live up to our teachings in every aspect of their lives, in their homes, in business, in their social relationships, the greater will be the attraction they exercise over the hearts of others."

(Shoghi Effendi, Excellence in All Things)

"Make ye then a mighty effort, that the purity and sanctity which, above all else, are cherished by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, shall distinguish the people of Bahá; that in every kind of excellence the people of God shall surpass all other human beings; that both outwardly and inwardly they shall prove superior to the rest; that for purity, immaculacy, refinement, and the preservation of health, they shall be leaders in the vanguard of those who know. And that by their freedom from enslavement, their knowledge, their self-control, they shall be first among the pure, the free and the wise."

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 150)

"In man there are two natures; his spiritual or higher nature and his material or lower nature. In one he approaches God, in the other he lives for the world alone. Signs of both these natures are to be found in men. In his material aspect he expresses untruth, cruelty and injustice; all these are the outcome of his lower nature. The attributes of his Divine nature are shown forth in love, mercy, kindness, truth and justice, one and all being expressions of his higher nature. Every good habit, every noble quality belongs to man’s spiritual nature, whereas all his imperfections and sinful actions are born of his material nature. If a man’s Divine nature dominates his human nature, we have a saint. Man has the power both to do good and to do evil; if his power for good predominates and his inclinations to do wrong are conquered, then man in truth may be called a saint. But if, on the contrary, he rejects the things of God and allows his evil passions to conquer him, then he is no better than a mere animal."

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 60)

"It demands daily vigilance in the control of one’s carnal desires and corrupt inclinations. It calls for the abandonment of a frivolous conduct, with its excessive attachment to trivial and often misdirected pleasures."

(Shoghi Effendi: The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 30)

"One can hardly imagine what a great influence genuine love, truthfulness and purity of motives exert on the souls of men. But these traits cannot be acquired by any believer unless he makes a daily effort to gain them."

(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 1)

"In everything we do we should always try to attain a standard of excellence."

(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 609)

"When the individual arise with enthusiasm, with full dedication and consecration, and allows nothing to deter him; then results will be achieved."

(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 324)

"From early morning until dark, often more than eight hours on his feet, day after day and month after month he directed the work. It was certainly not his work to do this, but he was determined to ensure it was done not only quickly, but economically, and there was no one else with the will power and stamina it required to take his place. It was in ways such as this, with indefatigable determination and unflagging perseverance, that Shoghi Effendi made of the Holy Places at the World Centre what we see before us today."

(Rhiyyih Khánum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 243)

"What every believer, new or old, should realize is that the Cause has the spiritual power to re-create us if we make the effort to let that power influence us, and the greatest help in this respect is prayer. We must supplicate Bahá’u’lláh to assist us to overcome the failings in our own characters, and also exert our own will power in mastering ourselves. However, unfortunately, not everyone achieves easily and rapidly the victory over self."

(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 113)

"I one day asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá how it could ever be possible for me, deep in the mass of weak and selfish humanity, ever to hope to attain when the goal was so high and great. He said that it is to be accomplished little by little; little by little. And I thought to myself, I have all eternity for this journey from self to God. The thing to do is to get started."

(Howard Colby Ives, Portals to Freedom, p. 63)

"Suffering is both a reminder and a guide. It stimulates us better to adapt ourselves to our environmental conditions, and thus leads the way to self improvement. In every suffering one can find a meaning and a wisdom. But it is not always easy to find the secret of that wisdom."

(Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 434)

"Later in the month, Mrs. Tatum was talking with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and said, “I feel so dejected today. I am unhappy with myself.” The Master replied: this is a sign of progress. The person who is satisfied with himself is the manifestation of Satan and the one who is not satisfied is the manifestation of the merciful one. An egotist does not progress but the one who thinks himself imperfect will seek perfection for himself and will progress … The attainment of absolute perfection for a human being is impossible; thus, however much he may progress he is still imperfect and has above him a point higher than himself."

(Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 160)

"Be vigilant against temptation, but do not allow it to claim too great a share of your attention. You should concentrate, rather, on the virtues that you should develop, the services you should strive to render, and, above all, on God and His attributes, and devote your energies to living a full Bahá’í life in all its many aspects."

(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 363)

"The key to success in this endeavour is, firstly, to deepen your understanding of the Teachings of the Cause so that you will be able to apply them to the problems of individuals and society, and explain them to your peers in ways that they will understand and welcome; secondly, to strive to model your behaviour in every way after the high standards of honesty, trustworthiness, courage, loyalty, forbearance, purity and spirituality set forth in the Teachings; and, above all, to live in continual awareness of the presence and all-conquering power of Bahá’u’lláh, which will enable you to overcome every temptation and surmount every obstacle."

(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 634)

"The tests of God are very severe; you should beseech and cry unto Him that you may be firm and steadfast during all temptations."

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 647)

"Be thou hopeful and be thou happy and rejoiced. For I have supplicated and beseeched before the Threshold of the Almighty that thy wish may be realized, so thou mayest overcome the self and perform charitable deeds and that human perfections may appear from thee; that thou mayest be endowed with lofty gifts; find thy way to divine wisdom and show forth the manners and conduct of those who are favored in the Threshold of the Almighty."

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 545)