The moment that a Divine Prophet declares His mission is the most significant of all those in the history of our planet. One minute there is no Jewish religion, no Christian religion, no Hinduism or Islam, and the next minute, by the Command of God, these chapters in the one Divine Book begin. The handful of witnesses at that time cannot grasp the significance of what happened or what is to come.
The momentous Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh occurred in a glorious springtime garden called Ridván (which is pronounced rezz-von and means paradise), on an island in the Tigris River. Roses filled the air with perfume, and the music of birds was unceasing. Bahá’u’lláh stayed in a tent in that garden for 12 days during April 1863, while waves of visitors came to see Him and bid Him goodbye as He was sent on the next stage of exile from His native land. The thrill of the Declaration that He was God’s Promised One was mixed with the overwhelming sorrow of His departure to the farthest reaches of the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey.) It was a brief interlude in the 40 years of the persecution and imprisonment of Bahá’u’lláh. Each year Bahá’ís commemorate these joyous, significant days, the “Festival of God,” the beginning of the Faith.
About this Revelation, Bahá’u’lláh wrote: “This is the Voice of God, if ye do but hearken. This is the Day Spring of the Revelation of God, did ye but know it. This is the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God, were ye to recognize it.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 33)
“He called that time the “Divine Springtime,” the “Festival of God” when “all created things were immersed in the sea of purification,” “the breezes of forgiveness were wafted over the entire creation,” “the Day whereon the Tongue of the Ancient of Days hath spoken.” He said: “Look not upon the creatures of God except with the eye of kindliness and of mercy, for Our loving providence hath pervaded all created things, and Our grace encompassed the earth and the heavens.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 32)
“Attract the hearts of men, through the call of Him, the one alone Beloved. Say: This is the Voice of God, if ye do but hearken. This is the Day Spring of the Revelation of God, did ye but know it. This is the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God, were ye to recognize it. This is the Source of the commandment of God, did ye but judge it fairly.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 33)
To watch the 50-minute film Light to the World, about the life of Bahá’u’lláh and the impact of His teachings on people around the world, go to http://www.bahai.org/light-to-the-world/ or click HERE. This dvd is in the Washington County public library system.