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“The Chairman thanked the speakers and summed up the proceedings, saying that the Bahá’i teachings were really beautiful and worth
practicing though very difficult to adopt.
“The meeting, on the whole, was successful and it is hoped that the town will be opeoed to the Faith in the near future.
“LAHoai—Prof. Pritam Singh was invited to be present at the Jubilee Celebra tion
of the head of the Qadian Movement, Moulvi ‘Abdu’lláh Vakil of Srinagar, who was also in Lahore, accompanied Prof.
Pritam Singh. Both of them were treated as the honored guests of the Khalif a and met many to whom they gave the
“M. ‘Abdu’lláh is engaged in teaching the Faith in Lahore. He may visit some Mofassil towns also.
“During January Prof. Pritam Singh visited Hoshiarpur at the invitation of one of the professors of that place.
Hoshiarpur is about four hours’ train journey from
THE BAHA’I WORLD
Lahore and has two colleges. To the students of one of the colleges he gave a talk in English on
Religion of the Future.
interesting discussion followed. A copy of
Bahd’u’llcih and the New Era
in Hindi was presented to the College Library.
“At the request of Principal Mul2ammad Ibrahim M. A., of the Multan Government College Prof. Pritam Singh addressed the College
on the subject of
‘Religion and Youth.’
A public lecture was also given at the Theosophical Lodge on February 29, with the
President of the Lodge in the Chair. About 200 persons were present. The subject of the talk was
theme developed by the Professor was that all the links in the long chain of Prophets—Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Jesus and
Mubammad—were equally important and no one could break the chain by presenting one of these Prophets to the exclusion of others.
This point of view was given to prepare every one to receive the Message of Bahá’u’lláh which was suited to the requirements of this
age and was therefore universal.
“Prof. Pritam Singh was invited by the Literary Circle of the Prince of Wales’s College, Jammu, to address a pubhc meeting, the
‘Religion of the Future.’
“The Bahá’is of Lahore have been meeting regularly for the study of comparative religion. Mr. ‘Abdu’lláh of Kashmir enlightened the
group on the teachings of Islam in the light of the Bahá’i Faith. Many Hindu Friends have become interested.”
TRAVELS OF MARTHA
“The teaching tour undertaken by our beloved sister Miss Martha L. Root from October, 1937, to December, 1938, has partly been
described in the BAHA’i
Vol. VII, and her visit to Northern India universities and colleges is being reproduced elsewhere in
this volume. She traveled from Colombo in the South to Srinagar in the North, and from Peshawar, the outpost city of the British
Empire in the West, to Calcutta and Burma in the East. All the big towns in India were visited by her and in colleges and universities
and in conferences and societies such as the Theosophical Society, the Brahmo Samaj
and the Arya Samaj and before Muslim Institutes, the Message of Bahá’u’llih was proclaimed and illuminating lectures
on subjects like Culture and World Peace and What the Bahd’I Faith Can Do for Poverty were delivered. In Indian
States like Hyderabad (Deccan), Travancore, Jammu and Kashmir, Rampur, Patiala and Indore were visited and almost
every university center such as Lahore, Delhi, Allahabad, Lucknow, Benares, Algra, Patna, Calcutta, Madras, Bombay,
Mysore and Shantineketan (Tagore’s University) was visited and at some of the lectures Judges of the High Court,
distinguished publicists, Vice-Chancellors of universities, eminent professors, and heads of religious organizations
presided and thousands of students received the Teachings with a sense of joy and gratefulness. The whole of the
intelligentsia of this country heard the Teachings through these lectures and through pamphlet literature and through the
leading daily newspapers (English as well as vernacular) of India and Burma which reached millions of literate people
in our country. Thus a great publicity was given to the Cause during these two years all over India and Burma and well
written articles were contributed by able writers to the well-known Indian Magazines like the Flindustan Review, the
Aryan Path, the Tnveni, the Twentieth Century, the l7iswab- harati, the Rangoon Times, the Advance, the Bombay
Sainachar, the Karachi Daily News, etc., etc.
“Similar work was done by Mrs. Shirin K. Fozdar. She toured South India, that is, Madras, Hyderabad (Deccan) and
Mysore and then went to Burma where she did splendid work. In her second tour she was accompanied by her husband
Dr. K. M. Fozdar and they both joined Miss Martha Root at Madras and traveled with her to Ceylon and Travancore.
Dr. Fozdar returned after some time and the two sisters continued their splendid work in these parts of India as the
Guardian had wished that the N. S. A. of India and Burma should give their attention to the South where there is as yet
“Prof. Pritam Singh made his usual tours of the university towns and delivered lectures and answered questions. He is a
known figure in these circles and his lectures make good impression upon his hearers. He also toured to Kashmir to
follow up the work of another teacher who had preceded him to that State.
“For the first time in the history of the Cause in India, the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir was opened up at first by
Mr. 1sf andiar K. B. Bakhtiari of Karachi in 1937, followed by a visit by Miss Martha L. Root in 1938 and the follow-
up work was done by Prof. Pritam Singh. This valley is visited every summer by thousands of people from all parts of
the world and some Bahá’i friends are going to settle there, in connection with the Six-Year Plan of Teaching, to
continue the teaching work. We have already a good group of firm believers here which we hope will evolve into an
Assembly in the near future.
“During her tour of more than one year, wherever Miss Martha Root went, she enlisted the aid of the Press. She met
everywhere the journalists and editors of newspapers who very willingly published long
and glowing articles about the Divine Teachings. In India, Burma, and Ceylon there was not a single paper of note that did not devote
some considerable space for the Bahá’i articles. It was the same with the tours of Mrs. Shirin Fozdar, Prof. Pritam Singh and Mr.
“Miss Martha L. Root rendered a great service to the Cause by publishing that wonderful book in Karachi (India) namely,
which was presented to all the libraries in India and Burma and also to some distinguished
personages whom she met in her teaching tours. This book has been very well received all over the country and read with the deepest
interest. It has made indelible impression on some minds as is evidenced from letters that are received from those who have read it.
BAHA’i SUMMER SCHOOL
“One of the forward steps that the believers of these parts took during the years under review was the starting of the Summer
Recently completed portion of the Uairatu’l-Quds of ‘Iraq, situated in Baghdad.
THE BAHA’t WORLD
School. As India is a vast country and it was not possible to have more than one such school, it was decided by the N. S. A. to hold it
yearly at different places. The first school was held at Simla during September, 1938. It was blessed with the presence of our beloved
sister Miss Martha L. Root. The school was a grand all-round success far beyond the expectations of its promoters. A full program of
study of the Holy Books was carried out. Evening lectures were held in public halls and a day was set apart for an outing. The
presence of beloved Miss Root inspired the youth who had joined the school and they were greatly benefited. A full report of the
school will be found elsewhere in this volume.
“The second Bahá’i summer school opened in Karachi during September, 1939, for ten days. Owing to disturbed international
situation the attendance from other Assemblies was very poor but the friends of Karachi, especially the youth of the place, evinced
great interest and were greatly benefited. They asked intelligent questions and the discussion that followed each lesson was greatly
and other Bahá’i literature was studied. A course of lectures on
comparative religion was also delivered. Public lectures were delivered in the Theosophical Hall and at Sarnagati Flail. The school
this year was decidedly an improvement on last year’s effort and it is
June, 1939, the American National Spiritual Assembly decided to establish a National Office, or Haziratu’l-
Quds, adjacent to the Bahá’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois.
This action had been under consideration for one or two years, in response to the statement made by the Guardian in
Adhkár, as well as under the pressure of a rapidly increasing schedule of work. The time had come for a National
Spiritual Assembly coordinating the affairs
hoped that the institution will in time become the Great School—the universal nucleus—which will send out trained Bahá’i teachers to
spread the Divine Faith of Bahá’u’lláh throughout the length and breadth of India, Burma and Ceylon.”
“In addition to the
which is published from Bombay in Urdu and Persian every month we published the
translations of some books in the vernaculars of the country. Mandalay Assembly rendered the Obligatory Prayer with some other
prayers into Burmese. Hindi and Sindhi versions of
Bahci’u’lldh and the New Era
were published and extensively presented to the
libraries of the province to which the language belonged. The Urdu version of
was published and was
presented to most of the libraries keeping Urdu hooks. The pamphlet
was published in English, Urdu,
Hindi and Tamil and was freely distributed during the teaching tours of Miss Martha Root, Mrs. Shirin Fozdar and other teachers. The
was republished in English and was freely distributed. Miss Martha Root published in pamphlet form
What the BahcI’I Faith Can Do for Poverty.”
There are now six different language editions of Dr. Esslemont’s
Bahd’u’lldh and the New Era
in print in India and Burma.
of more than ninety local communities, some thirty national committees and the programs of four schools, as well as the great House
of Worship itself, to consolidate its internal functions and symbolize its responsible character by maintaining a suitable headquarters.
Through the generous donation of the Wilhelm property in West Englewood the Assembly in recent years had been provided with
facilities for its own meetings, the work of its Treasurer and storage for its records. Other facilities were maintained elsewhere in
accordance with the residence of its officers.
The headquarters available at Wilmette
IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE BAHA’t COMMUNITY OF NORTH
CURRENT BAHA’I ACTIVITIES
consisted of the studio constructed by Mr. Louis Bourgeois, Temple architect, with the consent of the Assembly, on Temple land
where he would be most conveniently located for completing the working drawings and supervising the building operations. The
architect, however, died before the construction of the superstructure began in September, 1930, and under the terms of the agree,ment
the Temple Trustees had the option of purchasing the studio or requesting its removal from the grounds. The studio was purchased
from Mrs. Bourgeois, and for some years had been serving the Temple construction and maintenance.
On October 1, 1939, the office of the Secretary was transferred from New York to this site, and arrangements were made shortly
thereafter for the similar transfer of the Treasurer’s office to ‘Wilmette.
On January 20, 1940, was held the first meeting of the National Spiritual Assembly in its Haziratu’l-Quds, and its members, together
with Bahá’is attending a regional teaching conference in Foundation Hall, conducted a special gathering for the dedication of the
conjunction of the institutions of the Uaziratu’l-Quds and the Mashriqu’lAdhkár.
The intention, communicated to the Guardian when adopted in June, 1939, brought forth a most gratifying approval. On October 3,
1939, the Assembly received the following message by cablegram:
“Hail historic act signalizing auspicious conjunction (in) heart (of) North American continent (of the) institutions (of) Uairatu’l-Quds
(and) Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, (the) twin foci (of) steadily evolving American Bahá’i community life. (The) former henceforth regarded
(as) national Seat upon which all administrative channels (of) Bahá”s activity must increasingly converge. (The) latter permanently
recognized (as) ordained Source from which rays (of) spiritual guidance will radiate. Upon (the) vigorous, constant inter-action (of
the) dynamic forces which these complementary institutions embodying administrative machinery and incarnating (the) Soul (of the)
Bahá’i community can release (the) effectual prosecution (of the) Seven Year Plan as well as (the) success (of) ultimate ‘World Mis-
sion unquestionably depends. May (the) community responsible (for the) establishment (of) these nascent institutions progressively
contribute (to) acceleration (of) their growth and derive fullest benefit (from) their eventual fruition.”
Later, through his Secretary, in a letter dated February 27, 1940, the Guardian outlined the functions of the new central office:
“While the National Office in Wilmette, designated by the Guardian as Uaziratu’lQuds, is primarily an administrative center, its use
should by no means be confined to purely administrative work, but should include such activities of a social and intellectual character,
both local and national, as can best establish its character as the foremost teaching and administrative center of the Faith throughout
“In the conduct of any social activity at the National Office, however, great care should be taken to maintain strictly the dignity of the
place, particularly in view of its proximity to the House of Worship, which makes it doubly essential for all the believers to conform to
the standards of conduct, and of social intercourse set up in the Bahá’I Teachings.
“As a teaching center, where Bahá’i lectures, conferences and meetings, whether local, regional or national, could be held, the
Haziratu’l-Quds can also prove of invaluable help, and the N.S.A. should indeed see to it that the necessary facilities are provided in
the building for that purpose.
“By thus combining these three features, namely teaching, administrative and social, the Haziratu’l-Quds can best fulfil its mission, as
the visible symbol of the steadily- growing national Bahá’i Community in Northern America, and as the chief rallying center for all its
activities and plans throughout that Continent.”
THE BAHA’i ScHooLs
The enlarged scope and importance of the teaching work in both North and South America has been reflected in the extension of the
Bahá’i Schools maintained at Green Acre, Eliot, Maine; at Geyserville, California; and at Louhelen Ranch, Davison, Michigan.
Moreover, through the munificent gift of
THE BAHA’I WORLD
Mrs. Loulie Mathews, the Bahá’i community received another Bahá’i School, at Pine Valley, Colorado Springs, Colorado, which Mrs.
Mathews dedicated to the special function of training Bahá’is for teaching in the international field, especially in Latin America at this
From the annual reports submitted by the committees supervising the activities of these schools, we glean the following facts:
GREEN AcRE—1938 SEASON
“During the season there were 287 students attending the classes and courses. Very diligent study and interest was maintained
throughout the summer. We are greatly indebted to the speakers and teachers for their most scholarly presentations which showed
deep devotion to the Faith through long hours of research and preparation. The Youth Week was most successful; its courses very
impressive and well attended. The high quality of service rendered by them was a joy to all.
“An innovation in the presentation of Comparative Religion was introduced by Mr. and Mrs. Williard McKay, in which Islam
occupied the larger part, and was followed each evening with the direct Words from the different Holy Books. The clarity and
thoroughness of this Course was remarkable.
“Another new feature was given by Miss Lidia Zamenhof who conducted classes for the study of Esperanto every morning at 11 from
July 11 to 22. The study of the students during several hours each afternoon was closely supervised by Miss Zamenhof.
“The Tuesday Evening Recitals and Wednesday evening Lectures under the able sponsorship of our Dr. Shook were greatly enjoyed,
proven by large audiences sometimes filling the Auditorium in The Inn. Dr. Shook gave two recitals on the Color Organ, exceedingly
interesting; Mrs. Schopflocher gave her moving pictures taken around the world, and in Haifa. Mrs. Rex- ford showed the latest
moving pictures of the Temple and was rewarded by a fine audience in the Hall; another evening she presented the pictures of her
travels in Mexico and in The Shenandoah National Park. Later Dr. Shook gave a series of lectures on
today, which was all new material for Green Acre. The high degree of musical talent he arranged this year was deeply
enjoyed by every one.
“Distinctive features added to the program were: Orcella Rexford met with the Regional Committee members during
her week and gave a series of talks on public speaking, and about 20 attended these afternoon classes. July 10th, Mrs.
Mildred Mottahedeh gave a lecture on A Utopia that Works; July 17th, Miss Zamenhof spoke on An International
“On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons, the Library of the Hall was opened by Mrs. Bowman, the Librarian,
for reference, study, or reading, but the privilege was enjoyed by a very small number. Mr. Holley brought the entire
World Unity Library of scholars’ works to add to the collection, which makes a valuable research library, including all
the Bahá’i Books. Also a large list of Bahá”i Books was kept here and $175.00 worth was sold after the lectures and
Classes. There was a reiterated call for a Loan Library, and it is hoped another year it may be arranged in some room at
The Inn for the use of guests, with a small charge for use, to make it possible to gather a larger library for the use of
July 2, 3, 4—The Future World Commonwealth, Horace Holley.
5—9—Round Tables; Discussion Groups; Social Activities Inaugurated.
11—16—Education for the New Humanity, Dr. Glenn A. Shook.
18—23—Art of Growing Up, Orcella Rexford.
24—3 1—Youth Week.
9:00 A. M.—Devotions.
9:15 A.M.—The Bahã’i Life, Dorothy Baker.
CURRENT BAHA’I ACTIVITIES
10:00 A.M.—Talks by youth on Bahá’i books: Gleanings, Elizabeth Shook; Mysterious Forces of Civilization, Ida
Noyes; fqán, Joseph Noyes; Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Marvin Newport; The Dawn-Breakers, Mae Graves Dyer.
11:00 A.M.—Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Miss Caroline
From July 11 to 22, Miss Lidia Zamenhof, daughter of the founder of Esperanto, conducted advanced classes to prepare students for
qualification as Esperanto teachers. August 1—6—Spiritual Development and
Law, Dorothy Baker.
8—1 3—Comparative Religion, Doris and Willard McKay.
15-20—Prayer and Meditation, Lorol Schopflocher.
22—27—The Transformation of Human Society, Horace Holley.
29—Sept. 3—Study course conducted by Mamie L. Seto.
September 4—Peace Pageant, arranged by Nancy Bowditch.
5—(Labor Day) Peace Program:
Lidia Zamenhof, Horace
Holley, Mamie L. Seto, on
“Our first Laboratory Course was given this year under the direction of Mrs. Helen Bishop, Dr. Glenn Shook, and Mrs. Wendell
Bacon. This type of teaching work it is hoped will be continued. There is always discussion after the lectures, but in the laboratory
class with all participating, it is a very effective way of developing students, and we encourage the use of this method of teaching as
much as possible.
was the subject presented in this course, with Mrs. Wendell Bacon conducting
the work on publicity and radio in the afternoon. Publicity covering the week was written up for the local papers and contacts were
made in a nearby town as part of the work of this class.
“Mr. Allen McDaniel made a brief outline of each of the World Order Letters of the Guardian giving the highlights of each. The
laboratory idea was carried along in this course, the class being given questions to test their knowledge of important facts. A splendid
lecture with slides on the Temple was also given by Mr. McDaniel as an evening feature of his week. The study of
very interesting by Dr. Stanwood Cobb, and our knowledge of this subject was much extended and deepened. In his course on
Mr. George Spendlove developed study of: the station of man in this world and the nezt; the Divine wish and
intention for man’s hfe; the search for Reahty; the Manifestation of God; and, the world—what it is and what it is not. This course was
beautifully complemented by Miss Orcella Rexford’s course on
in which emphasis on practical application of the
teachings in a living of the life was stressed. Also several tests were given to help the students determine their ‘Psychological Age.’
“During Youth Week Mr. Norman Smith gave talks, based on the Compilation made by the National Youth Committee on
and Mr. Horace Holley gave his course on
The Transformation of Human Society.
In the afternoon Dr. Glenn Shook
conducted a laboratory course on the
The Green Acre
Committee has endeavored to give the greatest possible freedom and authority to the youth for practice in the matter of personal
integrity and living the life, and in working out a program of constructive activity in accordance with Bahá”s principles. The session
attracts both the serious students and some who have not yet become aware of the opportunity latent in such a youth meeting. The
Committee realizes that it is essentially the problem of the real leaders of the youth groups to establish the spirit and the high standard
of conduct set by the Guardian in
spirit so strong that it will resist the disintegrating effect of
external influences. The problem facing the youth is essentially the problem facing the Spiritual Assemblies and communities.
THE BAHA’I WORLD
There are over nine of the Bahá’i Temple models either owned by Local Spiritual Assemblies or available from the
Teaching Committee for purposes of exhibition.
Above: Display at the Illinois State Fair, Springfield,
Ill. Below: Display in the Temple of Religions at the San Francisco World’s Fair, 1939.
CURRENT BAHA’t ACTIVITIES
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