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- BAHA’I MESSAGE TO THE UNIVERSITIES OF NORTHERN INDIA
Sculptors: Hernion A. MacNeil and Isidor Konti.
THE BAHA’f WORLD
such noble mosques and cathedrals. Ah, you will hear, also, the wise and lovable St. Francis of Assisi bidding his listeners be happy
rejoicing in the Lord.
You will pause under the majestic Dome of the Rotunda for that whispering of the Muse which presages the world of tomorrow, and
you will envisage our continent transformed into a garden like unto the haunting charm of this “Dream City.”
As you wend your way, meditatively, round the crescent of the Colonnade, you will fancy you hear voices—voices of the New Day—
gently but insistently summoning you to that universal love which is eternal. Your hearts will be strangely stirred and will overflow
with that love which must create beauty because it is so joyous, so glad to give, so sensitive it cannot tolerate injustice, or misery that
can be relieved; and you will yearn to see your fellow-beings released from the bonds of poverty and from the menace of war.
Friends, in view of the discouraging in-
ternational outlook, you may think such idealism is not translatable into actuality. But let us not despair. Do we not
know that portentous changes are destined for this era of awakening? May we not, then, look confidently to the Day
when the promises of the Prophets shall be fulfilled and the children of men dwell together in brotherhood and peace?
In that Day, when love which is born of the Infinite shall hold sway, the inhumanities of man shall be swept away, and
Justice shall reign supreme upon this earth!
The Chairman: We are grateful to Mrs. Ford for her inspirational and instructive discourse.
Another friend, a member of the national Bahá’l Executive Board, who has come from Boston to attend this Congress,
will favor us with a few words.
It is a distinct privilege to present our esteemed and genial co-worker, Mr. William H. Randall.
THE ‘tCITY OF PEACE”—A SYMBOL OF UNITY MR. WILLIAM H.
This gracious reception has deeply touched us and I am extremely glad for the opportunity to express to Mr. Britton
and Mr. Scott how greatly we appreciate their having taken us right into the heart of this matchless Exposition, and I
assure them we bring to that heart the love of humanity and the highest vision with which God has endowed us.
Even before we had arrived in San Francisco we knew we were to enter the melting-pot of the East and the West
whence all emerge as brothers, for as we boarded the ferry at the Oakland pier and gazed across the bay we beheld the
greeting: CALIFORNIA WELCOMES THE WORLD’— a
paean of brotherhood!
As I strolled in the Exposition gardens an hour ago it seemed to me that Aladdin must have stood out there with his
lamp and just wished that there should immediately appear the most marvelous city the world has ever seen, the acme
of structural symmetry and scientific perfection.
This “Jewel City” is a universal city, as every nation has contributed to its development. In addition, it reflects the sacrifice and the
love of San Francisco and California for humanity, because in a time of war you have steadfastly toiled to build this amazing “City of
Peace” that it might herald to the wide world the peace in the hearts of the American people, and exemplify the blessings of peace.
Furthermore, this magical “City of Light” has been reared upon the shores of the greatest ocean—the ocean named for peace!
Assuredly the Golden Gate is the hope of humanity.
The contribution that the nations have to offer one another is not their commercialism. It is the wealth of their spiritual culture.
Prejudice—religious, social and racial—has apparently choked the arteries of the body of humanity, impeding the stream of that
The greeting, in enormous electrically lighted letters, placed by the Exposition Company high on tbe Union Ferry Station, facing the
BAHA’I CONGRESS DAY
love and wisdom which flow from the Great Power of all.
The Bahá’is are seeking to break down these barriers—every barrier of prejudice, every race hatred, every religious
misunderstanding—that through the organism of humanity may course the love and the bounty that the Creator has in store for us. If
we but lift our eyes and our hearts we shall receive the gift.
Over sixty years ago Bahá’u’llah, arising in Persia in a time of moral decadence and corruption, restored to man that gift whereby he
may become acquainted with the knowledge of God. As a matter of fact, he has never been deprived of that gift, it being the bestowal
of every Prophet. It is the very continuity of prophetic vision; but man has not received it, persisting in his isolation from God,
although God has not been isolated from man.
I do not intend to make a speech, hut briefly I should like to emphasize the necessity for
A simple illustration will suffice.
Every kingdom of existence is governed by the law of unity, and thrives and grows and reveals its hidden secrets in conformity with
There are no eight-hour labor days for the sun. The sun has no night—it keeps right on shining! It shines because it loves to shine, and
there is neither effort nor complaint. Has anyone ever heard of a sunbeam making a complaint? As every atom of the sun is in affinity
with every other atom, there is absolute unity, and the whole sheds a radiance that is a perfect conflagration!
The sun pours out this energy, imparting life to every world dependent upon it. And that is precisely what God is doing for us even
though we be unaware of His magnanimity.
If we could only understand
we should be aflame with love, and there would be no sickness, no poverty, no conflict, as we
should be harnessed solely to the divine energy and our activities would be tantamount to our joys.
Nature knows unity. The stones know it. Are we not better than the stones? Yet we have separated ourselves from the very principle
and power that would enable us to
attain that unity which would assure us the joys of life.
God did not make this earth and a few stars and then cease from His labors. He has made worlds within worlds, mysteries within
mysteries, and the key that will unlock these worlds and these mysteries, and disclose to us the knowledge of earth and of heaven, is
the key of unity.
Unity—the very core of the Bahá’i Revelation! From that core, even as rays from the sun, the light of this New Day radiates to the
entire race—the hght of the basic principles upon which unity depends: the solidarity or oneness of mankind, and the fundamental
oneness of Religion.
God in His singleness did not create a universe that could be other than one. If we rise to this vision, if we cease being centered in self
and turn our eyes to that sublime center which is God, we shall realize that we were intended to be a brotherhood, not antagonistic
races, colors, or nations. Is it more commendable to love the nation we call
nation, or to love
from which all nations
emanate and in which all nations merge?
As I have stated, the gift of the knowledge of God has been the beneficence of every Prophet, but man has wittingly ignored it, feeling
he could do better “going it alone,” that his individual interest outweighed that for which God had pre-determined him. But when we
awaken to the cosmic vision and acquire a race-deep consciousness, we discover that submission to the law of God entails benefits
transcending any conception of which the human mind is capable.
Three years ago when ‘Abdu’l-Bahã visited California He spoke of San Francisco as being a city of singular freedom. How fitting,
then, that it should be the setting for the First International Bahá’i Congress.
the initial step toward the emancipation of self and the race; freedom from every prejudice, every limitation! Only thus may
we amalgamate and become a coherent whole.
Bahá’u’llâh has given us the knowledge of God, the knowledge of unity, and the ability to express this unity in action. Consequently,
in every country, the Bahã’is in
THE BAHA’I WORLD
little groups are striving for the welfare and unity of their fellow men, and by such means the Bahá’i Movement is fast
encircling the globe.
The secret of this success is the love of service, for when we begin to serve we begin to contact the Divine power that is
patiently waiting to mold us into the image and likeness of God in which we were created.
In closing, may I say that the Bahá’i Movement is not a new religion. It is the spirit of all religions, “a new statement
and a new demonstration of the power of God which is working for the education and the uplift of humanity.”
The Chairman: The concluding remarks on this never-to-be-forgotten occasion will be intrusted to our President, Dr.
B DR. FREDERICK W. D’EVELYN
On behalf of the First International Bahá’i Congress and of the San Francisco Bahã’i Assembly, I desire to thank the
honorable John A. Britton and the Honorable
A. W. Scott, Jr., for their part in these ceremonies, as representatives of the Exposition Company, also for the cordial
and unfailing cooperation accorded us by their offices during the period of preparation.
In truth, this is a day never to be forgotten.
It is no small boon that while Europe is at war the Bahá’is are permitted to fore- gather in this “City of Peace” in the
name of human brotherhood.
Our meeting has been but for a fleeting hour, yet its fragrance will forever linger as a precious memory. Its inner
as the years roll on, will constantly unfold, and the unity we exult in today shall be the heritage of countless generations
Ere long the beauty of the wondrous palaces that now surround us will vanish; their being will become placeless, their
story a recessional.
The seasons will repeat themselves. The tides of the ocean will ebb and flow through the portals of the Golden Gate.
The days will dawn and the nights descend, and the peoples will depart and go their way.
But in this favored land there shall abide the spirit of unity, for we have the assurance that the seeds sown in this new
springtide shall in the fulness of time bring forth their blessed fruit.
BAHA’I MESSAGE TO THE
UNIVERSITIES OF NORTHERN INDIA
LAHORE.—I began the tour of the Universities of Northern India, on October 5th, 1938 at Lahore, where I delivered
my first lecture in the Dyal Singh College, to an audience of 1,000 students and the staff. Arrangements were made by
the Professor of English Literature for a lecture to his English classes. Students were enthusiastic and demanded
booklets. Another lecture, arranged by the Professor of Comparative Religions, was delivered to an audience of 200
students who asked me to speak on “Inner Teaching of the Bahá’i Faith.”
The following day I lectured in the S. D. College on The BahcI’I Faith and World Peace. A journalist, a correspondent
of a daily paper, was eager to procure the Dawn Breakers and THE BAHA’I WoRLn for his library. On October 7th, I
delivered my first of the inaugurated series of public lectures in the New Sikh National College; this was attended by
200 students, members of the staff, and representatives of two standard dailies of India. Articles appeared in English as
well as vernacular dailies, and I was visited by the representative of The Statesman, who displayed immense interest
and said that he heard of the Bahá’i Faith first from an American woman journalist who had stayed in Lahore for a
year. This young man got an article printed in the Sunday edition of the Statesman, which has a circulation of 55,000.
AM1UT5AR.—I spoke at noon, October 10th, in Khalsa College to 700 students. The Principal of the College
presided. Later he showed us their prayer hall and explained the religious training the students were receiving. At two
o’clock in the afternoon 600 students were present when I spoke in Hindu Sabha College. Principal K. L. Bhatia was
the chairman. He said in his closing remarks that their college is not orthodox, but is open to students of all faiths and
present in the audience. That was the greatest number of girls that I had in any coeducational university lecture in Northern India.
JULLUNDUK.—On October 11th I delivered a lecture in the Dyanand AngloVedic College to a combined audience of students and
lecturers numbering 850. As in every college and university during the tour there was a rush for booklets and of course we put several
books in their library. After tea, the Principal took us to the Women’s Affiliated College, where I had the joy of addressing them. Then
we took again two tongas (a kind of jaunting cart where the driver faces forward and the passenger faces backwards) and came to the
LUDHXANA.—On the morning of October 12th I lectured in the Ludhiana Government College to 425 men and 25 girl students. The
Principal, Dr. A. C. C. Harvey, presided, and in his remarks encouraged the students to study the New Faith. From one of the
professors we got a card of introduction to the Registrar of the Delhi University.
PATIALA.—Reaching Patiala on October 13th we met the Director of Public Instruction, who arranged for a lecture in the “Scouts
Camp” that same day, the subject being
More than 100 boys were present, all received booklets. An article was
sent out to the press of India.
On October 14th I spoke in the Mohendra College, Patiala, on
What Is Culture?
to an audience of 350 students. The next day I had
an audience with the young Maharaj a of Patiala, who said he had heard about the Bahã’i Faith but had not studied it. The Maharaja,
who is a Sikh, asked many ques 809
• .t. A.
The tenth annual convention of the Bahá’is of India and Burma held in Karachi, 1938. Miss Martha Root is seated in
MESSAGE TO UNIVERSITIES OF NORTHERN INDIA
tions about the Cause, and wanted to know if in becoming a Bahá’i, one has to give up one’s own religion. We met
several of the officials of his government. We gave books to the Maharaj ah and his officials and to the college.
DELHI.—Delhi is the capital of India at the present time and it has been the capital of this great country from time
immemorial. We were welcomed at the Delhi station by the local Bahá’is. It was the Feast Day (October 16th) and we
gave a feast in the afternoon to the Bahá’is of Delhi.
On the morning of the 18th of October I spoke in the Hindu College Auditorium before 95 0 students and members of
the staff on What Is Culture? giving, of course, the Bahá’i teachings for culture. (Every lecture in India has been a
Bahá’i lecture whatever the subject, the theme is always one—The teachings of the Bahd’I Faith.) This University is a
federated university of five colleges. Hindu College and the other colleges where I spoke were all parts of the
University, so that really it was three university lectures which I gave on October 18th. The Principal spoke of the great
poets and culture of Iran where in the 19th century Bahá’u’lláh came. “His teachings also are very poetic and this
movement is well worth studying,” were his concluding remarks.
At 2:15 P.M. on the same day I lectured in the Indraprasta Girls College to 180 girl students. The Professor of English
said that she had read many books on the Faith. After resting for an hour in the Principal’s room, I went to the Delhi
University buildings, where the Registrar had arranged for a meeting of professors of philosophy, Iran- ian and English.
The professors at the tea asked many questions. We gave booklets to the gathered professors and books to the
University library. This gathering opened the doors to other lectures and I could have given a number of other lectures
in the colleges and schools of Delhi if I could have remained longer.
That evening, October 18th, at 10 P.M. I broadcast over the All-India Radio, which goes to every part of India and
Ceylon and nearly all nearby countries. I gave two copies of the book Tdhirih to the officials.
The next day I lectured at Ramjas College to the staff and students;
students were present. A résumé of my lecture was sent to the
United Press Association by the Principal. The same evening, October 19th, I gave an address in the Anglo Arabic College to the four
classes in philosophy. This is a Muslim institution and has 275 boy students.
Immediately after this lecture, I went to great Arya Samaj Hall, one of the largest halls in Delhi, where I gave a public lecture on a
A member of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma spoke on the history of
the Bahá’i Faith in the Urdu language. Literature was given to 300 people.
The next day, October 2 0th, being the Birthday of the Bab, at 9 A.M. the Bahá’is of Delhi gave a beautiful Bahá’i feast in the home of
one of the believers. The same afternoon I spoke in the Ramjas Intermediate College to a gathering of 110 pupils. The Principal asked
me to speak directly on the subject
What Is the Bahd’I Faith?
The same evening we left for Aligarh.
reached Aligarh late that night, October 2 0th. Aligarh interested us so much because our beloved Guardian, Shoghi
Effendi, has said that the Banner of Bahá’u’lláh will be raised in India from Aligarh. One of the Bahá’is of Aligarh had arranged three
lectures for us, one before the Bar Association, which includes all the leading lawyers of Aligarh—some fifty members; another in the
Muslim Girls’ College, which is a part of Aligarh University, and a public lecture in the Lyall library hall on Monday, October 24th.
We called upon one of the great professors of the University who had been most friendly to other Bahá’i speakers. We had come to
Aligarh at a most inauspicious time. The University was closed, there was some communal disturbance in the city and it was the
beginning of the Mohammadan Fast. Consequently no public lectures could be arranged in the University. However, we visited the
University and met the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and spoke of the Teachings and visited the University library to see what Bahá’i books
they have. We called upon the Professor of Iranian, whom I had met before. Then on
THE BAHA’i WORLD
the afternoon of the same day I began with lectures. I spoke at four o’clock before the lawyers of Aligarh, in the library of tbe
courthouse. Books were placed in the Law Library.
The next afternoon, October 23rd, I spoke in the home of the University Professor of history and economics, who is known all over
India as a scholar, and one who has the deepest insight into the knowledge of Sflfiism. The Professor had visited [ran and been the
guest of Bahá’is.
Next day, October 24th, although it was a great Hindu festival and holiday, all schools being closed for three days, I spoke in the
morning in the Lyall Library to more than 100 people, including three Principals of schools and members of their staff. A number of
students from the Aligarh University were present. That very evening I spoke in the Lyall library hall to an audience of 800 people. A
number returned disappointed because of the lack of room. I spoke on
How we may work for Universal Peace,
principles of Bahá’u’lláh, and a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahf’is of India spoke on the history of the Faith.
Booklets were given out generously, and three or four Bahá’i books were placed in each library.
AGRA.—October 26: Our first visit to the Taj Mahal, the building which I had been waiting all my life to see. I think the Bahá’i
Temple in Chicago and the Taj Mahal are the two most beautiful buildings I have ever looked upon; but our Bahã’i Temple is the
more beautiful of the two. The Bahã’i Temple is filled with the Holy Spirit, one can feel the living pressure of the infinite unknowable
God in that majestic House of Worship. On the other hand, the Taj Mahal, named after the queen wife—Mumtaz Mahal—is her tomb,
the most lovely resting place any woman on this earth ever had; and on either side are great and imposing buildings—one a mosque in
which people may worship God and the other a rest house in which the travellers may rest. The whole plan is spiritual and appealing,
but the Bahá’i Temple in Chicago with its new unsurpassed and unparalleled architecture is the “Dawning Place of Prayer” for
religionists of the whole world and the whole Heavenly House is reared to the Glory of God.
I had time to go only once to this lovely Taj Mahal, for I had come to search out and meet the university people of Agra. That evening
we met people and arranged the program of events.
On October 27th my first lecture in the Dyal Bagh Colony was in the Men’s College of the Radhaswami Educational Institute, to
several hundred students. The Principal of the College presided. He said in his introduction that their late leader, Sir Sahibji Maharaj,
had met several Bahá’is and was very friendly to the Movement. He also said that other Bahf’i lecturers had spoken in this Colony. I
gave a lecture that same afternoon in the Girls’ College in the Colony, where 350 students are enrolled. The Principal, Miss Gladys R.
Clive, presided. She urged the pupils to study the Bahá’i books that I had presented to the library and she herself came to call upon me
and we had a long talk in the evening. Also that same afternoon Prof. Shyama Charan of Agra College called and brought his friend,
Prof. P. M. Bhambhani, professor of philosophy. These two men arranged my lecture in Agra College for the following evening under
the auspices of the Philosophical Society. Preceding that lecture Prof. Shayama Charan who is the president of the Theosophical
Society of Agra, gave a tea in his home for us to meet his family and several professors and theosophists. Then we all went to the
lecture together where an audience of 200 students awaited us.
Prof. Shayama Charan who was asked to preside said at the close of the lecture:”You are the quietest audience I have yet seen in our
college and it shows that the lecturer spoke straight to your hearts.” He further said, “Our women hold us back because they are very
conservative and orthodox. We want freedom and we do not get it; our women wish freedom and we do not give it to them. We cannot
be free until our women are free.” Prof. Bhambhani also spoke to the students at the close of the lecture: “The words of this Bahi’i
message are so precious, let their teachings sink deep into your heart.”
MESSAGE TO UNIVERSITIES OF NORTHERN INDIA
The next morning a few students came to ask questions. One young student who had never before heard about the Cause had a long
series of questions written down and he asked each one of them. He was so earnest and went away with happiness in his heart.
Another student came to see us— an Iranian but born in India. He will come to the United States in April to study in Columbia
University. We gave a tea that afternoon to a few of these professors who at tea said that they were very eager to get books and study
the Bahá’i teachings.
LucxNow.—We reached Lucknow, a city of 300,000 souls, on October 3 1st. We went first to the professor of sociology in Luck-
now University, a very important university in the United Provinces of India. This professor was Dr. R. Mukerjee who last summer
had given a course of eight lectures in the University of Chicago. He arranged for me to speak on
students and some members of the staff. Dr. Mukerjee presided. In his summing up he said that it was refreshing to remember that
once again an Asiatic mystic, Bahá’u’llah, as Buddha and Christ of old, gave to the distracted modern economic world the idea of
peace and brotherhood. It was not the economic interdependence of nations, as Norman Angell and Keynes thought, nor the mere fury
of destruction of modern weapons of war that would lead the world to peace.
“Economic blocks between dictator-ridden and democratic countries foster racial antagonisms today. Dictators, though they know that
victors and vanquished will equally perish, still hanker after aggression to maintain their authority at home. True world peace can
come only through re-education, the appraisal of the spiritual treasures of different peoples and nations which are embedded in their
art and literature. This will promote international understanding and, perhaps, Esperanto as an international auxiliary language will be
“However, the more significant re-education will come through the spiritual discipline of the individual. It is the cultivation of the
cosmic consciousness that personality, though focused in individuality, transcends the barriers of country and culture and is
one with universal humanity, deified as God, which may engender the right peace attitude in the youths of all nations. Nothing more
and nothing less than the cultivation of this mystic sense can develop that sense of the oneness of humanity, which is the best
guarantee of the brotherhood of nations.”
This Lucknow University has one of the best university libraries I have seen in India. They have one copy of volume five of the
BAHA’i WORLD. The magazine
is in their library; professors and students praise it very much.
Prof. Mukerjee came to tea with me in the hotel and gave me an excellent interview which I think I can use in the next BAHA’i
WORLD. He gave me a letter of introduction to Miss Shannon, Principal of the Isabella Thoburn College for Girls, which is also a
part of Lueknow University. This college has the distinction of having the only international relations club in all India. I spoke in this
college at the chapel hour on November 3rd to 250 girls. I have spoken of Tahirih, too, as well as the Bahá’i principles and placed the
in every library in men’s colleges and in girls’ colleges. We had a wonderful
supply of Bahá’i literature in Hindi, Urdu and English and sometimes in universities 500 or 600 booklets are given out at one lecture.
There is such a rush to capture a booklet that we had to say that the booklets on the speakers’ table would be sent to the library and
any student interested could get a copy.
CAwNPORE.—We arrived in Cawnpore on November 3rd and on November 4th we arranged to speak in two colleges. At the S. D.
College of Commerce I spoke to 700 students on the
The Principal, L. C. Tan- don, who
presided, said in his concluding remarks that this Bahá’i solution of the economic problem was very practical. The idea of the central
store house, to which a part of society’s wealth would come through graduated taxation, or through voluntary contributions, was a
very fine idea. If such a central store house could be established in every village, he was sure that 90 per cent of the educational
problem would be solved.
At the Balika Vidyala Intermediate Col
THE BAHA’i WORLD
lege for Girls I spoke to
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