The baha’i world


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girls on “The Higher Values in Culture.”  

ALLAHABAD.—We reached Allahabad on November 

5th. 

The university here has more than 2,000 students. 

Allahabad is also a great centre of the Theosophists and on November 6th I spoke before the Theosophical Society in 

Besant Hall. The audience was composed entirely of professors and students from the University. Dr. M. Hafiz Syed, 

Professor of Oriental languages in the University, a friend whom I had met at the Indore Religious Conference, 

presided. They had already arranged a public lecture for me in their large Theosophieal Hall for the following evening, 

November 7th, on thq subject 

The Bahd’I Faith—Its International Fellowship. 

At this lecture the former Vice-

Chancellor, Pandit Iqbal Narain Gurtu, a great scholar and a leading Theosophist in India, presided. In summing up he 

deplored the hatred let loose in the world through divisions based on religion, nationality, race and class. “When 

differences of religion appear remember that any faith that works for unity in religion is on the right path.” In talking of 

religion he meant the higher spirit underlying true religion and not the outer form.  



November 7th and 8th were holidays for the University. However, some students from the Muslim Hostel of the 

University, where 



75 

young men reside, invited Prof. Pritam Singh, Mr. S. H. Koreishi and myself to come to their 

hostel and speak to them on 

The Bahd’I Faith. 

They also put notices into the newspaper inviting the public. Prof. 

Pritam Singh spoke on history of the Cause, Mr. Koreishi on the Bahá’i principles, particularly in their relation to 

Islam, and I spoke on the progress of the Faith in the five continents. Our Chairman, Mr. M. Naimur Rahmán, lecturer 

in Arabic and Persian in Allahabad University, in his closing remarks, to our astonishment said that he was about as old 

as we are (spiritually) because the first time he heard of the Bahá’i Faith was in June, 



1910, 

in Lahore! Again by 

coincidence and a very happy one, he had heard a Bahã’i, Miss Stoddard, give a Bahá’i lecture. He said, “I was shy; I 

wondered if I would even be admitted to such a lecture, but instead of being afraid, I was 

 

truly thrilled because I had heard something new. I had already studied much about Islam and other rehgions. Here was a new 



universal religion. My interest has not flagged in all these years! Two years later, I had the privilege of hearing an Iranian Bahá’i, the 

late Prof. M. R. Shirázi of Karachi, and just in those months I had been reading a great deal about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s travels in the United 

States. After that I heard one Bahá’i lecture in Madras and one in Benares. Two years later Prof. Pritam Singh came to Allahabad and 

I arranged for his Bahá’i lecture in the Oriental department of this university.”  

“Inmn is certainly hke a rubber ball. It has been attacked so many times but it always rebounds and today it is going strong. During 

the middle of the nineteenth century when every king in Iran was at his lowest, that country did indeed require somebody to help it 

and the Báb appeared as a John the Baptist of Iran. His Message, passed down from prophet to prophet, is only one in the long chain. I 

advise you to read the very interesting book, “The Dawn Breakers,” which fortunately our library possesses. I urge you to read it as 

students and as Muslims. Whether or not we believe in any prophet after Muhammad, let us hear and learn all we can, and then come 

to our conclusions.”  

Then on November 9th at P.M. I had the big lecture open to all the students of the University. The event took place in the law 

College Hall and the Dean of the Law Department of the University, Prof. A. P. Dube, presided. Four hundred students filled the hall 

and in the front seats were the girl students. It was a wonderful audience and they listened with deep interest. The Chairman in his 

closing remarks said to the students that these spiritual ideals of the Bahã’i Faith had fired all our thoughts, and that he as a professor 

of international law, where all subjects now center in war, had listened today to a great presentation of peace. He said the question is 

how we may live up to these ideals; it is a question of character, how we can act up to these higher impulses; but if we really live 

them, we shall become so broad that after a few years we shall accept truth from whatsoever quarter it 

 

MESSAGE TO UNIVERSITIES OF NORTHERN INDIA 



 

815 


 

comes.” He urged them to think about what they had heard and make up their minds as to what they wish to do in the 

future. Books were placed in the library. The rush for the pamphlets was such a stampede that the booklets had to be 

thrown to them from the platform.  

The representative of 

The Leader 

of  


Allahabad, a paper with a circulation of  

15,000 and the most important in the whole  

United Provinces, was present and wrote an  

excellent article which appeared November  

12th.  

BENARE5.—We reached Benares in the morning of November 10th. It is a city of 150,000 and its university is one of 



the largest; it has 3,400 students. Our program here was as follows:  

On the afternoon of November 11th I spoke at the Women’s College of the University of Benares, the event being 

under the auspices of the Literary and Debating Union of this college. The President of this union, a young woman 

professor from Karachi, Miss T. L. Wadhwani, who had heard me in her home city during the summer vacation, 

arranged this lecture. Members of the staff and 150 students were present.  

The next day, Bahã’u’lláh’s Birthday, November 12th, was a most happy day. I lectured at 11 A.M. in Queen’s 

Government Technical Intermediate College for Boys. Principal B. Sonjiv Dad presided. The entire teaching staff and 

600 students were present.  

Immediately after that lecture we went to the home of Dr. Bhagwan Das, one of the great scholars of comparative 

religions in Benares and a well-known author. He said to us among other things in an interview:  

“I have great admiration for the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahã. They are teachings of the very highest 

order. I believe these two great teachers belong to that spiritual race which is perpetually trying to keep the forces of 

darkness from engulfing mankind. All who are well-wishers of their fellow men must cooperate with the Bahá’I Faith 

to the best of their ability. My only suggestion is that the followers of this Bahâ’i Movement work out a scheme of 

social organization which will make it possible for this high ethical teaching to be regarded as 

 

practical and practicable.” Dr. Bhagwan Das is a Theosophist.  



From his house I went on to speak before the students of the great Hindu University. Principal S. C. De presided. Five 

hundred students were present. There was a tremendous rush for the literature  



The next day, Sunday, November 13th, I lectured in the Theosophical Society Hall of Benares. Immediately after that 

lecture we called upon Principal Rewa Rao, a Theosophist, who had travelled all around the world with the 

Krishnamurti, and he asked me to speak to the young men of the Theosophical National Boys’ College the next 

morning at 9.45. This I did and in his closing speech Principal Rao said: “Now we can never blush with shame that we 

have never heard of this great Bahf’i Movement which has come out of the East. We have had a very clear exposition 

of it, leaving us richer. Let us ponder well and derive what benefit we can.”  

PAvNA.—We came to Patna, a city of 160,000 people in Bihar Province, on November 14th and I spoke the next 

morning in the Patna University to more than 350 students. This institution has 600 students including 40 girls. Prof. 

Gyan Chand presided and in summing up one of his statements was the following:  

“In these times without cheer, this lecture on 



World Order and World Peace 

comes as an inspiring message. The 

more we have of the Bahf’i Faith the better. These principles are truths of fundamental importance; the students of 

economics are not used to having things put in the way they have been today. This is a new strain in economics, but its 

bearing on economic problems is profound and far-reaching. If we could put these principles into practice— namely 

that there should be work for all and all should work and there should be a living wage for all—we should have a 

different and a better world to hve in.”  

Afterwards at a tea which this professor and his wife gave to enable a few friends to meet us, Professor Chand said that 

H. G. Wells also had predicted a world chaos before a world order. He added, “The Bahá’i Faith is a great movement 

working for international peace and goodwill. Its achieve- 

 

816 


 

THE BAHA’i WORLD 

 

ments are creditable and it holds out a great promise for the future. I wish it all success.”  



On the evening of November 15th I lectured in the Brahmo Samaj Hall. Every seat was taken. Dr. Sen presided. He had 

been the representative of the Brahmo Samaj at the All-Faiths’ Conference in Cambridge in 1938. In summing up Dr. 

Sen said: “In these lectures and in parliaments of religions people try to get in touch with each other, try to understand 

each other and this is of inestimable value. The form of a spiritual culture may take on a national form, but its 

international fundamentals are the same.” The audience was composed of many university students and several 

professors. Prof. D. N. Sen arose and said that the Gospel of Bahá’u’lláh had been presented to them eight years ago in 

Bihar National College where he was principal, when Miss Root consecrated the new College Hall. Her inaugural 

speech in that hall formally opened on that day had been on the Bahá’i principles. He added, “The second meeting in 

Patna makes me very glad. These promises of Bahá’u’lláh are truly a great message of brotherhood.”  

That same afternoon I spoke before 600 students and professors in Bihar National College—in the same hall where I 

had given the Bahá’i lecture on its formal opening day eight years before. Prof. B. M. K. Sinha, professor of English 

literature, presided. Prof. D. H. Sen sat on the platform and spoke at the close of the lecture, saying that he had met 

people interested in this great Bahã’i Movement and that he is always happy to meet them. He also stated: “The 

vanguards everywhere are pressing forward to a universal religion.” His nephew, a young professor in the same 

college, in his speech of thanks said: “We in India are struggling for the equality of our women in the near future. We 

are trying to do away with prejudice and develop along spiritual lines as Bahâ’u’lláh wished us to do.”  

CALcUTTA.—We reached Calcutta on the morning of November 17th and in the afternoon I spoke on 

The Bahd’i 

Faith and Theosophy 

in the Theosophical Hall. Having spent November 18th in arranging lectures, on the 19th of 

November I spoke before 500 people at the Brahmo Samaj Cen tenar 

 

celebrations. There is a very warm friendship between Brahmo Samaj and Bahá’i brothers and sisters. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said that Brahmo 



Samaj is doing a great work in India, and Shoghi Effendi has told us to work with Brahmo Samaj. (The students from Brahmo Samaj 

come to the United States often to study in Unitarian theological schools.)  

Sunday, November 2 0th, we had a beautiful meeting in Bahá’i Hall, which was crowded. I spoke on the tour to the Northern 

universities and colleges of India and what the professors and students said about these new teachings. I should say also that each day 

in Calcutta friends came and inquirers called to ask about the Bahá’i Teachings. November 21st was spent in arranging lectures. On 

Tuesday, November 2 2nd, I gave a public lecture under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, when Prof. Tulsi Das Khar, 

Honorary Secretary of the Bengal Federation of the Theosophical Societies, presided. He stressed that the next step the world must 

take is towards internationalism and unity of all humanity. He added: ttj do not say that the Bahã’i Movement is the only movement 

that will bring it. The Theosophical Society and the Rama Krishna Mission will also help. The religion of the world must be a 

universal religion, and if we do not establish internationalism we shall be wiped out by international war and other people will achieve 

it. The Theosophical Movement is a part of the Bahá’i Movement; they must advance together to the same goal, and can be helpful 

one to the other.” I remember so well ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s words. He said that the Theosophists are our friends, and truly in every part of 

the world I have found them true friends.  

On November 23rd, a Feast Day, we had a large and lovely meeting and dinner in Bahá’i Hall. On November 24th friends called upon 

us most of the day and in the evening at Bahá’i Hall. I spoke to the teaching committee on the subject 

Teaching the Bahd’I 

Faith.  


On November 25th I spoke at the ladies’ conference of the Brahmo Samaj Centenary to 300 women. Mrs. Hemlata Tagore, niece of 

the poet Rabindranath Tagore, presided and was also the interpreter of my lecture. They asked me to include in my lecture how 

 

MESSAGE TO UNIVERSITIES OF NORTHERN INDIA 



 

817 


 

I first heard of the Bahá’i Faith and what Bahá’i women throughout the world are doing. Mrs. Tagore also spoke fervently of the 

Bahã’i Faith and said that she had sometimes translated the words of Bahã’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and printed them in her Bengali 

magazine 



Ban glalthi. 

I gave her the  



Tdhirih 

book and 



Bahd’u’lldh and the New Era 

in Bengali. She is a great English scholar too. Her address is 60/B Mirzapur 

Street, Calcutta. That same afternoon Her Highness Maharani Sucharu Devi spoke very beautifully and two nieces of Dr. Tagore gave 

short addresses. A loud speaker made it possible for several hundred men outside in the garden to hear these speeches.  

Saturday, November 2 6th, I delivered a lecture in the Indian Research Institute Hall to a mixed audience of professors, members of 

the Institute, an ulama, a number of students and some of the Bahf’i youth. The Chairman, Dr. D. R. Bhandarkar, professor of Indian 

history in Calcutta University, in his closing remarks said that the silence had been supreme, the audience had been spellbound, and 

that the audience though not large was composed of many thoughtful scholars who had listened to every word. He said he was glad to 

find that America was changing and it was time for Bahá’is and a Temple of Peace. He also said:  

“America is noted for such gigantic things and now it is a great attainment that the United States has a Temple of Peace in Chicago 

where all the Bibles of the world are read. I hope the day is not far distant in India when we shall do as the Americans have done.” He 

added that what had appealed to him most in these Bahá’i principles was work for all and all must work, and that work in the spirit of 

service is as worship in the sight of God. Religion must be made practical.”  

Dr. Satish Chandra Seal (Hon. General Secretary of the Institute) also spoke, saying that he hoped Bahá’is from the United States and 

all other countries will come to Calcutta in mid-December, 1939, and take part, when under the auspices of this Indian Research 

Institute the third Cultural Conference and the Second Convention of Religions will take place. He added, too, the words, “I hope and 

pray there will be many new adherents of 

 

the Bahá’i Faith all around the world and here also.” He wishes to have an exchange between their magazine and 



World Order, 

the 


Bahã’i Magazine.  

On November 27th in the evening a great meeting was held in Arya Samaj Mandir, where more than 500 people were present. The 

Chairman, Rev. Pandit Ayodhya Prashad, Vedic missionary of the Arya Samaj, I had met before in 1930. Since then, in 1933, he has 

made a trip to the United States representing the Arya Samaj of India in the Chicago Fellowship of Faiths. He told me that he had 

spoken in the Bahâ’i Temple at Wilmette on 

The Message of Lord Bahd 

and had met many of my Baha’i friends in Chicago and in 

New York.  

I spoke on the 



Principles and Progress of the Baha”I Faith. 

Prof. Pritam Singh interpreted in the Hindustani language and gave 

an address on the 

History of the Bahd’I Faith. 

Then the Rev. Prashad, a most eloquent speaker whose lips were touched with the 

fire of truth, spoke for one hour and told them what he had seen of the Bahá’i religion at first hand in the United States.  

December 1st I had the great privilege of lecturing in the University of Calcutta. This is the oldest and largest university in India, fifty 

colleges being affiliated with it. Fifteen hundred students are studying for their M.A. degree here and I spoke to them. The Darbhanga 

Hall was filled. Sir S. Radhakrishnan, perhaps the greatest professor in India, who teaches one-half the year in Calcutta University and 

one-half the year in Oxford University, arranged this lecture. I knew him. He wrote to the Registrar:  

“I urge you to have this lecture, 



Culture and World Peace, 

it will be very beneficial to students.” Sir Radhakrishnan said he would 

preside but he was called to Madras by telegram. Dr. K. D. Nag, a very eloquent and distinguished lecturer of the university who had 

just returned that week from a lecturing tour around the world, was chosen as chairman.  

Dr. Nag introduced me as a Bahá’i and told them I would speak on the cultural principles of this universal religion, and he spoke very 

beautifully of the Cause. There was deep, serious interest and in his closing remarks Dr. Nag said that here in India souls 

 

818 

 

THE BAHA’! WORLD 

 

are prepared for this great Bahá’i Message; that when in this humble city, Calcutta, in 1880 a small pamphlet was published about the 



reconciliation of religions, it was the first trace of the study of comparative religions. The Brahmo Samaj (The Community of God) 

sounded a note of synthesis 

. . . 

it stood for more than understanding, for real reverence for all religions, and was a great champion of 



womanhood. Raj a Ram Mohun Roya (1772-1833) here in the Middle East linked the Near and Far East, he built a synthesis. All 

during the nineteenth century India has been preparing her soul for reconciliation. India will always stand by this great Bahi’i Faith. 

And India has been doing pioneering work for all Asia.”  

On December 2nd I lectured in City College (affiliated with the University) to 800 boys and 14 girls. After the speech was 

 

over the principal said to Mr. Sistani, the Bahá’i who survived the terrific rush for booklets: “I congratulate you on 



having come out of the hall with your arms and legs still intact.” All were so eager for literature that one boy asked the 

Bahá’i, “Please to send more booklets to be given to the boys who could not get any.” Three hundred more were sent to 

them.  


I started for Bombay on December 14th. A program of lectures will be arranged there by the loved Bombay believers. 

The cherished devoted brothers and sisters of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma are coming to 

Bombay December 26th to hold a meeting, and specially, too, to bid me farewell and go with the Bombay friends to see 

me off on the steamship 



Straithard, 

which will sail from Bombay December 29th for Australia. 

 

1L,A 


prière est le chemin direct pour approcher Dieu. Queue soit constituée de pur langage spirituel jailli 

spontanément de l’âme, soit de paroles humaines, quelle soit action, dIe demeure l’effort par excellence pour trouver le 

contact divin, la station Ia plus exaltante pour l’âme avide de s’élever vers son Créateur.  

Sans consideration de sa forme ni de son but, elle est “le langage de l’esprit” et du coeur (parole d’Abdu’l-Bahâ) qui, 

montant par ie canal du Saint-Esprit et an travers de Ia Manifestation divine, atteint Dieu.  

Toute Ia creation prie en fait. Le Maitre nous dit que “la plupart des creatures le font sans le savoir.” En effet, les 

creatures autres que les hommes conscients prient inconsciemment selon leurs facultes; c’es-t presque une prière-

reflexe: une rose baignee par les rayons solaires et arrosée d’une pluie bienfaisante s’épanouit gracieusement en 

couleurs, émettant en retour un subtil parfum; ii s’elève comme une Iouange, une action de grace vers celui qui l’a 

provoqué. La rose, inconsciente creature, prisonnière de sa sphere étroite d’activite, remercie Dieu de Ses dons-le soleil 

et I’eau-par sa beaute et son parfum. Sans intelligence, sans volonté, elle accomplit son destin: adorer 1e Créateur par 

son épanouissement. Elle ne peut éviter de l’accomplir, elle n’est pas libre; et si elle ne s’épnouit, elle meurt.  

A l’homme, être mystérieux si essentiellement different de tout le reste de Ia creation, être conscient et libre, intelligent, 

doue de comprehension et pourvu d’une si large sphere d’activite, est conféré un semblable destin dans un degre plus 

élevé, destin 

accomplir consciemment et volontairement. L’homme ne peut jamais connaitre le degre de profondeur 



de sa prière, sa valeur; mais elle peut être consciente, volontaire, joyeuse, 

 

désintéressee, reconnaissante, en un mot, porter tous les attributs dont ii est riche par les dons spéciaux reçus du 



Créateur.  

Au point de vue subjectif, on peut faire deux grandes divisions: la prière individuelle et Ia prière collective.  

Individuelle, elle affecte autant d’aspects divers que d’individus et parmi chaque mdividu, présente autant de genres 

que de sujets.  

Dans ses objectifs varies, elle demande, elle supplie, elle remercie, elle glorifie, elle donne.  

Elle s’exhale en pensées, en meditations, en paroles, en actions, en emotions spirituelles, etc.  

Pour l’homme aussi, il existe une prière inconsciente; I’artiste livre tout entier 

son art sans penser 



Dieu l’Auteur 

de tous les arts, Le loue sans s’en douter par son admiration; le savant même matérialiste qui étudie Ia nature, 

s’émerveille des phénomenes, mentionne l’oeuvre sans nommer son Créateur et méme s’il le nie.  

Ceux qui ne prient pas volontairement mettent quand méme 

jour des oeuvres de valeur par le fruit de leur travail; 



c’est une loi: un effort a toujours de la valeur et ces découvertes sont susceptibles d’amener du bien pour tous. Mais la 

veritable prière est consciente. C’est celle qui admire, qui aime et s’inclmne en travaillant devant le Créateur de tout et 

de tous. Alors, comme Ia rose qui s’étale, l’homme réfléchit en adoration vers son Père, les splendeurs qu’iI a recuesde 

Lui.  


L’homme doit employer les deux formes de prières suivant les cas. La forme mdividuelle est aujourd’hui ordonnée par 

Bahá’u’llah pour I’evolution particuliere de chaque âme; on peut concevoir plusieurs raisons IL cette ordonnance: 

10 

Peut-être 



cause des degres d’évolution différents de chaque mdividu; chacun prie suivant ses capacités, ses 

 

6.  



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