The World in Crisis You would agree that the world is currently in a state of chaos apparent with social crisis such asdrug-taking, alcoholism, immorality etc. The moral crisis that we are faced with in this age and time isnot confined to any one nation, race, religious group, class or creed. It afflicts both the rich and poor;the educated and the illiterate; the religious and the secular. It is a universal phenomenon. The worldis NO longer a safe place to live. Our children are exposed to all kinds of influences and we cannotguarantee how they will turn out. Is that the kind of future we want for our children and for ourselves?
The Key to Solution There is an urgent and critical need to rectify these shortcomings to enable the world to become abetter place to live.
Changing to the world’s problems and the chaos must start with the individual withan extension of community – our neighborhood – our immediate world, based on moral and spiritualeducation.
Material education is like the lamp and virtues and spiritual qualities is the light within thelamp.
When both become united, the outcome will be perfect.
If we have all the material advances butdo not have people of high virtues and attributes, it is like having a beautiful lamp but without light;humanity will not prosper and attain peace.

The Logic Behind – Osmosis Protection

The best protection to oneself is to first protect others. For unless the world around is safe, one can not be sure thatone is safe. Beside hours spent in sleep, most of us spend our remaining hours elsewhere - away from home. Ourchildren spend those hours at school; we spend in working; and the housewives running errand for house-chores. In weekends, we spend in the park, eating at restaurant, shopping at complexes etc. Therefore, it is logic to say that until the space beyond our home is safe, one can not be sure that he or she is safe.When we make our surrounding safe, multitude will ensure our safety. When there is a sense of community in ourneighborhood, we live with peace of mind as we know our children will be safe on the street. This way of osmosis protection is much effective than by putting up higher fencing and equipping fancy door-sets and window grilles just toprotect ourselves. Instead, we as individuals must arise and make an effort to engage ourselves in community building.

Creating ‘Sense of Community’ Thru Moral Education

Is there a community in our neighborhood? Sadly, therehardly exists any ‘sense of community’ in our neighborhood.Everyone seems to live to themselves and it is notuncommon that one doesn’t even know who their neighboris. The situation gets worst when neighbors suspect eachother, adding trouble to the already mounting social crisis.Baha’is around the world are trying their best to reinstate thissense of community in their neighborhood through offering aseries of activities that focus on empowering individuals withmoral capabilities. Based on moral and spiritual education,these community development activities aimed to bringabout personal transformation in children, youth and adultsand at the same time, effect social transformation in buildinga healthy and harmonious community in our neighborhood.
(For further information, please contact your bahai nearest centre)
national bahai Headquarters 2122179



Tablet to a Physician (Lawh-i-Tibb)by Universal House of Justice
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
Your email of 14 December 1999, inquiring about a translation of Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet to a Physician subsequent to the one found in Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, was received by the Universal House of Justice and referred to our Department for reply.
Excerpts from Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet to a Physician appeared in Star of the West, volume 13, page 252, as well as in many and various Bahá'í newsletters and compilations, as an early translation of a portion of the Tablet entitled "Lawh-i-Tibb", revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in honour of Mirza Muhammad Rida Yazdi, a physician. However, until such time as conditions are propitious for the Tablet to be translated, only portions of it have an authorized translation. For your convenience, we are enclosing the text of the early, partial translation of the Tablet to a Physician which was published in Star of the West, as cited above, along with a related exhortation from Bahá'u'lláh taken from Star of the West, volume 21, number 5, page 160. Furthermore, it may interest you to know that the prayer starting with the words, "Thy Name is my healing ..." is also found in this Tablet.
With regard to the Tablet, on 18 December 1945 a letter was written on behalf of the beloved Guardian to an individual believer stating:
The Tablet to a Physician was addressed to a man who was a student of the old type of healing prevalent in the East and familiar with the terminology used in those days, and He addresses him in terms used by the medical men of those days. These terms are quite different from those used by modern medicine, and one would have to have a deep knowledge of this former school of medicine to understand the questions Bahá'u'lláh was elucidating.
It is hoped that this information will be of assistance to you, and you may be assured of the loving prayers of the House of Justice in the Holy Shrines that the tender mercies of Bahá'u'lláh may surround you.
With loving Bahá'í greetings, Department of the Secretariat
Some rules for health, from a Tablet revealed by Bahá'u'lláh.
O God! The Supreme Knower! The Ancient Tongue speaks that which will satisfy the wise in the absence of doctors.
O People, do not eat except when you are hungry. Do not drink after you have retired to sleep.
Exercise is good when the stomach is empty; it strengthens the muscles. When the stomach is full it is very harmful.
Do not neglect medical treatment, when it is necessary, but leave it off when the body is in good condition.
Do not take nourishment except when (the process of) digestion is completed. Do not swallow until you have thoroughly masticated your food.
Treat disease first of all through diet, and refrain from medicine. If you can find what you need for healing in a single herb do not use a compound medicine. Leave off medicine when the health is good, and use it in case of necessity.
If two diametrically opposite foods are put on the table do not mix them. Be content with one of them. Take first the liquid food before partaking of solid food. The taking of food before that which you have already eaten is digested is dangerous....
When you have eaten walk a little that the food may settle.
That which is difficult to masticate is forbidden by the wise. Thus the Supreme Pen commands you.
A light meal in the morning is as a light to the body.
Avoid all harmful habits: they cause unhappiness in the world.
Search for the causes of disease. This saying is the conclusion of this utterance. (Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 9, December 1922, p. 252)
In God must be our trust. There is no God but Him, the Healer, the Knower, the Helper.... Nothing in earth or heaven is outside the grasp of God.
O doctor! In treating the sick, first mention the name of God, the Possessor of the Day of Judgment, and then use what God hath destined for the healing of His creatures. By My Life! The doctor who has drunk from the Wine of My Love, his visit is healing, and his breath is mercy and hope. Cling to him for the welfare of the constitution. He is confirmed by God in his treatment.
Recognition of the Next Manifestation of God by Universal House of Justice 1997
The Universal House of Justice has received your email message of 24 May 1997 inquiring about the eventual recognition of the next Manifestation of God by the Universal House of Justice. Regarding your request to be provided with a copy of a particular letter from the House of Justice to an individual believer in which this matter was addressed, regrettably we were not able to determine which of several letters written on this subject by the House of Justice, or by the Department of the Secretariat on behalf of the House of Justice, you were referring to.
One such letter, which encompasses the contents of the others, is excerpted below.
With reference to infallibility, you quote from "Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh" that "trials and tribulations have, from time immemorial, been the lot of the chosen Ones of God...", and express concern that this implies that the Universal House of Justice will not recognize the next Manifestation of God.
There are several statements in the Sacred Scriptures of our Faith which are related to this general subject, and one in particular is found in "The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh", ("The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh", p. 117) as follows: "My fears are for Him Who will be sent down unto you after Me Him Who will be invested with great sovereignty and mighty dominion". When a National Assembly wrote to the Guardian, asking about this reference, the following reply was sent on his behalf. "...this refers to the Manifestation Who is to come after a thousand or more years, Who like all previous Messengers of God will be subjected to persecutions, but will eventually triumph over them. For men of ill will have been and will always continue to be in this world, unless mankind reaches a state of complete and absolute perfection a condition which is not only improbable but actually impossible to attain." As you see, the persecutions to which the next Manifestation will be subjected will be carried out, according to the above statement, by "men of ill will" who, alas, "will continue to be in this world". There is nothing in the Writings to support the view that the opposition or persecution will be instigated or inflicted by the Universal House of Justice.
You are aware, of course, that one of the reasons for the appearance of a new Manifestation of God is to bring forth a spiritual renewal, as the former Dispensation would have passed through its stages of growth and reached its zenith. You can be sure that the Supreme Institution of the Faith, "under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One", will exert every effort to recognize, when the time is ripe, the reality of the new Manifestation, and lead men to Him. How the majority of the people at that time will respond is a truth locked up in the treasury of God's knowledge.
We trust that this information will aid in your understanding of this subject.
Department of the Secretariat


---------- Reflections on growth------------

Learning from New Believers

Some of the most inspiring and instructive stories of the Five Year Plan recount the
experiences of new believers. From these souls we are given a first-hand impression of what
attracted them to the melody of Bahá’u’lláh’s voice and what motivated them to walk the path
of service.
This is a type of learning that should stimulate our outreach and give us greater
confidence in our teaching work. For ultimately our aim in the Plan is to assist “growing
numbers of the world’s people to find the Object of their quest” as the new Bahá’ís in the
accounts below have been guided to do.
Many of the stories in this issue are drawn from clusters in Western countries where it is
sometimes felt that people are less receptive to the Faith. The moving responses of the new
believers in these areas testify to the fact that there are “ready souls” in every city and that the
daily afflictions striking humanity are preparing hearts to receive the message of Bahá’u’lláh, if
we but offer it directly.
In a Riván message the Universal House of Justice reminded us that
we have “a sacred duty to perform towards every other one who is not yet aware of the call of
God’s latest Manifestation.” That duty is teaching.

We now have the instrumentality of the institute process so that as we teach the Faith to
seekers, they grow in insight and become committed to serving the Cause to the best of their
abilities. As the following stories so compellingly affirm, a balance in expansion and
consolidation is being achieved, even in areas where large numbers are enrolling. It is
heartening to witness more and more in the teaching work the fulfillment of these inspired
words by the House of Justice describing the true nature and purpose of the teaching process.

Teaching may also be likened to kindling a fire, the fire of faith, in the hearts of men.

If a fire burns only so long as the match is held to it,

it cannot truly be said to have been
kindled; to be kindled it must continue to burn of its own accord.
This is the “state of enkindlement” that we hope will be expressed “in unremitting action
in the field of service” by thousands upon thousands throughout the course of the Plan.
* * * * *
Beginning to Walk a Path of Service. The following stories illustrate how new believers
naturally begin to walk a path of service when their faith is enkindled and nurtured through
their study of the Creative Word and their experience with the institute process.
United States
These accounts from the United States represent two very different areas of the country—
Easley, South Carolina and San Francisco, California. But in both cases the loving attention of
the friends and the transformative experience of the study circles fostered in the seekers a desire
to arise and serve as soon as they embraced the Faith.
California. The path I have found myself upon these past six months is a glorious
one, beginning as a search, and culminating in belief. I have seen glimpses of the Bahá’í
Faith throughout my life and was blessed to meet my friend Mona, who wears the beauty
Number 16, May 2007
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Reflections on Growth––Number 16, May 2007
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of the Baha’i religion as the precious jewel that it is. She taught me much about the Faith
and upon relocating to the San Francisco area, a deeper exploration of the Faith and its
community was a top priority of mine. The memory of my initial visit to the Bahá’í
Center in San Francisco will never escape me. I entered knowing no one and left feeling
immersed within and a part of a warm and open community. Within a week’s time I was
scheduled to participate in the first of what has come to be many study circles. This
particular study circle was structured around Book 1, Reflections on the Life of the Spirit.
As I have come to see through my participation in the Ruhi program, each book is
designed to provide its reader with a more lucid and concrete understanding of the Faith
itself, beginning with exposure to excerpts from Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation and carrying on
with investigating and penetrating questions regarding the concepts within the Bahá’í
revelation. In the study circle on Ruhi Book 1, I was given an opportunity to understand
the nature of the Bahá’í religion and also the Bahá’í community. Two wonderful
facilitators conducted our weekly classes, both playing a formative role in my
understanding of the beauty and depth of the Faith. Their capacity to answer my endless
questions with patience and wisdom never ceased to amaze me, and I hope to one day
have the ability to teach as they have taught.
Upon the conclusion of Book 1, I had declared myself a Bahá’í, as that was my
path to travel. The incredible thing is that one need not be a Bahá’í to feel as though they
are a part of the community. I felt as welcomed the first day I entered the doors of the
Center as I did on the evening of my declaration. It is open doors and hearts which
Bahá’u’lláh calls us to share with one another, and I as a recipient of these favors can
only hope to give, as I have been given to.
* * * * *
South Carolina. The story about one friend, Melanie, began when she and I met at
library story time. We were both pregnant with our now almost five-year-old girls. As
new friends, we kept in touch and occasionally met for lunch and went to free summer
movies. Two years ago, while talking on the phone about home schooling (which
Melanie does with her children), the subject of the Bahá’í Faith casually came up.
Melanie had seen the Bahá’í sign on the highway in Easley and had meant to call the
number, but still hadn’t. Acting immediately, I took books and information to Melanie
the next day and invited her to bring her children to children’s class. Melanie gladly
came with her three children.
The opportunities to teach Melanie flowed naturally. Most every week my son and
I went to Melanie’s home around the corner from where my daughters were taking
gymnastics. The visits helped to develop a friendship and allowed Melanie a chance to
ask more questions or share what she was learning. Melanie was invited to attend a Book
1 study circle in Easley and was joined by her husband, Steve. The local Bahá’ís worked
together to nurture and support Melanie. Many prayers were said to Bahá’u’lláh to guide
and help her. Melanie declared her belief in Bahá’u’lláh in May 2005.
She continues to enthusiastically participate in the study circles, attend Feast,
support children’s classes, and has even partnered with another Bahá’í to start a home
visit prayer team. Together they and Melanie’s children (ages 10, 8, and 4) visit Bahá’ís
who are isolated or sick and share prayers with them.
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Reflections on Growth––Number 16, May 2007
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Melanie is also teaching! One challenge for Melanie has been the response from
her home school friends in this Bible Belt area. Melanie has remained steadfast, shares
her Faith, and continues to deepen her knowledge of the Bible and its fulfillment in the
Bahá’í Faith.
It all happened about four years ago. It was a sunny Saturday morning and I had
an appointment to have my hair colored. I was sitting next to a lady whose slant on life
was so refreshing and uplifting that I became stirred with spirit. And so began my
journey to Bahá’u’lláh and the Faith.
As a consequence of this meeting (and a few delicious morning teas with other
friends), I was invited to participate in a study circle. I was not sure what all this meant
but found the idea captivating.
My new friends introduced me to religious concepts I had not been exposed to
before. The freedom to comment in a safe environment was encouraged and valued and
this premise was the beginning of my awakening.
Through the continued exposure to the Words of Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, and
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, my knowledge of other world faiths and their evolution began to fall into
place. This was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me, as these were in
fact the questions I had been asking all my life. Finally I was in an environment which
not only had the knowledge I sought but also those who were equipped to discuss and
answer all my enquiries.
The regular exposure to the prayers began to enrich and change my life. The
weekly passages and their translations were of a constant amazement to me and I began
to notice a shift in my approach to relationships, work, my life, and my actions.
The group not only filled in the gaps but offered a deepening of my spirit through
the dynamics of discussion. This could not have been achieved alone. I have studied
distance education for seven years and can speak from experience. There just isn’t the
same deepening, which is required to obtain the full riches of the Faith, by doing the
study alone! The excellence of ideas put forward in the study group, the enthusiasm
behind each answer or enquiry, was in itself an acceleration of my spiritual growth and
provided me with plenty to contemplate and meditate on until I was to meet my group
again the next week.
One of the things which amazed me was the friends I was meeting through the
study circle. These were people I would call “evolved.” I was amazed that finally after
all this time on the planet I had met like-minded people who were prepared to discuss
subjects I had only idealized about.
As an outcome of studying Book 1, I was able to hold my first devotional meeting.
I was unsure what this devotional was about but was given some supportive ideas. The
wonderful thing about the devotional process was that it gave me the opportunity to
invite people to my home who were curious about the changes they had seen in me and
were interested in meeting my new friends.

Reflections on Growth––Number 16, May 2007

I found that this raised interest and I was able to arrange for a few people to partake
in Book 1—Reflections on the Life of the Spirit. This allowed me to share and support
their spiritual journey as well as enjoy the progress of us all working together.
New Believers Becoming Active Servants of the Cause. We should never underestimate
the capacity of new believers to take up the tasks of expansion and consolidation as soon as
they enroll. In fact, many seekers are motivated to carry out activities when they are in study
circles and often these acts of service lead them to greater conviction and to a declaration of
One of the visitors to the House of Worship near New Delhi became very interested in
studying the Faith because of his visit to the Information Center on the grounds of the House of
Worship. He and one of his friends began to regularly attend a study circle at 7:00 in the
morning when they finished working the night shift. After completing that book, both seekers
declared and went on to complete Ruhi Institute Book 2.
After completing the second course, the new believer pledged to teach one person a day;
but as soon as he made this resolution, his work took him away to another place for some
months and he was unable to fulfill his pledge. When he returned home, he was determined to
make up for lost time and began to visit three or four of his friends a day in order to teach them
the Faith. In one month’s time he carried out 90 home visits. His devoted teaching work led 16
of his friends to embrace the Cause. Using what he has learned through the institute process, he
continues to visit these new believers and accompanies them to the House of Worship for dawn
prayers. He is also trying to engage them all in the sequence of courses.
The story below brilliantly illustrates the spiritual power and influence of young children
when they accept and serve Bahá’u’lláh.
Luc, a very cute, blue-eyed French boy, has been my son’s best friend since we
moved to our town five years ago. Luc is now 10 years old. I decided to organize a
children’s class at our home. Luc’s parents defined themselves as atheists but when I
proposed that Luc join the class, they fully agreed.
Little by little, the parents noticed Luc was changing; he was more polite, calmer
and very keen on reciting prayers. After a few months, his mother Anne told us he had a
question she could not answer and suggested he ask me. He looked very serious. I could
never imagine what his question might be: “Tell me Roxana, how could I be a Bahá’í?”
It was one of the best days of my life! His beautiful eyes were shining and he was
anxiously waiting for my answer. So I started explaining to him what it meant to be a
Bahá’í, what it implied, and that his parents should know about his decision. His mother
asserted that she totally agreed with his decision because her son had never been as
happy as he was since he had met the Bahá’í Faith! And that she would even bring him
to the Feasts and fetch him back.
From that time, we all considered him as a member of our community. Little by
little, Anne was transformed too; she bought a picture of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and put it in her
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Reflections on Growth––Number 16, May 2007
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living room. She completed Book 1, organized a prayer meeting at her home, stated she
believed in God, and recited Bahá’í prayers every day. The first word she taught her
baby girl was: “Alláh-u-Abhá!” Then, she helped me with children classes, studied
Book 3, and felt she could be a teacher on her own.
Last Naw-Rúz, two years after Luc’s declaration, Anne accepted the Faith during a
children’s class. Her son loudly reacted: “Oh! Thank God, at last you’ve declared!”
She always says he is the one who brought her to faith and to the Faith.
His mother’s declaration helped Luc to gain a stronger Bahá’í identity. The next
day he told his friends at school he was a Bahá’í and wanted to wear the Greatest Name.
“This sign will always protect me,” he told them.
Anne has been appointed as my assistant. I have tried my best to accompany her in
her understanding of the Plan and in her activities. Her specific task is to follow up
children’s classes.
Last week, Luc organized with the help of his mother a prayer meeting at his home
for the children of both Bahá’í classes. About 12 of them attended it. They all went back
home with a copy of the prayers and a written explanation of progressive revelation. As
it was Ayyám-i-Há, Luc told his mother that they should go to visit his great-grandmother
who is in a home for the aged and do a prayer meeting for her.
I can confirm that Anne and Luc are among the most active Bahá’ís in the cluster.
Now Anne is accompanying other Bahá’ís to organize their own neighborhood classes.
Last week, her husband asked her about all her activities. She simply explained to him
that Bahá’ís have a plan with four specific activities to spiritualize humanity. He said
“OK, go on. I’m proud of you and Luc!”
A single mother of two, a renowned local artist, became interested in the Faith because of
her children’s participation in the Bahá’í Education in State Schools (BESS) program. This
interest prompted her to participate in a Book 1 study circle. She then went on to complete the
second course in the series. During her investigation of the Faith, she began to assist with the
BESS classes at her children’s school. The demand for the classes had grown to such a degree
that there was a need to split the classes into smaller groups, but there was a problem because of
legal requirements that only Bahá’ís were allowed to teach a class without the assistance of
another teacher. The mother, recognizing this need, saw it as both a challenge and a
responsibility and decided not to postpone becoming a declared believer! She is now a full
member of the team of teachers carrying out Bahá’í classes at the school.
As new believers are brought into the Cause through a teaching project in a receptive
area, the challenge is to consolidate them and mobilize them into active service. The
experience from teaching projects in two major urban clusters demonstrates that the institute
process is key to attaining this goal.
The following accounts are from new believers in New Delhi who entered the Faith after
a direct teaching project in their neighborhoods. It is clear that they understand their newfound
commitment and are eager to gain the skills to serve the Cause.
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Reflections on Growth––Number 16, May 2007
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I got the opportunity to visit the Bahá’í House of Worship with my family. I liked
the atmosphere so much that I decided to find out more about it. After a few months I
visited again, and then whenever I had free time I used to go to the Temple and loved to
spend time there. Now I am working near there so I have the opportunity to visit my
favorite place and avail myself of spiritual upliftment. Then I began to visit the Temple
every Sunday and received information first through pamphlets, and then in the library,
where I could read Bahá’í and other religious books.
I used to enjoy thoroughly the prayer sessions in the Temple. After some time I
had a chance to visit the information center. There one volunteer lady helped me and
provided all the information I needed. I learned about study circles in Delhi and in my
area and joined one. After finishing three-quarters of Ruhi Book 1, I felt my life was
totally changed. I tried to live according to Ruhi Book 1; I felt very calm and learned
how to adjust with my family, neighbors, relatives, friends, and colleagues in my office.
Recently in April, I joined the Bahá’í community, and my dream is now to finish
all the Ruhi books with proper understanding, and serve the Faith and also humanity as a
* * * * *
After Mr. Mukherjee accepted the Faith in October 2006, he immediately entered the
institute process. During the expansion phase two months later, he held a small fireside in his
home where he invited his closest friends. Five individuals enrolled in his home. He also
offered to host in his area a large-scale devotional gathering which was followed by a direct
teaching presentation. This was the first core activity in his area. However, he knew a lot of
people in his neighborhood and was confident that he could invite a large number of seekers.
After the direct teaching that night, 13 individuals enrolled. It also happened that after the
teaching team had left the gathering, four of Mr. Mukherjee’s friends arrived. He did not want
them to lose out so he phoned the friends in the teaching team and asked them to tell his friends
about the Faith on the phone! The Auxiliary Board member, who was also his tutor, told
Mr. Mukherjee that he had heard Anna’s presentation several times over the past few months
and that he should say a prayer and go ahead with confidence. The Board member told him to
trust in Bahá’u’lláh and to teach his friends based on what he knows. Well, Mr. Mukherjee
called back, half an hour later, and said that those four friends had also enrolled! This new
believer helped lead 17 souls to the Cause.
United States
Frank, aged 83, was the first person to declare during the College Park teaching project in
Atlanta, Georgia. “I will never forget when I became a Bahá’í. It was the most glorious day of
my life!” said Frank when he and six other members of the College Park Local Assembly
attended a recent Assembly conference organized by the Auxiliary Board member.
I remember sitting on the porch one day listening to music and was approached by two
believers who came to my apartment and explained the Faith to me. The word that struck
me the most was “unity.” They gave me some literature and the address of devotional
meetings I could go to. Sure enough, I went a couple of days later. I was really
impressed. I had never seen so many diverse and happy faces in my life! From there I
went on to investigate the Faith and became a Bahá’í.
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Reflections on Growth––Number 16, May 2007
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Frank took Book 1 twice and then Book 2, and 18 months later he was elected to the
Local Spiritual Assembly. He has been holding devotional gatherings for seekers and serves
them meals he cooks himself. For his last gathering not only did he spend time making
preparations, but he visited friends and invited them. Eight seekers participated. Frank has had
a longing to go on pilgrimage. As he could not wait for his turn to come, he decided to go for
three days. To realize this dream and despite the lack of means and transportation, he made two
trips to Alabama to find his birth records and obtain a passport. When Frank is asked about the
Faith, his response is always the same, “It’s been a glorious journey!”
Here are a few other brief examples of new believers arising to serve and putting their
newfound skills into action:
El Salvador. A youth who participated in a Bahá’í junior youth group declared and is now
a teacher of children’s classes and assists a junior youth animator. Her desire to teach
others led to her mother becoming a believer as well, and her enthusiasm and example have
inspired other youth in her area.
• Mauritius. After a new believer attended a reflection meeting, he realized the importance
of initiating core activities. He visited his neighbors, family, and friends and invited them
to a devotional meeting in his home. Ninety-six (96) persons have attended his devotional
gatherings. As a result of his contacts with nearly 500 individuals, four new study circles
began and the number of non-Bahá’í children attending children’s classes increased from
9 to 35.
• United Kingdom. A new believer plunged into the sequence of courses shortly after he
became a Bahá’í and finished the sequence during the course of a few months. He
subsequently pioneered to Colombia where he is serving as a cluster institute coordinator
for the Ruhi Institute.
Receptivity of the Seekers. Stories abound from Bahá’ís who are realizing that their
acquaintances are more open to the Faith than they had anticipated and that receptivity exists
even among groups where they did not expect it. Should we be surprised that the power of the
Creative Word of God is our greatest instrument in the teaching work? The friends are also
learning that receptive souls need to be warmly invited to join the Faith.
One tutor kept a close relationship with the participants in his study circle by visiting
them frequently. He made a point of telling them anecdotes from the lives of Bahá’u’lláh and
‘Abdu’l-Bahá in order to bring the Central Figures of the Faith closer to their hearts.
When his Book 1 study circle was drawing to an end, he decided to spend a whole
session on the last four questions in Book 1 which relate to recognizing the station of
Bahá’u’lláh. He asked each participant all four questions separately, to which most of them
answered “yes.” He then asked them what conclusions they were able to draw from their
answers. Some were, according to the tutor, scared or shy to admit the obvious and he gently
insisted by asking them: “If your heart answers ‘yes’ to all these questions, could one not
consider that you were touched by the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh? Can it be said that your heart
has been enkindled with the love for His message? Does this not mean that we can consider
you a Bahá’i?” Three of the participants of that particular study circle became Bahá’ís.
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Reflections on Growth––Number 16, May 2007
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One member of a study circle (Chris) had a friend in his office who was Persian like him
and from a Muslim background. He came from Canada and had told Chris that in Canada he
had also had a Bahá’í friend who would not tell him much about the Faith. So Chris decided
that this was the right opportunity, now that Bahá’ís are encouraged to teach trusted Muslim
friends. Chris explained that he was taking this course and wanted to share some words of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He explained who ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was and began to discuss the selection. The
passage dealt with how we should treat each other.
The office friend was very impressed and felt that this was certainly something he also
believed in. He was grateful when Chris indicated that the beautifully presented verse from the
Writings was a gift for him. The next day, feeling low at the end of a stressful day, Chris met
his Muslim friend in the office hallway. He was uplifted when the friend exclaimed that he had
found the selection from the Bahá’í Writings so beautiful and relevant. He then went on to say
that he loved this passage so much he had photocopied it and shared it with most of the
colleagues in the office and asked whether Chris minded? At that point, another office
colleague walked by, this one of Jewish background. He mentioned his joy at receiving the
quotation and described its relevance. It seemed to him as if ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had opened the
newspaper, read the shocking news of the day, and prescribed a remedy for the ills He had
United Kingdom
One of the exercises in Book 4 involves memorizing a long passage from the Writings of
the Báb. A participant in a Book 4 study circle decided that he needed help and so asked a
colleague at work to be his “study buddy.” This friend spent 10 to 15 minutes a day for a
couple of months working with the Bahá’í on memorizing and reciting the words from the Holy
Text. This daily exposure to the Creative Word touched the friend’s heart, so she was invited to
join a Book 1 study circle. At the conclusion of the course she enrolled in the Faith. Three
months later she completed Book 2. Her stated goal is to serve the Cause by becoming a tutor
and a teacher of children’s classes.
One day a young woman approached a group of Bahá’ís and stated that she would like to
be enrolled in the Faith. The believers were quite surprised because the young lady had never
been seen at a Bahá’í gathering. The young woman explained that she had listened through the
wall of her home to a study circle that was held in the house next door and that now she too
wanted to be a Bahá’í!
Prepared under the auspices of the International Teaching Centre for the institution of the Counsellors. Extracts from the
reports cited may have been edited for grammar, clarity, or length. All or portions of this publication may be reproduced
or distributed within the Bahá’í community without prior permission from the International Teaching Centre.


What is an A stage cluster?

•In order to advance from a B‐stage to an A‐stage cluster, the Institution often consider the following criteria:
–40‐50 people through the full sequence
–multiplication of core activities (with seekers)
–ownership and enthusiasm at cluster reflection meetings
–outward orientation

Intensive Program of Growth

An intensive program of growth suggests just
that—intensification—an intensification of activity that contributes to systematic growth.
International Teaching Center, Building Momentum: A Coherent Approach to Growth,

Expansion & Consolidation

As currently conceived, an intensive programme of growth is straightforward, simple and effective, but implies a level of exertion that tests the resolve of the friends. …It consists of cycles of activity, in general of three months’duration each, which proceed according to distinct phases of expansion, consolidation, reflection and planning.

Expansion Phase

The expansion phase, often a period of twoweeks, demands the highest level of intensity. Its objectiveis to widen the circle of those interested in the Faith, to find receptive souls and to teach them. Althoughthis phasemight include some element of proclamation,it should not be seen as a time to hold afew eventsforthis purpose or to undertake a set of activities thatmerely convey iformation.


…One of the primary objectives of [the consolidation phase] is to bringa percentage of the new believersinto the institute process so that an adequate pool of human resources willbeaailable in futurecycles to sustain growth. Those not participating instudy circles are nurtured through a series of home visits, and allinvited todevotional meetings,to the celebration of the Nineteen Day Feast and to Holy Day observances and are gradually introduced tothe patterns of commuity life. Not infrequently, the consolidation phase givesrise to further enrollmentsas the familymembers and friends of new declarants accept the Faith
Letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated December 27, 2005, to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counselors

Reflection key to growth

Key to the progress of an intensive program of growth is the phasededicated to reflection, in which thelessons learned in action are articulated and incorporatedinto plans for the next cycle of activity. Its principal feature is reflection meeting—as much a time of joyous celebration as it is of serious consultation. Careful analysis of experience, through participatory discussions rather than overly complex and elaborate presentations, serves to maintain unity of vision, sharpen clarity of thought and heighten enthusiasm. Letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated December 27, 2005, to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counselors

Questions an LSA may consult upon at an Assembly meeting…

•How many believers have completed book 1 of the Ruhi Curriculum in our community?
•How can we (as members of LSA)encouragegraduates Book 1 to initiate a devotional gathering?
Questions an LSA may consult upon at an Assembly meeting…

•How many new believers, seekers, and inactive believers live in our community?

•How many individuals have completed book 2 of the Ruhi curriculum?

•How can we as an LSA encourage book 2 graduates to make home visitsto the above?

What can LSAs do?

Encourage and promote:

•Institute Process
•Core Activities
•Teaching Activities
•Cluster Collaboration

How do LSAs foster the institute process?

•By encouraging its individual members to complete the full sequence
•By encouraging believers in their community to participate in courses
•Stimulating individuals to initiate study circles
•Utilizing participants from the institutes in the teaching work and other areas of service
International Teaching Centre, October 17, 2001


-O.R,T.I --April 2007 issue magazines
There is no time to lose.” “There is no room left for vacillation.”
“Such an opportunity is irreplaceable.” “To try, to persevere, is
to insure ultimate and complete victory.”
The Guardian, Shoghi Effendi

Alláh’u’Abhá, dear friends.
Once again, we embark for a ride around the island! Let us see how friends of other clusters are getting breezes of confirmation as they engage in the core activities. Inspiring ideas, short stories, sharing of experiences, both from the tutors’ and animators’ as well as the participants’ viewpoints and interesting and useful writings will help you contribute even more to the on-going five-year plan!
You want to share some experience through the next edition of this newsletter? You’ve written a poem on the core activities and want others to read it? You’ve got some information to share? Yes? Here is the person to contact:
Mrs Voahangy Pellegrin
Ottilie Rhein Training Institute
National Office: 40, Volcy Pougnet Street, Port-Louis, Mauritius
Tel: 210-9685 λ Fax: 211-1212 λ Email: orti@bow.intnet.mu

Children’s Classes & Junior Youth Empowerment Program

“Often parents are touched by the inner and outer transformation of their children & pre youths and they are willing to participate in our core activities and some ultimately declare their Faith in Bahá’u’lláh.”
Universal House of Justice


Cluster 1, Baie-du-Tombeau. For one year, there have been morality classes there. The children of different age groups were taught prayers and moral values. Regular devotional meetings were held together with the parents and the children. Parents were aware that these classes were of a spiritual nature and finally, the children were divided into their respective age groups. Children are now following Bahá’í children’s classes every Tuesday from 17:00 to 18:30, Mrs Voahangy Pellegrin being the teacher. Pre youths have formed a junior youth group whose meetings are held every Monday from 17:00 to 18:30. Mr. and Mrs. Pellegrin are co-animators for this group.

Cluster 1, LaTour Koenig. The animators of the Junior Youth group organised a gathering with the parents of the Junior Youths. The parents have witnessed of the positive change in the behaviour of their children. Given that they live in Richelieu they are now willing to move the group meetings to Richelieu rather than La Tour Koenig. Writings memorised by the Junior Youths have enormously impressed and marvelled the parents.

Cluster 2, Moka. A junior youth group has been meeting for some time now in that locality. The group meets on a weekly basis on Sundays and their animators are Mr. Siyyid Lagan and Miss Livà Payaniandy. One of the junior youth of this group shares his experience.
It was the 25th of July 2006 that I have joined this Junior Youth group. At first, I thought that I would be bored without my friends. But, finally, when the day arrived I went to the Junior Youth class and I was satisfied to see that there were many of my school friends and some other children of the locality. There were 2 people; one was Siyyid and one was Livà. They were my tutors. In fact, they were not really like my teachers but my friends. Then I decided not to leave the Junior Youth group because I was making new friends with the other youngsters and also there was nothing special to do at home. So, instead of watching television, I was not wasting time, but spending it usefully. I was happy enjoying myself a lot. We talked a lot about peace, education, how to live in the society, ho to behave with elders. It’s a bit like a Human Values class. I do not regret being a member of the Junior Youth group.
Rovillen Pergun, 12 years old

Devotional Meetings & home visits

“[…] an act of service as simple as visiting the home of a
new believer, […] reinforces the ties of fellowship that
bind the members of the community together.”
Message dated 27 December 2005
from the Universal House of Justice

Hungary (Extract adapted from Reflections on growth # 14). During a home visit, after some prayers, songs and a first talk on the Eternal Covenant of God, a friend, who is a new believer herself, gave her presentation on the “Life of Bahá’u’lláh.” Beforehand she had expressed nervousness as this was the first time she had to do it, although she was well prepared and had brought with her quotes from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and a description in His own words of the time in the Siyáh-Chál.
The moment she began to speak all the nervousness went away. It was truly magnificent. She spoke from the heart and, yet, was coherent and crystal clear. Listening to her was like watching a film as she took us vividly through the awe-inspiring events of the life of the Manifestation of God for our day and age. Here was somebody who has been so moved by the majesty of Bahá’u’lláh’s life that she lifted the words from the pages, internalized them, made them her own, and then shared with us this most significant of themes in a sincere, engaging, and natural way. As far as I know, she is one of the first friends in Hungary who had received home visits after becoming a Bahá’í, including some deepening themes from Book 2. She has now proceeded to do Book 2 herself and holds presentations in other people’s homes using the very same materials.

Cluster 4, Cité Kennedy. During the second cycle of growth, there were regular home visits paid to the Bajhee family. During the first visit, Mr. Parmanand Sanicharane made use of the Anna’s presentation. Among the persons present were 7 non-Bahá’ís. 10 non-Bahá’ís participated in the second meeting. This time, the theme was the education of children and the meeting was animated by Mrs Brigitte Appadoo. The third one was based on the theme of the family, and Amelia Haskell and Natasha Dubé, the two Canadian friends, were also present. In August, there was also an exhibition on the education of children and the family and two dances were presented by the Diversity Dance Workshop on the occasion.

Cluster 7, Mare d’Albert. Resulting from an individual initiative, 7 youngsters of this cluster met and reflected together. Home visits were made to all the Bahá’ís of this cluster as a result of this meeting. Unbelievable but true, these young people visited the Bahá’ís of Beau-Vallon, Mare d’Albert, Plaine Magnien and Rose-Belle among others. Consequently, a study circle (Ruhi Book 1) will start soon in this cluster. Cheers for individual initiative and home visits!!!

Some home visits conducted in a few European countries, brought about the following reflections from those involved (Extracts from Reflections on growth #14):
Home visits have proven effective because they lend themselves to promoting a Bahá’í conversation – discussions on spiritual concerns that strengthen bonds of fellowship, love and unity.

Visiting teachers… their task is to encourage and inspire individual believers, and to broaden and deepen their vision of the task that is to be done… in the spirit of simple and whole-hearted cooperation.

A home visit is an arena in which the heart can recognize and receive the truth when shared with kindliness, radiance and purity of intention. Our efforts are far from perfect, and we need to do these things again and again, but as we “do” and not just talk about doing, confirmations come from on high, our eyes are opened to new realities, and we grow in confidence, understanding and effectiveness.

Home visits are serving as a way of binding the Bahá’ís together and a source of reaching out to the outside world… a way of bringing life to dormant believers and also an avenue for teaching the waiting masses.

Home visits have proved to be an effective way of gradually leading the new friends into the institute process.

People are yearning for such visits and are ready to discuss prayers.

I had been thinking of making a home visit – now I have done it and am determined to continue.

Study Circles
“Experience suggests that the more closely teaching approaches and methods are aligned with the capacity acquired from the study of the institute courses the more rewarding the results.”
Message dated 27 December 2005
from the Universal House of Justice

A sustainable Study circle
After a reflection meeting in Cluster 3, I decided to make a home visit at Pon Bon Dieu, Brisée Verdière. During this home visit to a non-Bahá’í family, I introduced a few concepts of Ruhi book 1 to the family members. The 3 youth in the family showed interest in the book and enthusiastically agreed to start with the study. They even invited 3 of their classmates to the course. The Course started with 6 participants (all non Bahá’ís) but settled with 3 after two sessions.
At the end of the Course the youth didn’t give any indication that they wanted to follow Ruhi book 2. I was a bit worried by the situation, so after reflection I decided to start a deepening class with the family. This class continued for 4 weeks. Thereafter a closing ceremony was organized (with local cultural settings) where representatives of LSA of Brisée Verdière, other friends of the Cluster and all the family members of the participants were present. The result of this extra effort and planning was that the youth themselves proposed to go for the study of Ruhi book 2. They were later joined by a Bahá’í of Camp de Masque Pave. They followed the Course very regularly despite their own commitments such as exams, study and family responsibilities. Extra-curricular activities were going out for fishing at La Nicolière Reservoir with other friends and family. Of course, they have completed book 2 and the study of Ruhi book 3 will start very soon.
Lessons Learned
Attendance during the study was at 100%. Although not very participative yet the youth have grasped the concepts to apply them in their own personal lives. The participants keep on revising the lessons of Ruhi book 2. The place where we met for the study was very hospitable, quiet, serene and very conducive to study (on that day the family members, not yet Bahá’ís, did not watch TV or listen to radio or make any unnecessary noise around).
Future activities
Few home visits will be organized as the practice component for book 2 graduates. After completion of the study of Ruhi book 3 a Children’s class will be proposed.
Sharma Gopaul, Tutor

Cluster 9, Chemin Grenier. A new group of participants has started the Ruhi Book 1. The group consists of 3 non-Bahá’ís and 2 Bahá’ís, 4 of which come from family contacts. The tutor, Mr. Sudheer, shares that the level of comprehension of the non-Bahá’í participants is very high. Their very pertinent questions lead the tutor into thinking that the Ruhi institute is exactly what they need to answer their questions.

Cluster 6, Goodlands. There was an increase in the level of enthusiasm of the friends in this cluster. One family, namely 4 of its members had been participating in the Ruhi institute, following which there were 3 new Bahá’ís in October and an additional 4 afterwards. Following firesides being held regularly for two years, 4 members of two different families have adhered to the faith. Among them is one who is a musician who really wants to develop his capacities and talents. Deepening classes are being held once a week.

The reflection meeting for tutors has proved to be particularly inspiring and encouraging in this cluster. Among the different issues raised during this meeting were
Formation of teaching teams
Importance of home visits
The use of Anna’s presentation
Practice component of a study circle
Tutors accompanying their participants in the act of service
Sharing of the vision of growth to a maximum number of believers
Following this meeting, the functioning of teaching teams were revised and home visits have been undertaken to less active friends as well as the community of interests. As a result, there has been 1 new declaration of faith and a study circle (Ruhi Book 5) will soon start and participants of Ruhi Book 1 are actually organising devotional meetings accompanied by their tutors.

Intensive courses
Intensive courses took place as follows during last December
Ruhi Book
2-5 December 2006
4-13 December 2006
18-26 December 2006
We were eight in the group. The chance was that we already had the group of participants of Junior Youth, and what we needed was the empowerment that the Ruhi was to provide. We needed to know what the Universal House of Justice says about this group of people and this book is exactly about that. Being young, I believe that, besides the acts of service which go alongside with the book, it is also important for us to go through the book since there is no doubt we also learn these concepts to apply them in our lives. For instance, a part of it talks about conciliating our lives between studies and activities of the Faith, finding the balance between the two. I think this applies also for us.
Luby, Participant of Book 5
I think this book is quite important since its aim is to help Junior Youth, try to empower them spiritually. Their age is a critical one; it is at this time that we can help them most. I particularly like the writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá whereby he talks of the roles of Junior Youth in the society, how they can help build a better world.
Rodish, Participant of Book 5
Ruhi 3 and 4 fast track courses were enriching and I learned much. During Ruhi 3, a strong desire to carry out children classes was ignited in my heart though nothing has been undertaken for the moment; I sincerely hope to get started as soon as possible. I feel really enthusiastic towards future opportunities.
During Ruhi 4, I really appreciated the atmosphere that reigned among u and this made the courses very calm and agreable.
Also and most of all, I a moved by the difficulties encountered by Bahá’u’lláh and deeply touched by the love he spread everywhere. The Ruhi courses on a whole, helped me to become more conscious of the responsibility and privilege of being a Bahá’í and thus I strengthened my faith.
To all the young Bahá’ís ho have not yet gone through these courses, I vividly encourage you to do so.
Nas, Participant of Book 3 & 4

Reflection meetings for tutors
“Having acquired the capacity to serve as tutors of the institute courses, they take up the challenge of accompanying participants in their initial attempts to perform acts of service until they, too, are ready to start their own study circles and help others do the same, widening in this way the scope of the institute’s influence and bringing eager souls into contact with the Word of God.”
Message dated 27 December 2005
from the Universal House of Justice

During the last four months, meetings were held for tutors all around the island. The common resolutions were
Functioning tutors were to encourage the less active tutors.
Each tutor was to organise a core activity at his place.
We need to work for a multiplication of core activities.
Tutors are ardently encouraged to accompany their participants to carry out the practice component of the study circle.

Checklist for Behaviour Inspiring an Atmosphere of Learning, Love and Service
The following is excerpted from an excellent web site published by the Human Rights Resource Center. This organization trains facilitators to conduct human rights dialogues, and many of the practices it encourages are well-suited to our study circles. Try running down this checklist to make sure your outward behaviour is helping to foster the right atmosphere of learning, love and service:
Be very clear about your role: your behaviour more than your words will convey that you are not the teacher but a fellow learner.
Be aware of your eyes: maintain eye contact with participants.
Be aware of your voice: try not to talk too loudly, too softly, or too much.
Be aware of your "body language": consider where you sit or stand and other ways in which you may unconsciously exercise inappropriate authority.
Be aware of your responsibility: make sure everyone has a chance to be heard and be treated equally; encourage differences of opinion but discourage argument; curb those who dominate; draw in those who are hesitant.
Be aware when structure is needed: explain and summarize when necessary; decide when to extend a discussion and when to go on to the next topic; remind the group when they get off the subject.
These practices are really outward manifestations of the spirit of service we hope to cultivate within ourselves and the study circle participants. That spirit and the behaviour it inspires will surely be very attractive and will help advance the process of entry by troops!
Encouragement in Study Circles
Tutor Tips - Enhancing the Study Circle Experience
Study Circles are part of the global focus on creating a culture of encouragement within the Bahá’í community. Encouragement is not about stroking someone’s ego, but rather affirming the other person’s humanity and spirit. It is appreciating the spiritual qualities of others and acknowledging the beauty of their souls. Encouragement helps people’s spiritual roots go deeper and give them a positive vision of themselves to strive for. “A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 15)
Tutors can inadvertently discourage participants with a frown, criticism, inattentiveness, or a patronizing attitude. Below are ways to incorporate encouragement into your study circle.
Actions That Encourage
Dwell on the positive
Open up choices
Affirm choices
Give a gift
Say thoughtful words
List positive qualities
Write a note
Be enthusiastic
Pay attention
Be inclusive
Be patient
Be loving
Be supportive
Pray together
Share laughter
Be sincere
Be sensitive
Be sympathetic
Use the language of the virtues
Be gentle
Offer to be of service
Spend time
Be genuine; pure motive
Be honest
Meeting based on the use of arts in our core activities
“A grateful integration of the arts into the diverse activities
enhances the surge of energy that mobilizes the believers.”
Message dated 27 December 2005
from the Universal House of Justice

On December 17, about 30 tutors had met at the Bahá’í Institute, Belle-Rose to discover and share their talents. Innovation and creativity were the issues of the day. Dances were presented by the DDW. The art of narrating stories and of reading poems was also shown. Recipes were realised on the spot. Original techniques like origami (the Japanese art of folding paper) were shared. Instrumental music like “tabla” was played. Sketches were also presented. The ultimate goal of this joyful and creative meeting was to motivate the participants to include the use of arts in their core activities.

Did you know?
Mr. Yohan Dhacoo has been designated to act as Cluster coordinator for the cluster 5
Our newly nominated National coordinator for Children’s classes and Junior Empowerment Program is Mrs. Neela Gopaul.
The Training Institute has adopted a policy that course material for every Book (1-7) will be Rs. 40. In the case where the participants are not able to contribute, support from LSA will be needed.

Don’t you forget?!
Our community of interest consist only of those people who have already participated in one or more core activities.
There are two models of expansion, the first one being to invite our community of interest to core activities over a longer period of time before they declare their Faith and the second being to have a large number of declarations in a short time-span.
The two complementary movements referred to by the Universal House of Justice are the movement of individuals through the sequence of institute courses and the movement of clusters from one category to another.