Today we visited the oldest living Baha’i temple in the world. I have never heard of the religion Baha’i before so this was definitely something special for me.
When my family told me about visiting this place of worship, my only expectation was to see this beautiful building by the lake – and take loads of photos of course. Little did I know, not only is this building beautiful, so is the message it brings.
At the Visitor’s centre of the temple, they have a great exhibit of the Baha’i faith, including a video of its history and the history of the building. It was there where I learnt what the faith entails, and was captivated of their teachings. The faith strives for spiritual unity of all mankind. They advocate for the oneness of God, religion and humanity.
The Baha’i believe that there is only one God who has manifested himself through various ways and religions, but they are essentially the same God. The past Divine Messengers like Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha etc., have each brought their teachings to address the needs and conditions of humanity of their time, but have all reflected the same Divine purpose. The Baha’i believe that the final Divine messenger was their founder Baha’u’llah, who gave the message of unity for all.
“God…is and hath from everlasting been, one and alone…eternal in the past, eternal in the future.”
In addition, they believe that all humankind have been created equal but are coupled with diversity. We are all created differently, but essentially we are all the same.
“Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.”
All prejudice should end, as there is unity in diversity.
“as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.”
Today I was introduced to a beautiful religion who strive for oneness of the world. Optimistic and idealistic, but that is exactly what we need in the world right now. For the Baha’i, it is not about showing why one religion believes in something “wrong” or why we all look different from each other and behave differently. For the Baha’i it is not about focusing on our differences but rather, celebrating what we all have in common. And that is beautiful. This is a teaching we all should live by and if we did, I’m sure the world would definitely be a much better place.
For more information about the Baha’i temple and its faith, click here.