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Search for Truth

    In every dispensation, whether in the time of Jesus, or Buddha, or Baha’u’llah it’s always the same; whenever the Manifestation of God arises the conventions and prejudices of the day are arrayed against Him and those in power try to destroy Him. Because of this Abdu’l-Baha says, “All prejudices, whether of religion, race, politics or nation, must be renounced, for these prejudices have caused the world’s sickness. It is a grave malady which, unless arrested, is capable of causing the destruction of the whole human race. Every ruinous war, with its terrible bloodshed and misery, has been caused by one or other of these prejudices.”

    Audio – Abdu’l-Baha tells humanity how to prepare to seek and find the truth

    He goes on to state that “The first principle of Baha’u’llah is: The Search for Truth.

    “Man must cut himself free from all prejudice and from the result of his own imagination, so
    that he may be able to search for truth unhindered. Truth is one in all religions, and by means of it
    the unity of the world can be realized.

    “All the peoples have a fundamental belief in common. Being one, truth cannot be divided, and
    the differences that appear to exist among the nations only result from their attachment to
    prejudice. If only men would search out truth, they would find themselves united.”

    When you study the annals of history, the truth is every Manifestation of God including Baha’u’llah was tormented and set upon by the clerics of their time, and some like Jesus and the Bab were put to death. Although a great number of the clerics and government officials of Persia wanted to have Baha’u’llah put to death they did not because He was widely respected and considered a saint by many. So instead of killing Him the Persians conspired to have the Ottoman Empire send Him to the prison city of Akka, a place rampant with disease of which Muslims believed, if a bird flew over Akka it would die. Soon after arriving in Akka the Governor and other government officials sought the companionship of Baha’u’llah because He was treasured for His wisdom and saintly demeanor.

    Years later after his father had ascended, and Abdu’l-Baha and other Baha’is in Akka were released from imprisonment and exile by the Young Turk Revolution that had overthrown the Ottoman Empire, Abdu’l-Baha decided to travel to the Western World to speak with people about the Mission of Baha’u’llah which was no less than ending all wars by establishing God’s government on earth. While in Paris, on November 10, 1911, he spoke about the first principle of the Teaching of Baha’u’llah which is to Search After Truth.

    That night in the company of government officials, businessmen, artists, and others, Abdu’l-Baha said:

    “If a man would succeed in his search after truth, he must, in the first place, shut his eyes to all the traditional superstitions of the past.

    “The Jews have traditional superstitions, the Buddhists and the Zoroastrians are not free from them, neither are the Christians! All religions have gradually become bound by tradition and dogma.

    “All consider themselves, respectively, the only guardians of the truth, and that every other religion is composed of errors. They themselves are right, all others are wrong! The Jews believe that they are the only possessors of the truth and condemn all other religions. The Christians affirm that their religion is the only true one, that all others are false. Likewise the Buddhists and Muhammadans; all limit themselves. If all condemn one another, where shall we search for truth? All contradicting one another, all cannot be true. If each believe his particular religion to be the only true one, he blinds his eyes to the truth in the others. If, for instance, a Jew is bound by the external practice of the religion of Israel, he does not permit himself to perceive that truth can exist in any other religion; it must be all contained in his own!

    “We should, therefore, detach ourselves from the external forms and practices of religion. We must realize that these forms and practices, however beautiful, are but garments clothing the warm heart and the living limbs of Divine truth. We must abandon the prejudices of tradition if we would succeed in finding the truth at the core of all religions. If a Zoroastrian believes that the Sun is God, how can he be united to other religions? While idolaters believe in their various idols, how can they understand the oneness of God?

    “It is, therefore, clear that in order to make any progress in the search after truth we must relinquish superstition. If all seekers would follow this principle they would obtain a clear vision of the truth.

    “If five people meet together to seek for truth, they must begin by cutting themselves free from all their own special conditions and renouncing all preconceived ideas. In order to find truth we must give up our prejudices, our own small trivial notions; an open receptive mind is essential. If our chalice is full of self, there is no room in it for the water of life. The fact that we imagine ourselves to be right and everybody else wrong is the greatest of all obstacles in the path towards unity, and unity is necessary if we would reach truth, for truth is one.

    “Therefore it is imperative that we should renounce our own particular prejudices and superstitions if we earnestly desire to seek the truth. Unless we make a distinction in our minds between dogma, superstition and prejudice on the one hand, and truth on the other, we cannot succeed. When we are in earnest in our search for anything we look for it everywhere. This principle we must carry out in our search for truth.

    “Science must be accepted. No one truth can contradict another truth. Light is good in whatsoever lamp it is burning! A rose is beautiful in whatsoever garden it may bloom! A star has the same radiance if it shines from the East or from the West. Be free from prejudice, so will you love the Sun of Truth from whatsoever point in the horizon it may arise! You will realize that if the Divine light of truth shone in Jesus Christ it also shone in Moses and in Buddha. The earnest seeker will arrive at this truth. This is what is meant by the ‘Search after Truth’.

    “It means, also, that we must be willing to clear away all that we have previously learned, all that would clog our steps on the way to truth; we must not shrink if necessary from beginning our education all over again. We must not allow our love for any one religion or any one personality to so blind our eyes that we become fettered by superstition! When we are freed from all these bonds, seeking with liberated minds, then shall we be able to arrive at our goal.

    “‘Seek the truth, the truth shall make you free.’ So shall we see the truth in all religions, for truth is in all and truth is one!”