These images are part of a series Lauren has been working on as a contribution to the Baha’i blog “19 Months”. Contributors are invited from all over the world to contribute to this blog once every Baha’i month. Submissions are interpretations of the names of the 19 months in the Baha’i calendar, which are named for virtues/attributes of God. Each submission is accompanied by a quote on the theme and can be from any inspirational source. You can learn more here!
Each image is proceeded by the quote(s) which inspired it.
“There arose the houri, Who had dwelt in pre-eternity in the pavilions of holiness… She looked with [a] glance toward the earth, and it was illumined by the lights of Her beauty and the loveliness of Her splendor.” ~ Baha’u’llah, from Tablet of the Maiden. Painting by Lauren Murphy.
“O SON OF MAN! Thou art My dominion and My dominion perisheth not; wherefore fearest thou thy perishing? Thou art My light and My light shall never be extinguished; why dost thou dread extinction? Thou art My glory and My glory fadeth not; thou art My robe and My robe shall never be outworn. Abide then in thy love for Me, that thou mayest find Me in the realm of glory.” ~Baha’u’llah
“I know not, O my God, what the Fire is which Thou didst kindle in Thy land… Whoso hath hasted towards it and attained unto it hath, in his eagerness to gaze on Thy beauty, yielded his life in Thy path, and ascended unto Thee, wholly detached from aught else except Thyself. I beseech Thee, O my God, by this Fire which blazeth and rageth in the world of creation, to rend asunder the veils that have hindered me from appearing before the throne of Thy majesty…” ~Baha’u’llah, from Compilation on Detachment
“Until a being setteth his foot in the plane of sacrifice, he is bereft of every favour and grace; and this plane of sacrifice is the realm of dying to the self, that the radiance of the living God may then shine forth.” ~Abdu’l-Baha
“O thou who swimmest in the sea of meaning, at this time the ocean of grandeur hath billowed forth in My name, the All-Glorious, and casteth up for all contingent beings the pearls of the mention of thy Lord, the Exalted, the Most High. By God, the eye of creation hath never seen their like, nor hath the vision of God’s handiwork witnessed their peer. Would that We could find a trustworthy soul into whose keeping We could give them, or a man of keen sight, to whom We could show them, or an expert to whom We could describe how they sparkle and gleam with effulgences…” ~Baha’u’llah, [excerpt from the Surah of Sorrows]
O SON OF MAN! A dewdrop out of the fathomless ocean of My mercy I have shed upon the peoples of the world, yet found none turn thereunto, inasmuch as everyone hath turned away from the celestial wine of unity unto the foul dregs of impurity, and, content with mortal cup, hath put away the chalice of immortal beauty. Vile is that wherewith he is contented. ~Baha’u’llah
“And while washing his face let him say: I have turned my face unto Thee, O my Lord! Illumine it with the light of Thy countenance. Protect it, then, from turning to anyone but Thee.” ~Baha’u’llah, Excerpt from medium obligatory prayer.
“We have decreed, O people, that the highest and last end of all learning be the recognition of Him Who is the Object of all knowledge; and yet behold how ye have allowed your learning to shut you out, as by a veil, from Him Who is the Dayspring of this Light, through Whom every hidden thing hath been revealed.” ~Baha’u’llah
“The sovereignty of God is eternal. There has been no beginning; there will be no end. This is as evident as the sun at midday, even to one endowed with limited reason.”
“We cannot limit God to a boundary. Man is limited, but the world of Divinity is unlimited. Prescribing limitation to God is human ignorance. God is the Ancient, the Almighty; His attributes are infinite. He is God because His light, His sovereignty, is infinite. If He can be limited to human ideas, He is not God.” ~Baha’u’llah
“…And when I behold the sea, I find that it speaketh to me of Thy majesty, and of the potency of Thy might, and of Thy sovereignty and Thy grandeur…” ~Baha’u’llah
“Say: Think ye that your allegiance to His Cause can ever profit Him, or your repudiation of its truth cause Him any loss? No, by My Self, the All-Subduing, the Inaccessible, the Most High! Tear ye asunder the veils of names and cleave ye their kingdom. By My Beauty! He Who is the Monarch of all names is come, He at Whose bidding every single name hath, from the beginning that hath no beginning, been created, He Who shall continue to create them as He pleaseth. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the All-Wise.” ~Baha’u’llah
“One must, then, read the book of his own self, rather than some treatise on rhetoric… The story is told of a mystic knower, who went on a journey with a learned grammarian as his companion. They came to the shore of the Sea of Grandeur. The knower straightway flung himself into the waves, but the grammarian stood lost in his reasonings, which were as words that are written on water. The knower called out to him, ‘Why dost thou not follow?’ The grammarian answered, ‘O Brother, I dare not advance. I must needs go back again.’ Then the knower cried, ‘Forget what thou didst read in the books of Síbávayh and Qawlavayh, of Ibn-i-Hajíb and Ibn-i-Málik, and cross the water.'” ~Baha’u’llah
“Lift up your hearts above the present and look with eyes of faith into the future! Today the seed is sown, the grain falls upon the earth, but behold the day will come when it shall rise a glorious tree and the branches thereof shall be laden with fruit. Rejoice and be glad that this day has dawned, try to realize its power, for it is indeed wonderful! God has crowned you with honour and in your hearts has He set a radiant star; verily the light thereof shall brighten the whole world!” ~Abdu’l-Baha
“Reveal then Thyself, O Lord, by Thy merciful utterance and the mystery of Thy divine being, that the holy ecstasy of prayer may fill our souls – a prayer that shall rise above words and letters and transcend the murmur of syllables and sounds – that all things may be merged into nothingness before the revelation of Thy splendor.” ~Abdu’l-Baha
“O ye that circle the throne of glory! Hearken unto My Call which is raised from the midst of the Burning Bush, `Verily I am God and there is none other God but Me’.” ~Selections from the Writings of the Bab.