Women . . .

SpacePlasma

For far too long, women have been irreverenced by men:
When she was still a child her father selected a teacher for her and she studied various branches of knowledge and the arts, achieving remarkable ability in literary pursuits. Such was the degree of her scholarship and attainments that her father would often express his regret, saying, “Would that she had been a boy, for he would have shed illumination upon my household, and would have succeeded me!”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 191

Here’s a bit of Truth for those who may use Scripture to attempt a suppression of women:
In the Kingdom of God, there is no difference between the men and the women; both are considered alike—only the one who works the hardest surpasses the other. In the time of Christ, women were the great agents in spreading the Kingdom. The disciples would not have been confirmed if it had not been for them—Peter would not have been strengthened. In cultivating a garden, it makes no difference whether the gardener is a man or a woman—but if the woman works hard and takes care of the plants, she will certainly have a better reward than the man who idles.
Compilations, Baha’i Prayers 9, p. 55


Often various traditions hinder the health and well-being of girls and women:
Statement to the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Agenda item: Women in development

In the view of the Bahá’í International Community, the advancement of civilization now requires the full participation of everyone, including women. For this to happen, girl children as well as boy children must be valued by their families and by society. We share UNICEF’s distress at the blatant neglect of girl children, justified in many parts of the world as part of the culture. We concur with the recommendation, set forth in the Progress report on achievements made in the implementation of UNICEF policy on women in development (E/ICEF/1991/L.5), that UNICEF broaden its approach to maternal health to include an attempt to alter factors that affect girl’s and women’s health before maternity, including harmful traditional attitudes and practices.
Baha’i International Community, 1991 Apr 22, Girl Child

Some may violently disagree with the next quote but this blog does try to focus on spirituality:

As long as the desire, however small, of a man for women is not destroyed, so long is his mind attached, like a sucking calf is to its mother. Cut out the love of self, like an autumn lotus, with your hand. Cherish the path of peace. Nirvana has been shown by the Buddha.
Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 2 (tr. J. Richards)

And, in closing, a poet revered by the spiritually-minded:

Love and tenderness are qualities of humanity,
Passion and lust are qualities of animality.
Woman is a ray of God, not a mere mistress,
The Creator’s self, as it were, not a mere creature!

Mathnavi of Rumi (E.H. Whinfield tr), The Masnavi , Vol 1

Prayer . . .

A brief exploration of prayer from a few of the world’s religions and spiritual traditions:

“Beware lest ye harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow; lest ye wound any man with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe. Pray ye for all; ask ye that all be blessed, all be forgiven.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 73

“Then said I, Abraham prayed first for the Sodomites, and
Moses for the fathers that sinned in the wilderness…”

Deuterocanonical Apocrypha, Esdras 2 (Ezra 4)

“The bird of God, who at the portal sits?
Behoves so long that Heaven first bear me round
Without its limits, as in life it bore;
Because I, to the end, repentant sighs
Delay’d; if prayer do not aid me first,
That riseth up from heart which lives in grace.
What other kind avails, not heard in Heaven?”

Divine Comedy of Dante (Henry Cary tr), Purgatory Canto  4

“Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”

King James Bible, Acts 8:22

“It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.”

LDS (Mormon), The Pearl of Great Price

“She can hardly conceive of a person in full spiritual health whose life is not one of prayer.”

St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel

“An offering, consisting of muttered prayers, is ten times more efficacious than a sacrifice performed according to the rules (of the Veda); a (prayer) which is inaudible (to others) surpasses it a hundred times, and the mental (recitation of sacred texts) a thousand times.”

Hindu, Laws of Manu – 85

“O ye who believe! seek help with patience and with prayer, for God is with the patient.”

The Qur’an (Rodwell tr), Sura   2 – The Cow

“LORD, in trouble have they sought Thee, silently they poured out a prayer when Thy chastening was upon them. Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been at Thy presence, O LORD.”

Nev’im (Prophets), Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 26,16-17

“Now, being equipped with this lofty Morality, equipped with this noble Control of the Senses, and filled with this noble Attentiveness and Clear Consciousness, he chooses a secluded dwelling in the forest, at the foot of a tree, on a mountain, in a cleft, in a rock cave, on a burial ground, on a woody table-land, in the open air, or on a heap of straw. Having returned from his alms-round, after the meal, he sits himself down with legs crossed, body erect, with attentiveness fixed before him.”

The Eightfold Path, Buddha,  the Word

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