In this festive and holy Christmas season, the Sunday Guardian sought out the quiet-spoken and reflective Fr John Pereira, abbot of Mount St Benedict Monastery in St Augustine, for the last
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A new beginning for Bahá’ís
Bahá’ís all over the world celebrate their New Year on March 21. It is the Persian word—Naw-Rúz (pronounced nor-rooz), which means New Day.
Bahá’ís in T&T will celebrate in their communities with joyous gatherings with devotions and feasting. The Bahá’í Writings tell us: “If we are not happy and joyous at this season, for what other season do we wait?”
Naw-Rúz comes after nineteen days of fasting from sunrise to sunset, for all Bahá’ís aged 15 to 70, with few exceptions.
During the Fast, Bahá’ís try to devote themselves to saying prayers and reading from their holy writings so that they may rededicate themselves and grow closer to God.
The Fast is a time when the physical body and the spirit is cleansed and refreshed in readiness for a new beginning. The time celebrated as this new beginning is Naw-Rúz.
In temperate countries in the Northern hemisphere, March 21 is the first day of spring. It is the Spring Equinox, the day on which the sun crosses the Equator and day and night span the same length of time.
In nature it is a time for new flowers and crops to sprout and baby animals are born after the winter’s cold. It is also a time for spiritual renewal. The Bahá’í writings state, “The New Year hath appeared and the spiritual springtime is at hand.” It is also the dawn of a new age, springtime in world history.
Bahá’ís believe that by sending His latest Messenger or Manifestation—Bahá’u’lláh—God is also renewing and reviving His Spiritual Guidance in the world. Just as with the advent of previous religions, the Founder has again reiterated the eternal spiritual teachings of God.
All the Founders of the Great Religions are inspired by the same source, which is the same Holy Spirit of the One, Omnipotent, Supreme, and Creator—God.
They have appeared at different times in history to renew God’s One Religion, which has been progressively revealed throughout history.
They have revealed a little more each time, because mankind has evolved and can understand more.
The material progress made by mankind throughout the centuries also made it necessary for the messengers of God to change the social laws, making them relevant for the time in which they lived.
The Bahá’í Writings state that in this present age: “...for the first time in history it is possible for everyone to view the whole planet, with all its myriad diversified peoples in one perspective. World peace is not only possible it is inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of the planet.”
Thus, the Bahá’í Writings tell us that this is the time for World Peace and harmony to be established among all mankind.
We did not have the means of communication and transport etc for this to be achieved in the past.
The message of Bahá’u’lláh provides guidance as to how the unity of mankind will be achieved, with laws and teachings relevant to this new age in which we live.
The Bahá’ís of Trinidad and Tobago would like to wish everyone a very joyous Naw-Rúz and a happy and successful New Year.
• Courtesy the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Trinidad & Tobago