Montreal, April 21, 2023 – The Montreal Bahá’í Community, like other similar localities around the world, celebrated the Most Great Festival of the Bahá’í calendar, the historically unique Festival of Riḍván. It is an occasion to elect the Bahá’í Institutions throughout the world, whether locally or nationally. Thus, the Montreal Community elected its local administrative body of nine individuals who are going to serve the Community for one year. It was the first time that such gathering was held at the Montreal Bahá’í Centre since the pandemic started in 2019.

This day also marks Bahá’u’lláh’s time in the garden of Riḍván outside of Baghdád in 1863. There, for the first time, He publicly declared His station as a Manifestation of God.

“The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new. Speak, and hold not thy peace. 1” 

What Bahá’u’lláh announced in the garden of Riḍván is outstanding. Not only did He claim to be a new Manifestation of God, but also the Promised One foretold in the Sacred Scriptures of all of the world’s great religions. He is the fulfillment in the continuum of Divine Messengers, who include Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad and the Bab.

Shoghi Effendi elaborates Bahá’u’lláh’s station in God Passes By

To Israel He was neither more nor less than the incarnation of the “Everlasting Father,” the “Lord of Hosts” come down “with ten thousands of saints”; to Christendom Christ returned “in the glory of the Father,” to Shi’ah Islam the return of the Imam Husayn; to Sunni Islam the descent of the “Spirit of God” (Jesus Christ); to the Zoroastrians the promised Shah-Bahram; to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Buddhists the fifth Buddha. 2

Bahá’u’lláh refers to Himself as follows:

He it is Who hath laid bare before you the hidden and treasured Gem, were ye to seek it. He it is Who is the one Beloved of all things, whether of the past or of the future. 1

This is the Paradise the rustling of whose leaves proclaimeth: “O ye that inhabit the heavens and the earth! There hath appeared what hath never previously appeared. He Who, from everlasting, had concealed His Face from the sight of creation is now come.” 3

Bahá’u’lláh is giving us a dual responsibility. Not only are we asked to recognize Him and His station, but we are asked to obey His laws – such as spreading His Teachings actively, serving others, and manifesting goodly qualities such as love, generosity and kindness towards all.

Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He Who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Riḍván and entered it. Guide, then, the people unto the garden of delight which God hath made the Throne of His Paradise. We have chosen thee to be Our most mighty Trumpet, whose blast is to signalize the resurrection of all mankind. 3

Athough the garden of Riḍván was a location in Baghdád, but it could also be a spiritual place, a garden of delight, or City of Certitude.

What is important about Bahá’u’lláh’s Teachings is the fact that He came to build a New World Order, to transform souls and to rejuvenate both individuals and collective society. Through the power of the Divine Springtime, we are able to make a new creation of ourselves as well as our communities.

… We have caused every soul to expire by virtue of Our irresistible and all-subduing sovereignty. We have, then, called into being a new creation, as a token of Our grace unto men. I am, verily, the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days. 3

In a Tablet revealed on the ninth day of Riḍván, Bahá’u’lláh asks God to help some of the believers to know themselves better. Since one can associate the period of Riḍván to fine-tuning all the understandings we acquire during the time of the Fast, the following quote is very endearing:

O Lord, help certain souls among them to know their own selves and to restrain their tongues, lest they utter that which would abase their stations and bring their works to naught. Thou, verily, hast power over all things. 4

All in all, the Writings make us realize the privilege of recognizing Bahá’u’lláh’s station and drinking even a drop of the chalice of eternal life, which ultimately is His Message and Teachings:

Drink deep, O ye dwellers of earth and heaven, from the chalice of eternal life that the hand of Bahá proferreth in this most lofty and exalted Paradise. By God! Whoso partaketh but a drop thereof shall neither suffer the vicissitudes of time nor fall prey to the wiles of the Evil One, but the Lord shall send him forth in every Dispensation adorned with a hallowed and wondrous beauty. All hail then to this, the Festival of the Lord, that hath been made manifest from the seat of the Lord of all wisdom! 5


  1. Days of Remembrance: Selections from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh for Bahá’í Holy Days, Riḍván # 6
  2. Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979 second printing, p. 94
  3. Ibid.
  4. Days of Remembrance: Selections from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh for Bahá’í Holy Days, Riḍván #17
  5. Days of Remembrance: Selections from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh for Bahá’í Holy Days, Riḍván # 7

Photo: BWC Archives - A delegate is voting during an International Convention



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