An Editorial from J&K Bahá'í Bulletin


The world has always been full of people who would just wash their hands of truth. Most of our present day problems arise because of their life style. They are those who live comfortably, safe in their huts, careful to use as few of their abilities as possible. And when they die, they sleep beneath complacent epitaphs But, alas, they are not remembered. To be remembered, a man must have had a tussle with the truth. He must have sat under the Bo tree with Gautama or gone up to Mount Sinai. He must have investigated the truth for himself, refused to confirm to his surroundings, dared to do his own thinking "I think, therefore, I am " It is equally true that if "I don't think, I am not". And to think means to independently investigate the truth.

Baha'u'llah has commanded his followers to do their own thinking and to 'look into all things with a searching eye.' An important question arises, how are we to recognize the truth once we have started our search. Abdul'l-Baha answers that there are four ways of proving a thing true. The first is sense perception, the second is intellect, the third is traditional authority, and the fourth is inspiration. When applied individually these tests are obviously inadequate. The senses are frequently unreliable, even the greatest intellectuals are often at variance, traditional authority is easily misunderstood, and the 'still small voice' may at times be quite other than divine. Only when all the four tests are brought to bear and result in a convergence of evidence, we have satisfactorily proved a truth.

Baha'is, then, are commanded to seek independently for Reality and are told how to recognize it. They are forbidden to take anything for granted. Even a child born into a Bahá'í family must begin, so to speak, from the bottom and work up, He cannot be fed truth with his cereal, and must prove to his satisfaction the reality of what he is taught. It is obvious that a search started in an atmosphere of faith would more readily yield desirable results because 'faith seeking understanding' achieves where as unbelief seeking understanding makes one fall by the wayside.

 © Prof. Anil Sarwal