SUNSET MONDAY, MAY 28: Calm and serenity surround the Ascension of Baha’u’llah today, as Baha’is refrain from work to observe the quiet event. (Meditate online with help from New York Bahai.) Unlike the turbulent life he lived, Baha’u’llah’s death was uneventful—quiet, at home and of a ripe old age. At 75, Baha’u’llah had founded the Baha’i faith and preached it most of his life. (Read more at Planet Bahai.) As Baha’u’llah had passed at 3 a.m. on May 29, devotees officially mark this event at the same time. Prayer, chanting and reading often accompany this day of rest.
This year, American Baha’is have an extra reason to be joyful: It’s the centenary of the visit of Abdu’l-Baha, the son of Baha’u’llah, to the United States. In April of 1912, this Baha’i leader began a train tour of America that lasted through December; Abdu’l-Baha announced that America had the potential to “lead all nations spiritually.” (Voice of America has an article.) For Western Baha’is, this tour held special importance, as it was the first time a holy member of a prophet of God had come to the West.
Baha’u’llah currently lies in Bahji, an Israeli shrine surrounded by a garden that is designed to symbolize the future order of the world.