Pilgrim’s Notes of a Baha’i
The spiritual garden is a pocket-sized Book entitled
“Baha’i Readings”, in which celestial flowers bloom
magnificently for the contemplation of any readers.
They are Selections from the Writings of the Bab,
Baha’u’llah and Abdul-Baha for daily meditation.
The Flower for May 20 is as follows:
“Every man of discernment, while walking upon the earth, feeleth indeed abashed, inasmuch as he is fully aware that the thing which is the source of his prosperity, his wealth, his might, his exaltation, his advancement and power is, as ordained by God, the very earth which is trodden beneath the feet of all men. There can be no doubt that whoever is cognizant of this truth, is cleansed and sanctified from all pride, arrogance, and vainglory. Whatever hath been said hath come from God. Unto this, He, verily, hath borne, and beareth now, witness, and He, in truth, is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.”
(Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 44)
Seeds from this spiritual garden will be planted in more intelligent minds,
which in turn will beautify all other spiritual and physical gardens all
over the world in thousands of generations to come.
My physical eyes are getting away from the beauty of Haifa,
but they can still enjoy daily and for ever her spiritual beauty.
I am thankful to Baha’u’llah for allowing me to behold
His heavenly Beauty with my own eyes.
I and hundreds of other pilgrims enter and enjoy the beauty of
the Baha’i physical garden and especcially its spiritual garden.
Here is the physical garden that all people can and will be able
to see and to think about the omnipotence of God, which causes
great and various attractions for the eyes to appear on dry soil
of Mount Carmel and deadlandofAkka, by the exile of the
most recent Prophet of God, Baha’u’llah, Who says:
“All glory be to this Day, the Day in which the fragrances of mercy have been wafted over all created things, a Day so blest that past ages and centuries can never hope to rival it, a Day in which the countenance of the Ancient of Days hath turned towards His holy seat. Thereupon the voices of all created things, and beyond them those of the Concourse on High, were heard calling aloud: ‘Haste thee, O Carmel, for lo, the light of the countenance of God, the Ruler of theKingdomofNamesand Fashioner of the heavens, hath been lifted upon thee.’ (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 1)”
Following is a short statement about this physical garden on the Internet:
Haifa‘s most striking landmark is the splendid Baha’i Shrine and Gardens, located on the edge of the city center. It is the second holiest shrine of the Baha’i Faith. The immaculate Baha’i Gardens, completed in 2001, are a tranquil memorial to the founders of the Baha’i Faith. Pilgrims come toHaifa from all parts of the world to pay homage to the first leaders of their religion, which emphasizes unity across cultures and religions.
Haifais the international headquarters for the Baha’i Faith, which began amidst persecution inPersia in the mid-19th century. Baha’is believe in the unity of all religions and believe that messengers of God like Moses, Jesus and Muhammad have been sent at different times in history with doctrines varying to fit changing social needs, but bringing substantially the same message.
The most recent of these heavenly teachers, according to Baha’is, was Baha’u’llah (1817-92), whose arrival was heralded by the Bab. Baha’u’llah was exiled by the Turkish authorities to Acre (Akko), where he wrote his doctrines and died a peaceful death in Bahji House.
The Bab’s remains were hidden for years after he died a martyr’s death in front of a firing squad in 1850. Eventually, the Bab’s remains were secretly carried to the Holy Land. During one of his visits to Haifain 1890, Baha’u’llah pointed out to his son the spot on Mount Carmelwhere the remains of the Bab should be laid to rest in a befitting tomb.
At first, the Bab’s tomb was housed in a simple six-room stone building, constructed in 1899-1909. In 1921, the Baha’i leader Abdu’l-Bahá (eldest son of Baha’u’llah) was also buried in the shrine.
In 1948-53, Shoghi Effendi oversaw a major enlargement to the shrine designed in the Neo-Classical style by architect William Sutherland Maxwell. The Seat of the Universal House of Justice, where the governing body of the Baha’i Faith meets, was added in 1975-83. Also Neo-Classical in style, it was designed by architect Husayn Amanat.
The famous Baha’i Gardens (a.k.a.TerracedGardens) were designed by architect Fariborz Sahba and constructed between 1990 and 2001.
In 2008, UNESCO named the Baha’i Shrine a World Heritage Site along with the shrine and tomb of Baha’u’llah in Acre.
What to See
In the Haifagardens, the huge domed Shrine of the Bab entombs Baha’u’llah’s herald. The tomb is a spectacular sight, with ornamental gold work and flowers in almost every nook and cranny.
A visual symbol of the Baha’i emphasis on worldwide religious unity, the shrine is a blend of western and eastern styles. The granite columns recall classic Roman architecture, the Corinthian capitals are reminiscent of ancientGreece, and the arches add the flavor of the Orient.
On a higher hilltop stands the Corinthian-style Baha’i International Archives building, modeled after the Parthenon, and the Baha’i Universal House of Justice, with 58 marble columns and hanging gardens. These administrative buildings are not open to tourists.
All the Baha’i buildings face towardAcre, the burial place of Baha’u’llah.
The beautiful gardens were originally planned by Shoghi Effendi, the late Guardian of the Faith, and they have recently undergone a massive redesign aimed at putting them on the world’s horticultural map.
The Baha’i gardens are now a geometric cascade of hanging gardens and terraces down toBen Gurion Boulevard-a gift of visual pleasure to the city that gave the Baha’i religion its home and headquarters.
At the entrance to the shrine, where shoes must be removed, visitors are given a pamphlet providing further details on Baha’i history and doctrine.
||Baha’i Shrine and Gardens; Baha’i Terraces; Shrine of the Bab
||Shrines; World Heritage Sites
||1899-1909 (original building); 1948-53 (mausoleum); 1990-2001 (gardens)
||Abdu’l-Bahá; Shoghi Effendi
||William Sutherland Maxwell (mausoleum); Fariborz Sahba (gardens)
||32.814649° N, 34.987303° E (view on Google Maps)
||View hotels near this location
||Bus: 22 from the port, 23, 25, and 26 from Hadar
||Modest dress required
Note: This information was accurate when published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.
- Haifa Map – our detailed interactive map ofHaifa, plus hand-picked links to more
- Haifa Hotels – check availability, maps, photos and reviews, and book at the guaranteed lowest price
- Haifa Car Rentals – enjoy more travel freedom by picking up a car inHaifa
- Frommer’s Online-Only Guides: Haifa
- Eyewitness Travel Guide to Jerusalem & the Holy Land
- Baha’i Shrine and Gardens on Mount Carmel – TourHaifa
Last updated on January 13, 2010.
Baha’i Prayer Book
Filed under: True love | Tagged: Beauty, Carmel, daily meditation, Haifa, heavenly beauty, Pilgrim, Power, Reading, selections from the writings of the bab, son of the wolf, Spirituality | 2 Comments »