Mumbai: Baha'i Community Members Gather To Celebrate Their Holiest Festival 'Ridvan' At Marine Lines

Mumbai: Baha'i Community Members Gather To Celebrate Their Holiest Festival 'Ridvan' At Marine Lines

Baha'is are celebrating their holiest festival 'Ridvan' which marks the anniversary of the days in 1863 CE when their prophet Baha'u'llah announced to a gathering of friends that he was God's messenger for a new age, as foretold in the world's holy scriptures.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, April 29, 2024, 10:41 PM IST
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Mumbai: Baha'i Community Members Gather To Celebrate Their Holiest Festival 'Ridvan' At Marine Lines |

Mumbai: Baha'is are celebrating their holiest festival 'Ridvan' which marks the anniversary of the days in 1863 CE when their prophet Baha'u'llah announced to a gathering of friends that he was God's messenger for a new age, as foretold in the world's holy scriptures.

Baha'u'llah made this announcement in a garden on the banks of the Tigris River in what is now Iraq and named the garden 'Ridvan', or paradise. The festival is celebrated for 12 days at the end of April and the beginning of May. In Mumbai, community members gathered at their centre in New Marine Lines.

On the first day of Ridvan, in thousands of Baha'i communities around the globe, members vote for their local governing councils. As the Baha'i Faith has no clergy, these governing Councils on international, national, regional, and local levels carry out the affairs of the community. These elections are unique in that they are held by secret ballot and by majority vote, without candidacy, nomination, and campaigning.

While casting the ballots, Baha’is consider necessary qualities such as unquestioned loyalty, selfless devotion, a well-trained mind, recognised ability, and mature experience and also give due consideration to other factors like age distribution, diversity, and gender.

The Baha'is do not have priests, idols, or symbols. Members form local units called Spiritual Assemblies which meet for prayers and public service missions. The faith's headquarters is in Haifa, Israel, where an elected nine-member body called the Universal House of Justice presides over matters of administration and spirituality.

The Ridvan period was also when Baha'u'llah proclaimed the foundational spiritual principles that lie at the heart of his teachings—signaling the arrival of a new stage in the evolution of the life of humanity, characterised by peace and an end to violence.

This is one of the most sacred processes for Baha'i followers when they turn towards God in a prayerful attitude to seek divine guidance and participate in Baha'i elections with the purity of purpose, freedom of consciousness, and purity of heart.

The religion now has 1.8 million followers across the world, a majority of whom live in India, according to its members. The religion recognises a long line of religious teachers, including Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Zarathustra, and Jesus as prophets. The community's most recognisable monument in India is Delhi's Bahai House of Worship, popularly called the Lotus Temple.

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