World Peace

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on peace among all nations, all religions, all peoples on earth. These readings have been selected from various religious traditions. Please come and join us on Sundays at 9:30 am at the Beaverton Baha’i Center.

Opening Prayers

Peace be to earth and to airy spaces! Peace be to heaven, peace to the waters, peace to the plants and peace to the trees! May all the gods grant me peace! By this invocation of peace may peace be diffused! By this invocation of peace may peace bring peace! With this peace the dreadful I appease, with this peace the cruel I appease, with this peace all evil I appease, so that peace may prevail, happiness prevail! May everything for all be peace!

Hinduism, Atharva Veda 19.9.14

This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favors have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness. It behoveth them to cleave to whatsoever will, in this Day, be conducive to the exaltation of their stations, and to the promotion of their best interests.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

First Reading

My children, war, fear and disunity have brought you from your villages to this sacred council fire. Facing common danger, and fearing for the lives of your families, you have yet drifted apart, each tribe thinking and acting only for itself. You must reunite now and act as one. No tribe alone can withstand enemies, who care nothing about the eternal law. My children listen well. Remember you are brothers, that the downfall of one means the downfall of all. You must have one fire, one pipe, one war club.

Native American Religions, Iroquois

God’s greatest gift to man is that of intellect, or understanding. The understanding is the power by which man acquires his knowledge of the several kingdoms of creation, and of various stages of existence, as well as of much which is invisible…Intellect is, in truth, the most precious gift bestowed upon man by the Divine Bounty. Man alone, among created beings, has this wonderful power…Man alone has freedom, and, by his understanding or intellect, has been able to gain control of and adapt some of those natural laws to his own needs. By the power of his intellect he has discovered means by which he not only traverses great continents in express trains and crosses vast oceans in ships, but, like the fish he travels under water in submarines, and, imitating the birds, he flies through the air in airships…God gave this power to man that it might be used for the advancement of civilization, for the good of humanity, to increase love and concord and peace.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Music

Second Reading

Meet together, speak together, let your minds be of one accord, as the Gods of old, being of one mind accepted their share of the sacrifice. May your counsel be common, your assembly common, common the mind and the thoughts of these united. A common purpose do I lay before you. Let your minds be of one accord, and all of you as one mind, so you may live well together.

Hinduism, Rig Veda 10.191.2-4

What profit is there in agreeing that universal friendship is good, and talking of the solidarity of the human race as a grand ideal? Unless these thoughts are translated into the world of action, they are useless. The wrong in the world continues to exist just because people talk only of their ideals, and do not strive to put them into practice. If actions took the place of words, the world’s misery would very soon be changed into comfort. A man who does great good, and talks not of it, is on the way to perfection. The man who has accomplished a small good and magnifies it in his speech is worth very little.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

God is peace, His name is peace, and all is bound together in peace.
The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.

Judaism. Leviticus 10; Talmud, Gittin 59b

Our Father, it is thy universe, it is thy will: Let us be at peace, let the souls of the people be cool. Thou art our Father, remove all evil from our path.

African Traditional Religions, Nuer Prayer (Sudan)

When love is realized and the ideal spiritual bonds unite the hearts of men, the whole human race will be uplifted, the world will continually grow more spiritual and radiant, and the happiness and tranquility of mankind be immeasurably increased. Warfare and strive will be uprooted, disagreement and dissension pass away, and Universal Peace unite the nations and peoples of the world. All mankind will dwell together as one family, blend as the waves of one sea, shine as stars of one firmament, and appear as fruits of the same tree. This is the happiness and felicity of humankind. This is the illumination of man, the glory eternal and life everlasting; this is the divine bestowal.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Music

Third Reading

Peace and universal love is the essence of the Gospel preached by all Enlightened Ones. The Lord has preached that equanimity is the Dharma. Forgive do I creatures all, and let all creatures forgive me. Unto all have I amity, and unto none enmity. Know that violence is the root cause of all miseries in the world. Violence, in fact, is the knot of bondage. “Do not injure any living being.” This is the eternal, perennial, and unalterable way of spiritual life. A weapon, howsoever powerful it may be, can always be superseded by a superior one, but no weapon, however, can be superior to non-violence and love.

Jainist Text

Now is the gracious Lord’s ordinance promulgated, No one shall cause another pain or injury; All mankind shall live in peace together under a shield of administrative benevolence.

Sikhism Sri Raga, M.5

Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!

Judaism, Psalm 133

I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content. Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness. When soldiers of the world draw their swords to kill, soldiers of God clasp each other’s hands! So may all the savagery of man disappear by the Mercy of God, working through the pure in heart and the sincere of soul. Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain!

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Music

Open Prayers

Music

Fourth Reading

The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established. This unity can never be achieved so long as the counsels which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed are suffered to pass unheeded.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Closing Prayer

O God! Raise aloft the banner of the oneness of mankind. O God! Establish the Most Great Peace. Cement Thou, O God, the hearts together. O Thou kind Father, God! Gladden our hearts through the fragrance of Thy love. Brighten our eyes through the Light of Thy Guidance. Delight our ears with the melody of Thy Word, and shelter us all in the Stronghold of Thy Providence. Thou art the Mighty and Powerful, Thou art the Forgiving and Thou art the One Who overlooketh the shortcomings of all mankind.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Photo from Baha’i Media Bank
Copyright © Bahá’í International Community

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