Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Mahmud: June 19 – “The basis of eternal happiness is spirituality and divine virtue …”

Mahmud's Diary
June 19, 1912
New York, NY

As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is to go to Montclair tomorrow, He bade farewell to the friends. Today He admonished and encouraged the friends, exhorting them to love and unity and to refrain from differences and disagreements. Then, at the request of Miss Juliet Thompson, He went to a photography studio where several photographs were taken. As she is an artist herself, she drew ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s likeness with her own hands in a few days.

Many people were present in the afternoon. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke with a minister about the prosperity of humankind and the oneness of the world of humanity.

Mrs Smith, a member of one of the distinguished families in Philadelphia, had recently embraced the Cause and had requested a Persian name. She was given the name Tabandih [Light-giver] by the Master. As she had a headache, He prescribed some medication for her, saying:

You must always be happy. You must associate with joyous and happy people and be adorned with divine morals. Happiness has a direct influence in preserving our health while being upset causes illness. The basis of eternal happiness is spirituality and divine virtue, which is not followed by sorrow. But physical happiness is subject to a thousand changes and vicissitudes.

Have you heard the story of the emperor who looked into the mirror and became very sad and despondent? He said, ‘Oh! What a healthy and vigorous body I had but how worn it has become now! What a handsome face I had but how ugly it has become now! What graceful stature I had but how bent my body has become with age!’ Thus he spoke one by one of the physical conditions of his youth and expressed his sadness at their loss. Such is the end of the physical happiness.