Welcome Message

Feast of Tabernacles 011997 (2014),
Celebrating the Fifth Seal



Sadhana opens Feast: Let us begin this welcome and officially open the Feast by taking a moment of silence, closing our eyes, and becoming One, not by trying to become one with each other, but all becoming One with the Spirit, and so we are made One. Let us bring all our focus on the center of The Greatest Sign, He who Is and Is All. [Silence]

Let us make a joyful week in His Service.

Sal-Om all. Welcome to the 26th Feast of Tabernacles as celebrated by the Mission of Maitreya. The first one took place in 1989, and we are now in 2014 and we are still the fourth round of celebrating, because we celebrate one Seal each Feast and we are now on the fourth round of this, the Fifth Seal in the fourth round.

Welcome to the Feast, symbolizing the coming of the Lord (the time of year when God's Spirit is Greatest on earth)! It is the most Holy Feast of God, and represents gathering, usually the autumn harvest.

The Feast will be broadcast online and we hope that all of you will be celebrating it in your own areas by joining us during the services that we will be doing as well. We have a schedule available for anyone to take a look and follow the events for this year's Feast that should hopefully bring everyone together and help us increase the Spirit of God in us and let the ego decrease. This year we will mostly learn about Universalism and hopefully this will help us to expand our minds, hearts, and Souls to the Revelation and others that may enjoy the benefits of Maitreya's Message, which is for all of humanity.

To open the Feast, we should begin by remembering why we celebrate it and what it is. What is the Feast of Tabernacles? Why do we celebrate it?

The answers to these questions can be found in THOTH, as everything else, which explains to us that in chapter 23 of Leviticus in the Bible, God commands the Holy Days and Feasts which He expects humans to follow over the course of the year. There are seven of them, and they are the only Holy Days and the only holidays commanded by God. There should be none other.

There is always a great and beneficent reason for Gods commands. A Commandment with no reasoning would not be logical and, as many dogmatic approaches would have it, this is not an angry God that just tells you to do things and you should do them without understanding why. All man-made holidays are focused on glorifying the self, or the individual, or the humanity, and increasing the false ego, whereas all of God's Holy Days are created in a way that focuses the self on God. At this time of age, it is very important to understand this reason, as God always wants the best for His creation.

All of human suffering and the entire reason the universe needed to be created was because the false ego exists (that illusion that we are separate from God). Anything that focuses on the false ego will lead to destruction and ignorance. Anything that focuses on God and brings the focus away from the self and that false ego, leads to salvation.

The Holy Days are created to help us - Sabbath is for man. They should be followed because they will accelerate our spiritual progress and as a sign of obedience to the Lord, as we are His people.

There are seven Holy Days that were commanded to be celebrated in Leviticus, and the Feast of Tabernacles is the seventh. As is explained in THOTH, I will read from Feasts and Holy Days of the Lord, which is in Essays 1, Tablet 14 in THOTH, it says:

10 - The fifteenth day of the seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles and for seven days there will be a feast. On the first day a holy convocation, and no servile work.

11 - After seven days of feasting, a Sabbath on the eighth day, a holy convocation. It is a solemn assembly, with no servile work.

The Holy Days that are commanded in Leviticus 23 are asked to be solemn. On the Passover we focus on the Lord passing us over. It is a time of self-examination and control, and a sort of discipline, and the same with the other Holy Days. But the Feast of Tabernacles is a time of feasting, celebration, a joyful time.

So do not be solemn but be happy, be joyful. Let that Joy and Spirit come through. It is a time to have fun in the Spirit of God, in a Godly Way, and feel that side of God also.

God clearly wants those who are the Children of Light, the Children of Israel, to follow these Feasts and Holy Days, this most Holy Day or Holy Week of the Lord, and let it be a sign that we are truly the Children of Light. The Mission of Maitreya is the fulfillment of many prayers and expectations. Through the truth that has been revealed to us, we will return to God's Ways.

God's Ways expand our minds. The New Man of the Golden Age, with a lucid mind, has broken through anything that stands in front of them to be a Universalist. The only "ism" is Universalism. Any other "ism" is from narrowness. Only by accepting the universe as the only home, nation, and country, can a man overcome being narrow-minded by relating the self to a specific group or land. Only then can he destroy the very disease of the mind, which is a feeling of belonging to one part rather than feeling that the only home is the entire universe.

We focus the Feast on one Seal of the Seven Seals in the Eternal Divine Path and The Greatest Sign. And this year we focus on the Fifth Seal.

What is the Fifth Seal? The Fifth Seal is the Seal of Expansion, Universalism, representing the understanding that we are One, that we should come together and become united. We should create one world government, one country, one language, and if possible, one race, and live together happily. Only in such unity might we expand to encompass the whole universe as our home. Universalism is not really a spiritual achievement but it is a spiritual understanding.

For more information on Universalism and the Fifth Seal we recommend the transcript of the lecture on the Fifth Seal, given by Maitreya Himself, which everyone is encouraged to read on their own. The lecture is scheduled for the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. We would encourage everyone to read this material about the Fifth Seal and then join in on daily readings of various letters or frequently asked questions on the Baha'i Faith. Of course, you can attend the several events that are scheduled for God's Feast, the schedule for this year's Feast of Tabernacles is available online so that everyone has the opportunity to follow the activities. Finally, welcome to those who are interested in learning more, we kindly invite all to discuss what they might learn in these days during and after the Feast.

To understand Universalism and the Fifth Seal in The Greatest Sign and in the Eternal Divine Path, what it represents, as with any Seal, it is necessary to understand previous and following Seals so that you might benefit from any knowledge acquired in the context of the whole Teaching of Maitreya and what the Mission is about. There are many truths awaiting to be discovered, something that goes for the whole of the Mission of Maitreya, and with the message of the Fifth Seal, expansion is inevitable!

Let's begin by taking a look to the Fifth Seal in The Greatest Sign and see what it is: The Star with nine arms, a symbol of Universalism. The nine-armed star is the symbol of the Baha'i Faith, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. As we can read in THOTH, many Saints of this religion were slain for the word of God (their belief which came by their Prophet), "and for the testimony which they held." As of now, humanity was not ready to expand on their previous understandings, and what had happened to a great many Baha'is was prophesied and should have been fulfilled, as the Revelation 6:11 informs us.

Baha'i came in the 1800's and the idea of progressive revelation was introduced into the consciousnesses of many who believed the Fourth Seal was the Last Seal and Prophet Muhammad the last prophet. The Baha'i Faith and the symbol with two five-pointed stars often used as a ringstone symbol testifies of this main feature, representing Bab and Baha'u'llah, the twin Prophets.

The Bab as the Prophet was in fact Christ incarnated. He was the true founder of the Baha'i Faith. The Bab was a Major Manifestation, while Baha'u'llah can be compared to Paul in Christianity: His principal mission was to spread the teachings and bring the Baha'i Faith to the western part of the world. In the course of this process a great deal of the teachings of the Baha'i Faith had to be watered down and even altered. We will, of course, hear much more about this and learn about how the Mission of Maitreya clarifies the confusion in regards to this as well.

After the birth of Bab (Baha'u'llah), the world started to progress toward a more international feeling. This especially shows the greatness of this Prophet and His Mission.

The nearly simultaneous appearance of two Manifestations of God, Baha'u'llah Himself states, "is a mystery such as no mind can fathom." For instance, it is interesting to know that Bab was from the lineage of Prophet Muhammad; Baha'u'llah was not. For Baha'is, it is both an affirmation that the establishment of universal peace - the "Kingdom of God" - is not too far distant, and a testimony to the greatness of Baha'u'llah's Revelation, symbolized by what is also known as the Day-Star (the nine-armed star, the Fifth Seal of The Greatest Sign).

It should be mentioned and I am going to, in the next passage, read something briefly from THOTH, THE HOLIEST, Revelation of The Revelation, Tablet Seven. The very message of Universalism has been its very test, as Baha'is have truly experienced. How expanded are we exactly? In addition, why is this religion, if it is ever-expanding, not perfect? We will see, the Mission teaches, there are two more Seals after the Fifth that complete God's Message to Humanity:

What remained and the main purpose of the coming of the Baha'i Faith is its universal view which should be accepted and preserved, "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die."

(THOTH, Revelation of The Revelation, Tablet Seven)

As with any stage in spiritual progress, the Fifth stage, level or chakra has a pitfall. In THOTH it is stated: "He who overcomes the pitfalls of this stage will overcome all attractions of Maya. He will overcome the material world (the five elements, the five koshas - sheaths)." These mysteries, with the meanings of the Seals, are revealed in The Greatest Sign and make up the Eternal Divine Path, revealed to us by Maitreya (GIWH):

The fifth church is represented by the symbol of the nine-armed star of the Baha'i Faith (baha-s.gif (97 bytes)). The name Baha'u'llah means "The Beauty of God." "That thou hast a name" refers to this name which the followers of the Baha'i Faith should bring to the world. They should glorify the Lord. "That thou livest, and art dead": but this name is dead. They are not glorifying the Lord -- Formless, Invisible, Nameless, and Eternal (FINE). They are glorifying their Prophet (Baha'u'llah).

(THOTH, Revelation of The Revelation, Tablet Seven)

Many Bahai's have difficulties expanding their minds to the other two Seals and Prophets after their Prophet, as many others have. Symbolically also, the fifth chakra is not the final stage. So, we might ask: "Who can give up all the colors of the rainbow and be dressed in pure white?" The rainbow can be beautiful indeed, like the Bahai teachings are, very beautiful, and this is also an important part of Gods Plan. But like a prism would refract light into many colors, if we are interested in the whole picture, we have to search for the source of pure white light, if we want to have a clear vision, unobscured by many or any prisms. As a final point that supports this notion, Maitreya-Ji has also mentioned that a lot of the Baha'i teachings are not Scriptural and so have no basis in God's Words.

Last year we celebrated the Fourth Seal, surrendering and submission, which leads to the realization that: You no longer exist. God alone exists.

In this Feast of Tabernacles we celebrate this part of God's Plan, the Fifth Seal, and try to understand how Universalism, God's Plan to bring unity to humanity, is accomplished.

We are here to celebrate this and understand it, in the context of the rest of Maitreya's teachings, of course. Awakening of the Spiritual Forces, the First Seal, the Communities of Light, the Second Seal, will only work if we sacrifice, the Third Seal, if we surrender and submit to the Will of God, the Fourth Seal, and if we become a Universalist and shatter all narrowness of the mind, then we might create one world, one humanity, and all work together, etc. In this Feast, this week, we focus on understanding and celebrating the Fifth Seal.

So welcome, welcome to the Fifth Seal Feast. If there are any questions we will be able to pose these during lectures or otherwise during the Feast.

We will now turn to the schedule for this year's Feast in celebrating this Fifth Seal, in celebrating this Holy Day, this Holy Week. We have developed a schedule here locally that we are going to broadcast the majority of events online, so everyone who would like to is welcome to join us. We will go through it briefly to make sure everyone is informed of the upcoming events, activities, resting times, services, etc.

During the Feast we celebrate one Seal each day in a way that the Seventh Seal is always on Sabbath, Saturday - in the larger scheme we focus on the Fifth Seal, and for each day we also focus on these individual Seals, understanding them, and glorifying them.

Let us take a look at Day 1 from the Index. I think I will provide the link for the Paltalk listeners here so they can see the schedule for this year's Feast of Tabernacles. The schedule has regular Services each day and then following that, there are some interesting Reader's Choice and volunteer readings that will relate to the Fifth Seal, so tuning in is a great way to learn more about this Seal. On the first day of the Feast we have a full moon and the Holy Convocation (no servile work), so assembling with like-minded believers is a huge blessing, and this year it is on the first day of the Feast, which makes it a great symbolic alignment. Thanks God for that.

This is all in Mountain Standard Time (MST) or actually Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) since we are currently in Daylight Savings Time, so you will have to transfer that to whatever local time you are in to be able to join us. But starting in the morning at 5:30 AM on Paltalk we will be broadcasting a Service, similar to the Service we had this evening. Then at 6:30 AM we will be having a THOTH reading. We have selected the THOTH readings to be based on the Fifth Seal so we will be starting with Reader's Choice. The readings are assigned, so please check and see if you are assigned to any of these readings if you volunteered.

Next we have an hour of innercise. Innercise are those activities that relate to the chakras, the flow of energy in the body, the glands, and awakening the inner body, the ethereal body, strengthening the spiritual, the inner spiritual awareness in the body. The main example is yoga, and indeed we have a guided class for men and a guided class for women that are provided on the website and anyone can use them if they would like more help in this section. That can be accessed by clicking the link on the schedule, "(see our guided classes)," if you click that you can go to it. In the afternoon, we have Pilates, a combination of exercise and innercise, and are also available as a guided class. Other examples, if you would like to do those, are Tai Chi or similar martial arts practices, and many other things related to the Mystical Paths all over the world. Any of these would be fine.

Then we will hear a two-part lecture by Maitreya-Ji, read individually and/or on Paltalk, before and after dinner.

In the midday, 11:50 AM MDT, we do The Reminder.

Then we have Service again, and in the evenings we have freeform readings from the teachings. Everyone is welcome to come on Paltalk and read whatever he or she would like for however long they would like and just enjoy the teachings.

That is the basic schedule for each of the days. It follows that general idea. All of this is broadcast on Paltalk. You can join us for every single one of these on Paltalk. If you would like more information about these events, there is a link again in the schedule, "Broadcast on Paltalk." If you click that, you will learn more.

On the second day we will have Maitreya's (GIWH) first Question and Answer session, where He will be available for questions if questions are sent beforehand and have not been posed before, as most of questions have been previously answered. Maitreya will be available for two times this Feast to answer questions. It is the only time of the year that He does this, that He is available to the public for answering questions, so it is a very rare and great honor. If you would like to ask a question, you should email it to us now, beforehand. If you email it to Him, He will be able to provide a better answer as He will have time to meditate on it. He would prefer it that way. Therefore, if you have a question for Him for these sessions, the one on Day 4 or the one on Day 6, email them to us now. You can email them to us at any of our email addresses.

On Day 3 we will perform the Mission Rosary, so the Rosary Session will be helpful to those who want to learn about how this is done while we also continue with part two lecture on meditation. On this day our Sabbath fast begins after the Service is performed.

On Sabbath, transmission meditation is done and this is two times a day, 6:00 AM to 6:30 AM and 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM. After the Sabbath Community Unity Meeting, there is a breaking of the fast dinner and a Mission-related movie.

The fifth day we have on schedule a lecture on the spiritual practices of the Mission that the Divine Sisters have prepared for this year's Feast.

We will also be able to tune in to a lecture on meditation given by Unus. There will be a question and answer session by Unus following up on this on the next day, Day 6.

On Day 6 we usually do community service, a selfless service that should be done from knowledge and offered as a service in your local area. We encourage everyone, in their own area, to find something that they can do, this is a great part of spiritual practice, and also getting out there and helping the community is good for all. On this day Maitreya (GIWH) will be available for new questions sent to the Mission beforehand. It should be mentioned that one must come to these sessions to have your questions answered. They will not be answered if you are not there.

On the seventh day of the Feast we have a trip to the local mountains, this can be done in your local area as well; a picnic in nature and fresh air in combination with the Rosary, contemplation, vision quest, etc. can make this a beautiful and Godly day. To have a vision quest would be to go to a quiet place and meditate in your area and have a quest for vision, for true understanding. It is a Native American idea that when the child wanted to become a man, they would have to go off and be alone until they had a vision. Then they would come back as an adult. We find this to be a very beautiful idea, and we encourage all... in fact, there is a Satsang by Maitreya where it is requested that everyone should have a vision quest, to truly go and have a quest for Vision: To let God give you the Vision of this Mission. Go on a vision quest during this day and see what God will reveal to you!

In the evening, there is a talent/sharing night with spiritual stories, songs and performances. So for this night we encourage everyone to find something, some stories, some jokes, etc., that teach beautiful spiritual lessons, and share them with the rest. This year we will have a puppet theater play prepared by two Mission members.

Day 8 is the closing of the Feast of Tabernacles. On the last day of the Feast we will be having the rounding as a repeated service over and over again constantly throughout the day of chanting, constant chanting, people meditating while others are chanting, and it will be an amazing time. Since we are so small at this time, what will happen is, we will have a regular Service in the morning as the other days. After that, chanting, straight chanting, will start playing in the room for the whole day. So any time any of you feel inspired to chant that day, do the HOSH Mantra, the Kirtan, just join the room and there will be chanting. And that will occur until the evening Service.

The Feast officially ends at 6:00 PM.

Finally, after the evening Service we will be having the candle ceremony, which is a time in which we take unlit candles and light them from a lit candle at the foot of Maitreya's chair. It is symbolic of receiving the Light Maitreya has given to us, and then having that Light to spread to the world, as Christ instructed, when you have a Light you put it somewhere that all can see it, such as the top of a hill. It is a very powerful, symbolic ceremony, and we welcome everyone to do something similar in their own areas, or at least feel that symbolism there.

That is how we conduct the Feast. As our numbers increase, we are hoping to increase these activities and to make them more elaborate and inclusive.

So, we welcome you all to the Feast. May you all enjoy - may we all enjoy. May God be with us, if it is His Will.

As has been in previous Feasts, we will now open up the room to testimonials to be given, if one would like to give a testimonial of how they received the Mission and came to the Mission. Or, if you are just filled with the Spirit and just want to say something devotional, please go ahead.

Thanks God, and Sal-Om everyone. Welcome!

Welcome Message Index

Letter to humanity and their leaders

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All Thanks To God (ATTG).