On 22 October 2017, in more than 100,000 localities around the globe, Baha'is will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith.

The global festivities involving people of thousands of ethnic backgrounds is demonstrative of a key message of Bahá’u’lláh’s life and teachings: that a special time has arrived for the entire human race as it gradually moves from a stage of collective adolescence to one of maturity and wholeness.

In cycles gone by though harmony was established, yet, owing to the absence of means, the unity of all mankind could not have been achieved. Continents remained widely divided ... In this day, however, means of communication have multiplied, and the five continents of the earth have virtually merged into one.... In like manner all the members of the human family, whether peoples or governments, cities or villages, have become increasingly interdependent. For none is self-sufficiency any longer possible, inasmuch as political ties unite all peoples and nations, and the bonds of trade and industry, of agriculture and education, are being strengthened every day. Hence the unity of all mankind can in this day be achieved. Verily this is none other but one of the wonders of this wondrous age, this glorious century.

How to achieve this unity of humankind, while at the same time cherishing the tremendous diversity of the world’s cultures, is at the core of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Bahá’u’lláh's Revelation constitutes more than 100 volumes.

A pivotal concept in the Bahá’í teachings is that the refinement of one’s inner character and service to humanity are inseparable facets of life. In light of this, Bahá’ís have come to appreciate the operation of a two-fold purpose that is fundamental to their lives: to attend to their own spiritual and intellectual growth and to contribute to the transformation of society.

This two-fold purpose helps to shape the endeavours of Bahá’ís in all areas. Thus, while there is a desire for all Bahá’í to address their own spiritual, material and social wellbeing, through disciplined approaches dictated by science and religion, they are also conscious of their duty and responsibility to be active contributors to the spiritual, material and social wellbeing of their community, using a "world embracing vision", in the form of social action at the level of building relationships and raising consciousness of our personal and collective values.

Many of the questions central to the emergence of a prosperous and vibrant community will need to be answered at least in part at the level of culture. Viewed in this light, social action may well take the form of raising collective consciousness in a village or neighborhood about vital principles such as oneness, justice, and the equality of women and men; demonstrating the value of cooperation as an organizing principle for activity; and fortifying collective volition. For this reason, Bahá’í efforts at social action seek to reach beyond establishing a mere set of activities, and address deeper issues such as modes of expression and patterns of thought and behaviour

The bicentennial celebrations will be open to all throughout the world; you can contact melville@wa.bahai.org.au for more information on how you could take part in celebrations in Melville area.