7. Six Essential Requisites for Spiritual Growth

  1. Name the six essential requisites of spiritual growth.
  2. Describe briefly the what, why and how of each requisite.
  • Assignments
  1. Read and study William S. Hatcher’s The Concept of Spirituality , II. The Process of Spiritual Growth, 5. Tools for Spiritual Growth (954-56), to get more and deeper background information for this and the next module.

Living a Spiritual Life:
7. Six Essential Requisites for Spiritual Growth in unformatted text

Rodney H. Clarken Copyright © 2011

Module Objective

You will be able to name the six essential requisites to spiritual grow and say briefly what they are, why they are important and how you might practice them.

What does essential mean?

Constituting or being part of the essence of something; inherent.

Basic or indispensable; necessary:

Synonyms: Incapable of being dispensed with: indispensable, necessary, needful, required, requisite

What does requisite mean?

Something that is indispensable; a requirement.

Synonyms: Incapable of being dispensed with: essential, indispensable, necessary, needful, required.

 What does spiritual mean?

American Heritage Dictionary definition:

Of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things

(of a person) Not concerned with material values or pursuits

Of or relating to religion or religious belief

See synonyms at immaterial.

From where do the six essential requisites come?

The Universal House of Justice identified six essential requisites for spiritual growth in a September 1, 1983 message. This presentation takes excerpts from that message and discusses the what, why and how of these requisites to assist us in applying them to our lives. Later, we will discuss each requisite in a separate module.

Who gave the essential requisites for spiritual growth?

                Bahá’u’lláh has stated quite clearly in His Writings the essential requisites for our spiritual growth, and these are stressed again and again by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His talks and Tablets…. they represent the path towards the attainment of true spirituality that has been laid down by the Manifestation of God for this age. (cont.)

“One can summarize them briefly in this way:

1. The recital each day of one of the Obligatory Prayers with pure-hearted devotion.

2. The regular reading of the Sacred Scriptures, specifically at least each morning and evening, with reverence, attention and thought.

3. Prayerful meditation on the Teachings, so that we may understand them more deeply, fulfill them more faithfully, and convey them more accurately to others.

4. Striving every day to bring our behavior more into accordance with the high standards that are set forth in the Teachings.

5. Teaching the Cause of God.

6. Selfless service in the work of the Cause and in the carrying on of our trade or profession.” (Universal House of Justice, 9/1/83)

 Use a verb to describe each essential requisite.

A verb for each essential requisite of spiritual growth

 Pray     

 Read

 Meditate

 Strive

 Teach

 Serve

Remembering
the Six Essential Requisites

Can you remember the six essential requisites for spiritual growth? As these six daily practices are the core of our spiritual development, being able call them to mind it important. There are several techniques that can help you memorize. On the next slide, I will share an acronym to help you remember these six requisites.

An Acronym for Remembering
the Six Essential Requisites:
PRISMS

Pray

Read

Instruct/Teach, I teach or iTeach

Strive

Meditate

Serve

What is a prism?

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia :Piece of glass or other transparent material cut with precise angles and plane faces. Prisms are useful for analyzing and refracting light (see refraction). A triangular prism can separate white light into its constituent colors by refracting each different wavelength of light by a different amount.

These requisites are like a prism

They take the white light of God or the Holy Spirit and make it visible to us in the colors of the spectrum. Through them we get to see, experience, reflect and know God. Each requisite creates or reveals a different color. Together they combine to create pure light that illumines our souls and the true path to spirituality.

Another way of looking at the prism

Is to think of it as translating the knowledge, love and power of God into visible light that can cause the virtues to grow in the world and our souls. A visual image of this idea is presented on the next slide.

In the remainder of this module

we will have one slide each to describe

what each requisite is,

why it is important and

how you might practice it.

We will follow this module with a separate module for each of the six requisites.

Before we start, name them using PRISMS.

Prayer: What is it?

Supplication,  spiritual communion and conversation with God.

Like rain pouring down on plant.

Highest prayer is for the love and will of God.

Obligatory prayers are invested with special power and are the focus of this essential requisite.

Why pray?

Not to fulfill desires, but be in accord with God.

It is absolutely indispensable to inner spiritual development. It cultivates a sense of spirituality.

Draws us nearer to and causes a connection and association with God.

If the prayer is in accord with divine wisdom, it will be answered.

How to Pray?

Say one of the Obligatory Prayers each day according to the instructions given.

With a PHD: Pure-Hearted Devotion or Purity, Humility & Detachment.

In private and free from care, combined with love, meditation, thought and action.

Direct prayers to God through the Manifestation.

Reading: What is it?

2. The regular reading of the Sacred Scriptures, specifically at least each morning and evening…

                “The prime requisite is the eagerness and love of sanctified souls to read the Word of God. To read one verse, or even one word, in a spirit of joy and radiance, is preferable to the perusal of many Books.” (Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Q & A 68, p. 126)

Why read?

To be endowed with new life, understanding and ability: to feel, think and act better .

To open our hearts, which in reality are the doors of heaven.

To discover pearls of great price, solve problems, be faithful to the Covenant of God and of service to humanity.

How to read?

At least each morning and evening with

Reverence -admiration, veneration

Attention -concentration, consideration

Thought -reflection, contemplation

(to remember, try the acronym RAT or ART)

Read so not overcome by languor and despondency, but rather to lighten and uplift soul.

Meditation: What is it?

Prayer is talking to a higher power; meditation is listening to it.

Speaking with our own spirit, putting questions to it and receiving answers.

Like a mirror, reflects what it is turned to.

Pondering in our hearts the sacred scriptures and tasting their sweetness.

Why meditate?

so that we may understand the Teachings,  more deeply, fulfill them more faithfully, and convey them more accurately to others.” (to remember think of the acronym CUFf: To Convey more accurately, Understand more deeply, Fulfill more faithfully)

For inspiration and knowledge about unknowns, sciences, arts and inventions.

How to meditate?

Bahá’u’lláh has specified no procedures to be followed in meditation.

In privacy.

Use the Greatest Name or scripture.

Guard against ego, idle fancies, vain imaginations, superstitious or foolish ideas.

Turn away from world and towards God.

Strive: What is it?

4. Striving every day to bring our behavior more into accordance with the high standards that are set forth in the Teachings.

As we strive to integrate the spiritual standards, principles and practices into our daily lives and behavior, transformative forces act upon our souls, purging, purifying and sanctifying them. It is a source of prosperity and develops us morally and spiritually.

Why strive?

To increase our love for, knowledge of  and nearness to God.

To achieve greater understanding, meaning, fulfillment, purpose, happiness, joy, power, love, purity, radiance and efficiency of character.

Abiding by spiritual laws and principles, like physical laws, is essential for well-being and happiness.

How to strive?

Turn every stumbling block into a stepping stone.

Make problems and overcoming tests a means for improving character, spiritual development and happiness.

Set goals and make daily effort to improve.

Do not dwell on the faults and failings of others, instead discover and root out our own.

Bring yourself to account each day.

Instruct/Teach: What is it?

5. Teaching the Cause of God.

Highest form of service to another soul.

A spiritual process that requires spiritual preparation, qualities and action.

If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindness and goodwill. (Gleanings Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 289)

Why teach?

Humanity is suffering and seeking a remedy. Those who have it should share it with others.

To build capacity: to teach is to learn

Greatest gift of God

Most meritorious of all deeds.

How to teach?

When the will and the desire are strong enough, the means will be found and the way opened. (Shoghi Effendi, Ind. & Teaching, #116)

Before all else, teach your own self.

The intention of the teacher must be pure, his heart independent, his spirit attracted, his thought at peace, his resolution firm, his magnanimity exalted and in the love of God a shining torch. (Abdul-Baha, Tablets of Divine Plan, p. 54)

Service: What is it?

6. Selfless service in the work of the Cause and in the carrying on of our trade or profession.

The action of helping others (Dictionary).

Service in our work and Cause is a form of prayer and worship.

Service to humanity is service to God.

Why serve?

The effects of prayer, meditation and reading are not significant unless translated into service.

It is essential to our personal welfare and spiritual growth. It is a magnet that brings success and confirmations.

Noblest deed, greatest blessing and highest righteousness.

How to serve?

Expand our service from serving self, to serving our family, then to community and finally to humanity; guided by a higher power, purpose or cause.

Practice the Golden Rule. Selflessly serve.

With love, pure motives and excellence, to the best of our ability for the greatest good.

Think at all times of rendering service.

“The House of Justice is confident

that if the believers… will conscientiously strive to increase their spirituality in the six ways outlined above, and become aware in their inmost beings that in all their services they are but vehicles for the confirming power of God, they will attract the hearts of their fellow citizens and penetrate the miasma of materialism that veils the sight of so many of their countrymen.” (9/1/83)

“Effort, activity, unity and constant reliance on the power of Bahá’u’lláh will assuredly overcome all obstacles.”

                (Universal House of Justice, September 1, 1983)

Use PRISMS to name the requisites of spiritual growth?

PRISMS requisites of spiritual growth

 Pray-Obligatory prayers              

 Read-Sacred Scriptures

 Instruct/Teach-Cause

 Strive-High standards of Teachings

Meditate-Teachings

Serve-Cause, humanity through work

Assignment: Read/Study

Read William S. Hatcher’s The Concept of Spirituality , II. The Process of Spiritual Growth, 5. Tools for Spiritual Growth (954-56), to get more and deeper background information for this and the next module.

Assignment: View

For important foundational knowledge of developing spirituality view my webcast Model of Human Development (70 minutes long).

When ready, proceed to the next module

The first in a series of six discussing the essential requisites of spiritual growth:

8. Reading

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