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The Seven Valleys is a mystical poem charting the progress of the searching soul towards spiritual enlightenment and onenes with God. The poem was written by Baha'u'llah, founder of the Baha'i faith and Translated by his Great-Granson and authorised interpreter Shogi Effendi. It is viewed by Baha'i as divinely inspired and is therefore considered to be a sacred text.

The Seven Valleys was written in Bagdad sometime 1856 and 1863 while during Baha'u'llah's period there as an exile from his native Persia. It appears that during his time there Shaykh Muhyi'd-Din a Sufi religious Judge had written to Baha'u'llah seeking advice on a number of issues, specifically the symbolisim of a number of words (notably 'sparrow') but also as to the general meaning of certain Persian mystical poems.

The main bulk of the responce takes the form of a description in sequence of the eponymous metaphorical seven valleys. Each successive valley represents a stage in seekers progression towards enlightenment and oneness with God. As such each valley exhibits features that represent the state of mind and experiences of a religious seeker. In this overarching theme the Seven Valleys shows clear parralels with many southern central Eurasian poetic tales, most clearly the famous "Conference of the Birds" by Mantiqu't-Tayr. It is widely accepted that Mantiqu't-Tayr's poem was amoung those that prompted Shaykh Muhyi'd-Din to write to Baha'u'llah. With this in mind The Seven Valleys provide a useful counterpoint to The Conference of the Birds providing additional insight and textual refferences for those who are seeking spiritual opening.

The full text of The Seven Valleys is available through the following links:

  • Preface to the Seven Valleys of Baha'u'llah
  • The Valley of Search
  • The Valley of Love
  • The Valley of Knowledge
  • The Valley of Unity
  • The Valley of Contentment
  • The Valley of Wonderment
  • The Valley of True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness
  • Baha'u'llah - Regarding Sparrows

    February 1997 (revised)
    (30 September 1999: REVIEWED - no changes)

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