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A view on ethics

The Ostad Elahi Foundation for Ethics and Human Solidarity (Fondation Ostad Elahi – Éthique et Solidarité humaine) recently celebrated its ten-year anniversary. In the address he delivered in Paris on that occasion, Prof. Bahram Elahi reviewed the objectives of the Foundation, emphasising the fact that their inspiration is directly drawn from Ostad Elahi’s thought—one “centred on the practice of ethics out of pure humanity and with the intention of divine contentment”. But what does the divine mean, and what knowledge can we have of it? Such is the question raised in this short video, in which Prof. Elahi also alludes to the role played in his own development by the outstanding personality of his father.


Address by Bahram Elahi by foelahi


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20 comments

  1. Max Farsh Jun 08, 2010 7:47 pm 1

    Thank you for this video.

  2. sp Jun 08, 2010 10:06 pm 2

    Many thanks to editorial board for this wonderful inspiring short video of Prof. Bahram Elahi. To confirm Prof. Bahram Elahi’s final statement in this address, recently I had studied some ethical work of Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant, which helped me in dissecting my own daily ethics; however my conclusion was that a universal ethics, as viewed by Ostad Elahi, is one that can practically help people become more united, less selfish and more altruistic.

  3. Sy Jun 09, 2010 5:38 am 3

    Thank you for making this video available!

  4. JW Jun 09, 2010 6:18 pm 4

    It was so wonderful to once more be reminded and inspired as to my right and duties as a human being to proactively take part in the responsibility to help myself and others become more united, less selfish and more altruistic by watching this video of Prof. Elahi. Since it is our human nature to “forget” I see the importance of continuously revisiting the works and thoughts of Ostad Elahi as a source of conscious inspiration and setting a daily practical course for taking action to be able to manifest the value of such a divine intention in such chaotic times in human history.

    Thank you for sharing this video for as they say “caring is sharing”.

  5. Juneone Jun 09, 2010 6:25 pm 5

    Thank you for this, it is good to be reminded of the objectives of the foundation that produces this wonderful website.

  6. NN Jun 09, 2010 7:11 pm 6

    Thank you for having the English translation. This is a great video!

  7. Bijan Tabloei Jun 10, 2010 2:08 am 7

    Many thanks, especially for the English subtitles, which helped me a lot to learn more from this wonderful video.

  8. Laura Jun 10, 2010 3:09 am 8

    what a beautiful speech!

  9. Editorial Board Jun 10, 2010 10:14 pm 9

    To Juneone: thank you for your appreciation of this website. However, this site is not produced by the Ostad Elahi Foundation: as explained here and here, e-ostadelahi.com owes its existence to a private initiative and is not formally linked to the Foundation. Of course, since the content of this site and the activity of the Foundation are both closely linked to the works and philosophy of Ostad Elahi, e-ostadelahi.com sometimes uses the contents that are made publicly available by the Foundation on its websites (as it is the case with this video).

  10. MA Jun 11, 2010 4:48 am 10

    Thank you for sharing this video along with the English translation!

  11. Holly Jun 11, 2010 5:07 am 11

    ‘All that seek and receive benefit must in return give benefit’ – A practical cycle of universal ethics that will result in human solidarity, decrease our egoism and increase our human altruism. I am touched by this simple and brief yet profound speech.

  12. Nancy Jun 12, 2010 7:20 pm 12

    Thank you so much for this beautiful and engaging lesson. When I was brought up as a child, I always wanted everyone to pay attention to me. Although, I was altruistic at times and cared for others I never really took the effort to help them. This simple video of a mere four minutes helped reawaken me, I feel rejuvenated and revitalized, with a new energy to go out and help my peers in any means possible. Thank you!

  13. Happi Jun 13, 2010 6:41 am 13

    Thank you for this motivating video.This short video reminds me the importance of thinking ethically in my everyday life. We humans are wired for God and all we have to do is plug ourselves into the electrical outlets and turn the switch on by seek to benefit others with the best we can.

  14. DB Jun 16, 2010 1:17 am 14

    Thank you for the generosity contained in this message.

  15. Max Farsh Jun 16, 2010 9:46 pm 15

    I had time to reflect on some of the speech and I really love succinct but beneficial speeches. One excerpt by Dr. Elahi narrated from Ostad Elahi: “All beings receive some benefits and must in turn provide some benefit”. And other readers point this out too.

    Just some short random thoughts on this statement (and I thank the creators of this site for allowing me to share these random thoughts). I am sure books can be written on such a simple statement with deep enough reflection. I am not sure what the French word for “benefit” is, that is the one used by Dr. Elahi (unfortunately I do not know the French language), however I assume it is almost the same as “benefit”.

    Observation: Is this with regards to other humans or with regards to the Necessary Being? Since the Necessary Being is the absolute, consequently It does not need anyone to give Him benefits. He is by definition of Necessary Being free from all wants, desires, benefits and etc as is described by his divine messengers. So the Necessary Being only provides benefits.

    So: “All beings receive some benefits and must in turn provide some benefit” in reality is a reciprocity law for creatures. That is if I am beneficial to other beings, I am automatically benefiting. That is possibly one of the many reasons Ostad Elahi states that practicing divine ethnics in the heart of society is many times more valuable than traditional seclusionary mysticism.

    Consequently, the more benefits I can provide, the more benefits I receive. But how much more? It is an equal mutual exchange? I believe this excerpt gives the answer:
    “God Almighty, in keeping with the gracious Bounty and Goodness of his Caring for His servants, will reward (each good action) ten times over; while in accordance with the Justice of His Judgment, (each bad action) will receive a single punishment”(Ostad Elahi (Author), J.W. Morris (Translator), “Knowing the Spirit”, State University of New York Press (January 2007) pp 105.).

    The video also reminds me that I should provide benefits that are: “centred on the practice of ethics out of pure humanity and with the intention of divine contentment”. Ostad Elahi also always advises that we should seek only the divine contentment (something which I cannot always do and I admit that many times I wanted other non-lasting benefits). This idea of “seeking only the divine contentment” is a major pillar of Ostad’s philosophy. The video reminds of trying to strive to the best of my ability for this divine contentment. Interestingly enough, if I am correct, Ostad Elahi or some saint mentions that only once he asked for something that was not of this nature and he still feels ashamed of it.

    On another note: “All beings receive some benefits and must in turn provide some benefit” can be linked with the fact that everything created has a purpose(Ibid, pp 83).

    One other paradoxical observation: The Necessary Being is the only entity that receive no benefits (he creates because of His infinite grace). However paradoxically, the closer we get to Him, the more benefits (spiritual benefits which is everlasting) we receive.

    That is, the ultimate benefit (to be complete or perfection), which Ostad Elahi states about:”For this is the ultimate goal of the overflowing emanation of His Grace, the Perfection that is sought through all existence things; to be brought out of nonexistence into existence; to attain, through that existence; and then, after having reached the perfection of existence, to be reunited with the Necessary being”.(IBID, pg 65). And the paradox is solved by “His Grace”.

    To summarize: it is really a good thing that we get at least a guaranteed 10x (and I believe Ostad says this is “least” in his Athar-ul-Haqq) reward/benefit (Spiritual) for each benefit we provide.

  16. Mina Jun 17, 2010 11:08 pm 16

    This video has truly made me think a lot about the quote that Ostad Elahi had mentioned to Dr. Elahi “All beings receive some benefits and must in turn provide some benefit”. Thank you for all the hard work and time that you put into all the articles and lectures!

  17. Sara Jun 19, 2010 3:55 am 17

    Thanks a lot for this video,it was wonderful.

  18. f.j Jun 21, 2010 11:15 pm 18

    thank you for this video and english translation.

  19. R.A. Jul 06, 2010 3:24 am 19

    This video has helped me to understand the key by which we can strive to develop a greater affinity and love for others, in our pursuit for divine satisfaction. Very simply and poignantly, Dr. Elahi says that by practicing ethics out of pure humanity we come to know the Truth imprinted within each of us. And when we come to know it, we cannot help but be enamored with it. And because this Truth is in all human beings, we naturally come to feel a love for others. This was incredibly enlightening for me.

  20. Mat Jul 08, 2010 6:51 pm 20

    Thanks for this video. viewing this short but valuable clip on a daily basis is helping me to remember the purpose of creation. When I feel lost and struggling, gives me a reason to move on.

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