"Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions?"
Today in India thousands of people are engaged in a systematic study of the words of God, in an environment that is at once serious and uplifting. As they strive to apply through a process of action, reflection and consultation the insights they gain, they see their capacity to serve society rise to new levels. These courses of the Baha'i training institute create an environment conducive to the spiritual empowerment of individuals, who will come to see themselves as active agents of their own learning, as protagonists of a constant effort to apply knowledge to effect individual and collective transformation.
Aware of the aspirations of the children of the world and their need for spiritual education, the Baha'is extend their efforts widely to involve ever-growing contingents of participants in classes that become centres of attraction for the young and strengthen the roots of spirituality and social action in society.
Responding to the inmost longing of every heart to commune with its Maker, the Baha'is carry out acts of collective worship in diverse settings, uniting with people of other Faiths in prayer, awakening spiritual susceptibilities, and shaping a pattern of life distinguished for its devotional character.
Participation in social action is a prominent feature of a life dedicated to the service of the entire human race. From a Bahá’í perspective, social action can range from fairly informal efforts of short duration undertaken by individuals or small groups to programmes of social and economic development with a high level of complexity and sophistication. Irrespective of its scope and scale, all social action seeks to apply the teachings and principles of the Bahá’í Faith to improve some aspect of the social or economic life of a population. Consequently, Bahá’í development initiatives are designed to engage and benefit all the members of a community and not just Bahá’ís.
The programme for the spiritual empowerment of junior youth is another expression of cultural advance in the Baha'i community, and it is spreading rapidly in different parts of the country. While global trends project an image of this age group as problematic, lost in the throes of tumultuous physical and emotional change, unresponsive and self-consumed, the Baha'i community - in the language it employs and the approaches it adopts - is moving decidedly in the opposite direction, seeing in junior youth instead altruism, an acute sense of justice, eagerness to learn about the universe and a desire to contribute to the construction of a better world.
Baha'i Inspired Development Projects
India hosts a number of Bahá’í -inspired socio economic projects such as BARLI Development Institute for Rural Women (Indore), New Era Teacher Training Centre & New Era School (Panchgani, Maharashtra), Rabbani School (Gwalior), Foundation for Advancement of Science (Lucknow), Sikkim Baha'i Schools (Sikkim) and a host of privately owned Baha'i-inspired schools in different cities and villages of India. These schools attempt to satisfy the educational needs of all children from different walks of life. Bahá'ís have also established rural and community schools in villages of India and mostly in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.