"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?"
Participatory Group Study
Collaborative Study for Individual and Social Transformation
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 gained, 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.
At the heart of the writings of Baha'u'llah is the force of transformation, both of the individual and of society. The transformation of the individual is not an isolated process, centred wholly on one’s self-fulfilment.
In Baha'i terms, the process of one’s individual development and fulfilment is tied to the centring of one’s energies on the betterment of humankind and serving the needs of the community and the larger society.
Prayer and meditation, fighting one’s spiritual battles, living according to spiritual laws and teachings—all are essential elements in fulfilling life’s purpose, but such efforts reach their fullest transformative effect when they are dedicated to service.
Thus, Baha'is are actively engaged in developing knowledge, skills, and spiritual insights that enable people to act as effective human resources and agents of change. This is vital to the integrated process of personal and social transformation. Presently, such collective learning takes the form of study circles—a local, collaborative, self-directed learning process being undertaken by Baha'i communities around India. All are welcome in the classes, regardless of their ideas, religion or beliefs.
Participants in the courses gain a lot of confidence in expressing themselves and articulating their needs and aspirations. They reorient their lives to include components of service. Amongst the service activities that they engage in are hosting of devotional gatherings in order to build bonds of love and fellowship amongst people of different religions and belief systems, conducting classes for the spiritual education and empowerment of children and junior youth as well as conducting classes for youths and adults. These classes contribute to the building of a new civilization.