10. A Universal Auxiliary Language

The Eleventh Basic Baha’i Principle is:
“A Universal Auxiliary Language.”

The eleventh foundation stone, the Jacinth, is somewhat like the Jasper, rose red, the universal color, the hue of the heart. A race can only understand the heart of another when it can speak the same language.

‘Abdu’l-Baha

In all the world there is nothing more important than to be understood by your fellow men, for upon this depends the progress of civilization itself.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha

One of the major causes of differences today among the peoples and nations of the world is the diversity of their languages. each nation and people have their culture history, territory and language, isolated by boundaries from a neighboring people . Wars, misunderstandings, conflicts and disputes arise from the lack of clear understanding and communication between them. Although they belong to the same race, the lack of a common language is the greatest barrier between them. Were a universal auxiliary language in operation they would all be considered as one.

Only think how the International Language will facilitate intercommunication among all the nations of the earth. Half of our lives are consumed in acquiring a knowledge of language, for in this enlightened age every man who hopes to travel in Asia and Africa and Europe must learn several languages, in order that he may converse with their peoples. But no sooner does he acquire one language than another is needed. Thus one’s whole life may be passed in acquiring those languages which are a hindrance to international communication. The; International Language frees humanity from all these problems.

Oneness of language will transform mankind into one world, remove religious misunderstandings and unite East and West in the spirit of brotherhood and love. Oneness of language will change this world from many families into one family. This auxiliary international language will gather the nations under one standard, as if the five continents of the world had become one, for then mutual interchange of thought will be. possible for all. It will remove ignorance and superstition, since each child of whatever race or nation can pursue his studies in science and art, needing but two languages his own and the international. The world of matter will become the expression of the world of mind. Then discoveries will be revealed, inventions will multiply, the sciences advance by leaps and bounds, the scientific culture of the earth will develop along broader lines. Then the nations will be enabled. to utilize the latest and best thought,. because expressed in the International Language.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha

The greatest means of progress between the East and West, would be to have a union of a common language. It would give the world the strongest impulse to become united for human advancement. It will upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity. It will make the earth one universal commonwealth. It will be the cause of love between the children of men and it shall cause good fellowship between the various races.

Since this principle of ‘a universal auxiliary language’ was proclaimed by Baha’u’llah, Basic English and a few other world languages have been invented to aid the world in a common means of understanding.

Ludovic Zamenhof, through the result of his devoted labor was the invention and widespread adoption of the language known as ‘Esperanto’. Gaining the most popular support throughout the world communities, it has now stood the test of many years and has proved to be encouraging and a very satisfactory medium of international intercourse. New efforts shall always continue to establish a common means of communication between the races of men. The unity of mankind depends upon his abilities to understand the thoughts of his brother’s heart.

The Sixth Ishraq’ (Effulgence) is concord and union amongst men. Through the radiance of union have the regions of the world at all times been illumined, and the greatest of all means thereunto is the understanding of one another’s writing and speech. Ere this, in our epistles, have We commanded the Trustees of the House of Justice, either to choose one of the existing tongues, or to originate a new one, and in like manner to adopt a common script, teaching these to the children in all the schools of the world, that the world may become even as one land and one home.” – Baha’u’llah, Tablet of Ishraqat

It is not intended that there should be only one language. The international tongue and script is to auxiliary. National culture, literature, art, genius, are to be preserved and developed, but all people must learn at least two languages, i.e., their native tongue and the national tongue. Unity in diversity is the desired result and not uniformity. It is hoped that the world language will be spoken with enthusiasm to understand one’s neighbor, many a burr and accent will enhance its beauty.

His Holiness Baha’u’llah wrote about this international language during the years of his life more than ninety years ago. He says; “That as long as an international language is not adopted, complete union between the various sections of the world will be unrealized, for we observe that misunderstanding keep people from mutual association, and these misunderstandings will not be dispelled except through an international auxiliary language”.