Once there were certain Persian princes in the presence of Bahá’u’lláh. He was engaged in conversation with them and with loving-kindness sought news of their country. In the course of this interview one of the princes made the following remark: ‘How is it that You speak of spiritual matters to Your friends when they attain Your presence, while to us You talk only about the news of the town and the market?’ He was trying to ask: ‘How could such men who are devoid of learning and discernment be preferable to us?’ In answer to him Bahá’u’lláh said:

‘…I will tell you which people are worthy of listening to My utterances and attaining My presence. Suppose that a person is taken to a vast plain, on the right side of which are placed all the glories of this world, its pleasures and comfort, together with a sovereignty which would be everlasting and freed from every affliction and grief. On the left-hand side of this plain are preserved for eternity all the calamities, hardships, pains and immense sufferings. Then suppose that the Holy Spirit appears before this person and addresses him in these words: “Shouldst thou choose to have all the eternal pleasures that are placed on the right side in preference to the calamities on the left, not the slightest thing would be reduced from thy station in the sight of God. And shouldst thou choose to be inflicted with innumerable sufferings that are placed on the left, not the slightest thing would be added to thy station in the estimation of God, the Almighty, the Unconstrained.”

‘If at that moment this person were moved to choose, with the utmost eagerness and enthusiasm, the left hand of abasement rather than the right hand of glory, then he would be worthy to attain My presence and hearken to My exalted words. In this connection the Tongue of Grandeur, addressing the inquirers, says “If thine aim be to cherish thy life, approach not our court; but if sacrifice be thy heart’s desire, come and let others come with thee. For such is the way of faith, if in thy heart thou seekest reunion with Bahá; Shouldst thou refuse to tread this path, why trouble us? Begone!”