Saturday, September 30, 2017

Rumi. Born on this day in 1207

BBC Website
Rumi 30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273

Rumi's influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the "most popular poet”[ and the "best selling poet" in the United States.

 
It was his meeting with the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi on 15 November 1244 that completely changed his life. From an accomplished teacher and jurist, Rumi was transformed into an ascetic.

Shams had travelled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could "endure my company". A voice said to him, "What will you give in return?" Shams replied, "My head!" The voice then said, "The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din of Konya." On the night of 5 December 1248, as Rumi and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. It is rumoured that Shams was murdered with the connivance of Rumi's son, 'Ala' ud-Din; if so, Shams indeed gave his head for the privilege of mystical friendship.

Rumi's love for, and his bereavement at the death of, Shams found their expression in an outpouring of lyric poems, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. He himself went out searching for Shams and journeyed again to Damascus. There, he realised:

Why should I seek? I am the same as
He. His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself


Double-page illuminated frontispiece, 1st book (daftar) of the Collection of poems (Masnavi-i ma'navi), 1461 manuscript

Bowl of Reflections with Rumi's poetry, early 13th century. Brooklyn Museum.

Tomb in Konya. Epitaph. When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men
In other verses in the Masnavi, Rumi describes in detail the universal message of love:

The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes
Love is the astrolabe of God's mysteries


Rumi died on 17 December 1273 in Konya; his body was interred beside that of his father, and a splendid shrine, the Yeşil Türbe (Green Tomb, today the Mevlâna Museum), was erected over his place of burial.

When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,
it easily forgets her
and starts eating solid food.

Seeds feed awhile on ground,
then lift up into the sun.

So you should taste the filtered light
and work your way toward wisdom
with no personal covering.

That's how you came here, like a star
without a name.  Move across the night sky
with those anonymous lights.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140414-americas-best-selling-poet

http://www.khamush.com/poems.html

1 comment:

Carla Ives said...

I know the name of Rumi and some of his shorter works. They are used in greeting cards and many FB memes. I did not know the history of his friendship with Shams. Interesting read.