Saturday, September 17, 2005

Rumi - The Sufi Saint - II

Naturally this friendship evoked jealousy in the community. They distrusted Shams and resented his diverting their teacher from his teaching. They forced Sams away to Damascus, but Rumi called him back. Finally, it seems, some of Rumi's students - probably including one of his sons, Allaedin - Killed Shams and hid the body. In his grief Rumi began circling a pole in his garden and speaking the poetry that has come to be regarded as the most intimate record we have of the search for divine companionship. His turning is, of course, the origin of the moving meditation of the melevi dervishes. It is an emblem. simulatenously of discipline and abandon of surrender. Rumi's ecstasy begain in grief.

He spoke his poems. They were written down by the scribes, and later revisions were made by Rumi on the page, but for the most part his poetry can be considered spontaneous improvisation. Rumi wandered for a time in search of Shams, until he realized in Damascus one day, that he need not search any longer. He felt and knew, that Shams existed in the Friendship, and that he was that. The poetry come from there. All of the poems in Divan-i-Shams-i-Tabrizi (The works of Shams of Tabriz) are about the inner conversation of their Friendship.

The poems in the Divan are ghazals(odes), which are composed of a series of independent couplets and sometimes run as short as eight lines, sometimes longer. The form makes irrational, intutive leaps from image to image and thought to thought. This agility makes it an appropriate vehicle for Rumi's passionate longing.

For the last twelve years of his life Rumi wrote one long continous poem, the "Masnavi", the sixty-four thousand line of poetry divided into six books. It has no parallel in world literature. It surges like an ocean around many subjects. It is self-interrupting, visionary, sometimes humorous comentary on the health of soul and on Quranic passages; it is full of folktales, jokes and remarks to people physically present as the poems were being composed. Readers of Masnavi may dive in anywhere and swim aroung. It is a flow whose refrain is the ecstatic exclamation.

Rumi died at sunset on December 17, 1273. His tomb in Konya is still visited by thousands each month. It is said that representatives from all major religions attended his funeral. They saw Rumi and his poetry as a way of deepening their own faith. He is often called Melvana or Maulana meaning "Master" or "Lord". Every year on december 17, the anniversary of his death is celebrated around the world as the night of his union with the divine. It is called his "urs", or wedding night.


Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Very Interesting..Where can I read RUMI? Any books anywhere? Any recommendations?

18 September, 2005 02:56  
Blogger Jeevan said...

Very good History. All of them should know about rumi and his friend Shams.

18 September, 2005 07:05  
Blogger Aatma said...

Narayanan sir, the books by Coleman Barks are very famous, and available in Borders and Barnes & Nobles. There are many books by the same author - I am currently reading "The Soul of Rumi" and "Poems of Love and Ecstasy"

By Love he means Divine Love. If you get a chance u should read a book on Rumi.

18 September, 2005 09:08  
Blogger Aatma said...

Thanks Jeevan.

18 September, 2005 12:21  
Blogger Ram.C said...

It is very sad to note Afghanistan's state of today, considering birth of so many eminent personalities like Rumi.

18 September, 2005 18:05  
Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Thank you Sir. I'll check it out in Barnes and Noble store ( God..these book stores are a blessing - Can read anything without buying.!!)

19 September, 2005 18:12  
Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Aatma - any insight on y u started reading about Rumi :)

20 September, 2005 14:43  

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