RumiTime: Genesis of Rumi's Poetry Part 2


In today's episode we continue our exploration re Rumi's meeting with Shams and its profound impact on his life...

Before starting I'd like to acknowledge that

All of the quotes and Rumi's poem in this episode are from the book  "In the Arms of the Beloved, translations by Jonathan Star." All other aspects of Rumi's story are my paraphrased understanding and interpretation of  his life, synthesized through my study of various authors work during my personal exploration of Rumi since 1996. Authors included luminaries like Coleman Barks, Shahram Shiva, Nevit Ergin, Jonathan Star, and Kabir Helminski just to name a few. I am deeply grateful to these authors for their work which has brought me this understanding.

So how did Rumi's world view change since his historic meeting with Shams?


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Of course, that initial encounter with Shams asking the penetrating question re Muhammad and Bayazid of Bestami and his subsequent response to Rumi's reply brought not only a profound halting for Rumi but an unavoidable shattering of his world view. He had been brought face to face with an inescapable conclusion re the direct experience of God vs the methodical and gradual subservience and immersion in God. Though history does record that in this encounter there was further clarification by Rumi re Muhammad nonetheless the point re direct experience had been made ... which put scholarly experience in the proper light i.e., valuable as it may be but it can only go so far ... because in the end there is only direct experience with the Divine! In Shams Rumi had met a person living with the fire of Divine.

And of course such direct experience and such a meeting and such a realization left Rumi in absolute ecstasy as is well recorded in history.

So with Shams and Rumi's meeting began this long Sohbet. A wondrous companionship between these two remarkable beings  that, in the end, brought us the gift of Rumi's poetry. Sohbet roughly translates to spiritual conversation or a conversation with shades of fellowship and discipleship. And, in this Sohbet, Rumi was in pure ecstasy and immersed in Divine Love.

And then, as history records it, Shams was gone and he returned for a brief period BUT then he was gone forever. Apparently, Rumi's jealous disciples and possible one of his sons were behind Shams' disappearance and subsequent murder. Rumi was bereft with grief, was inconsolable, and went searching for Shams everywhere for two years and wailed about this grief which is captured in his earlier poems. 

But in the end his grief was transformed into utter, absolute, and uncontainable joy because he realized that there was no separation... there was no need to search for Shams .... and that he was indeed their friendship .. that he was indeed one with the Divine...  And this realization ... this Glorious union with the Beloved ... this Divine Love is what marked Rumi as the man madly drunk with the love of Divine and this exquisite, inexplicable love issued forth from Rumi for thirty years until his death ... in the form of a single poem that is 64 thousand verses long ! And this poetry covers the spectrum of human experience - from the most mundane to the most profound!

Incidentally, Rumi started spontaneously whirling as he realized this profound truth that he is the Friendship, that there is no need to search for Shams and this singular event is the origin of Whirling - another amazing gift to the world!

Finally, one of the most remarkable aspect about Rumi is that he had no attachment to his poetry ...  he was simply a pure instrument of Divine... as is illustrated by one of his poems:

Do you think i know what I'm doing,
That for a moment, or even half a moment,
I know what verses will come from my mouth?
I am no more than a pen in a writer's hand
No more than a ball smacked around by a polo stick!



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