It is also helpful to understand their relationship in terms of the sufi teaching of the stages of "passing away" or "annihilation" [fanâ]. In this particular sufi path, the disciple is encouraged to cultivate love for the spiritual master within the heart, to visualize the master in the heart or seated in front of one, and to remember the master frequently. This practice is said to lead to mystical experiences of seeing the spiritual master (or "beloved") everywhere and the master's beauty expressed in all things waking or dreaming). Mevlana seems indeed to have been in this type of "passing away in the spiritual presence of the master [fanâ fî-sh- shayk], because he wrote thousands of verses expressing his spiritual love for Shams in his Divan. Part of this particular teaching is that if this closeness with the spiritual master [shaykh] goes on too long, it can become a barrier to "annihilation in God" [fanâ fî 'llâh]. And Shams suggested directly to Mevlana that he might have to go away for Mevlana to progress further. After Shams disappeared permanently, and after Mevlana recovered from his loss, it is said that Mevlana found Shams in his own heart. And in his last years, Mevlana composed thousands of couplets (the Mathnawi) in which he describes many unitive mystical experiences (usually spoken by one of the characters in a story), and rarely mentions the name of Shams. This is very much like "annihilation in God" following "annihilation in the master."
Shams and Rumi relationship, an understanding